PGA Tour Standout Max Homa & World Golf Hall of Fame Juli Inkster to be Honored at 43rd Annual Friends of Golf (FOG) Charity Tournament
Tournament Presented by Konica Minolta Set for October 16 at Bel-Air Country Club
Non-Profit Started by Golf Legend Eddie Merrins Has Donated Millions to Local & National Colleges, High Schools and More
Los Angeles, CA (June 28, 2023) Friends of Golf (FOG) will honor PGA Tour standout and Southern California native Max Homa and LPGA star and World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Juli Inkster at its 43rd annual charity tournament on October 16 at Bel-Air Country Club.
Homa, a six-time winner on the PGA Tour and currently ranked in the top 10 in the Official World Golf Rankings, and Inkster, who has 31 career LPGA victories, will both be presented with The Eddie Merrins Award, named after the legendary PGA golfer, UCLA men’s golf coach and longtime teaching professional at Bel-Air Country Club, who helped launch FOG more than 40 years ago.
Homa and Inkster join an illustrious group of honorees at FOG’s annual fundraising golf tournament, a list that includes Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Byron Nelson, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Annika Sörenstam, Dustin Johnson, Lorena Ochoa, Brooks Koepka and Collin Morikawa, who was honored in 2022. In 1991, Nicklaus met a young, local golfer named Tiger Woods for the first time at the FOG tournament at Bel-Air CC.
Originally founded in 1979, non-profit organization FOG (www.friendsofgolf.org) has donated over $10 million to both national and local college, high school and other golf-focused organizations and has honored many of the game’s top players over the last four decades. FOG partners with the Golf Coaches Association of America and Colonial Country Club and The LPGA Foundation and Women’s Golf Coaches Association to annually honor the top collegiate male and female golfers with both The Ben Hogan Trophy and The Dinah Shore Trophy.
Konica Minolta is the Title Sponsor of FOG’s 2023 tournament, while Callaway is the Major Equipment sponsor, Skechers is the Major Footwear sponsor and johnnie-O is the Major Apparel sponsor.
“We are thrilled to honor Southern California native and rising PGA Tour star Max Homa and World Golf Hall of Famer and one of the best players in the history of the LPGA Tour, Juli Inkster, at our 42nd annual Friends of Golf tournament later this year,” said FOG President Peter Best. “Both Max and Juli represent the best in professional golf both on-and-off the course and exemplify everything that we at FOG stand for.”
Homa stated, “As someone who grew up here in Southern California hearing about Eddie Merrins and all that he has done for the game through Friends of Golf, receiving The Eddie Merrins Award is quite the honor and I am thrilled to be sharing that honor with Juli Inkster this year.”
“This is truly an honor to be receiving The Eddie Merrins Award from the team at Friends of Golf,” said Inkster. “Eddie is someone that I’ve known and admired for many years and his tremendous work with FOG has and continues to make a big difference in the lives of many amateur golfers across the country.”
Homa has six PGA Tour victories, including the 2023 Fortinet Championship and Farmers Insurance Open. He won the Fortinet Championship and Wells Fargo Championship in 2022, The Genesis Invitational in 2021 and Homa got his first PGA Tour victory in 2019 at the Wells Fargo Championship. Homa, who was born in Burbank, CA., is a graduate of Valencia High School and the University of California, Berkeley, won the individual 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Championship.
Inkster ranks second in wins among all active players on the LPGA Tour and has over $14 million in career earnings. Inkster is also the only golfer in LPGA Tour history to win two major tournaments in a decade for three consecutive decades by winning three in the 1980s, two in the 1990s, and two more in the 2000s. Inkster has seven total LPGA major tournament victories, including two Nabisco Dinah Shore wins (1984/1989), the 1984 du Maurier Classic, two LPGA Championships (1999/2000) and a pair of U.S. Women’s Open trophies (1999/2002).
Born and raised in Santa Cruz, California, Inkster played her college golf at San Jose State, where she was an All-American in 1979, 1981 and 1982. From 1980 to 1982, Inkster won three consecutive U.S. Women’s Amateur tournaments, becoming the first woman since 1934 to win three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles. She also has more wins in Solheim Cup matches than any other American and was inducted into LPGA Hall of Fame in 1999 and the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000.
FOG was founded in 1979 by Merrins and a group of Los Angeles-area golfers who wanted to make it possible for aspiring junior golfers (irrespective of their economic standing) to play, compete and excel in the game of golf. FOG has raised over $10 million and has allocated those funds, along with used golf equipment, to hundreds of high school golf programs, 25 college and university golf teams, and 7 scholarship foundations across the USA.
Friends of Golf supports student athlete golfers by instilling the values of honesty, ethics, and fellowship with a true appreciation for the game. From the time boys and girls enter grade school through the end of their college experience, FOG makes it possible for aspiring junior golfers (irrespective of economic standing) to play, compete and excel in this exceptional sport.
ABOUT FRIENDS OF GOLF (FOG)
Originally founded in 1979, FOG has donated over $10 million to both national and Southern California college, high school and non-profit golf-focused organizations. Legendary professional golfer and Bel-Air Country Club teaching pro Eddie Merrins (“The Little Pro”) and a group of Los Angeles-area golfer helped organize FOG’s first annual golf tournament intended to benefit the neighboring UCLA men’s golf program. Since then, FOG has hosted 42 annual charity golf tournaments at Bel-Air Country Club and honored some of the game’s top stars including Jack Nicklaus, Sir Nick Faldo, Annika Sorenstam, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Lorena Ochoa and Collin Morikawa. FOG supports student athlete golfers by instilling the values of honesty, ethics, and fellowship with a true appreciation for the game. From the time boys and girls enter grade school through the end of their college experience, FOG makes it possible for aspiring junior golfers (irrespective of economic standing) to play, compete and excel in this exceptional sport.
FOG also backs a number of leading national amateur golf awards including The Ben Hogan Trophy, presented each year to the top male college golfer and The Dinah Shore Trophy, which is similarly presented to the top female golfer through a joint venture with the LPGA Foundation. Friends of Golf, Inc. is recognized as a non-profit, tax-deductible organization through Federal I.D. #95-3668541 and the State of California Franchise Tax Board Organization #1058257.
For more information contact:
Friends of Golf