WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – PGA Champions Dave Marr II and Davis Love III; women’s golf legend Annika Sörenstam; and LPGA co-founder Shirley Spork – a foursome that impacted both American and global golf – headed a six-member class inducted Tuesday night into the PGA of America Hall of Fame.
The 2019 class was honored Nov. 5, in conjunction with the PGA’s 103rd Annual Meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida. Also entering the Hall of Fame was former PGA President Derek Sprague of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; and the late golf club designer and philanthropist Karsten Solheim.
Annika Sörenstam, who retired from competition in 2008, has made the ANNIKA Foundation her signature for the next generation – inspiring young women through fitness, nutrition as well as an ambitious competitive opportunities.
“It is the whole package,” said Sörenstam. “It is more than golf.”
Spork, one of two surviving founders of the Ladies Professional Golf Association continues an ambitious legacy at age 92, including a nine-hole round each week. “I’m a member of the Nifty Niners,” said Spork.
Of the 13 original LPGA pioneers in 1950, Spork went on to be a co-founder of the LPGA Teaching & Club Professionals Division in 1959. Her proposal was turned down twice before passing by one vote that year.
“I’m most proud of the Teaching and Club Professionals Division,” said Spork. “Today, we have more than 1,700 teachers. It is our responsibility to bring new people into the game. We live in a cyber world, where everything has to be done fast. What I also know is that you can’t do anything alone. You have to have help.”
When Dave Marr captained the 1981 U.S. Ryder Cup Team at Walton Heath in Tadworth, England, there were no vice captains on either side. However, his mother proved to be an onsite MVP that week for a team that featured all but one current or future major champion – Bruce Lietzke.
“My grandmother was ‘Captain Mom,’” said David Marr III, who represented his late father along with his brother, Tony. “She was such an important part of that week and of my dad’s life.”
When Marr won the 1965 PGA Championship at Laurel Valley Golf Club in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, his wife gave birth to Tony, three hours after the championship.
Solheim was represented by his son, John K., and grandson, Allan. In a video presentation, golf equipment competitor Ely Callaway paid tribute to Solheim when he said, “He paved the way for all of us. He changed it all.”
Love was unable to attend due to his caddying for his son, Dru, in PGA Tour Qualifying School. In his acceptance message, Love thanked the PGA for support in his two terms as U.S. Ryder Cup Captain and closed by taking off a caddie bib, revealing a 2020 Ryder Cup logo.
“I just wanted you to know that I would love to drive a cart in 2020,” said Love.
Former PGA President Derek Sprague, now of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, who served in the smallest PGA Section – Northeastern New York – said that through a career and successes he never forgot a note that his mother placed on his steering wheel one morning: “Be humble.”
“We get more done together when we do things in a collaborative nature,” said Sprague.
A closer glance of the 2019 PGA Hall of Fame inductees: Click here
About the PGA of America Hall of Fame
Originated in 1940 at the suggestion of famed sportswriter Grantland Rice, the PGA of America Hall of Fame honors and recognizes individuals who through their lives, careers, service and support have made significant and enduring contributions to the PGA of America in its mission to grow the game of golf. Inductees include PGA Golf Professionals, Tour Professionals or Ambassadors, who throughout their lives have supported and elevated the image of the PGA Golf Professional, the PGA of America and the game of golf.
Click here to view the PGA of America Hall of Fame roster.
Contact: Bob Denney, PGA of America, firstname.lastname@example.org, (561) 624-8582