World Golf Hall of Fame Member and 26-time LPGA Tour champion Judy Rankin was named the 2015 Ambassador of Golf by Northern Ohio Golf Charities. The Ambassador of Golf Award is presented annually to a person who has fostered the ideals of the game on an international level and whose concern for others extends beyond the golf course.
Judy was honored on the first tee at Firestone Country Club on Wednesday, August 5. Fans and invited guests heard remarks from Judy along with PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. At the reception, Judy was presented with a commemorative golf and lifetime painting by reknowed sports artist, Walt Spitzmiller.
“Judy Rankin has lifted the game of golf through her distinguished playing career, her illustrious broadcast career, but mostly by her excitement, dedication and desire to grow the game,” Finchem said. “Her love of golf, not just as a competition, but also the people in the game and what the sport means to everyone in our business, is infectious. Golf is better because Judy Rankin is a part of it.”
“I am honored and humbled to be named the Ambassador of Golf by the Northern Ohio Golf Charities and join a list of past recipients that includes not only my peers but so many meaningful figures in this great game that have meant so much to my career on and off the course,” Rankin said. “I love the game more than I ever have. Golf is full of life lessons with amazing rewards and tough times. I hope, along with age, it has built character and perspective. My father believed that playing golf at a high level would make my life better. He couldn’t have been more right. The Ambassador of Golf award recognizes the work done by its recipients to grow the game. I hope my career has played a small role in the growth of the sport.”
Rankin joins an illustrious list of Ambassador of Golf Award winners:
1981 Chi Chi Rodriguez; 1982 Bing Crosby; 1983 Byron Nelson; 1984 Gene Sarazen; 1985 President Gerald Ford; 1986 Bob Hope; 1987 Dinah Shore; 1988 Joe Dey; 1989 Frank Chirkinian; 1990 Barbara Nicklaus; 1991 Arnold Palmer; 1992 Nancy Lopez; 1993 Robert DeVincenzo; 1994 President George H.W. Bush; 1995 Michael Bonnallack; 1996 Deane Beman; 1997 Peter Thomson; 1998 Ken Venturi; 1999 Gary Player; 2000 Ben Hogan and Sam Snead; 2001 Del de Windt; 2002 Joanne Carner; 2003 Robert Dedman, Sr. and Jack Vickers; 2004 Lee Trevino; 2005 Pete Dye; 2006 Ken Schofield; 2007 Tony Jacklin; 2008 Charlie Sifford; 2009 Hale Irwin; 2010 Tom Watson; 2011 Nick Price; 2012 Nick Faldo; 2013 Jack Nicklaus; and 2014 Johnny Miller.