Braselton, Ga.— Natalie Turk of Franklin, Tenn., was named a recipient of the 2011 Presidents’ Leadership Award, the United States Golf Association and American Junior Golf Association announced Wednesday.
The Presidents’ Leadership Award was created to recognize one boy and one girl junior golfer who demonstrate leadership, character and community service through their involvement with the Leadership Links program – a joint initiative founded by the USGA and AJGA in 2005 to further develop junior golfers through volunteerism.
Turk will be honored and formally presented the award during the Rolex Dinner of Champions, June 30, at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Ore., during the Rolex Tournament of Champions. Additionally, she will receive four tickets to a U.S. Open in a year of her choice, access to the USGA hospitality tent during the U.S. Open, and an automatic entry into the 2011 Rolex Tournament of Champions, one of the world’s most prestigious junior golf events.
After losing her best friend to Stevens-Johnson syndrome, Turk, who had already been involved with the AJGA’s Leadership Links in 2009, worked to raise money for the family of Elizabeth Patton and the scholarship fund that was created after her death. With the help of the USGA and AJGA, Turk was able to raise $2,400 during the 2010 AJGA Franklin Junior presented by Franklin American Mortgage Company. At the same tournament in 2009, she and five others raised more than $6,000 for The First Tee of Nashville, an organization with which she volunteers.
“I participate in Leadership Links, which gave me the opportunity to raise money for one of my best friend’s scholarship fund,” Turk said in her application essay.
Her involvement in The First Tee of Nashville began in the spring of 2011 as a coach for a beginner’s class once a week, but she has not stopped there. She has become so involved with the organization that she put together the Fairway Friends tournament, which pairs two First Tee of Nashville golfers with a college golfer and one successful business person. From coming up with a budget to coordinating donations to recruiting participants, her efforts exemplify leadership.
“This will help expose different resources for the kids through golf that they would not otherwise have,” Turk said in explaining the event. “It will help further them not only in the golf world, but also into their future.”
In 2005, the USGA and AJGA began their partnership with an initiative aimed at the overall growth and development of junior golfers. By emphasizing the importance of community service and education, the partnership strives to enrich the lives of junior golfers and ensure there is a high level of volunteerism around the game for many years to come.
The AJGA’s Leadership Links program and the Presidents’ Leadership Award provide AJGA members with community-service opportunities, which breed character and leadership development through golf. The education component serves as a vehicle for teaching AJGA members about the Rules of Golf, Amateur Status and etiquette. To further develop the future leaders of golf, the USGA annually funds intern positions with the AJGA through the highly successful USGA P.J. Boatwright, Jr. Internship Program. These components have helped strengthen the AJGA and its mission to develop golf’s next generation.
About the AJGA
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 40 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex, which is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.
For more information, please contact Rob Doone (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the AJGA Communications Department at (678) 425-1788, or visit ajga.org.
USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award – Past Recipients
2011 John Farese (Sayville, N.Y.)
Natalie Turk (Franklin, Tenn.)
2010 Drew Johnson (Oak Ridge, N.C.)
Jacqueline Calamaro (Newtown Square, Pa.)
2009 Zach Herr (New Hope, Pa.)
Emily Gimpel (Lafayette Hill, Pa.)
2008 Smylie Kaufman (Birmingham, Ala.)
Kelsey Conway (Ventura, Calif.)
2007 Joseph Suarez (Richmond, Va.)
Angela Villela (Sylmar, Calif.)
2006 Adam Michel (Orinda, Calif.)
Katrina Delen-Briones (San Francisco, Calif.)