HOUSTON – Rhonda Glenn, who is considered the foremost authority on women’s golf and spent nearly two decades as a member of the USGA communications department, has been honored by the Golf Writers Association of America with the 2014 William D. Richardson Award for consistently making outstanding contributions to the game.
Glenn, 67, has authored several books, including “The Illustrated History of Women’s Golf,” which was published in 1991, and “Breaking the Mold,” the story of Judy Bell, who served as the first woman president of the USGA in 1996-97. She is currently working on “Nancy: The Course of My Life” with World Golf Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez.
Glenn joined the USGA in 1995 following a career in television. In 1981, she became the first full-time national network female sportscaster when she worked opposite Chris Berman at ESPN. She also worked as a golf commentator at ABC.
“Winning [this award] is a great honor, and also a surprise,” said Glenn, who retired from the USGA last May. “While the award is for outstanding contributions to golf, I’m very aware that, more importantly, the game has made such outstanding contributions to my life.”
As a girl, Glenn hit golf balls at a par-3 course in Palm Beach, Fla., where she often watched Hall of Famer and four-time U.S. Women’s Open champion Mickey Wright practice. The two became close friends, and years later, Glenn would play an integral role in helping to establish the Mickey Wright Room at the USGA Museum in Far Hills, N.J., the first room dedicated to a female golfer.
Glenn also played a prominent role at USGA championships, particularly the U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Women’s Amateur, U.S. Girls’ Junior and Curtis Cup. Glenn is also an accomplished player, having competed in the U.S. Girls’ Junior, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur.
Past recipients of the Richardson Award include former USGA executive directors David Fay and Frank Hannigan, former USGA presidents Sandy Tatum and Bell, U.S. Open champions Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Lee Trevino and Arnold Palmer, and LPGA Tour major champions Nancy Lopez, Louise Suggs and Babe Zaharias.
The GWAA also honored 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell with the ASAP Sports/Jim Murray Award for being accommodating to the media. In 2013, McDowell claimed his second PGA Tour title, the RBC Heritage, and he owns eight European Tour titles. The former University of Alabama-Birmingham All-American and member of the 2001 Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup Team has developed a reputation for being forthright and insightful during interviews.
“I take my relationship with the media very seriously,” said McDowell, who garnered the winning point for Europe in the 2010 Ryder Cup. “I’m pretty honest to a fault at times. It’s very important to me.”
USGA senior staff writer David Shefter contributed to this story.