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SERVING THE GAME
Frist, Smith Recipients of USGA-AJGA Leadership Award December 2, 2021 By American Junior Golf Association

The charity work by Tommy Frist (left) and Andie Smith earned the duo the USGA/AJGA Presidents' Leadership Award for 2021. (AJGA)

Tommy Frist of Nashville, Tenn., Andie Smith of Hobe Sound, Fla., were named the 2021 recipients of the USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award, the USGA and American Junior Golf Association announced.

The USGA-AJGA Presidents' Leadership Award honors one male and one female junior golfer annually 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.

“Tommy and Andie’s extraordinary desire to serve others provides a source of aspiration that the entire game of golf can strive toward,” said USGA President Stu Francis. "The USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award serves as an important annual reminder that the game’s future is in good hands.”

About Tommy Frist

Frist and his father wanted to do something outside of their comfort zones to help others and when they heard about Dr. Tabin and the Himalayan Project they reached out to see how they could get involved. Dr. Tabin welcomed them on a trip with him to Ethiopia to assist surgeons as they performed cataract surgeries. Frist worked 12-hour days while there helping the doctors perform the much-needed surgeries. The people he helped were often very poor and suffered from bad hygiene, with most of them not being able to see.

Frist displayed a kind and nurturing attitude towards those the clinic served and would often play with the children as their parents went through surgery. He also helped perform post-op tasks that included administering eye drops, applying bandages, directing patient flow and restocking surgical supplies.

Frist also started the Harlen Society within his school. He wanted to engage with the other young men in his class to get them ready for civic engagement. He felt most young men at his school were just sitting back and didn’t know how to engage with the current society. The Harlen Society takes trips into the communities of different groups so everyone can better understand one another. This Society is a direct results of Frist's passion to connect people from different backgrounds.

“Serving others and volunteering for various organizations has taught me a lot about the importance of giving back,” said Frist. “It feels good to help people and it’s a reminder that I’m part of something so much bigger than myself.”

Frist has also worked with the Local First Tee program by raising money and helping to teach the next generation of junior golfers. In addition, he used Leadership Links and the AJGA's State Cup Series to raise money through the Tennessee Cup in 2020 and 2021, raising almost $14,000.

About Andie Smith

In 2021, Smith used Leadership Links and the AJGA's State Cup Series to organize and run the Atlantic Cup to raise money for Charity Water and the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant Program. From start to finish Smith was involved in the entire event. She recruited 24 players to participate and fundraise and called 30 different golf courses to secure a venue. On top of that, $15,250 of the $71,000 raised in total came from Smith's fundraising.

Smith's dedication to helping others was honored through the Congressional Award which to recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in young people. It is the highest honor given out by Congress for youth service. She has also received awards for her many hours of volunteer service.

In addition to the Atlantic Cup, Smith traveled with the 2021 Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award recipient Rafe Cochran to Jamaica to paint a newly built schoolhouse and provide school supplies for its students.

"I had the chance to work with her and she is certainly the real deal," said AJGA Director of Youth Development Beth Dockter. "None of the other girls on the list are close to her volunteer work."

When Smith was young, she lost her father suddenly. His influence on her life continues to this day as he taught her how to play golf and instilled in her an incredible work ethic. She uses giving back as a way to keep his memory alive and connect with him.

“My father always reminded me of the importance of giving back to the community, I wish he could see how far I have come since he passed almost six years ago,” said Smith. “He is my motivation to always strive to be better for my family and community.”

USGA-AJGA Presidents' Leadership Award – Past Recipients

2020
Ashley Yen (Houston, Texas)
Charlie Creamean (Winnetka, Il..)

2019
William Mirams (Stroudsburg, Pa)
Lauryn Nguyen (Seattle, Wa.)

2018
Gerry Jones Jr. (Suffolk, Va.)
Grace Chen (Sunnyvale, Calif.)

2017
Grant Fairbairn (Orinda, Fla.)
Haley Bookholdt (Columbus, N.J.)

2016
Daniel Berlin (Chagrin Falls, Ohio)
Angelica Harris (Harvey, La.)

2015
Nick Leibold (Littleton, Colo.)
Hannah Berman (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.)

2014
John Hayden (Birmingham, Ala.)
Dree Fausnaugh (Maitland, Fla.)

2013
Patrick Cover (Huntersville, N.C.)
Divya Manthena (Camarillo, Calif.)

2012
Brandon Pierce (Covington, La.)
Cassie Wang (Lenexa, Kan.)

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.)