Mary Bea Porter-King of Kapaa, Hawaii, a celebrated four-sport collegiate athlete, LPGA Tour veteran, a pioneer in junior golf within her state, and one of the country’s most respected Rules officials, has been named the recipient of the 2011 PGA First Lady of Golf Award.
Porter-King, 61, will be honored at The PGA of America Awards, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012, during the 59th PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center’s Chapin Theater in Orlando, Fla.
Born in Everett, Wash., and raised in Costa Mesa, Calif., Porter-King began playing golf at age 7, mentored by LPGA co-founder Betty Hicks. Porter-King paved her way in junior golf by conducting a golf clinic at age 8 with Hall of Famer Patty Berg. She went on to become a four-sport star athlete at Arizona State University before devoting her career to golf. She was a co-founder of the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association in 1998; and served from 2001-06 as a member of the USGA Executive Committee and from 2006-09, as an Independent Director on The PGA America Board of Directors. As a member of the PGA Rules Committee, Porter-King has officiated for nearly two decades at golf’s premier events, including all of the game’s men’s and women’s major championships.
“Mary Bea Porter-King’s remarkable career of service to our game is on display within her home state in a junior golf program that has produced countless success stories, and is a model for how our industry may improve the future of so many young people,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “Mary Bea also has served golf at the highest levels, a record that includes an unwavering commitment to the integrity of our sport as a premier Rules official. It is with great honor that we may now refer to her as our next PGA First Lady of Golf.”