2013 Hall of Fame Inductees
Four well-known figures on the Arizona golf scene were inducted into the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame November 25th at Gainey Ranch. Ping President and CEO John Solheim, golf writer Bill Huffman, golf course owner/teacher Shelby Futch and amateur golfer and volunteer Barbara Simmons are all deserving individuals who will join a very elite group of golf in Arizona.
Tom Cunningham from the Junior Golf Association of Arizona was the MC for the evening. Also presented at this gala event were special award winners from the Allied Associations: JGAA announced their players of the year, the AWGA presented the Dorothy Pease Award to Tucson resident Pat Trimbell, the AGA presented their Champion of Golf Award to “The Three Amigos” Lee Elaban, Terry Evans, and Don Puckette all from Tucson and the Southwest Section of the PGA presented their Johnny Bulla Award to Jim Mooney.
What a wonderful celebration of individuals that have contributed so much to the betterment of golf in Arizona!
HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES FOR 2013
John Solheim (business industry leader), an engineer, a leader, a devoted son, John Andrew Solheim wanted to be an architect when he grew up. And in a way he has realized that childhood ambition. He is an architect, but not in the strict definitive sense. He doesn’t design buildings. Instead, he designs the fundamental tools that make the most obsessive sport in America an easier game to play. He designs golf equipment. He’s also Chairman, President and CEO of Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, makers of PING golf equipment.
John’s insight and leadership have taken Karsten Manufacturing and PING Golf to new heights in the world of golf. John and the company have donated thousands of hours and money to charitable projects such as the Wounded Warrior program and Bubba’s PINK Driver charity. Karsten started the company, but John has carried the ball into the 21st century.
Bill Huffman (golf media) was born in Iowa City, graduated from the University of Iowa in 1973 (bachelor of general studies) and 1975 (masters degree in journalism). In the fall of 1982 he moved to Arizona and has been covering the game of golf in Arizona ever since, first as the golf writer for the Arizona Republic, and then for the East Valley Tribune. He has covered 48 majors and Ryder Cups, including 20 Masters.
Among his other accomplishments, Huffman served as the national president of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association in 1995-96, and was a member of the executive committee of the Golf Writers Association of America from 1996-98. In 1999, Bill Huffman joined the team at Backspin The Golf Show, the talk radio show that is sponsored by PING broadcast Wednesdays and Saturdays. He is currently the editor-in-chief for the AZ Golf Insider, a freelance writer, and founder of an annual Media Golf Classic with writers from throughout the golf world.
Shelby Futch (golf course owner/PGA professional/teacher) grew up in West Texas. Prior to establishing the Scottsdale Golf Group, Shelby Futch played on numerous tours including the Far Eastern and South American and in several U.S. tour events. He also won the Illinois PGA Championship in the 1970’s. He has owned and operated several golf course properties within the Valley and across the country, as well as a chain of golf retail stores in addition to a successful golf club fitting and manufacturing company. While serving as an instructor for the Golf Digest Schools, he founded the world famous John Jacobs’ Golf Schools.
Shelby has been recognized by, and written for, some of the industry’s most coveted golf publications and is consistently honored by Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and Golf Tips as one of the world’s top instructors. He has produced two series of golf instruction videos, was featured in the book Golf Gurus, and has appeared on The Golf Channel’s Golf Academy Live. As an International Ambassador for golf instruction, he is a frequent guest speaker for both the Hong Kong and China PGA Tours. He is currently donating his skill to the NJCAA National Champion Scottsdale Community College Golf Team, having agreed to coach the team, pro bono.
Barbara Simmons (amateur/volunteer) has made her mark on women’s golf in Arizona. After moving to Arizona in 1984, Barbara made golf a more significant part of her life, becoming a member of Papago WGA, Arizona Country Club and Forest Highlands. In 1985, the USGA dramatically changed the Course Rating System with the addition of Slope, increasing the need for volunteer involvement in the rating process. Barbara quickly immersed herself in the new procedure, working tirelessly with the rest of the AWGA Course Rating team to convert all of Arizona’s courses to incorporate the new process.
Barbara was appointed to the AWGA Board of Directors in 2004, elected to the Executive Board in 2006 and served until she reached her term limit in January 2013. During that time, she held roles of Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President and President.
Besides her responsibilities with the AWGA, Barbara also holds positions on regional and national committees. For 11 years beginning in 1991 Barb served on the USGA Women’s Regional Affairs Committee. In 2002 she was appointed to the US Senior Women’s Amateur Committee. Her golf achievements include winning Papago’s Club Championship three times, Arizona Country Club Championship twelve times, and Forest Highlands Championship four times.
About the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame:
The Arizona Golf Hall of Fame was created in 1968 to honor those who by achievement or contributions have had a lasting effect promoting the sport of golf in Arizona. Since that time there have been 92 individuals inducted.
Nominations received for the Hall of Fame are reviewed by a committee representing the Arizona Golf Association, Arizona Women’s Golf Association, Cactus & Pine Superintendents Association, Club Managers Association, Junior Golf Association, and the Southwest Section PGA. Four-to-eight individuals are selected as nominees. A group of voting delegates representing industry leaders, representative of the associations and past inductees then vote for two to four annual honorees.