PGA of America renames Horton Smith Award
The PGA of America has renamed its Horton Smith Award.
The PGA’s board of directors voted on the decision to change the name of the award, which honors a PGA member for outstanding contributions to professional education, to the PGA Professional Development Award.
The name change, which takes place immediately, comes the same week the PGA Tour is competing at Detroit Golf Club, where Smith, a two-time Masters champion, was a two-time Masters champion and PGA president from 1952-54.
Smith was a supporter of the PGA’s “Caucasian-only” membership clause, which was part of the organization’s bylaws from 1934-61.
“In renaming the Horton Smith Award, the PGA of America is taking ownership of a failed chapter in our history that resulted in excluding many from achieving their dreams of earning the coveted PGA member badge and advancing the game of golf,” PGA president Suzy Whaley said in a press release. “We need to do all we can to ensure the PGA of America is defined by inclusion. Part of our mission to grow the game is about welcoming all and bringing diversity to the sport. With the new PGA Professional Development Award, we will recognize effective inclusion efforts and honor those across our 41 PGA Sections who continue to promote and improve our educational programs. We look forward to doing more of both as we move forward.”
The award, presented annually since 1965, will be awarded Oct. 27-30 during the PGA’s 104th Annual Meeting in Hartford, Connecticut.