Executive Director Stephen Hamblin was inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame over the weekend after more than three decades of growing junior golf through the AJGA.
Hamblin, who has led the American Junior Golf Association as Executive Director since 1984, was formally inducted with the Class of 2018 including PGA professional Sonny Skinner of Sylvester, lifelong amateur Wright Waddell of Columbus, and Rolex Junior All-American and University of Georgia alumna Martha Stacy Leach of Hebron, Ky.
“When it comes to service to the game of golf, primarily junior golf, very few people have made more of an impact than Stephen Hamblin has throughout his career at the American Junior Golf Association," said Georgia State Golf Association Executive Director Matt Vanderpool. "Stephen is most deserving of this honor and joins an illustrious list of Georgia Golf Hall of Fame members."
Over the years, Hamblin has expertly grown the AJGA from a fledgling operation into a respected entity in the golf industry. His leadership and passion has created an opportunity for junior golfers and staff members to grow their passion for golf while furthering the timeless core values entrenched in the game.
Key achievements over his more than 30 years have included establishing the ACE Grant, which provides financial assistance to young men and women who aspire to earn a college golf scholarship through competitive junior golf. At the celebration for Hamblin’s 30th anniversary with the AJGA, an ACE Grant endowment was funded by current and former staff, sponsors and friends to honor this legacy.
Other important programs which continue to this day: an industry-leading pace of play system, an unmatched tournament experience, sponsorship to keep costs low and value high for members, Junior-Am fundraising to give back to grassroots junior golf and fund tournament opportunities, a strict Code of Conduct policy, and a thank-you note writing program. Hamblin has done all of this while remaining true to the original mission and purpose of the AJGA: fostering the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.
“Stephen Hamblin is one of the finest golf administrators at any level, anywhere in the world," said Board of Directors President Jim Nugent. "This is well-deserved recognition."
The Georgia Golf Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Ceremony was held on Saturday, January 20, 2018, at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek. Atlanta Athletic Club holds a long and storied place in the history of golf in the state of Georgia, as the home club of Bobby Jones, as well as 14 other members of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame.