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Linda Vollstedt Inducted into LPGA Hall of Fame

Oct 6, 2021

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Legendary Sun Devil Women's Golf Head Coach Linda Vollstedt will officially be inducted into the LPGA Professionals Hall of Fame this weekend. 

The original ceremony in 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, delaying a proper honoring of three legendary figures. Vollstedt is joined by close friends of the Sun Devil Women's Golf program Dr. Debbie Crews and Kathy Murphy in the 2020 LPGA Professionals Hall of Fame class. After 38 years of service to the LPGA, Vollstedt will be forever recognized as one of the most significant contributors to the sport.
"I am truly honored to be selected into the LPGA Professionals Hall of Fame and to be included in the elite company of those who have come before me and who have been such incredible role models," Vollstedt remarked.

First joining the association as an officer in 1986, Vollstedt served as President and Vice President of the Western Section from 1986-92. Initially coaches were not really recognized in the organization.  Vollstedt fought hard to give recognition to the "coach," as she believed that coaching was teaching and teaching was coaching. 

In the early years as an officer on the Executive Committee, Vollstedt realized that the LPGA needed to initiate a way to bring credibility and professionalism to the organization. She began to push for more educational workshops and seminars. Vollstedt assisted LPGA National President Kerry Graham in developing the Women's Golf Summits. At that time, LPGA membership was around 325 members. One of her goals was to increase the membership to 1,000. With the help of LPGA Professionals Hall of Famer Dana Rader, who served on the Executive Committee with Vollstedt, membership has grown to now almost 1800 members today.

"During my years of service, I have watched the LPGA continue to grow and offer not only education, but professional growth to women in the organization," Vollstedt reflected.

Working closely with Graham, Vollstedt played a major role in all of the initiatives that the LPGA put in place during those years. She was instrumental in securing the funds for the LPGA Urban Youth Golf Program, which eventually became "The First Tee" initiative. She was also instrumental in developing the LPGA Jr. Girls Golf Program, now in 60 cities and 6 other countries. Vollstedt chaired and served on many committees, hosted the Sectional Seminar, and participated in promoting junior golf.  

"My entire life has been dedicated to mentoring, teaching and coaching," Vollstedt said. "I am full of gratitude and joy as I continue to mentor young women who are looking for success and fulfillment in their profession."

In 1990, she established the ASU Jr Golf Camp for kids aged 10-18, where they would receive instruction, play golf, and learn life lessons. Vollstedt worked closely with Chuck Hogan and fellow LPGA Professionals Hall of Famer Lynn Marriott while she was the Director of Education at Karsten Golf Course, the longtime home of Sun Devil Women's Golf. The group dedicated their time to discussing what ideas and materials could be used to influence the performance and well-being of our students. As a result of their work, Marriott went on to be a leader for the LPGA National Education Program.

Vollstedt continued to attend many workshops and seminars and was a speaker at various events, including the EWGA Annual Conference, National Golf Foundation, PGA Southwest Section, National Minority Golf Association, Women's Golf Coaches Association, Merrill Lynch Corp, Intel and NCAA Leadership Conference.

In 1999, the Standard Register PING LPGA Tournament Board of Directors established the Vollstedt Award for Service and Leadership in Women's Sports. The award is given to a person who showed courage, commitment and passion for women's opportunities in sports, volunteerism and a desire to help youth be successful. 

Along with her service to the LPGA, she has also been involved with several other organizations promoting golf and sports for women. She was a founding member of the Women's Sports Foundation (WSF) Coaches Advisory Round Table; a member of the NCAA Women's Golf Committee; a Phoenix Women's Sports Association Board Member; an ASU Karsten Golf Course Board Member; a Thunderbirds Charities Board Member; and an Arizona Jr Golf Association Board Member.

Being involved with the LPGA allowed her to have a successful career at Arizona State University as the head women's golf coach from 1980-2001. When all was said and done, Vollstedt was widely considered as the most successful coach in the history of Sun Devil Athletics. She was also one of the most influential advocates for women's collegiate sports and Title XI, helping female sports grow not only at Arizona State, but across the country.

During her tenure as the Sun Devil Women's Golf Coach, she built ASU into the top collegiate program in the country. Vollstedt guided the Sun Devils to an unprecedented six NCAA Championships and sent 22 elite collegiate players to the LPGA Tour. 

Her teams captured 9 Conference Championships, boasted 42 All Americans and 71 All-Conference Players, as well as 25 Academic All-Americans. A total of 12 individuals won Conference Medalists honors and 4 Sun Devils became Individual NCAA Champions under Vollstedt's watch. In 1995, the team went undefeated by finishing first in every tournament, a record that still stands.

The accolades don't stop there, as Vollstedt coached 11 USGA Amateur and Publinks Champions, 9 Curtis Cup Players, 13 Solheim Cup Appearances, 4 National Player of the Yeas and 4 Honda Award Winners. The 22 professional players she coached while at Arizona State included LPGA standouts Danielle Ammaccapane, Brandie Burton, Michelle Estill, Heather Farr, Amy Fruhwirth, Jimin Kang, Emilee Klein, Lauri Merten, Pia Nilsson, Grace Park, Tina Tombs, Wendy Ward and Pamela Wright. 

Eight of her former players at ASU went on to become collegiate golf coaches, including Michelle Estill (Arizona State), Missy Farr-Kaye (Arizona State), Heather Bowie (Clemson), and Emilee Klein (UCF/San Diego St./Tulsa).

During her time at Arizona State, she received several prestigious LPGA awards. Volstedt was twice selected as the LPGA National Coach of the Year and LPGA Sectional Coach of the Year. Her other awards include 5-time Golfweek National Coach of the Year; 3-time National Golf Coaches Association Coach of the Year; 4-time Pac-12 Conference Coach of the Year; 7-time NCAA Regional Coach of the Year. She was also named as Golf World magazine's "Top 10 College Coaches of the 20th Century" which included male and female coaches. Back in 2016, Vollstedt was named the Pac-12 Women's Golf Coach of the Century, while legendary Sun Devil Men's Golf Head Coach Randy Lein was named Pac-12 Men's Golf Coach of the Century.

Along with these coaching honors, she also received several awards for many contributions to sports and the golf industry. Vollstedt is the recipient of the PGA PING Anser Award; March of Dimes Leadership Award; YWCA Tribute to Women Outstanding Sports Award; ASU Alumni Achievement Award; ASU Sparky Award for Outstanding Service; Gladys Palmer Meritorious Service Award (NGCA); Bob Goldwater Ambassador of Golf Award; and Executive Women's Golf Association (EWGA) Leadership Award. 

In 2001, she had to retire from coaching at ASU because of a career-ending injury. However, her passion for the game and the love of the sport was still there.  She insisted on continuing to give back, coming up with the idea to offer seminars for coaches.  

Thus, she got involved with "Coaching Fore The Soul", which allowed her to continue to sharing her wisdom with others.  On a national platform, LPGA and non-LPGA members attended. In 2007, she was asked, along with fellow class of 2020 LPGA Professional Hall of Fame inductees Kathy Murphy and Debbie Crews, to write the curriculum for the LPGA T&CP National Education Coaching Program. 

Because of her accomplishments, she has been inducted into 9 Hall of Fames: International Women's Sports Foundation (WSF);  National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA);  Arizona Sports HOF; Sun Devil Athletics HOF;  Arizona Golf Association; Arizona State University Hall of Honor; Portland Interscholastic League (PIL);  Phoenix Union High School (PUHS);  and most recently the Pac-12 Conference Hall of Honor – becoming the first female coach to be inducted. Thanks to her lifetime of dedication and service to the game, she can now add LPGA Hall of Famer to the list.

"I am forever grateful to the LPGA for shaping my career and allowing me to fulfill my destiny."

Close friends of the Sun Devil Women's Golf program Dr. Debbie Crews and Coach Kathy Murphy join Vollstedt as part of the 2020 LPGA Professionals Hall of Fame class.

The three worked together on several projects, including the LPGA Coach Educational programs for six years. The group also produced the 'Coaching Fore The Soul' seminars for ten years. Murphy and Crews both have connections to the Sun Devil Women's Golf program during the Vollstedt era. 

Dr. Debbie Crews was a graduate assistant for Coach Vollstedt when she first started her coaching career in the 1980s. Crews was instrumental in assisting Vollstedt during her first two seasons. After leaving to earn her doctorate degree, Crews returned to Arizona State and to serve as the Sun Devil Women's Golf mental coach. For the past 25 years, Crews has been essential to the players and staff, providing advice and support. She has been a big reason why Arizona State teams have a reputation of thriving under pressure, winning eight NCAA Championships since 1990. No matter the stage, Sun Devil Women's Golf is prepared and ready for the moment. 

Kathy Murphy was the LPGA instructor at Karsten Golf Course and served as a volunteer coach on the staff throughout the Sun Devils' dominant run through the decade of the 1990's. She worked closely with the team and helped develop several LPGA standouts in the process. 

"We have all been an integral part of ASU Golf for a long time, so the BEST part of being inducted is that the three of us get to go in together," Vollstedt exclaimed. 

Debbie Crews has been involved with the LPGA Education, Evaluation and Research programs since 1997 and with the LPGA Professionals since 1980. In 2011, she earned the distinction of Master Professional. Crews has also served on the National Education and Research Advisory Board since its inception and has been a lead National Education Program (NEP) instructor/evaluator since the late 1990s. She assisted with the development and testing of the National Evaluator testing form for teaching, coaching and managerial leadership and contributed to three revisions of the NEP Manual (1997, 2007, 2013). 
For more than 35 years, Crews has researched and studied the game of golf, writing for countless scientific journals and popular magazines (Golf Digest, Golf Magazine) and being featured on "Scientific American Frontiers," NBC Dateline and ESPN. Her research also includes several studies with Mayo Clinic on the "yips" in golf. Most recently, she updated and helped create the online version of the Sport Psychology and Neuroscience sections of the program. LPGA section seminars included five "Horses and Courses" (2008-2011) and three "Research Application" seminars (2009, 2018).
Crews received the LPGA Ellen Griffin Rolex Award in 2011, the LPGA Central Section Professional of the Year Award in 2012, and the LPGA Western Section Teacher of the Year Award in 2000. She was named a member of the LPGA Top 50 Teachers List in 2008, 2009, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Murphy is an LPGA Master Life Professional whose career includes Resident Golf Professional at Palm-Aire Country Club in Sarasota, Fla. and Head Professional at The Plantation Golf & CC in Venice, Fla. where in 1989, she hosted the LPGA Professionals National Championship.

Following her time as a club professional, Murphy dedicated herself to the business of teaching and coaching golf. She has been a teaching professional at the Stratton Mountain Golf School in Vermont, Bonnie View Country Club in Baltimore, Md., the Bumble Bee Hollow Golf Center in Mechanicsburg, Pa. (owned and operated by 2009 Hall of Fame Member Lorraine Klippel) and the ASU Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz. (where she worked alongside 2016 Hall of Fame Member Lynn Marriott).

During her time in Phoenix, Murphy became instrumental in the development and curriculum of the LPGA Global Education and Certification Programs. As Lead Instructor, she assembled and directed a team of professionals in developing curriculum and materials. She also personally conducted over 100 education and training programs around the country and in South Korea. Murphy served for as Chairperson of the Research/Education Advisory Board for ten years, where she met with teachers, LPGA Evaluators and researchers from within and outside the industry to ensure that the LPGA's education programs remained relevant to members and contributed to the growth of new golfers.

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