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Tim Kloenne Honored With The Southwest PGA Anser Award

June 13, 2018 – Tim Kloenne has been named the 27th recipient of the Southwest PGA PING Anser Award, recognizing an individual whose positive efforts have influenced the history of the game in Arizona.

“We couldn’t be more proud to honor Tim Kloenne as the recipient of the Anser Award,” said Jamey Lewis, President of the Southwest PGA. “For over 40 years, Tim’s contributions to golf in Arizona with the Thunderbirds and the First Tee of Phoenix have made long-lasting impacts to the game and those who enjoy the game. His passion and dedication to giving back to the game of golf exemplifies the mission of PING founder, the late Karsten Solheim, who the award was named after for his famous PING Anser putter.”

Born and raised in Covington, Ky., Kloenne was introduced to golf at an early age when he joined his older brother Jack caddying for their father at the local 9-hole municipal course. Following the loop, the brothers would putt and hit balls, and in the summer, played every day, often times 54-holes per day.

A multi-sport athlete throughout high school, Kloenne attended Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky., where he was a member of the basketball team all four years.

Kloenne, 73, relocated to Arizona in 1970 and immediately got involved in the golf community. He became a board member of the Arizona Golf Association in the late 70’s, the early years of the AGA, ultimately serving as President from 1984-86. Among his many accomplishments with the AGA, Kloenne was a key figure in the establishment of the Karsten Turf Research Center at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

A member of the Thunderbirds since 1983, Kloenne was instrumental in the founding of the First Tee of Phoenix in 2001. Established by the Thunderbirds for the purpose of providing affordable access to golf and golf learning facilities for young people in Maricopa County, the First Tee of Phoenix has expanded from one facility in 2001 to 13 today. Kloenne served as Chairman of the Board from the organization’s inception until 2016.

Kloenne’s passion for growth of the game of golf was self-evident during his time with the First Tee of Phoenix. He volunteered for the majority of the functions and programs and often knew the names of all the children who were participating. After providing clothes, toys and gifts to a family from the war-torn nation of the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa, Kloenne introduced the family’s three boys to the First Tee of Phoenix upon their relocation to the valley. With little knowledge of golf at the start, the boys became infatuated and consumed by game with Kloenne serving as a mentor to the boys every step of the way.

In 2005 the First Tee of Phoenix created The Kloenne Cup, an invitational Ryder Cup style tournament for boys and girls in the different Chapters of the First Tee of Phoenix. The event was named in honor of Kloenne and his father Gene, who worked tirelessly refurbishing golf clubs for the kids in the program.

Kloenne served on the Southwest PGA Advisory Council, was a member of the USGA’s Regional Affairs Committee, served as president of the Arizona Golf Foundation and served on numerous committees at Paradise Valley (Ariz.) C.C.

Among his many honors, Kloenne was the 2007 recipient of the Ed Updegraff Award, the AGA’s highest honor given in recognition of those who, by their actions, exemplify the spirit of the game. He was inducted into the AGA’s Arizona Golf Hall of Fame in 2012 by his close friend Hale Irwin.

The Anser Award was created by the Southwest Section of the PGA in 1991 as a way to recognize individuals who have made significant and impactful contributions to advancing or promoting the game of golf throughout the state of Arizona.  Over the past 27 years the list of recipients has grown to include some of the most influential names in history of golf in Arizona. Past recipients of the Southwest PGA PING Anser Award include:

1991 – Karsten Solheim

2005 – Vernon Orrin “Red” Allen, PGA

1992 – Bob Goldwater, Sr.

2006 – Al Birmingham

1993 – Bill Farkas, Sr.

2007 – Louise Solheim

1994 – Dr. Ed Updegraff

2008 – Heather Farr

1995 – Arch Watkins

2009 – George Boutell

1996 – Harry Cavannaugh

2010 – Dot Straw

1997 – John Riggle

2011 – Brian Whitcomb, PGA

1998 – Lyle Anderson

2012 – Tucson Conquistadores

1999 – Linda Vollstedt

2013 – Ron McPherson

2000 – Bill Dickey

2014 – John A. Solheim

2001 – The Thunderbirds

2015 – Tom Cunningham

2002 – Sister Lynn Winsor

2017 – Dave Engelking

2003 – Jay Woodward

2018 – Tim Kloenne

2004 – Willie Low

 

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