Mary Bea Porter-King, president and co-founder of the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association (HSJGA), has been named the 2018 Gladys Palmer Meritorious Service Award Recipient, the Women’s Golf Coaches Association’s (WGCA) most prestigious honor. Porter-King will be recognized on Sunday evening, December 10, 2017 at the WGCA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony which will take place at Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas, Nev.
A four-sport athlete at Arizona State University, Porter-King spent 25 years competing in the LPGA before retiring in Hawaii. She got involved with Kauai’s junior golf program and eventually co-founded HSJGA in 1998. She organizes golf and rules clinics, college workshops and mental training classes for the 500-plus juniors belonging to the statewide program.
One of the country’s most respected rules officials, Porter-King has officiated for over 75 United States National Championships, including 14 U.S. Opens, 17 U.S. Women’s Opens, 15 U.S. Amateurs and five Masters Tournaments, along with five PGA Championships, and one British Open. She served five years on the USGA Executive Committee, a 16-member committee that oversees the entire United States Golf Association, before going on the serve a three-year term as an Independent Director on the Board of the PGA of America. She continues to be active with both associations as she serves on the USGA Junior Amateur Committee & Regional Association Committee and the PGA Youth Development Committee.
For her contributions, Porter-King was awarded the 2001 LPGA Teaching Division’s Budget Service Award, an honor sponsored by Budget Rent a Car that recognizes an LPGA member’s services to youth through golf, and donates $5,000 to youth charity. She was also given the distinguished honor of being named as the PGA of America First Lady of Golf in 2011.
Porter-King also has the distinction of an award being created in her honor. In 1988 while playing in an LPGA event, she noticed a young boy floating unconscious in the pool of a house bordering the golf course. She scaled the fence and administered CPR, saving the three-year old boy’s life. In honor of her heroism, the Metropolitan Golf Writer’s Association created the Mary Bea Porter Humanitarian Award, which honors a humanitarian or heroic act that enhances human life.