Ken Morton Sr. Receives NGF’s Top Honor: 2022 Graffis Award
Ken Morton, Sr., a PGA Master Professional and the Chief Executive Officer for Morton Golf LLC, is the recipient of the National Golf Foundation’s 2022 Graffis Award for his outstanding and long-time contributions to the game and business of golf.
Morton was presented with the NGF’s highest honor at this year’s Golf Business Symposium in Charlotte, where he was joined by his wife, Kathy, and son, Ken Jr., in addition to more than 120 other leading industry executives.
The Graffis Award is the latest in a long line of deserved recognitions for Morton, who has created thousands of golfers during his 60+ years in golf while overseeing one of the game’s most-respected public facilities, the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento, California.
Morton’s company today has long-term agreements to manage golf operations of all four city of Sacramento facilities, including Haggin Oaks, which has been honored as one of America’s 100 Best Golf Shops for more than three decades. And it was almost 30 years ago that Morton formed the Sacramento Area Youth Golf Association, an instrumental program that became The First Tee of Greater Sacramento and now serves over 12,000 kids annually. Morton through the years has garnered national acclaim for his grow-the-game efforts, which include not only character-building programs for juniors, but a focus on women and adaptive golf, including his work with the Special Olympics and Wounded Warriors.
“The Graffis Award is also meant to recognize those on golf’s front lines, the ones making a true difference in growing the game. And helping people is what Ken is all about,” said NGF President and CEO Joe Beditz. “Ken has created so many golfers and, given that he developed training and courses for the PGA of America, a lot of golf pros too with all the PGA members that have gone through his curriculum. Sixty-plus years of making a difference, it’s hard to imagine anyone contributing more within the industry than Ken Morton.”
The NGF’s Graffis Award is named in honor of the organization’s founders, Herb and Joe Graffis. Past NGF award recipients include high profile golfers (Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Patty Berg); equipment company CEOs (Karsten Solheim, Ely Callaway); golf administrators (Judy Bell, Deane Beman); and golf educators/teachers (Peggy Kirk Bell, Bob Toski).
In recent years, former PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem received the 2018 Graffis award, while broadcaster and 26-time LPGA Tour winner Judy Rankin was the 2019 recipient, and longtime First Tee CEO Joe Louis Barrow Jr. was honored in 2021.
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