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Mary Bea Porter-King

MaryBeaMary Bea Porter-King was a four-sport athlete at Arizona State University,  volleyball, basketball softball and golf, winning NCAA Team Championships in both softball and golf. She has officiated at over 80 national championships including the Masters, Walker Cup, British Open, NCAA Championships, USGA Junior Championships, Solheim Cup, PGA Championships and U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Opens. And did you know there is an award created in her name? These are a few of the many things that most people don’t know about Porter-King. Most juniors in Hawaii know her as a rules official. Looking official while carrying a radio and rules book, juniors most often see her riding around the course in a golf cart. Parents know her as the president and co-founder of the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association, HSJGA. But Porter-King’s life is defined by so much more than this. She started playing golf at the age of seven, and played four sports while attending Arizona State University: golf, basketball, volleyball and softball. She earned All-America honors and was named Outstanding College Athlete of the Year before joining the LPGA in 1973. She was on the winning NCAA World Series softball team and also was part of two NCAA wins in golf for ASU. In November 2001 she was inducted into Arizona State’s Hall of Fame for all four sports. Just one more thing, she also did television commentary for 12 years with NBC and ESPN. Porter-King moved to Hawaii in 1989 and finally retired from her 25-year career on the LPGA in 1998. Wanting to give back to the golf community, she got involved with Kauai’s junior golf program and eventually co-founded HSJGA in 1988 with Norman Asao, Merv Kotake and Greg Nichols, PGA.  Porter-King organizes golf and rules clinics, college workshops and mental training classes for the 500-plus juniors belonging to the statewide program. She wanted to give juniors here in the Islands the same opportunities available to juniors on the mainland and has since opened the door to many more national tournament opportunities for Hawaii’s juniors. For her outstanding efforts, she was awarded the 2000 LPGA Budget Service Award. This award, sponsored by Budget Rent a Car, recognizes an LPGA member’s services to youth through golf, and donates $5,000 to youth charity. But serving as president of HSJGA isn’t the only leadership role Porter-King holds. She served on the USGA Executive Committee—a 16-member committee that oversees the entire United States Golf Association. She then went 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. Although Porter-King’s life is overflowing with golf accomplishments, one feat unrelated to golf may very well be the most meaningful to her. 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 climbed the fence and administered CPR, saving the boy’s life. In honor of her heroic deed, the Metropolitan Golf Writer’s Association created the Mary Bea Porter Humanitarian Award. This annual award honors a humanitarian or heroic act that enhances human life. In 2011 Porter-King was given the distinguished honor of being named as the PGA of America First Lady of Golf. Enjoy the video of this amazing award to learn and hear more from some of her friends like Arnold Palmer , Mark Rolfing and Dottie Pepper. WATCH VIDEO Without a doubt, Mary Bea Porter-King is much more than just a rules official. There’s a lighter side to her that many people don’t see when she’s out on the golf course. So the next time you see her around, ask her about doing the Y-M-C-A backwards at a minor league baseball game, or the time she threatened a junior bodily harm when he tried to steal her pickle off her plate. Porter-King is married to Charlie King, a fifth-generation islander, and they have two children and three grandchildren.