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Ann Beard

  • 2006
Ann Beard

Ann Rutherford Beard, a notable golfer, rules official, administrator and all-around advocate of the game of golf, received the 2006 NJPGA/NJSGA Distinguished Service Award.

"No one cares more about the game," said Judy Bell, a past president of the United States Golf Association.

She served as member and chairwoman of the USGA Women's Committee, as president of the Garden State Women's Golf Association and the Women's Metropolitan Golf Association.

Considered one of the foremost rules officials in the country, she has officiated in many USGA events and at the British Women's Open Championship.

An accomplished player as well, Beard won 21 club championships at Essex Fells Country Club, where she was instrumental in developing the junior golf program. She won the New Jersey women's super senior championship in 2005 and 2006.

Beard followed a family tradition with her focus on golf. Her father was a professional for more than 70 years, her grandfather was the first golf coach at Penn State University, and her uncle followed her grandfather in that position.

"I can't tell you how special it is to be honored by your peers in your home state of New Jersey," Beard said upon receiving the award. "Everything I consider important in life has come through golf. I've had a love affair with the game of golf all my life."

Through working as a rules official, she commented, "I learned what it meant to preserve and protect the game of golf the way the USGA advocates."

Such work, Beard said, provides a chance to make sure golf doesn't change and is safeguarded for future generations.

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