Golf is the common denominator of all sports as evidenced by the attendance at the 43rd Arizona Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, honoring professional golfer Heather Farr, USA Olympic diver Michele Mitchell, NBA All-Star Lafayette “Fat” Lever, and Arizona business leader and nationally recognized entrepreneur Karl Eller.
Phoenix-born Heather Farr received the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission’s honor posthumously after dying of cancer in 1993. She was a member of the National High School Sports Hall of Fame and played in her first-ever LPGA event at age 14. Farr was a three-time All-American golfer at Arizona State University and joined the LPGA tour at the age of 20, at the time, the youngest woman ever to do so. Accepting and pictured here were her parents, Jerry and Sharon Farr, supported by her coach Linda Vollstedt, the icon and soul of ASU women’s golf for 40 years, and PGA Tour pro, course designer, and ASU alum, Billy Mayfair. Heather’s sister Missy Farr-Kaye is in her tenth year coaching for the women’s golf team at ASU. A beautiful bronze statue of Heather stands at the Karsten Golf Course where the ASU teams practice. Present this evening was Karsten’s Golf Director, Daryl Crawford with his twin brother Derek, the Golf Director of the nearby Raven Phoenix Golf Course. Antigua was a sponsor of this event as well as annual tournaments in Heather’s honor, such as the AJGA’s Heather Farr Classic, held at Longbow Golf Course. Owner Bob Nichols (shown on the left in above photo) and Golf Director Jay Larscheid were in attendance with OB Sports delegates who manage Longbow. On deck too was the “Captain”, Del Cochran from Grayhawk Golf Course along with Southwest Section PGA contingencies and Ed Gowan of the Arizona Golf Association. Representing the LPGA were current players, Amanda Blumenhurst and Paige Mackenzie, looking fine in celebratory attire, contrasting with our last encounter on the rooftop of the JW Marriott at the media day for the Founders Cup in March, where we all had fun hitting balls to the green below.
The room was abuzz about each inductee as golf stories were regaled. Heather Farr’s inspiration for many young golfers has transcended the sport with charity efforts sprouting nationwide. Golf is the common denominator of sports because it is an honorable game and anyone can play. Congrats to all the inductees.
About the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame and the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission
The Phoenix Regional Sports Commission is a non-profit organization created in 1988 to “Enrich Our Community Through Sports.” The Commission currently collaborates with hundreds of partners to help fulfill this mission, bringing national and international sporting events to the state, assisting in the promotion of existing events and Arizona sports teams, and developing youth sports programs throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area. In 1999, it assumed oversight of the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2012, the Grand Canyon State Games.