Golf Writers Association Honors Begay
January 31, 2012
By PGA TOUR Staff
HOUSTON—Notah Begay III, whose tireless passion, commitment and advocacy for the health and well-being of Native American youth led to the founding of the Notah Begay III Foundation in 2005, is the recipient of the Golf Writers Association of America’s Charlie Bartlett Award.
The 39-year-old Begay, who is half Navajo, one-quarter San Felipe and one-quarter Isleta and the only full-blooded Native American to play on the PGA TOUR, founded the NB3 Foundation to battle the epidemic of childhood and type-2 diabetes and obesity among Native American children.
A four-time winner on TOUR, Begay has raised more than $3.23 million in three years through his annual NB3 Foundation Challenge Golf Event to support the foundation’s programs.
The award, named for the first secretary of the GWAA, is given to a professional golfer for his/her unselfish contributions to the betterment of society. Begay will be honored at the GWAA Annual Awards Dinner April 4 in Augusta, Ga.
Begay, who will play in next week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, recently spoke at the “Building Healthy Communities” panel at the Clinton Foundation Health Matters forum at the Humana Challenge in Indian Wells, Calif. The panel included Susan Dell of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Annika Sorenstam, founder of the Annika Foundation, and Goldie Hawn of the Hawn Foundation. In 2012, the NB3 Foundation will be launching a two-year study to evaluate the impact of holistic interventions at San Felipe Pueblo to reduce the rates of childhood obesity and type-2 diabetes.
In the last three years, the NB3 Foundation has touched more than 10,000 Native American children in 11 states through soccer, golf, health and wellness and grant programs. The largest grant assisted the San Felipe Pueblo in New Mexico to build the tribe’s first recreational facility—a community park and soccer field, home to the San Felipe Soccer Club, another NB3 initiative.
Begay was also instrumental in building partnerships with two American Indian tribes—the Oneida Nation of New York and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians—to sponsor the NB3 Challenge, which has served as the largest one-day fundraiser benefiting Native American youth.
Begay, who also has a course design firm (NB3 Consulting) and is a Golf Channel analyst, has an economics degree from Stanford University. In addition to his four TOUR wins, he was a member of the 1995 Walker Cup and 2000 Presidents Cup teams.
He follows Lorena Ochoa (2011), Ernie Els (2010), Jack Nicklaus (2009), Greg Norman (2008) and Tiger Woods (2007) as recent recipients.
Other former Bartlett winners include the Louisiana trio of Hal Sutton, David Toms and Kelly Gibson, Val Skinner, Betsy King, Tom Watson, Payne Stewart, Tom Lehman, Arnold Palmer, Kenny Perry, Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade, Patty Berg and Andy North.
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