AGA honors Golf for Cause CEO Debbie Waitkus with Champion of Golf Award

The Arizona Golf Association (AGA) has named Debbie Waitkus, CEO of Golf for Cause as the 2015 recipient of the Champion of Golf award. Waitkus was recognized in conjunction with the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame event November 23, 2015 at the Camelback Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ. The evening awards banquet was preceded by a Pro-Am.

According to the AGA, the Champion of Golf award is an annual tribute to recognize those who champion the game of golf and golfers through community and charitable activities without seeking public exposure for their efforts. This special distinction recognizes the honoree’s dedication to the betterment of golf as well as love of the game. 

“We are delighted to honor Debbie Waitkus with our Champion of Golf award,” said Ed Gowan, Executive Director of the AGA, “for she has masterfully championed the game of golf through her good work with Golf for Cause where she introduces new players to the game in a highly inclusive way. Her commitment to charitable giving through golf deserves full recognition.” 

Waitkus, a speaker, author, business and golf networking consultant, is the CEO and Founder of Golf for Cause. She is passionate about helping others enrich their lives both personally and professionally through the game of golf. A successful businesswoman (who was a latecomer to the sport of golf) quickly recognized how perfectly business and golf fit together. She is acclaimed for her expertise at creating business opportunities through golf, and in many cases, those that benefit are Arizona-based charitable organizations.

A true advocate of the sport, she is a co-founder/partner of the National Women’s Golf Alliance (NWGA) — evaluating and certifying golf facilities for how well they “Roll Out the Green Carpet” for women, a panelist with Golfweek, and past president of Women in the Golf Industry (WIGI). Waitkus is a thought leader who speaks regularly at golf industry events and for various allied associations including the PGA, NGCOA, LPGA and EWGA, among others.

Waitkus is Co-Tournament Director of the annual Marilynn Smith LPGA Charity Pro-Am, an assignment she shares with World Golf Hall of Fame Member Marilynn Smith. Because giving back is important to Waitkus, partial proceeds from her book Get Your Golf On! are donated to the Marilynn Smith Scholarship Fund, advancing opportunities for girls to play collegiate golf. 

“To receive this special distinction from the AGA is both humbling and heartwarming,” said honoree Debbie Waitkus. “It is an immense honor and one I will cherish for years to come.”

Prior to the founding of Golf for Cause, Waitkus was president of a private mortgage banking firm, where she attributed golf as one of her keys to success. Awards are nothing new for Waitkus, as she is the recipient of the YWCA Sports Leadership and Eller School of Management Entrepreneurship awards. Waitkus serves on a number of professional boards including the newly-formed Arizona Chapter of the National Golf Course Owners Association. She, along with her husband Jack, are owners of Video West, Inc., an audio, video, lighting rental and staging company.