MARY KAY was presented the 2017 “Most Improved Player” award at our Kick-Off Dinner on Tuesday, January 23rd. This is the 16th year our organization has presented this inspirational award to one of our members. It is an award that Mary Canfield first brought to MPWGA and presented in honor and memory of her daughter, Nancy. Each year the candidates are a closely guarded secret and Mary Kay was surprised and honored to receive the award.
From January 1, 2016, to January 1, 2017, Mary Kay’s handicap index decreased from 26.0 to 23. To qualify for the award a player must have posted a minimum of 48 scores in the calendar year, 12 of which must have been played on MPWGA Tuesday play days. Mary Kay received a beautiful engraved crystal trophy and a personalized bag tag. The Most Improved Player trophy is displayed outside the Mesquite Grill.
Congratulations to our 2017 Most Improved Player, MARY KAY NORDHILL!
Previous Winners of Most Improved Player: 2016 – Karen Wilson 2015 – Pilar Borm
2014 – Jackie Kline
2013 – Del Hudson
2012 – Betty Cole
2011 – Donna Barnard
2010 – Holly Lyon
2009 – Dorothy Moore
2008 – Ralene Peters
2007 – Nathalie Wisneski
2006 – Karen Christensen
2005 – Debbie McMullin
2004 – Althea Parent
2003 – Pat Mattz
2002 – Connie Sherman
History of the Most Improved Player award for the MPWGA: In the words of Mary Sturgeon Canfield, who started the award in honor of her daughter Nancy.
In 1947, my golf club in Wausau, Wisconsin, game me an award for “Most Improved Player of the Year.” I was 29 years old, and the award surprised and inspired me. My love for this wonderful game has never diminished. It has brought me joy and challenge, has kept me happy and healthy, and has brought me enduring friendships and great love.
In the year 2000, my daughter Nancy was recognized by her golf club in South Carolina for “most improved golfer of the year.” Nancy was a very accomplished tennis player, but had not played golf since her junior high days. She started to play again at the age of 55 and within 3 months was breaking 100 and would soon break 90. Sadly, we lost Nancy about three months after she and I won our flight in an invitational tournament at her club.
In presenting this trophy in memory of Nancy, it is my hope that it will bring the recipient pride in her accomplishment and challenge her to further improvement. This award was first presented to an MPWGA player for calendar year 2002.