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Darren Receives Walter Hagen Ambassador of the Game Award
27 May 2019

Darren Receives Walter Hagen Ambassador of the Game Award To receive this Walter Hagen award is huge and huge for my foundation and the people back home behind the scenes.

Darren was delighted to receive the Walter Hagen Ambassador of the Game Award yesterday presented by The Country Club of Rochester, the venue for this weeks PGA Senior Championship.


The Walter Hagen Ambassador of the Game Award recognizes individuals who contribute to the growth of the game, and in this case Clarke is contributing to that effort by introducing the game and its virtues to juniors through his foundation. The Award’s namesake, Walter Hagen, is the Country Club of Rochester’s first head professional as well as golf’s first Ambassador. Hagen brought the game to the youth of the world.


"To receive this Walter Hagen award is huge and huge for my foundation and the people back home behind the scenes. Everything works great but it's the people behind the scenes that need all the credit for it, but it's wonderful for the members of CCR to give me the first one, it's very special", said Clarke.


Darren has been a stalwart of The European Tour since 1991. He won The Open Championship in 2011 at Royal St George's and also captained Europe's Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine in 2016. His Foundation helps further the development of junior golf in Ireland, and also raises money for Breast Cancer Awareness.


“Mr. Clarke has long demonstrated his skill as a great player,” said Mark Gianniny, a partner of Linden Oaks Management Company and Country Club of Rochester member, who will present the award to Clarke. “His activities off the course through The Darren Clarke Foundation make him an exemplary Ambassador of the game. The Foundation’s purpose of introducing the game of golf to Juniors and stressing the virtues of honesty, integrity, responsibility, fair play and equality reflect most honorably upon him and embody the essence of Hagen. He, like Hagen, understands the junior golfers comprise 100% of the game’s future.”


Walter Hagen (born December 21, 1892 and died October 6, 1969) was a Rochester native who grew up in Corbett’s Glen, across the street form CCR. His storybook career began when he started caddying at The Country Club of Rochester in 1899 at the age seven. By 1913 he had become The Country Club of Rochester’s head professional. His 45 PGA Tour victories include 11 Majors. Hagen was the first American born player to win The Open Championship, and four consecutive PGA Championships, was Captain of the US team in the first six Ryder Cups played, the first touring golf professional, a founding Member of the PGA of America, and fought for the proper treatment of the golf professional inside the boundaries of privilege enjoyed by private clubs here and abroad.


A permanent bronze sculpture of Hagen was dedicated at The Country Club of Rochester in 2008. Clarke will be presented an engraved watch similar to the one presented to Hagen by CCR members after winning the 1914 US Open.


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