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of the game. At their request, he later added competition. That program evolved into the

PING Junior Interclub, which is part of PING’s grow-the-game initiative. From a handful of kids at Moon Valley, the PJI program has spread across four states and touched more than 2,000 junior golfers. “It took a lot of work, but it has

been very rewarding to see how it has grown and how kids have responded to it,” Souza said. “We grew it in a smart way, which is the PING way — you think things through. It has grown so much that

him to rely on whenever we need something. —John A. Solheim

In the 1980s, Souza established

PING outlets in Germany, Spain and France that endure with many of the same employees he originally hired. “John has always been a go-to guy

for me, and it has been great having him to rely on whenever we need something,” PING Chairman and CEO John A. Solheim said. “He has done everything you can imagine for us and he’s a guy who always has the right answers quickly. “But he also has done many

things to benefit golfers and people in general outside of our company. It was wonderful to hear that he was receiving (the Updegraff Award).” In 2008, Souza established

Junior Golf University at Moon Valley, providing junior golfers with classroom and on-course instruction pertaining to golf history, rules, etiquette, agronomy and other aspects

we now have a full-time employee just to run the program.” Through the WRX Division,

Souza also has made a difference by designing equipment for special- needs golfers, including military personnel who have suffered amputations and other severe injuries. “That is the kind of thing that

makes my job so rewarding, to be able to help people enjoy the game despite physical limitations -- but it’s really much more than a job,” Souza said. “Working for the Solheim family has been an absolute privilege. They have taken care of me and my family, and they have made it an exciting experience to come to work every day. “I love golf and to be able to work

at your hobby is a tremendous way to live, and then to actually get an award for doing what you love is an incredible bonus.” n

SPRING 2016 | AZ GOLF Insider | 29

John has always been a go-to guy for me, and it has been great having

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