The Card Walker Award is named in honor of the former chairman of the executive committee of Walt Disney Productions. It is presented annually to a person who or organization which makes significant contributions in support of junior golf. Card Walker, who served for several years on the PGA Tour Policy Board, maintained a keen interest in the development of junior golf.
'Since joining the PGA Tour in 1971 and the Champions Tour in 1999, Tom Watson has embodied all that is good about the game of golf and been a champion both on and off the course, often doing things quietly,' Finchem said. 'His contributions to junior golf are numerous. He has been very generous in lending his name, time, money and talent to encourage young people to take an interest in our game. On behalf of the PGA TOUR, it gives me great pleasure to honor Tom as the 2003 Card Walker Award winner.'
A longtime supporter of junior golf programs, Watson has lent his name, time, money and enthusiasm to promoting junior golf throughout his professional career. Since 1981 he has spearheaded one of the largest youth clinic programs in the country. Clubs For Kids, which is now held every other year, provides instruction and promotes sportsmanship and integrity to young people aged 7-17 from the greater Kansas City area. More than 1,200 youngsters participated in the 2001 clinic. The 13th edition will take place May 31. Attendees will be treated to a clinic by Watson and a personal lesson from a member of the Midwest Section of the PGA of America, as well as receive a golf club and golf ball.
In addition to Clubs For Kids, the 1988 inductee into the World Golf Hall of Fame has taken a leadership role in the development of a three-hole golf course in Kansas City for kids called Blue River Junior Golf Academy. Working in conjunction with the Junior Golf Foundation of Kansas City, which he serves as chairman of its advisory board, Watson has committed his own money and helped raise the additional funds necessary to construct the facility and keep it running. He also designed the course. Blue River is home to The First Tee of Kansas City and will host the 2003 Clubs For Kids event.
Watson has been recognized by the Native American Junior Golf Association for his contributions to the game and to junior golf. Children from the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation's Boys and Girls Club have attended Clubs For Kids clinics.