It seems like just yesterday I was having an enjoyable lunch with Adele Lebow at her club,
Spring Ford Country Club outside of Philadelphia. An icon in women’s golf, Adele was age
90 years at the time and talked passionately about her Girls’ Golf Program of Valley Forge.
When I think back of all that Adele did for golf and women and girls I must pause for a
moment and give thanks that I had the opportunity to know this amazing woman.
As a volunteer in the game, Adele served in many roles. She was Chair of the Course Rating Committee of the Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia (WGAP). She was nominated to serve as President of both the WGAP and the Pennsylvania State Women’s Golf Association. She founded and developed the LPGA-USGA Girls’ Golf program of Valley Forge and gave girls the chance to learn how to play, to build friendships and develop life-long skills. She was one of the original members of the USGA Regional Affairs Committee that provided grassroots support and resources to women’s state and regional golf programs and she served on the committee for more than 25-years. Leadership roles were not new to Adele. She and her husband Chick owned a successful furniture business Lebow Furniture located in the community of Royersford, PA.
As a USGA Regional Director assigned to the northeast region from 1999 to 2013, I had the good fortune to work with Adele. She came to the U.S. Women’s Open Championship every year to work the on-site junior program. The staff and volunteers loved having her with us. She had a passion for the growth and development of girls’ golf and working this event every year was a priority.
Adele’s devotion to the game knew no bounds. She traveled far and wide to participate in regional and national meetings and events. She had a star quality among the other volunteers from around the country. Admiration for her guaranteed there was always a group around Adele and it was difficult to get a seat at her table. Adele’s commitment to volunteerism in golf and her spirit were contagious and she brought out the best in everyone.
Adele was well known locally as well as nationally for her contributions to the game. In 2004 she was awarded the USGA’s Joe Dey Award that recognizes an individual’s meritorious service to the game as a volunteer. She was the first woman to receive this prestigious award.
In her heyday, Adele was a fine golfer, a ten-time winner of the women’s club championship at Spring Ford Country Club. Not many amateur golfers can match that record. Adele was not just about golf either. She made time to send me a batch of homemade cookies at Christmas. I also must mention Adele was a bit of a fashionista. She could easily be identified at golf events by her unique little tam hat.
Adele proved the old saying that age is just a number. Even in her 90’s Adele was paving the way for young girls to learn and experience the great game of golf. She was an advocate for women and girls in the game and a friend to all. What a wonderful legacy.
Written by Ann Guiberson