PARKER, Colo. -Highlands County Sheriff's Office's Nell Hays spokeswoman and crime prevention officer Nell Hays is also a well-known golf professional.
Her decades teaching golf was recently recognized when she was inducted into the Ladies Professional Golf Association's Teaching and Club Professional Hall of Fame during the group's National Teaching Summit in Parker, Colo.
The LPGA Teaching and Club Professional membership, founded in 1959, has the largest membership of women golf professionals in the world.
"It has been my privilege to be a member of the LPGA T&CP for over 30 years, to have been allowed to be in a leadership role during those years and to have been influenced and guided by people like Patty Berg, Marge Burns, Jane Read, Annette Thompson and many others who had tremendous vision for our organization," Hays said in a news release. "Being inducted into our Hall of Fame is the epitome of my golf career."
Hays is a master professional member of the LPGA, and a Class A member of the PGA of America.
She began her teaching career in Biloxi, Miss., and moved to Florida in 1979, following a short stint on the mini tour.
For eight years, she was the head professional at Placid Lakes Country Club in Lake Placid.
Pursuing a golf course management goal, she signed on with American Golf Corp., the largest golf course management company in the nation. Nell was assigned to the South Florida market where she managed American Golf courses for more than nine years.
In 1997 she returned to Highlands County and managed Golf Hammock Country Club until 2001.
Since that time Hays has retired from course management and devotes herself to teaching golf.
During her 37 year career, Nell has been a teaching professional, head golf professional, director of golf and general manager at several facilities across the country.
"I am overwhelmed by my selection to the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Hall of Fame," said Hays said. "I have great respect for all the professionals who currently are members and for Mary Dagraedt and Nancy Quarcelino who will join me as inductees this year. I am humbled and very honored to be among them."
Hays also served 14 years in various officer positions in the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Division, including a two-year stint as national president.
Hays was voted National LPGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1982.
In 2000 she was honored as being one of the most influential people in the development of the LPGA during the first 50 years.
"Nell's career has been dedicated to enhancing her client's love and enjoyment of the game of golf through various teaching, tournament and daily golf activities," a news release states.
Sheriff Susan Benton said: "Nell has amazing energy but most of all a true professional dedication to her golf profession, while emitting that same dedication to our community through the efforts of crime prevention.
"Nell has always used her expertise to design and implement crime prevention initiatives that are useful and current to the needs of our community. Nell started the Golf Watch Program, which notifies all of our golf courses when crime is targeting these types of locations. Our Bank Watch Program, which is coordinated by Nell works in much the same way."