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Mike David Inducted Into Indiana Golf Hall of Fame

July 12th, 2021

Mike David was born and raised in Columbus, Indiana. He learned the game of golf alongside his father at a young age, before joining the Columbus North High School Men’s Team. There, he was a four year letter winner, 2nd Team All-State, a four-time state finalist, a member of the ‘82 State Runner-up Team, and a four-time All South Central Conference selection. 
David went on to play collegiately at Ball State University, where he also had a very successful playing career.  He was a four-year letter winner, an Academic All-American and had five top-10 collegiate college finishes.

Upon graduation, David knew he wanted to pursue a career in the golf business.  When an opening at the Indiana Golf Office for an Assistant Tournament Director presented itself, David accepted the position without hesitation.  After his first few months with Indiana Golf, the current Executive Director decided to leave, and David assumed the role of ED at just 27 years-old.

To date, David has served as Executive Director for more than 30 years. While in this role, he has made his mark on both a state and national level and has become one of most well-respected Executive Directors in the country.

Three years prior to David becoming Executive Director, the Indiana Junior Golf Program was founded with 10 statewide events and 300 participants.  Under David’s leadership, the program now hosts 75 annual events with nearly 1,500 participants.

In 1994, Mr. David became a Co-Founder of the Indiana Golf Foundation, an organization created with the mission of teaching life lessons through the game of golf.  The Foundation has established itself as a national leader in junior golf and a role model for programs throughout the country.

In 1996, the Indiana Golf Foundation Scholarship program was created to provide financial assistance for Indiana youth who actively participated in the Indiana Junior Golf Program.  In 1999, the David E. Simon Scholarship was added, rewarding students who had worked at Indiana Golf facilities, with financial assistance to pursue a college education.  To date, over $500,000 in scholarships have been awarded, and David was instrumental in this program’s inception.

In 2001, David oversaw the planning and construction of the Gongaware Junior Golf Academy, only the second of its kind in the United States.  The 30,000 square foot academy provided campers with an indoor instruction area, a cafeteria/recreation room, access to an 18-hole short course and a 27-hole championship course, a short-game practice facility, and a 10-acre practice facility. Throughout the years, Gongaware has touched the lives of over 5,000 camp participants.

In 2012, Mr. David made the recommendation to bring First Tee-Indiana under the Indiana Golf Foundation’s umbrella, which fit perfectly with the Foundation’s mission of teaching life lessons through the game of golf.  First Tee exists to enable kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges.  The program is founded on the Nine Core Values that focus on character development, which are taught through the game of golf.

In its first year, First Tee-Indiana had 6,000 participants statewide. Today, only nine years later, the program now has 100,000+ participants and 18 program locations across the state.  In addition, First Tee-Indiana’s National School Program is being offered in 320 Indiana elementary schools.

In 2022, the Indiana Golf Office will be moving to Indianapolis to better serve our state golf community and reach even more First Tee-Indiana participants.  David will continue to serve as Executive Director and grow the game of golf in every capacity possible.