Back to archives


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – October 9, 2023 – Legendary rock-star and philanthropist Alice Cooper has been named the 31st recipient of the Southwest PGA PING Anser Award, recognizing an individual whose positive efforts have influenced the history of the game in Arizona. Cooper will be recognized during the Southwest PGA Semi-Annual Meeting on October 16 at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch.

“We are immensely proud to bestow the Anser Award upon Alice Copper,” said Steve Leonard, President of the Southwest PGA. “Alice’s extraordinary contributions to Arizona's golf community and his Solid Rock Teen Centers resonate deeply with the spirit of this prestigious award. Just as the PING Anser putter transcended golf, Alice’s dedication perfectly embodies the vision of the late Karsten Solheim, founder of PING and the namesake of the award.”

Born Vincent Damon Furnier on February 4, 1948, in Detroit, Michigan, he adopted the stage name “Alice Cooper” for his band, which eventually became his solo identity. Known for his theatrical stage performances and shock-rock style, he has been a pioneer in the fusion of music and visual theatrics. His imaginative stagecraft and masterful showmanship have transformed the genre for generations.

In 2011, Cooper and his band were honored with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, recognizing their significant contributions to rock music. His style is characterized by his charismatic stage presence and memorable hits like “School's Out” and “Poison,” leaving an indelible mark on the rock genre. Beyond his music, his willingness to push the boundaries of artistic expression and his dynamic stage performances redefined live entertainment. The induction not only celebrated his remarkable career but also solidified his status as a true rock icon whose impact continues to resonate with fans and aspiring musicians worldwide.

Cooper's commitment to youth and community extends beyond his music career through the creation of “Solid Rock Teen Centers.” These centers, established in Phoenix, provide a safe and supportive environment where teenagers can engage in various creative and recreational activities, including music, art, and vocational programs. His vision for Solid Rock is to empower young people, instilling confidence and life skills through artistic expression. This initiative exemplifies his dedication to giving back to the community and making a positive impact on the lives of young individuals, ensuring they can flourish and discover their potential in a nurturing and artistic atmosphere.

Additionally, Cooper's annual “Christmas Pudding” charity concert has become a beloved tradition in Arizona, raising substantial funds for various charitable organizations. His dedication to giving back to his community, paired with his musical success, has made him not only an iconic rock figure but also a cherished and respected member of the Arizona community, leaving a lasting and positive impact on the state and its residents.

Cooper's passion for golf is well-documented, and he is a prominent figure in the state's golf community. He has been involved in numerous charity golf events, including his own Annual Rock & Roll Golf Classic Charity Tournament, which is going on its 26th year, that uses his celebrity status to raise funds for charitable causes. Additionally, Cooper's dedication to promoting the game of golf among young people is exemplified through his support for junior golf programs and initiatives in Arizona. His enthusiasm for golf not only showcases his versatility but also highlights his commitment to giving back to his community by fostering a love for the sport among the next generation of golfers in Arizona.

The Anser Award was created by the Southwest Section of the PGA in 1991 as a way to recognize individuals who have made significant and impactful contributions to advancing or promoting the game of golf throughout the state of Arizona.  Over the past 33 years the list of recipients has grown to include some of the most influential names in the history of golf in Arizona. Past recipients of the Southwest PGA PING Anser Award include:

1991 – Karsten Solheim
1992 – Bob Goldwater, Sr.
1993 – Bill Farkas, Sr.
1994 – Dr. Ed Updegraff
1995 – Arch Watkins
1996 – Harry Cavannaugh
1997 – John Riggle
1998 – Lyle Anderson
1999 – Linda Vollstedt
2000 – Bill Dickey
2001 – The Thunderbirds
2002 – Sister Lynn Winsor
2003 – Jay Woodward
2004 – Willie Low
2005 – Vernon Orrin “Red” Allen, PGA
2006 – Al Birmingham
2007 – Louise Solheim

2008 – Heather Farr
2009 – George Boutell
2010 – Dot Straw
2011 – Brian Whitcomb, PGA
2012 – Tucson Conquistadores
2013 – Ron McPherson
2014 – John A. Solheim
2015 – Tom Cunningham
2016 – No Award
2017 – Dave Engelking
2018 – Tim Kloenne
2019 – Dana Garmany
2020 – No Award (COVID)
2021 – Kathy Wilkes
2022 – Lou Grubb
2023 – Alice Cooper