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Child's play

Len Kennet's years of dedication to youth golf is lauded by the SCGA

Child's play

Len Kennet was inducted into the SCGA Hall of Fame in late October.
Courtesy USGA

Len Kennett has deep roots in Southern California’s golf landscape, which is among the reasons he was inducted, along with Jerry Barber, into the Southern California Golf Association Hall of Fame in late October. The pair represents the SCGA’s 10th class of honorees in a Hall that includes, among others, Craig Stadler, Corey Pavin, John Cook, Amy Alcott, Charlie Sifford and Al Geiberger.

After playing golf for USC and winning the 1950 Southern California Inter-Collegiate Championship, Kennett worked as an assistant golf professional and teamed with Paul Runyan to offer free lessons for junior golfers. The initiative led to a life-long passion for giving back to junior golf, and earlier this year Kennett hosted the 61st Annual Len Kennett Junior Golf Championship.

“It's something I'm extremely proud of,” Kennett said in his induction speech. “A number of times we’ve had more than 300 kids on site to compete in the event, and it continues to be special 60-plus years later.”

Along with his contributions to junior golf, Kennett has held a number of head professional positions, beginning with one at Marine Memorial Golf Course where he also bought his first golf shop in 1952. Kennett's resume also includes a stop at San Gabriel Country Club, 34 years at Los Verdes Golf Course and 22 years as the head professional at Lakewood Golf Course. He also has been inducted into the SCPGA and Long Beach Golf halls of fame.

“We are all fortunate that Len Kennett chose the field of golf, for he would have been a hall of famer in whatever industry he chose," said Jorge Badel, senior director of golf for the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, who introduced Kennett at the SCGA event. “No matter who he is talking to or dealing with, Len always has a positive comment. He is a man of great decency.”

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