Luke Hendry named inaugural recipient of Ron Balicki Scholarship


The Ron Balicki Scholarship is now in action, as it was announced Friday that Luke Hendry would be the inaugural recipient.

Four years after Balicki’s passing, a scholarship in his name now has a start. Balicki covered college and amateur golf for Golfweek for over 30 years, serving as a transformational figure for those beats.

Balicki came to be known as “Wrong Ron,” a nickname he picked up after making errant football picks as a newspaper writer and editor in Fort Walton Beach in the 1970s and early ’80s. The moniker stuck with him, though, throughout his golf writing career, and Balicki’s embracing of that nickname was a testament to his ability to laugh at himself.

The scholarship in his name was established to help aspiring golf journalists and to honor the man, who in 2010 was inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame – becoming the first non-coach to earn that honor.

Hendry, a University of Texas student, is a journalism major (with a business minor) and boasts a GPA of 3.96.

The junior is a member of the student-run Texas Student Television station and plays on the Texas Club Golf Team. After interning with the Texas Golf Association over the summer, he’s currently interning at Spectrum News Austin.

Hendry will be awarded a scholarship of $2,500 for the spring semester. For future Ron Balicki Scholarship honorees, that value will rise to $5,000 starting in 2018-19, with any college student pursuing undergraduate or graduate journalism or any high school journalist eligible for the scholarship.

The first recipient offered his gratitude after earning the scholarship.

“The game of golf has been a longtime passion of mine, both as a player and now as an aspiring golf journalist,” Hendry said. “I appreciate what the Ron Balicki Scholarship is doing, and I’m very humbled to receive a scholarship. I’m at a loss for words, which is pretty rare for me.”

Debbie Balicki expressed how her late husband would feel about a scholarship in his name.

“Ron loved helping anyone, but he especially loved helping young people,” Balicki said. “He would be so humbled – and so pleased – to know that his legacy of kindness and encouragement and his love of golf lives on through this scholarship.”

For more information on the scholarship, or to donate to the Ron Balicki Scholarship Fund, you can contact the Golf Coaches Association of America at (866) 422-2669.

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