Val Skinner is a veteran and six-time winner on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour. She has enjoyed a successful career and was ranked among the top in all-time career earnings on the LPGA Tour. She was ranked in the top 15 in the world 7 of 20 seasons during her LPGA career.
Val resides in Palm Beach Gardens, FL and Bay Head NJ. She began playing golf at the age of 4, after mimicking her father, who was a head golf professional at a local golf course. As a junior golfer, Val won four state championships and 20 high school titles as well as some national competitions. This success earned her a golf scholarship at Oklahoma State University, where she gained more athletic achievements, including being named the Big Eight Female Athlete of the Year, GOLF Magazine's Collegiate Player of the Year and becoming the National Collegiate Scoring Leader.
After college, she qualified for the LPGA Tour and went on to win six times. She also was a member of the victorious U.S. Solheim Cup team in 1996 and is a member of three golf halls of fame.
Val now includes golf commentating as a specialty having served as a golf analyst for CBS Sports and the Golf Channel for a number of years.
A professional athlete who exudes passion for competition, Val is also just as passionate for her work off of the golf course. On the golf course, her golf swing is one of power and natural talent. Off of the golf course, Val has worked tirelessly to help further various causes. She is a fierce and determined competitor and these qualities transcend into her role as a philanthropist.
One of the first charity events she launched was a pro-am event that benefited the Rape Crisis, House of Hope and Shelter From the Storm; all grassroots "women in crisis" charities. This event has been held every year since 1988 in La Quinta, just outside of Palm Springs.
Her passion to create awareness about breast cancer among young women in their 20’s and 30’s, began when she lost a dear friend and fellow LPGA player, Heather Farr, to breast cancer at the young age of 28. As a result Val started an event to raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Coalition. In the three years it was held (1996, 1997 and 1998), the event raised $500,000 for breast cancer research. After taking a year off in 1999, she decided to dedicate herself to taking her efforts for breast cancer to the next level.
Val founded LIFE (LPGA Pros in the fight to eradicate breast cancer) and conceptualized with the LPGA’s national charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure to launch a national campaign called the “Young Women’s Initiative.” This initiative became a multifaceted approach to educate young women and other audiences about the risks associated with breast cancer and the importance of early detection. The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, signed on to create a “LIFE Center” to compliment this educational initiative with their clinical expertise of the treatment and diagnosis of young women with breast cancer.
The LIFE Event continues to bring together the world’s most elite women golfers with corporate partners to raise money and awareness for the breast cancer fight. To date, the LIFE Event has raised more than $11 million for beneficiaries Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Young Survival Coalition. The LIFE Event continues to make one of the largest donations in the country for breast cancer research and education from a single-day golf event.
Val was recognized as one of the country’s most caring athletes by USA Magazine, and was also named as one of the country’s champions in the fight against breast cancer by Yoplait and Self Magazine. Val also received the LPGA Humanitarian Award, Susan G. Komen Award, The Good Samaritan Award and the Award of Hope from Cancer Institute of New Jersey.
She was recognized by the Golf Writers Association of America with The Charlie Bartlett Award, given to a professional golfer for demonstrating unselfish commitment to community service. And, the Sports Illustrated 2005 July issue listed the Val Skinner Foundation as one of the top charitable foundations organized and funded by pro athletes. Val and the Val Skinner Foundation held the No.8 spot on the list surrounded by other distinguished charities of professional athletes including Andre Agassi, Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods.
In 2007, Val received the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association Winnie Palmer Award, which acknowledges an individual in golf who has given consistently of his or her time, energy and enthusiasm to helping others. In 2010, Val was recognized as the visionary partner for Komen on the Go at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure affiliate conference. Also in 2010, The Val Skinner Foundation received an Excellence in Philanthropy award from the New Jersey Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Val Skinner’s peers admire her drive, passion and determination to make a difference. Her energy is contagious. Her humor, despite the seriousness of these causes, is refreshing. Her driven personality is respected. Her passion is genuine.