Cedar Rapids | Inducted 1993 | Category: Club Professional

As Senior Vice President of Marketing at Amana Refrigeration, Lou King gave the company worldwide fame. He did it with hard work, and a hat. King was the mastermind behind the Amana VIP golf cap. The company paid golf professionals $50 a tournament to wear the hat, and the Amana logo was seen on televisions across the country.

“Those are the people who buy major appliances,” King told the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post in 1999.

Amana’s relationship with golf actually started with the Amana VIP, which became known as the “Masters of Pro-Ams.” The brainchild of Amana president George Foerstner, it debuted without galleries in 1967 at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. Top Amana dealers from across the country were invited to play with pros and celebrities. Iowa Athletic Director Forest Evashevski invited Forestner to bring the event to the University of Iowa’s Finkbine course in Iowa City, which he did in 1968. Pros also wore white hats with the Amana logo on them. During the 1968 PGA Championship in San Antonio, Julius Boros pulled out an Amana hat from his bag and put it on to protect himself from the sun. King, watching on TV, saw the hat and his sponsorship idea came soon after.

The Amana VIP also became a top fundraiser for the University of Iowa’s athletic scholarship fund, which pleased King. He had enrolled at Iowa in 1946 and became the starting quarterback. He was a two-year football letterman. He passed on a chance at the NFL to become a salesman, which eventually led him to Amana.

King later was executive director of the PGA of America from 1982 to 1987. He then became a consultant to several golf companies. A World War II veteran, King founded the Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere (GIVE) Foundation in 2007. GIVE works with members of the Iowa PGA Section at Blue Top Ridge in Riverside to provide a four-phase golf program for those who use the Iowa City VA Hospital. King served as the first president of the GIVE Foundation.

Mr. King was 93 when he passed away on Oct. 21, 2018.

With the innovative logo hat that many tour pros wore.
With Jock Olson - younger days!
King with Tom Watson at Amana pro am
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