Jackie Cannizzo

CHARITY OF CHOICE: Esther Cannizzo Junior Golf Foundation
Written by Heather KW Brown

Jackie CannizzoIn the world of sports, there are those who can play and those who can teach others how to play. Very few can do both successfully. Jackie Cannizzo is one such exception.

“My mom and I started playing at the same time — back in the 70s,” Cannizzo said. “It’s remarkable she played golf [back then].”

It was an early calling for a young Cannizzo who immediately took to the game and, luckily for Atlanta’s youth, has yet to let go. With natural talent in one pocket and sheer determination in the other, Cannizzo, a Syracuse native, played collegiately and professionally, on both the Futures Tour and the European Women’s Tour prior to becoming a PGA member, qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open Championship three times, and has been invited to play Augusta National 10 times.

For 17 years, Cannizzo has been at the Country Club of Roswell, where her passion is mentoring Atlanta’s youth, both on and o the golf course.

“I called the local PGA [in Atlanta], looking to relocate,” she recalled. “This sweet elderly lady answered the phone and said, ‘Honey, you don’t want to come here. There are no women golf professionals.’ I told her ‘That’s exactly where I want to be!’”

Named one of the top 10 golf instructors in the state by Golf Digest Magazine, and a US Kids Golf Master teacher — among an endless list of credentials — Cannizzo’s commitment to youth and the game of golf is unrelenting. She and her siblings founded the Esther Cannizzo Junior Golf Foundation in honor of her mom, and most recently, she co-founded the Judson Collegiate & Legends ProAm Challenge, which will take place June 27 – 30, 2014.

Cannizzo is wearing Ming Wang thatch print jacket in ceylon/black with black “Tess” tank and black “Priscilla” classic pants; Shane Co. sterling silver sodalite necklace, sterling silver sodalite ring, and 14k white gold diamond tennis bracelet.