The PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame originated in 1940 at the suggestion of famed sportswriter Grantland Rice. Most of the original inductees were later enshrined at the PGA World Golf Hall of Fame in Pinehurst, N.C.
In 1993, The PGA of America ceased operations of the PGA World Golf Hall of Fame and most of the Pinehurst-enshrined members were transferred to the new World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Fla.
When The PGA opened the PGA Museum of Golf in Port St. Lucie, Fla., in 2003, it paved the way for the first home of the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame.
With the establishment of the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame, the Association recognizes all PGA members who have made significant and lasting contributions to The PGA and the game of golf. It is the highest honor that The PGA can bestow upon its membership.
There are currently 150 PGA members who have been inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame.
A PGA member since 1992, Tom Addis earned the 1989 PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award and the 1981 Horton Smith Award for outstanding contributions to PGA member education. Addis was the third member of the Southern California PGA Section to be elected PGA President, serving The PGA from 1995–1996. He was named his Section’s Golf Professional of the Year twice, in 1979 and 1989. Addis’ commitment to the improvement of PGA Professionals continues today, as he is the Executive Director/CEO of the Southern California PGA Section. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Jim Albus of Locust Valley, N.Y., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1990. A gifted athlete, Albus turned professional in 1967, taking a job as starter and assistant pro at Mission Viejo (Calif.) Country Club. He spent the next decade at two facilities in New York and in 1978, became the head professional at Piping Rock Club in Westbury, N.Y. By the end of the ’80s he had won two Metropolitan Opens and two Long Island Opens, been a four–time Met Section Player of the Year and a member of four PGA Cup squads; he also played in seven PGA Championships and six U.S. Opens. In 1984, he finished 25th in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot. Albus was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Willie Anderson was the first professional to win four U.S. Open Championships (1901, ’03, ’04 and ’05) and the only golfer in history to win three in succession. Since his death in 1910, only five golfers have won two consecutive Opens. In addition to his four victories in the U.S. Open, Anderson finished second once, third once, fourth twice and fifth three times in that Championship. He also won the Western Open four times, which at the time was considered a major championship.
Born in Scotland, Anderson was a sturdy man with muscular shoulders, brawny forearms and exceptionally large hands. His first U.S. Open victory came at Myopia Hunt Club in Hamilton, Mass., in 1901. Using a gutta percha ball, he defeated Alex Smith in the first playoff in Open history. Five strokes down with five holes to play, Anderson finished 4–4–4–4–4 to defeat Smith, 85 to 86. It was payback for the 1897 Open, where Smith hit a brassie to eight feet on the closing hole and made the putt to defeat the 17–year old Anderson.
After finishing fifth in 1902, Anderson went on his historic run. In 1903 he won the U.S. Open at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J., where he later was host professional, in a playoff against Deacon Davey Brown. The next year, Anderson set the Open scoring record by shooting 303 to win by five strokes over Gil Nichollas at Glen View Golf Club in Golf, Ill. In 1905, Anderson completed his successive hat trick by making up a five–stroke deficit with 36 holes to play at Myopia.
Unlike J.H. Taylor and Harold Hilton, he never wrote an instructional book, but he taught effectively and many aspiring amateurs worshipped him.
The 2008 PGA Golf Professional of the Year, Jim Antkiewicz was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2011. A PGA member since 1982, Antkiewicz has inspired both youth and aspiring PGA Professionals throughout the greater Pittsburgh area.
Antkiewicz has twice served as District 4 director on the national PGA Board of Directors - the first time from 2002-05, and in 2010, he was re-elected to the director's post. He also served as Tri-State PGA Section President from 2002-06, and is a member of the national PGA Government Relations Committee. Antkiewicz is a past member of the PGA Budget and Audit Committee (2002-05) and the PGA Education Committee (1995-98).
He is a two-time recipient (1995, 2007) of the Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award; and a three-time recipient of the Tri-State PGA Section Bill Strausbaugh and Horton Smith Awards. Since 2006, he has been chair of the Section Growth of the Game Committee and Long Range Planning Committee. Antkiewicz also guided juniors off the course, serving six seasons as a boys' basketball coach and four as a girls' basketball coach at Mount Gallitzin Academy in Baden, Pa.
Tommy Armour was the third of only nine golfers in history to win the U.S. Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship. The "Silver Scot" followed Walter Hagen and Jim Barnes, and preceded Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Lee Trevino and Tiger Woods, finishing his career just a Masters victory short of achieving the career Grand Slam. While not achieving the ultimate measure of golfing greatness, Armour did, however, win the Western Open, an event then regarded as a major championship, as well as three Canadian Opens and 24 other events in the United States.
Armour was known as an exceptional striker of the ball, and one of the finest wood–club players of all time. In 1927, Armour won the first U.S. Open played at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club by finishing with five pars and a birdie, then defeating Harry Cooper in an 18–hole playoff. His next major championship victory came in the 1930 PGA Championship at Fresh Meadow on Long Island. Armour lost five of the first six holes against Johnny Farrell in the quarterfinal, but came back to win, 2 and 1. His opponent in the final was Sarazen, who was playing on his home course. All square going to the 36th hole, Armour won with a par. The following year, he won the first British Open played at Carnoustie, shooting 71 in the final round. It was considered Armour’s finest moment, since the victory was recorded close to his birthplace in Edinburgh.
After he retired from competitive golf, Armour became one of the most successful instructors and golf club designers in the world. Based at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., in the summer and the Boca Raton (Fla.) Hotel in the winter, Armour taught both duffers and the world’s best golfers, using the same philosophies and techniques that were part of his best–selling book, "How to Play Your Best Golf All the Time."
Jim Awtrey became the first PGA Professional ever to be named both executive director and chief executive officer of The PGA of America. A former college coach, general manager, accountant, skilled player, Rules official and tournament director, Awtrey joined The PGA of America headquarters staff in 1986 and was named the Association's executive director in 1987 and CEO in 1993.
Elected to PGA membership in 1969, Awtrey competed on the PGA Tour from 1970-71, before returning to Oklahoma to begin a career as a club professional. From 1972-86, he served at four facilities, including a term from 1972-77 as coach of the University of Oklahoma men's golf team. He guided his alma mater to three NCAA Tournament appearances.
Awtrey's tenure at The PGA included his being at the forefront of a controversy in 1990 when exclusionary practices in golf were being questioned. The immediate aftermath of the 1990 PGA Championship at Shoal Creek Country Club in Birmingham, Ala., resulted in The PGA of America leading the campaign for all golf organizations to adopt policies prohibiting discriminatory facilities from acting as hosts of their events.
During Awtrey's term at the helm of The PGA of America, membership rose from 15,000 to 27,000 and the Ryder Cup evolved into one of the greatest events in all of sports.
Awtrey would oversee the formation of PGA Golf Properties, including the debut of PGA Golf Club at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and the purchase in 2000 of Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.
He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2011.
Dugan Aycock of Lexington, N.C., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1957. Aycock, who served for 15 years as president of the Carolinas PGA Section, was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005. He was inducted into the Carolinas PGA Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame in 1982.
Samuel Henry "Errie" Ball, one of the most popular PGA teaching professionals in Illinois PGA Section history, received his invitation to compete in the inaugural Masters field from the legendary Bobby Jones, whom he had met at the 1930 Open Championship. Jones would later write a letter of recommendation that resulted in Ball gaining his first club professional position.
Ball was born to a famed British golf family, and was inspired by his father, Samuel Harry Ball, a golf professional at Lancaster Golf Club for 50 years. Errie's great uncle, John Ball, was the first amateur to win the Open Championship (1890) along with eight British Amateur Championships and the British National Open. He was urged by his uncle, Frank Ball, then the PGA head professional at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, to begin a golf career in America.
While at East Lake, Ball was elected to PGA membership in 1931 and assisted George Sargent, who would become PGA of America president. In 1933, he received Jones' letter that led him to his first head professional post, at Mobile (Ala.) Country Club. He served as PGA head professional from 1937-42 at Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville, Va., before he was drafted by the U.S. Navy. Following World War II, Ball became head professional at Oak Park (Ill.) Country Club, and would serve there for 24 years, while spending 20 winters teaching at Tucson (Ariz.) Country Club. In 1972, Ball became the first PGA head professional and later PGA director of golf at Butler National Golf Club in Oak Brook, Ill.
On the course, Ball won the 1931 Southeastern PGA Championship and the 1932 Atlanta Open. Ball qualified for the U.S. Open 20 times, the PGA Championship 12 times and held titles in the Southeast, Arizona, and Illinois PGA Sections. He won three Illinois PGA Championships,the Illinois Open, and Illinois PGA Senior Open and Match Play Championship. Ball was inducted into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame in 1990.
On Nov. 14, 2010, Ball celebrated his 100th birthday, and was honored by 17 PGA Professionals, the majority of whom served under him during his career.
He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2011.
In 2009, Jack Barber became the second-ever member of the Indiana PGA Section to be named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year. Barber won the 1981 Kentucky PGA Section Horton Smith Award and was named the 1985 Kentucky PGA Golf Professional of the Year. He served on the Kentucky PGA Section Board of Directors, and was Section president from 1984-85. He was named PGA head professional at Meridian Hills Country Club in Indianapolis in 1986, where he has remained for the past 25 years. He served as Indiana PGA Section president from 2008-10.
While at Meridian Hills, Barber has mentored assistant professionals and countless club personnel. He has served on multiple Indiana PGA committees and the 1985 national PGA Education Committee. Barber is a three-time Indiana Section Merchandiser of the Year; the 1993 Section Teacher of the Year; 1996 Section Golf Professional of the Year; and the 2003 Section Bill Strausbaugh Award winner. Among Barber's on-course successes include his winning the 1978 Kentucky State Open, finishing runner-up in 1979; competing from 1979-86 in the PGA Professional National Championship; and capturing the 1983 Kentucky PGA Match Play Championship and the 2002 Indiana Senior PGA Championship.
He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2011.
Known as "Long Jim" because of his height (6 feet, 4 inches), lanky build and long hitting, Barnes won four major championships in an era best known for the exploits of Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen.
The tallest of the champions for the first half of the century, Barnes won the first PGA Championship ever played, in 1916, at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, N.Y., and captured the next one, played in 1919 at Engineers Country Club on Long Island. He won the 1921 U.S. Open at Columbia Country Club outside of Washington, D.C., by nine strokes and the 1925 British Open at Prestwick, when he came from five strokes behind after Macdonald Smith faltered with a final–round 82. He is one of only eight golfers to have won those three.
He also won the Western Open three times, which in his day, was considered an elite championship. He never played in the Masters, which began in 1934. On the U.S. tour, he is credited with 21 career victories and 14 seconds.
In his U.S. Open victory, Barnes opened with a 69 to take a three–stroke lead and was never challenged. When Barnes won, he was given the trophy by President Warren Harding, making him the only player in history to receive the U.S. Open trophy from the President of the United States.
Barnes was runner–up in the PGA Championship to Walter Hagen in 1921 and 1924. He was also second in the 1922 British Open.
His last victory came in the 1939 New Jersey Open when he was 52 years old.
Born in England in 1887, Barnes emigrated to San Francisco in 1906, but never became an American citizen, remaining an intensely patriotic Cornishman. Still, he remained attached to his native country, playing in the British Open regularly and finishing in the top eight seven times between 1920 and 1928. In 1919, Barnes produced a book, "Picture Analysis of Golf Strokes," which became one of the most widely read instructionals of the day. It featured full photographs of Barnes’ strong, compact swing at key points. The book revolutionized printed golf instruction.
One of the co–founders of the Tennessee PGA Section, Berrier has been perhaps that Section’s most celebrated and active members over three decades. Nicknamed "Cotton" by his father for having "a full head of hair," Berrier began caddying in Knoxville and was soon hooked on the game. Following his discharge from the Air Force, he entered the golf business at Oak Ridge (Tenn.) Country Club (1953–55). In 1955, Berrier arrived at Gatlinburg Country Club, where he remained as the club’s PGA head professional for 44 years until his retirement in 1999. His accomplishments include forming the country’s first golf camp (1973–74) at Fall Creek Falls State Park near Crossville, Tenn. The second president in Tennessee PGA Section history, Berrier has served on the PGA national Board of Directors three times (1974–76, 1983–86 and 1991–94). He was also named Tennessee PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1971 and 1985.
Berrier was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2009.
A Texas native, Joe Black played golf at Hardin Simmons University and competed on the PGA Tour before being appointed Assistant Tournament Supervisor for The PGA of America in 1958. He later became Tournament Supervisor, a post he held until 1964, when he was named PGA head professional at Brookhaven Country Club in Dallas. He served as President of the Northern Texas PGA Section in 1971 and 1972. Black was elected president of The PGA of America, serving from 1981–1982. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Although he did not turn professional until the age of 29, and despite suffering from physical maladies all his life, Julius Boros put together a career that was remarkable for its consistency, longevity and brilliance. He won 18 times between 1952 and 1968, including three major championships. He was PGA Player of the Year in 1952 and 1963, led the money list in 1952 and 1955 and played on four U.S. Ryder Cup Teams.
His first victory was the 1952 U.S. Open, which he won by four strokes at Northwood Country Club in Dallas. He won the championship again in 1963 at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., birdieing two of the last three holes to get into a playoff with Arnold Palmer and Jackie Cupit, and defeating them with a 70 in the playoff. It made him, at 43, the oldest winner of the championship since Ted Ray. Then, in 1968, Boros won the PGA Championship at Pecan Valley Country Club in San Antonio by again defeating Palmer down the stretch and, at 48, became the oldest ever winner of a major.
The son of Hungarian immigrants, Boros was born in 1920 in Fairfield, Conn. A big man at six feet and considerably more than 200 pounds, he had a nonchalant bearing that earned him the nickname "Moose." He learned to take things even easier after discovering during his military stint that he had a bad heart.
Boros won the 1977 Senior PGA Championship and played a key role in the launch of the Champions Tour by making the final birdie putt on the sixth extra hole of sudden death that gave partner Roberto De Vicenzo and him victory over Tommy Bolt and Art Wall in the 1979 Legends of Golf.
Mike Brady is best known for what he didn’t win. Brady lost in a three–way playoff to John McDermott in the 1911 U.S. Open at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Ill. He lost to Walter Hagen in a playoff in the 1919 U.S. Open at the Brae Burn Country Club in West Newton, Mass. Hagen promptly resigned his position as club professional after winning in 1919 and Oakland Hills Country Club promptly hired Brady. Brady subsequently won the 1922 Western Open at Oakland Hills.
Jim Brotherton Jr. of Vestavia Hills, Ala., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 2003. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
The 50th recipient of the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award, Brotherton was the first member of the Dixie PGA Section to be honored with The PGA of America’s highest honor.
Brotherton was the first PGA director of Section Affairs (1981–86) at PGA national headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and later served as PGA field representative for PGA West in La Quinta, Calif., and as marketing and public relations manager at PGA national headquarters.
A distinguished contributor to local junior programs, Brotherton served as national vice chairman of the former National Golf Day (1991–94), a program to benefit junior golf. He has conducted 18 National Golf Marathons and his many activities have included serving as tournament director of the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate Golf Tournament – considered one of the nation’s premier collegiate events.
Billy Burke (born Burkowski) was born in Naugatuck, Conn. His greatest season was 1931, when he won the U.S. Open, reached the semi-finals of the PGA Championship, and won four events on the professional circuit, plus appeared as a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup Team, where he was undefeated in two matches. He also was selected for the 1933 Ryder Cup Team and won his only match. Burke’s 1931 U.S. Open win came in a marathon playoff. He and George Von Elm were tied at 292 (8–over par) after regulation play. They played a 36–hole playoff the next day and tied again at 149 (7–over par). The following day they played 36 more holes and Burke emerged victorious 148 to 149.
Jack Burke Jr. has been a great champion as a player, architect of one of the country’s finest championship golf courses and has championed the purity of the game.
During his playing career, Burke won 17 titles, most notably the 1956 Masters and PGA Championship and was named PGA Player of the Year. At the Masters, Burke rallied from a remarkable eight strokes behind to win the green jacket. Ken Venturi, a 24–year old amateur, led by four shots heading into the final round, but he soared to an 80 on the final day. Burke also won the 1952 Vardon Trophy, competed on five U.S. Ryder Cup Teams and was captain twice, in 1957 and ’73.
In 1957, Burke and Jimmy Demaret struck a partnership to build and manage The Champions Golf Club in their hometown of Houston. Together, they built two courses that have tested golf’s elite players over the years.
Champions hosted the Ryder Cup in 1967, the U.S. Open in 1969 and Ben Hogan chose the course to make the final tournament appearance of his career at the 1971 Houston Champions International.
Burke is also a renowned teacher of the game, with Phil Mickelson, Hal Sutton, Ben Crenshaw and Steve Elkington among the active players who still seek out Burke to pick up on his timing and thought process.
In 2007, Burke received the PGA Distinguished Service Award for lifetime contributions to the game.
Warren Cantrell was perhaps the most experienced businessman to lead The PGA of America as president in 1964–65. An engineer and contractor, he owned a successful construction business with his brother and was involved in the construction of the Houston Astrodome. However, Cantrell preferred golf to business and served the Texas PGA Section in many capacities before being elected Treasurer of The PGA of America in 1958. Cantrell was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
A graduate of Ohio State University, where he won the the Big Ten Golf Championship, Frank Cardi was PGA head professional at Rockaway Country Club in Cedarhurst, N.Y., from 1962–1973. He then became PGA head professional at Apawamis Country Club In Rye, N.Y. An active member of the Metropolitan PGA Section, he also served as national PGA vice president from 1972–1974, and president from 1979–1980. Cardi was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Introduced to golf at age 33 by a business associate, J.R. Carpenter became hooked on the game. Eight years later, he was the golf coach, professional and superintendent at the University of Southern Mississippi Golf Club. Carpenter served as president of the Gulf States PGA Section in 1975 and chaired six national committees while on the PGA Board of Directors. As PGA President (1987–’88), he devoted considerable effort toward improving communications and club relations with PGA Professionals. A member of the Southern Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, Carpenter was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Billy Casper is perhaps the most underrated star in golf history. Between 1956 and 1975, Casper won 51 times on the PGA Tour, a figure surpassed by only Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson. He won two U.S. Opens and a Masters. He was a member of eight U.S. Ryder Cup Teams, winning more points, 23 1/2, than any other American player. He also captained the U.S. Ryder Cup Team to victory in 1979.
Casper won the Vardon Trophy five times, and was named PGA Tour Player of the Year in 1966 and 1970.
In his prime, however, Casper was overshadowed by Palmer, Nicklaus and Gary Player, who were marketed as The Big Three. But from 1964 to 1970, Casper won 27 U.S. events, six more than Palmer and Player combined, and two more than Nicklaus.
Casper was born in 1931 in San Diego, Calif., where sports quickly became the center of his life. He caddied at the San Diego C.C. and came out of the same junior golf environment that also produced Gene Littler and Mickey Wright.
Among the game’s greatest winners, Casper was the greatest putter. He used a pigeon–toed stance and gave the ball a brisk, wristy pop. Casper’s self–taught swing was distinctive for the way his right foot would slide through impact. Off the tee, it produced a fade that was always in play and approaches that inevitably finished pin high. He was also a tremendous competitor. The most enduring memory for those who watched and competed against him in his prime is the serene assurance of the supremely confident athlete who knew he would be at his best when it mattered most. The greatest example of this relentless quality was at the 1966 U.S. Open where he made up seven strokes on the final nine to tie Arnold Palmer and then defeated him in a playoff the next day.
In 2010, Casper received the PGA Distinguished Service Award for lifetime contributions to the game.
William Clarke turned professional in 1946 and became head professional in Hillendale Country Club outside of Baltimore in 1954, where he remained for 35 years. Clarke was president of the Middle Atlantic PGA Section from 1959–1962, and was the Section’s Golf Professional of the Year in 1960. He was recognized with the 1968 Horton Smith Award for outstanding contributions to PGA member education. Clarke served on the PGA Championship Rules Committee for 30 years. President of The PGA from 1973–1974, Clarke was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Ross Collins of Dallas, Texas, was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 197. One of The PGA of America’s most respected members, Collins served as Texas PGA Section (the section was divided into the Southern Texas and Northern Texas Sections in 1968) president from 1962 to 1963. At least 17 of his former assistant professionals went on to become PGA of America professionals. Among them are former Southern Texas PGA Presidents Jerry Smith and David Pilsner, and former Northern Texas PGA President Coy Sevier. Collins was inducted into seven different Halls of Fame, including the PGA Golf Pofessional Hall of Fame in 2005, and the Texas Golf Hall of Fame, during his career.
Jack Connelly was PGA President when the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, took place, and he worked with the PGA of America’s counterparts in Europe to move the 2001 Ryder Cup to the 2002 calendar year. He also oversaw the decision made by The PGA of America to make a considerable donation to relief efforts for those affected by the attacks. Connelly played on the PGA Tour in 1972, competed in the 1975 U.S. Open, qualified for the PGA Professional National Championship nine times and was named Philadelphia PGA Section Player of the Year on four occasions. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Harry Cooper was one of the finest players and most consistent winners in professional golf in the 1920s and 1930s, but he was not able to win a major championship. Cooper won 31 times on the PGA Tour between 1925 and 1941, including the Canadian Open and the Los Angeles Open twice each. In 1937, he won eight times, led the money list and won the inaugural Vardon Trophy.
Cooper spent his career around the lead and he racked up 37 runner–up finishes and 25 thirds. The most disappointing seconds were at the 1927 and 1936 U.S. Open and at the 1936 Masters, where he was nipped at the end by the hot putting of Horton Smith. He was also second at Augusta in 1938. He reached the semifinals of the PGA Championship once, losing to Walter Hagen in 1925. He never played in the British Open.
Cooper was born in 1904 in England, and came to America at age 10. His father, Sid, who had served an apprenticeship under Old Tom Morris at St. Andrews, was the golf professional at Cedar Crest in Dallas.
The young Cooper was a phenom. He won the 1923 Texas PGA at age 18 and repeated the next year. He took his first important title at the 1926 Los Angeles Open. It was there that Damon Runyon dubbed him "Light Horse" for the speed with which he played and the nimble way he carried himself.
Even without a major title, in the era of 1930 to 1945, Cooper was ranked by PGA Tour statistics as the fourth best player behind Byron Nelson, Sam Snead and Horton Smith.After his playing career, Cooper became a distinguished teaching professional, passing on his knowledge of the game.
Jerry Cozby of Bartlesville, Okla., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1985. Cozby was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Robert Cruickshank was born in Scotland and competed in the United States from the early 1920s to the mid–1930s. Crickshank reached the semi–finals of the 1922 and 1923 PGA Championship, losing both times to eventual champion Gene Sarazen. He also finished as runner–up in the 1923 and 1932 U.S. Open, and won 17 tour events in his career. His greatest year was 1927, when he won the Los Angeles and Texas Opens and finished as the leading money winner for the year.
Born in Madrid, Spain, and the son of Angel de la Torre, the first Spanish golf professional, Manuel de la Torre graduated from Northwestern University in 1947. He was elected to PGA membership in 1952. He became a premier golf instructor and was the recipient of the inaugural PGA Teacher of the Year award in 1986, and was inducted in 2005 into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame. A five–time Wisconsin PGA Section Champion, he also was the first to serve as president of the Section (1955–57), and from 1959–61 was the PGA District 6 Director. During his 46 years as PGA head professional at Milwaukee Country Club, de la Torre taught more than 50,000 lessons and presented more than 100 seminars for 15 PGA Sections throughout his career. The winner of three Section Horton Smith Awards, de la Torre has been an advocate of education throughout his career.
de la Torre was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2006.
The impact Jimmy Demaret had on the game of golf was measured by more than his three Masters victories, his impeccable Ryder Cup record and his 44 tournament victories around the world. Jimmy Demaret was golf’s first show business star. He was the reason, some said, that Bing Crosby invented the pro–am. He could sing, he could tell jokes, and for a while, it wasn’t a party or a golf tournament unless Demaret was on the premises. He could outdress, outquip and outplay just about everybody in an era that included Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Byron Nelson.
Born in Houston, Texas, in 1910, Demaret grew up caddying on sand greens and playing barefoot until he was 15. His father was a carpenter/painter, the source, Demaret said, of his lifelong passion for mixing and matching bright colors. At age 17, he was hired by Jackie Burke Sr. as an assistant professional at River Oaks in Houston. His first job was to babysit the toddler who would one day be his partner in forming Champions Golf Club, Jackie Burke Jr.
In 1940 Demaret won six consecutive tournaments including the Masters. He won six more and the Masters again in 1947, his best year, when he also led the money list and won the Vardon Trophy. In 1950, he won his third and final Masters.
In all, Demaret won 31 official events between 1938 and 1957, a year in which he won three events at age 47. He was one of the best players never to have won the U.S. Open, finishing two strokes back in 1946 and 1948, and only a stroke out of a playoff in 1957. In three Ryder Cups between 1947 and 1951, his record was 5–0. Along with Gene Sarazen, he was the host on one of the first television golf shows, "Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf."
The world will always remember Roberto De Vicenzo for what he lost, not for what he won – for that careless mistake he made at the 1968 Masters, signing an incorrect scorecard that had him making a par and not a birdie on the 17th hole that Sunday afternoon – and, thus, his uttering of the immortal golf quote, "What a stupid I am." Yet there is so much more to De Vicenzo’s career and the contributions he made to golf around the world than what occurred in the scorer’s tent at Augusta National that should not overshadow the man’s legacy.
Roberto De Vicenzo won more than 230 golf tournaments, including the 1967 British Open Championship at Hoylake, where he held off the Sunday charges of Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player to become, at 44, the oldest winner of the world’s oldest golf championship.
All the trophies he captured didn’t mean as much to De Vicenzo as the friends he made traveling the globe. He won national opens in Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Holland, France, Germany, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela and Argentina, a country he represented 17 times in the World Cup.
Born in Buenos Aires in 1923, De Vicenzo learned the game as a caddy’s assistant. He turned professional at age 15 and won his first of nine Argentine Open titles six years later. At 51 he won the Senior PGA Championship and in 1980, at age 57, the inaugural U.S. Senior Open. He believed in hard practice, routinely hitting 400 balls a day and maintaining a slow pace.
Born James R. DeVoe on March 24, 1888, in Dowagiac, Mich., DeVoe was the first African-American to gain PGA of America membership after the rescinding of the "Caucasian clause" in 1962. He was 74, which according to PGA membership records, made him the oldest to be elected to the Association. DeVoe was influenced by Jerry Travers, Ernest Jones and John Duncan Dunn, the latter two among the most influential golf instructors of the first half of the 20th century. In the 1930s, DeVoe partnered with John Shippen, the first African-American golf club professional in the U.S., and together they operated and sponsored numerous events. DeVoe went on to operate a golf school in a pharmaceutical store in Harlem and later operated a golf and tennis shop in Blumstein's department store.
DeVoe passed away March 19, 1979; five days shy of his 91st birthday. He still had lessons on the books. He was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2013.
Between 1920 and 1934, Leo Diegel won 30 PGA Tour events. He also captured two PGA Championships; and placed in the top four in seven U.S. and British Opens, but could never win one.
Diegel was respected for his uncannily accurate iron play and his ferociousness in match play. It was Diegel, in winning the 1928 PGA Championship at Five Farms Country Club in Baltimore, who ended Walter Hagen’s amazing streak of 22 straight match play wins (and four straight titles) by defeating him in the semifinals. He did the same thing on his way to repeating in 1929. In four Ryder Cups, including the first in 1927, Diegel lost only one match.
Born in Detroit in 1899, Diegel was a boy wonder who won the city caddie crown at age 13. He turned professional in 1916, the same year The PGA of America was formed. His greatest year was 1925, when he won five events, including his second of four Canadian Opens. After a 1938 auto accident ended his competitive career, Diegel became a club professional who became a favorite of Hollywood stars such as Douglas Fairbanks. He dedicated his instructional book, "The Nine Bad Shots of Golf," "to the vast army of struggling golfers whose swings need help."
While a club professional in Philadelphia, he worked with the U.S. Army promoting golf as a psychological and therapeutic aid for wounded servicemen returning from World War II.
The professional at The Broadmoor in Colorado in the summer and Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club in the spring and fall, Ed Dudley was described by the great golfer, Bobby Jones, as having the most graceful swing that Jones had ever seen. Dudley had an excellent reputation as an instructor, and one of his students was U.S. President and famed General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Dudley competed on the 1928, 1933 and 1937 U.S. Ryder Cup Teams and finished in the top 10 a total of seven times over the first eight Masters Tournaments. Dudley was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Eddie Duino of San Jose, Calif., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1959. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Olin Dutra began competing professionally in 1924 and would ultimately win 19 tournaments during his career. His most successful years as a professional were in the early 1930s when he captured the 1932 PGA Championship, 1934 U.S. Open and played for the United States in the 1933 and 1935 Ryder Cup.
In the 1932 PGA Championship, Dutra played 196 holes and finished an astounding 19–under par, including his finish as low qualifier.
Dutra is perhaps best remembered for his 1934 U.S. Open win. While traveling to the tournament, Dutra became ill and lost 15 pounds. After two rounds, he was eight strokes behind the leaders; after the third round he was in 18th place. Before the final round, Dutra had an attack of dysentery, that forced him to snack on sugar cubes throughout the round. Dutra was still able to shoot a 72 to hold off Gene Sarazen and win by a single stroke.
Introduced to the game as a caddie during the Great Depression, Max Elbin became PGA head professional at Burning Tree Club outside of Washington, D.C., in 1946 and remained there until 1995. He taught golf to six U.S. Presidents. The first PGA President (1966–’68) from the Middle Atlantic PGA Section, Elbin substantially expanded the business and education programs of the Association. He maintained key Association events and funds while working through the numerous challenges presented by the PGA’s touring players, who broke away during his term and eventually formed the PGA Tour. Elbin was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Gary Ellis of Pittsburgh, Pa., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1979. Ellis, one of three Professionals from the Tri–State PGA Section to be so honored, was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Bill Eschenbrenner of El Paso, Texas, was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 2005. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2006.
Eschenbrenner, a PGA member since 1965, was also the 1994 national Horton Smith Award winner for contributions to PGA education. He has served as both a premier instructor and mentor to many of the game’s premier players, and is credited by the legendary Lee Trevino for helping him gain a PGA Tour berth. Eschenbrenner helped Trevino attain PGA membership in the late 1960s, during a period when PGA membership was required to compete on the PGA Tour.
From 1976–77, Eschenbrenner served as president of the Sun County PGA Section, was District 12 Director for the national PGA Board of Directors (1995–97), and was a past Board member of the Southwest PGA Section from 1965–74. He is one of the most respected instructors at PGA education seminars and employment workshops.
A native of Warrensburg, Mo., but who called Indianapolis, Ind., home since age 7, Essig is a PGA Master Professional, a PGA director of golf at South Grove Golf Course in Indianapolis, Ind., and an officer of Essig Golf Management. A 1961 graduate of Louisiana State University, Essig enjoyed a prolific amateur golf career before becoming one of this country's most respected and well–traveled PGA Rules officials. He became a member of the PGA Rules Committee in 1974, served as vice chairman from 1995 through 2000, and was chairman from 2001 through 2004.
Among his many amateur titles was winning the 1957 U.S. Public Links Championship before trying his skills on the PGA Tour (1962–63).
Essig was an Indiana PGA Section leader, instrumental in the formation of the Indiana Golf Office, a joint organization between the Indiana PGA and the Indiana Golf Association. In 1973, Essig developed, in partnership with IUPUI (Indiana University, Purdue University in Indianapolis) the largest adult player development program in the country, accommodating more than 900 participants annually during the 1980s.
Essig was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2009.
Don "Chip" Essig IV extended a family tradition in Section leadership, administering the Rules of Golf and managing golf facilities, and was the 2011 recipient of the PGA Golf Professional of the Year. A 22-year member of The PGA of America, Essig is the third member of the Indiana PGA Section to be named PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
Essig earned PGA membership in 1990. He is the co-owner of Essig Golf LLC, a golf course management company that oversees three facilities in the Indianapolis area â€“ Hickory Stick Golf Club, Heartland Crossing Golf Links in Camby, and Pebble Brook Golf Course in Noblesville.
Essig was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2013.
Johnny Farrell, the head golf professional at the Quaker Ridge Golf Club (1919–1930) and Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J. (1934–1972), is best known for winning the 1928 U.S. Open.
Farrell won his first tour event in 1919 and finished among the top eight in the 1923 U.S. Open; finished third in 1925 at the Worcester Country Club, then a year later at Scioto Country Club in Ohio. In capturing the 1928 U.S. Open at at Olympia Fields Country Club, Farrell was tied with Bobby Jones after 72 holes and won a 36–hole playoff by one stroke.
He was voted the 1927 and 1928 Best Golf Professional in the United States, after a winning streak of six consecutive tournaments, on his road to a total of 22 career wins. He played for the United States in the first three Ryder Cups – 1927, 1929, and 1931.
Farrell was also known for his impeccable dress, earning the nickname "Handsome Johnny." He was twice named the game’s best dresser, and was one of the few players who had a clothing endorsement contract.
A native of Athens, Ohio, Dow Finsterwald won the 1958 PGA Championship at Llanerch Country Club in Havertown, Pa. In doing so, Finsterwald became the first to win the PGA Championship in a stroke play format. In 1957, the final year of the PGA Championship being contested at match play, Finsterwald finished as the runner–up to Lionel Hebert at Miami Valley Golf Club in Dayton, Ohio.
Finsterwald won 11 times on the PGA Tour in a competitive career that lasted just more than a decade. He also was the runner–up in the 1962 Masters Tournament.
Finsterwald played on four United States Ryder Cup Teams – 1957, ’59, ’61 and ’63 – and was the Captain of the 1977 U.S. Team that defeated Great Britain & Ireland at Royal Lytham and St. Annes, in England. That was the last Ryder Cup before players from all of Europe were invited to compete in the biennial competition.
A consistent player with a strong short game, Finsterwald won the Vardon Trophy in 1957 for having the tour’s lowest stroke average, and one year later he earned the PGA Player of the Award.
One of the most prolific instructors in golf history, Jim Flick has taught the game in 23 nations while elevating the business of golf instruction. Flick, was elected to PGA membership in 1959, and served as director of instruction for Golf Digest Schools, guiding more than 1,000 multi-day programs. He was co-founder with Jack Nicklaus of the Nicklaus-Flick Golf Schools (1991-2003); operated his own Jim Flick Premier School in 2002; and served as a lead instructor for the ESPN Golf Schools (2003-05). Since 2006, he has served as an ambassador for TaylorMade Golf.
The third recipient of the PGA Teacher of the Year Award, in 1988, Flick was the ninth instructor inducted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame in 2002, the same year that he was inducted into the Southern Ohio PGA Section Hall of Fame. Flick also was a 1995 inductee into the Wake Forest University Athletic Hall of Fame; and in 1999, Golf World selected him as one of the Top 10 Teachers of the 20th Century. Flick has coached more than 200 Tour professionals, headed by Nicklaus and Tom Lehman, as well as countless amateurs and premier junior players.
He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2011.
Bob Ford of Oakmont, Pa., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1987. The PGA head professional at Oakmont Country Club, Ford was also named the PGA Merchandiser of the Year Ã¢â‚¬" Private Facilities Ã¢â‚¬" 1985. Ford received the Tri–State PGA Section Horton Smith Award in 1986 and was named the Tri–State PGA Section Teacher of the Year in 2987.
He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Doug Ford (born Fortunato) turned professional in 1949 and won for the first time in 1952. His first major was the 1955 PGA Championship. Ford defeated Cary Middlecoff (4 and 3) in the final. Ford was that season’s PGA Player of the Year. In 1957, he holed out from a plugged lie in the bunker, on the final hole, to come from behind and beat Sam Snead by three strokes at The Masters. He is the oldest surviving winner of the Masters. Ford played on four Ryder Cup Teams: 1955, 1957, 1959, and 1961. He was inducted into the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame in 1972, and was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. Ford was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2010 and will be enshrined on May 9, 2011.
Leo Fraser joined The PGA of America in 1927 at age 17, and in 1935 he succeeded his father as PGA head professional at Seaview Country Club in New Jersey. Following World War II, Fraser went to Atlantic City Country Club and became the professional–owner. One of the most energetic leaders in PGA history, Fraser served as president of The PGA of America from 1969–1970, and president of the Philadelphia PGA Section for seven years. He is considered the "father" of the PGA Professional National Championship, and the trophy awarded annually to the Senior PGA Professional National Championship bears his name. Fraser was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
John Gerring of Marietta, Ga., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1981. Gerring, a PGA Master Professional was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Vic Ghezzi won a total of 11 times on tour, including the 1941 PGA Championship when he defeated Byron Nelson at Cherry Hills Country Club in Colorado. Ghezzi was also selected for three U.S. Ryder Cup Teams, but played in none of them. They were canceled due to World War II.
Bill Gordon of Chicago, Ill., was named the inaugural PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1955. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Born the same year as Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Byron Nelson, Ralph Guldahl had a dazzling stretch from 1936 to 1939, and was the brightest star in golf, winning two U.S. Opens, a Masters and three straight Western Opens.
Born in 1911 in Dallas, Texas, the precocious Guldahl joined the professional golf tour in the early 1930s, winning the 1932 Phoenix Open. In the final round of the 1933 U.S. Open at North Shore Golf Club outside Chicago, the tall 20–year–old picked up nine strokes in 11 holes on Johnny Goodman, and on the 72nd holed needed only a four–footer to force a playoff. He missed it and essentially gave up competition for nearly three years.
Guldahl went home to Dallas and became a used–car salesman until he was asked to lay out a nine–hole course in Kilgore, Texas. The project inspired Guldahl to take up the game again. He began practicing and, on the advice of doctors caring for his sickly son, moved his family to the California desert. In 1936, a rededicated Guldahl finished eighth in the U.S. Open and a few weeks later won his first Western Open.
The 1937 season was his best. Guldahl won the Western Open again, as well as the U.S. Open at Oakland Hills Country Club outside Detroit, where he closed with 69 for a total of 281 that stood as the championship record until 1948.
In 1938, he became the only golfer to win both the Western Open and the U.S. Open in consecutive years. The latter victory was achieved by six strokes at Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver, where Guldahl became the last U.S. Open champion to win the title wearing a necktie.
Finally, in 1939, Guldahl got his Masters title in the most stirring performance of his career. With Snead in the clubhouse with a record score of 280, Guldahl fired a 33 on Augusta National’s back nine, highlighted by a 3–wood second shot on the par 5 13th that finished six feet from the hole and led to an eagle.
Hubby Habjan of Lake Forest, Ill., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1965. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Golf’s greatest showman and the most colorful character the game has ever seen, Walter Hagen was the flamboyant figure and immensely talented player known widely as both "Sir Walter" and "The Haig."
Hagen was the world’s first full–time tournament professional. He won so often – 11 major titles stand out among his victories – and in such lavish style that he single–handedly ushered in the era of the playing professional. Before The Haig, and throughout the early 20th century, golf professionals were clearly of a lower station than the game’s wealthy amateurs.
Early in Hagen’s career, it was not uncommon for golf clubs to refuse entry to their clubhouses to professional golfers. Hagen fought to raise those standards for himself and his fellow professionals golfers. Once at a tournament in England, he rented a Pierce–Arrow limousine, parked it in front of the clubhouse and used it as a changing room after the club refused him entry to its locker room.
On the course, Hagen was a Tour de force. Between 1921 and 1927, he won the PGA Championship five times (four of them in a row); the British Open four times and the U.S. Open twice. He also won the Western Open five times between 1916 and 1931 when it was widely considered a major championship.
One of the founding members of The PGA of America, Hagen is generally considered the greatest match player of all time. He once won 22 straight 36–hole matches in the PGA Championship and, between the first round in 1921 and the fourth round of 1928, 32 out of 33 matches.
Hagen brought color and glamour to golf, playing in plus–fours and two–toned shoes (he was the first athlete ever named to the list of Best Dressed Americans). His swing was inconsistent and he probably hit more bad drives and approaches than any of the all–time greats, but his recovery game was so good he usually got away with his mistakes.
He was equally exciting and flamboyant off the course, earning and spending money lavishly. Hagen often stayed at the best hotels, threw the best parties, and hired limousines to take him to tournaments (sometimes pulling the limo right up to the first tee).
It was all a natural extension of his overall philosophy of life. Born in Rochester, N.Y., Dec. 21, 1892, the son of a blacksmith, Hagen came from modest beginnings and entered golf as a caddy, but he resolved to live big. "I never wanted to be a millionaire," he said. "I just wanted to live like one." Although an imposing six feet tall with slick black hair and covered in the finest fabrics, Hagen nonetheless had a kindly face and a twinkle of irony that invited rather than repelled the common man.
Hagen once expressed his creed in these words: "You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way." When he died in Traverse City, Mich., Oct. 5, 1969, there was no doubt he had lived it.
Walter Hagen was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
The last foreign–born President of The PGA of America who served the Association from 1031–1932, Hall came to the United States from England at age 3. He served as professional at courses in Nashville, Tenn., and Birmingham, Ala. A good competitor, he played in the PGA Championship and U.S. Open, and won the Southeastern PGA Section Championship twice. Hall is credited with keeping The PGA of America afloat during the Great Depression. He was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Chick Harbert won seven times as a professional including his 4 & 3 victory over Walter Burkemo in the 1954 PGA Championship at Keller Golf Club in St. Paul, Minn. He also finished second in the PGA Championship in 1947 and 1952. Harbert played on the 1949 U.S. Ryder Cup Team and was playing captain of the team in 1955. He served in the Army during World War II.
The winner of the 1948 Masters, Harmon was one of the finest playing PGA Professionals in history and patriarch of a family of nationally–renowned instructors. He won the 1948 Masters by five strokes, which also elevated his teaching reputation for generations. He posted 11 top–10 performances while competing in 56 majors.
Harmon served as PGA head professional at two of the most premier golf facilities in the nation – Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. (1945–77), and Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla. (1945–57), and concluded his career at Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (1950–77).
Harmon was father to Claude Jr. (Butch) of Las Vegas, one of the most recognized teaching professionals in the game; Craig, the 2004 PGA Golf Professional of the Year, a 2005 PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame member and PGA head professional at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y.; the late Dick Harmon of Houston; and Billy Harmon of La Quinta, Calif. Harmon also had two daughters, Claudia and Allison.
A member of the Metropolitan PGA Hall of Fame, Harmon was the consummate golf professional, who was devoted to teaching and mentoring young professionals including Eddie Merrins, Jack Burke Jr., Dave Marr, Al Mengert, Jack Lumpkin and Mike Souchak. He also taught five U.S. presidents, the King of Morocco, countless celebrities of stage and screen, as well as many of the foremost male and female tour professionals and leading amateurs. In 1969, the Harmon family was chosen the Family of the Year by the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association. Harmon was a major proponent of racial equality in the golf community and the entire golf industry.
He was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2009.
Craig Harmon of Rochester, N.Y., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 2004. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Harmon grew up in one of America’s heralded golf families. Guided to the game by his father, Claude, a premier instructor and the 1948 Masters Champion, Craig witnessed his father’s innate ability to connect with both the game’s finest players as well as amateurs, building lifelong relationships and enhancing one’s teaching skills.
Like his father, Harmon became a skilled instructor and a skilled mentor of young people and the most influential employment chairman for the Western New York PGA Section.
Harmon is a four–time Western New York PGA Teacher of the Year (1986, ’91, ’95, 2002), the 1983 Section Golf Professional of the Year and was the 1993 Section Horton Smith Award winner. He also enhanced his teaching reputation by serving as co–chairman (1994) and chairman (1996) of the PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit.
During the 2003 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, Harmon became the 35th inductee into the club’s Hill of Fame, joining a list of past honorees that includes Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan, Bob Hope and former U.S. Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Gerald Ford.
Paul Harney of Hatchville, Mass., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1974. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Harney played full–time on the PGA Tour from 1955Ã¢â‚¬"1962; and part–time from 1963Ã¢â‚¬"1973. During that time, he won six events. Harney’s best finish in a major was 4th at the 1963 U.S. Open. He also finished in the top–8 four times at The Masters in the 1960s.
Chandler Harper captured the 1950 PGA Championship, defeating Henry Williams Jr., 4 & 3, at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio.
Harper won seven times on the PGA Tour and was named to the 1955 U.S. Ryder Cup Team. He was also prominent in Virginia golf, winning the Virginia State Amateur three times and the Virginia State Open nine times. He was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1973.
Harper was elected to the PGA Hall of Fame in 1968.
Dutch Harrison made his most memorable impressions as a club professional at facilities including Old Warson, Forest Hills and the Olympic Club. Harrison won 18 times on the PGA Tour and qualified for the U.S. Open 25 times but never won it. Harrison was awarded the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average in 1954, and was named to three Ryder Cup teams: 1947, 1949, and 1951. He was elected to the PGA Hall of Fame in 1962.
A PGA member since 1952, William "Bill" Heald is a PGA Master Professional and a two–time winner (1981 and 1999) of the Bill Strausbaugh Award for distinguishing himself in mentoring PGA Professionals. Heald served as PGA head professional at Riverside Golf Club in North Riverside, Ill., for 33 years and spent a decade at the facility as general manager. He served as Illinois PGA president from 1976–77, and as District 6 Director from 1993–95, and a 1991 member of the National Club Relations Steering Committee. Among his initiatives was coordinating PGA members, Park District presidents, management companies and non–private facility amateur players for a video presentation which promoted why facilities are better served in employing PGA Professionals. During his presidency of the Illinois PGA Section, Heald established the first Section executive office with a full–time executive director. In 1997, Heald was inducted into the Illinois PGA Hall of Fame.
In 1988, Michael Hebron proposed to PGA of America officials the need to bring together teaching professionals to share best practices and consolidate ideas. "Let's have a Woodstock, a Summit," Hebron recalled his pitch for the event. As a result, the PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit was born.
A native of New York City, Hebron was elected to PGA membership in 1970. He was recipient of the 1990 national Horton Smith Award for excellence in PGA education and in 1991, was the recipient of the national PGA Teacher of the Year Award. Hebron was the 1982 Metropolitan PGA Golf Professional of the Year, and in 2008, was inducted into the Metropolitan PGA Section Hall of Fame.
Hebron was inducted in the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2013.
Bruce Herd of Flossmoor, Ill., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1963. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Ed Hoard of Athens, Ga., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1999. A world renowned rules professional, Hoard served as Chairman of the PGA Rules of Golf National Committee from 1995–2000. Hoard’s work allowed him the incredible privilege of officiating at golf’s greatest events such as the Ryder Cup, and at each one of golf’s four major championships. Hoard was inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in 1999, not only renowned for his work as a golf instructor, but also for his work as a golf rules official.
Hoard was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
"The Hawk," Ben Hogan won 64 tournaments, his first in 1938 at the Hershey (Pa.) Four Ball and the last at the 1959 Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas. He won nine majors and is one of the only five men to win the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship at least once. In 1953, he won all three majors he played in, missing the PGA Championship because the dates conflicted with his only journey to the British Open.
Hogan did his best work at the U.S. Open, winning it four times – 1948, ’50, ’51 and ’53. From 1940 to 1960, excluding the championships of 1949 and 1957, both of which he missed due to injury, Hogan never finished out of the top 10 at any U.S. Open.
Hogan was born in Texas in 1912 and began his life in golf as a caddy, along with Byron Nelson, at the Glen Garden Country Club in Fort Worth. Hogan joined the professional circuit in 1932, and had very little early success. Small but strong at 5–7, 140 pounds, Hogan was a long hitter who was often undone by a hook. He went broke twice, and when he was on the verge a third time on the eve of 1938 Oakland Open, he thought seriously about giving up. Instead, he shot a final–round 69 to finish second and win $380 to keep going.
Hogan didn’t bloom until he found "a secret" – believed by some to be a weakening of his left hand along with the pronounced clockwise rotation of his left arm on the backswing – that allowed him to play a power fade. After several close calls in major championships, he won his first major title at the 1946 PGA Championship at Portland (Ore.) Golf Club. When he won the 1948 PGA Championship in May and the U.S. Open at Riviera three weeks later, Hogan felt he was at his peak.
But on Feb. 2, 1949, a Greyhound bus crossed a center divider and crashed into the car carrying Hogan and his wife, Valerie. Hogan nearly died and suffered permanent leg injuries. Miraculously, Hogan won the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club outside Philadelphia in an 18–hole playoff with George Fazio and Lloyd Mangrum.
In 1951, he won his first Masters and the U.S. Open at Oakland Hills Country Club outside Detroit. In 1953, he had his greatest year, winning his second Masters, his fourth U.S. Open and his only British Open.
Jock Hutchison came from Scotland to the United States in his late teens and settled in the Pittsburgh area. He won the Western Pennsylvania Open five times between 1909 and 1915.
In 1916, Hutchison was the runner–up in both the inaugural PGA Championship and the U.S. Open. In 1920, he captured the PGA Championship at Flossmoor Country Club in Chicago, defeating Douglas Edgar, 1–up, in the match play final. He also tied for second that year at the U.S. Open.
Hutchison returned to his native Scotland in 1921 to win the British Open at St. Andrews. Hutchison won 14 times on the PGA Tour, including victories at the Western Open in 1920 and 1923.
At the inaugural Senior PGA Championship at Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club in 1937, Hutchison prevailed among a field of 31 golfers. He would go on to win the 1947 Senior PGA Championship at PGA National Golf Club in Dunedin, Fla, and was runner–up five other times in that Championship.
In May 2011, Jock Hutchison is being enshrined posthumously in the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Fla.
Walker Inman Jr. of Columbus, Ohio, was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1975. The first Augusta native to play in the Masters in 1956, Inman was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Joe Jemsek of Lemont, Ill., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1991 and was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005. The owner/operator of three Chicago area golf facilities – Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont, St. Andrews in West Chicago and Pine Meadow in Mundelein – Jemsek was known for his ability to bring a private club atmosphere to public golfers. Jemsek started his ownership of golf courses in 1939, when he purchased the two courses at St. Andrews. In 1951, he added the then 36–hole Cog Hill facility. He would later lease Glenwoodie from the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1959 and Pine Meadow in 1985.
Jemsek began his career in golf as a caddie and eventually would hold positions as a parking lot attendant, cook, caddie master, teaching professional, touring professional and eventually golf course owner.
While allowing public golfers access to great golf courses, Jemsek became a national golf figure. He eventually become the first public course owner to serve on the USGA Executive Committee and he had a hand in starting the golf professional careers of such notables as Ray Floyd and Patty Berg.
Jemsek was inducted into the inaugural Illinois Golf Hall of Fame in 1989. He was also honored as one of the 100 Heroes of Golf by Golf Magazine in 1988, and his family won the National Golf Foundation’s Golf Family of the Year honor in 1991.
A professional at age 16, George Jacobus was head of the New Jersey PGA Section for many years before becoming the first American–born President of The PGA, a position he held from 1933–1939. The head professional at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J., he was instrumental in bringing the 1935 Ryder Cup to Ridgewood. Jacobus, who had an excellent reputation as a teacher, was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Marty Kavanaugh, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, was elected to PGA membership in February 1970, and is a former member of The PGA’s Board of Directors. An active member of the Southern Ohio PGA Section, Kavanaugh achieved national recognition as the 1989 Bill Strausbaugh Award winner and as the 1992 PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
Kavanaugh joined The PGA of America national headquarters staff in 1994 and held a number of positions until retiring in 2006. He was the guiding force behind the opening of the PGA Historical Center (since renamed the PGA Museum of Golf).
Kavanaugh was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005
Receiving a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Tulsa in 1961, Mark Kizziar began his golf career as an assistant professional at Rolling Hills Country Club, later becoming its PGA head professional. Kizziar was the head professional at Adams Municipal Golf Course in Bartlesville, Okla., when he was elected PGA Treasurer. He served as president of the South Central PGA Section for two years, and was elected President of The PGA in 1983. Kizziar was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Charles "Vic"Kline of Arvada, Colo., was named PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2000. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Kline served on the Colorado PGA Section Board of Directors for more than 30 years. He served as president of the Colorado PGA Section four different times and was also the District 9 Director for two terms. Kline sat on the Board of Control, PGA Properties Board, PGABoard of Trustees and PGA Audit Committee. Kline is the recipient of several Colorado PGA Section awards: 1973 Horton Smith Award; 1975, ’93 Professional of the Year; Player of the Year in 1975, ’77–79 and ’81; 2004 Bill Strausbaugh Award; 2009 Warren Smith Award and ’97 and ’99 President’s Award.
Don Kotnik of Toledo, Ohio, was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1993. Kotnik, who served as president of the Northern Ohio PGA Section in 1997–1998, was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005. He was also inducted into the Toledo Golf Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Ohio Golf Hall of Fame in 1985. Kotnik was listed among Golf Magazine’s "Top 100 Teachers in the United States" five of the last six years.
Brent Krause of Montgomery, Ala., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 2007. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2009.
Krause is a two–time PGA of America National Award recipient, having previously been honored with the 2002 PGA Horton Smith Award.
Elected to PGA membership in 1978, Krause served two terms as District 3 Director, from 1994 through 1997 and 2003 through 2006; as Dixie PGA Section President from 1988–1989; and as a member of various PGA committees, including the PGA Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Task Force, from 2005–2006.
Throughout his career, Krause has been instrumental in player development. Interns from Mississippi State University’s PGA Golf Management University Program train under his guidance, and some 10 PGA head professionals have been guided by Krause.
Krause’s contributions to golf extend beyond The PGA of America. He has also served on the Board of Directors of The First Tee of Montgomery.
Ron Letellier of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1976. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005. As a PGA Professional, Letellier competed in two PGA Championships (1972, ’75) and three PGA Professional National Championships (1971, ’74, ’75).
After his service in the U.S. Air Force, where he achieved the rank of Captain, Ken Lindsay served for more than 30 years at Colonial Country Club in Jackson, Miss., with roles that ranged from assistant professional to head professional to general manager to director of golf. The 1983 PGA Golf Professional of the Year and the 1987 Horton Smith Award recipient for outstanding contributions to PGA member education, Lindsay is an acclaimed Rules of Golf official, most recently serving on the Champions Tour Rules staff. A PGA Master Professional, Lindsay is a member of the University of Memphis Hall of Fame, the Gulf States PGA Section Hall of Fame and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Lindsay served as president of The PGA from 1997–1998, and in 2005, was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame.
In 1934 and 1935, Lawson Little became the first golfer to sweep the British and American Amateur Championships in consecutive years. During his phenomenal run, Little won 32 consecutive matches on both sides of the Atlantic with an overpowering game built on booming drives and brooding intensity.
Born in Rhode Island in 1910 and raised in Northern California, Little burst onto the scene at Pebble Beach in the 1929 U.S. Amateur when he defeated Johnny Goodman the day after Goodman had electrified the golf world by beating the unbeatable Bobby Jones. Five years later, at the British Amateur at Prestwick, the 24–year old Little won seven consecutive matches, including a 14 and 13 trouncing in the final.
Nicknamed "Cannonball" and often described as "bullnecked and barrel–chested," the 200–pound Little generated tremendous power despite standing only 5’9". For all his strength, Little had an expert short game. He used a variety of clubs from around the green, and in fact often carried as many as seven wedges among his 26 clubs, an excess which in 1938 prompted the USGA to institute the 14–club limit.
In the spring of 1935, Little went to St. Anne’s to defend his British Amateur title, and he was lucky not to lose his first match. Despite a shaky 80 he stole the match on the 18th green, and from there he took the title without incident. Little’s inexorable march into the record books was completed at the Cleveland Country Club.
As a professional, he defeated Gene Sarazen in a playoff to win the 1940 U.S. Open.
One of the greatest swingers of the golf club ever, Gene Littler won 29 times on the PGA Tour, including a U.S. Open, was a stalwart in the Ryder Cup across two decades and was a dominant force in the early years of the Champions Tour. Only once during the quarter century from 1954 to 1979 did he finish out of the top 60 on the money list, and that was in 1972, when he was sidelined by surgery to remove a cancerous lymph node. Littler bounced back from that to win three tournaments and finish fifth on the money list in 1975 at the age of 45. Two years later he won again at 47.
Littler was born in San Diego in 1930 and first attracted national attention 23 years later, when he sank an 18–foot birdie putt on the 18th green at the Oklahoma Country Club, to win the U.S. Amateur. Four months later, Littler won the San Diego Open as an amateur, and two days after that, he turned professional. The following year he won four times, earning the nickname "Gene the Machine" for his remarkably consistent ballstriking. Often overlooked was his outstanding short game.
In 1961, he won his only professional major, the U.S. Open at Oakland Hills Country Club outside Detroit. He closed with a 68 to hold off Bob Goalby and Doug Sanders by one stroke. He came close in two other majors – the 1970 Masters, when he shot a steady 69–70–70–70 to tie Billy Casper, but lost to his boyhood friend and rival in the playoff that followed; and in the 1977 PGA Championship at Pebble Beach, when Littler led from the first round, but closed with a 76 and was tied by Lanny Watkins, who won on the third extra hole – the first time a major championship was ever decided in sudden death.
Littler also played on seven U.S. Ryder Cup teams, compiling a superb 14–5–8 record.
In 1980, Littler became eligible for the Champions Tour and proceeded to win three of his first five tournaments.
Tom LoPresti of Sacramento, Calif., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1962. LoPresti was the head golf professional of Haggin Oaks Golf Club from 1931 until his death in 1996. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Hardy Loudermilk of San Antonio, Texas, was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1968. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Loudermilk held numerous offices at the PGA Section level including the president of the Southwest Section (composed of Arizona and New Mexico). Loudermilk was secretary–treasurer of the Texas Section and in line for the presidency when The PGA divided the state into two sections in 1967. In 1968, he was elected the first president of the Southern Texas PGA Section. Loudermilk was inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 1978.
Walter Lowell of Canton, Conn., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1978. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
One of the founding members of The PGA of America, Jack Mackie is the longest–serving Officer in the history of the Association. It is believed that Mackie, who followed Robert White as PGA President in 1919, also served as PGA Vice President in 1918 and 1919, then again from 1922–1925. From 1927–1939, he was the PGA’s Treasurer, developing a reputation as a penurious Scot who examined and re–examined each and every expenditure of the nascent organization. Mackie was appointed to serve as a "consultant" on the Rules of Golf to the United States Golf Association and was a member of The PGA’s influential Manufacturers’ Relations Committee. Mackie served for many years as PGA Professional at Inwood Country Club on Long Island, N.Y. He was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Hank Majewski of Westminster, Md., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1988. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Born in Texas in 1914, Lloyd Mangrum never had an amateur golf career. He started working as an assistant professional to his brother, Ray, the head professional at Cliff–Dale Country Club in Dallas at the age of 15. He joined the professional tour in 1937 and broke through for his first victory in the 1940 Thomasville Open.
Like so many golfers of his era, Mangrum’s career was interrupted when he entered the military service during World War II. Mangrum served his country with distinction as a staff sergeant in the Third Army. During the invasion of Normandy, his jeep overturned and his arm was broken in two places. Mangrum also suffered shrapnel wounds to his chin and knee during the Battle of the Bulge. He returned home from the war in 1945 with four battle stars and two Purple Hearts.
After the war, Mangrum returned to golf, and won the first post–war U.S. Open in 1946, defeating Byron Nelson and Vic Ghezzi in a playoff at Canterbury Country Club in Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1948, Mangrum had one of his best years when he won six times and finished in the top 10 in 21 of the tournaments he entered. Long a contender for the game’s top honors, Mangrum lost in a three–man playoff to Ben Hogan in the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club outside Philadelphia.
Mangrum was the tour’s leading money winner in 1951 and also won the Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average that year. He was named to six U.S. Ryder Cup Teams and served as captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup Team in 1953.
Graduating from North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in forestry, Will Mann began his career in golf as a course superintendent. As PGA President from 1999–2000, he provided the Association with the leadership and business perspective of an experienced and successful director of golf, golf course superintendent and golf course owner. Highly active throughout his career, Mann was a member of the PGA’s Policies and Procedures Committee, Membership Committee and Membership Steering Committee. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Jim Manthis of St. Paul, Minn., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 2006. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2009.
Manthis turned professional in 1964, and was elected to PGA membership in 1969, the same year that he founded the Assistants Association in the Minnesota PGA Section. For the next two decades, Manthis become one of the most active members of the Section. He served three terms on the Board of Directors from 1974 through 1994; as Section president from 1983–84; as District 8 Director (1987–90); as a member of the Board of Control (1993–97); and as a member of the PGA Membership Committee (2001–03).
Manthis was named Minnesota PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1984, Minnesota PGA Section Bill Strausbaugh Award winner in 1992 and on the course, was named 1993 Minnesota Section Senior Player of the Year. He earned PGA Master Professional status in 1997.
Manthis has won every Minnesota major state golf event, including three top–10 finishes in the Minnesota Public Links Championship, and in 1993 captured the Senior Stroke and Match Play Championships. He also was the 1981 Section Match Play Champion and the 1999 Wisconsin Senior Stroke Play Champion.
One of the world’s top players between 1910 and 1914, Johnny McDermott was the first U.S.-born golfer to win the U.S. Open, in 1911 and 1912, and he remains the youngest-ever champion of that event, at age 19. He was the first player to break par over 72 holes in a significant event, which he did at the 1912 U.S. Open.
Success was short-lived for McDermott. In 1914, he traveled overseas to compete in the British Open, but because of travel difficulties, he arrived too late to play. On his way home his ship collided with another vessel in the English Channel. The ship returned to port and the passengers were transferred to another ship the next day. This incident had a serious effect upon him. When he return to his home facility, the Atlantic City Country Club, where he was the club professional, he blacked out. At 23 years old, he spent the rest of his life in mental hospitals and rest homes, or living with his family in Philadelphia, suffering from mental illness. He never played golf again, retiring from competition in 1914.
Fred McLeod was a Scottish–American golfer who, despite having little success in Scotland, had a distinguished career in the United States. McLeod, who won the 1908 U.S. Open at Myopia Hunt Club in South Hamilton, Mass., competed in the U.S. Open twenty–two times and had eight top–ten finishes. He was a member of the group of senior professionals which established the senor division of The PGA of America in 1937, and in 1938 he won the second staging of the PGA Seniors’ Championship. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Nicknamed "The Little Pro," and recognized by his trademark Tam o’shanter cap, long–sleeve white shirt and tie, Merrins is one of only 16 members of the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame. A 1955 graduate of Louisiana State University, Merrins has taught more than 48,000 lessons – to a group of students that span the Hollywood stars as well as many of today's foremost Tour professionals during a 44–year term as PGA head professional at Bel Air Country Club in Los Angeles. Merrins credited his career being ignited in 1957 by serving as an assistant professional at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., which helped him advance to further positions and prominence in the golf professional community.
He was elected to PGA membership in 1961. Merrins competed in more than 200 professional events, including six PGA Championships, eight U.S. Opens and six PGA Professional National Championships. During his term of service at Bel Air Country Club, Merrins "moonlighted" for 14 seasons (1975–89) as head coach of the UCLA men’s golf team, guiding the Bruins to 60 tournament victories, some 30 individual titles, mentoring 16 NCAA All–Americans and capped by the Bruins winning the 1988 NCAA Championship. Among his students were 2010 Ryder Cup Captain Corey Pavin and Tour professional Duffy Waldorf.
He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2009.
Cary Middlecoff is often remembered for his glacial pace of play, his occasionally volcanic temper and his nickname, Doc, which he earned for being a qualified dentist. What he should be remembered as is one of the few players ever to master the game young and then never loose his grip on it.
Middlecoff won his third tournament as a professional, in 1947, and at least one more in every year until his retirement in 1961. In all he won 40 times on the PGA Tour, including a U.S. Open and two Masters titles. Middlecoff won the Memphis City Championship and Tennessee State Amateur while still a teenager, took one collegiate tournament by 29 strokes while at the University of Mississippi and later became the first amateur to win the North and South Open, in 1945, while playing in the final group with Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen.
Middlecoff had nearly given up golf for dentistry when World War II convinced him otherwise. After serving 18 months of active duty and filling some 7,000 teeth, he decided to give the professional tour a whirl with the caveat that if he wasn’t successful within two years he would go back to drilling teeth instead of 2–irons. At the Charlotte Open in his rookie year, Middlecoff tied the course record in the final round and took home the $2,000 winner’s check. He never looked back.
Two years later, he won his first major, the 1949 U.S. Open at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club. The most dominant performance of Middlecoff’s career came at the 1955 Masters, which he won by a then–record seven strokes, stoked by an 86–foot putt for eagle on the 13th during the third round. When he held off Ben Hogan and Julius Boros at the next year’s U.S. Open at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., Middlecoff established himself as one of the premier golfers of the 1950s.
Middlecoff was a pithy commentator on the game and worked for several years as a television analyst. Among his more memorable phrases were, "Nobody wins the Open. It wins you," and "Anyone who hasn’t been nervous, or hasn’t choked somewhere down the line, is an idiot." Middlecoff’s theories on the golf swing, collected in a book appropriately entitled "The Golf Swing," are considered among the most accessible ever written.
A caddie at age 10, Harry Moffitt’s first professional job was at Bay View Park in his native Toledo. Moffitt helped develop many fine players and was known for running an excellent golf shop. During Moffitt’s tenure as PGA President (1955–1957), both merchandising and education programs were begun. Moffitt was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Tony Morosco of Weston, Mass., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 2001. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Howard Morrette of Kent, Ohio, was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1972. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Ken Morton, Sr. is a native of Sacramento, Calif., was named PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1998. Morton started in the golf profession as a caddy when he was just 11 years old. He caddied, worked in the shop, repaired golf clubs and picked up the driving range at Del Paso while attending El Camino High School. He won the Northern California High School Championship and later won the California State Junior College Championship while attending Sacramento City College. Morton started working part-time for 1962 PGA Golf Professional of the Year Tom Lo Presti at Haggin Oaks and is still there more than 50 years later.
In 1978, Morton was asked to become a member of the PGA of America’s Education Faculty. A PGA Master Professional, Morton was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005 for his contributions to The PGA, the game of golf and its members.
Jerry Mowlds of Portland, Ore., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1984. Mowlds was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Jim Mrva, who for more than 30 years has mentored aspiring PGA Professionals and countless youth, was the 2010 recipient of the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award. A 34-year member of The PGA of America, Mrva joins Craig Harmon of Rochester, N.Y. (2004) as the members of the Western New York PGA Section to be honored as PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
One of the most decorated Western New York PGA members, Mrva was named the 1998 Section PGA Professional of the Year; served 12 years on the Section board, including 2002-03 as president; was a three-time Section Merchandiser of the Year recipient (1988, '93, 2006); Section Junior Golf Leader (1986); Horton Smith Award (1996-97); Bill Strausbaugh Award (2008); and the 2003 Community Service Award. In 2007, Mrva was inducted into the Western New York PGA Section Hall of Fame.
Elected to PGA membership in 1978, Mrva was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2013.
Wally Mund of St. Paul, Minn., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1969. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Dick Murphy of Atlanta, Ga., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1994. Murphy was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
One of golf’s most revered gentlemen, “Lord” Byron Nelson is remembered for the “Year of the Streak,” in which he won a record 11 consecutive tournaments, en route to capturing 18 victories and seven second–place finishes in 1945. Described as “The Greatest Year in Golf,” Nelson shot an amazing 19 consecutive competitive rounds of golf under 70, while his 68.33 stroke average set a record that stood for 55 years.
In 1935, Nelson became a PGA member as an assistant professional at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J. From 1942–1946, Nelson earned 65 consecutive top–10s, including 34 victories and 16 runner–up finishes. He ended his full schedule on the Tour at age 34, following six victories in 1946.
Nelson is sixth on the all–time list for victories, winning 52 tournaments, including five majors – 1940 and 1945 PGA Championship; 1937 and 1942 Masters; and the 1939 U.S. Open. He competed in five PGA Championship match play finals, tying Sam Snead for the second most appearances ever.
From 1941–1949, Nelson made 113 consecutive cuts, a record eclipsed by Tiger Woods in 2004. The 1939 Vardon Trophy winner, Nelson played for two victorious U.S. Ryder Cup teams as a player (1937 and 1947). One of only seven people to be named Associated Press “Athlete of the Year” twice, Nelson mentored both Tom Watson and Ken Venturi.
Using muscles in his hips and legs, an upright swing, full shoulder turn and bent knees, Nelson is credited with creating the modern golf swing. He was also the first to develop a golf swing for steel shafted golf clubs, as the game switched over from hickory clubs. In 1966, True Temper created the “Iron Byron Swing Machine,” a robot that replicated Nelson’s famous swing and was used to create True Temper golf equipment and align other manufacturers clubs with True Temper shafts. The USGA also used the Iron Byron for golf equipment and ball testing. In 1942, he worked with the Hass–Jordan Company to develop an oversized golf umbrella.
Born Feb. 4, 1912, in Waxahachie, Texas, Nelson started as a caddie at Glen Garden Country Club in Ft. Worth, where he met another fellow caddie, Ben Hogan. After Nelson retired from the Tour, he became a fixture on ABC as the game’s first television analyst. His namesake HP Byron Nelson Championship has raised more than $116 million for charity, more than any other tournament.
Nelson’s 71 years of service to The PGA ranked sixth–longest at the time of his death in 2006.
Considered by many as the greatest golfer in the history of the game, “The Golden Bear” holds the record for the most majors won with 18. His record sixth conquest of the Masters in 1986, at the age of 46, is one of storybook legend, as Nicklaus became the oldest person to ever earn a Green Jacket.
Nicklaus raised the Wanamaker Trophy as PGA Champion five times, which ties him with Walter Hagen for the most PGA Championship titles in history.
Instrumental in promoting the expansion of all of Europe in the Ryder Cup, Nicklaus also displayed one of the most famous gestures of sportsmanship by conceding a two–foot putt to Great Britain’s Tony Jacklin at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in 1969, to secure the first tie in Ryder Cup history. Great Britain had previously lost 12 out of the past 13 Ryder Cups and the competition teetered on the brink. Nicklaus captained the U.S. Ryder Cup Teams in 1983 and 1987, and played on a total of six U.S. Ryder Cup teams. His 17–8–3 record in Ryder Cup play is tied for the fourth most wins in history.
The 2000 PGA Distinguished Service Award recipient, Nicklaus also captured the 1991 Senior PGA Championship at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and was named PGA Player of the Year on five occasions.
Trained under the wing of legendary PGA Professional Jack Grout, Nicklaus won the U.S. Amateur in 1959 and 1961. After a career highlighted by 73 official Tour victories, Nicklaus became one of the world’s foremost golf course architects and a true ambassador for the game.
Joe Novak began caddying at age 7 and took his first job as a professional at age 16 at Butte (Mont.) Country Club. In 1918, he headed west, ending up in Spokane, Wash. Novak competed in the 1922, 1924 and 1925 U.S. Opens, and then moved to Bel Air Country Club in Los Angeles in 1927. Novak was the first to teach golf over the radio, in 1924. During the Great Depression he attended law school and passed the bar exam. Dudley was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Considered one of the most inspiring and engaging members in Illinois PGA Section history, Bill Ogden took great pride in mentoring young PGA Professionals. Ogden, who turned professional in 1950, spent 40 years at North Shore Country Club in Chicago, and completed a special term of service within the Illinois PGA Section. Throughout his career, he had 43 PGA assistant professionals go on to earn head professional positions.
Ogden was the 1970 Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year and served as Section president. In 1990, Ogden was inducted into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame and the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame. He captured a record six Illinois PGA Player of the Year titles and competed in 31 major championships between 1953 and 1972.
Among Ogden's playing accomplishments was tying for third in the 1956 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am and sharing fourth in the 1968 Tucson Open. He won 18 Illinois PGA titles, and is the only Illinois golfer to win the Illinois Open, PGA Medal Play, PGA Match Play, and Assistant Championship.
Ogden retired in 1994 and passed away at age 78, on June 24, 2005. He was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2013.
David Ogilvie of Flossmoor, Ill., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1986. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Ogilvie served the Illinois PGA Section in every capacity including president for the 1985–1986 terms. A recipient of the Illinois PGA Section’s Horton Smith Award, he was voted Illinois PGA Professional of the Year a record three times.
Jock Olson of Edina, Minn., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 2002. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
A native of Marshalltown, Iowa, Olson learned the game from his parents. He graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1972 in communications and began his professional golf career a year later as an assistant at Des Moines (Iowa) Golf & Country Club.
In 1976, Olson was named head professional at Burlington (Iowa) Golf Club, and served until 1981. He became head professional at Cedar Rapids Country Club in 1982 and remained until 1993 when he became only the fifth head professional in the history of Interlachen Country Club, a course that hosted the 1930 U.S. Open – the third leg of legendary Bobby Jones’ Grand Slam.
Olson was a committee member of four PGA Teaching & Coaching Summits and was selected by Golf Digest in 2000 and 2001 as one of Minnesota’s "Greatest Teachers."
He is a past recipient of the Iowa PGA Golf Professional of the Year (1986), PGA Teacher of the Year (1985), and Horton Smith Award (1982); and also is winner of the 1999 Minnesota PGA Horton Smith Award.
Olson served as officer of the Iowa PGA Section from 1982 to 1989, and was a candidate for national PGA secretary in 1998.
M.G. Orender’s passion for promoting golf to tomorrow’s players has been reflected through his years of service to The PGA of America and in taking a leadership role in launching Play Golf America, the showcase player development program of the Association. Orender’s vision has resulted in helping many people to take up the game and others to return to it. Orender also brought his perspective as a multi–course operator to his years as a PGA Officer, serving as president from 2003–2004. Orender was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Warren Orlick began caddying at age 9 at Grosse Isle Golf and Country Club outside of Detroit and would eventually serve for many years as PGA head professional at Tam O’Shanter Country Club in Orchard Lake, Mich. Named the 1960 PGA Golf Professional of the Year, Orlick was very active in the Michigan PGA Section, serving as president for three years. A highly respected authority on the Rules of Golf, Orlick held long tenures on both the PGA of America and Masters Rules committees, and was Rules Chairman for the Ryder Cup. Orlick, who served as president of the Association from 1971–1972, was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Don Padgett began his career as PGA head professional at the American Legion Golf Course in New Castle, Ind. Three years later, he became PGA head professional at Green Hill Country Club in Selma, Ind., where he served for 23 years. Padgett was a six–time president of the Indiana PGA Section and was the 1961 PGA Golf Professional of the Year. During his six years as a national officer, including president from 1977–1978, he served on the tournament policy board. Padgett was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Ranked fifth on the all–time Tour win list with 62 victories, Arnold “The King” Palmer was one of the most beloved players to grace the game, as he emerged as golf’s first television star.
Palmer won 7 majors, including four Masters, 2 Open Championships and one U.S. Open, in a span of just seven years. He captured the 1954 U.S. Amateur after a 3–year stint in the U.S. Coast Guard. A four–time winner of the Vardon Trophy and two–time PGA Player of the Year, Palmer received the PGA Distinguished Service Award in 1994. Palmer won the 1980 Senior PGA Championship with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff with Paul Harney. His emergence then on the newly formed Senior PGA Tour (now the Champions Tour) further catapulted golf’s popularity.
The massive and wildly enthusiastic galleries that followed Palmer earned the nickname “Arnie’s Army.” From 1960–1963, Palmer captured 29 wins on Tour, and by 1967, he became the first man to earn $1 million in career earnings. In 1960, he was named Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year.” Winning more matches (22) than any other American ever, he played on a total of six Ryder Cup Teams. The last person to serve as U.S. Ryder Cup Player Captain in 1963, Palmer was simultaneously the youngest captain ever at age 34. Palmer was also named Captain a second time in 1975.
A part of “The Big Three” with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, Palmer brought the game’s popularity to the world stage. Palmer helped launch The Golf Channel and built the first golf course ever in China, which laid the foundation for the launch of the Arnold Palmer Design Company. In 2004, Palmer received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Palmer learned the game from his father, PGA Professional Milfred “Deacon” Palmer in their hometown of Latrobe, Penn. Along with Marvin “Buddy” Worsham, Arnold Palmer laid the foundation for the famed Wake Forest University golf program, where he won back–to–back NCAA National Championships as an individual medalist in 1949 and 1950.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational at his Bay Hill Club and Lodge is one of the most respected tournaments in the game, and benefits the Arnold Palmer Medical Center in Orlando, which was founded on his 60th birthday and has treated more than 1.5 million patients. A pop culture icon, he is also the inventor of the popular “Arnold Palmer” beverage, a combination of ice tea and lemonade.
A gentle, modest and unassuming man, Penick was one of the game’s legendary PGA teaching professionals. Penick made Austin (Texas) Country Club one of the country’s most recognized centers for golf instruction. He began his golf career as a caddie at Austin Country Club at age 8, and became the club’s assistant professional five years later. He was promoted to head professional in 1923, a role where he remained until 1973.
Penick was recipient of the 1989 PGA Teacher of the Year, an honor coming after some 40 years of guiding players to championship caliber. In 2002, Penick was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
From 1931 to 1963, Penick was coach of the University of Texas golf team. Among his well–known pupils were Ed White, Betty Jameson, Betsy Rawls, Mickey Wright, all–time women’s professional golf victory leader Kathy Whitworth, former U.S. Open Champion Tom Kite, two–time Masters Champion Ben Crenshaw, who won the 1995 Masters less than a week after Penick’s death, and Sandra Palmer.
Harvey authorized four golf instruction books with millions of copies in print.
Harry Pezzullo of Northbrook, Ill., was elected to PGA membership in 1947. He served 25 years as PGA head professional at Mission Hills Golf Course in Northbrook, Ill. He also was elected as vice president of The PGA (1958–59), and served for 17 years as Illinois PGA Section president. In 1958, he received the Association’s highest honor, the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award. Pezzullo was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Inducted into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame in 1991, Pezzullo also became the second golfer ever elected to the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame in 1984. In 1996, he was inducted into the Palm Beach County (Fla.) Sports Hall of Fame.
Henry Gilford Picard as born in Plymouth, Mass., and learned to play while caddying at the Plymouth Country Club. He was a leading player on the PGA Tour in the 1930s and won two major championships, the 1938 Masters Tournament and the 1939 PGA Championship. Picard played on both the 1935 and 1937 Ryder Cup teams winning both singles matches and one of two doubles.
Picard was the club professional at a number of facilities during his career, retiring in 1973. He was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in April 2006 and inducted in October that year.
A native of Scotland, Pirie was the professional at the Old Elm Club, an exclusive facility in north suburban Chicago. During his tenure as PGA President (1927–1930), member dues were raised from $10 to $50 and Albert Gates was hired as the first business administrator and legal advisor to the Association. Pirie’s cousin, Jack, served as secretary of The PGA of America. He was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
A 1938 graduate of Duke University, Henry Poe was the PGA head professional at Reading (Pa.) Country Club for 26 years and served as President of the Philadelphia PGA Section from 1957–1959. He became affiliated with Vanity Fair Mills in 1966 and was professional for two courses in southwest Alabama. During his PGA Presidency (1975–1976), Poe formed the Club Professional Relations Department, designed to handle employment matters for the Association. Poe was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Bob Popp of Omaha, Neb., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1982. Popp was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
A college golf star, Mickey Powell began his career as an assistant professional at the Country Club of Indianapolis in 1961, and was later the PGA head professional at Otter Creek Golf Course in Columbus, Ind. He then constructed the Golf Club of Indiana, becoming co–owner and PGA head professional. Twice the president of the Indiana PGA Section and the 1972 Section Golf Professional of the Year, Powell served on numerous national committees before being elected PGA President in 1985. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
William J. "Bill" Powell was the leader of a resolute campaign to make the game of golf "color blind" by building Clearview Golf Club of East Canton, Ohio. He remains the only African-American to build, own and operate a golf course in the United States.
Born Nov. 22, 1916, the grandson of Alabama slaves and in the birth year of The PGA of America, Powell's life journey began as his family moved to Minerva, Ohio, when he was 3. Powell discovered a love for golf at age 9, by playing and caddying at Edgewater Golf Course. He became a multi-sport athlete at Minerva High School.
At age 16, Powell hitchhiked 42 miles round trip to compete in a junior event at Orchard Hills Country Club (now Arrowhead Country Club) in north Canton. Though initially denied entry, he waited two hours before officials granted him access. He went on to finish third in the tournament.
Powell served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, attaining the rank of Tech Sergeant. Returning home after the war, Powell found clubhouse doors were not open to him. Powell received the financial support of two black physicians in Canton and Massillon, Ohio, to break ground on a public golf course. In April 1948, nine holes opened for play on what was once dairy farmland. Powell said of Clearview, "It is where the only color that matters is the color of the greens."
Powell was the recipient of the 2009 PGA Distinguished Service Award.
Powell, passed away at age 93 on Dec. 31, 2009. He was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2013.
David C. Price of Dallas, was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1995. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
The first member of the New England PGA Section to ascend to the office of president of The PGA of America, Jim Remy was born in Leominster, Mass. He was a professional skier before accepting an unlikely job offer from PGA Head Professional Ray Lajoie at Worcester (Mass.) Country Club, site of the first Ryder Cup. Earning PGA membership in 1984, Remy gained his first PGA head professional position in 1985 at Killington Golf Resort in Vermont, and since 1997 has been in various managerial positions at the Okemo Golf Division of the Okemo Mountain Resort. Today he is the vice president and general manager of that division.
Remy has long been an active member of the New England PGA Section, serving as president from 1995-97, and went on to serve an unprecedented 6 1/2-year term on the PGA Board of Control. He was elected PGA Secretary in 2004 and became president in 2008, during a worldwide recession. Remy, who traveled 850 days during his six years as a PGA officer, spent much of his two-year presidency focusing on "resetting" The PGA's priorities to bring individuals back to golf; and supporting the government relations program, WE ARE GOLF, to bring attention to legislative and public affairs goals of the industry.
Remy highlighted his presidency by advocating fitness among youth and promoting golf as a recreational sport. He also welcomed three African-American golf pioneers with posthumous membership into The PGA of America. Remy was named the 1997 New England PGA Golf Professional of the Year and was inducted into the Section Hall of Fame in 2008.
He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2011.
Like most professional golfers of his time, Johnny Revolta started out as a club professional. He was a member of the PGA Tour from 1935 –1952. His best year was 1935, when he won the PGA Championship, Western Open and three other tournaments, and led the PGA Tour’s money list. In the 1935 PGA Championship he beat Tommy Armour 5 & 4. He won a total of 18 times on the PGA Tour. Revolta also played on the 1935 and 1937 U.S. Ryder Cup Teams and was named to the PGA Hall of Fame in 1963.
A former lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, Pat Rielly went on to captain the Penn State University golf team and receive his business degree. After moving to California, he served on the Southern California PGA Section Board of Directors for 11 consecutive years, and also was the Section’s treasurer, secretary and president. The Section honored Rielly three times as its Professional of the Year. His PGA presidency (1989–1990) culminated more than 25 years of dedication to the Association. Rielly was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Slight at 5 feet, 7 inches, 125 pounds, Paul Runyan could produce little power – he barely averaged 230 yards off the tee. But Runyan was deadly straight, a tremendously accurate fairway–wood player and reliable with the irons. Around and on the greens, he was an absolute genius. Throw in killer instinct and Depression–bred toughness and you get the golfer known as "Little Poison."
Between 1930 and 1941, Runyan won 29 times on the PGA Tour. In 1933, he racked up nine victories and, in 1934, he won six more and captured the money title the first year such records were kept with a total of $6,767.
He also won the 1934 PGA Championship, beating Craig Wood on the 38th hole. Four years later at Shawnee–on–Delaware, Pa., he won the PGA Championship again, defeating Sam Snead in the final, 8 and 7. Runyan was 24–under par for the 196 holes he played, including 64 consecutive holes without going over par.
Runyan won the Senior PGA Championship in 1961 and 1962 and was equally renowned as an instructor.
As a competitor and innovator, Gene Sarazen spanned golf history like no other great American player. From pugnacious whiz kid to equipment innovator to mature champion to senior statesman, Sarazen, who died May 13, 1999, remained a presence well into his 90s. When he was not hitting the opening drive at the Masters each year, his ageless wit was a living bridge to the memories of Vardon, Hagen and Jones.
He was born Eugenio Saraceni, the son of an Italian carpenter from Rome, Feb. 27, 1902, in Harrison, N.Y. He dropped out of school in sixth grade and turned pro at 19. It was then that he changed his name to Sarazen because, he once said, "It sounded like a golfer."
At 5 feet, 5 inches, and 145 pounds, Sarazen was the shortest of golf’s great champions. But he was solidly built and possessed a tremendous competitive heart. In 1922, at the age of 20, he arrived at Skokie C.C. for his first U.S. Open and won, birdieing the final hole and becoming, with a closing 68, the first player to shoot under 70 in the final round to win. Later in the year, he won the PGA Championship at Oakmont. He then challenged Walter Hagen to a 72–hole mano a mano for the "world championship" and beat history’s greatest match player. In 1932, he won both the British Open at Sandwich and the U.S. Open at Fresh Meadow, where he played the last 28 holes in 100 strokes, posting a closing round of 66 that would be a record for a winner until 1960.
"When Sarazen saw a chance at the bacon hanging over the last green," wrote his friend, Bob Jones, "he could put as much fire and fury into a finishing round as Jack Dempsey could put into a fight."
In 1935, Sarazen became the first player to win the modern Grand Slam by capturing the Masters. In the final round of that tournament, he hit the most famous shot ever in major championship golf, holing a 4–wood from 235 yards away for a double–eagle 2 on the 15th hole that tied him with Craig Wood, whom he defeated the next day in a playoff. The "shot heard round the world" helped put the Masters on the map.
Altogether, Sarazen won seven major championships among his more than 50 victories around the world and as late as 1940 nearly won his third U.S. Open, losing to Lawson Little in a playoff. He was known for his compact but ferocious swing, the grim delight he seemed to take from competition and his fast play. In 1947, he and George Fazio played a round at Augusta National in one hour and 57 minutes.
But as great as Sarazen’s playing record, he did as much for the game with his innovative nature. Taking a tip from Ty Cobb, he developed a weighted practice club in 1929. In 1931, while being taught by Howard Hughes how to fly a plane, Sarazen noticed the tail adjusting downward during takeoff and came upon the idea for the modern sand wedge, which he spent months perfecting. He later called it his biggest contribution to golf. Later, he lobbied unsuccessfully to have the hole enlarged from 4 inches in diameter to eight.
Sarazen was perhaps the greatest early ambassador of golf among American pros, playing exhibitions all over the world. He earned his nickname, "The Squire," after he bought a farm for his family in upstate New York. In the early ’60s, he came back into the public eye as the host of Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf.In 1973, on the 50th anniversary of his first appearance in the British Open, the 71–year–old Sarazen made a hole in one with a punched 5–iron at the short par 3, eighth hole, known as the Postage Stamp, at Troon. In 1992, he was presented the Bob Jones Award from the United States Golf Association.
An assistant to legendary golfer Harry Vardon in England before emigrating to the United States, George Sargent served as a professional at notable American courses such as Interlachen (Minneapolis area), Scioto (Columbus, Ohio) and Chevy Chase (Washington D.C. area). An excellent player, Sargent won the 1909 U.S. Open and the 1912 Canadian Open. He was vice president, then president of the Northwest PGA Section, before serving as President of The PGA of America from 1921–1926. He was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Harold Sargent started in golf as a caddie at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio. He served as assistant professional at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta from 1932–1947, then went on to serve as PGA head professional at East Lake and The Atlanta Athletic Club. During Sargent’s time as PGA President (1958–1960), the PGA Championship changed from a match play format to a stroke play format and he started a pension program for employees. Sargent was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
A native of San Diego, Calif., Sargent was named PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1997. He was also honored as the PGA Junior Golf Leader in 1989. A PGA member since 1981, Tom Sargent has been one of the most active members of the Southern California PGA Section - covering virtually all leadership positions as well as being a certified Rules official for both The PGA of America and the USGA.
Since 1982, Sargent has been a member of the Southern California PGA Board of Directors and has been president of the Section Junior Golf Advisory Board since 1991. Sargent won the 1991 Section Golf Professional of the Year Award, 1991 Section Horton Smith Award, and is a three-time (1986, ’91, ’95) Section Teacher of the Year.
The first PGA President (1993–1994) from the Carolinas PGA Section, Gary Schaal has owned and operated golf facilities throughout South Carolina. He served as president of the Carolinas PGA Section from 1985–1986, was the Section’s Golf Professional of the Year in 1985 and twice earned the Section’s Horton Smith Award for outstanding contributions to PGA member education. Schaal chaired numerous national committees, playing an active role in the growth and expansion of the Association. Schaal was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Harry Shepard of Elmira, N.Y., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1956. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Grady Shumate of Clemmons, N.C., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1970. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Denny Shute was quiet, reserved and unassuming in life, but his golf record spoke for itself.
Shute, whose father gave him his first set of clubs at just 30 months old, was a quick study. The son of an English professional, young Shute learned the game in Huntington, West Virginia. He won his first WV State Amateur as a teenager in 1923, then won it again in 1925, and in 1927 added the Ohio Amateur.
In a 10–year span, beginning in 1929, Shute won three major championships – the 1933 British Open Championship and back–to–back PGA Championships in 1936–37. He claimed 12 additional PGA titles and competed on three U.S. Ryder Cup Teams.
Shute, nicknamed "The Human Icicle" because of his reticent and even–tempered manner, was among the shorter drivers of his era, but was deadly accurate with his iron play.
A. Hubert Smith of Tullahoma, Tenn., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1969. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Alex Smith was a member of a famous Scottish golfing family. His brother, Willie, won the U.S. Open in 1899, and Alex won it in both 1906 and 1910. Like many British professionals of his era, he spent much of his adult life working as a club professional in the United States.
In 1901, Smith lost to Willie Anderson in a playoff for the U.S. Open title. Smith’s 1906 U.S. Open victory came at the Onwentsia Club in Lake Forest, Ill. His 72–hole score of 295 was the lowest at either the U.S. Open or the British Open up to that time, and he won $300. The 1910 U.S. Open was played at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, and Smith won a three–man playoff against American John McDermott and another of his own brothers, Macdonald Smith. Alex Smith played in 18 U.S. Opens and accumulated 11 top–10 finishes. Smith also won the Western Open twice and the Metropolitan Open four times.
A five–time Philadelphia PGA Section Champion, Dick Smith won more than 25 championships during his career. He captured the Section Player of the Year Award six times and served as section president from 1978–1980. As a member of the PGA Board of Directors and a PGA Officer, he chaired numerous committees. As PGA President (1991–1992), Smith presided over a highly successful 75th anniversary of the Association. Smith was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Horton Smith was the first tournament star of the modern era to become a successful club professional.
In 1929, at age 21, he won seven tournaments and would go on to win 30 titles during his career, including the first Masters Tournament in 1934.
While PGA President from 1952–1954, Smith devoted much of his efforts to improving educational programs for PGA members. Since 1965, The PGA of America has annually presented the Horton Smith Award to an individual PGA Professional for outstanding and continuing contributions to professional education. Smith is also a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Macdonald "Mac" Smith was one of the top golfers in the world from about 1910 to the mid–1930s. He was a member of a famous Scottish golfing family. Born in Scotland, where he learned his golf on the famous Carnoustie Golf Links, Smith emigrated to the United States while still in his teens, to seek golf opportunities. Two of his brothers won the U.S. Open: Willie, in 1899 and Alex, in both 1906 and 1910. Brothers George and Jim also played golf at a very high standard.
Macdonald Smith lost a playoff in the 1910 U.S. Open to brother Alex.
Smith won 24 times on the early PGA Tour, but never won a major championship, trailing only Harry "Light Horse" Cooper for most wins without a major. He finished 17 times in the top 10 in majors, including second place finishes at the 1930 U.S. Open and the 1930 and 1932 British Open. He did win the Western Open three times, in 1912, 1925, and 1933, when it was a prestigious tournament rivaling the majors in stature. His four wins in the Los Angeles Open, another top event which featured strong fields, were also significant.
Warren Smith of Englewood, Colo., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1973. Smith served both the Central Texas PGA Section and Colorado PGA Section as president. He was named to the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 1978, and the Colorado PGA Section’s l Lifetime Achievement award was named for him and he was its first recipient in 1986. Smith was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
In more than 50 years as an active competitor, Sam Snead won a record 82 official PGA Tou events, and he can safely claim more than 140 worldwide. Nicknamed "The Slammer" for the strength of his shots, he won seven major championships.
As a boy, who preferred to go barefoot, he learned golf in much the same way, and on those rare occasions when his rhythm was off, he could regain it by removing his shoes and socks, as he did for nine holes at the 1942 Masters.
A country boy from the hills of Virginia, Snead got his first assistant professional job at 19 at The Homestead resort in Hot Springs, Va., moved to The Greenbrier in West Virginaa 1935 as the playing professional, and in 1936, joined the PGA Tour.
He won four times in 1937, and eight times in 1938. In all, Snead won won three Masters, three PGA Championships and the British Open in 1946 at St. Andrews. But he never won the U.S. Open, finishing second four times.
He played on seven U.S. Ryder Cup teams and was the Team Captain three times.
In 1965, Snead, at 52 years and 10 months, became the oldest winner of a PGA Tour event when he won the Greater Greensboro Open for the eighth time.
Don Soper of Royal Oak, Mich., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1977. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Bill Strausbaugh Jr. of Ellicott City, Md., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1966. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Starting in golf as a caddie at age 9 at Urbana (Ill.) Country Club, Lou Strong became the assistant professional at the club in 1930 and head professional in 1935. He later served as head professional at Park Ridge (Ill.) Country Club and Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y. Instrumental in moving PGA Headquarters to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., following his PGA Presidency (1961–1963), Strong later became director of golf at PGA National Golf Club. He was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Stan Thirst of Shawnee Mission, Kan., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1980. Thirst was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
One of the most popular and unforgettable golf instructors of any era, Bob Toski has always been a competitor, whether on the course or challenging students on the practice tee. At age 86 and celebrating 65 years as a PGA Professional, Toski continues to be a remarkable ball striker. He has lost little of his skills from his youth, recently posting a 73 on a 6,400-yard, par-72 course.
Inducted in 1990 into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame, Toski is the only one among that elite roster of instructors to capture a PGA Tour money title (1954). Though checking in at 118 pounds in his youth, Toski was considered one of the longest pound-for-pound drivers. He competed in 21 major championships, and won 11 overall events on the PGA and Champions Tours.
Toski was elected to PGA membership in November 1947. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2013.
Walter Travis did not hit his first golf ball until he was 35, yet one month later he won his first tournament and two years later he reached the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur. Within four years of picking up a club for the first time, Travis won the first of three U.S. Amateurs. He also was the first American citizen to win the British Amateur.
Weighing no more than 140 pounds with small hands and slender wrists, Travis relied on cunning and his short game to excel at match play. He made up for a lack in size by simply outputting and outworking everybody. Travis thrived in match play because he was mentally stronger than most of his opponents.
Born in Australia, Travis came to the United States and made a substantial income in the hardware business. He played cricket and lawn tennis as a young man, without much success, and became hooked on golf after a visit to England in 1896. His first U.S. Amateur victory came in 1900 at Garden City Golf Club on Long Island, and he won again in 1901 and 1903.
In 1902, he set a U.S. Open record by shooting 75–74––149 for the final two rounds. The second–place finish to Laurie Auchterlonie was the highest by an amateur in the Open.
Ernie Vossler of Oklahoma City, Okla., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1967. He was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Vossler began playing golf professionally in 1955 and had his best finish in the 1959 U.S. Open where he was tied for fifth. He also competed in the 1961 PGA Championship at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club where he tied for 15th.
Tom Walsh started in golf as a caddie at Beverly Country Club in Chicago. After serving in the United States Navy, he became the director of golf at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club in 1919. He opened the Walsh Brothers Golf School in 1926. One year later, he purchased land to construct Westgate Valley Country Club. He served as golf director of the Chicago Park District and helped organize the Chicago Tribune "Free Golf School." Walsh was inducted posthumously into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
A native of Galesburg, Ill., Roger Warren was a high school teacher for the Dundee Illinois School System from 1973–1986 and coached basketball and golf for 18 years. His background served as a cornerstone for his commitment to lifelong learning for PGA Professionals through both the Professional Golf Management and Certified Professional programs. Warren, who served as PGA President from 2005–2006, was a driving force behind the launch of PGA PerformanceTrak, which provides PGA Professionals with realtime industry data and information to further enhance their business acumen. Warren was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2006.
Lyle O. Wehrman of Merced, Calif., was named the PGA Golf Professional of the Year, in 1964. Wehrman served the Northern California PGA Section as president from 1962 to 1964 and was national PGA vice president from 1968 to 1970. He was named NCPGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1963 and 1964. Wehrman was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.
Through Town Halls at PGA Sections and other major PGA gatherings, Brian Whitcomb of Bend, Ore., helped strengthen the bonds among PGA members while overseeing the launch of the new PGA branding position and logo. As President from 2007–2008, Whitcomb also provided The PGA with the business knowledge and skills of a successful golf course owner. He led the extensive renovations to the 54 holes of championship golf at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and heralded the launch of Patriot Golf Day. Whitcomb was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2009.
A native of Scotland, Robert White emigrated to the United States in 1894 to study agronomy. After working as a professional/greenskeeper at Myopia Hunt Club in suburban Boston, he held the same positions at Cincinnati Golf Club and Louisville Golf Club. He would then serve as professional/greenskeeper at Ravisloe Country Club in suburban Chicago from 1902–1914.
White took over as the professional/greenskeeper at Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle, N.Y., in 1916. Having established a good reputation as a professional, architect, greenskeeper, clubmaker and all–around businessman, he was elected as the first President of The PGA of America on June 26, 1916, and served for three years. A charter member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, White designed and built more than 100 courses and was the first to apply scientific principles to course maintenance in the United States.
One of the founding fathers of the Sun Country PGA Section, Guy Wimberly is aptly nicknamed "Mr. New Mexico Golf" for having grown the game selflessly for more than four decades in the state. In 1969, joined by PGA Professional Bob Meiering, Wimberly took over Arroyo del Oso Golf Course in Albuquerque and elevated it into a popular municipal golf destination, earning recognition from Golf Digest as one of the "Top 50 Municipal Facilities to Play." He went on to serve from 2006-08 as PGA director of golf at Sierra del Rio Golf Club in Elephant Butte, N.M.
In 1974, Wimberly co-founded New Mexico Golf Ltd., a multi-million dollar entity that expanded from one to four public facilities and employs more than 100, including a dozen PGA Professionals and assistant professionals. Under his direction, Arroyo del Oso's 27-hole facility serviced more than 140,000 annual rounds. Among the leaders in advancing golf tourism in New Mexico, Wimberly also guided the formation of the Sun Country Amateur Golf Association and the Junior PGA Tour within the state's borders. Wimberly was co-named with Meiering as the 1979 PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities; and in 1988 earned the Horton Smith Award for contributions to PGA education.
A PGA Life Member, Wimberly served from 1982-85 as District 12 director on the PGA Board of Directors; and from 1980-82 as president of the Sun Country PGA Section. He was the recipient of the 2001 Sun Country PGA Section Lifetime Achievement Award; the 1988 Section Golf Professional of the Year Award; the Section Horton Smith Award winner in 1988, and the 1989 and 2005 Section Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient. Wimberly was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2011.
Gary Wiren, a PGA Master Professional and the 1987 PGA Teacher of the Year, was inducted into the PGA Golf Hall of Fame in 2006.
Wiren, a leading authority on the history of the game of golf, has a master’s degree from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon, has written or participated in the writing of more than 200 magazine articles and 11 books. He has taught, privately, in groups, at seminars and stage performances, more than 250,000 people in 34 countries.
Wiren also is a three–time national winner of the Golf Collectors’ Society wooden–shafted tournament and one of its premier collectors.
Known as the "Blond Bomber" because of his rugged good looks and his ability to drive the golf ball prodigious distances, Craig Wood won 21 times on the PGA Tour between 1928 and 1944, including consecutive major championships – the 1941 Masters and U.S. Open. He was the first to achieve that feat.
In the 1933 British Open Championship at St. Andrews, Wood drove into the Swilican Burn on the first hole of a playoff, ultimately losing to rival Denny Shute by five strokes in the only Open Championship that Wood played.
In the 1934 PGA Championship at the Park Club of Buffalo in Williamsville, N.Y., Wood lost to his former student and assistant professional, Paul Runyan, 1–up, after going two more holes following the regulation 36 holes in the final round of match play.
Wood was also runner–up to Gene Sarazen in a playoff in the 1935 Masters, and placed second to Byron Nelson at the 1939 U.S. Open.
Wood was more than just a fine tour professional, however, as he was widely recognized for his willingness to help younger players with their game.
Allen Wronowski served as The PGA of America's 37th president from November 2010-12. During Wronowski's term as PGA president, the Association launched and guided Golf 2.0, an industry-supported initiative to grow participation in the game by broadening access and appeal to diverse audiences, especially minorities, women and junior golfers.
Among his mentors was the late Bill Clarke of Hillendale Country Club, making the facility the first to have employed two PGA of America presidents.
Wronowski was elected to PGA membership in 1981. He was named the 1999 Section Golf Professional of the Year; the 2002 Section Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient for his behind-the-scenes work on employment efforts; and was the 1984 Section Assistant Golf Professional of the Year.
Wronowski was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2013.