A native of Charlotte, where he was born in 1908, Dugan Aycock got his start in golf as a caddie at Charlotte Country Club and later as an assistant professional. From that humble beginning, Aycock embarked upon a remarkable career as a golf professional, administrator, promoter, and humanitarian. He served stints as head professional in Badin, Greensboro, and New Bern, but spent 40 years of his career at Lexington GC.
Aycock served more years as President of the CPGA than anyone before or since. He was in office from 1948-58 and again from 1966-68. Additionally, he was a PGA of America Vice President from 1959-61 and was voted PGA of America Professional of the year in 1957. Aycock donated much of his time to promoting the game and to aiding fellow PGA Professionals during times of personal crisis.
Henry G. Picard won 30 events on the PGA Tour in the 1930’s and 40’s. His biggest triumphs were the 1938 Masters where he prevailed by two shots and the 1939 PGA Championship in which he defeated Byron Nelson in extra holes.
Born November 28, 1907 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Picard came to Charleston CC in 1925 as an assistant professional. He won the Carolinas Open four times before taking the tour by storm. In addition to his numerous titles, he was a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 1935, ‘37, ’39, and ’41.
Picard was also a widely respected teacher, who held professional positions at Hershey CC in Hershey, Pennsylvania and Canterbury CC in Cleveland, Ohio after ending his tour career in 1950.
A longtime resident of Charleston, SC he was elected to membership in the PGA of America Hall of Fame in 1961. Picard is also a member of the SC Athletic, SC Golf and Carolinas Golf Halls of Fame.
Born in Scotland in 1872, Donald James Ross started his working days as a carpenter, but because he lived close to Royal Dornoch Links, he quickly developed an interest in golf. Ross trained as a professional at St. Andrews, returned to Dornoch in 1893, and remained until 1898 when he emigrated to Boston, MA, where he became greenskeeper at Oakley CC.
In 1900, Ross moved to Pinehurst CC and later became interested in golf course architecture. He went on to design, build, or remodel over 600 courses, including Pinehurst No. 2, Seminole, Dunedin Inverness, and Oak Hill.
As a player, Ross won the inaugural North & South Open in 1903 and repeated those victories in 1905 and 1906. He was inducted into the PGA/World Golf Hall of Fame in 1977 and into the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame in 1981.
Arnie wasn’t the first Palmer to brighten the PGA Tour. The original model was Johnny Palmer, a native of Eldorado, NC who worked in the aluminum plant in Badin, NC before turning to golf.
The playing record of Palmer, who was born in 1918, is impressive. At the local level he won the CPGA Section Championship five times and the Carolinas Open on three occasions. On the PGA Tour, he was an eight-time winner, with his credits including the Canadian Open, the Colonial National Invitational and the Tam O’Shanter World Open when it was the richest event in golf. Palmer also played on the U.S. Ryder Cup Team.
Palmer, a tail-gunner in a B-29 during World War II, was noted for his steady hand and accurate aim – traits the he also carried to his golfing career. He is a member of the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame and the NC Sports Hall of Fame.
Purvis Jennings Ferree, who was born in Randolph County, NC in 1909 once said, “What I did to promote golf was a small return for what golf did for me.”
Feree considered himself lucky that he had worked at Pinehurst with the great professional/architect Donald Ross and with the great administrator Richard Tufts. Under Ross, he ran the No. 1 course during the summer; under Tufts, he ran the handicap system of the Carolinas Golf Association and also scheduled and conducted the CGA tournaments.
In 1942, he became head professional at Old Town in Winston-Salem and inherited the job of secretary-treasurer of the CPGA. He served in that position for 24 consecutive terms.
Ferree, the 1969 CPGA Professional of the Year, won the 1944 CPGA Section Championship/Carolinas Open, a combined event hosted by Old Town at his own urging.
A big man of 6’2 and 230 pounds, Clayton Vance Heafner was one of the most feared competitors on the PGA Tour in the 1940’s and ‘50’s.
In addition to winning two Carolinas Open titles and the CPGA Section Championship, Heafner won the Colonial National Invitational, the Jacksonville Open, and two Mahoning Valley Opens on the PGA Tour. However, he is the best remembered for his runner-up performances in two U.S. Opens – one to Cary Middlecoff at Medinah in 1949 and the other to Ben Hogan at Oakland Hills in 1951. He also played on two U.S. Ryder Cups teams and in seven Masters.
Heafner, who was born near Charlotte in 1914, served as an assistant professional in South Boston, VA, and at Sedgefield CC in Greensboro, where under Orville White, he developed his ability as a first rate player. He owned Eastwood GC in Charlotte, which he left to his three children after dying of a heart attack at age 47.
James Joseph D’Angelo had a full and prosperous career as a golf professional, serving at clubs in his native Pennsylvania, in Oklahoma, and in South Carolina. He is best known as a promoter, one whose efforts turned Myrtle Beach into a golfing mecca.
D’Angelo, who was born in 1909, was involved in the creation of the famous Dunes Golf & Beach Club and served as its first professional; helped organize the South Carolina Chapter of the CPGA; was involved in attracted the Golf Writers Associations of America Championship to the Dunes Club; and became publicity director for Golf Holiday, a promotional organization, after retiring from his post at the Dunes Club in 1968.
He was named Myrtle Beach Citizen of the Year in 1974 and was officially designated the Grand Strand’s “Mr. Golf.” He is a member of several halls of fames.
D. Grant Bennett, a Winston-Salem, NC native born in 1920, wasn’t famous for his skills as a golfer. He gave up playing baseball because of an arm injury and gave up competitive golf because of an ankle injury and gave up competitive golf because of an ankle injury. Those injuries led him to becoming a golf teacher extraordinaire – the man behind numerous junior champions including such notables as a former Wake Forest Univ. All-American and tour player Jack Lewis Jr, former tour player Mike Holland, and former LPGA player Kathy Hire.
Bennett, a pilot during World War II who later became a chemical salesman, started his PGA career as head professional at New Bern G&CC. He later served at Florence CC, at Range End in Harrisburg, PA, at the CC of SC in Florence, and at Wildewood CC in Columbia.
Bennet served nearly 30 years as a member of the USGA Junior Committee, was a past junior chairman for the PGA, was twice named SC Professional of the Year, was CPGA Professional of the Year in 1956, and was inducted into numerous sports halls of fame.
John Fairley Clark, born in Cumberland Country, NC in 1906, was introduced to the game of golf at the age of 13 when caddying for his scoutmaster. He later became a fine player, finishing eighth in the 1927 U.S. Open at Oakmont, winning the 1929 West Coast Florida Open, and playing in the inaugural Masters in 1934. He also was runner-up in the Southeastern PGA Championship three times.
Clark derived most of his pleasure in teaching. He once said, “I enjoy every phase of the golf business, but none more that teaching.”
He turned professional in 1927 and served as head professional at Fort Bragg Officers Club for 28 years, until his retirement in 1975. He was named CPGA Professional of the Year 1968.
Orville “Whitey” White, who was born in 1908 in Chicago, represents those club professionals who quietly go about their duties without thinking they are anything special. White was something special both as a professional and a teacher.
His accomplishments included winning the CPGA Section Championship in 1945, the Carolinas Open in 1938 and ’45, the SC Open in 1953, ’54, and ’55, and the Mid South at Pinehurst in 1935. In addition, he played in the Masters in 1935 and ’36, tying for the 15th in 1936. As a teacher, his pupils included Clayton Heafner, who achieved an impressive record on the PGA Tour.
White was named Golf Professional Emeritus at Midland Valley Country Club in Aiken, where he was once part owner. He also served at Sedgefield CC in Greensboro and Forsyth CC in Winston-Salem.
A nationally-known golf course architect, Joe Ellis Maples designed and built approximately 70 courses. Born in Pinehurst in 1909, Maples started in the golf business in the late 1920’s as an assistant under the watchful eye of Donald Ross. He served as head professional and superintendent at the following clubs in North Carolina: Plymouth CC(1937-42), New Bern CC(1946-47), Raleigh CC(1950-54), and Pinebrook CC(1954-58). While at Pinebrook in Winston-Salem, he pioneered the use of bentgrass greens in this part of the state. Except for in the mountains, bentgrass greens were unheard of in North Carolina.
Among the courses to his credit as a designer are Boone GC, Gaston CC, Midland Valley CC, CC of NC, CC of SC, CC of Orangeburg, Pinehurst No. 5, Whispering Pines CC Forest Oaks CC, Greensboro CC (Carlson Fam), Red Fox CC, Cedar Rock CC, Grandfather Mountain CC, Walnut Creek CC, and the Wellman Club.
Maples was a past president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, a 39-year member of the PGA, and a member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association upon his passing in 1984.
Few have promoted golf as tirelessly as Aubrey C. Apple Sr. Born in 1920, Aubrey started as an assistant professional at Starmount Forest CC in Greensboro in 1946 after a four-year stint in the Air Force. He served as head professional and general manager at Green Valley GC, also in Greensboro, from 1948 until his retirement in 1985.
Dedicated to the growth of golf and the ideals of sportsmanship that the game displays, Apple was an accomplished player having competed in the PGA Championship and several Greater Greensboro Opens. He is the holder of three course records in North Carolina.
Active in civic affairs and charitable endeavors, Aubrey served the Carolinas Section as an officer for eleven years, including the office of the President from 1962-65. He was named Professional of the Year in the Carolinas Section in 1965. He served on numerous PGA of America committees and has been a delegate from the Carolinas Section to the National Meeting twenty times. He was instrumental in starting and organizing the Section senior tournament program.
Edward Bennett Bullock was born in Winston-Salem in 1918. In 1943, he joined the U.S. Air Corps and served in both India and China with the Intelligence Corps. From 1954-58, Bullock got his feet wet in the golf business working at Cedarbrook CC in Elkin, NV, Roaring Gap CC in Roaring Gap, NC and Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, SC. In 1958, Bullock’s life changed as he built the first par-3 course in Myrtle Beach. The following year, he oversaw construction of the Surf Golf & Beach Club in North Myrtle Beach. The Myrtle Beach area had only two courses at that time, a far cry from more than 100 courses that would eventually highlight the region.
Bullock served as head professional at the Surf Golf & Beach Club from 1960-71. He then supervised construction and operated the 54-hole Myrtle Beach National complex where he remained until his retirement in 1986. Credited as one of the movers and shakers in the growth of Myrtle Beach golf, Bullock contributed greatly to the area being recognized as the “Coastal Golf Capital of the World.”
Well known for the professionals who trained under his direction, Bullock was recognized by his peers as CPGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1972.
A native of Greensboro, Charles Baxter Farlow was born on Christmas Eve of 1909. For more than half a century, Farlow was a Member of the Section. He was one of the leading teachers in the Carolinas. He trained a number of prominent club professionals including fellow CPGA Hall of Famer Aubrey Apple Sr. His most outstanding student was Carolinas Golf Hall of Famer Marge Burns, also of Greensboro.
Farlow served for 21 years at Starmount Forest GC, frequent site of the Greater Greensboro Open. An accomplished player, he qualified for the U.S. Open eight times and made the cut four times. He also qualified for the PGA Championship five times. Farlow won the CPGA Section Championship in 1940 and the Carolinas Open in 1955. He captured the CPGA Senior Championship in 1962.
Farlow served 40 months in the Army during World War II as a member of General George Patton’s tank division. Following his discharge, he settled into the job at Starmount Forest. Farlow later became head professional at Oak Island in Southport on the NC coast and concluded his career as a teaching professional at green valley country club in his beloved Greensboro. Farlow was the CPGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1978 and passed away in 1979 at the age of 70.
Randall M. Glover dominated professional golf in South Carolina like no other. Born in Sanford, NC in 1941, Glover grew up in Cheraw, SC, where his father was the golf professional. He played well until a stint in the U.S. Army interrupted him in 1964. He came back in 1965, won the Utah Open, and was recognized as the “Most Improved Player” by Golf Digest. Glover captured the Azalea Open in 1967 and gave up the nomadic tour life in 1968.
Serving at clubs in Charleston, Summerville, Johnsonville, and Clinton, SC, Glover garnered many Section titles including eight SC Opens, five SC Chapter titles, and two Carolinas Opens. Glover was named the CPGA Player of the Year a record seven times. In 1975, ’76, and ’80, he played for the winning United States team in the PGA Cup matches against Great Britain and Ireland.
As Section Tournament Chairman and Vice President from 1977-1980, Glover was instrumental in establishing policy and procedures for the Section’s tournament program, considered the finest in the PGA. This modest, soft-spoken professional is a member if the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame, SC Golf Hall of Fame, and SC Athletic Hall of Fame.
Alfred Goodrich was born in 1922 in Oconto, Nebraska. Turning professional in 1948, he served at the Tides Inn in Irvington, VA and Beechwood Country Club in Ahoskie, NC before moving to Goldsboro GC in 1955. He served the Carolinas Section consistently over the years on committees and as a director, officer, and President from 1975-77. Goodrich was largely responsible for the Carolinas Section securing land and constructing its former headquarters in North Myrtle Beach. He CPGA was the first PGA Section to own its own property and office. Goodrich helped establish the Section’s senior tournament program in the mid 1980’s.
Goodrich was voted CPGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1966, and he was widely known for his fundraising efforts coming to the financial aid of several of his fellow professionals. He was a proficient player, teacher, businessman, and promoter. He captured the 1963 CPGA Pro-Pro Championship with his long-time friend Chuck Alexander.
Melvin Hemphill epitomized the finest aspects of a sport in which sportsmanship and fair play are the basic elements. Born in 1908, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, he served at the Forest Lake Club in Columbia from the depression days of 1931 to his retirement in December of 1978.
Best known for his teaching, some of Hemphill’s prize students included U.S. Open Champion Jack Fleck, Master’s Champion Tommy Aaron, Canadian and U.S. Amateur Champion Gary Cowan, and PGA Tour standout Gardner Dickenson. Jack Fleck spent two weeks with Hemphill just prior to his playoff victory in the 1955 Open over Ben Hogan.
Hemphill was a skilled left-handed player capturing the 1958 SC Open at the CC of Charleston. A fun-loving man, Hemphill was a great saxophone player. He had his own orchestra in Columbia during World War II. At one time, he was offered the lead sax position with the Jimmy Dorsey Band.
Hemphill was honored by the CPGA as its Golf Professional of the Year in 1961. He was inducted into the SC Golf Hall of Fame, along with his sister Kathryn, in 1980 and passed away that same year at the age of 72.
Thomas Richard Card was born in 1917 in Raleigh, NC. Turning professional in 1947, Card worked at Coharie CC in Clinton, NC, Keswick CC, in Charlottesville, VA, Carmel CC in Charlotte, NC, and he served as head professional at Carolina CC in Raleigh, NC from 1961 until retiring in ’87. He served the PGA tirelessly as an officer in three PGA Sections: Middle-Atlantic, Northern Ohio, and the Carolinas. He served the CPFA as President in 1971 and was elected to the executive committee of the PGA of America in 1978, ’79, and ’80.
An expert on the Rules of Golf, Card was the PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1971, and the Section’s Horton Smith Award recipient in 1979 for promoting PGA education. Instrumental in the formation of the CPGA senior tournament program, the Section’s Senior Player of the Year award was named in his honor in 1993.
A 39-year member of the PGA of America, Card passed away in 1992.
Joe Cheves was born on May 23, 1918 in Cheraw, SC, where he began playing golf in 1928 as a caddie and a “sometimes” player. He met his wife, Martha Crawford, after coming out of the service and taking the head professional position at Twin Valley CC in Wadesboro, NC in 1946.
A four-time winner of the CPGA Section Championship and the 1964 Carolinas Section Golf Professional of the Year award, Cheves spent most of his career at Mimosa Hills CC, a Donald Ross designed jewel in Morganton, NC. He served as head professional at Mimosa Hills for 30 years from 1951 until his retirement in 1981. He is the co-founder of the American Golf Association, which stages senior tournaments throughout the nation each year.
Cheves biggest thrill in competitive golf came in the 1978 PGA National Seniors’ Championship at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. At the end of 72 holes, Cheves found himself tied for the lead with Joe Jiminez and Manuel de la Torre. Jiminez prevailed in the ensuing playoff with a birdie on the first hole.
Cheves remained an active player regularly bettering his age in Section senior events and golfing frequently with legendary amateur Billy joe Patton, also of Morganton. He was inducted into the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame in 1989 and passed away in 2007.
Lloyd Palmer Maples was born in Pinehurst, NC in 1906. He was surrounded by golf for most of his life. In Maples’ early years, he delivered water to the work crews as they built the golf course in Pinehurst, while his father, Agnus, worked on construction of the building and grounds. He caddied for Walter Hagan and other golf greats who came to play the famous No. 2 course, all leaving their influence on them. He served his apprenticeship under the legendary Donald Ross, making clubs, learning design, and developing his lifelong love for teaching the game.
When he was 19 years old, Maples served as head professional at Pinehurst CC in winter and spent summers at the Roaring Gap Club in Roaring Gap, NC, a mountain course completed by Donald Ross. He then took the head professional job at Benvenue CC in Rocky Mount, NC, where he lived with his new bride, Elsie Patria, from 1929-58.
Harvie Ward was his most famous student, but he helped many people learn the game at Benvenue and many of the smaller surrounding courses, serving as “Pro” on his days off for those who had no professional. The CPGA Teacher of the Year Award was named in his honor in 1979.
Palmer Maples passed away in 1979 in Charlotte, NC, just before attending a golf seminar.
Gary Schaal’s distinguished career has been characterized by his untiring devotion to the PGA and the game of golf. A native of Akron, OH, he graduated from Ohio Wesleyan Univ. in 1963 and earned a master’s degree in economics from East Carolina Univ. in 1970. Gary served in the U.S. Air Force from 1964-73 and was awarded a meritorious Service Medal after duty in Vietnam.
Pine Lakes CC in Myrtle Beach was Gary’s first assignment as head professional in 1975. He became involved in CPGA activities almost immediately thereafter serving as the Section’s Secretary/Treasurer from 1981-84 and President in 1985-86. Gary was honored for his efforts in PGA education by being awarded the Section’s Horton Smith Trophy in 1978 and ’80, and he garnered the Section’s ultimate award 5 1985 when he was named CPGA Golf Professional of the Year.
Gary’s service to the PGA and his fellow professionals continued on a national level when he was elected to the PGA of America’s Board of Directors 5 1987. In the fall of 1988, Gary won a dramatic election for Secretary and served six years as a National Officer. He became the first CPGA Section member to be elected President of the PGA of America in 1992.
An operator of multiple golf courses in SC. Gary is active in Myrtle Beach area charitable and civic affair. He served as a director of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, helped establish the popular Myrtle Beach Junior Golf Program, and established the Gordin Collegiate Classic, a NCAA Division III tournament at Deer Track GC. In 2010, Schaal was inducted into the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame.
Luke Veasey was a pioneer among today’s business-oriented PGA Professionals. Born in 1923 in Granville County, NC, he started his long and rewarding career in golf in 1952 as a part-time owner of the Par Way Driving Range in Durham. A few years later, Veasey built the Par-3 Westwood GC across the street from Par Way.
In 1960, Veasey was hired to run the Hillandale GC in Durham. He stayed for 28 years serving as head professional / general manager / superintendent. Veasey worked hard at his craft, and his Hillandale golf shop received national attention in 1978 by Sports Illustrated as it is recognized as the best golf shop in America. Veasey’s business acumen was becoming legendary as he won the PGA of America’s Merchandiser of the Year Award in the Public Course category in 1987 and 88. He won the CPGA Merchandiser of the Year Award a record 12 times in the 1970s and 80s. In 1988, Veasey was honored by his peers as the CPGA Golf Professional of the Year.
An active course superintendent, Veasey served as President of the Triangle Golf Course Superintendents Association in 1968 and served on the NC Turfgrass Association Board for 15 years. A competent player Veasey competed in two Greater Greensboro Opens and fired a career low 64 at Hillandale. He was also a successful mentor to seven eventual PGA head professionals who worked under his direction.
Buck Adams was born in Winston-Salem in 1931. Before being elected to PGA membership in 1961, he was a member of the Univ. of NC golf team.
Adams had a most successful career in golf. He was the head professional at CCNC for 28 years from 1963-91. Adams also served the CPGA as Vice President and Treasurer in the mid-1970s. Additionally, he sat on the Section’s Club Relations Committee for more than 20 years.
Adams was the “dean” of golf professionals in the Carolinas because he hired and trained so many apprentices who eventually became head professionals. Many of the most prestigious golf facilities in the nation now employ one of his former assistants. He was honored by his fellow professionals by being named CPGA Golf Professional the Year in 1976 and the recipient of the Bill Strausbaugh Award in 1985,’89, and ’91.
An accomplished player, Adams won the 1969 Section Championship and the 1984 Section Senior Championship.
Born in 1925 in Tarboro, NC, Edward Harvie Ward Jr. was one of the best amateur golfers in the world from the late 1940s through the 1950s.
Amateur victories include the 1949 NCAA Division 1 individual title, the 1952 British Amateur Championship, two U.S. Amateur Championships (1955 and 561 and the 1954 Canadian Amateur Championship. Ward is the only person in history to win these four tournaments. He was also part of three U.S. Walker Cup teams (1953. 55, and 59), winning all six of his matches.
Ward played in 19 professional majors. Highlights include two top-10 finishes at the Masters tournament (8. in 1955 and 4. in ’57) and a tie for 7th at the 1955 US. Open.
After turning professional in 1974, Ward had less success, but he did capture the 1977 NC Open. He continued to play occasionally on the Senior PGA Tour from 1980-90. Ward’s career was then more focused on being a club professional and golf instructor. His best-known student was three-time major winner Payne Stewart.
Ward held positions at Foxfire CC, Grand Cypress GC, lnterlachen GC and Pine Needles Lodge to GC Ward was also inducted into the NC Sports and the Carolinas Golf Reporters Association Halls of Fame.
As an assistant at Augusta National GC, Joe Davis met and knew all of the greats of the game. Even after leaving to serve at the CC of Spartanburg from 1948-79, Davis remained on the Masters Tournament Pairings Committee and continued to start the field from the first tee until 1966.
Davis earned the distinction of being the first CPGA Professional to be named a PGA Master Professional with only six others earning that distinction before him nationwide. Davis was one of the most respected golf professionals in SC, something that helped him to be elected as CPGA President for the years of 1959-61. In 1963 the Section further honored him as its Golf Professional of the Year.
Davis was also elected to the SC Golf Hall of Fame in 1991.
One of the most outstanding PGA club professional golfers ever from NC, Roger Watson has a long list of accomplishments in the sport including victories in the 1974 and 75 National PGA Club Professional Championships. Each came by way of playoffs with the 1974 win over the legendary Sam Snead.
Watson is a native of High Point, NC and a graduate of High Point Univ. where he was an All-American.
In 1966 Watson chose to become a club professional. He served at the CC of NC as an assistant and quickly moved up to become the head professional at Sapona CC and then MacGregor Downs CC Watson won the 1969 NC Open the 1975 and 76. CPGA Section Championships and numerous other local and Section events. In 1975 and 76, he was a member of the victorious U.S. PGA Cup Team. Watson competed in the 1974 U.S. Open and several PGA Championships. He later became a member of the Senior PGA Tour and had some success.
Watson is also well known as a businessman. He has been recognized several times as one of the top ten most influential people in the golf business. He has been involved in the development, management, and ownership of more than 60 golf courses for 43 years. He has founded five successful golf partnerships and developed some of the finest golf courses in North Carolina. At last count, there are over 125 PGA head professionals around the country who trained under Watson’s leadership.
Watson is also a member of the NAIA and NC Sportswriters Halls of Fame.
Jim Ferree was born in 1931 in Pinebluff, NC and grew up in Winston-Salem, NC. He learned golf from his father Purvis, the long-time professional at Old Town GC and became good enough to earn a spot on the Univ. of North Carolina golf Team.
Ferree turned professional in 1955 and played on the PGA Tour (winning the 1958 Vancouver Open Invitational), The Senior PGA Tour (winning the 1986 Greater Grand Rapids Open and 1991 Bell Atlantic Classic), and the Grand Champions Tour (winning nine times). Other victories included the 1961 Jamaica Open, 1962 Panama Open, 1963 Maracaibo Open, 1966 CPGA Section Championship, and the 1967 Georgia PGA Section Championship. He was regarded as one of the very best in the game tee-to-green.
One of the most interesting notes about Ferree’s career is that his silhouette was selected to be the logo of the Senior PGA Tour.
Don Padgett, a native of New Castle, IN, learned the game of golf while caddying at Westwood CC and by borrowing his older brother’s clubs, He did not purchase his own set until 1946, a year after returning from serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Padgett, affectionately known as “Padge,” began his professional career in 1949 at American Legion GC where he also caddied as a child. He was elected to PGA membership in 1955. He held positions at clubs from coast to coast. Padgett was a leader wherever he went. He served three terms as President of the Indiana PGA Section and one as the PGA of America President from 1977-78, a period that was marked by the expansion of the Ryder Cup Matches to include players from continental Europe, the development of the professional education programs, and the creation of the Junior PGA Championship.
Padgett’s final stop was at the famed Pinehurst Resort & CC. He was named Director of Golf in 1987. The No. 2 course went on to host two PGA Tour Championships, the 1994 U.S. Senior Open, and the 1999 a. 2005 U.S. Opens.
Many knew Padgett as a teacher, player, merchandiser, facility manager, businessman, and ambassador of the game. He referred to himself as an activist. He stated, “I don’t sit around and talk about what ought to be. I try to figure out how I can make it be.”
Padgett received many accolades during his career including the 1961 Indiana PGA Section and PGA of America Professional of the Year awards, induction into the Indiana and Carolinas Golf Halls of Fame, the Card Walker Award for outstanding contributions to junior golf in the U.S., and the title of Executive V.P. of Golf Emeritus at Pinehurst Resort & CC.
Bruce Sudderth, a native of Lenoir, NC and graduate of Appalachian State Univ. is primarily known for his experience in the rules of golf. As a Champions Tour rules official and tournament director from 1995-2005, he officiated approximately 345 PGA Tour and Champions Tour events plus the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, Ryder Cup Matches, and PGA Championship numerous times. Sudderth served on the Rules of Golf Committees for the PGA of America and the USGA from 1984- 2007 and 1999-2005 respectively. Additionally, he was a regular instructor at PGA Business Schools and workshops.
Sudderth worked at Blowing Rock CC and Gaston CC before becoming a tour official. During that time, he earned the distinction of PGA Master Professional and served the CPGA as President from 1982-83.
He was honored by his peers a number of times when he received the CPGA 1980 Golf Professional of the Year Award: the 1982, ’84, and ’91 Bill Strausbaugh Award; and the 1988 and ’91 Teacher of the Year Award.
A native of Durham, NC and a long-time resident of High Point, NC. Henry Poe played collegiate golf at Duke Univ. His amateur career was highlighted with victories in the Eastern Amateur in 1934 and ‘35. At Durham’s Hillandale GC, which his father operated, he once shot 61, a record that still stands. He also once posted a record 63 at Hope Valley CC in Durham.
Poe became a professional in 1937. He became an assistant professional at Winged Foot GC and then succeeded Byron Nelson at Redding CC in 1940. Poe remained there until 1966, when he was hired to build and operate three golf courses in Alabama. After retiring, Poe moved back to his native state in 1985.
A PGA Member for more than 50 years, Poe was active in PGA affairs for both the Carolinas Section and PGA of America. He was it five-time President of the Philadelphia PGA Section in the 1950s was it PGA of America Director from 1957-59, and chaired the PGA’s Annual Meeting from 1958-69. He served as Treasurer of the PGA from 1970-72, as Secretary from 1973-74, and as President from 1975-76. His legacy as PGA President was establishing the National Junior Golf Foundation and the PGA Business Schools for apprentice professionals.
Poe served as a member of the Masters Rules Committee for 10 years and as a Director of the PGA Tour Policy Board from 1971-76. He is also it member of the Philadelphia PGA and Carolinas Golf Halls of Fame.
D. Sherrill Austin was born in 1942 in Morganton, NC. He learned the game from the legendary Joe Cheves.
Austin turned professional in 1964 at the age of 21, working as a shop assistant at Catawba CC in Hickory. He became head professional at Lake City CC in 1965. In 1969 he returned to Catawba CC as head professional and remained for 19 years. Austin was then director of golf at the renowned Wade Hampton Golf Club.
His tireless service to the CPGA includes a three-year term as President from 1980-82, preceded by a three-year term as Vice President, and a three-year term as Secretary. Austin also served three years as V.P. for the Western NC Area. While President of the Section, he started the benevolent and relief fund for Section Members and established the CPGA Hall of Fame. Austin chaired the NC Heart Fund Pro-Am for several years, raising thousands of dollars for heart research programs. In 1983 Austin was the CPGA Golf Professional of the Year.
Norman Flynn was born in 1938 in Lancaster, SC. He turned professional in 1963 and worked at Forest Lake CC under renowned teacher Melvin Hemphill. For a time, Flynn was head professional at Lake Toxaway in the summer and taught lessons at Sherwood Park GC in Florida during the winter. He then served as the head professional at the CC of Lexington in Lexington, SC from 1967 until his retirement in 2001.
Flynn is a former president of the SC Chapter of the CPGA and was selected as the SC Chapter Professional of the Year in 1980. Flynn received the CPGA Golf Professional of the Year award in 1981. He was the Section’s Tournament Chairman from 1975-76 and President from 1978-79.
Flynn was an accomplished player, capturing the SC Open in 1967, the Carolinas Open in 1970, and several senior titles. He was a member of the Palmetto Cup Team in 1991 and the honorary captain at the matches in 1998. Flynn is also a member of the SC Golf Hall of Fame.
Hampton “Hamp” Auld was born in 1921, in Paterson, NJ. A Member of the PGA for 44 years, Auld passed away in 1995. He played on the PGA Tour off and on from the late 1940s to the early ’60s. Auld served as a head professional at clubs in West Virginia, Ohio, Arizona, California, and the Carolinas. In the Carolinas Section, he served at Cape Fear CC, MacGregor Downs CC, Spring Valley CC, Gator Hole GC, and closed his career at Colonial Charters GC.
Auld was an excellent player, capturing the 1968 CPGA Section Championship, the Carolinas Open in 1971, the 1972 CPGA Pro-Pro Championship with Randy Glover, and the CPGA Senior Championship in 1985 and ’86. He finished 5th in the first U.S. Senior Open at Winged Foot in 1980. At the age of 71, Auld captured his last senior title at the Pinewood Senior Open.
Eugene “Gene” Hamm born in 1923, was introduced to the game of golf in 1936 as a caddie at Raleigh Golf Association. He became a member of the PGA of America in 1954. He designed and oversaw the building of more than 77 layouts in North and South Carolina, Virginia. Tennessee, and New York. In the Carolinas, these courses include North Ridge CC, Wake Forest CC, Lochmere GC, Reedy Creek GC, Quail Ridge CC, Chapel Hill CC, Sea Gull GC, Beechwood CC, Burning Ridge GC, Raccoon Run GC, Eagle Nest GC, Indian Wells GC, and River Oaks GC.
A multi-talented athlete in high school, Hamm joined the Navy after graduation in 1943. In 1946, he took a job as an assistant golf professional at a nine-hole course in High Point. He also served at New Bern CC under Ellis Maples, at Pinehurst CC under Ellis’ father Frank, and later at Hilma CC. His first design was a nine-hole course in 1949 at the Washington Yacht & CC in Washington, NC where he also served as head professional and course superintendent. He went to Durham in 1956 to work on the construction of the Duke Univ. GC.
Hamm was an accomplished player having qualified for the 1958 PGA Championship and 1960 U.S. Open. While designing Sea Gull GC in Pawleys Island, SC, Hamm won the 1966 NC Open. He also won the 1977 and ‘78 CPGA Senior Opens at Beechwood, one of his course designs.
Born in 1946 in Charlotte, N.C., Bill Clemmer is a native of Gastonia, N.C. and began his golf career caddying at Gaston C.C. He was on the golf team at Hunter Huss High School and later in college at East Carolina University and Gaston College.
Clemmer served with Security Forces in the U.S. Air Force with tours of duty in Vietnam (67-68) and Spain (69-70) being discharged as a SSgt. He was elected to the PGA in 1976 and served as an assistant under Bruce Sudderth at Gaston C.C. from 1973-1978. He was the General Manager and Director of Golf at Cowans Ford C.C. on Lake Norman from 1978-1998. Bill has worked for the PGA Tour as a Rules Official on the Champions Tour since 1998.
He has been an instructor on the PGA Education Faculty since 1990, teaching at numerous PGA Business Schools and PGA/USGA Rules workshops and has served on the PGA Rules of Golf Committee since 1988. Bill has officiated at over 40 of golf’s major championships including 26 PGA Championships, Masters, U.S. Open, and Senior British Open.
Service to the CPGA includes Tournament Chairman (1986-1988), Secretary (1989-1991), Vice President (1992-1993) and President (1994-1995). Additionally Clemmer served as District 10 Director representing Carolinas, Kentucky, and Middle Atlantic Sections on the PGA Board of Directors from 1996-1998.
Clemmer received the 1992 CPGA Bill Strausbaugh Award and the 1993 CPGA Golf Professional of the Year Award. In 1999 he obtained PGA Specialty Certification in the Rules of Golf and obtained his Master Professional status in Executive Management.
Will Mann was born in 1942 in Durham, N.C. He graduated from NC State Univ. in 1966. While still in high school, he worked at Hillandale GC under the tutelage of legendary PGA Professional Luke Veasey. Upon graduation from college, Mann accepted the position of assistant superintendent at Hope Valley CC. In less than a year, he was promoted to head superintendent. His career took him to Myrtle Beach National GC where he met Ed Bullock, Skip Com, and Gary Schaal who all encouraged his pursuit of membership in the PGA which he attained 1979. Mann’s career then lead hits to Chapel Hill CC and Roxboro CC as head golf professional prior to his purchase of Quarry Hills CC in 1985.
Also in 1985, Mann was elected to the CPGA Board of Directors. In 1989, he was elected Section Secretary, leading to his election as President for the 1992-93 term.
Along the way, he received the CPGA Golf Professional of the Year, the Bill Strausbaugh, and the Horton Smith Awards. He served on several national committees before being elected PGA Secretary in 1994, leading to his service as PGA President 1999-2001. Mann was only the second PGA President who never served on the national Board of Directors. As a result of his commitment to the PGA of America and his focus on helping fellow PGA Professionals, the Association progressed in the areas of education, employment, and communications. Mann’s concern for his fellow Members and his determination to help improve their profession was the motivation behind his years of service.
Hall of Fame inductee Bob Boyd Jr. will be remembered for his extraordinary success on the golf course. Having joined the CPGA in 1978, the Wilmington, NC native was named the CPGA Player of the Year in 1988, ‘89, ‘92. ’93, ‘98, ‘99, and 2002. Boyd recorded 22 CPGA Major Championship victories during his career. He also captured four CPGA Section Championships, four Carolinas Open Championships, five SC Open Championships, and 17 CPGA team titles.
During his 27-year playing career, Boyd competed on the PGA Tour and the European Senior Tour where he captured the Senior Open of Spain in 2005. Boyd also participated in 10 PGA Championships, five U.S. Open Championships, and was a member of the 1990 and 2000 PGA Cup Teams.
To honor his competitive spirit, winning attitude, and professionalism, the annual award presented to the top playing CPGA Professional for the year was named in his honor in 2008.
Boyd was a Life Member of the PGA of America and worked at golf clubs in Pinehurst, Charleston, Isle of Palms, Florence, Hilton Head, and Wilmington.
Rod Myers achieved many personal and professional milestones during his life, but will perhaps be remembered best for his indelible contributions to help shape the future of thousands of young golfers.
After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan in 1961, Myers was head coach at Ohio State Univ. for seven seasons before taking over the Duke Univ.’s men’s golf team in 1974. During his 34 years with the Blue Devils, Myers guided Duke to 30 tournament victories, one ACC Championship, and seven NCAA Championship appearances. In 2005, he was selected as the ACC Coach of the Year and Golfweek’s National Coach of the Year. While at the helm of the Duke men’s golf team, Myers coached 16 All-Americans, nine Academic All Americans, 24 All-ACC selections, and three ACC individual champions. In 2007, the team’s golf training center was named after him and an endowed athletic scholarship was created in Myers honor.
During his 37 years as a Member of the PGA of America, Myers was a Master PGA Professional, served on the staff of the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy, was a member of the PGA Rules Committee, and officiated at every Masters Championship from 1995-2003 Myers was a president and treasurer of the Golf Coaches Association of America and a former chairman of the NCAA Golf and USGA Rules Committees.
In 2007, Myers received the Labron Harris Sr. Award which is presented to the college or high school coach and PGA Professional whose support A the game through teaching, coaching, and involvement in the community has helped ensure the continued growth of the game and represent the finest qualities the game has to offer. He is also a member of the Golf Coaches Association, Ohio Wesleyan Sports, and Springfield (OH) High School Halls of Fame.
Terry Florence was elected to PGA membership in 1978. He was the consummate professional throughout his career, displaying the traits that are so inherent to the game of golf: honesty, integrity, and character.
Florence quickly became an active Member of the CPGA. serving on his first CPGA commit. in 1980 and shortly thereafter being elected as Vice President of the SC Chapter of the Section in ’81. From 1980-92, he was a member of 12 other committees both for the Chapter and the Section, served on the CPGA Board of Directors, and was also an instructor at PGA workshops and USGA Rules seminars. Additionally, Florence directed more than 100 charity events and volunteered for various community organizations.
Florence was also a proficient player. As a former All-American at Gardner-Webb Univ. he won the 1975 CPGA Assistant Professional Championship, the SC Open twice in 1976 and ’78, and well over 20 other tournaments. He qualified for the PGA Professional National Championship 16 times and participated in four PGA Championships, one U.S. Senior Open, and two Senior PGA Championships.
All of the competition did not distract Florence from his career. He worked at Wild Dunes for 23 years before becoming the head professional at Bulls Bay GC. He had numerous assistants move on to become successful head professionals.
Florence was recognized by h peers as the CPGA Resort Merchandiser of the year four times (1987, ’88, ’92, and ’95). Additionally, he was named the 1992 CPGA Golf Professional of the Year and inducted into the Carolinas and SC Golf Halls of Fame. One would be hard-pressed to find anyone who didn’t appreciate and respect the soft-spoken man.
Jim Westbrook followed in his father’s footsteps and enlisted in the U.S. Navy after high school. Though he saw some action in the Cuban missile crisis, the All-Navy golfer knew that his life’s work would begin and end with golf.
Westbrook began his career as an assistant in the Tennessee PGA Section. He came to the Carolinas to become the head professional at Florence CC and then the same at Carmel CC. Westbrook retired from that position after 29 years. During all that time, he touched the lives of countless future experts in the game and business of golf through friendship and a passion for the game of golf. Westbrook stated that having such an impact was his most rewarding achievement as a PGA Professional.
Westbrook received the CPGA’s 1997 Bill Strausbaugh, 1981 and ’91 Private Merchandiser, and 1986 Golf Professional of the Year Awards. In 1981, he won the Carolinas Open. Westbrook served the Section on various committees and as Treasurer and Secretary from 1978-79 and 1979-81 respectively.
Westbrook’s career as an expert teacher, player, leader, manager, merchandiser, and, most importantly, mentor set a standard of excellence for all PGA Professionals.
Growing up in Atlanta, Mike Harmon started playing golf with his grandfather at a young age. A good athlete, he had his choice of college baseball or golf; however, his father encouraged him to pursue a career in golf since it is a game of a lifetime. After playing collegiate golf at Middle Tennessee State Univ., Harmon earned his PGA Tour card in 1980. Though he enjoyed limited success on tour, Harmon’s experiences gave him the insight and opportunities to become a great PGA Professional.
Harmon held positions at Palmetto Dunes and Moss Creek Plantation before accepting the position of Director of Golf at Secession GC. He cited the growth of Secession as his crowning achievement on the professional level and stated, “I think the Lord put me right where I needed to be.”
Harmon served the CPGA on its Board of Directors. He received the Section’s 2000 Private Merchandiser of the Year, 2003 Horton Smith, 2005 Bill Strausbaugh, and 2007 Golf Professional of the Year Awards. The PGA of America also honored Harmon as its 2004 Private Merchandiser of the Year and 2006 Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient. He hoped that his many activities and accolades inspire young professionals to follow a similar line of service and dedication.
Traditionally, members of the CPGA Hall of Fame are PGA Professionals; John Derr was the first non-CPGA Member to be inducted. Few individuals have had such a large influence on golf not only in the Carolinas, but also abroad.
Derr’s lifelong love of the game began at a two-hole course in western NC built for him by his father. His passion for golf, combined with his talent as a writer, helped Derr earn the opportunity to cover the 1935 Masters tournament (in only its second year) for the Gastonia Gazette. From 1935 until 2001, Derr covered the tournament in print, on radio, and on television. He is one of the few reporters who have done so. Derr eventually earned the positions of Sports Director for the CBS network and Director of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Throughout his career, Derr received numerous accolades including the Golf Writers National Journalism and Masters Major Achievement Awards. He also belongs to the Carolinas Golf Writers and NC Sports Halls of Fame. Derr even received the Bronze Star for his service in the Army Air Corps during World War II.
In 1975, Derr was asked to temporarily become the CPGA, Executive Director while the Section searched for a permanent employee. The proposed term of three months turned into 10 years of service. After his retirement in 1984, he continued to serve as Special Counsel to the Section for a number of years.
Derr saw it all in the game of golf and experienced more in the world than one person could ever imagine. He had more stories to tell than there was time. His vivid memory could provide insight on some of the most powerful leaders and famous celebrities of the 20th and 2Ist centuries. Age never slowed him down, proven by his first hole-in-one at the age of 92.
Grover Bullin, PGA was born in North Carolina in 1920 and has been a member of the Carolinas PGA Section for 66 years. Bullin is a cornerstone of developing the game of golf in Eastern North Carolina. He spent the entirety of his professional golf career as Head Golf Professional at Wilson County Club starting in 1947 until his retirement in 1989. During his career at Wilson CC, Bullin was known for his selfless approach to the game and his work to cultivate programs for junior and women golfers.
Following his retirement from Wilson CC, Bullin continued to grow the game by teaching lessons for the Wilson County Parks and Recreation Department and developed fundraisers for underprivileged youth in the area. He is currently an active supporter of the Mulligans Fore Kids Golf Tournament, which helps give children with disabilities a second chance.
Bullin was elected Carolinas PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1962. He served on the CPGA Board of Directors from 1964-1966. Wilson Country Club annually gives to Golf Scholarship at Barton College in his name. The Grover Bullin Endowed Scholarship was established in 1989, at the time of his retirement, and is used in place of institutional aid to a member of the golf team.
Peggy Kirk Bell was born in Findlay, Ohio in 1921 and started playing golf at the age of 18. Bell attended Rollins College where she was a member of the golf team. She competed in various amateur golf tournaments in the 1940s compiling one of the most successful women’s amateur careers in the history of golf. She won three Ohio Amateur Championships, the 1949 Titleholders Championship, and the North and South Women’s Amateur. Bell turned professional in 1950, the LPGA Tour’s inaugural season, at the urging of her good friend Babe Zaharias, and continued to play a limited schedule on the tour.
Throughout her career, Peggy Kirk Bell has been an ambassador for the game of golf to many generations. In 1953, Bell and her late husband Warren “Bullet” Bell took over Pine Needles Lodge &Golf Club in Southern Piines, NC and developed the resort into what it is today. Under the leadership of Bell, Pine Needles has turned out some of the top PGA Professionals in the Carolinas. The resort is also credited with bringing national attention to the Pinehurst area by hosting three U S. Women’s Open Championships in 1996, 2001, and 2007.
Some of Bell’s significant honors include 1961 LPGA Teacher of the Year, Golf Digest’s “One of the Six Best Women Teachers in the World; Winner of the first LPGA Senior Championship, 1990 LPGA’s Ellen Griffin Rolex Award, 2004 inductee into Golf Magazine’s World Golf Teacher Hall of Fame (first woman), and 1950 USDA Curtis Cup Team Member. She currently serves as the Chairwoman for the largest girl’s golf tour in the country, the Peggy Kirk Bell Golf Tour.
Charles “Chip” King, a native of Canada, came to the U.S. in 1977 to pursue a career in golf. Elected to PGA Membership in 1982, King had some of the finest mentors in the industry. He began his career in the states under Buck Adams at the CC of North Carolina. His first Head Professional position was at Highland CC. He later held the positions of Head Professional, Director of Golf, and General Manager at Pine Needles Lodge & GC and Mid Pines Inn & GC with Peggy Kirk Bell and her family. King credits Adams and Kirk Bell, both of whom are members of the CPGA Hall of Fame, as having a direct influence on shaping him as a person and as a PGA Professional. He currently serves the members at Grandfather Golf & CC as Director of Golf.
King has received several awards throughout his distinguished career. He was honored as the 2001 CPGA and 2002 PGA of America Resort Merchandiser of the Year and was the recipient of the 1991 CPGA Professional of the Year Award, the 1999 and ’94 Bill Strausbaugh Awards, and the 1996 and ’89 Horton Smith Awards.
King served the Carolinas Section as a Board of Directors Member, Secretary, Vice President, President, and Honorary President. He assisted or led the following CPGA Committees: Hall of Fame, Constitution, Education, Membership, Assistants, and Junior Golf. On the National level, he sat on the PGA of America’s President’s Council and Education Committee.
All of his accolades and accomplishments are noteworthy. However, King takes just as much pride in his history of mentoring and training the Golf Professionals of tomorrow. He has helped dozens of PGA Interns find employment in the golf industry and has placed many of his Assistants in Head Professional positions around the country. Such devotion to others has earned King the enduring respect of countless club members. employees. and industry leaders.
Ed began his professional career in 1979 at the UNC Finley Golf Course under PGA member Ed Kenney. Upon his election to membership on April 1, 1983, he was promoted to PGA head golf professional. Since that election, he demonstrated a willingness to serve the Section at every opportunity. He served as Chairman of multiple committees including Education, Membership, Club Relations, and Teaching. He was elected to two terms as a CPGA Board Member, Tournament Chairman, Secretary, and Vice-President. Since 1986, he has served on the national PGA education faculty as a subject matter expert in Teaching for Business Schools I, II, and III, the Golf Professional Training Program, and the current Professional Golf Management Program. On April 1, 1991, he earned distinction as the PGA’s 86″ Master Professional.
In April 1988, he was hired by Duke athletic director, Tom Butters, to serve as the General Manager and subsequently, the PGA Director of Golf at Duke University Golf Club. 2015 marks his 27th year at the facility. In his 32 years as a PGA Member, Ed has won numerous awards on both a Section and National level. He received the PGA National Bill Strausbaugh Award in 1995 and the PGA National Horton Smith Award in 1998.
The Bill Strausbaugh Award recognizes a PGA member who has made significant contributions through the mentoring of PGA Professionals and impacting their careers. The Horton Smith Award is designed to recognize PGA golf professionals for their outstanding and continuing contributions to developing and improving educational opportunities for the PGA golf professional. At a National level, receiving one award is an incredible honor; receiving two is a rare and remarkable accomplishment.
Within the Section itself; Ed has the honor of receiving the Carolinas PGA Horton Smith Award in 1990, 1998, and 2004; the Carolinas PGA Teacher of the Year Award in 1991 and 2003; and the Carolinas PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award in 2001. The Hall of Fame Award is his 10th Award as a PGA Professional and his 8th Section Award. Additionally, Ed has been on the Golf Magazine Top 100 Teachers in America list since 2001, as well as being listed as one of the North Carolina’s Top Instructors by Golf Digest Magazine.
From his longtime efforts at Duke, to his ability to hold numerous Section and National Committee positions while also serving as an officer in the Carolinas Section, he still finds time to volunteer with other golf associations, and to share his passion to grow this great game.
Ron was first elected to PGA membership in July 1975, while working at Duke University Golf Club — a place he called home for more than a decade. He served as the Women’s Golf Coach, Head Golf Professional, and later, as the Executive Director of the school’s athletic fundraising organization. He guided Duke to its first NCAA tournament appearance in 1983 and then to its first Women’s Golf ACC Championship in 1984. He led Duke to six tournament wins in his time as coach and captured a seventh place finish at the NCAA Championship in 1984. He was selected by the Collegiate Golf Coaches Association as the Regional Golf Coach of the Year in 1984. Coaching, recruiting, and teaching young golfers is one of the best ways to promote the game of golf and Ron did just that throughout his career.
It wasn’t until 1999 that Ron began his life-changing, 16-year role as Executive Director of the Carolinas PGA Section – a position he assumed both at the Myrtle Beach, SC and Greensboro, NC offices. Ron was pivotal in developing a strong relationship with the Bryan Foundation to relocate the Carolinas PGA Section Office to Greensboro and develop a beautiful, new headquarters at Bryan Park Golf Course.
During his time at the Section, Ron not only made a commitment to the PGA’s largest section but to many worthy organizations as well. This includes Play Golf America, Patriot Golf Day and the Folds of Honor Foundation, The First Tee, Adaptive Golf, and Drive, Chip and Putt — a program he still volunteers with at the Section level even after having retired in December 2015. While at the Section, Ron was also a member of the Executive Director Committee, Play Golf America Committee, Scholarship Committee, PGA Communications Committee, Awards and Honors Committee, Hall of Fame Committee, Finance Committee, Education Committee, Code of Ethics Committee, and Sponsors Committee, bolstering an even greater commitment to the Association and its members. Ron embraced all of these initiatives and more while proudly wearing the PGA badge, and continues to today as a PGA Life Member.
Adding to these accolades are also supplemental awards and achievements that Ron has earned over the years including, The President’s Council Award on Growing the Game from 2005-2007, leading the Carolinas PGA Section to win a National Herb Graffis Award in 2007, launching the Section’s most celebrated annual event, the Merchandise Show, and, on top of that, being a chief supporter for the Folds of Honor Foundation, of which he helped the Section to garner over $3,000,000 in donations between 2007 and 2015 (raising $500,000 alone in one year from over 150 Section facilities). Ron’s ability to grow the game and the Section so immensely over the years speaks volumes to his commitment as a PGA Member and to his passion for golf.
Bobby Howard, of Lexington, SC, began his professional career when he was elected to PGA membership in 1964. Howard’s impact throughout his career reached all across the Carolinas, and beyond, with his promotion of the game at his multiple owned courses, leadership in South Carolina golf, the Carolinas PGA, the community, and his overall love for teaching and sharing the game.
Early in his career, Bobby was very influential with the South Carolina Chapter. In 1967 he was President of the Chapter and grew membership from 40 to 120 golf professionals.
Howard served at the Carolinas PGA President from 1969-1970. In this time, he influenced many professionals and made some lasting impacts on the Section. One of the most notable moves during his presidency was his responsibility for acquiring the land and building our Section’s new Headquarters Office in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Along with this change, he appointed a Committee to re-write the CPGA Constitution, implementing many significant changes for the Carolinas. “I was elected as President in the Carolinas and I got a couple colleagues to help me re-write the constitution,” said Howard. “We divided the Section into three chapters; South Carolina had their own and North Carolina had two chapters. This allowed South Carolina Professionals to continue playing their tournaments as they had been, but allowed them the ability to become a national PGA Member. That was one of my proudest accomplishments.”
In conjunction with being a great leader, Bobby was a great player. In 1970, Bobby won the Carolinas Pro-Pro Championship with Bobby Mitchell. He also holds the course record at the Country Club of Charleston with a 62. He was an advocate for playing the game, as he was responsible for the first $1,000 South Carolina Open and the first $10,000 Carolinas Open. As a testament to his overall great leadership, professionalism, and playing ability, Howard won the Carolinas PGA Golf Professional of the Year award in 1971 after only 6 years as a PGA Member.
Bobby owned and operated five golf courses across the Carolinas and was extremely gracious when it came to allowing access to his facilities. In 1972, Bobby became the first golf professional in South Carolina to allow a minority golf team to practice and play at his facilities at Sedgewood Golf Club in Columbia, SC. The South Carolina State golf team had no place to go but Bobby welcomed them with open arms. Opening up his facility to this team was not his only move to welcome all to the game. His club in NC, Broadmoor Golf Links, was the first club to welcome the Skyview Open, a legendary African American tour event.
Bobby’s work in the 1970’s was not done as he began work on the National Hagen Committee in 1971 in starting and conducting the Walter Hagen Cancer Society Tournament in South Carolina. He worked with this for many years, sending SC winners to the National tournament in Florida. As a National Committee Member through 1983, Bobby helped raise $2.8 million for the fight against cancer.
“It means a lot [to be inducted] because I know practically every one of the Hall of Fame Members. I can think back and it gives me a lot of fond memories,” says Howard, when reflecting on his career and the numerous connections he has made. “I really enjoyed serving as President for a couple years, being on the Executive Committee for 14 years, and have enjoyed being a PGA Professional for nearly 52 years.”