• PGA Philadelphia Section Hall of Fame •

Edward Matthew “Ed” “Doc” Dougherty
Class of 2012

           


Ed Dougherty
18 years on PGA Tour
Ed Dougherty was born in Chester, Pennsylvania in 1947. As a schoolboy he was a pitcher on various baseball teams. He played his first round of golf at age 19 while working in the post office. Not long after that he delivered his own draft notice to himself and wound up in Vietnam serving in the infantry and shooting mortars for 12 months. While fighting the war in Vietnam Dougherty received the Purple Heart and earned two Bronze Stars for valor. He was sent back to the states for duty at Ft. Lewis, Washington where he trained soldiers in the firing of mortars. Dougherty wanted to play on the baseball team but he was told that he would be too busy for that but the army base had a golf course. He called his father and asked him to send out a set of golf clubs. In February 1969 Dougherty took up golf in earnest. After completing his army duty he returned to his home in Linwood. A friend took him to Edgmont Country Club where the professional and part owner, Tiny Pedone, watched him hit some golf balls and offered him a job. He worked at Edgmont in the summers and landed a job in the U.S. Virgin Islands for the winters. This allowed him to work on his game 12 months a year. Pedone showed him how to grip the club and told him not to change much else. In the Virgin Islands he worked under Mike Reynolds, a pro with Philadelphia connections who had grown up playing at The Springhaven Club. Reynolds taught him some of the finer points of the game. One of the most important ones was how to eliminate the left side of the golf course by not hitting hooks. Dougherty’s co-assistant at Edgmont and the Virgin Islands, Al Balukas, would sit in a golf cart and critique his practice. It wasn’t long before Dougherty began winning tournaments in the Philadelphia Section. He won the Section’s assistants’ championship in 1972. He became a PGA member in the summer of 1974 and began playing the PGA Tour as a Monday qualifier. Because he had just begun to play the PGA Tour he was still eligible for the PGA Club Professional Championship that year. He finished 12th and earned a place in the 1975 PGA Championship where he was third with one round to go and finished 22nd. Later that year he took a break from the PGA Tour to return home and won the Section Championship. For eight years Dougherty played the PGA Tour with some success. At the end of 1982 the PGA Tour instituted the “all-exempt tour”. Now everyone that had finished in the top 125 on the money list was fully exempt for the next year and others had to go to the PGA Tour’s qualifying school if they wanted to remain on the tour. There were still four spots to qualify for each Monday but that was a real crap-shoot. Dougherty was 128th and didn’t regain his exemption at the qualifying school. For the next few years he only played in a limited number of PGA Tour events but he was winning tournaments in other places. During the early 1980s he won the Section Championship two more times, a Philadelphia Open and the 1985 PGA Club Professional Championship. In 1985 he was the “PGA Club Professional Player of the Year”. Dougherty also won the PGA’s winter program’s match play in 1984 and the stroke play in 1986, which made him the only one to win those two tournaments and the Club Professional Championship. Late in 1986 Dougherty won the Wilson Club Professional Classic which included all of the Section champions and the PGA Cup Team members. In 1983 the PGA Tour had devised a “profit sharing plan”, which was based on the total number of cuts (top 70 and ties after 36 holes) that a player had made. Realizing that he wasn’t far from having made enough cuts to become vested Dougherty decided to try the PGA Tour again. In the fall of 1986 he regained his PGA Tour card at the Q-School. For the next eleven years, except for one, he stayed exempt on the PGA Tour. Twice he finished tied for first in tour event only to lose out in a sudden-death playoff. In 1995 he had lost his exemption but he got into the Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic on his past performance and won the tournament. That kept him exempt until he was old enough to play on the PGA Senior Tour. On a number of occasions during his career he was sidelined by arm and shoulder injuries, which continued into his eleven years on the PGA Senior Tour where he won twice. Dougherty played in seven PGA Championships, five U.S. Opens and one Masters Tournament. His best showing in a major came in 1999 when he finished second in the U.S. Senior Open. In 2012 Dougherty was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame.
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