• PGA Philadelphia Section Hall of Fame •

Ronald L. "Ron" Rolfe
Class of 2008

           

Ron Rolfe was born in 1942 in New London, Connecticut. He was introduced to golf at the age of 12 as a caddy at the New London Country Club. At New London High School he lettered in baseball, basketball, track and golf. After high school he attended Mitchell College on a basketball scholarship. Rolfe turned pro in 1964 and began his professional career as the assistant at the New London Country Club. He arrived in the Philadelphia Section in 1965 as the assistant to Bob Ross at the North Hills Country Club. The next year Ross left North Hills for the head professional position at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. Even though Rolfe was just 23-years old and not a PGA member yet the North Hills C.C. officers hired him to follow Ross as their professional. It was a match made in heaven as Rolfe went on to serve North Hills in that position for 42-years. Since the tireless Marty Lyons no one gave more of their time and effort to assist the Philadelphia PGA than Rolfe. He was a member of the tournament committee for more than thirty years and in 1981 he was the co-chairman along with Tom Smith. That year he was the non-playing captain of the Schmidt Challenge Cup Team. Rolfe served the Section for 12-years on the Board as a District Director. He was a member of the PGA committee that provided the first junior golf clinics that were open to the public. He coached a high school girls’ golf team and created a league of teams in which they could compete. He then helped them procure golf courses for their practice and matches. Rolfe and North Hills hosted more events for the Section than any other club and those were the ones that were the least lucrative for the host. They hosted the Section championship three times, qualifying for the PGA Club Professional Championship five times, Section Senior Championship twice, U.S. Open qualifying twice and the Schmidt Festival twice. Along with that he hosted one-day Section tournament and seminars. Rolfe was always also able to find a way to make his course available to the assistants and senior organizations. In the community he was always there to help people in need and many times he provided financial assistance to veteran caddies who were destitute. For twenty-five years he was one of the Section’s steady players who usually finished in the money at the weekly events and as a senior he continued to cash checks. In his younger years as a PGA member he played on the Caribbean Tour and competed on the PGA Tour during the winter events on the west coast. As a senior he was twice a member of the Ping Challenge Cup team that defeated the GAP team. When Dick Smith, Sr. and Jack Connelly ran for national office Rolfe was one of the first that volunteered to attend the national meetings and assist with their campaigns. He was quietly one of the Section’s most respected golf instructors. On a number of occasions pros sent Rolfe young players who were trying to take their games to another level. In 2008 Rolfe was elected to the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame.
           

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