Hall of Fame
Joseph R. “Joe” Aneda, Jr. (Class 1995)
Born in 1909 Aneda grew up in Stroudsburg and caddied at the Shawnee Country Club. His father and mother immigrated to the United States from Spain. Aneda graduated from nearby East Stroudsburg State Teachers College in the middle of the Depression. For the next four years he worked for the WPA. In 1938 he went to work as the head professional at the Glen Brook Country Club. World War II interrupted his golf career at Glen Brook. He served three years in the army’s counter intelligence corps spending time in the Pacific. After the war he returned to Glen Brook and in the late 40s he also worked in Puerto Rico in the winters as a golf professional. In 1949 he moved over to the Elmhurst Country Club as the head professional for three years. He then became the professional at the Newark Country Club where he stayed until his retirement in 1976. For thirty years after that he was the pro emeritus at Newark. His two daughters were Delaware State junior champions and together they held the title for five straight years. Aneda was the chairman of the Section’s golf show for four years. In 1962 he was elected treasurer of the Section, he served three years as the secretary and he was elected president in 1966 and 1967. Aneda was the Section’s 16th president. For five years he represented the Section as a delegate to the national PGA meeting and in 1968 he completed Marty Lyons’s term as a national vice president (later called director). That year for the first time the PGA of America required the apprentices to pass a test in order to successfully complete the business school. The school was held in Philadelphia and Aneda was the coordinator, arranging for all of the speakers. Aneda was the Section’s “Professional of the Year” in 1964 and he was inducted into the Section’s Hall of Fame in 1995.
Theodore Jules “Ted” Bickel, Jr. (Class 1998)
Born in 1905 in Philadelphia, Ted Bickel began his career as a caddy and club cleaner under Horace Gamble at the Cobbs Creek Golf Club in 1918. He worked as an assistant at Cobbs Creek until 1933 when he became the head professional at the Beverly Hills Country Club in Upper Darby. In 1943 Bickel took over the professional position at The Springhaven Club when Andy Campbell died. He stayed at Springhaven until he retired in 1964 at which time his son Ted III succeeded him. Bickel was a vice-president of the Section five years and the president for three years, 1948-1950. He was the eleventh president of the Philadelphia Section. In 1948 he was selected by the Section to complete the last two years of Marty Lyons’ term as a national vice-president for District II. Bickel attended the national PGA meeting twice as a Philadelphia Section delegate and he attended the meeting as a vice president of the PGA twice. Bickel was voted into the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame in 1998.
Frederick J. “Fred” Byrod (Class 1993)
Fred Byrod was born in Sunbury, Pennsylvania in 1911 where his father and uncle owned the local newspaper. By the time he was in high school he was writing articles on sports for the newspaper, which brought him to Temple University and the study of journalism. He graduated from Temple in 1933 but he had already been working for The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper since 1929. When the United States became involved in World War II Byrod interrupted his career to enlist in the Army and was commissioned in 1942. He served for three years in the South Pacific as a captain in the army with duty on Iwo Jima and New Caledonia. When the war ended he returned to the Inquirer. He was promoted to sports editor in 1958 and held that position until his retirement in 1976. In the 1940s he became involved in promoting Philadelphia golf when the Inquirer sponsored the PGA Tour’s Inquirer Invitation Golf Tournament, which was held at the Torresdale-Frankford CC, Llanerch CC, Cedarbrook CC and the Whitemarsh Valley CC, for a total of five years. Byrod began his promotion of the tournament each year by attending the Masters Tournament in April. The tournament was managed by The Philadelphia Inquirer Charities, Inc. and the Philadelphia Section PGA. When Byrod was at the Masters interviewing the leading players the Inquirer tournament would get mentioned. Right after the Masters he would begin writing articles in the newspaper to inform the local golf fans about the big name golfers that were coming to Philadelphia for the tournament. The year that the tournament was at Cedarbrook, Byrod used his persuasive powers and a bottle of red wine to sign up Bobby Locke for the tournament, which he went on to win. Byrod covered 29 Masters Tournaments, 28 U.S. Opens and twelve PGA Championships for the Inquirer. Over the years he became known and respected by the players. In Byrod’s later years at the Masters he would be summoned to Bobby Jones’s cabin for a private interview. When Ben Hogan won the U.S. Open at Merion GC in 1950 it was just 16-months after his near-fatal automobile accident. Having played 90 holes in four days Hogan informed the press that he was too exhausted for interviews. After some prodding he relented and said that he would speak only to Fred Byrod. Byrod had experience doing private interviews with big name golfers. In 1939 the U.S. Open was being held at the Philadelphia Country Club and Byron Nelson was the professional at the Reading CC. The Inquirer had Byrod hire Nelson to do a story on the U.S. Open each day of the tournament. After each round Byrod would interview Nelson for the article, which Byrod would write. The Inquirer would print it under Nelson’s name, with no mention of Byrod. During World War II he served three years in the South Pacific rising to rank of captain in the army. After retiring from the Inquirer in 1976 the newspaper still featured a golf column by him each week. He didn’t play golf until after he had begun writing about it. Byrod said that from the beginning Ed Dudley and Marty Lyons took an interest in him, explaining tournament golf and introducing him to the better players. With the help of George Fazio and Bud Lewis he learned to play well enough to break 80 on occasion and he won the Philadelphia Newspapermen’s golf championship twice. Byrod was president of the Philadelphia Sportswriters and the Golf Writers Association of America. He became a walking encyclopedia on golf in Philadelphia. He was known for never missing a thing in his interviews and the accuracy of his articles. When a new magazine called Philadelphia Golf Magazine started up in 1986 he was Executive Editor, which featured more than one article by him each month. He was a tireless promoter of golf in Philadelphia and the Philadelphia PGA. Byrod was inducted into the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame in 1993.
Tomas J. “Tom” Carpus (Class 2018)
Tom Carpus was born in Buffalo, New York in 1961 and grew up in Upper Darby. At the age of ten he ventured out to Cobb’s Creek Golf Club where he fished golf balls out of the creeks and sold them to the professional, Andy Pettineo, Sr. Soon he was caddying and playing golf there. That led to his working for Andy, Sr. and Jr. cleaning the golf carts and shagging balls for the golf lessons. From there he went on to Drexel University where he graduated with a business degree and played on the golf team. He lettered four years and won the East Coast Conference individual championship in his senior year. He was inducted into the Drexel University athletic hall of fame in 2007. In 1985 he turned pro and went to work as an assistant to Harry Heagy at the Rolling Green Golf Club. After six years as an assistant at Rolling Green he signed on with the Philadelphia Section PGA as the tournament director. As the supervisor for more than 100 Section competitions he found himself needing to become an expert on the rules of golf. He began attending rules seminars and found his calling in the game of golf. He stayed two years with the Section and then became the professional at the Greate Bay Country Club for five years where he hosted the LPGA ShopRite Classic. In 1998 he returned to Pennsylvania as the professional at the Kennett Square Golf & Country Club. In late 1994 Carpus was elected to Section office for the first time. He was director of tournaments for two years and then director of section affairs for two years. Moving through the Section chairs he was secretary two years, vice president two years and then was the Section’s 35th president two years, 2004-2005. He served on the Section board for 15 years and four times he was a delegate to the PGA’s national meeting. In 2007 the Variety Club opened a three hole golf course for handicapped children that was the brain-child of Carpus. In 2002 he was the Section’s “Golf Professional of the Year”. Having become immersed in the rules of golf Carpus began teaching the rules seminars. In 1995 he was made a member of the PGA of America rules committee, which meant serving on the rules committee at major championships. Carpus has officiated at 15 PGA Championships, the Masters Tournament, and the Ryder Cup along with numerous other tournaments for the PGA and other major organizations. He earned PGA Master Professional status in 2004. In 2007 Carpus won the PGA of America’s Horton Smith Award at the national level. The Horton Smith Award was for his time spent educating his fellow golf professionals and the golfing public on the rules of golf. He had won it twice at the Section level. Carpus participated in more than 100 segments on TV shows where he illustrated the rules of golf. In 2011 Carpus was appointed vice-chairman of the PGA of America rules committee and in 2016 he was named chairman of the committee. In 2017 he resigned from his head professional position at Kennett Square to work for the PGA Tour as a rules official on its Champions Tour for senior professionals. In 2018 Carpus was inducted into the Philadelphia Section Hall of Fame.
John P. “Jack” Connelly III (Class 2000)
Jack Connelly was born in Maryland in 1947 and grew up in Deptford, New Jersey. He was introduced to golf as a caddy at the Woodbury Country Club. At Deptford High School Connelly played baseball and he was the quarterback on the football team. After high school he took a job working in the clubhouse at the Tall Pines Golf Club so that he could have free golf privileges. The pro at Tall Pines, Bill DeAngelis, introduced Connelly to Harry Obitz in 1965. That year he began his career in golf working for Obitz and Dick Farley on Long Island and in the Bahamas. In 1966 Connelly was drafted into the U.S. Army and served a two-year stint, which included a year in Vietnam. After completing his army duty he went back to work for Obitz and Farley, where he was part of their famous “Swings the Thing” golf school and traveling show. Connelly came to the Philadelphia Section in 1971 as the assistant at the Montgomeryville Golf Club and that year he became a PGA member. With the financial assistance of some Woodbury C.C. members he played on the PGA Tour in 1972. The next year he came back to Philadelphia as the assistant at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club. In 1975 he qualified for the U.S. Open where he made the cut and a year later he followed Ken Stear as the head professional at Huntingdon Valley. For three decades he was one of the leading players in the Philadelphia Section as he won numerous tournaments. In spite of all his success and victories he only won one of the Section’s major events; that being the 1979 Philadelphia Open. Six times he finished second in the Philadelphia Section Championship. He ended up second in the Philadelphia Open twice, the Pennsylvania Open once and the Philadelphia Section Senior Championship once. In a stretch nine years Connelly played in eight PGA Tour Whitemarsh Valley Opens. He qualified for the PGA Club Professional Championship seven times and the PGA Senior Club Professional Championship three times. Connelly was the Section’s “Player of the Year” four times and he won the DeBaufre Trophy three times for having the lowest scoring average in the Section events. In 1975 Connelly got involved with PGA politics when Dick Smith, Sr. appointed him to the tournament committee. Four years later he was elected Philadelphia Section secretary. He served in that capacity for three years before being elected to the office of first vice president and tournament chairman in 1982. He then served as the Section’s 24th president in 1983 and 1984. After being out of PGA politics for three years Connelly ran for the Section’s office of second vice president and was again back in harness. He served as secretary again in 1989 and he was first vice president and tournament chairman in 1990 and 1991. In 1993 Connelly ascended to the office of director in the PGA of America for District II, which was a three-year term. After completing his time on the PGA Board of Directors he decided to run for PGA office. At the PGA of America’s annual meeting in November of 1996 Connelly was elected to the office of secretary, which meant that he was on the way to being the president. He served as secretary for two years and vice president for two years. In November of 2000 he was elected the 32nd president of the PGA of America. While president of the PGA the “9/11” attacks occurred less than three weeks before the Ryder Cup was scheduled to be played in England. Because of all the security concerns involving high profile athletes and events the decision had to be made to postpone the matches until 2002. Along with that came the coordination of all the scheduling for the PGA, PGA Tour, European PGA, television, etc. In 1988 Connelly was the Section’s “Golf Professional of the Year” and in 1995 he won the Horton Smith Award for his work in educating his fellow golf professionals. His son, J.P. Connelly, apprenticed under him at Huntingdon Valley and went on to be a head professional in the New England PGA Section. Connelly was the first PGA of America sitting president to induct his child into the PGA when he spoke at the Level III graduation commencement in Port St. Lucie, Florida on February 16, 2002. That class was the first to graduate from the PGA’s new Learning Center in Port St. Lucie. In 2002 the Section initiated a tournament in his honor, the Jack Connelly Head Professional Championship. He was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame in 2000. Connelly was inducted into the PGA of America’s “PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame” in 2005.
Edward Timberlake “Tim” DeBaufre (Class 2005)
Tim DeBaufre was born in Atlantic City in 1939. His father Ed DeBaufre was the professional at the Wildwood Golf & Country Club where Tim and his brother Tom learned to play golf. Tom who was loved by everyone and known to most as the “Big Bopper” or just “Bopper” also turned pro and was a member of the Philadelphia Section. Tim attended Duke University where he played on an Atlantic Coast Conference championship team. Tim then did a six-month tour of duty with the United States Coast Guard before turning pro. Other than helping his father Ed at Wildwood his first professional position was as an assistant to Tiny Pedone at the Overbrook Golf Club. The next year Tim moved over to the Philadelphia Country Club as a playing assistant under Loma Frakes. Late that year he joined the PGA Tour on the west coast under the sponsorship of Frakes and two of the Country Club members. For the next four years he bounced back and forth between the PGA Tour and the Country Club. In 1967 DeBaufre accepted the head professional position at the Cedarbrook Country Club. In his second year at Cedarbrook he won the Schmidt’s Festival of Golf, finished second in the Philadelphia Open, made the cut at the Philadelphia Golf Classic and he qualified for both the PGA Championship and the first PGA Club Professional Championship, making the cut in both of them. DeBaufre finished 41st in the PGA Championship that year. It was the last time that the PGA club professionals could qualify locally for the PGA Championship. That fall Tim turned his head professional position at Cedarbrook over to his brother Tom who had been his assistant and left for another shot at the PGA Tour. One year later he was back as the teaching assistant for his Duke teammate Ted McKenzie at the Waynesborough Country Club. In 1967 DeBaufre settled down as the professional at the Woodcrest Country Club for nine years before moving to the Philadelphia Country Club where he stayed for 17 years. After leaving the Country Club he became the Director of Golf at the Greate Bay Country Club where he assisted with the design of Twisted Dune golf course. As a player DeBaufre won more than twenty professional open tournaments, which included the Philadelphia Open, the Schmidt’s Festival and the Delaware Valley Open. He also finished second in the Philadelphia Open twice. DeBaufre qualified for the Club Pro Championship three times, making the cut twice. He was a member of five Schmidt’s Challenge Cup teams, which included the first two. In 1990 DeBaufre qualified for the PGA Senior Club Professional Championship where he finished tied for 17th. That qualified him for the 1991 PGA Seniors’ Championship. DeBaufre qualified for the Philadelphia Golf Classic six times and made the cut twice. In 1964 Tim and his family donated the DeBaufre Trophy to the Section in memory of his father Ed, the pro at the Wildwood Country Golf & Country Club, who had died that winter in an automobile accident. Each year the trophy was awarded to the Section member that finished the tournament season with the lowest scoring average. After being a member of the tournament committee for many years DeBaufre was elected first vice president and tournament chairman for three straight years beginning in 1978. During that period of time he took the Section’s purses from just over $100,000 a year to $265,000, an increase of more than 250 percent. In late 1980 DeBaufre was elected president of the Philadelphia Section and he was reelected the next year. He was the Section’s 23rd president. He was a delegate to the national PGA meeting four times. In 1990 DeBaufre was the Section’s “Golf-Professional-of-the-Year” and he was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame in 2005.
Elio A. “Leo” DeGisi (Class 2014)
Leo DeGisi was born in Italy in 1951 and his family immigrated to the United States in 1958. At the age of twelve he was introduced to golf as a caddy at the Gulph Mills Golf Club. It wasn’t long before he was helping the golf professional Al Keeping in the golf shop. His older brother Tony caddied there also and he became the caddy master. When Tony left to join the army it wasn’t long before Keeping made Leo, who was just 16, the caddy master. After high school he attended Temple University while still holding down the caddy master job at Gulph Mills. At Temple he majored in accounting and the summer before graduating he did an internship as an accountant. That was when he decided that he wanted to be a golf professional and not an accountant. When DeGisi graduated from Temple in 1974 he turned pro and began his club professional career at Gulph Mills under Willie Scholl, who had succeeded Keeping as the professional there. Later that summer he went to work at the Bala Golf Club as an assistant under Henry McQuiston. After five years at Bala, DeGisi moved across the Delaware River to be the professional at the Medford Village Country Club. While still at Bala DeGisi became involved with the Section’s junior golf program and for eleven years he served on the Section’s junior golf committee. For three years he chaired the committee and in 1987 he was the Section’s Junior Golf Leader Award winner. At the Philadelphia Section’s annual meeting in 1987 he was elected to the board as a director. The next year he was elected to Section office as the second vice president and the next year he was elected treasurer. He held that office for two years and then he was elected president of the Section. He served as the Section’s 29th president in 1992 and 1993. With his degree in accounting DeGisi brought a new dimension of expertise to the Section’s board of directors. The time of his arrival on the board was fortunate for the Section as it was going through the 1990s growth spurt in members, apprentices and employees. In 1998 Section President George McNamara formed a new committee called the finance committee, which was created to oversee the Section’s finances. DeGisi was called on to chair that committee, which he did through 2004. He was the Section’s “Golf Professional of the Year” in 1996. From 2002 to 2004 he served on the PGA of America’s board of directors as the director from District II and in 2004 he took on the duties of general manager at Medford Village along with still serving the club as its head professional. When the Philadelphia Section’s turn came around again in 2011 to have a director on the PGA board DeGisi was chosen to represent the Section for the three-year term a second time. In 2014 he was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame.
Louis “Leo” Diegel (Class 2000)
Leo Diegel was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1899. Diegel was an all-around athlete. He attended the University of Detroit where he played football, basketball and baseball. At age 17 he was a golf professional working for Alex Ross at the Detroit Golf Club. At that time anyone who caddied or worked in a golf shop after the age of 16 was deemed to be a professional golfer. That year he won the Michigan Open as his employer, Ross, finished second. Three years later he won a second Michigan Open, this time by 19 strokes. In 1928 and 1929 he held the #1 ranking on the PGA Tour and he was ranked in the top ten every year from 1920 to 1934. He won consecutive PGA Championships (1928 and 1929) and four Canadian Opens. In winning the 1929 Canadian Open he put together what was considered the best 72-hole score up to that time, a 274. On the way to winning the 1928 PGA Championship at Five Farms in Baltimore he defeated Walter Hagen in the quarterfinals. Up to then Hagen had won 22 straight 36-hole matches and the four previous PGA Championships. Hagen’s 1926 PGA Championship had come at the expense of Diegel as he defeated him in the finals. Diegel also finished second in both the U.S. Open and the British Open. Diegel won a total of 29 tournaments on the PGA Tour and he was second 23 times. He was a member of the first four Ryder Cup teams. He arrived in the Philadelphia Section as the professional at the Philmont Country Club in late 1933 and stayed there through 1944. His national victories were behind him but he was a factor in the major championships for several more years. His first year at Philmont he finished second on the PGA Tour money list even though he only played in seven tournaments. Late that year he won two tournaments in Australia and tied for first in another one. Those wins didn’t figure in the PGA Tour money standings. Diegel was the PGA of America tournament chairman in 1934 and chairman of the PGA of America’s national rehabilitation program for wounded World War II veterans from 1944 to 1946. As the tournament chairman of the Philadelphia Section in 1943 he began raising money for wartime charities through the Section events. Out of that evolved the rehabilitation program for the wounded veterans at the Valley Forge General Hospital near Phoenixville. By the time the war had ended Diegel had the rehabilitation program at five veterans’ hospitals in the Philadelphia Section and every PGA Section in the country was doing something to rehabilitate the wounded veterans. Diegel was inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame in 1955, the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame in 2000 and the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003.
Edward Matthew “Ed” “Doc” Dougherty (Class 2012)
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.
Edward Bishop “Ed” Dudley (Class 1992)
Ed Dudley was born in Brunswick, Georgia in 1901. After working in California and Oklahoma along with playing the PGA Tour he arrived in the Section in 1929 as the professional at the Concord Country Club. As a member of the Ryder Cup Team that year he had national playing credentials. After returning from the Ryder Cup matches in England Dudley lived up to his reputation by winning the Pennsylvania Open and the Philadelphia Open that summer. He continued to play at that same level through the 1930s, as he was a member of two more Ryder Cup teams in 1933 and 1937. In 1931, the year of the balloon ball, he won the Western Open, which was considered a major at the time, and the Los Angeles Open. He finished the year with the low scoring average on the PGA Tour. The “balloon ball” was a lighter golf ball that the USGA went to for one year in order to control the distance that the ball traveled. Dudley had 15 wins on the PGA Tour and finished second 11 times. Early in his career Dudley worked winters for Tommy Armour as his first assistant at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Florida when he wasn’t playing in tournaments. In 1933 he took a winter job as the first head professional at the Augusta National Golf Club. As a native of Georgia he was a golfing contemporary of Bobby Jones and he was Jones’ first choice to be the professional at Augusta National. In the first eight Masters Tournaments Dudley finished in the top ten each year, with a third place finish in 1937. While in the Section he won the Philadelphia Open four times and the Pennsylvania Open three times. He also won four consecutive Philadelphia Section professional championships that were played each year with a different format from the Section Championship. The last three were played at stroke play for the Public Ledger Cup, of which he took permanent possession. The only championship in Philadelphia that he didn’t win was the Section Championship. He came close in 1940 losing in the finals one-down. Sixteen times he qualified on site at the national PGA Championship for the match play. He reached the semifinals once and the quarterfinals five times. Dudley had finishes of fifth and sixth in the U.S. Open along with sixth and seventh in the British Open. He finished among the top ten in the major tournaments 19 times. Dudley won 15 times on the PGA Tour. In 1934 he left Concord to become the head professional at the Philadelphia Country Club. He held both of those positions, Philadelphia in the summer and Augusta during the winter, until 1941 when he left the Philadelphia Country Club for The Broadmoor in Colorado. When Augusta National closed in 1943 for World War II Dudley was named professional at the Atlantic City Country Club, where he stayed two years. When the war ended Dudley went back to being the professional at Augusta in the winter and the Broadmoor in the summer. After 27 winters at Augusta National, Dudley left for a winter job as the professional at the new Dorado Beach Golf Club while still holding his summer job at the Broadmoor. At Dorado Dudley gave Chi-Chi Rodriguez his start in golf as the caddy master first and then as his assistant. Dudley was elected ninth president of the Philadelphia Section in 1935 and was reelected six more times. During that time he was the tournament chairman of the PGA of America for six years and a national vice president at large for five years. He hosted the U.S. Open at the Philadelphia Country Club in 1939. In late 1941 Dudley was elected president of the PGA of America and he also held that office for seven years. During World War II Dudley convinced the United States government to exempt the golf professionals from gas rationing because they needed to continue the golf tournaments for their livelihood. Along with that professional golf raised many dollars for wartime charities and it was also thought that the golf fans needed a diversion from the war. In 1943 the PGA Tour had only offered a few events because the sponsors of the tournaments couldn’t be sure if the touring pros could get to their cities. After Dudley got the government’s approval to keep tournament golf going the PGA Tour came back with almost a full schedule in 1944. For the same reason the local pros were able to keep their schedule going as well. Dudley remained a member of the Section until 1948 when he had to transfer to the Southeastern PGA Section. The PGA had made a rule that a professional had to be a member of the Section where he was employed. Dudley was probably the most multi talented and successful professional in the Section’s history. He was honorary captain of the Ryder Cup team in 1949, inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame in 1964 and selected as an original member of the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame in 1992.
George J. Fazio (Class 2008)
Fazio was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania in 1912. He had a varied and outstanding career in golf. Fazio worked as a golf professional, leased courses and driving ranges, won golf tournaments and designed golf courses. His career in golf began as a caddy at the Plymouth Country Club. He worked as a professional at six different golf courses in the Philadelphia area including the Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey and he played the PGA Tour on and off during the late 1940s and most of the 1950s. For a number of years Fazio owned a Ford automobile agency in Conshohocken that was set up for him by William Clay Ford. Locally Fazio won the Philadelphia Section Championship in 1941 and from 1949 to 1959 he won five Philadelphia Opens along with finishing second twice. In 1950 while working in the Middle Atlantic Section Fazio won their Section championship. He won twice on the PGA Tour, which included winning the Canadian Open in 1946, and finished second seven times. In 1950 he tied with Ben Hogan and Lloyd Mangrum for the U.S. Open title at Merion Golf Club and lost in an 18-hole playoff. He also finished fifth in the 1952 U.S. Open and tied for fourth in 1953. During his career he played in 14 U.S. Opens, 14 PGA Championships and 7 Masters Tournaments. Fazio also knew golf talent. When Gary Player first ventured to America to try his hand on the PGA Tour he wasn’t very successful. Fazio gave Player some money, which allowed him to stay on the tour. At the time Fazio was leasing Flourtown Golf Club and Langhorne Country Club so to return the favor Player agreed to represent Langhorne on the PGA Tour. In the mid 1950s television was in its infancy and a young Jack Whitaker was doing ten minutes of sports at 11:00 pm on WCAU TV. Whitaker could see that golf was becoming very popular so he invited Fazio to be a guest on his show each Wednesday evening. The Wednesday show with Fazio was a hit as hundreds of viewers sent in postcards and letters with golf questions. Some of the shows featured Fazio demonstrating various golf shots at the Presidential Course, which was what remained of the Philadelphia Country Club’s original course. In 1955 the city of Philadelphia hired Fazio to make changes that would tighten up its Cobbs Creek Golf Club for the PGA Tour’s Daily News Open that the course was hosting that year. That got him started in course design and in 1960 he shifted his career over to building golf courses. Fazio gained more fame as a golf course architect than he had from playing tournaments. He designed 64 courses and redesigned 20 more. Nine of the courses he created were in the Philadelphia Section. Several of his courses quickly made Golf Digest’s list of “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses. A number of golf courses that Fazio designed and golf courses that he redesigned hosted national championships and PGA Tour events. The list included the 1972 Masters, six U.S. Open courses and the 1968 U.S. Women’s Open. Fazio was inducted into the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame in 2008.
Leo F. Fraser (Class 1992)
Leo Fraser was born in the Queens section of New York City in 1910. His father James was a golf professional who had immigrated to the United States from Aberdeen, Scotland. In 1916 the family moved to New Jersey from New York when James, became the professional at the Seaview Country Club. That year James Fraser won the Philadelphia Open. The family lived next to the first hole of what was later called Seaview Country Club’s Bay Course. There Leo learned the game and met some of the world’s greatest golfers. In 1920 he caddied for his father in an exhibition at the Hill School’s course in Pottstown where James and Walter Hagen defeated Harry Vardon and Ted Ray. James Fraser had designed the course, which was later part of the Brookside Country Club, and the exhibition celebrated the opening of the course. In early 1923 James Fraser died in an automobile accident at the shore with a trolley that jumped the tracks. Three years later Fraser went to Michigan to visit an aunt and at the age of 16 became the professional at a public golf course. He returned to Seaview as the head professional in 1935 and stayed there four years before moving to Maryland. Fraser entered the army in 1942 as a private and served in a combat infantry unit in Europe, rising to the rank of major through battlefield promotions. He was decorated with the Bronze Star and five battle stars while also seeing action in North Africa. Fraser came home from the war in 1945 to find that his brother Sonny and some associates, who had bought the Atlantic City Country Club in 1943, were looking for a buyer. With the help of loans from friends Leo purchased the club and managed it successfully until his death in 1986. Fraser qualified for the PGA Championship in 1938 and 1947 and then made it through the on site qualifying for the match play on both occasions. He also played in the U.S. Open in 1932 and 1939, making the cut in 1932. In the fall of 1953 Fraser was elected second vice president of the Philadelphia Section and the next two years he served as the first vice president. In 1955 he chaired the national PGA meeting and hosted it in Atlantic City. Fraser was elected Section president six times, 1957 through 1962 making him the 14th president of the Philadelphia Section. After having been the Philadelphia Section’s delegate to the national meeting for eight years Fraser was elected treasurer of the PGA of America in late 1964. He served the PGA as secretary for three years and then he was elected president for two terms, 1969 and 1970. Fraser was an innovator when it came to golf and he was responsible for many ideas that the PGA later adopted. In 1936 he wrote to the PGA stating that the professionals should have a home course. He pointed out that there were golf courses in Florida that could be purchased for almost nothing. In 1948 Fraser hosted the third U.S. Women’s Open Championship, five years before the USGA recognized the women professionals by taking the tournament over. He hosted the Women’s Open again in 1965 and 1975. In 1954 Fraser convinced the Section officers that they should institute a caddy scholarship fund, which he chaired. A few golf associations had scholarship funds but Philadelphia was the only PGA Section with one. By 1959 the Section was aiding five former caddies with scholarships. In the 1960s the Golf Association of Philadelphia joined up with the Section to co-sponsor the fund and in later years the GAP took it over completely. In 1958 he put together a spring golf show that was still an important feature of the Section’s schedule twenty years later. Fraser sponsored and hosted a senior open at Atlantic City C.C. for two years, 1957 and 1958, and the first tournament of what became the highly successful PGA Senior Tour was played at ACCC in 1980. In the late 1950s Fraser put together a group health insurance plan for the members of the Philadelphia PGA. The plan also offered a term life insurance option. While Fraser was a national officer he created the PGA Club Professional Championship, which gave the club professionals a more equitable method of qualifying for the PGA Championship and their own national championship. Another of his innovations as president of the PGA was to create a new PGA classification of Master Professional. To attain that classification a PGA member would have to complete certain education programs and write a thesis related to the golf business. When Fraser took office as president of the PGA of America the PGA Tour and the PGA were in the midst of a breakup. Both the PGA and the PGA Tour were setting up tournament schedules for 1969 until Fraser made peace with the tournament players. The “Tournament Players Division of the PGA” was formed and Joe Dey was hired as the commissioner. Also as national president he was responsible for setting up the PGA Credit Union for the professionals. In 1955 Fraser hosted the British Ryder Cup team for practice rounds at his Atlantic City Country Club before they traveled on to California for the matches. He hosted the Section Championship three times and the Section’s annual meeting for 17 years. After Fraser stepped down as president of the PGA he formed a consulting company. He was a licensed pilot and owned a single engine airplane that he used for short trips of 600 to 800 miles. Fraser was the Philadelphia Section’s “Professional of the Year” in 1957 and an original inductee into the Section’s Hall of Fame in 1992.
Clarence W. Hackney (Class 2013)
Clarence Hackney was born in Carnoustie, Scotland in 1894 and learned to play golf as a caddy at Carnoustie. Before immigrating to the United States he worked as a butcher. His first golf position in the United States was as the assistant at the Pocono Manor Country Club from 1912 to 1914. Sometime in 1914 he took a job with the Atlantic City Country Club as an assistant to the two-time U.S. Open champion Johnny McDermott. When McDermott suffered a nervous breakdown late that year and had to resign Hackney was made interim head professional. Soon after that the interim status was removed and Hackney stayed in that position until his death in early January of 1941. As the professional at Atlantic City, Hackney was a member of the Metropolitan Section when the PGA was formed in 1916. He became a member of the Section in late 1924 when the PGA added more Sections and all of the professionals working south of the 40th parallel in New Jersey became members of the Philadelphia Section. Hackney had three brothers who were also golf professionals in the U.S. James and William served several clubs in the Philadelphia Section as head professionals. He won the Canadian Open in 1923 and finished second in the Western Open in 1920. In 1921 Hackney was a member of a pre Ryder Cup Team that was defeated by a British team the week before the British Open was played. Hackney won two Philadelphia Section Championships, the Philadelphia Open three times and the New Jersey Open three consecutive years. In 1923 one week before winning the Canadian Open he won the Philadelphia Open at Pine Valley Golf Club by 13 strokes with a score of 298. He defeated the best pros and amateurs in the Philadelphia area along with a number of established national professionals. These victories were rated as PGA Tour victories based on the caliber of the players in the field. Hackney played in 14 U.S. Opens and 11 PGA Championships. He also served the Section as first vice president and tournament chairman for two years and the second vice president for one year. Five times he was a delegate to the PGA of America’s annual meetings from the Philadelphia Section. In 2013 Hackney was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame.
Harry D. Hammond Jr. (Class 2001)
Harry Hammond was born in 1939 in Chester, Pennsylvania. He learned to play golf as a caddy at the Kennett Square Golf & Country Club. Hammond attended Penn State University to study engineering but dropped out in 1958 to begin a career in golf as an assistant under Willie Polumbo at Kennett Square. When Polumbo moved to the Green Hill Golf Club in 1961 Hammond went with him. In 1963 he became the head professional at the West Chester Golf & Country Club. After six years at West Chester Hammond moved over to the Whitford Country Club where he stayed until he retired 39 years later. For those 39 years Hammond ran what was first the Whitford Pro-Am and later evolved into a two-day tournament. The two-day tournament, which Hammond and Whitford held for 32 years was a one-day pro-am with two pros and two amateurs teaming up in each group along with 36-holes of stroke play for the pros and a few of the amateurs. Hammond was elected Section secretary three times (1982, 1983 & 1984) and in 1985 he served as the Section’s 25th president. Starting in the late 1970s Hammond played a major role in the Section’s junior golf clinics and golf camps. Through that and his involvement with the junior golfers at Whitford Hammond became interested in junior golf in the Philadelphia Section. In 1991 he became a member of the Section’s junior golf committee. Under Hammond the Section began a “Clubs for Kids” program, which donated used clubs to various junior programs and junior golfers. Hammond and his staff at Whitford were the “Clubs for Kids” program as they cut down and regriped several thousand clubs for junior golfers. He was a member of the Section’s junior golf committee for seventeen years and chairman of the committee for fourteen years. As someone who had a daughter who was a junior golfer Hammond realized what golf could do for young girls as well as boys. His daughter Laura went on to be the Pennsylvania girls junior champion and she won the Womens Golf Association of Philadelphia Championship seven times. Hammond became more and more involved with junior golf and he began to assist other junior programs. Hammond was influential in the formation of a Philadelphia Junior Golf Association that tied all of the junior programs together, including the “First Tee” program. Over the years Hammond helped raise thousands of dollars for junior golf in the Philadelphia region. In appreciation and acknowledgement of Hammond’s work with junior golfers the Golf Association of Philadelphia named one of its competitions for juniors, the Harry Hammond Award. That was a notable honor as it is the GAP’s only competition that is named after a golf professional. Four times he won the Section’s Junior Golf Leader Award and in 1999 he was the PGA of America’s Junior Golf Leader Award recipient. In 1991 Hammond was the Section’s “Golf Professional of the Year” and in 1996 he won the Bill Strausbaugh Award for his time spent helping to educate his fellow professionals. He was the merchandiser of the year in the Section for private clubs three times. In 1992 he became a PGA Master Professional with the title of his thesis being “Computers for the Golf Shop”. Over the years Hammond served on numerous Section and PGA of America committees. In 2001 Hammond was inducted into the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame. After leaving Whitford 1n 2007 he became the managing partner of a group that purchased the Penn Oaks Country Club.
Richard L. “Dick” Hendrickson (Class 2007)
Dick Hendrickson was born in 1935 at St. Louis, Missouri and he grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. Baseball was his game when he was young. During his high school career he pitched nine no-hit games. Hendrickson thought that he was on the way to the major leagues but the best offer he received was a Class D contract. At the age of 18 Hendrickson bought a driver, a five-iron, two-dozen used golf balls and a pack of tees even though he had never played golf. He then went to a public park where he had played baseball and began to try and learn the game of golf. At the park he met a man who played golf, but not well. The man showed Hendrickson a few fundamentals and he practiced in the park. After six months of practice, his tutor took him to one of Baltimore’s public courses, Mt. Pleasant Golf Course. Even though Hendrickson had never hit a putt or a chip shot he proceeded to shoot an 86 in his first round of golf. After three-years of practicing and playing at Mt. Pleasant, while working some jobs that would not interfere with his golf, he turned pro. Hendrickson worked as an assistant pro at Mt. Pleasant for two-years before coming to the Philadelphia Section in 1958 as an assistant to Skee Riegel at the Radnor Valley Country Club. He spent two-years at Radnor Valley and two-years at the Country Club of Scranton before becoming the head pro at the Golf Farm Golf Club in 1962. The next year he moved next-door as the professional at the newly opened Laurel Creek Country Club and five-years later he moved to another new club, the Little Mill Country Club. While working at those clubs his golf game was rapidly improving so he began playing some tournaments on the PGA Tour during the winter months. In 1972, at the age of 37, he left Little Mill for a shot at the PGA Tour, which he played for two years. The only way a nonexempt player could get into a tournament was through Monday qualifying and if he did qualify for a tournament and made the cut he could then play the next week. Hendrickson struggled with a bad back for several years. With his six-foot seven-inch body travel wasn’t easy, but during those two years he managed to get into 31 events and make 27 cuts, which was an accomplishment. At the same time he came back to the Section to play in some of the more lucrative events. He won the Philadelphia PGA Championship in 1972 along with the 1972 and 1973 Philadelphia Opens. In 1974 Hendrickson was off the PGA Tour most of the year and survived by playing in local tournaments. One of those tournaments was the 72-hole Schmidt Golf Festival, which offered the largest purse of the year. The tournament was first held in 1967 and Hendrickson won that one along with the ones played in 1972 and 1973. Of the eight Schmidt Golf Festivals that were held Hendrickson finished third or better in seven of them. In 1975 Hendrickson and Dick Smith, Sr. put together a partnership that leased the Wedgwood Country Club for four years. After 1978 they dissolved that agreement and Hendrickson became the professional at the Loch Nairn Golf Club where he stayed three years before moving to Radley Run as the professional where he stayed for six years. In late 1987 Hendrickson left Radley Run for a shot at the PGA Senior Tour. He played in the 1987 PGA Senior Tour’s qualifying school and when he didn’t earn an exemption for the next year it meant that he had to once again play in the Monday qualifying events in order to compete in that week’s tournament. This was even more difficult than the PGA Tour had been as there were usually only four spots to qualify for each week. In spite of that burden Hendrickson made it into twelve tournaments, finishing second twice. In one of those he led going into the last round after opening with 64-65. He finished 38th on the money list, which was remarkable since most of the leading players had played in thirty or more events. That position made him exempt for most of the tournaments in 1989. He then decided to see if he could improve his position by attending PGA Senior Tour’s Q-School again. He was successful as he secured one of the eight full exemptions by finishing third. That year Hendrickson played in 33 events and finished 31st on the money list, which was the last money position that made a player fully exempt for the next year. For the next four years he finished well up on the money list with 22nd being his best. By the end of 1993 he was in the top 31 on the PGA Tour’s lifetime total money list, which exempted him for most of the tournaments each year through 1997. His last two years on the PGA Senior Tour were 1998 and 1999 where he was able to play in seventeen and eleven events. During his twelve years on the PGA Senior Tour Hendrickson finished second four times and third twice. During his career he played in four U.S. Opens, three PGA Championships, twelve PGA Seniors’ Championships and six U.S. Senior Opens. Hendrickson won the Philadelphia Open three times, the Philadelphia PGA Championship once and five times he finished second in the Philadelphia PGA Championship. He was a member of ten Schmidt’s Challenge Cup Teams. Hendrickson played in eight PGA Club Professional Championships where he made the cut six times. Five times he was the “Player of the Year” in the Philadelphia Section and he won the DeBaufre Trophy for having the low scoring average four times. Hendrickson was the Section’s first vice president and tournament chairman in 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1972 along with being the secretary in 1971. In 1971 he was the Section’s Golf Professional of the Year and in 2007 he was inducted into the Philadelphia Section PGA’s Hall of Fame.
William Ben Hogan (Class 2003)
Ben Hogan was born in Dublin, Texas in 1912 and grew up caddying with Byron Nelson at the Glen Garden Country Club in Ft. Worth. He turned pro in 1931 and tried the PGA Tour without success. Several times he failed to make expenses on the tour and came home to work on his game some more while his contemporaries, Nelson and Sam Snead, were winning tournaments. In 1938 he finally began to win enough money to stay on the tour. That year Henry Picard invited Hogan to play in the Hershey Four-Ball. He was the only entrant without a tournament win and most of the field had won majors but Hogan and his partner Vic Ghezzi won the event by a large margin. Hogan now had his first win but it took until 1940 for him to gain his first individual win, when he won the North and South Open. He went on to win two more times that year and he led the tour in money winnings. The next year he signed on with the Hershey Country Club as their golf professional. Milton Hershey, the president of the Hershey Chocolate Company that owned the golf course, only required Hogan to be at Hershey for certain special occasions. From 1941 through 1942 he won a total of eleven times and led in money won each year but then his golf career was interrupted for almost three years. In late 1942 he quit the PGA Tour to enroll in a private flight school and then he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. In the late summer of 1945 Hogan was discharged from the army in time to win five tournaments and the next year he won thirteen times and topped the money list again. After that he cut his schedule some but he still won 18 tournaments in the next two years. In early February of 1949 Hogan and his wife Valerie were involved in an accident with a bus and the doctors didn’t expect him to ever play golf again much less win tournaments. One year later Hogan entered the Los Angeles Open and finished in a tie for first with Sam Snead, only to lose an 18-hole playoff. Later that year in June he won the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club and showed the golf world that he was back. The next year he won the Masters and the U.S. Open. The day after winning the 1951 U.S. Open his contract with the Hershey C.C. ran out. If Milton Hershey had still been alive Hogan would have probably been with Hershey for a few more years. Hogan had problems with his legs and his tournament schedule was quite limited after that but he picked his spots and went on to win the Masters, U.S. Open and the British Open in 1953. Soon after that he started the Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company, which was a big success. Hogan won 63 times on the PGA Tour with 53 of those coming while he was Hershey’s professional. Nine of his wins came in the majors. He won four U.S. Opens, two PGA Championships, two Masters Tournaments and the British Open. He was a member of four Ryder Cup teams and the captain of two of them. Hogan won the Vardon Trophy five times, topped the money list five times and he was the “PGA Player-of-the-Year” four times. In 1953 Hogan was elected to the PGA Hall of Fame and in 2003 he was inducted into the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame.
Herbert Frederick “Herb” Jewson (Class 2018)
Herb Jewson, whose parents were English, was born in Ireland in 1890. He moved to the United States in 1913 to work as an assistant to Ben Nicholls at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. Jewson served as the head professional at the Woodbury Country Club and Huntingdon Valley Country before settling in as the manager, professional and head green keeper at the Roxborough Country Club in 1920 for forty years. He served the Section as its third and eighth president, a period of six years 1924-1927 and 1933-1934. Also he was the secretary-treasurer for two years, the secretary one other year and the tournament chairman one year. When Jewson took over as secretary/treasurer in early 1931 the Section had no money. By the end of the year all the bills had been paid and the Section had $342 in its treasury. He did such an outstanding job as treasurer in the early years of the Great Depression, he was returned to the office of president. When the Section was formed in 1921 he was one of the founding members, member of the organizing committee and chairman of the membership committee. He served the PGA as a national vice president, later called director, four years in the 1920s. Four times in the 1920s he was the Section’s only delegate to the national PGA meeting and he was a delegate three more times in the 1930s. In 1926 Roxborough Country Club’s lease had run out and the decision was made to move from Philadelphia to Ridge Pike in Lafayette Hill. Jewson, the golf professional, green superintendent and manager, was given the task of designing a new course and overseeing the construction, which was done without hiring any outside contractors. Roxborough C.C. was later purchased by the Insurance Company of North America in 1946. Jewson was kept on as the professional and manager until his retirement in 1960. The name was changed to INA Country Club. The course was redesigned by Rees Jones in 1982 and the name was changed to Eagle Lodge Country Club. The Section Championship was played at the Eagle Lodge course for several years. Later the facility was purchased by the Ace Insurance Company and was renamed The Ace Club. It was completely redesigned by Gary Player’s architectural firm and reopened in 2003. In 2018 Jewson was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame.
Joseph Henry “Joe” Kirkwood, Sr. (Class 2010)
Joe Kirkwood, Sr. was born near Sydney, Australia in 1897. When he was ten years old he signed on to work for a man who owned a sheep station in the outback. He had met the man while working as a caddy. Kirkwood left his family home in Sydney for a 400-mile journey to his new job as a sheep drover. He walked alone, without a compass, map, or watch, following rivers and railroad lines. At the ranch Kirkwood handcrafted some golf clubs using snake skins for grips. While watching over the sheep he practiced different golf shots hitting right handed, left handed and standing on one foot. Kirkwood trained his dog to retrieve the golf balls. He then designed a rudimentary three-hole course at the ranch. Kirkwood won his first tournament six years later and turned pro at age 19. During World War I he entertained Australia’s wounded veterans by hitting golf shots and found that they were even more impressed with the trick shots that he could pull off. He was just 23 when he won the Australian Open, the New Zealand Open and the New Zealand PGA Championship in 1920. At the New Zealand Open he broke the tournament record by 12 strokes. The next year Kirkwood ventured out of the South Pacific for the first time. He landed on the west coast of the United States and played his way across the country. In April he played in the North and South Open, where he was paired with Walter Hagen. At the conclusion of one of the rounds during the tournament Kirkwood showed off his array of trick shots for the spectators and players. When he finished Jimmy Walker, the mayor of New York, passed a hat around to collect a little money for him. When Hagen saw how much money was collected he decided that Kirkwood was someone he should team up with. Kirkwood and Hagen struck up a friendship that would last as long as they lived. From there he traveled to Scotland for the British Open where he tied for sixth and then it was back to the states for the U.S. Open. In 1922 Kirkwood returned for the North and South Open, where he finished second. In 1923 he made what would be a permanent move to the United States and joined Cedarbrook Country Club in Philadelphia. Between 1923 and 1938 he represented clubs in several different cities but he always kept a home in the Philadelphia area and paid dues to the Philadelphia Section. Kirkwood was the first of the great trick-shot artists and maybe the greatest of all time. Kirkwood didn’t like the term “trick shot” because he said it wasn’t a trick at all. He just wanted to show people what a golf ball could do. Kirkwood was the professional at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club from 1938 through 1949. He was a great player but he found his trick shot show to be easier to pull off and more profitable. By 1925 his fee was $500 for one of his performances. Kirkwood traveled all over the world with Walter Hagen and he also made a world tour with Gene Sarazen that lasted most of one year. Kirkwood and Hagen played exhibitions in almost every country that had a golf course including Japan and China. In the winter of 1924 Kirkwood won three PGA Tour straight tournaments in Texas by a total of 28 strokes. At Corpus Christi he won by 16, which is still a record margin on the PGA Tour. Kirkwood won the Philadelphia Open in 1924 and he was runner-up in 1947. In 1948 he and his son, Joe Jr., both finished in the top 30 and the money at the U.S. Open. In his career he won 13 times on the PGA Tour, which included victories in the Canadian Open and the North and South Open. In 1926 he was a member of an American team that opposed a British team in England. His son Joe Jr. played a fictitious boxer named Joe Palooka in the movies and he won two tournaments on the PGA Tour. In honor of Kirkwood, the winner of the Australian PGA Championship received the Kirkwood Cup each year for many years. Kirkwood estimated that he played more than 7,000 golf courses during his career and he probably introduced golf to more people than anyone in the history of the game.
William Buxton “Bill” Kittleman (Class 1997)
Bill Kittleman was born in Greenville, Mississippi in 1932. Some Greenville men along with Kittleman’s father Charles, who won the Mississippi state amateur championship four times, had designed and constructed a nine-hole golf course in Greenville. Bill and his three older brothers learned to play golf on that course at the Greenville Country Club. Kittleman attended Andover Prep and then Yale University where he studied architecture, graduating in 1954. In his senior year at Yale he was studying in Yale’s Graduate School of Architecture. After serving two years in the U.S. Navy he turned pro in 1956, working in Greenville, Pensacola and Detroit. He arrived in the Philadelphia Section in 1963 as the playing assistant at the Merion Golf Club. He was an assistant at Merion for seven years and during that time he finished second in the 1967 Section Championship and third in the 1964 Pennsylvania Open. In 1967 he was a member of the first Schmidt’s Challenge Cup Team. During that time Kittleman played the winter PGA Tour each year beginning in the southeast in November, then out to the west coast in January, finishing up on the east coast in March and then back to Merion in April. This was his graduate school in golf as he studied both the players and the golf courses. In 1970 he became Merion Golf Club’s head professional. At Merion he hosted the 1971 and 1981 U.S. Opens along with the 1989 U.S. Amateur. Kittleman was one of the first professionals to see the opportunity to sell merchandise at a major tournament like the U.S. Open. He had merchandise embroidered or embossed with U.S. Open and Merion Golf Club, which he sold from tented locations on the golf course during the seven days of tournament week. As the 1981 U.S. Open had concluded and the television commentators were making their closing remarks Dave Marr looked down from the broadcast booth and said “I think the host professional may have made more money this week than most of the contestants”. Kittleman used his artistic talents to design a new Merion club logo, which incorporated the wicker flagsticks and the Scottish Broom grass that was an integral part of many of Merion’s bunkers. In 1968 Kittleman became a member of the Section’s tournament committee. The next year he co-authored an all-encompassing book on the Section’s tournament regulations. The book was copied by several other PGA Sections and was still being used by the Philadelphia Section many years later. He later served as the tournament chairman for three years and first vice president of the Section for two years (1973-1974). In 1974 he also handled the duties of secretary for the Section as well as the tournament chairmanship. The three years that he was the tournament chairman he put together a Section Championship Program book that helped to enhance the tournament purse through its sale of advertising. In 1977 he designed a Philadelphia Section logo, which featured a Quaker golfer and the Liberty Bell. While the professional at Merion Kittleman did consulting work concerning renovation work on the golf course for more than a dozen clubs located in the Philadelphia Section. In 1996 Kittleman found an opportunity to use his college training when he retired from Merion and began working for golf course architect Gil Hanse. With Hanse’s firm he was a design partner who was responsible for course layout and the design of golf course features. He was inducted into the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame in 1997.
Joseph J. “Bud” Lewis (Class 1996)
Born in 1908 Bud Lewis grew up in West Philadelphia. His given name was Joseph but everyone called him Bud. At age 12 he was introduced to golf as a caddy at the Llanerch Country Club. In order to caddy he had to take the trolley to 69th Street and then the elevated railroad to Llanerch. By the time he was 15 he was working in the pro shop for the professional John Edmundson. After working at five different clubs as an assistant and head professional he became the head professional at the Manufacturers Golf & Country Club in 1943 and settled in for a tenure of 37 years. For many years he was one of the leading players in the Section and at the same time he was one of the leading instructors. His most famous pupil was Bill Hyndman III who was runner-up in the U.S. Amateur and the British Amateur. When he retired he probably had given more golf lessons than any other golf professional in the history of the Section. He spent 30 years giving lessons indoors during the winter months. After he retired he stayed on at Manufacturers as the pro emeritus and gave lessons there for another 20 years. Lewis won the Section Championship in 1943 and 1948 and he was runner-up to his boss Gene Kunes in 1934. He won the Philadelphia Open in 1942 and 1950 and he finished second twice. Lewis qualified for the PGA Championship four times and the U.S. Open three times. He served as a vice president of the Section from 1948 to 1952. For nine years he was the Section’s pro-junior chairman and he initiated a pro-junior tournament, which was held each year at Manufacturers. In 1996 he was inducted into the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame.
Martin F. “Marty” Lyons (Class 1994)
Marty Lyons was born in Philadelphia in 1904. He got his start in golf as a caddy at the Llanerch Country Club which was then called Bon Air Country Club. To save the five cents that the trolley cost, he would walk six miles from his home in West Philadelphia to the golf course. As a caddy he would make 35 cents, but he then had to give ten cents back to the caddy master. He spent all but six years of his golf career at Llanerch. At age 16 he quit school and became the caddy master at Llanerch. Two years later he was the assistant pro to John Edmundson and became a PGA member. In 1928 Marty left Llanerch for the head professional position at a golf club in New Jersey, just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. While there he qualified for the 1931 PGA Championship. Lyons used a two-finger overlapping grip that he copied from watching Hall of Fame golfer Jock Hutchison. After six years in New Jersey he returned to Llanerch in 1934 as an assistant to Denny Shute who had won the British Open the previous year. The next year Shute left Llanerch for a job in New England and Lyons succeeded him as the head professional. 150 Llanerch members signed a petition to hire Marty. Some, who were not there to sign the petition, sent telegrams. Lyons had a passion to teach the game of golf and he was especially interested in young golfers. As the caddy master at Llanerch he had helped the caddies get an opportunity to play the course. While working in New Jersey Lyons had started group lessons for the members’ children. When Lyons became the head professional at Llanerch the club didn’t allow anyone under the age of 16 to play the course. He promptly convinced the club president to change that and a junior golf committee was formed. He would try any idea to interest the children of the members in golf. Starting in 1937 he filmed the swings of his junior golfers. Lyons’ most successful juniors were Dorothy Germain Porter who won the US Women’s Amateur Championship and George “Buddy” Marucci, who won the US Senior Amateur Championship. With his death in 1968, Lyons days of teaching Marucci came to an end when Marucci was 16. Lyons taught golf at five high schools and seven colleges. With the advent of television he began promoting golf by teaching the game on that new medium. Lyons, the tenth president of the Philadelphia Section, was president of the Section six years, 1942 to 1947, and a vice president for four years before that. In 1941 he ran the Section for the absent president, Ed Dudley. He hosted the Section championship nine times; eight were on consecutive years. In the fall of 1947 Lyons was selected by the PGA executive committee to represent District 2 as a national vice president. The next year he was elected secretary of the PGA of America. He served only one year as secretary and chose not to run again even though he had been nominated. Because Llanerch was such a busy club he felt like he didn’t have enough time to devote to the office. Because of Lyon’s work at the national level he and Llanerch were awarded the PGA Championship for 1958. It was a historical championship as it was the first PGA of America Championship played at stroke play after having been played at match play 39 times. It was Lyons who put the wheels in motion to change the PGA Championship from match play to stroke play. At the national meeting in 1957 the delegates voted to change the format to stroke play. Due to the format change and Lyons sales efforts to his friends at CBS in Philadelphia, the tournament was televised for the first time. It was a huge success and turned a healthy profit for the PGA and Llanerch CC. With all his accomplishments Lyon’s most important achievement was creating the golf course at Valley Forge General Hospital in 1943 to assist in rehabilitating the wounded veterans who were returning from World War II. Before they were done the Section had introduced golf at four more facilities in the Section. As a result of this, other PGA Sections in the country followed up on what Philadelphia had started. Before the war was over all the PGA Sections were helping rehabilitate the wounded veterans. At the suggestion of Sam Byrd, Lyons and Jimmy D’Angelo formulated a plan for a PGA winter home at Dunedin, Florida. Lyons was the Philadelphia Section’s PGA Professional of the Year in 1956 and 1958. He served on several PGA national committees, including Veterans Reconditioning and Rehabilitation, Teaching, Caddy Welfare, PGA National Golf Club Management and Ryder Cup. Lyons mentored two Philadelphia PGA presidents, Leo Fraser and Henry Poe, who went on to be president of the PGA of America. In 1966 he was a national vice president representing District 2 for a second time. Two years later, having just given his report on the national association at the Section’s spring meeting he suffered a heart attack and died while seated at the head table. Some of the other Section officers who were near Lyons at the head table said his last words were “With the boys coming home from Vietnam we need to get the golf course in Phoenixville going again.” He was elected to the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame in 1994. He should have been elected in 1992 when the Section’s first class was inducted. Due to being deceased for 24 years, he had been temporarily forgotten, but not by the Llanerch CC members. When Lyons was inducted into the Section’s Hall of Fame 30 members from Llanerch rented a bus for the trip to the Jersey shore to attend the induction ceremony, which was held at the Seaview Country Club near Atlantic City.
John Joseph “Johnny” “Jack” McDermott (Class 1992)
Born in West Philadelphia on August 12, 1891 his friends called him Jack and the public called him Johnny. He was 5 feet-8 inches tall and at the peak of his career he only weighed 130 pounds. McDermott, the greatest player in the history of the Philadelphia Section, came within one stroke of winning three U.S. Opens before he was 21. The famous sportswriter Grantland Rice called McDermott “The greatest golfer that America had ever produced”. If he had a weakness it was his putting, but otherwise from inside 150 yards he was the best in the United States. From the time he began as a caddy he always putted with his heels together and his knees touching. McDermott grew up on Florence Avenue in West Philadelphia. He first became aware of golf at the age of nine when he visited his grandfather whose farm was across the street from the Aronimink Golf Club, which had opened in 1897. The Aronimink Golf Club was located on 52nd Street and Chester Avenue, which was also the home of the Belmont Cricket Club. McDermott then decided that he wanted to be a caddy. The Aronimink golf professional Walter Reynolds got him started as a player and taught him the art of clubmaking. By the summer of 1906, and not yet 16, he was playing in the caddy championship at Aronimink with a “scratch” handicap. Two other boys, Frank Sprogell and Morrie Talman, grew up on the same block with McDermott and they all caddied at Aronimink. They all went on to very successful careers as golf professionals. McDermott gave the most credit for the development of his game to Bill Byrne, who became the head professional at Aronimink in 1906. McDermott began his professional career as an assistant at the Camden Country Club in 1906 and he was the head professional at the Merchantville Country Club from 1907 to 1910. In 1910 he lost a three-way playoff for the U.S. Open championship at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. The next year as the professional at the Atlantic City Country Club he became the first American born to win the U.S. Open after being part of a three-way playoff again. McDermott was a serious and determined competitor. At Atlantic City he would be at the course at daybreak for practice. He would place newspapers on the ground at various distances for targets to shoot at. In 1912 he won the U.S. Open again and he also became the first player to break par for the 72-holes of the U.S. Open. In 1913 he won the Western Open and the Shawnee Open. He was the Philadelphia Open champion in 1910, 1911 and 1913. In 1914 he suffered a mental breakdown and was sent to the State Hospital in Norristown. No one is sure exactly what caused his problems but there were several possible reasons given. He is said to have had some heavy losses in the stock market. He also received a great deal of criticism for comments he made at the 1913 Shawnee Open, which he won by eight strokes. The Shawnee Open was played shortly before the U.S. Open with the great British professionals, Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in the field. During his victory speech he was quoted as saying that the British pros had been stopped there and they would be stopped again at Brookline. Afterwards, when McDermott was told that he had offended Vardon and Ray, he apologized to them. Vardon and Ray didn’t seem to be offended but some of the press made a big thing of what McDermott had said. Several days after the Shawnee incident, the Philadelphia Public Ledger printed a detailed story of what McDermott felt that he had meant by his remarks, but the damage had been done. The incident was very unfortunate and unexpected. George Crump had taken him under his wing and given him the polish as a person that he possessed as a player. He had gone from being as well liked by his fellow professionals as he was disliked a few years before. It was said that McDermott had the suavity of Gil Nicholls, which was saying something. In 1914 he went to Scotland for a third attempt to win the British Open. All players had to qualify and a missed ferry connection from France to England caused him to miss his starting time for the qualifying round by one day. McDermott was in France when he should have been in London and he was in London when he should have been at the Troon Golf Club in Scotland where the qualifying event was being held. He then left for home on a ship, the Kaiser Wilhelm II. In a heavy fog on the English Channel his ship crashed into a grain vessel and began to sink. He made it to a lifeboat and after almost 20 hours he was rescued. He left for home a few days later on another ship. He played in the U.S. Open in Chicago that summer but the fire had gone out of his game. In mid October of that year he blacked out and collapsed in the golf shop at the Atlantic City CC. A number of PGA Sections played charity exhibitions to help his mother pay the weekly hospital fee for him. The hospital laid out a six-hole course on their grounds for him. In 1925 McDermott attempted to make a comeback by playing in the Philadelphia Section Championship, the Philadelphia Open, the Pennsylvania Open and the Shawnee Open. His scores were in the high 70s to low 80s and not competitive. Unable to resume a normal life he spent the rest of his years at the mental hospital. For more than thirty years his two sisters took him to various golf courses on weekends to visit the professionals that he knew and on occasion he would still play with some of them. On Mondays he would be in attendance at the local PGA event. McDermott died in August 1971 at the age of 79, after having attended the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club just a few days before. He was still a resident at the State Hospital in Norristown when he died. He is in the PGA of America’s Hall of Fame and he was an original inductee into the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame in 1992.
Theodore Richard “Ted” McKenzie (Class 2006)
Ted McKenzie was born in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania in 1939. He learned to play golf at the Waynesboro Country Club where his father Paul was the pro and green superintendent. It seemed like everyone in his family was in the golf business. His uncle, Arthur Edgar was the pro at the Chambersburg Country Club and his cousin Jim Edgar was the pro at two clubs in the Section. Ted’s godfather Dick Sleichter won the Section Championship while serving as the professional at the Gettysburg Country Club. Ted’s brother Mike became a green superintendent and his other brother David was the professional at the Old York Road Country Club for over 25 years. One of his sons, David, worked as an assistant in the Section and his daughter Carolyn won a Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia Girl’s Championship and two WGAP championships before becoming a head professional in Florida. Ted won the Pennsylvania State High School Championship in 1957 and went to Duke University where he graduated in 1962. He turned pro in 1961 and in 1962 he returned to the Philadelphia Section as an assistant at the Aronimink Golf Club. After five years at Aronimink he became the head professional at the one-year-old Waynesborough Country Club where he stayed for 23 years. After leaving Waynesborough he was instrumental in locating a piece of ground and putting together a group of founding members to form a new golf club called Stonewall where he served as the professional. For over 20 years McKenzie was one of the leading players in the Section. He had two major wins in the Section, the 1971 Philadelphia Open and the 1979 Philadelphia PGA Championship. In 1975 he was the Section’s “Player of the Year” and he also won the DeBaufre Trophy for the lowest scoring average. During his career he qualified for two U.S. Opens, seven PGA Club Professional Championships and a PGA Senior Club Professional Championship. In the first thirteen years of the Challenge Cup Matches against the Middle Atlantic Section McKenzie qualified for the team eleven times and he earned a berth on the team a total of twelve times. He finished second in three Philadelphia Opens, one Section Championship and a Pennsylvania Open. McKenzie was the Section’s tournament chairman and first vice president in 1984 and 1985 and the Section president for the next two years. He was the Section’s 26th president. In 1980 he hosted the Section Championship at Waynesborough Country Club. Three times he was a delegate to the national PGA meeting. In 1984 he was honored as the Section’s “Golf Professional of the Year” and in 2006 he was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame.
George E. McNamara (Class 2012)
George McNamara was born in Philadelphia in 1948. He learned to play golf as a caddy at the Plymouth Country Club under the tutelage of the golf professional, Pete DeAngelis. When McNamara turned pro DeAngelis recommended him to Terry McCoy, the professional at the Chester Valley Golf Club. Thus he began his career in golf there as the assistant pro in 1966. After that he was employed as an assistant at Cedarbrook Hill Country Club, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, Cedarbrook Country Club and Aronimink Golf Club. In 1974 he moved into the head pro position at the Downingtown Inn & Golf Club. While at Downingtown he hosted the first four Philadelphia PGA Junior Golf Academys. After twelve years at Downingtown he moved across the Delaware state line to be the professional at the Brandywine Country Club where he stayed over twenty-five years. McNamara’s first involvement in Section affairs came when he was asked to be on the membership committee. He was one of the first golf professionals to make computers an integral part of his golf shop. In 1988 the Section formed a computer committee with McNamara as the chairman. The committee advised the Section officers and members on computer hardware and software. He served as the Section treasurer for two years in the 1980s and then came back in the 1990s to serve as an officer again. First he was the vice president of section affairs for two years and then secretary for two years. The next year, 1997, the Section changed the terminology of the Section’s officers and McNamara became the first to be elected to the office of vice president. He then served two years as the Section’s 32nd president. Over a period of 25 years he served the Section as a member of almost every committee. He represented the Section as a delegate to the national meeting three times. In 1985 McNamara built a driving range and miniature golf course, which he operated for 14 years along with being a head professional at a private golf course at the same time. He hosted numerous Section meetings and tournaments, as he was always willing and ready to support the Section’s activities. Along with assisting the Section he was active in raising funds for various charities through golf. He was the Section’s “Merchandiser of the Year” three times. In 1988 McNamara became just the second Section member to become a “Master Professional”. The subject of his thesis was “How to Build, Own and Operate a Golf Practice Range and Miniature Golf Course”. The next year McNamara was honored as the Philadelphia Section PGA “Professional of the Year. In 2012 he was inducted into the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame.
Henry J. McQuiston, Jr. (Class 2005)
Henry McQuiston was born in Philadelphia in 1932 and grew up next to the Chester Valley Golf Club where his family lived. He and his two brothers played golf at Chester Valley and worked for the pro-green superintendent Dick Murphy. McQuiston graduated from West Chester State Teachers College in 1954 and then served two years in the United States Army. After being discharged from the army he went to work as a schoolteacher. In 1958 he turned pro and worked at Chester Valley while playing some tournaments on the PGA Tour during the summer months and still teaching school the rest of the year. In 1960 he took the job as the assistant at the Bala Golf Club and two years later he became the head professional. In 1968 McQuiston finished in a tie for second in the Section Championship losing in a three-way playoff and in 1971 he was second in the Philadelphia Open losing a playoff. He qualified for the 1962 PGA Championship, the 1963 U.S. Open and the 1984 PGA Senior Championship. McQuiston qualified for the PGA Tour tournament at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club ten times and made the cut three times. McQuiston was a member of eleven Challenge Cup teams that competed against the Middle Atlantic Section. He qualified for the Club Professional Championship four times and the Senior Club Pro Championship once. In 1970 McQuiston and several other Section members built the Avalon Golf Club and operated it until they sold out in 1986. He was elected as the 20th president of the Section in 1973 and 1974 after having served as the second vice president for two years. McQuiston was the head pro at Bala for thirty-seven years after which he continued on as the pro emeritus at the club. In 2004 McQuiston’s name was added to the Section’s Senior-Pro-Junior-Pro Championship, which had been held at the Bala Golf Club for over 20 years. He was the Section’s “Golf Professional of the Year” in 1997. In 2005 he was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame.
Peter A. “Pete” Micklewright
Pete Micklewright was born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1953. He began playing golf at age 11 with his father at the Hopewell Valley Country Club. He played on his high school golf team for three years and then attended Trenton State College where he graduated with a degree in business administration. At Trenton State he played on the golf team for four years and made the Deans List with a 3.25 average. He was the captain of the golf team his senior year and all conference. Micklewright turned pro in 1980 and began his career as an assistant at the Schuylkill. Country Club. Two years later he was the head professional at the Dutch Hollow Golf Club in Owasco, New York. In 1983 he returned to the Philadelphia Section as the head professional at the Blue Ridge Country Club where he stayed for thirty years. When Blue Ridge merged with Colonial Golf & Tennis Club in 2014 he took over as the general manager for three years. Then he was the head professional at Blue Ridge for one more year in 2017, which made it a total of 35 years. Micklewright was the Philadelphia Section PGA “Golf Professional of the Year” in 2005. He was honored as the Section’s Junior Golf Leader in 1989 and 1992. From 1990 to 1993 he was on the Section board as a director. As a member of the Central Counties Chapter he was the secretary from 1986 to 1988 and president in 1989 and 1990. He served on committees in the Section, Chapter and PGA of America. Fourteen of his former assistants went on to be head professionals. Along with being a complete club professional for 38 years his passion was junior golfers. In 1987 he founded Harrisburg Junior Golf Days. For 12 years the program supplied golf instruction, clubs, a shirt and lunch 12 times each year to young golfers. During that time more than 3,000 boys and girls were introduced to golf. After that the Harrisburg Boys and Girls Clubs continued the program. He coached a local high school golf team at no charge for six years when the school had planned to eliminate the team due to a lack of funding. In 1995 he became a PGA Master Professional. His thesis was titled “Harrisburg Golf for Kids Days, PGA Clubs for Kids, A Formula for Success”. His two boys were products of that passion. One son qualified for the 2004 US Amateur Championship and the 2008 US Mid-Amateur Championship. His other son qualified for 1996 US Junior Amateur Championship and went on to be a head professional in the Tri-State PGA Section where he qualified for the PGA Club Professional Championship three times. He contributed many hours of his time promoting golf in the Harrisburg area by teaching golf on local television shows and speaking at service clubs. He was instrumental in growing the Jake Gittlen Memorial Golf Tournament into one of the largest amateur fund raising tournaments in the country, raising millions of dollars for the Hershey Medical Center Gittlen Cancer Institute. In 1988 he was the Harrisburg District Golf Association “Man of the Year” and in 2016 he was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame Capital Area Chapter. In 2018 Micklewright was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame.
Harry “Jake” Obitz, Jr. (Class 2014)
Harry Obitz was born in California in 1913. He held head pro positions in California and was a vice president of the Northern California PGA before moving to the Philadelphia Section in 1940. Obitz came to the Section as the assistant to Joe Kirkwood, Sr. at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club. He spent the war years in the navy and soon after that he became the pro at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club in the Poconos. One rainy day in 1945 at Shawnee there were about 250 guests in the hotel with nothing to do. To keep them entertained Obitz gathered them into the lounge and demonstrated golf shots off the carpet by hitting celluloid balls. The clinic was so well received that they decided to make it a regular show. The clinic was staged on the driving range as a regular 90 minute show on Sundays and took on the name “The Swing is the Thing”. Obitz soon began receiving requests to take the show to other sites. He quite often donated his fee to charity. In 1955 Obitz was selected as the Philadelphia Section’s first “Professional Golfer of the Year”. He was selected for ten years of service developing Swing Clubs at veteran’s hospitals throughout the country. Obitz hosted the Section Championship at Shawnee for seven straight years. In 1977 he and his associate professional, Dick Farley, wrote an instruction book called “Six Days to Better Golf”. For 36 years he was an instruction editor for Golf Digest magazine. He spent the winters in his wife’s home state, Nebraska, and helped design a number of golf courses there. He could be called the father of the “shotgun start”. At Shawnee he devised a way to start players off several tees and within 40 minutes he had 144 players on the golf course. A number of assistants who worked under Obitz became successful head professionals in the Philadelphia Section. In 2014 Obitz was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame.
Samuel D. “Sam” Penecale (Class 1998)
Sam Penecale was born in Abington, Pennsylvania in 1923. He learned to play golf as a caddy at the North Hills Country Club. Penecale served in the U.S. Army as a medic during World War II and then spent ten years in the business world. He was one of the leading amateurs in the Philadelphia area before turning pro at the age of 31. After one year of playing tournament golf as an unattached pro he took a job in golf as the assistant at the Bala Golf Club in 1955. Three years later he left Bala to become the head professional at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club where he served for 27 years before retiring in 1984. After turning pro he was one of the leading playing professionals in the Philadelphia Section for thirty years. Beginning with his first year as a pro in 1954 he qualified for the U.S. Open eight straight times and he finished tied for 26th in 1957. He wasn’t eligible for the PGA Championship until 1960 but once he became a PGA member he qualified for the PGA Championship five of the next six years. He never won the Philadelphia Open, Pennsylvania Open or the Philadelphia Section Championship but he had a total of eight second-place showings in those tournaments. As the professional at Whitemarsh Valley he hosted the PGA Tour’s tournament, which was played under several different names, eighteen times. His passion was junior golf and he ran an outstanding junior program at Whitemarsh Valley each year, free of charge to all. He had the enviable distinction of never having charged a junior for a golf lesson. As an assistant at Bala he gave Jay Sigel his first golf lessons and he continued to counsel him on his game for many years. Penecale was inducted into the Philadelphia Section’s Hall of Fame in 1998.
Joseph F. “Joe” Phillips (Class 2001)
Joe Phillips was a longtime friend of the Philadelphia PGA and the PGA of America. He was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania in 1928 and grew up in Maple Shade, New Jersey. At that time the children from Maple Shade attended Moorestown High School. Even though the boys and girls from Maple Shade were considered outsiders Joe was elected class president in his freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years. To earn extra money during high school he caddied at the nearby Spring Hill Country Club. Phillips was an accomplished musician. He played the saxophone well enough to work the nightclub circuit around Philadelphia and South Jersey but he soon learned that he needed a more stable career. Early in 1949 he went to work for the Wilson Sporting Goods Company at their distribution center in Philadelphia as a shipping clerk. The local golf professionals would stop by the Wilson warehouse to pick up merchandise for their golf shops so it wasn’t long before they became acquainted with the likeable Phillips. When pros like Skee Riegel, Ken Gibson and Marty Lyons visited Wilson, Joe would listen to what they had to say about golf equipment and the business. In 1955 Wilson sent Phillips out on the road as a pro-golf salesman. Riegel, who was a Wilson staff member, went with Joe to introduce him to the pros. That year Elvis Pressley was the new star of the music world and Phillips had Elvis’s songs on the car radio. Riegel had a nickname for everyone and it was only fitting that he began calling him, Elvis. Phillips was an instant success as Wilson’s salesman. He always wore a coat and tie when he called on the pros and he was happy and cheerful regardless of what size order you placed with him. Phillips always had several Philadelphia Section members on the Wilson staff like Ted McKenzie, Henry McQuiston, Bob Ross and Bruce MacDonald who were paid along with receiving the usual equipment. When Tim DeBaufre went on the PGA Tour in 1962 Joe signed him to a PGA Tour Wilson Advisory contract. In 1958 Phillips and Bob Jones formed the Philadelphia Pro Golf Salesmen’s Association. The salesmen showed their wares at the Philadelphia Section’s spring golf show each year along with helping with the tournaments as starters and scorers. Phillips quite often provided the spring golf show with Wilson staff members like Patty Berg and Sam Snead. In 1974 when the legendary Joe Wolfe retired Phillips was promoted to fill his place as Wilson’s Vice President of Golf Promotions. This meant moving to Chicago where Wilson was headquartered. Phillips was now responsible for signing and resigning tour players to represent Wilson. That also meant that he was the liaison between the tour player and the custom club department at Wilson. It was Phillips’s job to make sure that each staff member was totally satisfied with his or her Wilson equipment. Some of the many players that he signed and resigned for Wilson were Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Julius Boros, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Johnny Miller, Ben Crenshaw, Greg Norman, Patty Berg, Kathy Whitworth, Betsy Rawls and Juli Inkster. In the 1970s Phillips developed the most successful “Home Professional” staff program of its time by signing over 900 club professionals to contracts. Phillips not only discovered new talent for Wilson he also designed wedges for the company. With input from Wilson’s tour players and the help of Wilson’s custom designer Bob Mendralla he designed a set of wedges with “JP” stamped on the back. For many years Wilson had been known for having the best wedges in golf so it was quite an accomplishment to design several new wedge clubs that would be added to the Wilson line of clubs. Phillips retired in 1989 but Wilson kept him on as a consultant for another sixteen years. As a Wilson employee he had begun as a shipping clerk and retired as a vice president while being employed by the company for 58 years. He had an office at the National Golf Foundation in Palm Beach Gardens. Along with other duties he represented Wilson at all the major golf tournaments and the merchandise shows. Thanks to Joe Phillips, the Wilson Company was always one of the staunchest supporters of the PGA golf professionals and their tournaments. In 1997 Phillips received the PGA’s Ernie Sabayrac Award for lifetime contributions to the golf industry. Wilson created a Joe Phillips Award, which is awarded each year to an individual in its golf division for their commitment to the game of golf. Some of the winners have been Sam Snead, Patty Berg and Bob Ross. The Illinois PGA Section inducted him into its Hall of Fame and in 2001 Phillips was inducted into the Philadelphia Section’s Hall of Fame. Phillips and the late Fred Byrod, who was the sports editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, are the only non-PGA members who have been inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame.
Henry Gilford “Pic” Picard (Class 2007)
Henry Picard was born at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1906 and he learned to play as at caddy at the Plymouth Country Club. His name was pronounced pea-CARD, but most people including his fellow professionals pronounced it PICK-erd. His friends called him “Pic”. Picard turned pro in 1924 and accompanied his boss to a winter job in Charleston, South Carolina where he was the winter pro. Within a few years he was named head professional at the Charleston Country Club. As a result of that he spent his early and last years as a golf professional in Charleston. Even though he had won several important tournaments by the early 1930s he changed to an interlocking grip at the suggestion of the famous golf instructor Alex Morrison. In 1934 he picked up his first big win at the North and South Open. That summer he finished fifth at the Hershey Open while setting a course record in one of the rounds. That fall he signed on as the professional at the Hershey Country Club where he stayed for six years, 1935 through 1940. Due to his association with Hershey the sportswriters began referring to him as the “The Chocolate Soldier”. Picard left the Section for three years and returned as the professional at the Country Club of Harrisburg in 1944 and 45. After leaving Harrisburg he was the pro at the Seminole Golf Club in the winter and the Canterbury Golf Club in the summer. In the mid 1960s he returned to the Section as the professional at the new Blue Mountain Country Club near Harrisburg for two years. Picard put together an outstanding national tournament record during his six years in Hershey. He won the Met Open in 1935 and the Masters Tournament in 1938. Just four weeks before the 1938 Masters Picard had changed his interlocking grip in that he put his thumb behind the shaft like you would hold a baseball bat. Picard did this at the suggestion of Morrison because of an injury to his left thumb. In 1939 he won the PGA Championship defeating Reading’s Byron Nelson in the finals on the 37th hole. He was on the Ryder Cup team in 1935, 1937 and 1939 and the leading money winner on the PGA Tour in 1939. During his six years at Hershey he won 22 times on the PGA Tour and he finished in the top twenty-five 118 times. One can understand why he didn’t have time to compete in section events. In 1940 at the peak of his career he began to curtail his tournament schedule. In 1945 he made a rare tournament appearance, winning for the last time at the Miami Open. Picard made one last run at a tour title at the 1950 PGA Championship only to lose in the semifinals on the 38th hole to Henry Williams, Jr. By that time Picard had arthritis in his hands to such an extent that he wore a glove on each hand. Picard did continue to play in the Masters Tournament most years, reaching a total of 29. During his career he won twenty-six PGA Tour events and was elected to the PGA Hall of Fame in 1961. After leaving the Canterbury job he returned to Charleston where he continued to teach the Morrison method. One of his pupils was Beth Daniel who he gave lessons to as a young girl. She went on to be a star on the LPGA Tour. In 2006 Picard was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame and Daniel gave his induction speech. He was elected to the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame in 2007.
Henry Clay Poe (Class 1996)
Henry Poe was born in Durham, North Carolina in 1915. When he was seven years old his father took over the management of the Hillandale Golf Course in Durham and the family moved into the clubhouse. He mowed greens in the morning before school and at night he helped his father make and repair golf clubs. He attended Duke University and turned pro in 1937. In his first tournament, played at Pinehurst on the #2 course, he tied for first with Dutch Harrison and lost in an 18-hole playoff. For the next two years he played in the PGA Tour tournaments when they were held east of the Mississippi River. In 1939 he worked at the Winged Foot Golf Club for Craig Wood. That fall the Reading Country Club hired Poe when Byron Nelson left for the professional position at the Inverness Club in Ohio. Except for three years during World War II when he worked in defense plants Poe was the professional there until the end of 1966. Poe taught LPGA Hall of Fame member Betsy King how to play as one of his junior golfers at Reading CC. In the fall of 1952 he was elected as the 13th president of the Section without ever having been an officer or having served on a committee. He was the Section president for four years and a vice president of the PGA of America for three years after that. From 1952 to 1970 he was the chairman of the annual meeting for the PGA of America. In 1955 the PGA enlisted Poe to supervise the construction of a practice putting green for President Eisenhower at his farm in Gettysburg. He was the Philadelphia Section’s “Professional of the Year” in 1959. In late 1966 he left the Section and Reading to work for the Vanity Fair Corporation in Alabama where he oversaw the design, construction and operation of three golf courses for the company. After holding the office of treasurer and secretary he was elected president of the PGA of America for 1975 and 1976. In 1979, with the support of Jack Nicklaus, he spearheaded the change in the Ryder Cup matches to include golf professionals from all the European countries. Before that only professionals from Great Britain and Ireland opposed the U.S. team and the matches had become quite one-sided. As a result the matches became very competitive and attract almost as much attention as golf’s four major championships. When the PGA of America hosts the Ryder Cup every fourth year, the matches are one of the association’s largest income producers. In 1996 Poe was inducted into the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame and the Carolinas PGA Hall of Fame.
John E. Poole, Jr. (Class 2007)
John Poole was born in Philadelphia in 1943 and learned to play golf as a caddy at the Old York Road Country Club when it was still located in Jenkintown. He attended Penn State University before beginning his golf career as an assistant in 1965 at the Foxcroft Country Club, which had been the Old York Road course two years before. Old York Road had moved to a new location and a different group of people were operating the course as Fox Croft C.C. Poole then worked in Pittsburgh as an assistant for three years before returning to Philadelphia as the head pro at Foxcroft. He later served as the head professional at the West Chester Golf & Country Club (2 years), Kennett Square Golf & Country Club (10 years) and Chester Valley Golf Club (19 years). When the Section’s first Club Relations committee was formed in 1978 Poole was asked to be a member by the chairman Tim Foran. The Club Relations Committee was created to assist golf facilities in hiring a head professional. Don Perne, who had been involved with club relations in the Northern Ohio PGA Section, assisted the committee and brought them up to speed. That is when Poole found his calling in the PGA. In late 1982 Poole was elected first vice president of the Section and he became the chairman of the Club Relations Committee. He was the chairman of the committee for more than fifteen years and a member of the committee for twenty-nine years. During that time Poole and his committee met with more than 150 golf facilities and had telephone conversations with more than 150 other clubs to advise them on the hiring of new head professionals. As a result of Poole’s efforts numerous head professional positions in the Philadelphia Section were upgraded. He was a member of the national club relations committee for over ten years. Poole was a six-time winner of the Bill Strausbaugh Award at the Section level and in 1993 he was the PGA of America’s recipient of the Bill Strausbaugh Award. He won the Section’s Horton Smith award for educating the Section members on employment and club relations. As a player he had a third and a fourth place finish in the Philadelphia Open and he qualified for the PGA Club Professional Championship two times, making the cut in 1977. He hosted the PGA Senior Tour’s Bell Atlantic Senior Golf Classic at Chester Valley ten years. Poole was the Section’s 2nd vice president for three years and in 2000 he was the Section’s “Club Professional of the Year”. In 2007 Poole was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame.
Robert Henry “Skee” Riegel (Class 1993)
Skee Riegel was born in 1914 in New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania and grew up in eastern Pennsylvania. He attended Harrisburg Academy, West Point and Lafayette University before graduating from Hobart College. At Lafayette he captained both the football and baseball teams. He didn’t begin playing golf until he was 23. That year he got married and took some golf lessons because his wife played golf. When World War II began Riegel went to Emery Riddle University’s flight school in Miami. While in Miami he started to show promise by winning the 1942 Florida State Amateur Championship. Riegel served in the Air Corps as a flight instructor during the war. After leaving the service he rose to the top of amateur golf. At the U.S. Amateur at Baltusrol Golf Club in 1946 he qualified with a score of 136, setting a record for the on site qualifying rounds. The record lasted for more than thirty years. Riegel won the U.S. Amateur in 1947, the Western Amateur in 1948 and the Trans-Mississippi Amateur in 1946 and 1948. He was chosen for the Walker Cup team in 1947 and 1949. He was unbeaten in Walker Cup play, winning all four of his matches. Riegel turned pro in early 1950 and joined the PGA Tour. He was one of the first golfers involved in bodybuilding and he was always the strongest professional on the PGA Tour. In 1951 he nearly won the Masters Tournament but he finished second when Ben Hogan edged him out. That year he finished eighth on the PGA Tour money list. In 1951 he joined the Wilson Sporting Goods advisory staff and he was a loyal Wilson staff member for over 50 years. In 1954 Riegel returned to Pennsylvania as the head professional at the Radnor Valley Country Club. He won the Pennsylvania Open in 1957 and 1959 and the Philadelphia Open in 1960. For more than 15 years after leaving the tour he was a factor in the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship. During those years he played the PGA Tour during the winter and continued to finish in the money quite often. Beginning with 1946 Riegel played in the U.S. Open 16 times, the Masters Tournament 11 years in a row and the PGA Championship 9 times. He was 40 years old before he could play in his first PGA Championship because he didn’t turn pro until 1950. He then had to serve a five-year apprenticeship on the PGA Tour before he could attain PGA membership and be eligible for its championship. His wife Edith was at all of the tournaments and knew every golf professional. She walked every hole with Skee until late in his career. Riegel left Radnor Valley at the end of 1961 for the opportunity to participate in the ownership of a new golf course, York Road Golf Club in Bucks County. He was a member of the first Schmidt Challenge Cup team where he was made the captain. From that time on he was the non-playing captain of every challenge cup team. Riegel was an expert on the USGA Rules and knew the rules of golf as well as any employee of the USGA. For over thirty years he was a permanent member of the Philadelphia Section’s tournament committee and the rules chairman of every Section tournament. In 1975 he was given the Horton Smith Award by the Section for his many hours spent educating the golf professionals on the rules of golf. Riegel was inducted into the Philadelphia Section Hall of Fame in 1993.
Ronald L. “Ron” Rolfe (Class 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.
Robert A. “Bob” Ross (Class 1999)
Bob Ross was born in Vermont in 1932 and learned to play golf as a caddy at the Shennecossett Golf Club in Groton, Connecticut. He attended Pasadena City College in California for two years where he played on the basketball and golf teams. He then served two years in the United States Army spending time in Korea. After being discharged from the army he worked in Texas as an assistant pro. His first position as a head professional was at the Susquehanna Valley Country Club where he was also the green superintendent. From there he moved to the Valley Country Club as their professional for three years and after that he was the professional at the North Hills Country Club and the Philadelphia Cricket Club. In 1966 he began to show signs of becoming one of the Section’s elite players when he tied for fourth in the Mexican Open. The next year Ross won the Section Championship and the Pennsylvania Open. In his Pennsylvania Open victory Ross edged out Arnold Palmer by one stroke on Palmer’s home course, the Laurel Valley Country Club. That year he won the DeBaufre Trophy for the low scoring average, led the Schmidt Points competition and he either won or finished near the top in all of the Section’s big money tournaments. While he was in the Section he qualified for three PGA Championships and two U.S. Opens. Ross was elected secretary of the Section in 1969 and he was the Section’s 19th president in 1971 and 1972. In 1972 he was the Section’s “Professional of the Year” and he was inducted into the Philadelphia Section Hall of Fame in 1999. In the 1970s he worked as the assistant Tournament Coordinator for the PGA on the Caribbean Tour. Ross traveled to Italy twice in the late 1970s to work with the Italian professionals with their teaching methods and in 1982 he spent four weeks in Japan teaching and promoting golf for the Rotary Club of America. After leaving the Section in 1972 he was the professional at Sawgrass Country Club in Florida where he hosted one of the first TPC Championships in 1977. He then moved to the Baltusrol Golf Club where he served as the professional for twenty years. At Baltusrol he qualified for the 1980 U.S. Open, which was being played at his club, and he hosted the Open again in 1993 along with a U.S. Women’s Open in 1985. Ross was the New Jersey PGA Section’s “Professional of the Year” in 1980 and 1989 and he is also a member of their Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame in 1999.
Thadeaus “Ted” Sheftic (Class 2016)
Ted Sheftic was born in Virginia in 1944. He was introduced to golf by caddying and playing at the North Fork Golf Club in Johnstown, Pennsylvania where his father was a low handicap golfer. After high school he joined the National Guard where he completed his one-year of service with a commitment of six years in the reserves. Sheftic turned pro in 1963 and went to work as an assistant at North Fork. In late 1964 Sheftic arrived in the Philadelphia Section when he became the head pro at the Red Lion Country Club. After five years at Red Lion he moved over to the Hanover Country Club as the head pro where he stayed for 35 years, the last six as the teaching professional. While at Hanover Sheftic opened a custom golf club company called Ted Sheftic Custom Clubs. The company turned out custom clubs, which numerous golf professionals sold with their club’s logo embossed on the clubs. Sheftic operated the company for fifteen years before selling it. For many years Sheftic was a fine player but his main interest always lay in the teaching of the game. He may have given more individual lessons than any club professional in the country. In 2005 Sheftic moved to the Bridges Golf Club as the teaching pro. In 1992 he and Roy Pace opened the Pace-Sheftic Golf School in Vero Beach, Florida, which was open during February and March each year. Sheftic had many successful students such as winners on the LPGA Tour, state amateur champions along with Megan Bolger who won four USGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Championships and seven straight Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia Championships. His best student may have been Jenny Chausiriporn who in 1998 was runner-up in the U.S. Women’s Open Championship, runner-up in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, women’s Collegiate Player of the Year and a member of the Curtis Cup Team. In the Philadelphia Section Sheftic was the “Teacher of the Year” three times and received the Horton Smith Award for educating his peers, in 1999. For seven years he was the tournament chairman for the Central Counties Chapter of the Philadelphia Section PGA. His son Mark was a Section member and one of its leading players. Golf Digest named Ted the number one golf instructor in Pennsylvania seven times. Beginning with 2003 he was a member of Golf Magazine’s top 100 golf teachers for four years. In 2016 Sheftic was inducted into the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame.
Richard N. “Dick” Smith, Sr. (Class 1992)
Dick Smith was born in Ohio in 1942 and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. At age ten he began playing golf with his father at the Mount Pleasant Golf Course, a public course where he also caddied. He got his start playing competitively in the Baltimore City’s junior golf program. Each Monday morning in the summer the junior golfers could get on a bus at the Baltimore Country Club’s city course and be driven to a golf course where there would be a junior tournament for them to take part in. In 1959 he won the Maryland State Jaycee Junior Championship. Smith attended Loyola College in Baltimore and turned pro in 1962. That year he came to the Philadelphia Section as an assistant to George Griffin, Jr. at the Green Valley Country Club. In 1963 Smith joined Ken Gibson in New Jersey where he helped run the Golf Farm, the Indian Spring Golf Course and the Wedgwood Country Club. Smith credited Gibson with giving him the most help with his golf game. In the early 1970s he was the pro-manager of the Hi-Point Golf Club and in 1975 he went back to Wedgwood in a partnership that leased the course. One of the partners was Dick Hendrickson who he had caddied for when he was growing up in Baltimore. Smith moved over to the Woodcrest Country Club in 1981 as the head professional where he stayed for twelve years. Other than the pros that were successful on the PGA Tour, Smith had the most outstanding record in the Section’s tournaments. Smith won three Section Championships in succession and he won the tournament a total of five times. This tied him with Art Wall for the most wins in the Section Championship. Smith played in five PGA Championships and a U.S. Open. He qualified for the PGA Club Professional Championships fifteen times and the PGA Senior Club Professional Championship three times. In 1970 he tied for fourth at the Club Professional Championship and he won the Philadelphia Open. Beginning in 1969 there were seventeen Section Challenge Cup teams that competed against the Middle Atlantic Section and Smith was a member of the team sixteen times. Twice in the early 1970s Smith won the four round Prior Festival, which was the Section’s richest tournament at that time. Smith tied for 18th in the 1971 PGA Tour’s IVB Golf Classic, which was held at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club and in 1978 he tied for 17th at the IVB. He played in two U.S. Senior Opens and two PGA Seniors’ Championships. In the Philadelphia Section Smith was the Section’s “Player of the Year” five times and he won the DeBaufre Trophy for leading the Section in scoring average six times. After several years of serving on the tournament committee Smith was elected to the office of first vice president at the 1974 fall meeting, which made him the tournament chairman as well. This was his first political step in what would take him to the highest office in the PGA of America. After three years as the Section’s first vice president Smith was elected president. He served the Section as its 22nd president for three years, 1978 to 1980. In late 1983 the Philadelphia Section sent Smith to the national PGA for a three-year term as its director representing District II. At the national meeting in 1986 Smith was elected to national office for a two-year term as secretary. After that he served as the vice president in 1989-1990 and president for 1991-1992. After leaving national office he also left Woodcrest to be the director of golf at the new Galloway National Golf Club, which was still under construction. Two years later he purchased the Williamstown Golf Center, which he operated for seven years. During that time Smith set up a partnership that leased the Bethpage State Park Golf Course’s golf shop from the state of New York for five years. That included 2002 when the U.S. Open was played at Bethpage. With the exception of the week of the U.S. Open, the lease gave them the opportunity to sell U.S. Open merchandise for those five years. During his time on Long Island he was a member of the Metropolitan Section and the Philadelphia Section. Smith returned to the Philadelphia Section full time as the director of golf at two new golf courses in South Jersey that were owned by a land development group. Smith and the Philadelphia Section created the Dick Smith Cup Matches that were contested each year between the assistants from the Central Counties Chapter and the assistants from the rest of the Philadelphia Section. In 2005 he was hired as the general manager at the Woodcrest Country Club where his son Dick Jr. had succeeded him as the golf professional and was now in his thirteenth year. Smith was the Philadelphia Section’s “Professional of the Year” in 1980 and he was an original inductee into the Philadelphia Section’s Hall of Fame in 1992. Smith was inducted into the PGA of America,s “PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame” in 2005.
Charles Edward “Mike” Swisher (Class 2014)
Mike Swisher was born in 1945 at Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He was introduced to golf as a caddy at the Fairview Golf & Country Club. At Fairview he worked as a club cleaner for the golf professionals; Harlan Will and Glen Ziegler, who both had an influence on his career and his golf game. Swisher turned pro in 1963 and attained PGA membership in 1966. He began his professional career as an assistant at Fairview working for Ziegler. A year later Ziegler moved to the Coatesville Country Club and Swisher went with him. He moved back to Lebanon in 1965 as the assistant at the Lebanon Country Club for three years. He then worked for Philadelphia Section Hall of Fame member Jay Weitzel at the Hershey Country Club for one year. At Hershey he ran the Hershey Park Course, which was open to the public. A year later the Lebanon C.C. was looking for a head professional and Swisher was hired. When he was hired he told the board of directors that their club would have the best ladies and junior golf programs in the state of Pennsylvania. Swisher spent the next 42 years doing just that. Always a solid player he held the Lebanon C.C. course record with a 63 but he was more interested in developing young golfers. Four of his most successful protégés who won numerous tournaments were Stu Ingraham, Greg Lesher, Blaine Peffley and Jennifer Johnson. He produced so many solid players there was a waiting list of applicants to work for him, even as bag room employees. Swisher founded the Lebanon County Junior Golf Program which grew to the point where there were 250 children receiving golf instruction each year. There was a small charge but the juniors were able to play all of the golf courses in Lebanon County. A “Mike Swisher Scholarship” was established which gave financial aid for college to a young Lebanon County golfer. For more than forty years he was a force behind the Central Counties Chapter of the Philadelphia PGA. Swisher was president from 1982 to 1984 and won its championship in 1973. At Lebanon Country Club he hosted many tournaments for the PGA and was always ready to assist various charities with fund raising. He received many honors. Twice he was the Harrisburg Golf Association “Man of the Year” and he was inducted into the Central Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1994. He was the Philadelphia Section’s “Junior Golf Leader” in 1999. In 1990 he was the Central Counties PGA “Golf Professional of the Year” and he was the 1985 Philadelphia PGA “Golf Professional of the Year”. In 2014 Swisher was inducted into the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame.
Robert B. “Bob” Thatcher (Class 2016)
Bob Thatcher was born in 1939 at Long Island, New York. He learned to play golf in Maryland at the Bethesda Country Club where he was introduced to the game as a caddy. In Thatcher’s second year as a caddy at Bethesda the president on the club instituted a program that allowed some of the young caddies to be members also during the summer months for $3.12 a month. He took advantage of that program for nine years. Thatcher attended the University of Maryland, graduating in 1962. While still in college he turned pro in 1960. He began his career in golf as an assistant at the Burning Tree Golf Club under Max Elbin, a future president of the PGA of America. In 1966 Thatcher arrived in the Philadelphia Section as the head professional at the Williamsport Country Club. After two years at Williamsport he moved to the Aronimink Golf Club, following Joe Capello who had been the professional there since the club relocated to Newtown Square in 1928. Eight years later Thatcher left Aronimink to open a driving range and nine-hole executive course, which he designed, just a few miles away. He operated the golf complex that he named Olde Masters Golf Club for more than thirty years. During that time Thatcher, who was a born entrepreneur, was involved with numerous facilities and projects. For twelve years he and Joe Dahl owned two-thirds of the Reading Country Club, which they operated very successfully. He leased the Paxon Hollow Golf Club for four years, along with leasing the Downingtown Inn and Country Club for three years with George McNamara. For ten years he leased a driving range from the Camden County Park Commission. He designed and did consulting work for several entities that were building driving ranges and learning centers. After fifteen years of planning and hard work the Olde Masters Golf Center, his dream golf-learning complex that he had completely designed, opened near Atlantic City in 2001. That year the facility was voted best new golf range in the United States by Golf Range Magazine. In 1971 Thatcher was the Section’s first vice president and tournament chairman. The next year he was elected to the office of secretary. Thatcher taught at more than thirty PGA business schools along with writing articles for golf publications on golf instruction and the golf business. He was a member of the PGA of America’s education committee. In 1981 he was the Section’s Horton Smith Award winner for the many hours he spent on the education of his fellow golf professionals. Thatcher was known as one of the leading golf instructors in the Section as well as the country, with bunker play being his specialty. He was the Section’s “Teacher of the Year” in 1987. As a player he qualified for the PGA Club Professional Championship four times and the PGA Senior Club Professional Championship five times. At the Senior Club Pro he made the cut all five times with his best showing being a tie for seventh in 1995. All five of those years Thatcher played well enough in the Senior Club Pro to qualify for the PGA Seniors’ Championship. ” He won the 1991 Section’s Senior Championship and he was the Section’s “Senior Player of the Year in 1991 and 1992. In the fall of 1992 Thatcher qualified for the PGA Senior Tour as he tied for 15th, winning a conditional exempt status. That conditional status put him in what was a stand-by situation, which often came at the last minute, but he did get into 19 tournaments in 1993. He also qualified for the U.S. Senior Open that year. Thatcher played in a total of 41 tournaments on the PGA Senior Tour during the 1990s. Thatcher also competed on the European Senior Tour and the Japan Senior Tour. He played in five British Senior Opens and the British Senior PGA Championship five times, making the cut in all but one of those ten tournaments. For two years he had a number of high finishes on the European Senior Tour and played well enough to stay exempt. In 2016 Thatcher was inducted into the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame.
Peter Cornell “Pete” Trenham (Class 1992)
Pete Trenham was born in 1936 in the state of New York. He grew up in Florida where he caddied and played golf at the Mt. Dora Golf Club under golf professional Stanley Kuznik. Trenham attended the University of Florida, captained the golf team in 1958 and graduated in 1959. While in college he worked for Kuznik in Ohio during the summers, winning the Cleveland District Golf Association Championship in 1957. He turned pro in 1960 and worked for Kuznik for two seasons before coming to the Philadelphia Country Club in 1962 as an assistant to Loma Frakes. In 1966 he moved over to the St. Davids Golf Club where he served as the head professional for 29 years. After leaving St. Davids he worked in Ireland in 1995, opening the Adare Golf Club. After that he was the Director of Golf and assistant to the owners of Reading Country Club for ten years. In 1994 and 1995 he won the Section’s Senior Championship. He qualified for the PGA Club Professional Championship six times and he played in the Senior Club Professional Championship three times. He was a member of six Section Challenge Cup teams. Trenham played in the 1994 PGA Senior Championship and the 1997 U.S. Senior Open. During his time in the Section he served on every Section committee, including many years on the tournament committee and the executive committee. In 1969 Trenham and Bill Kittleman wrote the Section’s Tournament Regulations. Trenham was the Section’s treasurer on three separate occasions for a total of seven years and the second vice president one year. When he was the treasurer the Section office was in its infancy with the officers still running many of the daily operations of the Section. That included the writing of all the checks for the tournaments, payroll and all other services. In late 1987 he became the Section’s 27th president, in which capacity he served for two years. He was a delegate to the national PGA meeting four times. Trenham received the Horton Smith Award in 1985 and The Bill Strausbaugh Award in 1986. In 1979 he was the Section’s “Golf Professional of the Year” and he was an original inductee into the Section’s Hall of Fame in 1992. In 1996 he became the historian of the Philadelphia PGA and began compiling the Section’s history, which he installed on the Section’s website.
Arthur Jonathan “Art” Wall, Jr. (Class 2009)
Art Wall was born in Honesdale, Pennsylvania in 1923 and learned to play golf at the Honesdale Golf Club. Art and his brother Dewey got there start in golf by caddying for their father at Honesdale. When their golf games began to show promise, their father a Pennsylvania State Representative, bought a membership at the Country Club of Scranton so they could hone their skills on a more difficult course. After high school Art and his brother entered the service and served during World War II, where Dewey who was said to be as good at golf as Art was killed in action. After the war ended Art enrolled at Duke University where he played on the golf team and roomed with Mike Souchak, graduating in 1949, at the age of 26. Wall won the Pennsylvania Amateur twice in the late 40s. After college he turned pro and worked as an assistant on Long Island for two summers, while testing his game on the PGA winter tour. In late 1951 he joined the PGA Tour full time and picked up his first win at the Ft. Wayne Open in 1953. The next year Wall won the Tournament of Champions and he went on to win twelve more PGA Tour events. Along with his victories on the PGA Tour, Wall won ten times on the Caribbean Tour. His last win came at the 1975 Milwaukee Open at the age of 51, which made him the second oldest to win on the PGA Tour. His best year was 1959 when he won the Masters Tournament along with three other tournaments. That year he was the PGA “Player of the Year”, won the Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average, led the PGA Tour in money winnings and earned a spot on the Ryder Cup team. The next year Wall won the Canadian Open. He played on three Ryder Cup teams and served on the PGA Tour’s four-man Policy Board three years. In spite of the longevity of his career it was marred by back ailments and other illnesses. Three times he qualified for the U.S. Open and didn’t tee off in the tournament. Three other times he was invited to the Masters and wasn’t able to play, one of those being 1960 when was the defending champion. He tied for second at the 1974 PGA Seniors’ Championship in his first year of eligibility and went on to several more high finishes in the tournament. He won the Philadelphia Section PGA Championship five times. In 1978 he won the U.S. National Senior Open by four-strokes with a 72-hole score of 18-under par. That National Senior Open was two years before there was a PGA Senior Tour or a USGA Senior Open. Some credit for the creation of the PGA Senior Tour should go to Wall. In April 1979 he was teamed up with Tommy Bolt at the Legends of Golf Tournament in Texas. At the end of regulation play they were tied with Julius Boros and Roberto De Vicenzo. In the sudden death playoff four holes were halved with birdies before the Boros-De Vicenzo team won with a birdie on the sixth extra hole. NBC-TV stayed with the telecast, which knocked out their Sports World and Nightly News shows. The TV ratings were so good that the PGA Tour decided that a PGA Senior Tour could be of interest to the golfing public. The next year Wall and Bolt won the Legends of Golf Tournament, which was one of two senior events that the PGA ran that year. In 1981 the PGA Tour had five senior tournaments and the schedule continued to grow. During his career Wall made so many hole-in-ones that it reached the point where he refused to divulge the total. For most of his career he represented the Pocono Manor Resort where his son Greg was later the professional for many years. He played in 31 Masters Tournaments, 15 U.S. Opens and 12 PGA Championships. Wall was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame in 2009.
Jay Jack Weitzel (Class 2011)
Jay Weitzel was born in 1930 in Sinking Springs, Pennsylvania. Jay was the seventh of nine children. As the age of 10 he joined his brother Johnny at the Manor Country Club where they caddied and learned to play golf. They learned quickly as they both would win the Pennsylvania State High School Championship. Johnny became the professional at Manor and Jay worked for him while he was attending high school. In 1949 Johnny became the pro at the Colonial Country Club in Harrisburg. At that same time Jack Grout was nearby as the pro at the Country Club of Harrisburg. Jay worked for Johnny that summer helping him out at Colonial. Late that year Grout was hired as the professional at the Sciota Country Club and he asked Jay to come to work for him as an assistant. Jay spent six years with Grout at Sciota where he watched a young Jack Nicklaus come through their junior golf program. During that time he was drafted into the army and spent 21 months fighting the Korean War. While Jay was in the service his brother Johnny became the professional at the Hershey Country Club. In 1956 Johnny died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident on the way home from a golf tournament. A member at Hershey recommended Jay for the vacant position and he was hired by the people who ran the Hershey Trust Company, which owned the club. Before Jay was hired the club’s professionals had all been playing pros for more than 20 years. Since 1935, except for one year, the pros had been Henry Picard, Ben Hogan and Johnny Weitzel. As a result of having worked at Sciota Jay understood what a properly managed golf program could do for a club’s membership. Jay introduced tournaments for the members, shot-gun starts, junior golf clinics and golf carts. Over the years he managed more than one golf course. There was the Hershey Park Course that was open to the public and Juvenile Course that was open just to children and their guests. When the Hershey Lodge opened in 1966 there was a golf course there as well. In the meantime Jay could see that the clubhouse, which had been Milton Hershey’s home, was too small for a busy country club. He began to sell his ideas of building a new clubhouse in a better location, the addition of a second 18 holes and an expanded practice area. In 1969 the East Course opened and the members moved into a new clubhouse, which was located between original (now called West Course) and the new course. Jay and Hershey Country Club hosted the Pennsylvania Open 12 times and the LPGA Lady Keystone Open 17 times. As a player he qualified for two U.S. Opens and a PGA Championship. For 38 years he was one of the most respected golf professionals in the country. As the head professional at Hershey more than a dozen assistants who worked under him went on to be head professionals. In 1981 Jay Weitzel was the Section’s “Golf Professional of the Year” and in 2011 he was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame.
Henry E. Williams, Jr. (Class 1995)
Henry Williams was born in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1917. His father Henry Williams, Sr. was a Section member for many years and served as a head professional at several clubs in the Section, hosting the third Section Championship at the Linwood Country Club in 1924. Henry learned how to play golf as a caddy at the Lehigh Country Club where his father was the professional. His father also taught his sister how to play and in 1933 she won the first Pennsylvania State women’s amateur championship. Williams was a member of the Philadelphia Section for more than 60 years. He was the head professional at five different clubs in the Philadelphia Section; Phoenixville Country Club, Susquehanna Valley Country Club, Tully-Secane Country Club, Berkleigh Country Club and Moselem Springs Golf Club. He was one of the last professionals who held a full time head pro job and competed at a high level on the PGA Tour. The highpoint of his career was the 1950 PGA Championship at Sciota when he went to the finals eliminating two major championship winners on the way before losing to Chandler Harper. Williams played in twelve PGA Championships, seven U.S. Opens and two Masters Tournaments. For ten years he played the winter PGA Tour winning the Tucson Open in 1952. After that he competed on the Caribbean Tour where he won the Jamaica Open in 1962. Locally he won three Philadelphia Section Championships, two Pennsylvania Opens and two Philadelphia Opens. In 1961 Williams was a vice-president-at-large in the Section and in 1963 he was a delegate to the national PGA meeting. He was named to the Section’s Playing Legends Team in 1991. In 1995 Williams was inducted into the Philadelphia Section Hall of Fame and in 2001 he was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.