A Chronicle of the
Philadelphia PGA and its Members
by Peter C. Trenham
The Leaders and The Legends
1960 to 1969
Joseph R. “Joe” Aneda, Jr.
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 Elkview 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.
Edward W. “Ed” Carman
Ed Carman was born in Bridgeton, New Jersey in 1927 and was introduced to golf as a caddy at the Cohanzick Country Club. Cohanzick didn’t have a golf professional at that time so when Carman began to show promise as a player one of the members took him to the Atlantic City Country Club for a golf lesson with Ed Dudley. George B. Smith, who was working for Dudley, also gave Carman some lessons. In 1947 he turned pro and went to work as Smith’s assistant at the Country Club of Buffalo. In the mid 1950s he became the head pro at Cohanzick and in 1957 he moved over to the newly opened Buena Vista Country Club as its first golf professional. At Buena Vista Carman hosted the 1961 Philadelphia PGA Championship. He left Buena Vista in 1962 to build his own golf course, the Centerton Golf Club, which opened in 1964. He operated Centerton as a public course until selling it in 1991. While he owned Centerton he was buying ground next door with the idea of owning a private golf course. After nine years of hard work Carman was able to fulfill his dream when he opened the private Running Deer Golf Club, which featured 7,000+ yards of twisting fairways and undulating greens.
Loma J. Frakes
Born in Jefferson City, Missouri in 1909 Loma Frakes turned pro in 1930 and worked as an assistant to Harry Cooper. In 1938 he became the head pro at the Jefferson City Country Club in Missouri. In spite of a leg withered by polio he joined the army in 1941 and served four years during World War II. In 1945 he came to Philadelphia as an assistant to Jug McSpaden at the Philadelphia Country Club and in 1950 he was selected as the head professional. In the 1930s he was a fine player and a successful tournament player but as the head pro at the Country Club he became known for his assistants and their tournament victories. During his twenty plus years at the Country Club his assistants won four Pennsylvania Opens, three Philadelphia Section Championships, numerous regional titles and made good showings on the PGA Tour. In the 1960s he and two members of the club backed three young pros, Jon Gustin, Tim DeBaufre and Reteif Waltman, on the PGA Tour. The golf writers referred to his operation as “The Loma Frakes Academy for Club Golf Pros”.
John F. “Johnny” Hayes
Born in 1909 Johnny Hayes lived across the street from the Merchantville Country Club. He got his start in golf when he began caddying at Merchantville at age 12. Hayes turned pro in 1930 and worked as an assistant at Merchantville. He went to North Jersey as a head pro for three years before returning to the Philadelphia Section as the head professional at the Iron Rock Golf Club in 1934. At that time Iron Rock and the Cooper River Golf Club were the only public courses in South Jersey. He was the professional at Cooper River until 1946 when he moved over to the Riverton Country Club. Hayes served as the professional at Riverton until he retired twenty-five years later in 1970. He held office in the Philadelphia Section for twelve years. Beginning in 1949 Hayes was the secretary for six straight years and then after being out of office for nine years he returned to Section politics in 1964. He was then the treasurer for two years and the secretary for two years after which he served as the Section’s 17th president in 1968 and 1969. As the president of the Section in 1968 he hired Bob Jones to promote and coordinate the Section’s tournament program. One year later Hayes rented office space to create the Section’s first headquarters and he hired Jones as the Section’s first executive director. Hayes represented the Section at the national meeting seven times and he was the Section’s “Professional of the Year” in 1966.
Robert J. “Bob” “Bobby” Jones
Born in 1914 Bobby Jones was the first executive director of the Philadelphia Section and a long time member of the PGA. In 1968 the Section rented office space in Haverford and hired Jones to manage the office and the Section’s tournaments. He was the right man for the job. Jones began his career in 1932 as an assistant to Charlie Schneider, Sr. at the Melrose Country Club. He moved to the Concord Country Club with Schneider in 1934 and when Schneider left in late 1942 Jones became the head professional at Concord. He stayed at Concord for eight years and then became a pro-golf salesman. For 19 years Jones worked for the Walter Hagen Company and the Plymouth Golf Ball Company. In 1958 he and Joe Phillips formed the Philadelphia Pro Golf Salesmen’s association. In the 1950s Jones started putting on tournaments for the Section’s members. One of those, the Whaley Memorial, had a run of more than fifteen years. He worked for the Section two years and then resigned to manage a new LPGA Tour event at the Hidden Springs Golf & Country Club.
Martin F. “Marty” Lyons
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.
Angelo J. “Ange” Paul, Jr.
Angelo Paul was born in 1912 and grew up in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania. His father and mother immigrated to the United States from Italy. Paul learned to play golf as a caddy at the local golf courses in Montgomery County. He did his apprenticeship in golf as the assistant pro at the Valley Forge Golf Club where he worked for nine years. Paul was the head professional at the Jeffersonville Golf Club for nine years and the Meadowlands Country Club for nineteen years. In 1956 he was elected Section secretary and he held the office for seven years before becoming the Section’s 15th president in 1963. Paul served in the office of president for three years. He represented the Section at the national PGA meeting as its delegate six times. Paul qualified for the national PGA Championship three times. In a three-week period in late 1962 he won the Section Seniors’ Championship, was named “Golf Professional of the Year” and became president of the Section. He won the Section Seniors’ Championship again in 1964. Paul was known for his work with junior golfers and promotion of the game of golf through civic organizations.
Harlan B. Will
Harlan Will was born in Chest Springs, Pennsylvania in 1914. At the age of 11 he started playing golf at the Argyle Country Club in Maryland where his father, who had been a farmer, was hired as the green superintendent. Four years later his father became the green superintendent at the Woodmont Country Club. Harlan went to work in the bag room cleaning clubs for the golf professional A.B. Thorn and in 1933 he won the Washington D.C. public links title. In 1934 Thorn became the professional at the Lancaster Country Club and latter that year he recommended Harlan for the head professional position at the Meadia Heights Country Club. At the age of 20 Will became a head pro. In 1943 he had to leave Media Heights for work in a defense plant. He worked at the Armstrong Cork Company in the production of aircraft parts. At the same time he gave lessons at the Overlook Golf Club in the evenings and weekends. In 1947 he was hired as the pro and green superintendent at the Lebanon Country Club. In 1958 Will left Lebanon to design and construct the Fairview Country Club. He managed all phases of that club for two years before leaving to design and construct the Lykens Valley Golf Club. In 1962 he became the pro at the Overbrook Golf Club. He was a head professional in the Philadelphia Section for forty-five years. When he was in his early 50s he qualified for three of the first four PGA Tour’s Whitemarsh Opens. In 1967, at the age of 53, he shot a 62 at Overbrook setting a new course record. Two of his junior golfers at Overbrook, Andy and Ray Thompson, became outstanding playing members of the Philadelphia Section. He was a vice president of the Section eight years, the secretary one year and the tournament chairman nine years. In 1973 his fellow Section members named him the Section’s “Professional of the Year”.
Albert Cornelius “Al” “Bessie” Besselink
Al Besselink was born in Merchantville, New Jersey in 1924. He and his brother Ben who was also a member of the Philadelphia Section learned to play golf at the Merchantville Country Club. He attended the University of Miami and was a star player. While at Miami he won the prestigious Southern Intercollegiate Championship in Athens, Georgia two times. He is in the University of Miami Hall of Fame. He turned pro in 1949 and he was one of the most colorful players on the PGA Tour for more than ten years. He won four times on the PGA Tour and finished second seven times. His most famous victory was at the 1953 Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas where he bet $500 on himself to win at 25 to 1. Because of his friendship with Babe Zaharias who was dying of cancer he then wrote a check for $5,000 to the Damon Runyan Cancer Fund. That was one-half of the $10,000 he had received for winning the tournament. In 1961 he left the tour to be the head professional at the Philmont Country Club where he stayed three years. After that he played the tour part time representing various clubs as their playing professional. He won several times in the Caribbean and South America, which included three wins in the Caracas Open. Besselink played in ten U.S. Opens, nine PGA Championships and four Masters Tournaments. On the local level, even though he often was not around, he won the Section Championship two times, the Philadelphia Open twice and the Pennsylvania Open once.
Stanley “Stan” Dudas
Stan Dudas was born in a small town north of Scranton called Simpson in 1929. At the age of 16 he ran away from home to avoid working in the coal mines. While hitchhiking he was picked up by Fred Waring, the owner of the Shawnee Inn & Country Club. Waring put him to work in the hotel dining room as a busboy. Dudas began playing golf on the Inn’s golf course and with the help of the pro, Harry Obitz, he made rapid progress. Two years later at the age of 18 he turned pro and began working under Obitz. Dudas was one of the original members of Obitz’s creation “The Swings the Thing” golf school. He spent seven years at Shawnee with Obitz, along with two years in the U.S. Army, before landing the head professional position at the North Hills Country Club. After six years at North Hills, Dudas left the Section in 1962 to be the professional at the Sciota Country Club. Soon he was back in the Section as the professional at the Ramblewood Country Club. In 1965 he joined Leo Fraser as his professional at the Atlantic City Country Club. For more than twenty-years Dudas was one of the top players in the Philadelphia Section and for several years he played the PGA Tour during the winter months. Dudas won the Philadelphia Section PGA Championship three times and the Philadelphia Section Senior Championship four times. He played in seven PGA Championships and four U.S. Opens, tying for 27th in the 1958 U.S. Open. He also played in six PGA Seniors’ Championships, five U.S. Senior Opens and six PGA Club Professional Championships. In 1968 Dudas won the DeBaufre Trophy for having the lowest scoring average in the Philadelphia Section tournaments. In 1969 Dudas arranged a lease for the Mays Landing Country Club, which he maintained for twenty-seven years while managing all phases of the operation.
Jon C. Gustin
Jon Gustin was born in Kentucky in 1932 and grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. Many golf critics including Ben Hogan considered Gustin to have been one of the greatest ball strikers in the history of the game. He learned some of his golf from Birmingham native Sam Byrd who owned a driving range in the area when Gustin was growing up. Gustin turned pro in 1951 and soon after that he joined the United States Marine Corps. As a marine, Gustin was a member of the Marine Color Guard at the White House during the Eisenhower administration. After serving in the marines he worked for Joe Cannon at the Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville, Virginia. He visited the Philadelphia Country Club as a guest of the assistant professional, Bernie Haas, where he met the head professional Loma Frakes. Frakes was so impressed with Gustin’s ball striking that he prevailed on two of the club members to sponsor him on the PGA Tour. The members replied that if Gustin was that great Frakes should sponsor him. The two members and Frakes then agreed to sponsor Gustin as a three-man corporation, named Wynnewood Golf. Under their sponsorship from 1959 through 1962 Gustin finished 68th, 55th, 59th and 54th on the PGA Tour money list. His putting and an inability to work the golf ball from “right to left” or “left to right” kept him from being more successful. Gustin loved to practice and the practice area was his stage. After he had completed his round he would stop in the clubhouse for a bit to eat and a complete change of clothes including shoes. Then he would retire to the practice range, which meant hitting full shots for the most part. In those years it meant hitting your own practice balls to your caddy. He would hit his driver right off the ground, no tee, sending shot after shot high and long to the caddy, which would field the balls on one hop. Gustin was one of the very few players that Ben Hogan would pause for to observe a few swings. His best finish on the PGA Tour was a tie for second at the 1960 Cajon Classic. Gustin played in four U.S. Opens and six PGA Championships. His best showing in a major was a tie for 9th at the 1964 PGA. One year, Golf Digest selected Gustin as the best-dressed player on the PGA Tour. In 1963 he left the PGA Tour to take a head professional position in northern New Jersey. Later Gustin returned to his hometown as the head professional at the Birmingham Country Club. During his tenure there Hubert Green was developing his game as a junior golfer at the club.
Jerry Lynn McGee
Jerry McGee was born in New Lexington, Ohio in 1943 and attended Ohio State University. He was an assistant at the Frosty Valley Country Club from 1964 to 1966. In 1966 he made it through the PGA Tour Qualifying and joined the tour in 1967 where he remained through 1981. It took him awhile to achieve success but he managed to stay on the tour by making cuts and Monday qualifying. In 1972 he became an exempt player by finishing in the top 60 on the money list. That year he finished fifth in the Masters Tournament and he won four cars for closest-to-the-pin prizes. His first win came in 1975 and he won three more times including the 1977 Philadelphia Golf Classic. From 1975 to 1977 he finished 16th, 16th and 15th on the PGA Tour money list. In 1977 he played his way onto the Ryder Cup Team. After leaving the tour he became a club pro in Pittsburgh and in 1991 he was the Tri-State Section Teacher of the Year. When he turned 50 he joined the PGA Senior Tour, where he competed successfully for more than ten years.
Gerald L. “Jerry” Pisano
Jerry Pisano was born in 1927 and grew up in Asbury Park, New Jersey. He learned to play golf as a caddy at the Deal Golf & Country Club. Pisano graduated from Rutgers University. He then earned a law degree from Seton Hall University and passed the Bar Exam. While he was attending law school he worked as an assistant pro for Tiny Pedone at the Overbrook Golf Club. As an assistant at Overbrook he won the first of three Philadelphia Opens in 1957. His other two Philadelphia Open victories came in 1962 and 1965. In 1964 he set a tournament record for the Hershey Country Club on the way to winning the Pennsylvania Open. He put together a five under par 68 each day, which included a bogie on the par three eighteenth-hole in both rounds. Pisano played in the PGA Championship three times and the U.S. Open twice. He was the head professional at the Locust Valley Country Club and the Radnor Valley Country Club. He was the Section’s second vice president from 1966 to 1968 and the secretary in 1970. As the Section secretary he played a major role in designing the voting districts in the Section so that the professionals outside the Philadelphia metropolitan area could have more voice in the Section’s affairs.
Gary Jim Player
Gary Player was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1935 and started playing golf with his father at age 15. At 18 he turned pro and two years later he headed to England to play tournament golf. Player came to America in 1957 to test his golf game on our PGA Tour. He wasn’t very successful at first but with the help of some money from George Fazio he was able to stay on the PGA Tour. Before the year was over Player had a third place showing and he finished in the top twenty-five six other times. At that time Fazio was leasing and operating the Flourtown Country Club, so in return for the favor Player registered out of the Flourtown CC while playing in the United States. Fazio even had a living quarters constructed for him at Flourtown CC. The next year Player won on the PGA Tour and in 1961 he was the leading money winner. Player went on to win the PGA Championship at the Aronimink Golf Club in 1962. Player won eight major championships; three Masters Tournaments, two British Opens, two PGA Championships and one U.S. Open. He also finished second in the major championships six times. He was one of only five golfers to win all four major championships during his lifetime. Other than the majors he had 13 wins on the PGA Tour and finished second 27 times. Along with winning well over 100 tournaments around the world Player won his national championship, the South African Open, thirteen times. When he turned 50 he joined the Senior PGA Tour and continued to win tournaments into his 60s. He also headed up a golf course architectural firm that designed golf courses in several countries. Player traveled more miles to play tournament golf than anyone in the history of the game. Player was a member of the PGA Hall of Fame.
Robert Henry “Skee” Riegel
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.
Robert A. “Bob” Ross
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.
Ralph G. “Pat” Schwab
As the professional at the Rock Manor Golf Club from 1962 to 1964 Pat Schwab was only in the Philadelphia Section for three years but he left a lasting impression. The son of golf professional Harry Schwab, who won the 1953 PGA Seniors’ Championship, Pat was born in Ohio in 1933. He learned to play golf in Dayton, Ohio where his father was the golf professional at a public course. He was a long driver with a soft touch around the greens. Skee Riegel nicknamed Schwab “The Tower of Power”. Schwab attended the University of Florida on a golf scholarship where he played for four years and captained the team in 1955. While he was at the U of F he won the Florida Intercollegiate and many other tournaments. After leaving college George Zaharias, the husband of Babe Zaharias, backed him on the PGA Tour for a few years before he settled in as a club professional. As a member of the Philadelphia Section, Schwab won the 1964 Philadelphia Open along with numerous other tournaments. In 1964 his name was the first to be inscribed on the DeBaufre Trophy, which went to the Section member with the lowest scoring average for the year. During his career he played in eight PGA Championships and five U.S. Opens. In 1965 he moved to the New Jersey Section where he went on to win four of their Section Championships, a New Jersey Open and serve as their Section president.
Robert J. “Bobby” “Bob” Shave, Jr.
Born in Ohio in 1936, Bob Shave came from a golf family. His father was a golf professional, his grandfather was the green superintendent at the Oakland Hills Country Club in Detroit and his uncle was a golf professional and a national PGA vice president. His father Bob Shave, Sr. played in many national championships and operated under lease a private golf club near Cleveland when Bob was growing up. Bob was an outstanding player as an amateur and he went to Florida State University on a golf scholarship. He graduated in 1959 and embarked on the PGA Tour. He won many tournaments but he didn’t win on the PGA Tour. He had one second place finish, a third place finish and 21 top ten finishes on the PGA Tour. He won the Ohio Open three times before coming to work as an assistant at the Philadelphia Country Club. In the two years he worked at the Country Club he won the Pennsylvania Open in 1965 and the Section Championship in 1966. A great ball striker he struggled with his putting. In 1964 he had switched to a croquet style putter that he named “The Last Straw”. He used that putter with success until the USGA made croquet style putting illegal at the end of 1967. He left the tour and was never the same player again. He came back to the Section to work at the Hidden Springs Golf Club as the teaching professional and then he managed the Kimber View Driving Range for Tiny Pedone. He left the Section to become the golf coach at the Florida International University. His assistant at Florida International was Bill Mehlhorn. While they were working together Shave wrote a book about Mehlhorn’s career and his theories on the golf swing. The book “Golf Secrets Exposed” was published in 1984. In 2009 Shave was inducted into the Florida State University’s Hall of Fame.
Charles L. “Charlie” Sifford
Charlie Sifford was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1922 and moved to Philadelphia in 1939. He had learned to play golf as a caddy in Charlotte. Sifford worked for Nabisco and played golf at the Cobbs Creek Golf Club. He honed his game at Cobbs Creek playing money matches with the Negro national champion Howard Wheeler, who played cross-handed. Sifford turned pro in 1946 and joined the United Golf Association, which held a series of tournaments during the summer for black golfers. Since most of the PGA Tour events weren’t open to the black pros the UGA offered them the only chance to compete in tournaments. Sifford won the Negro National Championship five straight years (1952 to 1956) and a total of six times. For ten years he played in any tournaments that were available to him while working for Billy Eckstine, the singer and bandleader. In the late 50s Sifford played in about 15 PGA Tour tournaments each year, playing wherever he was invited or allowed to qualify. During that time he won three non-PGA sponsored tournaments in Southern California competing against some of the big names from the PGA Tour. In 1960 the PGA gave him an Approved Tournament Player card and in 1961 he became a PGA member. He was the first black golfer approved to play the PGA Tour. Sifford went on to win the 1967 Hartford Open, the 1969 Los Angeles Open and the PGA Seniors’ Championship, all after the age of 45. He had a successful career on the PGA Senior Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2006 Sifford received an honorary doctorate from Scotland’s University of St. Andrews.
Theodore Richard “Dick” Sleichter
Dick Sleichter was born in 1918 in Scotland, Pennsylvania. He learned to play golf as a caddy at the Chambersburg Country Club under the golf professional, Arthur Edgar. He was one of seven boys from the small town of Scotland with 400 residents who became golf professionals. One of those pros was Paul McKenzie the father of Ted and Dave McKenzie, Philadelphia Section members. Ted was named after Sleichter whose name was Theodore Richard. Sleichter went to the University of Tampa on a football scholarship and graduated in 1941. He joined the navy that year and saw duty with amphibious warfare units in the Pacific before being discharged in 1945. In 1950 he turned pro and four years later he returned to Pennsylvania as the pro, manager and green superintendent at the Gettysburg Country Club. As the professional at Gettysburg he played many rounds of golf with President Eisenhower who owned a home nearby. While he was in the Section he won the Philadelphia Open, the Pennsylvania Open and the Section Championship. He qualified for the PGA Championship five times. In the PGA at Dayton in 1957 he lost to the runner-up Dow Finsterwald in the first round one down after calling a penalty on himself for striking the ball twice with his putting stroke on the 17th green. His ball had come to rest in its own pitch mark and the rules did not allow the player to repair the ball mark. When he putted the ball popped up and the putter struck the ball a second time. He was the only one who knew it happened. He also won the Middle Atlantic Section Championship twice after taking a job in Maryland in 1962.
Michael T. “Mike” Souchak
Mike Souchak was born in Berwick, Pennsylvania in 1927. He learned to play golf as a caddy at the Berwick Country Club where his brother John was the head professional. After high school he served two years in the navy and then attended Montclair Academy in New Jersey for one year. In 1947 he enrolled at Duke University on a football scholarship. He was a star on the team playing tight end and kicking the extra points, and he was captain of the golf team in 1951. After graduation he worked for Elwood Poore at the Valley Forge Golf Club. He had played on the golf team at Duke with Poore’s son Pete and Art Wall who grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania and also went on to success on the PGA Tour. In 1953 he was on Claude Harmon’s staff at the Winged Foot Golf Club and that winter he joined the PGA Tour. In 1955 he won the Texas Open setting PGA Tour records on the way. In the first round he tied the record for 18 holes with a 60 and set a new record for nine holes shooting 27 on the back nine. He lowered the record for 72 holes putting together a 257 total. Souchak was a member of the 1959 and 1961 Ryder Cup teams. He won fifteen tournaments and finished second twenty five times on the PGA Tour earning $286,876 and setting records in many of the tournaments. After leaving the tour he was the professional at the Oakland Hills Country Club in Detroit for a few years and then he went into the golf cart leasing business in Florida. He played some on the PGA Senior Tour in the 80s but by the time it began he was in his mid 50s. Playing part time he won $140,399. His brother Frank was an All-American football player at the University of Pittsburgh and an outstanding amateur golfer. He also had two nephews, Hugh and Francis Vaughn, who worked as golf professionals in the Philadelphia Section.
Henry E. Williams, Jr.
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 showed him how to grip a golf club and told him to go his some golf balls. Henry’s 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.