Author: Matt Frey

PGA REACH Philadelphia Announces 2021 Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Diversity Scholarship Recipients

Lower Gwynedd Township, Pa. (May 10, 2021) —PGA REACH Philadelphia, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of the Philadelphia PGA Section, is proud to announce its 2021 Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Diversity Scholarship recipients: Sophia Blair, Williamstown, N.J.; Hannah Kopac, State College, Pa.; Gabriella Magno, Delran, N.J.; Isabella Magno, Delran, N.J.; and Kasim Narinesingh-Smith, Kennett Square, Pa.

PGA REACH Philadelphia created the scholarship program to provide opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds to participate on the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour, an elite circuit for youth golfers ages 18 and under. The Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Diversity Scholarships provide recipients annual tour membership dues and tournament event fees (up to seven tournaments per year until the recipient turns 18 years old). The foundation will also connect recipients to PGA Professional mentors for golf instruction / coaching and clubfitting. Additionally, new for 2021, thanks to a partnership with the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s 1854 Foundation, the scholarship recipients will receive new golf bags, and additional equipment, based on their PGA Professional mentor’s recommendations.

“PGA REACH Philadelphia is delighted to provide scholarships that will inspire youth in our community by providing access to programs designed to promote social skills, self-esteem, leadership, and athleticism through the game of golf,” said PGA REACH Philadelphia Director Leila Mackie. “This year’s scholarship recipients were chosen among dozens of youth golfers who applied, and were selected based on their academic success, passion for the game, and references from PGA Professionals, coaches and teachers.”

Sophia Blair is a 13-year-old hailing from Williamstown, N.J. In her scholarship application essay, Blair recognizes that while she lives in a diverse community and attends a school with kids from many backgrounds, there is much room for improvement when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She also recently wrote a school paper arguing that women professional golfers should be paid the same winnings as male professionals. Blair also plans to play competitive golf in high school, and believes that her membership on the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour will help her improve her game, while also providing her access to golf courses that she may not otherwise be able to play.

Hannah Kopac is 14 years old, lives in State College, Pa., and hopes to become a collegiate golfer while studying for a career in the medical field. To help prepare for competitive golf, and now the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour, Kopac has been working with Penn State University G.C. PGA Professional Dan Merrell on her golf swing and course management strategies.

Gabriella Magno, 11, resides in Delran, N.J., with her sister Isabella, also a 2021 scholarship recipient. In her application essay, Magno wrote “golf is not just a game because it provides me with constant life skills that I can use in my every day life which can always can be improved.” In the future, Magno hopes qualify for the annual Drive, Chip & Putt Championship at Augusta National G.C. and play competitive golf at both the high school and college levels.

Isabella Magno is 14, and like her sister Gabriella, lives in Delran, N.J. She started playing golf when she was just four years old and has worked on her game since to prove that girls can be just as good as boy golfers.

“This scholarship will allow me to experience golf in so many various settings,” said Magno. “I cannot wait to see how my golf skills respond to a variety of golf clubs.”

Kasim Narinesingh-Smith, 15, is from Kennett Square, Pa. He says that winning this scholarship means a lot to him and will allow him to establish friendships through the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour. His father introduced him to the game, having played on a Division I golf team, and he hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps.

The Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Diversity Scholarship program is one of many programs and initiatives managed by PGA REACH Philadelphia and is the foundation’s flagship program under its Diversity pillar, helping to positively impact lives through the game of golf. PGA REACH Philadelphia’s goal is to grow the game by providing financial assistance, coaching, instructional materials, mentoring, equipment and scholarships to individuals and organizations throughout the region, with the help of the Philadelphia PGA Section’s 800 PGA Professionals, who work at more than 300 public and private golf facilities in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, Delaware and northeastern Maryland.

The Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour leads the region in competitive youth golf with over 90 events held seasonally at many of the area’s top facilities, covering all of the Section’s geographic areas.* In addition, the tour hosts four major championships throughout the season, including nationally ranked events that provide exposure for youth golfers looking to play competitively. With opportunities to learn, grow, and compete, many tour members graduate to play at the college level and beyond.

The 1854 Foundation’s mission is to support of local, regional, national, and international amateur sports competition; preservation and maintenance of public facilities and artifacts related to amateur athletics; and enhancing the local community’s environmental health, beautification, and stabilization.

About PGA REACH Philadelphia 

PGA REACH Philadelphia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2018 as the charitable arm of the Philadelphia PGA Section, one of the 41 Sections within the PGA of America. PGA REACH Philadelphia is committed to serving our communities and growing the game of golf through our three pillars: Youth, Military, and Diversity.

For more information on PGA REACH Philadelphia and its mission to positively impact lives through golf, visit PGAREACHPhiladelphia.com. To donate to PGA REACH Philadelphia, please click here.

Contacts:

Leila Mackie, PGA
Director, PGA REACH Philadelphia
lmackie@pgahq.com

Courtney Curcio
Coordinator, PGA REACH Philadelphia
ccurcio@pgahq.com

Matt Frey, PGA
Communications Director, Philadelphia PGA Section
mfrey@pgahq.com
*The Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour’s 2020 season has been shortened due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Philadelphia PGA Announces New Dates for 2021 Haverford Philadelphia PGA Classic and Philadelphia Players Championship

Lower Gwynedd Township, Pa. (May 1, 2021) — The Philadelphia PGA Section and its partners The Haverford Trust Company and Lookaway Golf Club have announced new dates for the 2021 Haverford Philadelphia PGA Classic and Philadelphia Players Championship, in an effort to ensure responsible events during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Haverford Philadelphia PGA Classic has been rescheduled for September 7, 2021, at its traditional host site, Sunnybrook G.C. in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., where PGA Professionals will compete for the largest PGA Section first prize in the nation, $100,000.

The Philadelphia Players Championship will move to September 20 at Lookaway G.C. in Buckingham, Pa. More information regarding each event will be released closer to their playing.

The Section thanks everyone involved in the decision making process: George Connell, The Haverford Trust Company, Scott Hutchinson, Sunnybrook G.C. and Lookaway G.C., their PGA Professionals, staff, and memberships.

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.
Contacts:

Matt Frey, PGA
Communications Director, Philadelphia PGA Section
mfrey@pgahq.com

Veronica McKee
Vice President of Marketing, The Haverford Trust Company
vmckee@haverfordquality.com

Mark Anderson Eagles First Playoff Hole to Win 2021 Philadelphia PGA Delaware Valley Open in Dramatic Fashion

West Chester, Pa. (May 3, 2021) — Philadelphia PGA Member Mark Anderson, St. Davids G.C., won the 2021 Philadelphia PGA Delaware Valley Open in dramatic fashion, scoring an eagle on the first playoff hole at Concord Country Club.

Anderson was first in the clubhouse with a 3-under-par 67, and was matched by defending champion Trevor Bensel, Overbrook G.C; and Chris Krueger, Kings Creek C.C. As daylight waned and a period of heavy rain moved through the golf course, the threesome teed off on the 520-yard par-5 18th hole for a sudden death playoff.

In what he described as the best shot of his life, Anderson hit his approach from 230 yards with a 5-wood, and not only hit the green, but nearly holed it for an albatross, lipping out. His golf ball finished less than three feet away, leaving a relatively stress-free eagle putt, which he holed, securing him the victory. Making Anderson’s win even more special, his son Ryan was on his bag as a caddie. This was Anderson’s second Philadelphia PGA Section stroke play win, and his first-ever Philadelphia PGA Rolex Player of the Year tournament victory.

Anderson’s 3-under-par 67 allowed him to take the Senior Division by two strokes, bettering five PGA Professionals: Dave McNabb, Applebrook G.C.; Hugo Mazzalupi, Patriots Glen National G.C.; Brian Kelly, Bucknell G.C.; Dave Quinn, Laurel Creek C.C.; and Brendan Post, Univ. of Delaware. Kelly won the Super Senior Division by two strokes over Bill Sautter, Philadelphia Cricket Club.

Bensel won the Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization (PAO) event by one stroke over Andrew Turner, while Noah Firestone, Galloway National G.C., finished third at even-par.

The next Philadelphia PGA Rolex Player of the Year tournament on the schedule is the TaylorMade Classic on May 17 at French Creek G.C.

To view the full 2021 Delaware Valley Open Championship leaderboard, click here. To view photos from the tournament, click here.

The 2021 Philadelphia PGA Delaware Valley Open, a Rolex Player of the Year event, is supported by Jack Jolly & Son, Ohana Farm LLC, Mizuno, Jani-King, Kevin McClellan Golf Sales, and Rolex. The Philadelphia PGA Section and its PGA Professionals thank Concord C.C., its membership, management, and staff, as well as our partners, as the event would not have been possible without their support.

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.

Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, mfrey@pgahq.com

PGA Professional Spotlight: Don DeAngelis, a Golf Paragon

Don DeAngelis, the son of golf pro Pete DeAngelis, began golfing in 1961 at 11 years old under the tutelage of his father.  Don’s father was the head professional at Plymouth Country Club, and it was there that young Don spent countless hours not only sharpening his game but also working at the club.

In 1969, Don won the Philadelphia Jr. Championship before playing for the University of Pennsylvania. He played in the US Amateur in 1972 and ’73, won the 1975 Patterson Cup, played in the Scotland World Invitational Pro-am, and won the 1985 Pennsylvania Open, and played in the 1978 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills Country Club.

During his career, Don has won more than thirty Philadelphia PGA tournaments. Even more impressively, he has won a professional tournament in every decade he’s played: 1960, ‘70, ‘80, ‘90, 2000, ‘10 and ‘20.

One of Don’s favorite competitors was PGA professional Jay Sigel. Jay is one of the greatest golfers to come from Philadelphia. He played in many major championships, including the 1980 Masters. The two were always at the top of tournament leaderboards, jockeying for first place. Jay commented about Don:

“Don is an exceptional competitor, extremely humble, and a gentleman through and through. His consistency is remarkable. Don hits the ball so straight it’s almost boring to watch.”

Don has consistently placed above the top three professionals for Senior Player of the Year in the Philadelphia PGA. But it is this last bullet of his resume that best exemplifies his ability and legacy; Don has been named among the top 50 teaching professionals in the country by Philadelphia Magazine.

PGA Pro and lifelong friend, Eric Stevenson, had this to say about Don:

“Congratulations Don on your accomplishment of winning at least one PGA Section event in 6 consecutive decades! Thankfully, our friendship has endured over 7. Growing up together we were fortunate to compete with such a great group of talented players, to have formed the friendships we did, and to have role models that we looked up to and admired. Your father Pete, a PGA Professional, was certainly in the last category.  He was the consummate professional and definitely a role model for me. The great memories that you and I have are too numerous to share. Partnering in amateur competitions, caddying for you at the ‘78 US Open at Cherry Hills, you winning the Pennsylvania Open, and even the cheesesteaks at Dalessandros!  The Philadelphia area is fortunate to have such a long history of wonderful players, and you have certainly earned your place among them!”

Don spent many years as the vice president and tournament chairman of the Philadelphia PGA Section. During that time, he worked hard to improve the game he loved by conducting programs and activities for the section members, both on the professional and amateur levels. He has given lessons to countless youth organizations to help pass along his knowledge and passion for the game. As an instructor, Don develops game plans, works on all areas of the game, talks strategy and effective practice routines, and improves focus, among other things. He doesn’t just teach—he has fully dedicated himself to helping golfers make lasting improvements.

Don’s list of proteges includes his step sons Tom & Jason Rowinski and grandsons Jack & Oliver Rowinski. It’s no surprise that his family members have developed the same love for the game that Don always had, and this is a testament to Don’s teaching ability and mentorship skills. Don is a true role model, just like his father Pete.

Along with instructing, Don continues to compete in PGA tournaments and remain a staple at the top of the Philadelphia section leaderboards. He has always been cut from a different cloth, and some would say they don’t make that fabric anymore. Don is a true professional, and fierce competitor in every way.

For Don, it’s all about the love of the game. Golf is a sport of physical and mental ability, and Don beautifully illustrates that fact.

Playing and winning is admirable. But what is truly noble is continued professional excellence, and that is what Don represents—both as a player and an instructor. Making a great game better? Now that’s the real legacy.

Philadelphia PGA Member Brett Walker Qualifies for 2021 PGA Championship

Philadelphia PGA Member and Sunnybrook Golf Club PGA Assistant Professional Brett Walker finished tied for 10th place in the 2021 PGA Professional Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to qualify for the 2021 PGA Championship. Walker will join 19 other PGA Club Professionals to play in his first major championship at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in May. Congratulations, Brett! Keep up the great play!

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (April 28, 2021) 一 Omar Uresti of Austin, Texas, who won the 2021 PGA Professional Championship on Wednesday, will lead the Team of 20 PGA Professionals to the 2021 PGA Championship, May 20-23, at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island (South Carolina) Golf Resort.

A 52-year-old PGA Life Member, Uresti will be playing in the PGA Championship for the fifth time, but first since a four-year run from 2015-18.

Danny Balin of Rockville, Maryland, and Rob Labritz of Pound Ridge, New York, will be the most experienced of the 20 PGA Professionals at Kiawah Island. Both will be participating in their eighth career PGA Championship. Balin will be making his fourth straight appearance, while Labritz will appear in his third consecutive PGA Championship.

Frank Bensel, Jr., a PGA Assistant Professional from Purchase, New York, will be making his third career PGA Championship appearance in as many decades (2004, 2012, 2021).

Balin and Bensel were both in the PGA Championship field in 2012, when it was last played at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

Mark Geddes of Coronado, California; Greg Koch of Orlando, Florida; Patrick Rada of Jupiter, Florida; and PGA Life Member Sonny Skinner of Sylvester, Georgia, claimed the final four PGA Championship spots available this week as they emerged from a five-players-for-four-spots playoff.

Ten of the 20 PGA Club Professionals at The Ocean Course in May will be making their PGA Championship debuts, while four others return for consecutive trips after playing in last year’s PGA Championship at Harding Park (California).

PAO Update: April 24, 2021

The Philadelphia Assistants Organization (PAO) is off to a great start in 2021! The organization has hosted two terrific events to start off the year with many more to come. The PAO Spring Meeting Golf Event at Whitford C.C. and the PAO Virtual Spring Meeting with special guest speaker Michael Breed. Our main goal is to support our mission statement of engaging assistants professionals with rewarding experiences through networking, education, and tournament competition. To do this, we need your help! Get involved, participate in our scheduled events, and sign up for PAO membership today.

PAO Spring Meeting Golf Event

The PAO kicked off their tournament season on a cool, overcast day with their PAO Spring Meeting Golf Event at Whitford Country Club on April 12th. The event’s format was a two-person scramble, and the team of Ashley Grier, Overbrook G.C, and Andrew Turner, Berkshire C.C., finished on top with a team score of 65, 7-under-par. Special thanks to Whitford C.C., its membership, Mike Ladden, PGA, and his staff for hosting the event. In addition, the PAO extends a sincere thank you to Conrad Radcliffe for being the title sponsor of the PAO this season.

PAO Virtual Meeting

The PAO held their annual Spring Meeting in the all too common virtual format on April 13th. During the meeting the PAO introduced the new committee members and reviewed the goals and events for the 2021 season. The committee for this year’s organization is as follows:

Committee member names and contact information is provided because you are encouraged to reach out and engage if you have any questions, concerns, suggestions. The committee is  here to help!

Virtual Meeting Special Guest Speaker

The 2012 PGA Teacher of the Year, Michael Breed was generous to join the virtual meeting, spending an hour sharing his passion and wisdom with the intimate group of PAO members. Breed spoke about how to “build your brand”, how to be passionate about yourself and our job, and of course he shared some of his golf instruction knowledge. Michael brought tremendous energy to the meeting and was very engaging to the entire group even given the virtual format. Some tremendous advice from Michael Breed included:

  • Say yes more often
  • Never be afraid to show your face and be known
  • Check your personal ego and have awareness of other people

The PAO would like to extend a sincere thank you to Michael Breed for generously sharing his time and passion with the members of the PAO!

PGA Patron Program

As we head into the golf season, please consider sponsoring your Assistant Professional’s membership in the Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization through our PAO Patron Program.

The program allows ranking PGA Professionals to sponsor their eligible staff members for PAO membership. By simply paying the annual PAO membership fee of $75 for your Assistant Professionals, they will be able to take advantage of all the PAO has to offer, including networking, tournament competition, education offerings, volunteer opportunities, and more. The program is perfect for PGA General Managers, Directors of Golf, Head Professionals, and the like who put a premium on the self-improvement of their staff.

In the spirit of professional growth, and a “pay it forward” mentality, we hope you will consider supporting the PAO Patron Program. Click the button below to sponsor your Assistant Professional(s).

Click here for Patron Program Registration

PGM Intern Contact Information Survey

This year, it is the goal of the PAO to reach out and engage with PGM Intern’s who are working within the Philadelphia Section. We encourage you to share the contact information of your PGM intern(s) so that our committee can reach out and invite them to participate in the PAO’s offerings. Interns who are visiting the section are welcome to attend PAO educational events and even participate in PAO tournaments. Please help in our efforts by providing contact information so we can make them feel welcomed and they can make the most of their time within our section.

Click here for the PGM Contact Survey

Michael Little Wins 2021 Philadelphia PGA Tournament Players Division Championship

Marlton, N.J. (April 19, 2021) — Lookaway G.C. PGA Head Professional Michael Little, Lookaway G.C., won the 2021 Philadelphia PGA Tournament Players Division (TPD) Championship at Little Mill Country Club, the Section’s first Rolex Player of the Year Points event of the season.

Little, the reigning Philadelphia PGA Player of the Year, finished with four birdies and 22 points in the modified Stableford scoring format, one point ahead of defending champion Parks Price, C.C. of York. A trio finished tied for third with 20 points each: Jordan Shuey, West Shore C.C., Stu Ingraham, MGolf Range & Learning Center, and Alex Knoll, Glen Brook G.C.

“Winning today gives me a great boost in confidence leading into the 53rd PGA Professional Championship,” said Little after his win. “I would like to thank the TPD Championship partners, Kevin McClellan Golf Sales, Scott & Karen Hutchinson, Precision Pro Golf, and Rolex. I also want to thank my family, and of course Lookway G.C., its Board of Directors, and membership.”

The 2021 PGA Professional Championship is scheduled for next week, April 25-28 at PGA G.C. in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

The modified Stableford points were awarded as follows: Bogey or higher, -1 point; Par, 1 point; Birdie, 3 points; Eagle, 6 points; and Double Eagle, 9 points.

In the Senior Division, Stu Ingraham, who made five birdies, took top spot with 20 points, four ahead of Brian Kelly, Bucknell G.C., Greg Farrow, Deerwood C.C., and Dave Quinn, Laurel Creek C.C. Dave McNabb, Applebrook G.C., and Hugo Mazzalupi, Patriots Glen National G.C., tied for fifth place.

The next Philadelphia PGA Rolex Player of the Year tournament on the schedule is the Delaware Valley Open on May 3 at Concord C.C.

To view the full 2021 TPD Championship leaderboard, click here. To view photos from the tournament, click here.

The 2021 Philadelphia PGA Tournament Players Division Championship, a Rolex Player of the Year event, is supported by Kevin McClellan Golf Sales, Scott & Karen Hutchinson, Precision Pro Golf, and Rolex. The Philadelphia PGA Section and its PGA Professionals thank Little Mill C.C., its membership, management, and staff, as well as our partners, as the event would not have been possible without their support.

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.

Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, mfrey@pgahq.com

Team Rashley Wins Inaugural Peninsula Pro-Am Championship in Delaware

Millsboro, Del. (April 14, 2021) — PGA Professional Brian Rashley led his amateur team of Mike Lupichuk, Anthony Busacca, and James Trait, to victory in the inaugural edition of The Peninsula Pro-Am Championship at The Peninsula Golf & Country Club.

The victors, representing Bear Trap Dunes, finished with a net 12-under-par 60, two strokes ahead of the second place finishers from Bayside Resort G.C.’s Sean Gradomski, PGA, Steve Dennis, Sid Burkot, and Greg Larson; Fieldstone G.C.’s Matt DiEleuterio, PGA, Mark DiEleuterio, Jerry DiEleuterio, and Ronny Abrams; and Harbor Pines G.C.’s Mark Parson, PGA, Mike Dougherty, Joe Petrini, and Kyle Kirby.

Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort’s Brian Bergstol, PGA, and his team, Jason Wilson, Nathan Fry, and Riley Hogan, tied atop the Gross Division with The Peninsula G. & C.C.’s Will Scarborough, PGA, Lionel Harris, Mike Polise, and William Hartwell. Both teams finished with gross scores of 7-under-par 65 to win by two strokes over second place finishers Berkshire C.C.’s Ben Bewley, PGA, Jacques Jacobson, Randy Simcox, and Bob Crider.

To view the full 2021 Peninsula Pro-Am Championship leaderboard, click here. To view photos from the tournament, click here.

The Philadelphia PGA Section and its PGA Professionals thank The Peninsula G. & C.C., its membership, management, PGA Professionals, and staff, as well as our partners, as the event would not have been possible without their support.

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.

Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, mfrey@pgahq.com

Celebrating Our Centennial: 100 Years of the Philadelphia PGA Section

As the Philadelphia PGA Section turns 100, we take a look back at the people and events that helped make the Section what it is today, with the help of Section Historian Pete Trenham, PGA, and his website Trenham Golf History.

Art Wall, Jr. was born in Honesdale, Pennsylvania in 1923 and learned to play golf at the Honesdale Golf Club. Wall got his start in golf by caddying for his father at Honesdale. After high school he entered the service and served during World War II. When the war ended Wall 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. He tied for second at the 1974 Senior PGA Championship in his first year of eligibility and went on to several more high finishes in the tournament. 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. 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 won the Philadelphia Section PGA Championship five times.

John Shippen: John Matthew Shippen, Jr. was born in Washington D.C. on December 2, 1879. His father John Sr., was born into slavery in Virginia. When the Civil War ended he was a free man. He moved to D.C. and attended Howard University. Upon graduation he became an Episcopalian minister. In 1888 the church sent John Sr., his African American wife and children to the far end of Long Island to bring Christianity to the Shinnecock Indians.

The Shinnecock Hills Golf Club opened in 1891 and the golfers needed caddies. John and his brother Cyrus along with some of the Indian boys became caddies and some learned to play the game.

By 1896, with the US Open scheduled for Shinnecock Hills, 16 year old John Shippen was being proclaimed in newspapers around the USA. It was written that he was a long straight driver and could play all the shots. He was the holder of the Shinnecock Hills course record, having lowered the number set by then Shinnecock professional Willie Dunn, by six strokes. Dunn had given Shippen pointers on how to play the game.

When the 1896 US Open rolled around in July, Shippen was paired with Charles Blair MacDonald, 1895 US Amateur champion. Oscar Bunn, one of the Shinnecock Indian caddies was also entered. Some of the Shinnecock members paid their entry fees. When the British born professionals learned there was a black golfer entered they produced a signed petition, refusing to play. USGA President Theodore Havemeyer stated that there would be a tournament even if only Shippen and Bunn were in the field. The protesting players decided to play.

The tournament, one day of 36 holes, was won by James Foulis, a Scotland-born professional from Chicago with rounds of 78 and 74 for 152. Despite poor putting, Shippen posted a 78 in his morning round. In the afternoon he took 11 strokes on the 13th hole when his tee shot ended up on a sandy road, where it took several strokes for him to escape. He finished with an 81 for 159 and a tie for sixth and last money. Some years later he said the hole was an easy par four, but his drive was a little too far to the right.

After working as the professional at Maidstone Golf Club, Shippen became the professional at Aronimink Golf Club in 1899, for that one year. His brother Cyrus was his assistant. At times his employers, to justify his employment, would say that he was not a black man but of English/Indian decent. It was said and written that Shippen was related to John Raife on his father’s side and Pocahontas on his mother’s side, which was far from realty. Shippen himself had registered for that 1896 US Open as a Shinnecock Indian, to avoid problems. In later years in an interview with his daughter, she said her father was 100 percent black.

As the professional at Aronimink, Shippen finished third in a driving contest at the 1899 US Open. He played in six US Opens, tying for 5th in 1902 along with his tie for 6th in 1896.

For many years Shippen was the professional and course supervisor at the Shady Rest Golf & Country Club in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. It was later Scotch Hills Country Club. In 1991 the John Shippen Foundation was created to offer golf instruction and competition for young minority golfers.

In 2009, the PGA of America bestowed Shippen with posthumous membership. Thurman Simmons and Shippen’s late grandson, Hanno Smith, attended the ceremony at the PGA Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

Learn more about John Shippen via PGA.com: pga.com/story/pga-professional-john-shippen-and-the-preservation-of-a-pioneering-legacy

Charlie Sifford: Charlie Sifford was the first person of color to compete in PGA-sanctioned events following the demise in 1961 of the “Caucasian-only” PGA of America membership clause.

Sifford honed his game here in the Philadelphia PGA Section, at the municipal Cobb’s Creek Golf Course, a facility which allowed golfers from all backgrounds to play and enjoy the game. As our Section Historian Pete Trenham put it, “Without Cobb’s Creek, we probably never would have heard of Charlie Sifford.”

Even in the face of adversity, Sifford had a successful career, winning 22 times professionally, including two PGA Tour wins: the ’67 Greater Hartford Open and the ’69 Los Angeles Open.

Sifford won the 1975 @ his only major championship, at Walt Disney World in Florida.

He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004, and President Obama awarded Sifford the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014.

Sifford’s hard work and determination, struggles and successes helped pave the way for many more people of color to enjoy the game and compete professionally. He is truly one of the greats of our game.

Dewey Brown: Before Charlie Sifford, before Pete Brown and before Lee Elder there was a PGA member of African descent named Dewey Brown.

Dewey Brown was born in North Carolina in 1898 and grew up in New Jersey. He was introduced to golf as a caddy at the Madison Golf Club. Before long he was working on the golf course mowing fairways behind a horse drawn mower for $1 a day.

By the age of 18 he was an accomplished golfer and had become interested in club making. He began working under the golf professional at the Morris County Country Club as a club maker. He must have learned quickly as he made a set of clubs for Chick Evans that Evans used to win the 1916 U.S. Amateur at Merion Golf Club.  Brown later made a set of clubs for United States President Warren G. Harding.

In 1918 Shawnee Inn & Country Club professional Willie Norton hired Brown as his assistant. At Shawnee Brown gave many golf lessons. During the winter months he would return to New Jersey and work for Baltusrol Golf Club professional George Low teaching indoors and making golf clubs.

At one point Brown left Shawnee to buy a farm but he returned in 1925 and stayed on for another 12 years. In 1928 he became a member of the PGA of America but in 1934 the PGA inserted a clause in its by-laws stating that the members had to be Caucasians. His membership in the PGA was terminated.

He left Shawnee in 1937 to manage clubs in New Jersey and New York, but in 1946 he returned to Shawnee one more time. Fred Waring, the famous bandleader, had bought Shawnee and hired Brown to be his hotel manager. He did not stay long as a new opportunity beckoned. He bought the Cedar River House & Golf Club in Indian Lake, New York. By then he was certainly qualified to own an inn and golf club. Brown managed the hotel and was the golf professional as well. Eleven years after buying the Cedar River House he joined the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

When the PGA eliminated the “Caucasian Only” clause from its by-laws in 1962 Brown applied for reinstatement. A couple of years later he was a “Class A” PGA member again.

When Dewey Brown retired in 1972 one of his son’s took over the business. Brown died in 1973 and is buried in Indian Lake Cemetery which is across the road from his Cedar River Golf Club. Some golf historians have referred to him as one of America’s golf pioneers.

Learn more about Dewey Brown from this July 2017 PGA Magazine article by clicking here.

Dick Smith Sr.: 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.

1942 PGA Championship: In the last week of May Seaview Country Club and its head professional Bruce Coltart hosted the PGA Championship. Seaview had two very dissimilar nines in architecture. There was the Bay Course with 18-holes designed by Donald Ross and 9-holes in the pines designed by Bill Flynn. It was decided that the back nine of the Bay Course would be played first and then the pros would finish on the Pines nine. In the later rounds the Bay nine was played last to accommodate the gallery. In the previous PGA Championships all the players received mileage money, which was based on how far they lived from the tournament site. In 1942 only those who failed to qualify for the match play were paid the mileage money. Hershey CC professional Ben Hogan, who hit more practice balls than anyone, hurt his wrist practicing the day before the championship started and had to have x-rays taken. Fred Corcoran, the PGA Tournament Manager, told the press that Hogan’s starting time for the next day would be pushed back a few hours from his scheduled time. Because the country was now at war, the pros were qualifying for only 32 places in order to shorten the championship by one day. All the matches were scheduled for 36 holes. PGA of America president Ed Dudley led the 100 starters on the first day of qualifying with a six-under-par 66, which tied the record for the lowest qualifying round in the PGA championship. At the end of qualifying Harry Cooper was the medalist with a 138, while Sam Byrd tied for second at 139. Dudley and Hogan were part of a three-way tie for fifth at 141. Coltart (142), Jug McSpaden (143), Jimmy Thompson (143), Dutch Harrison (144), Sam Snead (144) and Joe Kirkwood, Sr. (147) were the other members of the Philadelphia Section who made it into the match play. Kirkwood had to survive a playoff to win one of the last spots. Corporal Elwood Brey, Corporal Ed Oliver, Felix Serafin, Clarence Ehresman and Leo Diegel failed to qualify.  Byrd, Coltart, Thomson and Harrison lost in the first round. In the second round Kirkwood lost to Byron Nelson and McSpaden lost to Jim Turnesa. Three Section members; Snead, Dudley and Hogan made it into the quarter-finals. Hogan then lost to Turnesa one-down and Dudley lost to Snead, who was the Shawnee Inn & CC playing professional, one-down. Dudley lost to Snead when his tee shot on the last hole hit a spectator and bounced into the woods for an unplayable lie. Snead beat Jimmy Demaret 3&2 in one semifinal match and Turnesa defeated Byron Nelson in a match that went 37 holes. Snead went on to defeat Turnesa, who was stationed at Ft. Dix, New Jersey, in the 36-hole finals 2&1. Snead took his first prize of $2,000 in a war bond, which would have been worth $1,500 in cash. The total purse was $7,550. Turnesa was granted leave to compete in the championship with the understanding that any money he won would go to the Army Relief Fund. Turnesa won $750 in cash and wore his army uniform while playing in the tournament. The total purse was $7,550. Two days later Snead was in the U.S. Navy as Seaman First Class Snead. The draft board had given Snead a 10-day extension on his reporting date so he could play in the PGA. Snead’s caddy was a young man named Tony DeSimone who went on to own an automobile dealership and a golf course in South Jersey. DeSimone became one of the Philadelphia Section’s most faithful sponsors. All profits from the tournament were donated to the Army and Navy relief funds. This was the last major golf championship played until the end of the war.

The PGA Championship final was played on Sunday May 31. That evening the PGA of America held a meeting of its executive committee. The Atlantic City Golf Association and Seaview Country Club had issued an invitation for the PGA to hold its championship at Seaview again in 1943. Due to the war the PGA wasn’t sure when it might hold its championship again. The PGA executive committee did vote to hold its championship at Seaview again and publicly stated that when it was played again it would be held at Seaview. There would be no PGA Championship held in 1943 and by 1944 when it was held the commitment to Seaview had apparently been forgotten.

George Jerome Fazio: George Fazio was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania in 1912. He had a varied and outstanding career in golf. He 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. For more of Trenham Golf History’s Leaders & Legends, visit https://trenhamgolfhistory.org/philadelphia-pga-leaders-legends/leaders-legends-1950-1959/

Three Teams Tie for First in 2021 Philadelphia PGA Spring Meeting Golf Event

Springfield, Pa. (March 29, 2021) — Three teams tied for first place in the 2021 Philadelphia PGA Spring Meeting Golf Event at Rolling Green G.C. on a cool and blustery spring day.

The winning teams each finished with scores of 63, 8-under-par, and included PGA Professionals Will Scarborough and Jesse Williams, both representing the Peninsula G. & C.C.; Bob Hennefer, Laurel Creek C.C, and Curtis Kirkpatrick, Indian Spring C.C.; and Michael Little, Lookaway G.C., and Dave Quinn, Laurel Creek C.C.

Historically, the two-professional scramble event is held in conjunction with the Philadelphia PGA Section’s in-person Spring Membership Meeting. However, in order to conduct the meeting in a responsible fashion, the Section optioned the business meeting to a virtual format for 2021, scheduled for April 7 at 6:00 p.m. PGA Professionals may register for the virtual Spring Meeting by clicking here.

While the business meeting will take place next month, the Section still provided a playing and networking opportunity for its members, with the golf event held at Rolling Green. Each winning team finished with a flurry of birdies and eagles, with Scarborough / Williams eagling both Nos. 17 and 18, Hennefer / Kirkpatrick birdieing each of their last four holes, and Little / Quinn birdieing Nos. 15-17 and eagling No. 18.

The PGA Professional teams of Brian Kelly, Bucknell G.C., and John Pillar, C.C. of Woodloch Springs; Brian Bergstol, Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort, and Joe Kogelman, GOLFTEC – Moorestown; and Dustin Wallis, Dustin Wallis Golf and Steve Swartz, West Shore C.C.; each finished tied for fourth place, one stroke behind the winning teams.

To view the full 2021 Philadelphia PGA Spring Meeting Golf Event leaderboard, click here.

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.

Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, mfrey@pgahq.com