PGA Professional Hall of Fame
Originated in 1940, at the suggestion of famed sportswriter Grantland Rice, the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame was relocated to the PGA Museum of Golf in 2005.
The Hall of Fame recognizes all PGA members who have made significant and lasting contributions to the building of The PGA of America and the game of golf.
The inductees include PGA Presidents, PGA Golf Professional of the Year award winners as well as those PGA Professionals who also distinguished themselves as competitors while in service to The PGA of America.
2011 PGA GOLF PROFESSIONAL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
The PGA director of golf at The Club at Nevillewood in Presto, Pa., Jim Antkiewicz has inspired both youth and aspiring PGA Professionals in the greater Pittsburgh area. Elected to PGA membership in 1982, Antkiewicz, 53, has served as District 4 Director on the PGA national Board of Directors, from 2002 through 2005, and in 2010 was re-elected to the District 4 Director’s post. He also has served as Tri-State PGA Section President from 2002-2006, and is a member of the PGA National Government Relations Committee, and past member of the PGA Budget and Audit Committee (2002-05) and the PGA Education Committee (1995-98). In 2008, Antkiewicz became the third member of the Tri-State PGA to receive the PGA Golf Professional of the Year award. He is a former caddie at Ambridge (Pa.) Country Club, where he first sneaked on to the golf course to caddie and work in the bag room at age 11 (one year under the age requirement), Antkiewicz has been a leader in both his home facility and throughout his Section. He has guided teaching programs that inspired, by his count, a dozen past assistants to become their own leaders in the golf industry. He is a 1980 graduate of Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa., and turned professional a year earlier. He gained his first assistant professional position at age 21, at Allegheny Country Club where he served from 1978-83 under the tutelage of two-time Senior PGA Professional of the Year Roy Vucinich (1997-98), one of the premier playing professionals in the country.
Antkiewicz moved to Highland Country Club in 1983 and remained until 1995, when he took his present position at The Club at Nevillewood. Antkiewicz founded the Tri-State PGA Teaching Academy in 1993, serving as its coordinator for two years. He is a two-time recipient (1995, 2007) of the Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award; and a three-time recipient of the Tri-State PGA Bill Strausbaugh and Horton Smith Awards. Since 2006, he has been chair of the Section Growth of the Game Committee and Long Range Planning Committee. Antkiewicz also guided juniors off the course, serving six seasons as a boys’ basketball coach and four as a girls’ coach at Mount Gallitzin Academy in Baden, Pa.
A former college coach, general manager, accountant, skilled player, Rules official and tournament director, Jim Awtrey joined The PGA of America Headquarters staff in 1986. Awtrey became the first PGA Professional to be named executive director a year later. In 1993, he was named the first chief executive officer in PGA history. From 1993 through 2005, Awtrey had a part in several momentous events affecting the golf industry. Born in Oakland, Calif., Awtrey spent his boyhood in Shawnee, Okla., and graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1966. Elected to PGA membership in 1969, Awtrey competed on the PGA Tour from 1970-71, before returning to Oklahoma to begin a club professional career. From 1972 to 1986, he served at four facilities, including a term from 1972-77 as coach of the University of Oklahoma men’s golf team. He guided his alma mater to three NCAA Tournament appearances.
Awtrey’s tenure at The PGA of America national headquarters included his being at the forefront in 1990 when exclusion practices in golf were being questioned. The immediate aftermath of the 1990 PGA Championship at Shoal Creek Country Club in Birmingham, Ala., resulted in The PGA of America leading the campaign for all golf organizations to adopt policies prohibiting discriminatory clubs from acting as hosts of their tournaments. During his PGA term, membership rose from 15,000 to 27,000 and the Ryder Cup evolved into one of the greatest events in sport. Awtrey would oversee the formation of PGA Properties, including the debut of PGA Golf Club at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and the purchase in 2000 of Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. Following his PGA of America tenure, Awtrey, 67, became senior vice president of Landmark Land Co. Inc. in November 2006 and served until May 2009. He continues to serve on the Landmark Board of Directors.
Samuel Henry “Errie” Ball, one of the most popular PGA teaching professionals in Illinois PGA Section history, also is the last surviving member of the 72-member inaugural Masters field of 1934. He received his invitation to the major from the legendary Bobby Jones, whom he had at the 1930 Open Championship at Hoylake, which would serve as one leg of Jones’ famed Grand Slam. Jones would ultimately write a letter of recommendation that resulted in Ball gaining his first club professional position. Born in Bangor, Wales, Ball first played golf at age 10, turned professional at age 17 and is the second oldest living and second longest serving PGA Professional. Elected to PGA membership in June 1931, Ball was born to a famed British golf family, inspired by his father, Samuel Harry Ball, a golf professional at Lancaster Golf Club for 50 years. Errie’s great uncle, John Ball, was the first amateur to win the Open Championship (1890) along with eight British Amateur Championships and the British National Open. Errie was urged by his uncle, Frank Ball, then the PGA head professional at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, to begin a golf career in America. Ball later assisted George Sargent, who became PGA of America president, and in 1933 received Jones’ letter that led him to his first head professional post at Mobile (Ala.) Country Club. On the course, Ball won the 1931 Southeastern PGA Championship and the 1932 Atlanta Open. He served at PGA head professional 1937-42 at Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville, Va., before he was drafted by the U.S. Navy. Following the war, Ball became head professional at Oak Park (Ill.) Country Club, and would serve 24 years, while spending 20 winters teaching at Tucson (Ariz.) Country Club. He spent one winter (1962) as director of golf at John’s Island in Vero Beach, Fla. In 1972, Ball became the first PGA head professional and later PGA director of golf at Butler National Golf Club in Oak Brook, Ill. He would make a return to the Masters 23 years later in 1957, the longest span between competitions for any Masters competitor.
Ball qualified for the U.S. Open twenty times, the PGA Championship 12 times and held PGA Section titles in the Southeast, Arizona, and Illinois. He won three Illinois PGA Championships, the Illinois Open, and Illinois PGA Senior Open and Match Play Championship. Ball was inducted into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame in 1990, a year after being named PGA Professional emeritus at Willoughby Golf Club in Stuart, Fla., where he continues to give periodic lessons today. On Nov. 14, 2010, Ball celebrated his 100th birthday, honored by 17 PGA Professionals, the majority of whom served under him during his career.
Jack Barber, a native of Ashland, Ky., became in 2009 the second-ever member of the Indiana PGA Section to receive a PGA Golf Professional of the Year award. Barber, 60, grew up as an ardent fan of the Cincinnati Reds and did not begin playing golf until age 14. Playing golf until dark, putting under the lights of a car, Barber was unable to afford golf lessons. He gave up a dream to be a professional baseball player while he improved his golf skills and went on to help Russell High School finish runner-up in the 1968 Kentucky State High School Golf Championship. He went on to earn a golf scholarship to Eastern Kentucky University, graduating in 1972. During the summer, Barber competed in the U.S. Amateur and Western Amateur Championships. Barber married his high school sweetheart, Becky, and began his professional career as an assistant at nine-hole Ironton (Ohio) Country Club, where he handled all duties with the exception of greens keeper. In 1974, he received an invitation from a former Eastern Kentucky assistant coach turned PGA Professional, John Dunham, to serve from 1974-76 as an assistant at Highland Golf and Country Club in Indianapolis. From there, Barber was hired at age 27, as the head professional at Lexington (Ky.) Country Club.
Barber was the 1981 Kentucky PGA Horton Smith Award winner and the 1985 Kentucky PGA Golf Professional of the Year. He went on to serve on the Kentucky PGA board, and served as president for 1984-85. He was named PGA head professional at Meridian Hills Country Club in Indianapolis in 1986, where he has worked for the past 25 years. He went on to serve as Indiana PGA Section president from 2008 to 2010. While at Meridian Hills Country Club, Barber has mentored 20 assistant professionals and countless club personnel. Currently, nine of Barber’s former assistants are PGA head professionals. Barber has served on multiple Indiana PGA committees and the 1985 PGA Education Committee. Since his career began in the Indiana PGA Section, he is a three-time Section Merchandiser of the Year award recipient; the 1993 Section Teacher of the Year; 1996 Golf Professional of the Year and the 2003 Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient. Among Barber’s on-course successes include his winning the 1978 Kentucky State Open, finishing runner-up in 1979; competing from 1979 to 1986 in the PGA Professional National Championship; and capturing the 1983 Kentucky PGA Match Play Championship and the 2002 Indiana Senior PGA Championship.
One of the most prolific instructors in golf history, Jim Flick has taught the game in 23 nations while elevating the business of golf instruction. Flick, 81, was elected to PGA membership in 1959, and served as director of instruction for Golf Digest’s Schools and guiding more than 1,000 multi-day programs. He was co-founder with legendary Jack Nicklaus of the Nicklaus-Flick Golf Schools (1991-2003); operated his own Jim Flick Premier School in 2002; and served as a lead instructor for the ESPN Golf Schools (2003-05). Since 2006, he has served as the ambassador for TaylorMade Golf. The third recipient of the PGA Teacher of the Year award in 1988, Flick was the ninth instructor inducted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame in 2002, the same year that he was inducted into the Southern Ohio PGA Hall of Fame. Flick also was a 1995 inductee into the Wake Forest University Athletic Hall of Fame; and in 1999, Golf World selected him one of the Top 10 Teachers of the 20th Century. Flick has coached more than 200 Tour professionals among countless amateurs and premier junior players, headed by the legendary Nicklaus and major champion Tom Lehman.
A native of Bedford, Ind., Flick began playing golf at age 10 through the influence of his father, Cloeman Flick, a Bedford City Champion. Flick attended Wake Forest University on a basketball scholarship and roomed six months of his sophomore year with Arnold Palmer, then a junior. Flick turned professional following graduation in 1952 and attempted to play tournament golf before determining that his future was in the club professional ranks. Flick served as assistant professional from 1954-55 in Evansville, Ind.; following by a PGA head professional term from 1956 to 1960 at Connersville, Ind., and from 1961-74 at Losantiville Country Club in Cincinnati. Flick served as treasurer of the Southern Ohio PGA Section as the Section played host to the 1964 PGA Championship at Columbus Country Club and the 1969 Championship at NCR Country Club in Dayton. A frequent contributor to national golf publications for decades, Flick also has authored five books: Square to Square Golf (1974), Square to Square in Pictures (1974), How to Become a Complete Golfer (1980), Jim Flick on Golf (1997), and Swing Analysis by Jim Flick – Jack Nicklaus, Simply the Best (2007).
The first member of the New England PGA Section to ascend to president of The PGA of America, Jim Remy was born in Leominster, Mass., became a professional skier and in 1980 took advantage of an unlikely job offer and subsequent mentoring by PGA Head Professional Ray Lajoie at Worcester (Mass.) Country Club, site of the first Ryder Cup. Earning PGA membership in 1984, Remy gained his first PGA head professional position in 1985 at Killington Golf Resort in Vermont, and since 1997 has been in various managerial positions at the Okemo Golf Division of the Okemo Mountain Resort. He is the vice president and general manager of that division. Remy became an active member of the New England PGA, serving as president from 1995-97, and went to serving an unprecedented 6½-year on the PGA Board of Control. He was elected PGA Secretary in 2004 and became president in 2008, during a worldwide recession. Remy, who traveled 850 days during six years as a PGA officer, spent much of his two-year presidency focusing a PGA Professional “resetting” priorities to bring individuals back to golf; and supported the government relations program, WE ARE GOLF, to bring attention to legislative and public affairs goals of the industry.
Remy also helped lead a prudent fiscal management of The PGA’s budget that enabled the continuance of valuable member programs. An honorary member of Worcester Country Club, Remy supports the Lori Lajoie charity golf tournament that benefits the Seven Hills Foundation, supporting the welfare of people with developmental, physical, psychological and related disabilities. Remy highlighted his presidency as an advocate for promoting golf as a first recreational sport, advocating fitness among youth programming and welcomed three posthumous African-American pioneers in 2009, who were previously denied membership into the Association. Remy, 56, was named the 1997 New England PGA Golf Professional of the Year and was inducted into the Section Hall of Fame in 2008.
One of the founding fathers of the Sun Country PGA Section, Guy Wimberly, 72, is aptly nicknamed “Mr. New Mexico Golf” for having grown the game selflessly for more than four decades in the state. In 1969, joined by PGA Professional Bob Meiering, took over Arroyo del Oso Golf Course in Albuquerque and elevated it into a popular municipal golf destination, earning recognition from Golf Digest as one of the “Top 50 Municipal Facilities to Play. He went on to serve from 2006 to 2008 as PGA director of golf at Sierra del Rio Golf Club in Elephant Butte, N.M. Wimberly was co-founder of New Mexico Golf Ltd., in 1974, a multi-million dollar entity that expanded from one to four public facilities employing more than 100, including a dozen PGA Professionals and assistant professionals. Under his direction, Arroyo del Oso’s 27-hole facility serviced more than 140,000 annual rounds. Among the leaders in advancing golf tourism in New Mexico, Wimberly also guided the formation of the Sun Country Amateur Golf Association and the Junior PGA Tour within the state’s borders. Wimberly was co-recipient with Bob Meiering of the 1979 PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities; and in 1988 earned the Horton Smith Award for contributions to PGA education. A PGA Life member who celebrates 40 years as a PGA Professional on March 31, Wimberly served from 1982-85 as District 12 director on the PGA Board of Directors; and from 1980-82 as president of the Sun Country PGA Section. Wimberly majored in journalism and speech at the University of New Mexico where he captured a Western Athletic Conference (WAC) title and was an All-America selection. He has been a frequent contributor to regional golf periodicals and the Albuquerque Journal. He was the 2001 Sun Country PGA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, the 1988 Section Golf Professional of the Year and Horton Smith Award winner and the 1989, 2005 Section Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient.