Betty Jameson

Tall, blonde Betty Jameson was known as the LPGA’s first glamour girl, although she credits the stylish dress of most Dallas women golfers for her attitude toward on-course attire. Jameson made her mark on women’s amateur golf in Texas when she won the state Publinx Tourney at age 13.

Dallas pro Francis Schider tutored Betty in golf as a youngster. When she moved to San Antonio to work for the San Antonio Light newspaper, she studied with San Antonio CC pro Tod Menefee.As a collegian at the University of Texas, he sought the counsel of Harvey Penick. After winning the Southern Amateur at age 15 and a pair of U.S. Women’s Amateur championships in 1939 and 1940. She became the first player to win the Western Open in 1942 and Western Amateur in the same year. In 1947, two years after turning pro, Betty won the Women’s U.S. Open with a 295 total. It was the first time a female golfer had broken 300 in the 72-hole event.

Jameson is a founder and charter member of the LPGA and was the woman who conceived the idea for the Vare Trophy for the Tour’s best scoring average. In 1952, Betty Jameson donated the cup, which bears the name of Glenna Volett Vare.

Birthplace: Norman, Oklahoma

Born: May 19, 1919

Died: February 7, 2009

Don January

As a member of the PGA Tour from 1956 until 1976, Don January won 10 events. He has since added 22 Senior PGA Tour triumphs to that total and has a place in the record books as the first player to surpass the $1 million mark in Senior Tour earnings in 1985. January had already gained notice as a collegian, who along with teammates Billy Maxwell and Joe Conrad, played on three consecutive NCAA championship teams at North Texas State.

As a professional, January won the 1967 PGA Championship, defeating fellow Texas Don Massengale in a playoff. January won the Vardon Trophy in 1976 at age 46. January earned spots on the 1965 and 1977 Ryder Cup teams and served as a Player of Director on the Tour Policy Board in 1970.

Birthplace: Plainview, Texas

Born: November 20, 1929

Died: N/A

Harvey Penick

Harvey Penick, was a beloved teaching professional. Herbert Warren Wind described him as “hopelessly dedicated.” He began caddying at Austin CC as a child along with his brother, Tom. When Penick was 19, Austin CC pro, Carl Baker resigned and the directors informed Harvey they would hold the position open until he graduated from high school. Penick spent 33 years as golf coach at the University of Texas (1931-63) while serving simultaneously as head pro. His Longhorn teams won 20 Southwest Conference Championships. In 1970 Penick became pro emeritus at Austin CC and son Tinsley became head professional.

Penick is perhaps best known for the successes of his students which include Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite, Terry Dill, Don Massengale, Kathy Whitworth, Betsy Rawls, Sandra Haynie, Sandra Palmer and Betsy Cullen. He was also mentor to the late Wesley Ellis, Morris Williams and George Knudsen. Penick has always maintained that he did not teach the game, so much as he “guided the learning” of talented people. Harvey Penick was President of the Texas PGA and was a member of the Longhorn Hall of Honor, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the PGA/World Golf Hall of Fame, and the Austin High School Hall of Fame.

Birthplace: Austin, Texas

Born: November 23, 1904

Died: April 2, 1995

Jack Burke Jr.

Jackie Burke will always be remember for his string of four consecutive victories ( Texas Open, Houston Open, Baton Rouge Open, and St. Petersburg Open) in 1952. In PGA Tour annals, this feat is second only to Byron Nelson’s 11-victory streak in 1945. Burke’s earnings for his four wins only amounted to $8,000. At the end of the season he had pocketed $21,000 and was third on the money list. But his best year was yet to come. In 1952, he won both the Vardon Trophy with a stroke average of 70.54 and was named Player of the Year. During his playing career, Burke won 17 titles, most notably the 1956 Masters and PGA Championship when he was named PGA Player of the Year.

The eldest son of Texas trailblazing club pro Jack Burke, Sr. played on five Ryder Cup teams and was twice a captain, non-playing captain in 1973. He was inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame in 1976, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 1979.

Burke was a judo instructor in the Marines in WWII. The late Jimmy Demaret was Burke’s life-long friend, confidant and business partner. In 1957, they built the famed Champions Golf Club, site of the 1967 Ryder Cup matches and the 1969 U.S. Open. When Demaret died in 1983, Burke became the sole owner. He turned professional before his 20th birthday and headed the operation at Galveston Country Club.

In 2004, Jackie Burke Jr. was awarded the Bob Jones Award for the recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf.

Full name: John Joseph Burke Jr.

Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas

Born: January 29, 1923

Died: N/A

Joe Conrad

Joe Conrad won the Mexican National Amateur in 1950, Texas State Junior championship and Texas Amateur in 1951, Trans-Miss in 1953, Southern Amateur in 1953 and 1954, and Walker Cooper in 1955. After the Americans trounced the British in Walker Cup series at St. Andrews, Scotland, Conrad’s career peaked at Royal Lytham in St. Anne’s, England, where he captured the British Amateur championship. He is the only Texan who has won the prestigious event. In 1954 and 1956, Conrad competed in the America’s Cup International matches. Conrad, along with teammates Don January and Billy Maxwell, played on three consecutive national championship teams at North Texas State from 1950-1952.

Match play was always his forte, which may explain why he was on the tour for only two years. He had top 20 finish in the 1957 Colonial National Invitation Tournament and the 1957 Masters. Conrad held a club job briefly at Canyon Creek Golf Club, then opened the 19th Hole Golf Center in north San Antonio in the early 1960's.

In 1988, Conrad retired after 19 years at the 19th Hole Golf Center. He played senior tournaments in the Southern Texas Section and won the Section’s 60-and-over championship in the fall of 1991. Currently, Conrad cares for his wife, Bettie, who suffered a stroke several years ago.

Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas

Born: March 14, 1930

Died: December 12, 2018