Charles Coody

Winning the 1971 Masters and gaining a berth on the Ryder Cup Team had to be the highlight of Charles Coody’s career. The tall Texan continued his winning ways on the Senior PGA Tour. In fact, he more than doubled his career earnings after joining the fifty-something set in 1987. Coody was always a solid player. The same year he won the Master he also captured the World Series of Golf. He also won twice in Great Britain in 1973, the Willis Open in England and the John Player Classic in Scotland.

Texans are well aware of Coody’s exploits as an amateur since he reached the semifinals in the U.S. Amateur in 1962 and won his first spot in the Masters Tournament. On the Senior Tour, Coody won the 1989 General Tire Las Vegas Classic and the Vantage Championship in 1990. For years, Coody had 100 percent attendance in the tournaments on the Texas circuit. The Houston Golf Association honored him for his loyalty in 1976. Coody’s son, Kyle, was a highly sought schoolboy golfer who chose Texas over his daddy’s alma mater and became a Longhorn standout.

Birthplace: Stamford, Texas

Born: July 13, 1937

Died: N/A

Dick Forester

Dick Forester was Texas Section (PGA) president in 1955 and 1956 and Texas Section Pro of the Year in 1956. He was Vice President of the PGA of America from 1962 to 1964 and Secretary of the Southern Texas PGA in 1968 and 1969. President of the Southern Texas PGA in 1970 and 1971. Vice President of National PGA from 1974 to 1976. All-American Hall of Fame in 1973. Century Senior of the Year in 1978. Southern Texas PGA created an award in his name, the Dick Forester Quarter Century Award.

Dick, a club pro in the Detroit area, came to Texas in 1944 at the invitation of Jimmy Demaret, who had joined the U.S. Navy and was on a leave of absence from River Oaks Country Club. Dick, them 29, was the interim pro there. He had been declared unsuitable for military service because of a bad knee, a memento of his football-playing days at Purdue. Forester liked Texas, so he jumped at the opportunity to replace Willie Maguire as the head pro at Houston Country Club, where he served for 22 years. In 1969, he opened Bear Creek Golf World and remained there until 1980.

Forester was a basketball official for 25 years, including eight years in the Southwest and Lone Star Conferences.

Birthplace: Birmingham, Michigan

Born: February 1, 1915

Died: March 4, 2002

Gus Moreland

Like Bobby Jones, Gus Moreland was a career amateur and a world-class player in the 1930’s. He lived in Dallas, but he went outside his home turf to mark an incredible string of victories, to wit: 1929 Moreland beat Ben Hogan in the final of the Southwestern Amateur in Shreveport, La; 1930 Moreland beat Byron Nelson on the 38th hole in the Glen Garden invitational in Fort Worth; 1932 Moreland beat Johnny Goodman in the final of the Houston Invitational at Houston Country Club; 1933 Moreland beat Lawson Little in the Trans-Miss at Broadmoor Country Club; 1934 Moreland beat Francis Ouimet in an early round at the British Amateur.

Moreland was twice named to the Walker Cup team and never lost a match in singles or doubles. He had two exemptions in the first Masters Tournament in 1934, as he was a Walker Cupper and had finished seventh place in the 1933 U.S. Open at North Shore (IL). No, he wasn’t the low amateur, because an amateur, Johnny Goodman, won this U.S. Open. Moreland won the Houston Invitational three years in a row. He also won three Texas Amateur Championships and one Illinois title. Regrettably, few remember his classic cross-town Dallas duels with Ralph Guldahl. They were inducted into the TGHF in the same year. In1963, at the ripe age of 53, Moreland turned pro and took a club job in Pampa, Texas. He also worked at a club in Peoria, Ill., his second home, and he did a stint in Houston at the Westwood Country Club.

Birthplace: Lancaster, Texas

Born: June 15, 1911

Died: February 2, 1998

Polly Riley

Polly Riley was an international amateur champion of the 1940’s and 1950’s, and probably Texas’ greatest female amateur ever. Riley won six Southern Amateurs, two Western Amateurs, three Texas Opens and two Texas amateurs. She was runner-up in both the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women’s Open. She played on six Curtis Cup teams and captained the 1962 team.

A tiny 5-footer who whistled her way around the course, She spent her early years in Fort worth, Tulsa, and Kansas City, but she did all her golfing out of Fort Worth. However, she graduated from Fort Worth’s Arlington Heights High School. Polly Never turned professional, but she could play with the pros. She won her first two pro events in 1950 – the Tampa Women’s Open and the Helen Lee Doherty Match Play Championship in Miami, where she defeated Marlene Bauer in the 36-hole finals, 4-3.

Marlene had just been named Woman Athlete of the Year. Polly also beat Babe Zaharias 10-9, in the 36-hole finals of the 1948 Texas Open. In competition against Zaharias, Polly can claim a 3-2 edge.

Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas

Born: August 27, 1926

Died: March 13, 2002

Ralph Guldahl

“Ralph Guldahl might’ve been the greatest golfer ever,” the late Jimmy Demaret frequently noted “for a short period of time.” The Handsome 6’2” Dallas native won the Western Open, when the Western Open was considered a major , in 1936, 1937 and 1938. He was runner-up to Byron Nelson in the 1937 Masters, finished second to Henry Picard in 1938, and then edged Sam Snead for the coveted championship at Augusta National in 1939. Guldahl won his first U.S. Open at Oakland Hills, near Detroit, in 1937 and repeated at Cherry Hills a year later.

For a time Guldahl was magic. Then just as quickly as it had come, the magic vanished. Part of Guldahl’s trouble stemmed from his attempt to analyze his own swing and, sadly, the rest from a painful back. Guldahl retired from competitive golf in 1942, yet until Curtis Strange won the U.S. Open in 1988 and 1989, the talented Dallasite and fellow Texan, Ben Hogan, were the only two professionals to win successive Open titles. In all, Guldahl won 14 PGA tour events and was selected for the 1937 and 1939 Ryder Cup Teams. Ralph Guldahl’s career began after he won the Dallas City Championship, defeating “Spec” Goldman in the final match. It was the summer of 1929. Riding a wave of confidence, Guldahl traveled to San Antonio the following winter and entered the Texas Open. He declared himself a professional, while he was tied for fourth place, going into the final round. He ultimately finished 10th.

Birthplace: Dallas, Texas

Born: November 22, 1911

Died: June 11, 1987