Bill Rogers

As a military brat, Bill Rogers lived in Germany, North Africa and Alabama, which is where he first began to play golf. By the age of 13, Bill was playing competitively. He credits the family’s moves to Texarkana and the relationship he formed with Northridge CC pro Jerry Robinson for his progress as a junior player.

Rogers earned a scholarship at the University of Houston, where he roomed with Bruce Lietzke. Nicknamed “Panther” because he seemed like a caged cat, pacing back and forth while waiting to hit his next shot, Rogers won the 1972 Southern Amateur and the 1973 All-American Intercollegiate Invitational. Bill was an All-American in 1973 and earned his Tour card in 1974. Between 1975 and 1983, Rogers won five PGA Tour events. In 1981, Rogers put his name among the immortals by winning the British Open. In addition to having three PGA Tour triumphs, Rogers enhanced his reputation as an international player by capturing the Suntory Open in Japan, the New South Wales Open and the Australian Open. Bill had enjoyed precious success overseas, winning the 1977 Pacific Masters tournament and the 1980 Suntory Open.

In the late 1980’s Bill moved to San Antonio and by the end of the 1990 Tour year, he became head pro at San Antonio Country Club. After a stint in the ownership at Briggs Ranch Golf Club, Bill now occasionally plays on the Champions Tour and is a coach for the University of Texas San Antonio golf team. He lives in San Antonio.

Birthplace: Waco, Texas

Born: September 10, 1951

Died: N/A

Billy Maxwell

Billy Maxwell, who literally grew up on the golf course, gained national prominence by winning the 1951 U.S. Amateur. He was a member of the 1963 Ryder Cup team. Billy’s best year on tour was in 1962, after winning of $31,834 for 12th place on the money list.

Maxwell grew up in Abilene, where the family lived off the fourth green at Abilene Country Club. He had a twin brother named Bobby and both Maxwells played under Coach Fred Cobb at North Texas, which won four straight NCAA championships (1949-1952). Billy Maxwell, Joe Conrad and Don January played on three national championship teams. Maxwell was an excellent iron player, while January was the big hitter and Conrad was the putter. All three have been inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame. Cobb built a dynasty in North Texas.

Maxwell currently resides in Jacksonville, FL.

Birthplace: Abilene, Texas

Born: July 23, 1929

Died: N/A

Dave Williams

The achievements of Dave Williams, the former golf coach at the University of Houston, should be recorded in book form. First and foremost, he has coached more NCAA championship teams than any coach in any sport – 16. This covers a period from 1956 to 1985, and includes five consecutive national collegiate titles from 1950 to 1960.

Dave was a Cougar coach since 1952. It took him five years to go all the way but once he did, he built a dynasty, the likes of which may never be equaled. Ironically, the Cougars had no home course, which rules out a home-course advantage. They won but one of their championships in Houston – the 1984 NCAA – at Bear Creek, which at least allowed the Cougars to practice privileges. An added plus, Dave has turned out more tour players than any coach in America, including Fred Couples. Bruce Lietzke, Bill Rogers, Keith Fergus, John Mahaffey and Fuzzy Zoeller.

He is also a member of the NCAA Golf Coaches Hall of Fame and Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Incredibly, he is only UHer in the latter body. Dave played the piccolo and flute in bancs and orchestras during his college days and he plays the guitar for relaxation now… Dave has written his own book, “How to Coach and Play Championship Golf,” although it was ghosted by former sportswriter Art Casper Williams started his own Hall of Fame, which honors supporters of his All-America Intercollegiate Invitational Tournament and helped start the Dave Williams Cystic Fibrosis Tournament more than a decade ago to raise money for the CF Foundation. Early on, the pickings were slim, but the interest steamrolled in the 1970’s and now more than $2 million has been contributed to combat the children’s disease.

Birthplace: Randolph, Texas

Born: October 14, 1918

Died: December 16, 1999

Jay Hebert

A member of the 1959 and 1961 Ryder Cup teams, Jay Hebert was captain of the 1971 Ryder Cup team. He also served as Chairman of PGA Tournament Committee in 1957,1958, 1963 and 1964. Hebert was a teammate of Gardner Dickinson of 1947 NCAA championship team at LSU - they were runners-up to San Jose in 1948. A Marine Corps lieutenant and artillery officer at Iwo Jima, Jay caught a Japanese sniper’s bullet in the left leg and was evacuated to U.S. Hebert first moved to Houston from Lafayette in 1948 because of the big-city opportunities.

He worked as a trainee for an oil –related business and detested it because his golf was limited to the weekends. In 1949, Herbert wiped out Frank Stranahan in the Houston Invitational 6-5 when Stranahan was ranked No.1 amateur in the land. Jack Burke, an established tour professional, was so impressed that he took Herbert under his wing. Burke got Herbert a club job at Oakmont (PA), serving under Lew Worsham.

Thereafter, Hebert was a golfing nomad. He finally established his roots in Houston in 1966 and moved into a cottage at Champions. He married Barbara Henny, a former Miss Texas in 1969 and had two sons.

Birthplace: Lafayette, Louisiana

Born: February 14, 1923

Died: May 25, 1997

Joe Black

Joe Black is a “doer” with a golfing career that spans four decades. It all began at Lamesa High School, continued at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene and three more years on the PGA tour. He became more successful as the Tournament Supervisor on the Tour Staff, where he served an eight-year tenure. His forte was as a rules expert. He was so knowledgeable of the rules of golf, he was a world-wide speaker on the subject and served as chairman o the rules committee at the major tournaments.

Meanwhile, Black made his home in Dallas, where he later became the golf professional at the 54-hole Brookhaven Country Club. He also served as VicePresident of the Club Corporation of America, which owned such prestigious clubs as Brookhaven, Firestone, and Pinehurst at the time. Joe had extracurricular responsibilities as treasure of the Northern Texas PGA in 1969-1970 and president in 1971-1973. He became a national treasurer in 1977 and national president in 1981-1982.

The annual Joe Black Cup matches were started in 1981 by Black’s peers who hold him in such high esteem. The tournament matches the club pros of Southern Texas PGA against their Northern Texas counterparts.Black is a familiar figure at the Masters Tournament, where he was a announcer on the 18th green for many years. Joe and another former PGA President, Mark Kizziar, became partner in club operations and management in the late 1980’s.

Birthplace: Snyder, Texas

Born: August 8, 1933

Died: N/A

Kathy Whitworth

LPGA Hall of Famer Kathy Whitworth has won more professional tour victories than any other golfer in the United States. She boasts 88 careers wins and was the first female player to break the $1 million barrier. Growing up in Jal, New Mexico, Whitworth captured the New Mexico State Women’s Amateur in 1957 and 1958. She is also a member of the World Golf, Texas Sports and Women’s Sports Halls of Fame.

Birthplace: Monahans, Texas

Born: September 27, 1939

Died: N/A