deceased

M.T. Johnson

1945 Graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy
• Well-known as an honest and illustrious businessman in ranching, investments, banking and community service.
• Nominated in 1980 to serve on the USGA's Executive Committee, where he also served as its first treasurer. Served as chairman of 3 committees (also member of 13 committees). Tenth Texan to serve on the Executive Committee and first from the Texas Panhandle.
• Member of the USGA “Championship Committee and influential in convincing the USGA to hold six of its major championships in Texas.
• Past President of Amarillo Country Club, which was founded in 1919.
• Director and President (1967) of the Trans-Mississippi Golf Association Board. Helped arrange the Championship held at San Antonio Country Club.
• Member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrew's, Scotland. Served in a senior position on the Rules Committees. Served as an effective and congenial ambassador for Texas and America.
• Recipient of the Byron Nelson Award from the North Texas PGA in 1987.
• Served as President, Panhandle Golf Association (1989-1994)

• Enshrined into the Texas Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame in 1986, as well as the Amarillo High School Hall of Fame. Named one of the 100 Sports Personalities of the 20th Century by the Amarillo Globe-News in 2000.

• All-State quarterback at Amarillo High, where he led the Golden Sandies to the state championship in 1940. Graduated from the U.S. naval Academy, where he lettered in football
On the Amarillo School Board from 1954-1969, serving as its president several times. Numerous business ventures in Amarillo, including the founding of Tascosa National Bank and development of Sunset Center shopping mall. Organized Johnson Land & Cattle Company with farming and ranching operations in central Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. 

His grandson is PGA Tour professional Johnson Wagner.


Birthplace: Amarillo, Texas

Born: January 21, 1923

Died: December 23, 1999

Joe Finger

Hello

Joe Finger was born in Houston, Texas where he lived until retiring to Kerrville in 1988. 

Mr. Finger earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Rice Institute and a Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  While at Rice, he was a four year golf letterman, serving as Co-Captain of the golf team which won the Southwest Conference Championship.  

In 1941 Mr. Finger began his professional career as a chemical engineer with positions at Pan America Refining Corp (AMOCVO), J.S. Abercrombie & Company where he was instrumental in the design, startup and operation of the 100 octane aviation gasoline refinery at Old Ocean, Texas. In spite of many attempts to get into the armed forces, he was consistently deferred by the Petroleum Administration for War.

After the war Mr. Finger began work for Corrulux, where his innovative work with plastic was lauded.  Corulux was eventually sold to Libbey Owens Ford Glass Company, where he remained as President of the Corrulux Division for four years. He held several patents on the manufacturing process which is used all over the world.  He then turned to his favorite pastime, golf, for his next venture. 

Mr. Finger was an accomplished golfer as he held the Westwood Country Club championship for 13 years, while developing golf course architecture as a serious hobby.  Starting out as an unpaid superintendent and doing all of the engineering work for the golf course, he was hired by the Westwood architect to assist the addition of 9 holes to their course.  Mr. Finger was eventually recommended by the architect to apply for the course at Randolph Air Force base in San Antonio. He got the job.  

From that humble beginning, he became one of the top golf course architects in the country, as judged by the number of his works included in Golf Digest list of Americas 100 Greatest Courses. His courses from New York, though the southeast, southwest and into California and Mexico, earned him many honors over the 45 years he spent in the business. He also built nine courses for the Air Force, and His consulting work took him to Canada, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, Spain, Italy, and Germany.

He was particularly honored when Byron Nelson asked him to help rebuild the 8th green at the Masters.  During his career he was a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, and served as Director of the National Club Association.

In 1988 he retired, moved to Kerrville and worked with Byron Nelson to redesign the Riverhill Country Club golf course. His final undertaking was the complete remodeling of the Scott Schriener Municipal Golf Course in Kerrville.


Birthplace: Houston, Texas

Born:  June 4, 1918

Died: September 28, 2003


Ed White

Former Houstonian Ed White predated Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson as a world-class golfer. From 1933 to 1935, White was the individual Southwest Conference champion on the SWC team champions at the University of Texas. In those three years, White advanced to the national collegiate quarterfinals in 1933. He was the first NCAA champion from the state of Texas since the origin of the tournament in 1897, and the second one would not come along until the University of Houston’s Rex Baxter captured the 1957 title.

Winner of the 1935 Mexican Amateur tournament, which used to draw exceptionally strong fields from north of the border, White was also a member of the 1936 Walker Cup Team. White, who was a member of Houston Country Club and an honorary member of Brae-Burn, took long absences from golf because of outside interests.


Birthplace: Houston, Texas

Born: October 29, 1913

Died: September 18, 1999


Raymond Gafford

Raymond Gafford, who retired as the club Professional at Fort Worth Ridglea in 1976, played only one match as an amateur. He turned pro at age 20, first served at Ridglea from 1937 to 1950, then took a job at Dallas Northwood in 1951. He returned to Ridglea in 1954 and remained there.

Gafford was a player of national note. He participated in 14 U.S. Opens, five PGAs and two Masters Tournaments. He advanced to the quarterfinals of the 1950 PGA, only to lose toJimmy Demaret, and won the 18th place money in the 1951 U.S. Open. , both of which qualified him for the Masters Tournament. Gafford was the Oklahoma Open champion in 1946 and won the Southwest Open, a popular Wichita Falls Pro-Am, in 1943 and 1944, plus the Texas PGA in 1949. Gafford, who loved to teach, was proud of his star pupil, Michelle Berteotti, now on the LPGA Tour.

There is a Ray Gafford Classic at Ridglea, which has two courses, one for men and the other for the family. Gafford was president of the Texas Section in 1950 and 1951.


Birthplace: Coleman, Texas

Born: January 22, 1914

Died: February 20, 1990


Roland Harper

Roland L. Harper a long-ball specialist on the PGA tour from 1951 to 1955, before settling down in Kansas to raise a family. Roland came to Colonial Country Club as the assistant pro around 1960. He then moved into the club professional job around 1961 or ’62, where he stayed for 31 years. Roland then "retired" to teach golf for another six or seven years.

He served in the U.S. Navy from 1946 to 1948. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and a resident of Granbury (Hood County, Texas) for 28 years.
 


Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas

Born: Jan. 14, 1928

Died: March 24, 2001


Preston Moore Jr.

Just as his father was an avid golfer, Preston Moore, Jr. became a devoted golf enthusiast at an early age. He won the Houston Junior Golf Championship five times and, as captain of the Lawrenceville School golf team, won the 1948 Eastern Interscholastic Tournament. At age 14, Preston became one of the youngest individuals to play in a professional golf tournament when he entered the Dallas Open. Recently, Preston participated in the planned restoration of the Gus Wortham Golf Course and was honored to be inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame. 

Preston attended The University of Texas at Austin (UT) where he was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity and the Silver Spurs, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Business in 1954. He later attended the Small Company Management program at Harvard Business School.

Preston served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command. After leaving the service, he joined the family business, Wilson Stationery and Printing Company and eventually became President and Chief Executive Officer. In addition, Preston was President and CEO of Graham Realty Company.

In 1984, he served as President and Director of Wilson Industries, Inc., which specialized in oil field equipment and supplies. 

Called into government service during the George H.W. Bush administration, Preston was appointed and confirmed as an Assistant Secretary of Commerce and as the first Chief Financial Officer in the United States government. After leaving the Commerce Department, he entered into partnership with Tom Fatjo, Jr. in the solid waste disposal business.

He served as President and Director of Volcano Therapeutics, a start-up medical diagnostic and treatment company. Preston was a director of numerous companies including InterFirst Bank of Houston, Southwestern Drug Corporation, Wilson Business Products, Wilson Industries, TransAmerican Waste, Tanglewood Bank, and WCA Waste Corporation. 

Throughout his adult life, Preston, a dedicated runner who competed in 16 marathon races, was proud of his 2:57 finish in the Houston Marathon and 3:01 time in the Boston Marathon. He was named to the President's Council on Physical Fitness during the Reagan Administration, selected Amateur Co-Captain of the 2002 Texas Cup Golf Matches, and served as Director of Houston Golf Association.


Birthplace: Houston, Texas

Born: August 7, 1931

Died: December 27, 2015


Bill Penn

One of the all-time great gentlemen of the game of golf was William Albert “Bill” Penn. He was one of the truly great Austin-area golfers throughout his life, but what he did off of the greens was just as important.  Bill Penn lived a life that inspired many, and had an effect on many more, even if they don’t realize it.  He was the driving force behind the successful expansion of the Texas Golf Association, lobbied for easier access into the game he loved by way of lower junior entry fees, and was a mentor and role model to golfers of all ages.


Birthplace: Austin, Texas

Born: November 25, 1931

Died: July 11, 2003


Bob Rawlins

Known as the “Dark Cloud” for his sarcasm and acerbic wit, which hid a kind demeanor, Rawlins competed in 21 USGA championships and won club titles at Las Colinas Country Club, Preston Hollow and Dallas Athletic Club. He also won the inaugural American Amateur Classic in 1972 and won again in 1982.

In the 1984 Senior Amateur conducted at Birmingham (Mich.) Country Club, Rawlins needed 19 holes to defeat 1982 champion Alton Duhon in the semifinals. In the championship match, Rawlins birdied No. 18 to force extra holes against Richard Runkle, the previous year’s runner-up. At the time of his victory, Rawlins was the youngest Senior Amateur champion (55), a mark that has since been surpassed by several players.

A year earlier in the U.S. Senior Open held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., Rawlins was one of nine amateurs to make the cut, and despite weekend rounds of 76-78, he managed to earn low-amateur honors with a 72-hole score of 16-over 300, 12 strokes behind champion Billy Casper.

At Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas, where Rawlins was a member, the trophy case features a replica of the U.S.  Senior Amateur Trophy, along with competitor badges from his 21 USGA appearances.

Rawlins turned professional in 1987 and played nine years on the PGA Senior (now Champions) Tour.

Rawlins estimated he shot his age or better more than 3,000 times based on roughly 200 rounds per year, many coming at Royal Oaks, and he registered 13 holes-in-one, all coming in competition.

Royal Oak pro Randy Smith, who has taught USGA champions Justin Leonard and Colt Knost, as well as PGA Tour winners Ryan Palmer and Harrison Frazar, said Rawlins had one of the purest swings he had ever seen. He told writer Kevin Newberry:  “His swing is like pouring syrup from a jar. He’ll go out and groan, but he breaks his age every time he plays.

“If I ever want to show someone the proper grip, I call ‘Cloud’ over and show them his grip. His hands are just amazing. To have the touch around the green with the wedges he has at age 80 … it’s just scary.”


Birthplace: Dallas, Texas

Born: February. 6, 1929

Died: Oct. 11, 2014


A.J. Triggs

Triggs, a longtime member of Willow Brook CC, joined the TGA Board of Directors in 1970 and twice served as president of the association. While he is perhaps best known for his volunteer work in giving back to the game, during his competitive career Triggs compiled one of the state’s most impressive amateur records. He captured an amazing 55 tournament titles and was a key member of the University of North Texas’ Mean Green machine that won four consecutive NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships from 1949-52.


Birthplace: Cameron, Texas

Born: June 27, 1929

Died: May 10, 2015  in Tyler, Texas


Dick Harmon

Dick Harmon was one of America's top golf instructors with clients including Fred Couples, Jay Haas, Craig Stadler, Lanny Wadkins, Steve Elkington and 2009 U.S. Open winner Lucas Glover. He was a native of New Rochelle, New York and Palm Springs, California and devoted his life to his love of golf as a teacher and mentor.

His father Claude Harmon won the 1948 Masters Tournament. His brothers Butch, Craig and Bill were also ranked in Golf Digest's Top 50 Teachers.

Harmon was the professional at the River Oaks Country Club between 1977 and 2001. After leaving that position, he established two teaching centers in Houston, Texas.

Harmon established the Dick Harmon School of Golf at the Houstonian with teaching assistant and friend Arthur J. Scarbrough. The School became a great success especially within the junior golfing community in and around the Houston area and later throughout Texas. Harmon was said to be one of junior golf's greatest ambassadors by many teaching professionals throughout the country. 


Birthplace: ?

Born: July 29, 1947

Died: February 10, 2006


Eldrige Miles

Eldridge L. Miles is a PGA Professional in Dallas, TX. 

Affectionately, known as "Big E," Eldridge Miles has spent more than 50 years as a PGA professional in Dallas. He's been the head professional at Dallas County Club, Bent Tree Country Club and Gleneagles Country Club. In 1978, he was the first recipient of the PGA of America/Sports Illustrated Merchandiser of the Year.

A personal friend and playing partner of Ben Hogan for 20 years, Big E has given golf lessons to the likes of Tom Landry, Roger Staubach, Don Meredith, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Dan Reeves and Yogi Berra.


Birthplace: ?

Born: August 7, 1933

Died: August 23, 2019


Robert Dedman Sr.

Early in his career as a lawyer, Robert Dedman, Sr, developed a passion for golf. He invested in his first golf course in a suburb of Dallas, Texas in 1957 and that was the genesis of his huge golf resort empire - ClubCorp. By the time of his death in 2002 ClubCorp was a leading operator of golf clubs with over 200 resorts in its portfolio. 

Robert Dedman, Jr. sold ClubCorp in 2006, but retained Pinehurst Golf, which he has since transformed into a multi-sport resort that hosted the US Open Golf Championships.

 
The Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law, Dedman College and the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports are named in honor of Robert Dedman, Sr.
 


Birthplace: Rison, Arkansas

Born: 1926

Died: 2002


Sam Goldfarb Sr.

Sam M. Goldfarb Sr, was one of about a half-dozen businessmen to form the San Antonio Golf Association, SAGA, now Golf San Antonio, in 1938 with the main purpose of bringing back the then defunct Texas Open. He was was longtime president of the San Antonio Golf Association in the 1940's and 50's when the Texas Open was played at Brackenridge Park Golf Course in San Antonio, Texas. 

He helped by bringing Bob Hope and Bing Crosby as special guests in the early 1940’s.

Sam was involved with pro golf, amateur golf and junior golf here for more than 50 years, leading to his induction into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 2012. 


 


Birthplace: ?

Born: ?

Died: ?


Bernard Schriever

U.S. Air Force General Bernard Schriever grew-up in a small house near the 12th green of the historic layout of Brackenridge Park in San Antonio, Texas. He and his younger brother, Gerhardt, were best friends with Tod Menefee and the Schriever's mother (Elizabeth) operated a small but popular sandwich stand for the golfers in the back yard. Bernard won the State Junior and the San Antonio City Golf Championship twice. He captained the Texas A&M golf team for two years before entering the Army. He is mostly known for his role in the Air Force's space and missile program, and managing the nuclear arsenal during the Cold War. In 2011, Bernard was inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame. His brother Gerhardt Schriever was there to accept the honor.


Birthplace: Bremen, Germany

Born: September 14, 1910

Died: June 20, 2005


Carol Mann

Mann turned pro in 1960 and joined the LPGA Tour in 1961. She won her first tournament in 1964 at theWomen's Western Open, a major championship at the time. She would go on to win a total of 38 events on the LPGA Tour, including two major championships. She earned the LPGA Vare Trophy in 1968 for lowest scoring average and was the tour's leading money winner in 1969. She led the tour in wins three times, 1968 with ten (tied with Kathy Whitworth), 1969 with eight, and 1975 with four (tied with Sandra Haynie). She was the LPGA's president from 1973 to 1976. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1977. Her final competitive appearance came in 1981.

Mann resides in The Woodlands, Texas. She was a long-time student of golf instructor Manuel de la Torre. She received the "First Lady of Golf Award" from the PGA of America in 2008.

- Credit Wikipedia


Birthplace: Buffalo, New York

Born: February 3, 1941

Died: May 20, 2018


Harless Wade

Harless Ainsworth Wade is the son of Rev. John Emsley Wade and Carrie Faye (Hunt) Wade Callaway. He served in the US Army during World War II.

Harless Wade, a sportswriter whose name was synonymous with Texas golf for almost four decades, passed away March 28, 2009, at the age of 80. He was born Harless Ainsworth Wade in Wichita Falls, TX, on December 21, 1928, but spent much of his formative years in Commerce, TX.

Wade began his journalism career at Commerce's East Texas State University, where he was editor of the school newspaper before graduating in 1950 with a degree in speech and journalism. After three years at the Abilene Reporter-News, Wade joined The Dallas Morning News in time for the 1956 football season. While at The News, Wade earned more than 50 national, regional and state writing awards, including the lone Star Conference Sportswriter of the Year and the Northern Texas PGA Media Award four times. He retired from The Dallas Morning News in 1994.


Birthplace: Wichita Falls, Texas

Born: December 21, 1928

Died: March 28, 2009


Toni Wiesner

It took Toni Wiesner 12 tries before winning her first WTGA State Amateur Championship in 1985.  She would add four more titles by 2003.  Her five championships are the third most in the history of the event.  Only Edna Lapham (7) and Mary Ann Morrison (9) have won more.  Toni’s accomplishments on the golf course are among the most impressive of any golfer of any era.  Outside of Texas, her titles include the Women’s Southern Championship, Mexican Amateur, Broadmoor Invitational, Doherty Cup and International Four-Ball.  She was a perennial USGA championship contender, and finalist for more than 30 years. 

Toni was as celebrated for her attitude, wisdom and sportsmanship as she was for her championship titles.  As collegiate players continued to excel and their participation in amateur competitive events grew, Wiesner was asked how she felt about competing against younger players.  She said, “Golf is a lifetime in which age doesn’t matter”.  On the way to her first State Amateur title in 1985, Toni said, “I like to think of myself as my opponent.  If I don’t get the job done, I can’t blame anyone else but myself”. Toni gave back to golf through service on the USGA Junior Girls Committee and as a mentor, encourager and role model for countless women in Texas. 

Toni passed away in 2009 leaving a legacy of class, character and a fierce competitive spirit.  The Women’s Texas Golf Association provides two junior golf programs in her honor.  The Wiesner’s Winners program identifies outstanding participants in selected LPGA / USGA Girls Golf sites across Texas.  The Toni Wiesner Cup is awarded to the winning team at the annual Texas Challenge, a statewide competition for participants in these Girls Golf Sites.  The world of golf and the world in general all benefit when young girls are introduced to the game Toni loved and are shown how to be true champions. 

Credit TGA - http://www.txga.org/toni-wiesner.html


Birthplace: ?

Born: 1947

Died: July 28, 2009


Warren Cantrell

Warren David Cantrell, who died in 1967 at the age of 61, came late to the game of golf. He had been an athlete in high school, had a career in engineering, and then, at age 39, accepted a job as golf pro at Abilene Country Club.

He also designed golf courses and had a hand in such courses as Hillcrest Country Club, Lovington Country Club, Andrews County Golf Course, Meadowbrook Canyon Creek at Canyon, Lubbock Country Club, Ranchland Hill Golf Course in Midland and Tascosa Golf Course in Amarillo.

According to son Bill Cantrell, his father served in various offices of the PGA, including its presidency.

“He signed a contract for the World Series of Golf nationally, which would have been 1964,” he said. “The prize money for the PGA National Golf Tournament was $20,000 that year. Now it’s well over $1 million.”

Warren Cantrell also had a background in carpentry, which came from his father, and was shared in by his four brothers.

“He had his own construction and building company by the age of 21,” Bill Cantrell said. “Then the Depression hit when he was about 25 and closed his company. He just struggled along, taking anything to do to make a living for his family for about a year. Then he got a job with David Castle in Abilene as an intern engineer.”

Cantrell is credited with a vital role in bringing golf to television.

Pat Cantrell said, “He really pushed that, and that’s when we began to see him on television.”

Cantrell was active in arranging with television networks for the broadcast of golf tournaments, an industry-changing factor.

He is credited with negotiating contracts for the PGA in a role that was considered one of his greatest contributions to golf.

“He helped bring some order to it,” Bill Cantrell said.

According to Pat Cantrell, her father-in-law was often an influence in their home.

“When he was here, he usually sat right there,” she said in pointing to a chair at their dining room table. “We always had prayer, and he always had something historical or something biblical to say to the whole family when we gathered.”

Bill Cantrell said his father had another interest when he was a young cowboy on the Swenson Ranches near Stamford during the summers. “He loved Western poetry as well as golf.”

The Cantrells feel it is a family honor for Warren Cantrell’s induction into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame.

“Golf is what he really loved,” Bill Cantrell said. “He was a good designer, a good engineer. He did that well, and it paid off in golf course design.”


Birthplace: Hillsboro, Texas

Born: 1906

Died: 1967