Tennessee Tech Men’s Golf

Tennessee Tech Men’s Golf
All-Time Participation List

Written by Rob Schabert   

Wednesday, 16 March 2005

G
Dirk Gardner, 1973-75
Blake Garrison, 2006
Alex Geary, 1995
Payton Gibbs, 2004-06
Gary Gibson, 1961-64
Steve Gibson, 1963-66
Warren Gilley, 1959
Bill Gish, 1966
Terry Goad, 1987-89
Britt Gober, 1976-77
Brad Golden, 1998
Brent Goodrum, 2005-06
Mike Green, 1978
Bobby Greenwood, 1958
Ryan Greer, 2001-04
Chris Griffin, 1981-82

Source: TTUsports.com

Advertisements
Published in: on August 26, 2006 at 3:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Greenwood Inducted into North Texas Hall of Fame

FROM HERALD-CITIZEN NEWSPAPER, Cookeville, TN:
Greenwood inducted into North Texas Hall of Fame
By Buddy Pearson
Herald-Citizen Staff

It’s been almost 40 years since Cookeville golfing legend Bobby Greenwood played golf at the University of North Texas, yet the school located in Denton, Texas, still remembers the impact Greenwood had on the program. In a ceremony held recently at UNT, Greenwood was inducted into the North Texas Athletic Hall of Fame.
Greenwood and four other inductees were the 2002 recipients of the University of North Texas Sports Hall of Fame awards and were honored during enshrinement. They each received a plaque and a Hall of Fame ring at the Hall of Fame Breakfast.

“North Texas is a big school and they treated me so nice, giving me the ring and the plaque at the breakfast,” Greenwood said. “North Texas is a great golf school. For me to get voted into the Hall of Fame is humbling. There’s other players who should be in it before me, but I’ll take it.

A three-time NCAA All-American, Greenwood is the only First Team NCAA All-America in the school’s history. During his years at North Texas, the Eagles won three consecutive Missouri Valley Conference Titles.

Greenwood was selected by the NCAA Golf Coaches Association to play in the North-South All-Star matches in his senior year. And, he was also selected to the Prestigious 10-member Texas Cup Team in 1964.

“The greatest thing about it to me was that after 40 years, all my teammates decided to show up for my induction,” Greenwood explained. “I think there was one guy who didn’t show up and nobody knew where he was.”

In his rookie year on the PGA Tour, Greenwood was selected as “Champions Choice” to play in the Colonial Invitational Tournament in Ft. Worth, Texas. Past champions of the Colonial Tournament vote on the rookie to receive a sponsor’s exemption to play.

After spending seven years on the PGA Tour, Greenwood was Director of Golf at Sawgrass Country Club, home of the TPC and most recently Head Professional at Suntree Country Club, a 36-hole Resort and home of the Suncoast Senior Golf Classic.

Greenwood, who currently resides in Cookeville with his wife Elma and daughter Viola, spends his time as a golf-course architect and also gives lessons on a limited basis.

Other than the induction ceremonies, Greenwood doesn’t get back to Denton much to watch any of the Mean Green sports teams, particularly basketball. But he will get a chance to see his alma mater play on Saturday when Tennessee Tech takes on North Texas at 7 p.m. at Eblen Center.

So, who will Greenwood be rooting for?

“I love Tennessee Tech,” Greenwood said. “There’s a different feeling about North Texas. I had a great experience out there and I love Texas people — they are positive and encourage you. I really had a great time there and was successful but Tennessee Tech is my hometown team.”

*****Published December 19, 2002 3:06 PM CST
*****Source: COPYRIGHT ® 2004 Herald-Citizen, a division of Cleveland Newspapers, Inc. All rights reserved. <http://www.herald-citizen.com/NF/omf.wnm/herald/archive_display.html?%5Brkey=0024131+%5Bcr=gdn&gt;

Published in: on August 24, 2006 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Induction To The Hall of Fame

Bobby Greenwood was inducted to the Athletic Hall of Fame in November 2, 2002, at the University of North Texas (formerly North Texas State University) in Denton, Texas.  He was inducted with other four inductees, namely: Bill Blakely, Barry Moore, G. A. Moore, and Dee Walker.
 
  “BOBBY GREENWOOD – Greenwood was a three-time letter winner in golf at North Texas from 1961-63, helping lead the Eagles to three consecutive Missouri Valley Conference championships.  As a senior, he led the Eagles to the NCAA championship tournament in 1963, when North Texas placed third.  Greenwood received honorable mention All-America honors as a sophomore in 1961 and was a first-team All-America as a junior and senior.” 

-Source: North Texas Athletics: Mean Green History, http://www.unt.edu/northtexan/archives/f02/hallof.htm, by Elma Greenwood, Cookeville, Tennessee, October 31, 2003.

NOTES WRITTEN ON THE PLAQUE:  “University of North Texas, Athletic Hall Of Fame – BOBBY GREENWOOD 2002 – In the early 1960’s, Bobby Greenwood was instrumental in enhancing North Texas’s stature as a collegiate golf powerhouse when he led the Eagles to three consecutive Missouri Valley Conference championships while earning All-American recognition all three years he was on the team.  As a sophomore in 1961, Greenwood won the Southwest Recreation Championship and earned honorable mention All-American honors.  The next year he was named second team All-American and in 1963 as a senior, Greenwood won the Southern Intercollegiate Championship and was named to the NCAA’s first team All-American team.  Since earning a Business Administration degree from North Texas in 1964, Greenwood has enjoyed a lifelong association with the game of golf, including playing as a PGA Tour professional from 1969-1975.  He won more than 150 amateur and pro tournaments during his playing career, including the Rhode Island Open Championship, the Tennessee Open Championship and the Tennessee Senior PGA Championship three times.  He served as the Director of Golf at the Sawgrass Country Club in Florida, which hosts the Tournament Players Championship, and has been active in golf course designing since 1978.  At the time of his induction, Greenwood was president of the Greenwood-Clifton Golf Design Group in Deltona, Florida.”  – Transcribed by Elma Greenwood, Cookeville, Tennessee, October 31, 2003.

Published in: on August 24, 2006 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Excerpts from the History of Tennessee Golf: 1894-2001

(Notes in parenthesis are personal notes from Bobby Greenwood, October 2003)

“Bobby Greenwood played the PGA Tour for seven years. His record as a tour player is pale in comparison to other Tennesseans, but he ranks as one of the Volunteer State’s great amateur players.
 
In the1960s, there was NO BETTER AMATEUR PLAYER in Tennessee and HE WAS ONE OF THE BEST AMATEURS IN AMERICA!  During the 1960s, he earned All-America honors at North Texas State University and was ranked among the national’s Top 10 amateurs by Golf Magazine twice.  He won the 1966 State Amateur and the 1968 State Open before turning pro.  He was the third of eight to complete this double.  (Bobby also won the Rhode Island Open while he was on the PGA Tour.)

Greenwood started playing golf at Cookeville Country Club at the age of twelve.  “I was hanging around the club and Mason Rudolph came to Cookeville to play in a junior tournament,” Greenwood remembered.  “I listened to the members brag on Mason Rudolph.  I was probably the worst junior player there’s ever been.  That may be why I became a good teacher.  When I was seventeen I finally became a pretty good player and started playing what we called the ‘fried chicken circuit,’ in Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky.  After Lou Graham was gone, I won thirteen tournaments in one season.” ( *Note: fried chicken circuit means one day medal tournament, per Bobby Greenwood, October 27, 2003.)

Greenwood graduated from Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Georgia, in 1957 and played golf at Tennessee Tech (University in Cookeville, Tennessee) his freshman year.  He had aspirations of playing golf at a major college, but got no scholarship offers.  After his freshman year, he called coach Herb Farrell at North Texas State (University in Denton, Texas). “I told him how many tournaments I had won, that my scoring average was 70.3 and he seemed fairly impressed,’ Greenwood said.  “I knew I could make their team.  I went on the train (to Texas) with the understanding that if I made the team he would help me with a scholarship.  I got a room in a boarding house and dug the basement for the music building to make ends meet that first year.”

Greenwood quickly found out playing golf in Texas was not the same as playing golf in Middle Tennessee.  “It was the first time I ever played in the wind,” he said.  “I could win tournaments in Tennessee hitting a high soft fade. (But in the Texas wind) I couldn’t break eighty.  All those guys on the team wanted me to play, but I (instead), hit golf balls until finally figured out how to hit the ball low enough to play in the wind.  My left ear about filled up with sand.  The answer was take two clubs more and hit it easy.  When they held the first team tournament, I won it.  Then they had a match play tournament and I beat Rives McBee, who was the captain of the team (in the finals).  No one ever had beat Rives on the North Texas State course.”

Greenwood may have worked to make ends meet while at North Texas State, but admits he was fortunate to get the opportunity to play big-time amateur golf.  Today it is very expensive to play a full schedule of amateur tournaments.  In the 1960s it was easier financially, but still beyond most family budgets.  Greenwood’s father and grandfather were successful Cookeville businessmen and enabled Bobby to travel and play in the biggest and best amateur tournaments in the country.  “Jerry Maxwell was my caddie and we used to hitchhike to these tournaments (fried chicken circuits),” Greenwood said.  “I never needed a lot of money.  All I did was play ball or golf, but I was very blessed.  They gave me the opportunity to travel to the big tournaments.  At tournaments like the Sunnehanna I would be usually be put up in people’s homes.”  Staying in the home of a club member was a custom of the day during Greenwood’s amateur days.

GREENWOOD PLAYED IN ALL THE BIG TOURNAMENTS – U.S. Amateur, Western, Southern, Eastern, Trans-Miss, (North-South), Sunnehanna, and the Colonial at Memphis, one of the biggest amateur events in the country.  His schedule included the college tournaments and the in-state events, too.

At the 1964 Southern Amateur at Lost Tree in North Palm Beach, Florida, he shot an eight-under par 64 to set a course record.  The Sunnehanna Amateur is a Tournament of Champions.  Only the world’s finest amateurs are invited to play in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  Don’t plan on getting invited unless you are a nationally ranked player, an All-America selection, a winner of a major amateur tournament, a Walker Cup member, or a defending state amateur or open champion.  Greenwood won the prestigious Sunnehanna in 1965 and 1968.  He is one of the only seven multiple winners.  Tiger Woods played in two Sunnehannas, but he never won one.  In 1965, Greenwood won the event by five strokes.  His eleven-under par 269 wiped out the 273 mark set by Gene Dahlbender of Atlanta in 1960.  He did it the hard way.  For two days he sat on the sidelines during practice rounds, waiting for his clubs to arrive.  Just before round one he borrowed woods, irons, and a putter and shot 70.  (*Per Bobby Greenwood’s account to Elma Greenwood: “I borrowed the clubs from the Green Superintendent, and I had to borrow golf shoes from a gracious member, and I purchased a cap from the Pro Shop. My clubs arrived from the airport for the second round but I kept the borrowed putter and shot 63.” – October 27, 2003).  (He followed the 63 up with rounds of 70 and 66).  He had described his game as “not good.”  He had just come off active duty with the National Guard and had lost twelve pounds and was down to 140.  Ardent Sunnehanna followers were convinced Greenwood’s 269 would stand forever.  It took twenty-seven years before Allen Doyle of LaGrange, Georgia, shot 266.  Greenwood’s 63 (still stands as the 18 hole course record!).  In 1964, Greenwood and Vinny Giles of Richmond, Virginia, were co-medalists in the 1964 U.S. Amateur at Canterbury Golf Club in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Greenwood beat Dave Eichelberger 7-5 in the second round. And, after a heated match, Bobby beat Billy Joe Patton 3-2 in the 3rd round). In 1963, Bill Campbell bested him in the fourth round.  In 1965, the Amateur was contested at stroke play and Greenwood finished in a tie for nineteenth.

In the summer of 1961, Jack Nicklaus was in Memphis defending his Colonial Invitational title.  He lost to Greenwood, who eagled the eighteenth hole and birdied the first extra hole for the victory.  Greenwood lost in the finals to Dick Crawford, 4 and 3.  It was the last match Nicklaus lost as an amateur.  (That same year), In September at Pebble Beach, Nicklaus won his second U.S. Amateur and then in June of 1962 at Oakmont he won his first U.S. Open.  In Nicklaus’s book, My 55 Ways To Lower Your Golf Score,  the Golden Bear used the loss to Greenwood to illustrate how a golfer must not disregard percentages when determining how to play a shot during a match.

Greenwood broke his wrist playing church league basketball before winning the State Open in 1968.  The injury delayed his turning professional.  In the fall of 1969, he tied Johnny Miller for third in the PGA Tour’s qualifying school.  This was in the days when qualifying gave a player the opportunity to join Monday’s rabbits seeking berth in the tournament proper.  From 1969 through 1975, Bobby played the PGA Tour.  He made seventy-two cuts, six Top 10s, fifteen Top 25s, and $50,929 in official money.  At the 1971 Los Angeles Open, he led after fifty-four holes with rounds of 69-69-66.  He held a three-shot lead, but shot 73 the last round.  (His two-way tie for fourth with Lee Trevino) was his best finish on the tour.

Greenwood has been involved in the golf business his entire life.  His career has spanned almost every facet of the industry.  His credits includes being the director of golf at Sawgrass Country Club, the home of the Tournament players Championship at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; a design coordinator for Golden Bear International, Jack Nicklaus’s golf course design firm; president of his own golf course architectural firm and designer with (Greenwood-Tucker) of Fairfield Glade’s Dorchester course; editor-in-chief of one of Tennessee’s first golf publication, Nifty Knicker; and a partner in a golf school operation and a discount golf shop.

In 1964, Greenwood played in the Texas Cup matches.  The Tennessee Cup Matches were started in 1968 by Tennessee PGA Section president Hubert Smith and Nashville businessman John Deal, a great amateur player who was a member at Old Hickory and Richland and a director of the Tennessee Golf Association.  Bobby planted the seed for the event with Hubie, but it took four years for it to bloom.  Greenwood said:

  “I was to play Byron Nelson, who was the captain of the pro team, which was made up of all tour players, I thought he was old and couldn’t play much, but his scores were posted in the locker room and there wasn’t anything except 68s and 69s.  We were playing at Brook Hollow in Dallas, a great golf course.  I’ve played against a lot of great players, including Bill (Billy Joe Patton) Patton, Bill Hyndman, and Jack Nicklaus, but Byron Nelson, even at his older age, was the most intense player I ever played against.  I beat him by making a birdie on the eighteenth hole for a 67 and he shot 68.  When I played the tour later I had an occasion to meet him several times.  He would never remember who I was, I think it was his way of completely putting the defeat out of his mind.”

Greenwood discussed his friend and teacher Hubie Smith, golf pro at Cookeville Country Club where Bobby played as a youngster.

  “Hubie was my mentor, but we were also competitors and Hubie hates to lose.  I tell him about playing in the Texas Cup matches against guys like Don January, Billy Maxwell, and Byron Nelson and give him all of the details of how it was done.  We worked on the format and he asked me to pick the East Tennessee amateurs.  He said we were going to have twenty on a team.  I thought that would cheapen the event.  Texas has ten and we have twenty!  A few nights later he called me back and asked me to pick the entire team.  Whoever was supposed to pick the rest of the team got cold feet.  Because of politics they didn’t want to make the other picks.  I’m only twenty-six years old, but Hubie asks me to pick the entire team.  I played Mason Rudolph and Mason beat me, but our Amateur team won.”

** Source:  The History of Tennessee Golf: 1894 – 2001, Copyright 2002 by Gene Pearce, Hillsboro Press, Franklin, Tennessee,  pages 270-273.  Copied by Bobby and Elma Greenwood, Cookeville, Tennessee, October 27, 2003.

Published in: on August 23, 2006 at 2:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Hole-In-One

07/28/1955 –  Clarksville CC
 Hole No. 2, 143 yds., 8 Iron 
 
09/10/1957 – Cookeville Golf & Country Club
 Hole No. 3, 150 yds., 7 Iron

09/17/1958 – Cookeville Golf & Country Club
 Hole No. 3, 105 yds., Pitching Wedge
 
09/19/1959 – Sparta Golf & Country Club
 Hole No. 9, 174 yds., 5 Iron

06/15/1961 – Memphis Country Club
 Hole No. 8, 175 yds., 5 Iron
 
09/12/1971 – Bakersfield Country Club
 Hole No. 16, 177 yds., 5 Iron

Source: PGA.com Hole-In-One

 Note: Bobby Greenwood had SEVEN HOLE-IN-ONE during his golf career, he just couldn’t remember the 7th one….

Published in: on August 22, 2006 at 4:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Golf at Dorchester with the great Bobby Greenwood

glade72506.jpg 

 This article was written by Brad McNeal of Glade Vista, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee, dated July 25, 2006.

Golf at Dorchester with the great Bobby Greenwood 

 “God, if you don’t help me I might make a fool of myself” these were the words uttered by Dorchester’s course designer Bobby Greenwood. When the crew would leave every evening about 4:30 pm, Bobby would get down on his knees in the dirt and talk with God.  Did the Lord answer Bobby’s plea for help? After a history of 29 years, Dorchester has proven to be Fairfield Glade’s most popular course to play by return tourist. This was Greenwood’s first of many courses he’d ever design.

   It was a very hot afternoon, Bobby showed up at the VISTA office before lunch to meet and greet the staff. Bobby entered with a big smile on his face, you could feel the joy radiating from him. VISTA writer, Robbi Weaver asked him, “Bobby, what is your warm up routine?” Bobby replied, “I put the clubs on the cart, go to the tee box, wiggle my shoulders and hips, say a prayer, and hit the ball.” “You don’t go to the range and hit balls?” With a smile Bobby said, “Robbi, you don’t need to warm up a Rolls Royce.” 

 VISTA Publisher, Jon Weaver, VISTA Resident Photographer, Ron Peplowski, and I were very thrilled and honored to play alongside Mr. Greenwood. It was a bit unnerving, just imagine playing a course for the first time with the person that designed it.  Bobby has an interesting personality. He has an equal mixture humility and confidence. It is just an extreme pleasure to be around Bobby. And, especially during a round of golf!

   We arrived at the clubhouse afternoon, it was rather hot. Everyone greeted one another with warm smiles and kind words. After the starter informed us of the cart path only holes, she directed us to the snack bar to pick up some complimentary glasses of ice water. While waiting to tee off on #1, Bobby pointed out that he had caught an 8 lb. bass in the pond just beyond the front of the #1 tee.

   I took my first shot on this luxurious course, my errant tee shot collided with the water skipping across and settling on the fairway. I turned to the group and making light of the situation said, “I’d rather be lucky than good any day.” Bobby chuckled and said, “You know, I never won a tournament that I didn’t feel lucky while playing.” Bobby stepped up to the box, lined up his shot and with a seemingly effortless swing sent one sailing, straight as an arrow, down the center of the fairway. We stood there in amazement watching this beautiful tee shot disappear over the hill, down the middle. As we stood on the fairway, Bobby recalled the reason for two tiered green. The large rock beneath the surface dictated the need. This approach shot would be the first and only time Bobby would land in a bunker all day.

   We got back in the cart and went to #2 tee box, it doglegs left. Bobby told us the shot to take was left over the trees, after some thought, Bobby said he wanted, just for fun, to draw it just around the trees. The ball traveled thru the air just how he had described and after hooking for 60 yards landed again in perfect position dead center, the ball landed just inside 100 yards from the green. Driving around the cart path Bobby pointed out the placement of the red and yellow tees. He was proud of the ladies tee which eliminated much of the dogleg for the ladies… more fun to play for the ladies.

   On the next hole, the par-3 #3, Bobby proceeded to tell this story; He pointed to the single tree that flanks the green in the front.  “That tree had a dozer blade pressed against it and the operator was ready to the trunk ready to push it down. I yelled to the operator, ‘Whoa! HEY! What are you doing? Do you see that yellow tape around the trunk of this tree? That means leave it alone.’ The saw operator looked back at me puzzled and said, ‘But it’s right in front of the green…’ I replied at 150 yards, `We need this tree. It’s important, it adds to the challenge of the hole. You could put the pin behind that tree, and make the golfer draw it around.’ It’s stories like this that made this such a special day.

  As we approached the par-4 #6, we waited for the group in front of us to finish up the hole, Bobby told us that this was the first green he had designed. He had said the he probably  went a little over the top designing it. The berms around the back are really large and the green is huge, when he finished it was shaped like a heart. He put the large mound in middle because he had said that it was “interesting.” We spent a few minutes taking the large mound head on. With pin placement in mind, putting on this hole could frustrate even the best golfers.

   As we approached the green on #7, Bobby pointed out that the green was shaped like an hour glass. There is a reason for that too, in his original design Bobby had two trees placed one on each side of the green. The trees were strategically placed in the indentions of the hourglass shape. However, the two trees suffered the same fate as many other trees on a golf course, they died and had to be removed. Perhaps additional watering and fertilizer killed the two pine trees. Bobby also added another dimension of difficulty to this green, between the two trees there is a depression between both sides of the hourglass. With his approach shot Bobby stuck one within two feet of the pin for an easy birdie. “That felt like something from the past. I’m having delusions of grandeur!” Bobby chuckled.

  As Ron was preparing to tee off on #8, Bobby, being the cut-up he is, grabbed the camera and snapped a few pictures of Ron. “I know you being a photographer, never get a  picture taken of yourself. So now it’s your turn,” Bobby busted out.

   As we rounded the turn we stopped in the snack bar to re-fill ice cups and refreshen ourselves. By the way, please let me remind everyone to drink plenty of water during these hot summer months when working or playing outside.

  As we sat around and enjoyed the cool beverages and a few snacks, Jon asked Bobby why he had a Wyoming hat. Bobby replied, “I bought this hat when I traveled there to speak at an FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) camp. I was asked to speak to a group about my experiences, it was indeed a great pleasure for me.” Bobby has many stories to tell, I look forward to more of these conversations with such a golf legend.

  The back nine proved much more relaxing and picturesque. The par 3, #13, has great view of the green 150 yards below you. There is also a small stream just beyond the green. When I asked Bobby is there anything that he would change about the way he designed this course, he responded with this, “There is one thing, I would have put the tee for #13 on lot adjacent to the current one. The new tee would be on the lot located to the left of its current spot. And, I would love to build a new green 160 yards down the valley to the right, the end result would be a similar tee shot dropping 100 feet to the valley where the green would be guarded on the right with the slope of the (mountain) and the stream guarding the left side. Don’t you think that would be a tremendous golf hole?”

  The next very noteworthy hole is the par 5, #14, if you have read about Bobby in the previous edition of the VISTA you may have read about this tee box. This is the hole where Bobby had to convince the “powers that be” to buy one more acre of land after already purchasing 14,500 acres. The view from this tee box is phenomenal, no matter which one you play from you should ride to the blues just to check out the view.  Also while deciding on the routing plan for the back nine, Bobby was walking through the thick woods, the fairways were not cleared yet, and he kept hearing water running, after some search he finally wandered back in the timber to discover a lovely waterfall that fronts the right of this interesting #14 green.

  With the help of God, Bobby has designed the course with you the golfer in mind… player friendly perhaps? Even the cart path routes were placed with much thought and planning… again, for the enjoyment and convenience of the players.    

Bobby played very well all day. When asked how much he has played this year, Bobby had said that this was probably his fifth round of the year. His game never showed any signs of weakness.  He was very patient with me being a novice golfer. I am very appreciative of that, he had nothing but kind words for each of us all day. I can’t express my gratitude to this man for his inspiration, and the example he sets for all of us on and off the course.

Published in: on August 15, 2006 at 9:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

PGA Pro Bobby Greenwood Reminisces About his Career

This article was written by Rick McNeal of Glade Vista, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee, dated July 4, 2006.

PGA Pro Bobby Greenwood reminisces about his career

Bobby Greenwood’s PGA Tour Career lasted for 7 years 1969-1975, and in 1970 he was making quite a name for Fairfield Glade. Bobby qualified for the PGA Tour at Q-school at Palm Beach Gardens, Florida in 1969, tying Johnny Miller for 3rd place, in that same year Fairfield Communities, Inc. purchased the land for Fairfield Glade. Greenwood, a resident of Cookeville, represented the Glade on the PGA Tour from 1970 to 1975.

“The first tournament of the year was the Glen Campbell Los Angeles Open,” Bobby said. “For three days I was the 54-hole leader.”  I shot rounds of 69, 69, and 66 and had 3-stroke lead with 18 holes to play.

“The Glade really got their money’s worth, because for three days Glen Campbell was on TV talking about this rookie from Fairfield Glade, TN,” said Bobby. “For several weeks after that, Fairfield got calls from all over the country saying, ‘I didn’t know Fairfield Glade had a touring pro.'” 

In 1969, Bobby’s rookie year, he was the “Champions Choice” recipient. This was an award voted on by past champions and included an invitation to play in the Colonial Invitational (NIT). While on the PGA Tour, Bobby played in five major championships, but there is one experience in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach that he will never forget. Bobby recalls “I was in 15th place going into the final round in 1972, this year Jack [Nicklaus] won the tournament, in the third round I shot an even-par-72 and was feeling pretty good about the way I was playing in the tournament. I remember, if I had stayed in 15th place, I would have qualified for the Masters the next year and been back at the U.S. Open again.”

“A yacht race was scheduled at that same time, but had to be cancelled because of high winds,” Bobby said. “I never will forget, the wind was blowing 30 miles an hour and I was playing at the wrong time of the day. My playing partners that day were U.S. Open Champ Tony Jacklin from England and Masters Champ George Archer.  Jacklin shot 87 and Archer shot 84. As a result, I shot the highest round that I ever shot in a tournament. It’s tough to handle an 86 when you’ve shot 61, 63, and 64 at various other tournaments.” 

Bobby’s last professional win, among his amazing 150 pro and amateur wins, was the 1972 Rhode Island Open. He is also a former Tennessee Open and Tennessee Amateur champion. Although he led several PGA tour events his 7-year Tour career, Bobby could not pull off the wins. He sums it up this way… “To lead a PGA Tour event for one day is quite an accomplishment. To lead for 36 holes is very difficult.  And, to have a lead for 3 days is even harder.  But, to lead for 4 days… well not many can do it; I know I was never able to do it.”

Published in: on August 13, 2006 at 6:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Hogan Connection

This article was written by Bobby Greenwood and Rick McNeal of Glade Vista, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee, dated May 23, 2006.

The Hogan Connection

A couple of weeks ago, the PGA Tour stopped at Fort Worth, Texas for the Colonial National Invitational.  This is one of the favorite golf courses on the Tour.  And, this tournament is very special to me. 

When I was in school at North Texas State University I would hitchhike from Denton to Fort Worth in order to go to Shady Oaks CC and watch Ben Hogan practice.  Hogan would go out on the course to #13 fairway to hit practice balls with his caddy. I would stand off perhaps a hundred yards and lean up against a tree.  I did this many times, but each time I would move a little closer.  After several trips, I got within thirty or forty yards.  Hogan would hit a bag of balls, stop and smoke a cigarette, and look over at me.  We would nod at each, but that was it.  One day Hogan was going to hit some bunker shots and he asked me to get in his cart and ride over to the practice bunker.  This was my introduction to the great Ben Hogan.

In Greenwood’s first year as a PGA Tour player he was selected as the Champion’s Choice to play in the Colonial Invitational at Fort Worth.  “The Champion’s Choice is a rookie that they think is going to be a great player”, Greenwood said, “I guess I’m the only Champion’s Choice rookie that never became one of the great ones.”

After college I went to the PGA Tour Qualifying School, tying Johnny Miller for 3rd place and played for seven years, 1969 through 1975.

One year, 1971, “I’m on the first tee at the Westchester Golf Classic at Rye, NY with Hal Underwood”, Greenwood added. “We’re getting ready to play a practice round and Ben Hogan comes up and asks to join us.  That was the last tournament he ever played in on the PGA Tour.  He told me the shafts in my woods were too limber and he let me hit his driver on the eighteenth hole.  The next week I received a set of woods in the mail from Ben Hogan.”  This was a surprise because we didn’t talk to much during the round… he was a man of few words… he mostly just said, “your away.” 

Published in: on August 13, 2006 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Nicklaus Connection

This article was written by Rick McNeal of Glade Vista, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee, dated May 16, 2006.

Bobby Greenwood PGA: The Nicklaus Connection 

            Former PGA Tour Player Bobby Greenwood has numerous stories to tell about his golf career and in addition to sharing them with his wife Elma and his seven-year-old daughter Viola, he had the opportunity to share them with this Glade Vista reporter. One of his most noted stories is beating Jack Nicklaus in a match-play tournament in a sudden death playoff.

            On the putting green in front of the clubhouse at the Augusta National golf course in April ’61, Bobby Jones leaned toward a microphone used during presentation ceremonies at the conclusion of the Masters Tournament.

            “Jack Nicklaus”, Jones began, “is the most promising young golfer in the country. He will win this tournament and many other major championships before he’s through”. Jones then presented Nicklaus his award as low amateur in the Masters which was won by Gary Player after Arnold Palmer’s bladed sand shot at the 72nd hole.

            In June that same year, the husky Nicklaus was low amateur in the National Open, finishing three strokes back of the winner, professional Gene Little, with a total of 284 shots.

             Then in the first round of the Memphis Colonial Invitation, Nicklaus rammed home a 30-foot putt for a birdie on the 17th hole. The birdie putt put him 1-up and sighs of “That’s it” whispered through the gallery. But the one man most involved, Cookeville/Fairfield Glade’s own Bobby Greenwood, didn’t hear the whispers, or if he did, they only made him more determined.

             Minutes after Nicklaus had made his birdie, Greenwood smashed a 245-yard three-wood shot five feet from the pin on the par 5 finishing hole. He made the side-hill, breaking putt for an eagle 3 and forced the match into sudden death. On the first extra hole, Greenwood hit his second shot, a  7 iron 4″ from the cut for anotherr birdie, and Nicklaus was sidelined in his bid to repeat as Colonial champion. It was the last time Nicklaus lost as an amateur, and to top that, Bobby was to enter his Sophomore year at North Texas State University.

             Nicklaus was so stunned by his defeat to Bobby that he wrote about it in his books, “My 55 Ways to Lower Your Golf Score” and “My Story”.

             “When I beat Nicklaus, I didn’t have any idea what I had done,” said Bobby. “He hadn’t been beaten in three years and he won the U.S. Open nine months later.”

             Bobby’s relationship with the “Golden Bear” didn’t end with this encounter, as he traveled to several PGA Tournaments to watch Nicklaus compete. “He (Nicklaus) would spot me in the gallery and have a double take almost every time, and made you think ‘there’s that guy that beat me again’,” Bobby recalled.

             He (Bobby) who was also a golf course architect had heard about Nicklaus’ plans to build a golf course in Crossville named “Bear Trace”. Bobby then preceded to drive up from Cookeville in order to renew his relationship with Nicklaus and offer his services.

             In the above picture, Bobby, Nicklaus, and Chief Designer, Jim Fike were in the bed of a pick-up truck overlooking the building of “The Bear Trace Golf Course”. Bobby recalls, “The green we were looking at was too high and needed to be cut down so that it would be playable, but instead of challenging Nicklaus’ design intelligence by suggesting that it was ‘too high’,” Bobby asked, “Is there rock under that green,” because at that time Bobby he didn’t work for Golden Bear Design Company. At the suggestion of Bobby, the green was lowered and the end result Nicklaus hired Bobby to design golf courses over seas.

            As mentioned in an earlier article, Bobby and Elma was able to meet each other face to face as he was in Japan designing a 22-million-dollar golf course for Nicklaus. Elma and Bobby got to know each other by writing through a Christian Singles International Filipino connection. While working in Japan, Bobby had to leave the country occasionally in order to keep his work visa and he would travel, as you guessed it, to the Philippines to meet Elma.

             “I got to know her and her family while I was in the Philippines for three months,” Bobby recalled. “I came back home and realized I was in the same miserable, lonely existence once again. So, I just called her and asked ‘Will you marry me?’ and she said, ‘Yes,’ and we immediately started making plans for her to come to America, and we married in 1998.”

            “It took nine months to get her here, and she had three months to decide if she was going to marry me or not,” Bobby said. “It only took her one month instead.”

            “This was the best thing that could have happened to me as a result of my relationship with Jack Nicklaus,” says Bobby.

            “I am a happy man today… thanks again Jack.”

Published in: on August 13, 2006 at 5:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Sunnehanna Experience

 This article was written by Rick McNeal of Glade Vista, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee, dated April 25,2006.

Bobby Greenwood PGA: “The Sunnehanna Experience”   

            “He was a fan-favorite back then and very popular with the people in the pro shop as well as the people in the community,” said Mike Mastovich, a sports writer for The Tribune Democrat in Johnstown, Pa. “The word of his legacy spread, when Bobby Greenwood was here I was but two years old, but people told me about him and you just kind of root for the guy even though I didn’t see him play.”

           Bobby had such an impact on the tournament that his remarkable story not only appears in the new book, but Mastovich wrote about it again in an article previewing the 2004 Sunnehanna Amateur “Tournament of  Champions”.

            And now, I will tell you the rest of the story.

           After graduation from college, Bobby was making quite a name for himself as an amateur golfer. But, according to the prestigious Sunnehanna Amateur tournament in Johnstown Pa., but, that early in his career he didn’t meet the criteria to play in the Tournament of Champions.

                    “I remember when I was a young golfer I wanted to play in the top amateur tournaments to try to learn more about how to play the game and one day get on the (PGA) Tour.” Bobby explained. “I would write these tournaments and ask what were the qualifications for an invitation to play in their tournament. I got a letter back from Sunnehanna, a very nice polite letter, that said in order to qualify for the Sunnehanna Amateur “Tournament of Champions”, I had to be a state amateur or state open champion, and when I completed the necessary qualifications, to get back in touch with them.”

                    After Bobby found out what it took to earn an invitation to Sunnehanna, and motivated by the disappointment of the letter he had received, he set out to accomplish what it took to earn an invitation. Finally, in 1965, Sunnehanna sent Bobby an official invitation to play in the Amateur Tournament of Champions after he had won the Tennessee Open tournament by eight strokes that same year. The 8-stroke margin of victory is still a tournament record today!

                     “The club was beautiful and quaint – the golf course was beautiful. It was just a wonderful experience for a country boy from Tennessee.” Bobby recalls of the Sunnehanna experience.

           The trip to the tournament wasn’t all that good to start out with. There was a baggage mix-up on the plane ride to
Pennsylvania and Bobby wound up losing his golf clubs and clothes.

            “Since I don’t have my clubs, what’s the use in practicing,” Bobby recalled. “I had been practicing with a vengeance getting ready for the tournament anyway, so I sat around the pool for two days catching up on a little rest and relaxation.”

            When the start of the tournament rolled around, Bobby was still without his clothes or clubs. So, he borrowed woods from a club member, a set of irons from the head professional and a putter from the course superintendent.

             “I went out the first round and shot a 70 (par) with borrowed clubs which gave me a lot confidence, because I thought, if I can play this well with borrowed clubs, I should do pretty good when I get my own clubs.”

            Early in the second round, Bobby was one-under par when his clubs arrived. He kept the putter but switched back to his old clubs and went on to card a course-record 7-under-par 63. From there he went on to win the 1965 Sunnehanna Amateur with a tournament-record 269. His round two 63 is still the course record and his 269 total held on until 1992.

          Bobby’s legacy at Sunnehanna didn’t stop there. He returned to Johnstown in 1968 and won the tournament a second time before turning professional. A two time winner of a tournament that has been held annually since 1954 may not carry that much merit to most folks, but to those affiliated with Sunnehanna it does. Only a handful of golfers have won the tournament more than once with a list of champions that includes; Howard Twitty (1970), Ben Crenshaw (1973), Jay Siegel (1976, 1978,1988), John Cook (1977, 1979), Bobby Clampett (1980), Brad Faxon (1982), Scott Verplank (1984, 1985) and Allen Doyle (1989, 1990, 1992, 1994). Those who played and didn’t win at Sunnehanna include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Fred Couples.

Published in: on August 13, 2006 at 3:40 pm  Leave a Comment