Memories: Coach Bobby Greenwood – “The Volunteer Coach”

Coach Bobby Greenwood – “The Volunteer Coach”

When Bobby Greenwood left the PGA Tour in 1975 and came back to Cookeville to be with his children, he got into coaching through the basketball Optimist Club program; the baseball Little League and Babe Ruth programs.

“The biggest reward in coaching is to see my former players grow up to be successful, outstanding citizens… sometimes very surprising! 😊,” said Bobby. “I got a lot of help from my assistant coaches such as Coach Charles and Wes Keith, Stacy Farris, and Lon Marcum. I was also the assistant coach to Marty Cook in baseball and to Becki Holman, who was the head coach of the National Championship Girls Basketball team in 1986.

You would think my first love in sports was golf but not at all, my dream was to become a professional basketball player. That was before I realized at 5’9” tall, I was a dwarf.

The night that happened was when at a Cookeville High School game, I drove in and shot a fade away hook shot that was blocked into the 4th row of the bleachers! On the bus ride back to Cookeville I wondered if I might try golf. But, Cookeville High School did not have a golf team at that time… 1956.

In grammar school, I had played on the Old City school basketball team with the great Glynn Carmack. And in high school, I was point guard on the CHS team with the great Jim Ragland. The next year, I was the leading scorer on Riverside Military Academy basketball team.

I played freshman basketball at Tennessee Tech University where it was an honor when Coach Johnny Oldham asked me to guard the great Kenny Sidwell in practice every day.

Years later, I played Cookeville’s Independent Church League Basketball and was the leading scorer in the City until I broke my wrist in the Jere Whitson gym in 1967.

So, after all is said and done, I think that I should have pursued Pro Baseball… 😊”

COACHING RECORD:

*BASKETBALL
1 Tennessee State Runner-up
2 League Championship
1 Tennessee State Runner-up
1 Tennessee State Championship
1 National Championship

*BASEBALL
3 League Championships:
1 minor league
1 little league
1 Babe Ruth league

*5 years – Baseball Coach
*6 years – Basketball Coach


SOURCES/PHOTO CREDITS:

*Personal recollections of Bobby Greenwood, January 28, 2023.

*Memories: “The Basketball Coach” posted February 10, 2020 at:
https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=2774757632561445&set=pcb.2774766509227224

*Memories: “Coach Bobby Greenwood” posted October 5, 2019 at:
https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=2478086018895276&set=a.2478085222228689

*Memories: Bobby Greenwood, 1981-’82 Volunteer Basketball Coach” posted December 1, 2016 at: https://www.facebook.com/greenwoodpga/photos/a.304786246225275/1177171268986764

*Photo credits: http://www.GreenwoodPGA.net


BOBBY GREENWOOD, PGA
Former PGA Tour Player
Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame
PGA of America Life Member

Official Website: http://www.greenwoodpga.net/
Official Blog: https://greenwoodpga.wordpress.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/greenwoodpga

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Bobby Greenwood presenting Aubrey King with Plaque of Recognition from Tennessee Section PGA of America

Bobby Greenwood presenting Aubrey King with Plaque of Recognition from Tennessee Section PGA of America

[EXCERPT from “King of Cumberland County Golf” article by Pauline Sherrer, Crossville-Chronicle publisher, Dec 10, 2011:

“Friends and family of Lake Tansi Golf Pro Aubrey King celebrated his 37-year career last week. King is preparing to retire from his post Dec. 23, 2011.

After nearly four decades of promoting Lake Tansi golf, teaching hundreds of youngsters the art of the game and arguably being one of the leaders in making Cumberland County the Golf Capital of Tennessee, golf pro Aubrey King is retiring.

PGA Tour player and past Tennessee Open Champion Bobby Greenwood presented King with a plaque that read, ‘The Tennessee Section of the PGA of America and its 425 golf professionals in Tennessee are proud to present you with this plaque in recognition of your distinguished career in the golf industry for 37 years and as a gifted teacher who had helped thousands of people be introduced to the great game of golf and who has helped golf pros and ranking amateurs alike.’

Greenwood told the crowd that even though King over the years had won many individual honors playing golf, it was the team events that Aubrey enjoyed the most.

‘The Lake Tansi team was the team to beat in Tennessee section events for several years,’ Greenwood noted.

Greenwood added that in his prime, King was considered the longest hitter in Tennessee, sending a ball 322 yards. On the original Lake Tansi Golf Course, one hole measured 695 yards and was named ‘Trail of Tears.’ Only two players ever reached the green in two shots — one was Doc Goss, legendary East Tennessee golfer and National Long Drive Champion — and the other Aubrey King.

PHOTO CAPTION:

“PGA Tour player and past Tennessee Open Champion Bobby Greenwood presented King a plaque on behalf of the Tennessee Section of the PGA in recognition of King’s distinguished career in the golf industry.”]

Sources & Photo Credit:

*Crossville-Chronicle <https://www.crossville-chronicle.com/news/local_news/king-of-cumberland-county-golf/article_990f81da-1de7-57c8-8261-f22625bd37e8.html>

*Personal recollections of Bobby Greenwood.


BOBBY GREENWOOD, PGA
Former PGA Tour Player
Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame
PGA of America Life Member

Official Website: http://www.greenwoodpga.net/
Official Blog: https://greenwoodpga.wordpress.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/greenwoodpga

Published in: on January 17, 2023 at 9:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Memories: University of North Texas Athletic Hall of Fame 2002

Memories: University of North Texas Athletic Hall of Fame 2002

Bobby Greenwood was inducted to the Athletic Hall of Fame on 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.

[EXCERPT from North Texas Athletics – Mean Green History:
“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%5D


[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 (while he was on the PGA Tour), 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 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.]


[EXCERPT from Herald-Citizen, Cookeville, TN, December 19, 2002:
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 are 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 served as Director of Golf at Sawgrass Country Club, home of The Players Championship 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 and the Missouri Valley Conference. 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.”

– Source: Herald-Citizen, December 19, 2002, 3:06 PM CST]


Sources:
*Personal recollections of Bobby Greenwood.
*BLOG: https://greenwoodpga.wordpress.com/2006/08/24/induction-to-the-hall-of-fame/
*BLOG: https://greenwoodpga.wordpress.com/2006/08/24/greenwood-inducted-into-north-texas-hall-of-fame/


BOBBY GREENWOOD, PGA
Former PGA Tour Player
Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame
PGA of America Life Member

Official Website: http://www.greenwoodpga.net/
Official Blog: https://greenwoodpga.wordpress.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/greenwoodpga

Memories: “My Caddies”

Memories: “MY CADDIES”

From Bobby Greenwood, PGA:

“During my seven years playing the PGA Tour (1969-1975), I would usually just pick up someone at the tournament site to be my caddy, usually in the parking lot when I first arrived. My preference was a young college student that was strong and hopefully loved golf.

Back in the 1970s on the PGA Tour, caddies would be required to shag balls on the practice range. This could be a dangerous situation because there were always 30-45 players warming up for their round; sure enough, one day I noticed my caddy staggering around, he was out about 200 yards away. He had been hit!

Sometimes I would get an exceptionally good and knowledgeable caddy.

LARRY ADAMSON and I met at the Robinson Open in Illinois. Larry was a High School teacher and he coached the basketball team. Larry was a great guy and he loved golf. He later worked for the USGA and became their Director of Championships. After I left the Tour, I asked Larry to make an appearance at Suntree Country Club, Melbourne, Florida while I was Director of Golf. I introduced Larry to my membership (36-hole resort with 1,650 members at Suntree). He was very interesting and a huge success.

[EXCERPT from Suntree In Review article: “United States Golf Association official Larry Adamson shared his various experiences working with the U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur, Senior U.S. Open, and other USGA tournaments during a March 3 ‘cracker barrel’ session in the Cabana Room (at Suntree CC in Melbourne, Florida).

The cracker barrel sessions were started in February by Suntree golf pro Bobby Greenwood and are designed to provide ‘a night of fellowship for members to get together with the pros and enjoy each other’s company,’ Greenwood said.

Greenwood and Adamson are golf buddies and met ‘in 1970 when Larry was a high school basketball coach and teacher. He brought his high school team to caddy at a tournament I was playing in and when they needed an extra caddy, they asked Larry. So, he was assigned to me and that is how we started our friendship,’ Greenwood said.”

-Source: Suntree In Review, by Vicky Valley, Melbourne, FL, March 1990.]

————————-

GEORGE WATERHOUSE was another great caddy as a young boy and he followed the Tour and caddied for me for a couple of months. George later became a famous General Surgeon in Charlotte, North Carolina. I always knew that George would be a great man someday. George was a valued friend and supporter.

TOM McKENZIE caddied for me in the 1972 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, California. It’s a good thing I had an excellent caddy here because the conditions were tough to play, high winds, etc. Tom was older and smarter than me and he loved the Lord. He must have been praying because I was in 12th place after three rounds. I was paired with Masters Champ George Archer and British Open Champ Tony Jacklin in the final round. Tom McKenzie was a good friend in my time of need.

[EXCERPT from Tom McKenzie’s personal letter dated February 19, 2020: “I treasure memories of the US Open at Pebble Beach, nearly 48 years ago. I have been involved with Golf and Caddies since 1963. I can truly say that caddying for you at the US Open was my FAVORITE experience of all time. To make the cut, and be a part of the final round of the National Championship with you, a Christian influenced me forever!!!

You mentored me even from this distance and I love you for all the encouragement you continually provide.”]

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JIM BASS was a professional caddy and I think we joined forces in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He was a character, very intelligent and a good sense of humor. Jim is now at the world-famous Kiawah Island Club in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. I still hear from these great guys from time to time. When I was inducted into the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame in 2007, several of my closest friends showed up. One was Jim who had driven from South Carolina to Knoxville just to be there. Thanks Jim…

[EXCERPT from Jim Bass’ personal comment on a photo posted via Facebook dated January 10, 2010: “Bobby Greenwood’s induction into Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame. The first PGA Tour Player I ever caddied for. Magnolia Classic 1970 Hattiesburg, MS.”]

————————-

In the heat of the battle, you think back in wonder, how did I treat my caddies?

DON ANDERSON was a strong supporter and loyal friend as my caddy in the Tennessee Open. I really liked Don a lot and we had a serious man to man working relationship. I feel he helped me win the Tennessee State Open tournament.

[EXCERPT from Nashville Banner: “The winning team, caddy Don Anderson and player Bobby Greenwood at work in winning the Tennessee Golf Association Open championship at Old Hickory. The two met several years ago at McCabe and Anderson, a brick laborer by trade, has carried for Greenwood in this area ever since. The pair cake-walked to the championship Sunday with a five-under-par 67 and a 54-hole total 208, eight strokes better than the nearest contestant.”

-Source: Nashville Banner, “GREENWOOD, HELPED BY CADDY, EASY WINNER”, May 13, 1968.]

————————-

The late great BOBBY NICHOLS was my first caddy at the Cookeville Country Club when we were both teenagers. I helped Bobby with his game and he and I later played the Tour at the same time in the 1970s. Bobby also won the Tennessee Open and I picked him to play in the first Tennessee Challenge Cup Matches at Old Hickory Country Club in 1968. Bobby Nichols was a kind Christian man… I miss talking golf with him.

FREDDIE NELSON was one of my favorite caddies at the Cookeville Country Club. Freddie was the same sweet, soft-spoken gentleman that he is today as our current Putnam County Trustee. My grandmother, Viola Simrell Greenwood, would always be so happy when Freddie and Bobby Nichols would come home with me to eat some good home cooking at lunch time.

There was one caddy that was most important to the development of my golf game. His name was JERE MAXWELL. Jere was a local boy from Cookeville and we grew up together. Jere had a great sense of humor, and he kept me relaxed so I could play better. He was very loyal and smart and became one of my best friends.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, Jere and I would hitchhike to tournaments in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama to play the ‘fried chicken circuit.’ We had great fun.

Jere Maxwell helped me with the most important part of playing competitive tournament golf… the mental game.

I shall look forward to seeing Jere and others in heaven someday soon.

Nowadays, playing golf on the PGA Tour is a team effort. You have a swing coach, a physical trainer, a psychological mind coach, a caddy, and hopefully a good supportive and loving wife. This is a difficult thing to put together… but don’t leave home without it! 🙂

Please let me say THANK YOU to ALL the Caddies that have caddied for me throughout all the years. Wish I had the mind to remember you all.”

Source:
*Personal recollections of Bobby Greenwood, August 20, 2020.

BOBBY GREENWOOD, PGA
Former PGA Tour Player
Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame
PGA of America Life Member

Official Website: http://www.greenwoodpga.net/
Official Blog: https://greenwoodpga.wordpress.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/greenwoodpga

Memories: NCAA College Golf (3-time All-American)

Memories: NCAA COLLEGE GOLF (3-Time All-American)

From Bobby Greenwood, PGA:

“NCAA College Golf has really grown in the last few decades. But who had the best golf team in the nation in 1963? It was North Texas State University (now University of North Texas) in Denton, Texas. I am truly amazed that several great players would arrive at NTSU and play at the same time, 1963.

NTSU finished 3rd in the NCAA tournament that year so why do I think North Texas was #1?

In 1963, we defeated the NCAA Champion Oklahoma State University six times prior to the season ending NCAA National Championship. In so doing, NTSU won the #2 ranked college tournament, the Southern Intercollegiate in Athens, Georgia. We also won the South-West Recreational in Fort Worth, Texas; the Oklahoma Intercollegiate tournament; the Border Olympics in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico; and NTSU was Runner-up in All-American Intercollegiate in Houston, Texas. During this time, NTSU won three consecutive Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Championships in 1961, 1962 and 1963.

If you add the two victories that year with OSU in the University Team matches, that would total six times we defeated OSU in 1963 when they were the National Champs!

In 1963, NTSU finished 3rd in the NCAA tourney ahead of USC, Georgia, Texas, Wake Forest, Navy and Stanford. And the year before in 1962, NTSU finished in 4th place but finished ahead of teams such as Stanford, Wake Forest, USC and Georgia.

So, how did that happen… How did we lose the NCAA? Well, we didn’t play well that week. I bogeyed the last hole for a 145 total, our #4 player Elgie Seamster shot even par 144 to be low for our team, another player on our team took a disastrous eight on the next to last hole, and… we only lost by four strokes!

Another very important fact: Our very best player on the North Texas team was our team captain, the great Dick Smith from Davenport, Iowa who was killed in a car wreck. I was not even in his class as a player and I was a First Team NCAA All-American selection that year. Dick was a beautiful player with great potential and probably would have been a major tournament winner if he had lived.

We developed wonderful friendships, shared many tough competitions, and created great memories. Thirty-nine years later when I was inducted into the UNT Sports Hall of Fame in 2002, I was surprised when all my fellow teammates showed up for the induction ceremonies. That my teammates would show up was what mattered most to me.”

NOTES:

*NTSU Golf Team Members
FRANK LUKE, scratch player and winner of several tournaments in Texas;
RIVES McBEE, voted Team Captain after Dick Smith died, winner of over three million dollars on the PGA Champions Tour;
BILL GARRETT, the Coral Springs Open Champ, a PGA Tour event;
DON WILSON, the NCAA Long Drive Champ and winner of the Oklahoma Intercollegiate, 1963 Honorable Mention NCAA All-American;
ELGIE SEAMSTER, who shot even par 144 at the NCAA tournament and winner of numerous amateur events in Texas; and
BOBBY GREENWOOD, Southern Intercollegiate Champ, South-West Recreational winner, 4th place Border Olympics golf tourney at Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, Runner-up All-American Intercollegiate in Houston, Texas.

*Bobby Greenwood is a 3-time NCAA All-American. He was one of six college golfers in America to be named First Team NCAA All-American in 1963. Greenwood was inducted into the UNT Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.

Sources:
*Personal recollections of Bobby Greenwood, July 26, 2020.
*1963 Yucca Yearbook, North Texas State University, Volume LVI

Article Direct Link: https://www.facebook.com/greenwoodpga/posts/3184996364870901?comment_id=3185528871484317&notif_id=1595779138207902&notif_t=feed_comment

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BOBBY GREENWOOD, PGA
Former PGA Tour Player
Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame
PGA of America Life Member

Official Website: http://www.greenwoodpga.net/
Official Blog: https://greenwoodpga.wordpress.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/greenwoodpga

Memories: College Days at Tennessee Polytechnic Institute (now Tennessee Tech University)

Memories: College Days at Tennessee Polytechnic Institute (now Tennessee Tech University)

From Bobby Greenwood:

“My freshman year at Tennessee Tech University in 1958-1959, formerly called Tennessee Polytechnic Institute (TPI), was exciting and a bit scary at times, to say the least.

My love for basketball was still intact so I walked on the freshman team and played under the great Coach Johnny Oldham.

I also joined the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and was a member of the TPI’s Rebel Rifles Drill team.

Our golf team won the Tennessee Interscholastic Athletic Conference (TIAC) tournament that year and I was Runner-up in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Championship.

That was the first of my 4 runner-up finishes in college golf conference championships. So, I figured I was ‘first loser’ 4 times!… later to be told by TTU Golf Coach Bobby Nichols that he would always be happy to recruit any player that could finish 2nd four times in the Conference tourney.

As a member of the “T” Club, the initiation week was not much fun. Each freshman was designated an animal to keep with you. Mine was a horse that I rode to school each morning. They shaved our heads and cut a “T” in the top. One morning we were told to catch eggs in our mouth that were to be dropped from the roof of the cafeteria building… We were all given a wooden paddle and told to get 35 signatures before the week’s end. Each name was accompanied by a big lick with a paddle. Blood blisters were common on our backside. I don’t think they do that anymore…

I grew up loving Tennessee Tech and the Golden Eagles; I am so proud of the great University here in my hometown of Cookeville, Tennessee.”

Note:

*Bobby Greenwood was a member of the 1958 Collegiate All-State Golf Team, Tennessee Interscholastic Athletic Conference (TIAC).

*[Transcript: “THE BEST-DRILLED CADET”

“Cadet Pvt.  Robert S. Greenwood of Cookeville received Tennessee Polytechnic Institute award as the best-drilled cadet private in the ROTC regiment. President Everett Derryberry made the presentation.

Platform guests, in addition to General Westmoreland, Colonel Thompson, and President Derryberry, were Col. C.A. Holmes Eubanks, PMST; J.M. Henderson, head of the school of engineering at TPI; Mayor Dero Brown; Col. William G. Downs, reserve officers association; Wilbur Shell, General Telephone Company; Miser Richmond, president of the Rotary club; Herman Yeatman, president of the Jaycees; and Hubert Crawford, president of the Lions.” — END. Source: Local newspaper published in Cookeville, Tennessee, c. 1958.]

Photo collage sources:

*1959 Eagle Yearbook, Tennessee Polytechnic Institute (now Tennessee Tech University), Cookeville, Tennessee.

*Personal recollections of Bobby Greenwood, February 18, 2020.

*Local newspaper articles dated 1958 (from private scrapbook collections of Bobby’s grandmother, Viola Simrell-Greenwood).

Source: https://www.facebook.com/greenwoodpga/posts/2790264491010759


BOBBY GREENWOOD, PGA
Former PGA Tour Player
Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame
PGA of America Life Member

Official Website: http://www.greenwoodpga.net/
Official Blog: https://greenwoodpga.wordpress.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/greenwoodpga

Article: “Cookeville has five home-grown Pro golfers”

ARTICLE: “Cookeville has five home-grown Pro golfers”
Written by Aaron Keen, Sports Feature’s page 6, c. 1971

This article was written when Bobby Greenwood was in his 3rd year on the PGA Tour.

[EXCERPT from the Article written by Aaron Keen (revised edition):
Bobby Greenwood is a touring professional. He has been on the PGA tour for three years and his highest finish as a touring pro has been a tie for fourth in the Los Angeles Open. At one time as an amateur, Greenwood was the sixth ranked golfer in America one year. He won over 75 tourneys as an amateur and Bobby won 13 tournaments one year including six in a row. He was a First Team NCAA All-American his senior year at North Texas State.

PHOTO CAPTION from the article:
Cookeville proudly boasts of having five PGA golf professionals. Cookeville may be the only city its size to have five pro golfers. Aaron Keen talks about the five outstanding golfers in IT’S GAME TIME in today’s paper.

The golfers are, from left (correct designation):
RAY GENTRY, pro at Little Ocmulgee State Park in McRae, Georgia,
BOBBY GREENWOOD, PGA Tour Player, Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame,
BOBBY NICHOLS, Ironwood Golf Club pro in Cookeville and former tour member,
GILBERT JACKSON, pro at Woodmont Country Club in Nashville, and
HUBIE SMITH, former director of the World Open and now club pro at Concord Hotel Golf Club in New York.

All five got their start at Cookeville Golf Club and all five were born and reared in Cookeville. (Photos by Aaron Keen)]

NOTE:
By the way, the first golf team at Cookeville Central High School consisted of 4 players in 1956, namely:
LOUIS JOHNSON,
BOBBY GREENWOOD,
LOWELL SMITH, and
JIM RAGLAND.

The Cookeville golf team played the Algood High School golf team. The Algood team won the match by one stroke. Algood High School team consisted of BOBBY NICHOLS and 3 other caddies from Algood.

SOURCES/CREDITS:
*Personal recollections of Bobby Greenwood, PGA. May 5, 2022.
*Aaron Keen, c. 1971. (Publishing newspaper unknown).
posted on Greenwood’s Facebook Page by admin: May 7, 2022


BOBBY GREENWOOD, PGA
Former PGA Tour Player
Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame
PGA of America Life Member

Official Website: http://www.greenwoodpga.net/
Official Blog: https://greenwoodpga.wordpress.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/greenwoodpga

Memories: Top O’ Texas

Memories: TOP O’ TEXAS

From Bobby Greenwood, PGA:
“You might ask how does Bobby Greenwood remember details of all those Amateur golf tournaments that he played 50-60 years ago.

Well, my grandmother, Viola Simrell Greenwood, was the first stenographer in Cookeville, Tennessee. She enjoyed keeping a scrapbook from all the newspaper articles. My wife, Elma, also enjoys history and genealogy and she found the scrapbooks that my grandmother had kept.

So, let me tell you about one of the best Amateur tournaments in the U.S. during the 1960’s. That would be the Top O’ Texas golf tourney in Pampa, Texas who would fly the best players from all over the country into town to play.

The field of 200 players would include several State Amateur Champions from Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, New York, Texas, Colorado, North Dakota, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. These players were former winners of the top tournaments of the day including the Eastern, Trans-Miss, Western, Sunnehanna Amateur, North-South and 2 NCAA Champions.

[EXCERPT from a Midland, Texas newspaper article titled: ‘Top Golfers Seeking Top O’ Texas Title’
PAMPA – A star-studded cast of 206, including two NCAA champions, state amateur champions, the Trans-Mississippi champion and defending titlist Bobby Greenwood, tees off at Pampa Country Club today in the first round of the 28th annual Top O’ Texas Golf Tournament.

Greenwood, the Cookeville, Tenn. champion, faces a rugged field in his quest for a second consecutive Top O’ Texas crown. NCAA champion Marty Fleckman of the University of Houston, Kansas Amateur champion, Jim Colbert, Trans-Mississippi titlist, the #1 ranked Amateur in the U.S., George Boutell of Arizona State, NCAA Junior College champ Jerry Smith, Nebraska Amateur winner Tabor, Amarillo’s John Farquhar and four-time Missouri amateur champ Bob Astleford will compose only a portion of the stiff competition which awaits the defending trophy winner.]

I won the 1964 Top O’ Texas with a 276 total, and the 1966 tourney with 280 to win by 5. In 1965, I made 26 birdies in 72 holes and finished 2nd to the great Johnny Farquhar. The NCAA Champion Marty Fleckman finished 3rd.

[EXCERPT: Here’s another newspaper article from Amarillo Daily News, published on Wednesday, September 8, 1965 by Frank A. Godsoe.

The USGA’s 65th men’s amateur golf championship is next week at Tulsa’s Southern Hills and the nation’s “little amateur” tourney (which really doesn’t suggest there is anything little about it) was concluded on Labor Day in Pampa, where the 28th Top O’ Texas tourney romped merrily into history.

Bobby Greenwood of Cookeville, Tenn., who was a first-team All-America Intercollegiate selection while at North Texas State, started the final day trailing Farquhar by five shots.
So, he tooled off 14 birdies in 36 holes (he had 26 in his four rounds, or more than one every three holes) with 66-72-138 for 275, but Farquhar matched Bobby’s morning medal, and equaled it the afternoon.

WHEN A MAN SHOOTS 14 birdies and can’t gain a shot, it must be discouraging.
Farquhar still wasn’t putting like Greenwood, and surely nobody else on this planet was. John still gained satisfaction in a jumbo measure, for a year ago Greenwood has edged him out by two shots in the Top O’ Texas jamboree.

Greenwood, to use his own phrase, made “five miles of putts.” The distance from the flagstick didn’t seem to matter.

Greenwood putted so well that had Billy Casper seen it, he would have hidden his head in shame.

The final 36 holes were played in a 25-mile-an-hour wind that swirled up enough dust to make the eyes of spectators and players feel like gravel pits.]

Another reason that the players loved to come to Pampa, Texas for the Top O’ Texas tournament was the exciting ‘Calcutta’ which was held at the club the night before the first round of the tournament. During the Calcutta, players were auctioned off to the highest bidder and the money that went into the pot. The wealthy oil men from Midland and around Texas would come to Pampa to bid on the big-name players. After I won in 1964, the next year in 1965, I was sold for 10,000 dollars… That was the year I finished 2nd. I think George Bush may have bought me… I’m not sure. 😊

As you may have heard, the Texans are the finest people in the world. They are so friendly and down to earth and so encouraging. Perhaps that is why I seemed to play well in Texas.”

NOTE:
Bobby Greenwood won Top O’ Texas twice in 1964 and 1966 respectively. He finished 2nd in 1965.

Posted on Facebook Page by admin: July 19, 2020
Direct Link: https://www.facebook.com/greenwoodpga/posts/3164511346919403

BOBBY GREENWOOD, PGA
Former PGA Tour Player
Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame
PGA of America Life Member

Official Website: http://www.greenwoodpga.net/
Official Blog: https://greenwoodpga.wordpress.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/greenwoodpga

Published in: on December 10, 2022 at 2:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Article: Memories of the 1990 British Open Championship

MEMORIES OF THE 1990 BRITISH OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Article by: Bobby Greenwood, PGA
Published by: Tee Times Paper
Summer 2022 issue, pages 16 and 17.

The 150th British Open Championship will be played this week (July 14-17, 2022) at the famed St. Andrews Golf Club in Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom. This brought back memories as I traveled to Scotland 32 years ago to qualify for the Open in 1990 at St. Andrews… the home of golf. 

Elma found these Florida Today newspaper articles…

[EXCERPT from Florida Today, “Greenwood aims for British Open” by Paul Enriquez, Sunday, July 15, 1990 (revised edition):

Bobby Greenwood is a realist. 

The Suntree Country Club golf professional left this week for Prestwick, Scotland, on a transatlantic journey which he hopes will produce a spot in the British Open.

“The odds are I am going to be unsuccessful at this,” Greenwood said this week. “I know golf. I have been around and I know that the odds aren’t too good in my favor.” At least, it will be a nice vacation in Europe. 

“I put it in perspective,” Greenwood said. “I consider this a highlight in the twilight of a mediocre career.”

Greenwood, the former PGA Tour veteran, has been the Suntree Director of Golf for nearly a year. Occasionally, he will compete in a Senior PGA Tour event or complete a couple of rounds at Suntree.

“My Suntree members love to talk to me and say ‘Hey, go win it for us,’ which is very nice,” says the soft-spoken Tennessee native. “I have had some success on the Tour, but realistically, it will be tough to qualify.”

Greenwood, who played the Tour in the 1970s, attempts to qualify in a 36-hole tournament beginning Monday. The top 20 finishers are expected to advance to the British Open, scheduled for July 19-22 at famed St. Andrews Golf Club in Scotland. 

While not overly optimistic, Greenwood said his golf game could be well-suited for the notoriously wet, windy days in Scotland. “I went to North Texas State during college, so I know how to play the wind,” Greenwood said. “I also had some pretty good success in the rain. I am a mudder. So maybe there is a faint hope.”

They apparently think so… “I had one member come up the other day and show me a golf magazine article by Tom Watson on how he plays the bump-and-run (a common golf shot in Europe). They are really excited about this and, in turn, they are getting me excited about it at the same time.”

Greenwood, who has never played in a European tournament, plans to play several historic golf courses such as St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Turnberry and Glen Eagle. So, this trip is more than a chance to qualify for the British Open. But don’t tell that to Greenwood’s faithful fans.

“They have really been so supportive,” Greenwood said. “It makes me wish that I practiced a little more to prepare.”

– Source: Florida Today, “Greenwood aims for British Open,” by Paul Enriquez, Sunday, July 15, 1990]

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[EXCERPT from “Florida Today” Local Digest column – “Greenwood shoots 70 in qualifier” Monday, July 16, 1990:

“Suntree Country Club golf pro Bobby Greenwood shot 70 Sunday as he attempts to earn a berth in this week’s British Open. 

Greenwood, 51, posted his 2-under-par score, which included two chip-ins, during the first round of the 36-hole qualifying event. 

If Greenwood finishes among the leaders after today’s second round, he advances to the Open beginning on Thursday at St. Andrews Golf Club in Scotland.”

– Source: Florida Today, Local Digest column: “Greenwood shoots 70 in qualifier,” Monday, July 16, 1990.]

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I shot 73 in the second round for a 143 total and missed by 2 strokes. 

The following tribute below reminded me of how I was able to go to Scotland… please read on:

[TRIBUTE: In Loving Memory of SHIRLEY JOHNSON and the BRITISH OPEN

One day, she came in the pro shop and said, “Bobby, you should play in the British Open.  It would be a great experience for you.”

I was the golf pro at the 36-hole resort, Suntree Country Club in Melbourne, Florida in the early 1990s. That is where I met Shirley Johnson. When I first came to Melbourne, Shirley graciously allowed me to live in her beautiful house for a couple of months until I moved into an apartment. 

I gave Shirley golf lessons and we played nine holes together on several occasions. Sometimes she would call the pro shop and invite me to come to her house for lunch. She said I needed a break from work. Her advice that she gave to me was always most valuable. 

I came to know Mrs. Johnson as one of the finest women that I have ever known. She was indeed a kind, thoughtful and generous lady. And, she was a world traveler. 

Sure enough, Shirley took me to Scotland to play in the British Open in 1990 at St. Andrews. I must say, it was the greatest trip of my life. We played several of the famous golf courses and we even stayed in the luxurious St. Andrews Hotel! All expenses paid by Shirley. Naturally, she would not let me pay for a thing.

When I got home, I found $300 – worth of travelers check in my suitcase. I called Shirley and she said: “great… just keep it”.

While I was the golf pro at Suntree in Melbourne, Shirley and I would go to the Orlando Magic basketball games. She was an Arena Club member and we would eat at the great buffet before each game. She was a great sport. So much fun to be with. 

In 2007, when I was inducted into the Tennessee PGA Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee, much to my great surprise, Shirley and Thad showed up! What a great friend she was to me.

There are so many great things that I could tell you about this amazing woman. I’m sure her daughter, Sharon, knows how special she was. Shirley told me many good stories about several of her family. 

Because of this lady, heaven seems sweeter to me. I shall look forward to seeing her once again. I know she will be there. By the mercy of God so will I. I hope to see you all there.

– Tribute written by Bobby Greenwood, June 10, 2019.]

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In 2005, my friend Buddy Pearson, the managing editor of our local newspaper, Herald-Citizen at that time, interviewed me for a sports article he was writing… Here’s an example of what he asked about my adventure in Scotland… 

[British Open Facts – for Buddy Pearson of Herald-Citizen, July 11, 2005:

“You traveled to Scotland in 1990 to play in the British Open at St. Andrews. You had left the PGA Tour and were the Head Pro at Suntree Country Club in Melbourne, Florida at this time.

Q: What makes St. Andrews such a great golf course? 

A: Woods picked St. Andrews over Pebble Beach as his favorite place to win a major! 

Q: You played both golf courses in a major, which do you prefer?

A: I prefer Pebble Beach because of its beauty and because it is a more fair test of golf.”

-Source: Draft note from Bobby Greenwood’s personal collection dated July 11, 2005.] 

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SOURCES/CREDITS: 

• Personal recollections of Bobby Greenwood, PGA.

• Florida Today, “Greenwood aims for British Open,” by Paul Enriquez, Sunday, July 15, 1990.

• Florida Today, Local Digest column – “Greenwood shoots 70 in qualifier” Monday, July 16, 1990

• Photo collage credit: GreenwoodPGA.net

Additional Sources:

https://www.teetimesgolfnews.com/eedition/page-16/page_3a5089f7-5d2c-51b2-863a-980980e16f24.html
https://www.teetimesgolfnews.com/eedition/page-17/page_935d6402-d513-5530-9a54-5c3e910ea4a7.html

posted on Greenwood’s Facebook Page by admin: July 12, 2022

BOBBY GREENWOOD, PGA
Former PGA Tour Player
Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame
PGA of America Life Member

Official Website: http://www.greenwoodpga.net/
Official Blog: https://greenwoodpga.wordpress.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/greenwoodpga

Published in: on December 10, 2022 at 12:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Article: “One of Tennessee’s Finest” – Remembering Bobby Nichols, PGA

ARTICLE: “One of Tennessee’s Finest”
Remembering Bobby Nichols, PGA
By: Bobby Greenwood, PGA
Published by: Tee Times Paper
Spring 2022 issue, pages 16 and 17.

Tennessee golf has produced many great players throughout our state’s history. Players like Memphis’ Cary Middlecoff, Clarksville’s Mason Rudolph, Nashville’s Lou Graham, Chattanooga’s Gibby Gilbert, and Knoxville’s Joe Campbell… just to name a few back in my era.

There are different levels of greatness that most people are not aware of.  For instance, I am not on the same level as these five players.  Why? …because some were former Ryder Cup players or have won major titles and some are World Golf Hall of Fame members. 

The Tennessee Golf Foundation will induct two great players into the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame on February 8th of this year 2022. They are the 2003 PGA Champion Shaun Micheel and former PGA Tour winner David Gossett who had a stellar amateur career that included NCAA First Team All-American in college, and he also won the 1999 U.S. Amateur. Both men are indeed worthy of the honor of being Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame members. 

However, there are many other truly great golfers from Tennessee; both pro and in the amateur ranks, just perhaps like me, not on that elite level of excellence.

Cookeville’s Bobby Nichols was indeed one of the notable players, and more importantly, a wonderful man that everyone seemed to love. Let me share a page I wrote back in 2008 for a book to be written about my dear friend, Bobby Nichols.

REMEMBERING BOBBY NICHOLS, PGA

By Bobby Greenwood in Bermuda, October 2008

When I was asked, six months ago, by Buddy Pearson to write something for his book about my dear friend Bobby Nichols, I thought it would be easy. But I just could not seem to do it… my heart was heavy every time that my thoughts went to my best buddy and the realization that he was gone.

So… as I write this, I am in Bermuda at the Grand Slam of Golf, and the Mid Ocean Golf Club is a beautiful place. This morning, as I watched Retief Goosen, Jim Furyk, Padraig Harrington and Trevor Immelman hit practice shots, it reminded me of a time Bobby Nichols and I drove to Nashville to watch Arnold Palmer and Gary Player play an exhibition at the Richland Golf and Country Club. Bobby and I always were students of the game and we have shared many hours of practice and study in an effort to try to become better golfers ourselves. We have travelled many miles together in our quest to improve. Perhaps this is why I have finally chosen this time to attempt to write something for Buddy Pearson’s book.

Bobby Nichols would be surprised, delighted and maybe even a little embarrassed by this book; for he was someone who was by nature shy and yet he loved encouraging people. He tried hard to live his life so he wouldn’t ever let anyone down.

As a young boy, Bobby caddied for me at the Cookeville Country Club and we became the best of friends. Later, our mutual love for basketball brought us even closer together. We played church league basketball together… we played hard and fast. After I broke my wrist in one game; I warned Bobby that due to poor refereeing the games had become too rough and for him to be careful. He promised that he would. But try as he may, his competitive spirit drove him to be a leader on the church league basketball team. And within 2-3 weeks, Bobby injured his knee that required surgery in Nashville. I stayed with him at night in the hospital.

Many years later, after Bobby became ill, the last two weeks of his life was precious… and also terrible. Again, he asked me to stay with him every night in his home and also in the hospital. During those pain-filled midnight hours, I learned a lot. We rededicated our life to the Lord, confessed our sins one to another and prayed many sincere prayers together.

In an effort to explain what Bobby Nichols meant to me… just let me say, I now have no one in Cookeville who can talk about the deeper truths of playing competitive golf tournaments… even the PGA Tour. Bob won many tournaments in his playing career including the Tennessee Open, the Met Open, Tennessee Player of the Year, etc. One night as we sat together in his living room, Bobby said, “I would give up all my tournament wins if only the pain will go away.” That really put things in perspective for me… once again.

So, there are many reasons why Bobby Nichols was honored by the Tennessee PGA Section with the Tennessee Cup Matches MVP named the “Bobby Nichols Most Valuable Player Award”. He has also been selected by the TN PGA Section to Captain the Pro team of the TN Cup matches on four different occasions! Bobby was a giving and caring Christian man. He never ceased to amaze people with his kindness and generosity. With his devout Christian faith, Bobby exhibited a sense of humility that is rarely seen in the world of sports. 

Not many people know that Bobby Nichols was a giver. He shared with me many secrets of his benevolent nature. And we would discuss how some people would try to cheat or con Bobby. With his Godly wisdom, he would say, “The Bible says, ‘Suffer yourself to be defrauded’… Just don’t let yourself be guilty of cheating anyone.”

When his mom was in the Cookeville nursing home for several years, Bobby would prepare vegetable juice with his blender at his home and take it to his mom every day! I tried to help Bobby as best I could in his time of need, but, needless to say, I was not nearly as good a nurse as he was. 

I know Elaine, Kim and I and others wish we could have done more; but I can only say that we did the best that we knew to do. I was so proud to see how his friends loved Bobby Nichols.

I was proud of the TN PGA for showing up in force for Bobby’s funeral in Cookeville. All of the officers of the PGA were there as many of Bobby’s fellow PGA professionals. Bobby touched countless people in the community, the golf industry and the community was brought together by the shared love and sorrow.

The Bible says, “Rejoice at death and cry at birth.” I know and understand that is true but, I have never met anyone that got the hang of it. Nevertheless, I truly believe that Bobby Nichols is with God and I have to be happy for him… I miss him. He died like a champion and I was able to tell him that on his deathbed. The Bible says: “Godly wisdom brings sorrow.” I miss Bobby very much… I am sad here in Bermuda.

ABOUT BOBBY NICHOLS (May 4, 1941 – March 16, 2008):

Born in Algood, Tennessee, Bobby Nichols grew up as a caddie at the Cookeville Country Club and would go on to be a four-year letterwinner on the Tennessee Tech University men’s golf team (1959-’63), including being the team captain his senior season. After winning the 1991 Tennessee Open, Bobby Nichols made a profound impact on the golfing community during his lifetime.

While junior golf was always a priority for Nichols, so was coaching the golf teams at his alma mater. A 32-year veteran with Tech athletics, Nichols was inducted into Tech’s Hall of Fame in 1990. After a battle with cancer, Nichols died at the age of 66 on March 16, 2008. In 2011, he was officially inducted into the Ohio Valley Conference Hall of Fame.

SOURCES: 

*Personal recollections of Bobby Greenwood, PGA.

*TTU Blog <https://blogs.tntech.edu/…/nichols-legacy-lives-on-10…/>

PHOTO CAPTION:

*Remembering a good friend, Bobby Nichols. 

“Thanks be to God for putting a great man, like Bobby Nichols, in my life. Looking forward to playing another round of golf with you in heaven.” – Bobby Greenwood, PGA, November 23, 2017.

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Sources: 

https://issuu.com/teetimes/docs/tee_times_spring_2022/16
https://issuu.com/teetimes/docs/tee_times_spring_2022/17

BOBBY GREENWOOD, PGA
Former PGA Tour Player
Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame
PGA of America Life Member

Official Website: http://www.greenwoodpga.net/
Official Blog: https://greenwoodpga.wordpress.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/greenwoodpga

Published in: on December 10, 2022 at 11:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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