ARTICLE: “The Great Debate: Who was Better – Chick Evans or Bobby Jones?”

By Bobby Greenwood, PGA. Published by Tee Times Magazine, Winter 2023 issue, pages 16 and 17.

It was interesting to meet such great people during my seven years on the PGA Tour. I will never forget my meeting with Charles “Chick” Evans at the Western Open at Olympia Fields Country Club in Chicago, Illinois. I was amazed at how kind and what a humble man he was.

Evans was the most acclaimed American amateur golfer of his time because he won the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open in the same year, a feat he achieved in 1916. He was the first person to accomplish this task and only Bobby Jones has done it since.

Evans won the U.S. Amateur again in 1920 and was runner-up three times. Selected to the Walker Cup team in 1922, 1924, and 1928, he competed in a record 50 consecutive U.S. Amateurs in his long career and he was low amateur in 6 U.S. Opens and won a record 8 Western Amateur titles. Evans achieved all of this while carrying only seven hickory-shafted clubs!

In comparing the two great amateur golfers, Bobby Jones and Chick Evans, perhaps we should also compare the golf equipment that each man used.

When Bobby Jones’ personal set of clubs was tested years later, the set was perfectly matched. All except his 8-iron which was slightly off. When informed of these findings, Jones stated, “I never did like that club so much.” He matched his set of golf clubs by feel as there were no swing weight machines available at that time.

In 1971, I played in the U.S. Open at historic Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Down the street from the club was George Izett’s Custom Club Company. One day, before the tournament started, David Graham and I decided to “get away” and visit the old golf club factory. David was an avid club collector and he enjoyed looking for the oil-hardened persimmon head McGregor woods.

I was interested in the Wilson R-90 wedges. When we went in the company, there was George Izett, the old clubmaker himself. He told us that during the 1924 U.S. Amateur, Bobby Jones came into his shop. Bobby was looking for a 4-wood. He gave Mr. Izett his specs and then said, “Make 25 of them.” So, that’s how Jones had matched the 14 golf clubs in his set… trial and error.

Years earlier, Chick Evans had won all his tournaments with 7 hickory-shafted clubs!

Chick Evans played his last rounds of competitive golf in 1968, winning the Illinois Open that year. After his retirement, he continued to attend events as a spectator and converse with the fans and players. I would always look forward to meeting with Chick Evans at the Western Open each year in Chicago, Illinois.

Chick Evans’ legacy involves more than tournament golf. His name is synonymous with the Western Golf Association, and the institution of the Evans Scholars Foundation. This idea was born after Evans won the Open and the Amateur in 1916. Evans said his mother “wouldn’t think of accepting my money unless we could arrange it to be trusted to furnish education for deserving caddies.” He also said his mother “pointed out that the money came from golf and thus should go back into golf. It was all her dream — her idea.”

Rather than turn professional, Evans decided to take the $5,000 offered to him and establish a golf scholarship fund for caddies. The Evans Scholarships was for caddies only. Since its founding, the Evans Scholars Foundation has invested more than $475 million in the college educations of more than 11,556 Alumni.

By the way, when I played the Tour in the 1970s, the Western Open and the Masters were the only two tournaments on Tour where players could only use the caddies supplied by the tournament; you could not bring your own caddy in those two events.

Like Evans, Jones was an amazing playing record who was one of the most influential figures in the history of the sport. He dominated top-level amateur competition, and also competed very successfully against the world’s best professional golfers.

Bobby Jones competed in golf only as an amateur, primarily on a part-time basis, and he qualified for his first U.S. Open at age 18 in 1920. Jones won the Southern Amateur three times: 1917, 1920, and 1922. He represented the United States in the Walker Cup five times and because of health reasons, chose to retire from competition at age 28! He played his last round of golf at East Lake Golf Club, his home course in Atlanta, on August 18, 1948.

As an adult, he hit his stride and won his first U.S. Open in 1923. Jones was the first player to win The Double, both the U.S. and British Open Championships in the same year in 1926. He was the second (and last) to win the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur in the same year in 1930, first accomplished in 1916 by Chick Evans.

Bobby Jones is most famous for his unique (pre-Masters) “Grand Slam”, the only player to achieve wins in all four major golf tournaments of his era (the open and amateur championships in both the United States and United Kingdom) in a single calendar year in 1930.

After retiring from competitive golf in 1930, and even in the years leading up to that, Jones had become one of the most famous sports figures in the world and was recognized virtually everywhere he went in public. He is the only sports figure to receive two ticker-tape parades in New York City!

Jones’ four titles in the U.S. Open remain tied for the most ever in that championship, along with Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, and Willie Anderson. His five titles in the U.S. Amateur are a record. In 2000, Bobby Jones was ranked as the fourth greatest golfer of all time by Golf Digest magazine, behind Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan and Sam Snead third. In 2009, Bobby Jones was listed at No. 3 all time in a major survey published by Golf Magazine. Jack Nicklaus was No. 1, followed by Tiger Woods, Jones, Hogan, and Snead.

It is very difficult to compare players of another era because the game has changed so much. Here is another thought: what would Jack Nicklaus have done if he had the equipment that Tiger Woods played with? Hmmm.

• Chick Evans died on November 6, 1979 at age 89. He is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
• Bobby Jones was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
• David Graham won the PGA Championship in 1979 and the U.S. Open in 1981.
• Bobby Greenwood played on the PGA Tour from 1969 to 1975.

• Chick Evans with Bobby Greenwood at the 1975 Western Open, Butler National Golf Club, Oak Brook, Illinois.
• Bobby Greenwood on the 18th hole during the 1971 Western Open tourney @ Olympia Fields Country Club, PGA Tour, July 15, 1971. Photo by famed photographer, Bob Langer.

• Personal recollections of Bobby Greenwood, PGA.
• Photo collage credit:

“The Great Debate: Who was Better – Chick Evans or Bobby Jones?”
By: Bobby Greenwood, PGA
Published by: Tee Times Paper
Winter 2023 issue, pages 16 and 17.
Page 16:
Page 17:


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

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Published in: on February 22, 2023 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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.


“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 <>

*Personal recollections of Bobby Greenwood.

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

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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,

“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]

*Personal recollections of Bobby Greenwood.

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

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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.”]


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.”

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

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Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame
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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.”


*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.

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

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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.”


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


“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).


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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)]

By the way, the first golf team at Cookeville Central High School consisted of 4 players in 1956, namely:

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.

*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

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PGA of America Life Member

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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.”

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

Article: “It’s Different with Ben Hogan”

MEMORIES: “It’s Different with Ben Hogan”
By Bobby Greenwood, PGA. Published by Tee Times Paper, November-December 2021 issue, pages 16 and 17.

During my seven years on Tour, I was fortunate to play golf with some of the icons of the game. Great players such as Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Cary Middlecoff, Lee Trevino, Chi-Chi Rodriguez, Byron Nelson and oh yes… Jack Nicklaus.

But I must say, it was quite different when I played with Ben Hogan at the Westchester Country Club in Rhy, New York. By most accounts, Ben Hogan was the best golfer of his era and still stands as one of the greatest of all time. But I could also see why Hogan is widely acknowledged as arguably the greatest ball striker golf has ever known!

In Scotland, Hogan was known as “The Wee Ice Man”, or, in some versions, “Wee Ice Mon,” a moniker earned during his famous British Open victory at Carnoustie in 1953. It is a reference to his steely and seemingly nerveless demeanor. Hogan rarely spoke during competition; we didn’t talk too much during our round. He was a man of few words. He mostly just said “your away.”

Like so many others, I was in awe of the Wee Iceman, the Hawk, yes, Bantam Ben was indeed special… a true icon. At 5 ft. 8½ in. tall and 145 lbs., he also was a very long hitter!

I first came in contact with Ben Hogan while I was playing college golf at North Texas State University in Denton, Texas. I would hitch a ride from Denton to Ft. Worth just to see Hogan practice at his home course Shady Oaks Country Club.

I would stay perhaps fifty yards away and lean up against a tree. Each day 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 at me. We would nod at each other, but that was about it. I did this several times and one day, he actually asked/told me to ride in his cart and ride over to the practice bunker. That was my first introduction to Hogan.

Let me tell you why I became so interested in learning from Ben Hogan and why is he considered one of the greatest players in the history of the game. During Hogan’s prime years of 1938 through 1959, he won 63 professional golf tournaments despite his career being interrupted by World War II and a near-fatal car accident. Incidentally… these were the first 21 years of my life.

One year while I was at college, the Colonial National Invitational came to Ft. Worth and I decided to hitchhike to Ft. Worth and watch the tournament. I arrived late afternoon, spent the night in the bus station (that’s another story). The next morning, I arrived at Colonial Country Club very early… I walked in with the caddies and volunteers. Happened to pick up a large Marshal Hat and was able to walk down the middle of the fairway with Hogan and Mike Souchak for 18 holes! Looking back, it is amazing what a young boy will do in order to learn the game of golf. Much too dangerous in this day and age.

I later went to qualifying school and tied Johnny Miller for third place, earning a spot on the PGA Tour in 1969. We were playing for only 8 cards that year!

In my first year as a tour player, I was selected as the “Champions’ Choice” to play the Colonial National Invitational at Fort Worth.  The Colonial Country Club was known as Hogan’s Alley because Ben Hogan had won 5 times at Colonial. The “Champions’ Choice” is the rookie they think is going to be a great player. I guess I’m the only Champions’ Choice that never won a major. I wish Ben had given me a lesson instead of a set of woods…

In 1971, our paths crossed once again. I’m on the first tee at the Westchester Golf Classic in Rye, New York with Hal Underwood. We’re getting ready to play a practice round and Ben Hogan walks up and asks to join us. That was the last tournament Hogan ever played in on the PGA Tour.

Ben said that the shafts in my woods were too limber and he told me to hit his driver off the 18th tee. As I addressed the ball, I could see that he was motioning to the large crowd that was following that I would hit his driver to the right. Naturally, trying to hit a good shot, I adjusted my grip and hit a drive down the middle with his x-stiff driver. The next week I received a set of woods in the mail from Ben Hogan… (Apex 5 shafts run through, cord grips with a large string on the underside) just like his personal clubs.

The word got out and my fellow PGA Tour players started showing up wanting to hit Ben’s clubs. I lost the driver and 3-wood to the players and I later sent the 4-wood to Carl Lohren who loved Hogan as much as I did.

Ben Hogan is one of only five players to have won all four majors: the Masters Tournament, The British Open Championship (despite only playing once), the U.S. Open, and the PGA Championship. The other four are Nicklaus, Woods, Player, and Gene Sarazen. Jack Nicklaus once said: “Hogan is easily the best that I have ever seen hit shots.”

Consider this: in 1945, Hogan set a PGA record for a 72-hole event at the Portland Open Invitational by shooting 27-under-par. And in 1946, he won 13 PGA Tour events and he won 10 in 1948!

The following year, driving home to Fort Worth after a Monday playoff loss at the 1949 Phoenix Open, Hogan and his wife Valerie survived a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus.

This accident left Hogan, age 36, with a double-fracture of the pelvis, a fractured collar bone, a left ankle fracture, a chipped rib, and near-fatal blood clots: he would suffer lifelong circulation problems and other physical limitations. His doctors said he might never walk again, let alone play golf competitively. He left the El Paso hospital two months after the accident, and returned to Fort Worth by train.

It is important to know that the majority of his putting problems developed after his 1949 car accident, which nearly blinded his left eye and impaired his depth perception.

Let’s compare golfing’s greatest triumvirate, namely Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Sam Snead. These three men had strong character traits and when we played; I found each to have unusual determination and focus. They too were great competitors along with being gifted athletes.

I met an aging Nelson at the 1963 Texas Cup Team Matches in Dallas. I was picked to play on the prestigious 10-player Texas Cup team where the top 10 amateurs play against 10 PGA Tour pros from Texas.

This was my senior year at North Texas State, as a First Team NCAA All-American, I was selected to take on Nelson, who was the captain of the professional team. At 51 years old, Nelson was way past his prime, but here is the man who holds the record for winning 11 consecutive tournaments on the PGA Tour. However today, at 83 years of age, I can look back and see that 51 is not that old. Nelson shot a 68 that day! I made a birdie on the last hole to beat Byron 1-up. That evening we went to Byron Nelson’s ranch in Roanoke, Texas for a lavish buffet, presentation of prizes and speeches from several Texas dignitaries and the PGA Tour pros.

I must say, Byron Nelson, even at 51, was the most intense player I have ever played against! No wonder he won 11 tournaments in a row.

I also played a match against Snead. I, at the age of 53, was coming off a win at the Tennessee Senior PGA Championship and a fourth-place showing in the Senior PGA National Championship at Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. We faced each other in an exhibition match at the Sam Snead Pro Celebrity tournament in Nashville. I thought my chances were pretty good against an aging Snead who was 79 at the time. Turns out, I was wrong. Sam was indeed a physical specimen. He had a lot of fire and a temper to go with it. He reminded me of the great Tommy Bolt.

Sam drove it better than me, hit better iron shots, his chipping was excellent and he was even a better putter than me. He beat me 2-and-1. It was like Sam, the old thoroughbred racing against a young mule. I told him “Sam, I’ll try you again when you are 90.”

Snead, Nelson and Hogan combined for 198 wins on the PGA Tour, including 21 major championships… but only one had charisma.

Ben Hogan’s early years were very difficult. He dropped out of Central High School during the final semester of his senior year to turn pro at the age of 17. Ben landed a low paying club job in 1930; met Valerie Fox in Sunday school in 1932; and they married in 1935.

According to his PGA Tour profile, Hogan earned just $332,516 in official PGA events, however, a 2021 study concluded that Hogan’s tournament performances could have earned him $91.8M if he had played in the modern era.

*Personal recollections of Bobby Greenwood, PGA.
*Pearce, Gene. The History of Tennessee Golf: 1894-2001. Hillsboro Press, 2002. Page 272.
*Wikipedia. <>

posted at Greenwood’s facebook page by admin: December 19, 2021


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Published in: on December 9, 2022 at 2:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Article: Memories & Mysteries… 45 Holes-in-One!

Article: MEMORIES & MYSTERIES… 45 Holes-in-One!
By Bobby Greenwood, PGA
Published by: Tee Times Paper, October 2021, pages 16 and 17.

Scoring a hole-in-one is one of the biggest thrills in golf. Even seasoned Tour players get excited when they make an ace. It’s also a rare feat that requires just 3 things: a lot of luck, perfect line and great distance control. Do that and you will have hit a great shot, probably close enough for a gimmie. But if it goes in… lucky shot.

While I was playing the PGA Tour back in the 1970s, the hole-in-one world record holder was the 1959 Masters Champion, ART WALL, JR., who was credited with making 45 holes-in-one!

Needless to say, I was a great admirer of this great player.

Art Wall won fourteen titles on the PGA Tour, including four in 1959! That year he was chosen as the PGA Player of the Year, and also won the money title and Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average. His most notable achievement was his victory in 1959 at the Masters. In the final round, he birdied five of his last six holes to shoot a 66 and overtake Cary Middlecoff and defending champion Arnold Palmer. At that time, for Art Wall, winning the Masters meant a first prize of $15,000, among other incalculable benefits; his 1959 total was then $33,000, the most a professional golfer had ever won at this point in the year. He was a member of three United States Ryder Cup teams: 1957, 1959 and 1961. – Sources: wikipedia and

Well, let me tell you a story about me and Art Wall who is the “King of Aces”, and you decide…

Art and I were paired together during the last round of the Philadelphia Golf Classic which was played at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania. I was a fan of the great Art Wall and he knew that I was honored to play with him. My being a student of the game my whole life, I thought I would do a test to see if there could be some kind of a knack to making a hole-in-one. After all… how can anyone make 45 holes-in-one? Art was a fine, honest man and all of his fellow Tour players never doubted that he did it. I just wanted to try to learn and study how he was able to do such a feat. So, I decided to carefully do this during our round together that day.

The 12th hole at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club was a 193-yard par-3 with good visibility, a good place for my test. Therefore, I started a friendly exchange with him starting on the first nine. As we would play, I would say things like, “Say Art, how many holes-in-one have you made?”… and later, “Wow, that is amazing!”… several holes later… “No one has come close to 45 holes-in-one!”, etc., etc.

Then thinking about the par-3, 12th hole coming close as we made the turn, I jokingly said, ‘No really Art, how many holes-in-one have you really made?’ Art knew that I was a young pro that liked him very much and he never got mad. I was getting Art ready for the 12th hole.  Finally, as we stepped on the 12th tee, Art had the honor. I timed it just perfectly so as not to bother his shot… just as he teed up his ball, I said, “Art… if you made 45, show me one here.” He stepped back behind the ball, took a breath, walked up to the ball, took his stance… nothing looked different up to this point… except perhaps a little more focused.

This is the amazing part… his well-struck 3-iron shot never left the pin, right on line, hit the green, bounced and rolled toward the flag (I couldn’t believe what I was seeing!), I thought it was going in until the screams from the crowd turned into a dull moan. His ball lipped out and stopped 3 inches from the hole! What had just happened? I’m not sure… This mild-mannered man tipped his cap to the adoring gallery as we walked on the green.

Think about it… Can a human being have a gift or talent to do amazing things? After seeing what I saw, I’m surprised he didn’t make more than 45 holes-in-one. With more luck Art would have made #46 that day!

So… what about Nicklaus and Palmer? Let’s compare…

According to PGA Tour record-keepers, Nicklaus has made 20 holes-in-one overall (including all his practice and friendly rounds). Arnold Palmer had 19 holes-in-one across all settings. Other totals (among all rounds played, including friendly and practice rounds) are 19 aces for Gary Player and 18 for Tiger Woods. And again… Art Wall made 45!

In my 41 years of playing competitive golf, I have made 8 lucky shots but at 83 years of age I don’t remember much about each one. There are four however, that stand out to me. The first one when I was 17, playing in a junior tourney in Clarksville, Tennessee with Walton Smith. The great Mason Rudolph was standing beside the 2nd green (8 iron, 143 yards).

Then, the ace during the Tennessee State Amateur Qualifying round in Memphis propelled me to win the Medalist honors that year (5-iron, 175 yards).

There was one I made on the fly at Cookeville Country Club 3rd hole (pitching wedge, 95 yards). No witnesses…

My last hole-in-one is always one to remember because my wife and daughter got to see me do it (RMA Alumni golf tournament, Gainesville, GA, 5 iron, 182 yards). But, the one I remember most was the near miss by Art Wall that I witnessed at Whitemarsh CC…



[A] 8 iron (143 yards) – Clarksville Country Club, Hole #2
playing with Walton Smith and witnessed by Mason Rudolph
*Bobby was 17 years old, July 28, 1955

[B] Wedge (100 yards) – Cookeville Country Club, Hole #3
September 10, 1957

[C] Wedge (95 yards) – Cookeville Country Club, Hole #3
(went in on the fly), September 17, 1958

[D] 5 iron (175 yards) – Sparta Country Club
September 19, 1959

[E] 5 iron (175 yards) – Memphis Country Club
during the Tennessee State Amateur, June 15, 1961

[F] 7 iron (150 yards) – Cookeville Country Club, Hole #3
August 15, 1963

[G] 5 iron (177 yards) – Bakersfield Country Club, Hole #16 while on the PGA Tour
Bakersfield, California, September 12, 1971

[H] 5 iron (182 yards) – Emerald Pointe Golf Club, Hole #15
during the Riverside Military Academy’s Alumni golf tournament
Gainesville, Georgia, October 2006
Witnesses: Elma and Viola Greenwood, Frank McKay
*Bobby was 68 years old




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Published in: on December 9, 2022 at 12:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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