Article: “Billy Graham and The Five Fundamentals of Golf/Life”

ARTICLE: “Billy Graham and The Five Fundamentals of Golf/Life”

By: Bobby Greenwood, PGA

Published by: Tee Times Paper, August 2021, pages 15 and 16.

MEMORIES: MEETING BILLY GRAHAM in 1969 and The FIVE FUNDAMENTALS of GOLF

From Bobby Greenwood, PGA:

It was 1969 and my first year on the PGA Tour. Playing in the Pro-Am, Billy Graham had made a hole-in-one! He had just finished his round and I met him as I was walking to the practice range. I said, “Hey Billy, did you take unfair advantage when you made that hole-in-one?” He laughed and seemed to enjoy my reference to God’s help.

Rev. Billy Graham is considered to be one of the most popular and famous men of the 20th century. He was playing in the Pro-Am at the 1969 Atlanta Golf Classic and during the tournament week, he was to speak to the PGA Tour players. Here he was… the great Billy Graham… here to speak to the 150 PGA Tour players. Usually he speaks to 50,000 or 100,000 people that pack football stadiums. As I walked into the large banquet room at the Atlanta Country Club, there were seated about a dozen golfers and their wives and Billy Graham. It was probably the smallest group he had spoken to.

Almost immediately, you could sense that this man truly loved God and had a deep appreciation for what God had done for him. Ben Hogan wrote what many believe to be the Bible of golf instruction. The name of the book was “The Five Fundamentals of Golf.” Billy Graham that night told us his five fundamentals of faith. I have often wished that everyone could have heard him that night.

Here is part of what Rev. Billy Graham said to us:

“The professional golfers have become super-stars and champions at the most enjoyable, the most frustrating, the most exasperating, the most humiliating game in the world.

Some people think that golf is mentioned in the Bible, because probably the best golf course in Israel is in Caesarea where Apostle Paul spent at least two years, and because it may have been in Caesarea that he wrote, ‘I have fought a good fight. I have finished the course!’ 😊

Fundamental #1 – THE PROPER STANCE

In a more serious vein, I would like to list a few of the problems that I have faced as an amateur golfer and apply them to our lives, and to the world in which we live. First, there is the question of a proper stance; it is as varied as golfers are.

And I am convinced that in many areas of life today, we are going to have to take a stance – a stand for what we believe in; otherwise the world we know may disappear in our generation.

I have been at some of the tournaments, and I have watched the pros give it all they’ve got. I have watched men go out after a hard, grueling tournament round and practice until night, if they thought they did not do well that day. There is a dedication to golf. It is that way with Christ.

Fundamental #2 – THE GRIP

Second, there is the problem of the proper grip. I know there are many different kinds of grips. I was cross-handed in golf for many years and switched over, but after today, the way I putted, I’m thinking about switching back! The question I’d like to ask you is, “Do you have a grip on your life?” I know that most of you have a controlled backswing, but is there a control down inside?

Fundamental #3 – INSIDE OUT

A third problem I face in golf is the problem of hitting the ball from the inside out. More than one pro has told me that somehow, I have to get that club on the inside of the line of flight.

We all have minds and bodies, and we develop them and try to keep them fit. But each of us also has a spirit, and many people totally neglect it. The result is that they search for something all their lives; they reach the pinnacle of their profession but they are still restless. Some people turn to alcohol.

When I came to Christ, I didn’t have any emotion at all. I didn’t shed a tear. I had no feeling except that I was scared; but I knew that something had happened down inside, and it changed the direction of my life and brought about a peace I wouldn’t trade for anything else in the world.

Fundamental #4 – EYE ON THE BALL

The fourth problem I face in golf is keeping my eye on the ball and keeping your head in the game. That is a rule of every sport, whether it’s baseball, football, hockey, tennis or golf. The New Testament speaks of “looking unto Jesus, the author and finished of our faith.”

The head of a London mental institution has said, “Half of my patients would be released if they could know they were forgiven.”

Fundamental #5 – FOLLOWING THROUGH

A fifth problem I have in golf is following through. That is true in following Christ as well. Golfers play by rules. The Christians also lives by rules. Some rules in golf seem unfair to us amateurs; but if we break them, we have to pay the penalty.

God has laid down some rules in the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. They may seem rough, but they were made for our benefit. God says if we live by them, you will find fulfillment and hope and relaxation and serenity even though the world crumbles around you.

Many great athletes are showing that it can be done, and they are out golfing, playing football and baseball, but living the Gospel.

My prayer is that sometime, somewhere, many golf professionals and their wives will receive Christ and find a new dimension to living.

You can tune in and plug in to God, and when you do, you will come to know the greatest Pro of all time, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

NOTE:

From the time Billy Graham’s ministry began in 1947, Graham conducted more than 400 crusades in 185 countries and territories on six continents. Graham’s popular appeal was the result of his extraordinary charisma, his forceful preaching, and his simple, homespun message: anyone who repents of sins and accepts Jesus Christ will be saved.

SOURCES:

*The Dispatch, “The Five Fundamentals of Golf” by Billy Graham, submitted by Bobby Greenwood, Sunday, January 17, 1993, page 10.

*Wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Graham

*Britannica.com/print/articles/240708

*BillyGraham.org

*Personal recollections of Bobby Greenwood, PGA, September 11, 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

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Published in: on December 8, 2022 at 11:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Article: “The Senior/Champions PGA Tour”

ARTICLE: “The Senior/Champions PGA Tour”

By: Bobby Greenwood, PGA

Published by: Tee Times Paper, July 2021, pages 16 and 20.

“Perhaps there are some players who have dreams of playing on the Senior PGA Tour. Like myself, after playing seven years on the regular PGA Tour, and after turning 50 years old of age I too tried to qualify for the Senior Tour three times. I made it to the last stage of qualifying by finishing 4th in the National Senior PGA Championship in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The final stage was held in Palm Springs, California where the weather changed and it snowed! Needless to say, I missed qualifying there. I did play some Senior events but only a couple on the Champions Tour.

The first Senior Tour event that I played was the Space Coast Senior Classic at Suntree Country Club in Florida. At half way point (27 holes), I was 9-under par and tied for the lead with Miller Barber! But my vision of grandeur vanished fast after I bogeyed 10 and double bogeyed 11. One good thing that came out of playing there was that I was later hired as their head golf pro at Suntree Country Club, a beautiful 36-hole Resort Course in Melbourne, Florida.

Once at the Senior PGA Championship, I was playing a practice round with Arnold Palmer and he asked me why I was not on the Senior Tour. I told him that I had tried three times to qualify and had failed. His advice to me was to come out for Monday qualifying and win a 54-hole tournament. That would be easier than going through 2 stages of qualifying tournaments at 72 holes each… That’s how Arnold Palmer thinks.

He and I were playing in a twosome and I took the opportunity to ask him. ‘Arnie, are you a Christian?’ He said, ‘Bobby, I have been asked ten thousand questions in my life but no one ever asked me that. Yes, I am a Christian but not a very good one.’ I said, ‘Well, none of us are.’

So, let’s see what it takes for you to play on the Champions Tour today. Because of having smaller fields (78 golfers), there are generally no “cuts” between any of the rounds. The first 60 places in the field are filled as follows:
·       The top 30 players of the previous year’s PGA Tour Champions money list.
·       Up to 30 players who are in the top 70 of the all-time combined PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions money list.

This leaves 18 places:
·       Among the 18 spots… up to 5 spots for sponsor’s exemptions.
·       Up to 4 spots for Monday qualifiers, this was my only hope, also subject to reduction or elimination. Usually, 75 to 100 players going for 4 spots!

I know it sounds very difficult to qualify… and it is; but it is worth it to try if you still have a game at age 50. By the way, in 2006, the Champions Tour Division Board voted to allow players the option to use golf carts during most events on the tour.

To give you an idea of how lucrative it can be, the top career money winner on the PGA Champions Tour is Bernard Langer who has won over 30 million dollars! Yes, there is big money in Big time tournament golf. Phil Mickelson after turning 50, became eligible for the PGA Tour Champions circuit during 2020 and won 2 of his 3 starts. Mickelson now has won combined career total of $92,876,195.00 as of the end of the 2020 season.

The Champions Golf Tour is highly competitive and rather exclusive to say the least. To qualify, you need to be at least 50 years of age. You also must apply online and pay a fee of $3,000.00. With the application, you will need two letters of reference from a Class A PGA Pro or Champions Tour Member; I could do that for you. You are also required to show copy of your birth certificate, and playing results from two tournaments held in the last year.

An Amateur who finishes among the top 30 at the Qualifying school tourney must then forfeit their status as an amateur to play in the final stage of the PGA Tour Champions Qualifier. When you are in the top 12 of the qualifying stage, the top 5 will be fully exempt, and the next 7 will be reserves.

When you are travelling and playing on the PGA Tour, you will need to be financially responsible for all your expenses.

After winning your Player’s Card, you will be required to show the PGA Tour organization proof of financial stability. Most players will have a financial backer when they start. When I went to Q school (qualifying tournament) in 1969, I too needed a financial backer.

My first backer was Rudolph Light, a medical doctor who was married to the ex-wife of American Billionaire, Jean Paul Getty! (Mr. Light would give one million dollars a year to Vanderbilt Hospital and the Light Eye Clinic is named in his honor.) Their winter home was at Lost Tree Village, Florida, Jack Nicklaus’ home course. Lost Tree Country Club is where I played in the Southern Amateur Championship and set the course record of 64 in one round.

Mr. Light died in 1970. My second backer was Buck Halperin of Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Halperin owned the Chicago Light Company. He was a Star Class Sailor and winner of Olympic Bronze Medal and Pan American Games Gold Medalist. He was also an NFL football quarterback, one of Chicago’s most-decorated World War II heroes. Navy Cross, etc. He too was a great man.

My third backer was Jimmy Greenwood, an excellent amateur golfer who played in the 1964 Texas Cup Matches in Dallas, Texas where I shot 67 and defeated Byron Nelson in the singles matches 1-up.

There’s no telling how many middle-aged amateur golfers have watched a Champions Tour event and wondered if they have what it takes to be the next big money winner. You will never know unless you try… good luck!”

NOTE:
*Bobby Greenwood played on the regular PGA Tour from 1969 to 1975; and on the Champions PGA Tour from 1988-1993.

SOURCES:
*Personal recollections of Bobby Greenwood, PGA, April 25, 2021.
*Internet searches: Wikipedia, Rookie Road, etc.
*2020 PGA Tour Champions Regulations and Player Handbook
*Photo collage credits: 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

Published in: on December 8, 2022 at 10:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Article: “LET’S GO FOR IT, DAD!” – Memories of the 1989 U.S. Senior Open Championship

ARTICLE: “LET’S GO FOR IT, DAD!”

Memories: 1989 U.S. Senior Open Championship

By: Bobby Greenwood, PGA

Published by: Tee Times Paper, June 2021, page 16.

“In 1989, I had qualified to play the USGA Senior Open Championship which was being held in Ligonier, Pennsylvania at the beautiful Laurel Valley Golf Club. This was just a few miles from Arnold Palmer’s hometown of Latrobe Pennsylvania. I always got into town early for any major event that I played in. I was able to play practice rounds with Arnie on his home golf course. This was a thrill for me as Arnie gave me tips on how to play the course. Arnold Palmer was a very easy person to talk to. He was so down to earth and enjoyable to play with. During one practice round, I asked, ‘Arnie, are you a Christian?’ He smiled and said, ‘Bobby, I have been asked ten thousand questions in my life but no one has ever asked me that… Yes, I am a Christian but not a very good one.’ I replied, ‘None of us are. According to the Bible, God said there is none good, no not one.’

When the tournament started, after every round on the 18th hole and after I had signed my card, I would see and greet Larry Adamson at the scorer’s tent. It is always good to see a friendly face in the crowd. I first met Larry when he caddied for me on the PGA Tour back in 1975. But here he was, now a big shot official with the United States Golf Association!

The following is an excerpt from Larry’s book…

[EXCERPT from the book: “Just Some Thoughts, Reflections from the Back Nine” by Larry Adamson:

“HERE COMES…

One of my favorite memories at the United States Senior Open Championship involves

Arnold Palmer and a reference to him and his father, Deke Palmer.

In 1989, I was working at the United States Senior Open Championship. It was the last day of the event, and I was out on the course running what I am sure was my usual “gofer” duties. My duties on that day found me near the eighteenth fairway as Palmer had just teed off the eighteenth tee and was making his way up the fairway. The eighteenth was a beautiful hole (a par five, 550 yards long with water guarding the front of the green). As you approach the green, the hole has an amphitheater type arrangement that makes it possible to accommodate large numbers of people. The crowd could sit and easily see the players coming up the fairway and watch their play on this hole. I walked ahead of Palmer and his group and stopped and stood on this amphitheater-like hill. As you can imagine, the crowd was huge.

As I stood there waiting for Palmer to get nearer to the green, I observed many elderly folks just sitting, talking and visiting with one another. Many were unaware of the drives the players had hit on this hole. As I got closer to the ropes and the folks sitting on the side of the hill, I could hear much of their conversation. Most were engaged in light-hearted conversation as they enjoyed the warmth of the day. When Palmer came into sight, I saw one of the older gentlemen who had been sitting in the group rise to his feet and he said, ‘Hey, here comes Deke’s boy.’ No, not here comes Arnold Palmer, or here comes Arnie, but here comes ‘Deke’s boy.’ It was evident that the folks sitting in the group on this hillside knew Deke Palmer well and understood the reference.

For me that was a special moment to hear one of the most famous athletes ever, referred to not by his name but by who his father was. He was ‘Deke’s boy’.”

– Source: “Just Some Thoughts, Reflections from the Back Nine”, by Larry Adamson, 2017, page 46.]

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Yes, a great father-son moment for Larry to witness. I too had fun on that hole as my son, Bo (Robert III), was caddying for me at this Senior USGA major tournament in 1989 at Laurel Valley. On the eighteenth hole, if you can hit a long tee shot and land in the fairway, you might be able to reach the green in two and putt for an eagle… if you are brave enough to carry the water.

The tournament started on Thursday. After a good tee shot on 18, the last hole of the first round, I was standing in the middle of the fairway with my caddy, Bo. When I pulled the head cover off my 3-wood, unexpectedly, the crowd started cheering because they wanted to see a pro try to go for the green. A long and dangerous shot over the water.

In the second round on 18, after I checked my lie in the fairway, I told my son Bo to give me the 3-wood. And again, the crowd cheered!

On Saturday, in the third round after I had hit another good drive on 18, Bo looked at my lie and said, ‘Go for it, Dad!’ I guess he wanted to hear the loud encouraging cheers from the gallery as they cheered for his daddy.

But in the final round, just as we stepped on the tee and before I had even hit my tee shot, Bo said, ‘Let’s go for it, Dad.’ It did my heart good to see the excitement in my son’s eyes as he watched me play. One of the many memories that a father has with his son.”

NOTES:

*Bobby Greenwood, Contestant

10th U.S. Senior Open Championship

Laurel Valley Golf Club

Ligonier, Pennsylvania

June 29 – July 2, 1989

*Caddie – son, Bo Greenwood.

*Bobby Greenwood and Arnold Palmer played practice round together that week.

*Greenwood played the regular PGA Tour from 1969-1975 and the

Senior/Champions PGA Tour from 1988-1991.

SOURCES/REFERENCES:

*Book: “Just Some Thoughts, Reflections from the Back Nine”, by Larry Adamson, 2017, p. 46.

*Personal recollections of Bobby Greenwood, PGA, November 28, 2020.

*Photo collage: GreenwoodPGA.net, Larry Adamson, 10th U.S. Senior Open brochure.

posted @ Greenwood’s Facebook Page: November 28, 2020

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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

Published in: on December 8, 2022 at 10:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Article: The Greenwood-Nicklaus Match

ARTICLE: “The day he took down the Golden Bear”

Published by: Tee Times Paper, May 2021, page 12.

THE GREENWOOD – NICKLAUS MATCH

From Bobby Greenwood, PGA:

“I just heard from the ‘Godfather of Tennessee Golf’ Dick Horton asking for information about the Jack Nicklaus match. Well, here goes… The Colonial Amateur Invitational event in Memphis, Tennessee was ranked as one of the best amateur tournaments in the U.S. back in the 1950s and 1960s. Back then, the Southern hospitality shown to contestants drew all the best Amateurs in the country to Memphis. Even the 2-time U.S. Amateur Champ Jack Nicklaus came to defend his title and I was chosen by the tournament committee to be his first victim. As a student of the game, I knew a lot about the current NCAA Champ. He was the longest hitter in the game, very strong at 5’ 10½” tall and 215 lbs. He wore Footjoy shoes, grey slacks, black alligator belt, white Munsingwear shirt, a baseball-type hat, and he played a Titleist 5 golf ball. Jack was the #1 ranked Amateur in the nation and I was scared.

[EXCERPT: “They followed Nicklaus’ amateur career as he captured the 1959 and 1961 National Amateur titles. Last year he scored a near clean sweep of amateur events. He lost to Bobby Greenwood, a North Texas State player, in the Colonial Invitational at Memphis, but won every other tourney he entered, the Western, National Intercollegiate, two Walker Cup matches, and the U.S. Amateur.” – by Fred Mendrell, The Hutchinson News Herald, “SportAngles”, c. 1962.]

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So, I did what most people do when they are afraid… I prayed! My prayer went like this: ‘Why does the great Jack Nicklaus get to come to my home State of Tennessee from Ohio and beat me 6 and 5 or 8 and 7! Dear God, I am one year older than him, I have hit more practice balls than him, I am not robbing any banks. Please Lord have mercy on me… help me to play my game with some courage so I won’t be so embarrassed when I lose.’ I also thought, ‘OK he may beat me 6 and 5 but he won’t do it with his favorite ball.’ The next morning, much to my chagrin, there he was on the first tee, he looked great, we spoke and then he asked me what ball was I playing. I said Titleist and then he said, ‘what number’ and I said #5. ‘Do you have any other numbers?’ I said, ‘Let me look… no, that’s all I have…’ Is that wrong?… I don’t think so. 😊 He looked very determined, he was scary, so I decided not to watch him too much. It seemed to be working because I was only two down through 8 holes. He was playing beautiful golf. Best that I have ever seen. I won #9 and made the turn only one down to the great Jack Nicklaus! It was a moral victory for me. I felt some better. Perhaps he would not beat me so bad after all. To make a long, long story somewhat shorter, I was one down playing the long par-five 16th hole. We both hit our 2nd shots in the sand bunker guarding the green but I got up and down for a birdie to win the hole. Even going to the 17th hole, I’m in the mental zone… Wow! I think I can win! But wait, Nicklaus knocks in his 30-foot putt to go back one up with one to play.

[EXCERPT from Fairfield Glade Vista: “Then in the first round of the Memphis Colonial Invitation, Nicklaus rammed home a 30-foot putt for a birdie on the 17th hole. The birdie putt put him 1-up and sighs of “That’s it, Nicklaus can’t lose now, Greenwood is beaten,” whispered through the gallery. But the one man most involved, Cookeville/Fairfield Glade’s own Bobby Greenwood, didn’t hear the whispers, or if he did, they only made him more determined. (Yes, I heard them as I walked through the crowd.)

Minutes after Nicklaus had made his birdie, Greenwood smashed a 245-yard three-wood shot five feet from the pin on the par 5 finishing hole. He made the side-hill, breaking putt for an eagle 3 and forced the match into sudden death. On the first extra hole, Greenwood hit his second shot, a 7 iron 4″ from the cup for another birdie, and Nicklaus was sidelined in his bid to repeat as Colonial champion. It was the last time Nicklaus lost as an amateur, and to top that, Bobby was to enter his junior year at North Texas State University.Nicklaus was so stunned by his defeat to Bobby that he wrote about it in his books, ‘My 55 Ways to Lower Your Golf Score’ and ‘My Story’.”-Source: Glade Vista, “The Nicklaus Connection”, by Rick McNeal, Fairfield Glade, TN, May 16, 2006.]

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[EXCERPT from Jack Nicklaus Book: “My only match-play loss of 1961 was due, mainly, to a stubborn disregard of percentages. In the first round of last year’s Colonial Amateur Invitational in Memphis, I was leading Bobby Greenwood of North Texas State 1-up with three holes to play…I was lucky to get a 5, but still lost the hole to Greenwood’s birdie. As a result, when I won the 17th, it merely put me 1 up again instead of closing out the match 2 and 1. When Greenwood eagled the 18th and birdied the first extra hole I was beaten. The golfing moral is clear: when your opponent is in trouble and you’ve got a lead with only a couple of holes to play, don’t get greedy. You may go hungry instead.”-Source: “My 55 Ways to Lower Your Golf Score” by Jack Nicklaus, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 1962]

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[EXCERPT from Glade Vista: “When I beat Nicklaus, I didn’t have any idea what I had done,” said Bobby. “He hadn’t been beaten in two years and he won the U.S. Open nine months later.”Bobby’s relationship with the “Golden Bear” didn’t end with this encounter, as he traveled to several PGA Tournaments to watch Nicklaus compete. “He (Nicklaus) would spot me in the gallery and have a double take almost every time, and I guess he was thinking, ‘there’s that guy that beat me again’,” Bobby recalled. He (Bobby) who was also a golf course architect had heard about Nicklaus’ plans to build a golf course in Crossville named “Bear Trace”. Bobby then

Bobby’s relationship with the “Golden Bear” didn’t end with this encounter, as he traveled to several PGA Tournaments to watch Nicklaus compete. “He (Nicklaus) would spot me in the gallery and have a double take almost every time, and I guess he was thinking, ‘there’s that guy that beat me again’,” Bobby recalled.He (Bobby) who was also a golf course architect had heard about Nicklaus’ plans to build a golf course in Crossville named “Bear Trace”. Bobby then

He (Bobby) who was also a golf course architect had heard about Nicklaus’ plans to build a golf course in Crossville named “Bear Trace”. Bobby then preceded to drive up from Cookeville in order to renew his relationship with Nicklaus and offer his services. The end result was Nicklaus hired Bobby to design golf courses overseas.” (Btw, that’s how I met my wife in the Philippines.)-Source: Glade Vista, “The Nicklaus Connection”, by Rick McNeal, Fairfield Glade, TN, May 16, 2006.]

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The last hole at the old Colonial Country Club was a 545-yard par five. Jack has the honor and hits first, another high beautiful fade. Then I hit one of my best drives 300 yards! I was thinking, I have just outdriven the long hitting Jack Nicklaus on the last hole, in front of this large gallery. We topped the hill and sure enough one ball was 320 yards… It was Jack’s. I hit my 3-wood 2nd shot on the green, five feet from the hole for a chance for an eagle. Jack hits a 1-iron over the green chips back ten feet and sure enough, he makes it. Now I need to make the eagle putt to tie. I read the putt and I decided that it will break five inches! So, I pray some more… ‘Dear Lord, I will always remember how I stroke this putt. I’m not asking for it to go in, please just give me courage to make a good stroke.’ I did and now we go to the sudden death playoff.

[EXCERPT from Memphis Press Scimitar: “Greenwood spent exactly three minutes surveying the situation then dropped in (the curling eagle putt to square the match. Then on to the sudden death playoff.)”-Source: Memphis Press-Scimitar, by Buck P. Patton, Saturday, August 19, 1961.]

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My 2nd shot with a 7-iron stopped four inches short of the hole. It was perhaps the best shot that I have ever hit under the conditions. From a bare lie, I hit a draw into a left to right wind four inches from the hole.

[EXCERPT from AP: MEMPHIS — “…a pressure-packed match that went to a sudden death playoff. Bobby Greenwood, 22, (playing out of Sparta Country Club) Tenn., a relative unknown, upset the big favorite from Columbus, Ohio, 1-up, in 19 holes with a tremendous surge of sub-par golf.”-Source: Associated Press, “Jack Nicklaus Upset in Colonial Amateur”, c. 1961.]

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Looking back, I might have to agree. Jack and I were even through 16 holes, Jack makes birdie on 17th and 18th holes and loses the match. I made birdie on 16th, three on 17th, eagle-3 on 18th and birdie-3 on 19th hole. 4-3-3-3 = 4-under par the last 4 holes. Jack was a gracious loser; he even wrote about our match in his book. Then, nine months later, he won the U.S. Open Championship. When I returned home after Richard Crawford beat me in the finals, people would ask me, ‘how good is Jack Nicklaus?’ My answer was, ‘he will win a major.’ I wish I had said he will win more majors than anyone in history. Then I would have been a prophet… 😊 I’m sure some were thinking, ‘If you beat him, he can’t be too good.’

[EXCERPT from Glade Vista: “‘Jack Nicklaus’, Bobby Jones began, ‘is the most promising young golfer in the country. He will win this tournament and many other major championships before he’s through’. Jones then presented Nicklaus his award as low amateur in the Masters which was won by Gary Player after Arnold Palmer’s bladed sand shot at the 72nd hole.In June that same year, the husky NicklausIn June that same year, the husky Nicklaus was a low amateur in the National Open, finishing three strokes back of the winner, professional Gene Littler, with a total of 284 shots.”-Source: Glade Vista, “The Nicklaus Connection”, by Rick McNeal, Fairfield Glade, TN, May 16, 2006.]

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[EXCERPT from Herald-Citizen: “With a list of golfing accomplishments that is longer than a John Daly drive, some of Greenwood’s more memorable golfing escapades can be found in:

‘My 55 Ways to Lower Your Golf Score’ by Jack Nicklaus;

‘My Story’ by Jack Nicklaus;

‘Southern Golf Association: The First Hundred Years’ by Gene Pearce;

‘The History of Tennessee Golf’ by Gene Pearce; and, most recently,

‘The History of Sunnehanna Country Club and the Sunnehanna Amateur’ by John Yerger III.

These books started happening. I have five books that have been written with me in there,” said Greenwood. “It makes you look back and say, ‘Why didn’t I have more confidence?’ When you don’t know all that you’ve done.”

-Source: Herald-Citizen, “Greenwood’s Legacy Chronicled”, by Buddy Pearson, Cookeville, TN, July 24, 2004.]

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[EXCERPT: “… in the 1960s there was no better amateur player in Tennessee and he was one of the best amateurs in America. During the 1960s, he earned All-America honors at North Texas University and was ranked among the national’s Top 10 amateurs by Golf Magazine twice.” ~ Gene Pearce, page 270. “Greenwood wins over 100 tournaments in Tennessee before he turns pro and plays seven years on the PGA Tour.” -Source: “The History of Tennessee Golf: 1894-2001″ by Gene Pearce, Hillsboro Press, Franklin, TN, 2002, pages 10, 21-22, 28, 77, 174, 199, 257-58, 270-73, 284-85, 308-9, 330, 347-48, 352, 375, 381, 399-401, 21, 271.]

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[EXCERPT from Herald-Citizen: “Greenwood has done plenty to establish a legacy among the nation’s golfing community.” – Buddy Pearson, Herald-Citizen, “Greenwood’s Legacy Chronicled”, Cookeville, TN, July 24, 2004.]

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[NOTES from Bobby Greenwood IN BOOKS: I. EXCERPT:

“When Greenwood eagled the 18th and birdied the first extra hole I was beaten.” ~ Jack Nicklaus- Source: “My 55 Ways to Lower Your Golf Score” by Jack Nicklaus, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY,1964, page 104. (The great Jack Nicklaus writes about his last defeat as an amateur. Match played in Memphis nine months before he won his first U.S. Open.) II. The famous match in the Colonial Amateur; Greenwood made eagle on 18 to get even and made birdie on the first hole of sudden

These books started happening. I have five books that have been written with me in there,” said Greenwood. “It makes you look back and say, ‘Why didn’t I have more confidence?’ When you don’t know all that you’ve done.”-Source: Herald-Citizen, “Greenwood’s Legacy Chronicled”, by Buddy Pearson, Cookeville, TN, July 24, 2004.]

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[EXCERPT: “… in the 1960s there was no better amateur player in Tennessee and he was one of the best amateurs in America. During the 1960s, he earned All-America honors at North Texas University and was ranked among the national’s Top 10 amateurs by Golf Magazine twice.” ~ Gene Pearce, page 270.”Greenwood wins over 100 tournaments in Tennessee before he turns pro and plays seven years on the PGA Tour.” -Source: “The History of Tennessee Golf: 1894-2001″ by Gene Pearce, Hillsboro Press, Franklin, TN, 2002, pages 10, 21-22, 28, 77, 174, 199, 257-58, 270-73, 284-85, 308-9, 330, 347-48, 352, 375, 381, 399-401, 21, 271.]

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[EXCERPT from Herald-Citizen: “Greenwood has done plenty to establish a legacy among the nation’s golfing community.” – Buddy Pearson, Herald-Citizen, “Greenwood’s Legacy Chronicled”, Cookeville, TN, July 24, 2004.]

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Let me finish by quoting a paragraph from my daughter’s school thesis about my friend Jack Nicklaus.

[EXCERPT: “More importantly, Jack Nicklaus is a fine man with high morals. I know this because my father competed against him head-to-head in a famous match in Memphis. Dad said he was a great man and a fine gentleman. With all those great qualities, Jack is also a wonderful husband to wife, Barbara, a great dad to his children and all his family loves him dearly. Without a doubt, Jack Nicklaus is the total package… a true golfing icon (Nicklaus, 1968).”-Source: Viola Greenwood’s School Thesis titled: “Jack Nicklaus: A Golf Icon and American Author”, Cookeville, TN, 2016. Book Reference: Nicklaus, Jack. “Take a Tip from Me”. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1968. Print.]

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OK… there you go Dick; I hope you enjoyed reading the rest of the story.”

NOTE: In the finals, Bobby Greenwood finished Runner-up to Richard Crawford who was First Team NCAA All-American from University of Houston in 1961. Greenwood returned to North Texas State University (now University of North Texas) in Denton, Texas for his junior year after being named NCAA-All American Honorable Mention in 1961. He was named to the Second Team in 1962 and First Team NCAA All-American in 1963. Greenwood was ranked 4 times in the Top 10 Amateurs in the U.S. in the 1960s.

————————————————-

BOBBY GREENWOOD, PGA

Former PGA Tour Player

Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame

Website: www.GreenwoodPGA.net

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/greenwoodpga/

Published in: on December 7, 2022 at 10:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Article: “Memories of a first trip to the Masters”

ARTICLE: “Memories of a first trip to the Masters”

By: Bobby Greenwood, PGA

Published by: Tee Times Paper, April 2021, page 16.

It’s every youngsters’ dream, when they start playing golf, to play on the PGA Tour. And, of course, that means to play in the Masters, the greatest golf tourney in the world.

For the girls, like my daughter, Viola, it was to play the LPGA Tour and jump into the pond after winning the ANA tournament at Palm Springs.

Yes, that was my dream also. I was going to win the Masters; however, one must be invited to play and after seven years on the Tour, much to my chagrin, I never played well enough to earn an invitation.

I was a youngster when my dear childhood friend asked me to go to the Masters with him. Walter Carlen’s father was the Chevrolet dealer in Cookeville and Benton had offered his son, Walter, a new Chevy to drive to Augusta, Georgia to see the Masters. I was so excited!

My friend, Walter Whitson Carlen is a great man and he was blessed with a wonderful humorous spirit. It was to become a trip of a lifetime for me.

So, here we were, two country boys from Tennessee arriving at Magnolia Lane to enter the hallowed grounds of the Augusta National Golf Course. The only problem was, we didn’t have a ticket… So, we drove down a street into a residential area that bordered the course, parked the car and jumped over the fence.

Pinkerton men were everywhere! I had never seen so many security people checking tickets. We were ducking around and hiding from them and it was no fun. Just then as we walked past the beautiful clubhouse, a man walked out with all kinds of Press passes. My friend Walt looked at me and said, “the Putnam County Herald needs to cover the Masters. You stay here.” He went in the clubhouse, met Clifford Roberts and came out with all kinds of Press credentials.

We found the Press tent… free food all week for the Press and we parked in the private Press parking lot every day.

What a glorious week for two young golfers from Cookeville. In the final round, Art Wall put on one of the most dazzling displays of golf ever seen at Augusta National Golf Club to win the Masters by one stroke over Cary Middlecoff and Arnold Palmer by two. His final round included five birdies in the last six holes, including the 11-foot putt to win on the final hole. It was so exciting! Walt and I ran along in the gallery and watched in amazement.

After making pars at Nos. 11 and 12, his birdie streak began. He two-putted Nos. 13 and 15 for birdies, and ran in a 20-foot putt at the 14th. After a par at the 16th, he then made another birdie at the 17th from 15 feet.

Coming to the final hole, Art Wall knew he was one ahead of Palmer and tied with Middlecoff. Art’s 8-iron approach at No. 18 left him an 11-foot putt for birdie which he made for the win and $15,000. By the way, the Masters Champ in 2020 got more than two million dollars!

After the tournament, as we walked past the 9th green on our way to our car, Walt said, “We need to have a souvenir from the Masters.” He got under the ropes and took the flag pole from the 9th green! I was walking behind him as he walked briskly toward the Press parking lot. I thought, wow, perhaps he is going to make it! But just then Walt started to run… not a good idea.

By the time I got to the car, Walt was nowhere to be found. Then I heard his voice coming from underneath the car!!! I couldn’t believe it… “Is the coast clear?” Walt came up from under the car and started jamming the flagpole into the new Chevrolet. Perhaps Benton wouldn’t notice the rips in the headliner when we got home.

Like I said, it was a wonderful experience for the two young fellows from Tennessee. For anyone that has ever been to the Masters tournament I’m sure that they too have personal memories that will last a lifetime.

Thank you, Walter Whitson Carlen, for taking me to the Masters in 1959.

Note: Bobby’s daughter, Viola, the 2016 AAU National Champ, has not been able to play golf for the last five years because of injuries.

Bobby Greenwood is a former PGA Tour Player and a member of the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame. www.GreenwoodPGA.net

Source: https://issuu.com/teetimes/docs/tee_times_april_2021__2_/16

——————————–

BOBBY GREENWOOD, PGA

Former PGA Tour Player

Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame

Website: www.GreenwoodPGA.net

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/greenwoodpga/

Published in: on December 7, 2022 at 8:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Article: “HUMBLE HERO: Bobby Greenwood, PGA’s golf exploits are legendary”

ARTICLE from Tee Times Paper:

“HUMBLE HERO: Bobby Greenwood, PGA’s golf exploits are legendary”

by: Justin Onslow
Tee Times Associate Editor

Source: Tee Times Paper
August 2018 Issue (cover page, 2-4)

https://issuu.com/teetimes

Published in: on December 7, 2022 at 7:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Article: Bobby Greenwood’s sentimental journey to the Players

Bobby Greenwood’s sentimental journey to the Players

Tee Times report

Bobby Greenwood played on the PGA Tour for seven years and also has a career highlight victory over Jack Nicklaus in sudden death at the Colonial Invitational in late 1961.

But each spring, it’s a trip to Florida that stokes some of the 73-year-old Greenwood’s fondest memories. Greenwood and his family return to Ponte Vedra Beach to attend the Players Championship. The reason it is near and dear to Greenwood’s heart? He was the director of golf at Sawgrass Country Club and served as host professional for the event in 1977-78.

The tournament, which began in 1974, eventually moved to its current TPC Sawgrass site but Greenwood always enjoys returning to watch the tournament.

“My wife Elma got me started revisiting the different places that I played while on Tour back in the ‘70s. And, we especially enjoy going back to Sawgrass Country Club and rekindle ol’ memories. It’s almost like a healing process,” Greenwood said. “We enjoy our travels even more now that we have a purpose.”

This year’s visit to Florida will add to Greenwood’s list of memory highlights. Viola, his 13-year-old daughter, was selected as a runner/volunteer for the practice range at the Players.

“Viola has shown an interest in golf and this should be an excellent learning experience to be on the range next to the best players in the world and listening to them talk while they practice,” he said.

Greenwood, a native of Cookeville, now designs golf courses but he reflects back on an excellent career in golf. He was a three-time All-America selection at North Texas and tied for third with Johnny Miller in the 1969 PGA Tour qualifying school.

His lone tour victory came at the Rhode Island Open, a satellite PGA Tour event, and he’s a three-time Tennessee Senior Open champion. He’s credited with more than 150 wins in his amateur and professional career. When the world’s best players tee it up at Sawgrass, Greenwood will get his perspective from outside the ropes. But he’ll certainly fondly be reliving his time inside the ropes and when he was the director of golf at Sawgrass Country Club in the fledgling days of the Players Championship.

Source: http://www.teetimespaper.com/component/content/article/123

Published in: on June 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Passing on the lessons — Greenwood teaching golf to his daughter

Passing on the lessons — Greenwood teaching golf to his daughter
by Buddy Pearson Herald Citizen 06.18.11 – 09:00 pm (online edition)

COOKEVILLE — Bobby Greenwood has been giving golf lessons almost all his life. His knowledge and experience of the game crafted from an outstanding amateur and professional career has helped people play better golf. At the age of 72, Greenwood still gives golf lessons although he concentrates mainly on teaching one very important pupil — his 12-year-old daughter Viola.

“I have a great teacher. Dad is a great teacher and, plus, we have a lot of fun,” said Viola. “It’s good to enjoy something you do.”

Viola couldn’t have a more qualified teacher. Greenwood was a 3-time NCAA All-American at the University of North Texas during an incredible amateur career which saw him best players such as Jack Nicklaus and Byron Nelson in match play events. After turning pro, Greenwood spent seven years on the PGA Tour, winning the 1970 Rhode Island Open and taking on the likes of Johnny Miller, Lee Trevino and Arnold Palmer. He captured more than 150 amateur and pro tournaments and has been elected to the Riverside Military Academy, North Texas Athletic and Tennessee Golf Hall of Fames.

“Actually, I kind of in a way, hoped she wouldn’t play golf because I know how tough the game is,” confessed Greenwood. “It’s a lonely game. It’s the most difficult of all games to play correctly. I was wanting her to get into the team sports.”

Viola has tried her hand at team sports, excelling in local youth soccer and softball leagues. But being around a legendary golfer on a daily basis gave her the notion to want to play.

“Viola is a good athlete,” said Greenwood. “She played soccer and softball. She could play basketball if she wanted. She has responded well and she still has a long way to go.”

Viola has just started getting serious about hitting the links this year. She has been practicing hard and learning the game from one of the best ball-strikers to ever tee it up in the state of Tennessee.

“The secret is we don’t have any preconceived goals,” Greenwood explained. “We are just out there having fun and seeing what happens. If she is good enough to become a pretty good player then it will happen. If she’s not, then we won’t force it. We are just having fun and introducing her to the game.”

Having a golf professional for a dad has done more than just show Viola how to hit a golf ball. Greenwood and his wife Elma have been able to take Viola to different courses and tournaments around the country that have special meaning. Greenwood has taken his family to the Masters and to the Player’s Championship at TPC Sawgrass where he was the head pro. They have gone to Berumuda to the Grand Slam of Golf. All of these experiences has introduced Viola to Greenwood’s past as well as opened the door to meeting some of the top players on the PGA Tour today.

“It’s a great experience and I’m pretty lucky to get to go to great famous golf courses and it is helping me learn,” Viola said. “Watching people helps.”

Watching Greenwood give golf lessons to other people has also helped Viola improve her game. She has become a student of the game, getting a daily dose of golf from her loving dad.

“It is a hard game. He says it takes five years to learn the game so I think I’m on the right track,” Viola said. “I’m learning slowly but surely.”

While Greenwood shares his advice and expertise on golf, he also shares stories of his glorious past with his daughter. That’s something she cherishes as much as how to swing a club.

“I love hearing his stories,” said Viola. “I’m pretty proud of him.”

Greenwood is equally proud of his well-mannered and talented daughter. The two of them recently teamed up in their first-ever tournament, competing in the Kiwanis Cookeville Children’s Museum Adult Youth Golf Scramble at White Plains. The Greenwoods finished second in their flight but came out winners as far as having fun and enjoying the experience goes.

“The first tournament being able to play with my dad was really fun,” said Viola. “It was a really great experience.”

“It was a great tournament and we had a great time,” added Greenwood. “It was something I will never forget.”

Greenwood looks to continue teaching his daughter about golf and sharing his knowledge and experience with her, hoping that’s something she will never forget.

Copyright 2011 Herald Citizen. All rights reserved.  © herald-citizen.com 2011

Published in: on June 19, 2011 at 7:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Bobby Greenwood @ a local History Museum

Bobby Greenwood has been one of the featured athletes at the Cookeville History Museum’s “Sports Theme” exhibit from November 27, 2010 to January 8, 2011.

Excerpt from Herald-Citizen, online edition, 11/21/2010

” The exhibit will also focus on those local athletes who have played their sport on the professional level, from Tennessee Tech football player Jim Youngblood, a nine-time NFL Pro Bowl participant; PGA Tour players Bobby Greenwood and the late Bobby Nichols; and even J.J. Redick, a former Duke guard who now plays for the Orlando Magic. He was born in Cookeville, Tennessee.

”It’s kind of a broad look at sports in Putnam County,” Duke said of the exhibit. “But we especially want to recognize those individuals who have excelled in the sport they loved.”

Read more:  Herald Citizen – Sports the theme of new exhibit at history museum

Published in: on January 4, 2011 at 7:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Greenwood received TPGA Distinguished Career Award Feb. 28

 Published by Fairfield Glade VISTA, March 14th, 2010

The Tennessee Section PGA unveiled the new Distinguished Career Award (DCA) Display at Golf House Tennessee February 28.  The Distinguished Career Award recognizes current or former Tennessee PGA Section members who have had outstanding careers as PGA Professionals based on service to his or her club, course or employer, service and leadership to the Association, community service, professional playing record and teaching ability.  The Distinguished Career Award acknowledges Tennessee PGA Professionals as vital and significant contributors to the game of golf.    The renovated hallway now recognizes twenty eight PGA Professionals including names such as Cary Middlecoff, Lou Graham, Mason Rudolph, Joe Campbell, Gibby Gilbert and Loren Roberts.

Joining that elite list of former PGA Tour players is Cookeville’s own, Bobby Greenwood. 

 
Photo Caption: Tennessee PGA President Hunt Gilliland (left) presents the Distinguished Career Award to former PGA Tour Player Bobby Greenwood.

 Greenwood was introduced to golf at Cookeville Country Club at the age of twelve.  After earning a three-time NCAA All-American career at North Texas State University, Greenwood was noted as one of the best amateurs in the country during the 1960’s. He was twice ranked in the Top 10 Amateur golfers in Americ

a by Golf Magazine.  Greenwood won the 1966 Tennessee State Amateur and the 1968 Tennessee State Open, and played the PGA Tour from 1969 to 1975 carding six top 10s and fifteen top 25s, while also winning the 1970 Rhode Island Open while on the Tour.  He played in two US Opens, two USGA Amateurs, eight Tennessee Cup Match Teams, three Senior Tenn

essee PGA titles and currently is the President of his own golf course architectural firm in Cookeville. Bobby designed and supervised construction of our Dorchester Golf Course in 1977. Greenwood is also a member of the University of North Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame and Riverside Military Centennial All-Sports Hall of Fame.

Greenwood was one of fifteen past and current recipients who were on hand for this special unveiling in Franklin, Tennessee in front of their fellow Tennessee PGA Professionals and special guests.

See a future edition of the VISTA for an upcoming special event featuring an appearance by Bobby Greenwood.

Source: FairfieldGladeVista.com

Published in: on March 30, 2010 at 7:34 am  Leave a Comment  

Bobby Greenwood receives Distinguished Career Award from Tennessee Section of the PGA

Published by Crossville-Chronicle, March 9, 2010

 Bobby Greenwood, longtime golf professional and Cookeville native, received the Tennessee PGA Distinguished Career Award last week at the Golf House of Tennessee near Franklin, where the award was unveiled.

The Distinguised Career Award is the highest honor the Tennessee PGA can bestow upon a golf professional. It recognizes current or former Tennessee PGA Section members who have had outstanding careers as PGA Professionals based on service to their club, course or employer, service and leadership to the association, community service, professional playing record and teaching ability. The Distinguished Career Award acknowledges these Tennessee PGA Professionals as vital and significant contributors to the game of golf.

Greenwood and fellow  members of the Tennessee  Golf Hall of Fame – Pat Abbott, Cotton Berrier, Joe Campbell, Harold Elller, Gibby Gilbert, Lou Graham, Don Malarkey, Cary Middlecoff, Teddy Rhodes, Loren Roberts and Mason Rudolph, who were also received the Distinguished Service Award, according to Buddy Pearson of the Herald-Citizen.

Greenwood joins an elite group of only 26 other PGA Professionals who have received this honor.

Photo caption: Tennessee PGA president Hunt Gilliland, left, presents the Tennessee PGA’s Distinugished Career Award to former PGA Tour player Bobby Greenwood.

The Cookeville native was introduced to golf at the Cookeville Country Club at the age of 12, according to the Tennessee Section of the PGA.

After earning a three-time NCAA All-American career at North Texas State University, Greenwood was noted as one of the best amateurs in the country during the 1960s.

He was twice ranked in the Top 10 Amateur golfers in America by Golf Magazine. 

Greenwood won the 1966 Tennessee State Amateur and the 1968 Tennessee State Open, and played the PGA Tour from 1969 to 1975 carding six top 10s and fifteen top 25s, while also winning the 1970 Rhode Island Open while on the Tour. 

He played in two US Opens, eight Tennessee Cup Match Teams and currently is the President of his own golf course architectural firm in Cookeville. 

Greenwood is also a member of the University of North Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame and Riverside Military Centennial All-Sports Hall of Fame.

Greenwood was one of fifteen past and current recipients who were on hand for this special unveiling in Franklin, Tennessee in front of their fellow Tennessee PGA Professionals and special guests.

 Photo caption:  There was a special greeting of two old PGA Tour players, Mason Rudolph, left, and Bobby Greenwood at Golf House of Tennessee last week, when Greenwood received his Distinguished Career Award.

 

Published in: on March 29, 2010 at 9:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Greenwood earns Distinguished Career Award

Herald-Citizen

March 2, 2010    Cookeville, Tennessee

NEWS

Greenwood earns Distinguished Career Award

Buddy Pearson

Herald-Citizen Managing Editor
Tuesday, Mar 02, 2010
PHOTO CAPTION: Cookeville golfing legend Bobby Greenwood looks at the replica of the late Bobby Nichols Distinguished Service Award at Golf House of Tennessee. Greenwood was honored with the Tennessee PGA Distinguished Career Award Sunday, one year after his good friend Nichols was honored with the award.
 
FRANKLIN — Bobby Greenwood won enough trophies and plaques during his competitive golfing days to fill a house. A member of three different halls of fame, Greenwood can add another honor to his long list of accolades. The Cookeville native and former PGA Tour player has received the Tennessee PGA Distinguished Career Award. Greenwood was recognized on Sunday night at Golf House of Tennessee where the new permanent Distinguished Career Award display was unveiled.

“It’s just another award that I don’t feel like I deserve,” said the humble Greenwood. “To be a part of this display and all the history here, it’s beyond your wildest dreams.”

The Distinguised Career Award is the highest honor the Tennessee PGA can bestow upon a golf professional. It recognizes current or former Tennessee PGA Section members who have had outstanding careers as PGA Professionals based on service to their club, course or employer, service and leadership to the association, community service, professional playing record and teaching ability. The Distinguished Career Award acknowledges these Tennessee PGA Professionals as vital and significant contributors to the game of golf.

A member of the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame, Greenwood was recognized along with fellow Hall of Famers Pat Abbott, Cotton Berrier, Joe Campbell, Harold Elller, Gibby Gilbert, Lou Graham, Don Malarkey, Cary Middlecoff, Teddy Rhodes, Loren Roberts and Mason Rudolph, who were also receiving the Distinguished Career Award.

“It was great to see Mason Rudolph and see him looking so healthy,” Greenwood said. “It’s amazing to see some of these guys and to be recognized along with them.”

Greenwood joins an elite group of only 26 other PGA Professionals who have received this honor. Among those is the late Bobby Nichols, who passed away almost two years ago. As a long-time PGA Professional and owner of Ironwood, Nichols mentored many of the state’s PGA Professionals while he served more than 30 years as the head coach of the TTU golf programs.

As a player, Nichols won more than 100 tournaments, including the 1992 Tennessee State Open as well as the 1994, 1996 and 1997 Tennessee Senior Opens. He qualified and played in 21 PGA Club Professional Championships and two U.S. Senior Open Championships. Nichols also qualified for every Tennessee PGA Cup Match Team from its inception in 1968 to 2007, serving as team captain four times. Two of Nichols’ longtime friends, Elaine Garrison and Kim Meredith, were on hand to accept his replica, which will be on permanent display.

“It’s bittersweet,” Garrison said. “I should be happy and excited but I’m sad. I guess it will always be that way.” Nichols and Greenwood were the best of friends for nearly 50 years. After being introduced to golf at the Cookeville Country Club at the age of 12, Greenwood’s amateur career took off like a rocket. During the 1960s, he dominated amateur play in the state of Tennessee, winning the 1966 State Amateur and the 1968 State Open, becoming just the third of eight golfers to accomplish the feat. He was one of just seven golfers to ever win the prestigious Sunnehanna Amateur twice and was ranked by Golf Magazine among the nation’s Top 10 amateurs on two occasions.

Greenwood began a glorious collegiate career at Tennessee Tech, finishing as the Ohio Valley Conference runner-up as a freshman. After transferring to North Texas State, he was a three-time All-American while finishing second in three consecutive Missouri Valley Conference Championships.

After turning pro in 1969, he made the cut in 72 PGA events, finishing in the Top 10 six times and in the Top 25 in 15 different tournaments. “People are the most important thing,” said Greenwood, who is also a member of the North Texas University and Riverside Military Academy Hall of Fames. “I’ve got trophies and plaques where the name has fallen off and I can’t remember where I won them. People are the most important thing in the world.

“It’s such an honor to have people who care about you come down and be a part of this,” Greenwood continued. “To see friends of Bobby Nichols come down — they love me, too.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Cookeville’s Bobby Greenwood, right, poses with fellow Tennessee Golf Hall of Famer and Distinguished Career Award recipient Mason Rudolph Sunday night at Tennessee Golf House.
Published in: on March 2, 2010 at 10:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bobby Greenwood’s Christian Faith

Backsliders celebrate 60th

By JIM ROGERS

COOKEVILLE — In 1949 or 1950, when Bobby Greenwood was a young boy, his father, Bob Greenwood, started taking him to Backsliders Class at First United Methodist Church in Cookeville. Impressionable Bobby was especially taken by the President of the class — smart, polished and a deeply committed Christian. Although Bobby thought he could never be good enough to hold that position, in 2006-2007 the class elected him president.

Organized on Oct. 1, 1949, the Backsliders met for the first year at Vaughn’s Grill on the Square near the church building. “Young Men’s Fellowship” was the original name for a variety of reasons, chiefly because ladies were not invited for several years. Men continue to outnumber ladies in the class, but not in significant numbers.

In its early days, the group did not sing because they claimed they could not. Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Wall, he a noted local Gospel singer and she a gifted accompanist, began leading them and all heaven broke loose. Greenwood testifies that their music was instrumental in his accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord of his life. Although the Walls went to their reward years ago, echoes of old Gospel hymns reverberate through the building in which Jeff Wall Hall is located. Members who wish to contribute funds may, and those moneys have gone to support numerous struggling churches and para-church organizations. In addition to supporting church ministries such as the Ministers’ Emergency Fund and the Food Pantry, they reach out to the community with financial aid to Mustard Seed Ranch, Cookeville Rescue Mission, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Heart of the Cumberlands and many others.

When former class president Jim Ross became a Backslider in 1969, he was struck by the diversity of class members ranging from top-level executives, local business owners and millionaires to regular working people who had not been accustomed to participating in religious activity. Retired Army Col. Hubert Crawford served as the city’s police chief and would on occasion bring inmates to class on Sunday mornings. As its name suggests, pomposity is far from being a trademark of the Backsliders. When the Pharisees attacked Jesus for hanging out with tax collectors and sinners, he answers them, It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.” (Matthew 9:12) Their goal has been to search out and help those who were not connected with any church and proclaim the Gospel to them.

When Fred Moore, a history professor at Tennessee Tech, was one of the regular class teachers, he provided them with this unofficial motto: “They ain’t no hypocrites here cause we don’t claim to be nothin’.” The official motto became and is this: “Any person regardless of state can become the person he should be through the power of Jesus Christ.” For several years, teaching duties were assigned to specific teachers for the various Sundays of the month. In more recent years, a committee of six people, each of whom arranges two months of programs, has been in effect. This has resulted in an interesting array of speakers and subjects.

On Sunday, Oct. 11 in the Christian Life Center of First Methodist Church, beginning at 12:30 p.m., there will be a 60th birthday celebration for the Backsliders Class. The program will include music by the Webb Sisters. All former Backsliders are urged to attend this joyful celebration. To determine how many porkers need to make the supreme sacrifice, notice of your plans to attend would be appreciated by the planners. 

I may have to be a few minutes late but I plan to be there. I hope to see many former and present Backsliders.

Source: Herald-Citizen, published Sunday, October 4, 2009, Cookeville, Tennessee.

Published in: on October 4, 2009 at 6:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Latest Media Release : “On tour with the Tour” ~ by Buddy Pearson

On tour with the Tour
Buddy Pearson
Herald-Citizen Managing Editor
Saturday, Jun 20, 2009

COOKEVILLE — For seven years, Bobby Greenwood was a regular on the PGA Tour. A player who made several cuts and consistent money, Greenwood competed in a lot of PGA Tour events at several different courses.

More than 30 years since teeing it up in his last PGA Tour event, Greenwood is taking a walk down memory lane with his wife Elma and 10-year-old daughter Viola with a tour of the Tour.

There are 20 PGA Tour tournaments or courses where PGA tournaments are being played this year that Greenwood has played in or played on.

There are also four on the Champions Tour schedule.

“It’s bittersweet because I feel like without the injuries I would have won more,” said Greenwood, whose career was cut short by a wrist injury. “It hurts you a little bit when everyone knows what you could have done but I didn’t get to. At the same time I’m very proud of what I’ve done. I should have done a lot better.”

A winner of over 150 amateur and professional tournaments, including the PGA Tour’s Rhode Island Open, Greenwood has been giving his wife and daughter a first-hand look of what life was like on the Tour in the 1970’s.

“This is what my life used to be,” said Greenwood. “This is what I worked 25 years for.”

Greenwood and his family went to the Ryder Cup matches last year at Valhalla and the Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda.

“Considering my background, where I came from, a third world country, you can only imagine how exciting it is for me to meet and talk with superstars in the world of golf,” said Elma, who is from the Philippines. “I enjoy watching Bobby meet old friends that he played with while on the PGA Tour, and to visit places and famous golf courses where Bobby Greenwood competed while on the PGA Tour is a rare experience.”

One of the best experiences for Elma and Viola came last month when Greenwood returned to TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Fla., where Greenwood used to be the head professional.

“We took pictures where I used to give lessons on the range and we went down to where my condo was,” said Greenwood. “It brought back a lot of memories.”

Greenwood was recognized at a breakfast in conjunction with The Players Championship, which is held annually at TPC Sawgrass.

“When I was introduced, it thrilled Elma and Viola,” Greenwood said. Seeing Greenwood get the recognition from the former and current PGA Tour players makes his wife and daughter gush with pride.

“It is interesting that Bobby doesn’t realize the importance and great things that he accomplished during his playing career,” Elma said. “My husband is a very humble and kind man. Viola just enjoys everything and thinks her dad is a superstar.”

The next stop on Greenwood’s tour of the Tour will be in October at Harding Park Golf Course in San Francisco. The President’s Cup will be held there but Greenwood played the course when it was the San Francisco Open.

“It sometimes seems bittersweet to Bobby to revisit a tournament where he competed,” Elma explained. “As we visit various tournament sites, Bobby would share with me his experience and anecdotes that happened with fellow PGA Tour players. I really enjoy hearing the firsthand accounts of things that happened and being there at the spot.”

While Elma enjoys hearing the stories, Viola enjoys getting the autographs of current PGA Tour players. She got Jim Furyk to sign a flag at the Grand Slam of Golf and Phil Mickelson signed a ball at The Players Championship.

“Viola has turned into an autograph hound,” said Elma. “She said, ‘When I get Tiger Woods’ autograph, I will retire.'”

Until then, the Greenwoods plan on continuing their tour of the Tour.

Photos: 

Bobby Greenwood at 2009 The Players Championship

Photo caption: Bobby Greenwood stands near one of the scoreboards at The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

2008 Grand Slam of Golf

 

Photo caption: PGA Tour golfer Jim Furyk signs a flag for Viola Greenwood at the Grand Slam of Golf.

Source: Herald-Citizen

Published in: on June 26, 2009 at 8:07 pm  Comments Off on Latest Media Release : “On tour with the Tour” ~ by Buddy Pearson  

“Memories” – Frontpage News Article by Buddy Pearson

Greenwood appreciating past success these days

Herald-Citizen Managing Editor
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Photo Caption: Bobby Greenwood first learned to play golf at the age of 12 at the Cookeville Country Club. His accomplishments in Amateur and professional tournaments throughout his illustrious career are being recognized more and more these days.
~*~
COOKEVILLE — When you have accomplished as much in golf as Bobby Greenwood has, it’s kind of hard to keep up with it all. But the hall of famer has found a new appreciation for his success on the links. Like a treasure that’s been discovered and put in a museum for everyone to see, Greenwood’s golfing achievements have been found again and put on the Internet for the world to view. With the help of his wife Elma, Greenwood’s storied golf career is chronicled on the Internet at http://www.greenwoodpga.net.

“Honestly, the Internet and my website and the wonderful articles by the sports editor of the paper validated what I did,” said Greenwood. “Even I had forgotten.”

Some of Greenwood’s more memorable golfing escapades are already noted in five different books: My 55 Ways to Lower Your Golf Score by Jack Nicklaus; My Story by Jack Nicklaus; Southern Golf Association: The First Hundred Years by Gene Pearce; The History of Tennessee Golf by Gene Pearce; and, most recently, The History of Sunnehanna Country Club and the Sunnehanna Amateur by John Yerger III. But once he and Elma began researching his past successes for the website, even Greenwood was impressed.

“When my wife put this stuff together and we put the stuff together for the paper, I should of had more confidence (as a player),” Greenwood admitted. “I was a better player than I realized. I think it’s important for a golfer or an athlete to make a note of his accomplishments and awards and read those while they are playing. We forget.”

Greenwood’s career is hardly forgettable. Once he began teeing it up at the Cookeville Country Club at age 12, his work ethic and desire to be the best helped propel him to star status as an amateur and in college.

During the 1960s, he dominated amateur play in the state of Tennessee, winning the 1966 State Amateur and the 1968 State Open, becoming just the third of eight golfers to win both tournaments. He was ranked by Golf Magazine among the nation’s Top 10 amateurs on two occasions. He is just one of seven golfers to ever win the prestigious Sunnehanna Amateur twice, setting the course record with a 63. Most recently, Greenwood was honored in June by the tournament officials at Sunnehanna in Johnstown, Pa., for his past success as a two time champion.

“It was a moving experience. It was really gratifying the way they treated me,” said Greenwood. “They gave me a sport coat and some framed pictures and they were glad to see me. That’s always nice.”

The day after Greenwood flew home to Cookeville, his record fell to one of the participants in the Sunnehanna tournament after 43 years.

“They thought the course record was going to last forever because it had for 43 years,” Greenwood said. “I’ve had somewhere around 30 course records. This was the last course record that hadn’t been broken.”

Records were meant to be broken and Greenwood certainly had his share. In college, he began his career at Tennessee Tech where he finished as the runner-up in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament as a freshman. He then transferred to North Texas State where he was a three-time All-American, placing second in three consecutive Missouri Valley Conference Championships.

Perhaps his most notable, and gratifying, golfing experience came during his college years when he playing at Colonial Country Club in Memphis. Greenwood took on Jack Nicklaus, who has won more major championships than any other golfer, and beat him in match play.

“All I thought about was winning a tournament,” confessed Greenwood. “If I finished fourth or fifth, it didn’t mean anything. I went to Niagara Falls last year and I told Elma I played in the Porter Cup there. We went to Niagara Falls Country Club and they remembered me. They pulled out the program and said ‘Hey, you finished fourth.’ Fourth meant absolutely nothing to me at the time. It was just another failure. Then you look down the list behind me and those great players, who accomplished a lot more than I did, I beat them at that time. I didn’t know that.”

Greenwood beat some good players while he was on the PGA Tour. After turning pro in 1969, he made the cut in 72 PGA events, finishing in the top 10 six times and in the top 25 in 15 different tournaments. His lone victory on the Tour came in 1970 when he won the Rhode Island Open. But injuries played a key role in Greenwood’s decision to leave the Tour in 1975.

“The last tournament I played on tour was the Mexico Open in Mexico City. I remember having a three or four foot par putt and thinking this will be the last putt I will hit as a Tour player and it was,” recalled Greenwood.

“My wrist was in bad shape and my back was bad. I had neck problems and it was becoming pretty tough to play so I quietly retired.”

Greenwood began living the life of a club pro after retiring from the Tour, taking over the No. 1 club job in America at TPC Sawgrass. He recently returned to TPC Sawgrass and enjoyed some fellowship with current PGA Tour players during a recent PGA tournament.

“It was nice,” said Greenwood. “I had breakfast with the Tour players and they introduced me as a former Tour player. It was very gratifying.”

The attention and accolades Greenwood has been getting lately is very gratifying for the 69-year-old. In 2002, he was inducted into the North Texas Hall of Fame. This past year, Greenwood was one of the charter members inducted into Riverside Military Academy’s Sports Hall of Fame. At Riverside, in addition to golf, he excelled in baseball and basketball.

But for his golfing achievements, Greenwood was enshrined in the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame last fall, becoming the 30th member of the distinguished group.

“It’s an honor,” said Greenwood. “It’s nice to be appreciated.”

While Greenwood has found a new appreciation for his career, he also appreciates the people around him such as his wife and his 9-year-old daughter Viola. He also appreciates a man who was his longtime friend and golfing partner Bobby Nichols. After giving Greenwood’s introduction speech at the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame ceremonies, Nichols died a few months later from complications in his fight against cancer.

His loss has been felt more by Greenwood than any loss on the golf course.

“I miss him,” said Greenwood. “He and I were like brothers. There will never be another Bobby Nichols.”

Greenwood doesn’t get out and play much golf anymore. He spends time with his family and is still in the golfing business, giving lessons and working as a golf architect when called upon. If he wants to remember something from his great golfing past, all he has to do is log on to the Internet and look at his website and take a walk down memory lane.

Published in: on July 27, 2008 at 6:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Greenwood’s RMA Hall of Fame Induction

Greenwood named to academy’s hall of fame

By Ed Greif / sports@crossville-chronicle.com

Long-time PGA professional Bobby Greenwood was inducted into the Riverside Military Academy Hall of Fame recently in Gainesville, GA, as part of the school’s centennial celebration.

 

“So, when I was contacted by Colonel Guy Gardner, former space astronaut and superintendent of Riverside Military Academy that this year, 2007, was the Centennial Celebration for the school and I was to be one of the 10 to be inducted as charter members of the Sports Hall of Fame, I was surprised, but rather puzzled. You see RMA has always been a powerhouse school in athletics,” said Greenwood, who was also inducted into the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame on Sept. 5.

“The year that I attended RMA, 1957, I can recall 10 cadets that were better athletes than I was at school that year. But, I’ll take it,” Greenwaod added. “Then, Sept 5 of this year, I was inducted into the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame — another overwhelming experience. This award coming from my peers in Tennessee golf was indeed quite a surprise and also overwhelming.

“Being inducted into the North Texas University Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 was quite an honor for me. Especially when, after 40 years, all my teammates showed for the induction ceremony.”
Greenwood played three sports at RMA.

He was a third baseman/left fielder on the baseball team in 1957, when he batted .380 with a school record 10 home runs, and played point guard for the basketball team, averaging 20.1 points per game.
Greenwood played either number one or number two on the golf team.

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Photos


Bobby Greenwood at the RMA Sports Hall of Fame Museum. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame recently.

Published: October 18, 2007 06:00 pm   

Published in: on October 19, 2007 at 7:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Greenwood Inducted Into Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame

by Buddy Pearson
Herald-Citizen Managing Editor
 

KNOXVILLE — There aren’t many things in life that make Bobby Greenwood speechless. Getting inducted into the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame however, is one of them.
In front of family, friends and several of his peers, Greenwood earned his place among Tennessee’s golfing greats on Wednesday night when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Holston Hills Country Club.

“It’s overwhelming,” said Greenwood. “I’m speechless.”

While Greenwood was overwhelmed and at times speechless, his longtime friend and golfing partner Bobby Nichols wasn’t. Nichols gave a lengthy, heart-felt introduction speech before presenting Greenwood with his plaque.

“We have been friends for many years and we grew up together,” remarked Nichols. “I’ve watched his game progress through the years. I know what kind of player he was back then and how good he was. He is a great man. He’s done all the things you need to do to be in the hall of fame. It is a great honor for him to receive this award and a great honor for me to present it to him.”

Greenwood, who was inducted alongside Joe Campbell, is one of 30 members of the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame. He joins a distinguished group which includes Lou Graham, Waxo Green, Cary Middlecoff, Lew Oehmig, Curtis Person, Sr., Betty Probasco, Mason Rudolph, Gibby Gilbert, Jack Lupton, Hillman Robbins, Judy Eller Street, Ted Rhodes, Harold Eller, Sarah Ingram, Don Malarkey, Pat Abbott, Ed Brantly, Polly Boyd, Emmett Spicer, Marguerite Gaut, Margaret Gunther Lee, Katherine Graham, Harry “Cotton” Berrier, Vince Gill, David Stone, Lauren Roberts, Connie Day and Ann Baker Furrow.

“The biggest honor is to be inducted with Joe Campbell,” said Greenwood. “I’ll take it. God is good. I’m speechless.”

After being introduced to golf at the Cookeville Country Club at the age of 12, Greenwood’s amateur career took off like a rocket. During the 1960s, he dominated amateur play in the state of Tennessee, winning the 1966 State Amateur and the 1968 State Open, becoming just the third of eight golfers to accomplish the feat. He was one of just seven golfers to ever win the prestigious Sunnehanna Amateur twice and was ranked by Golf Magazine among the nation’s Top 10 amateurs on two occasions.

Greenwood began a glorious collegiate career at Tennessee Tech, finishing as the Ohio Valley Conference runner-up as a freshman. After transferring to North Texas State, he was a three-time All-American while finishing second in three consecutive Missouri Valley Conference Championships.

After turning pro in 1969, he made the cut in seventy-two PGA events, finishing in the Top 10 six times and in the Top 25 in 15 different tournaments.

“I’ve learned so much from him,” said Nichols. “I think it’s a good for someone from Cookeville to be inducted into the golf hall of fame. It’s a great honor.”

One of Greenwood’s most notable golfing accomplishments came at Colonial Country Club in Memphis where he beat Jack Nicklaus in match play. Nicklaus wrote about the match in a book and Greenwood included the victory in his acceptance speech.

“I don’t get to talk much about that,” Greenwood said to the audience.

Greenwood’s acceptance speech also included a joke as well as a prayer. He said there were too many people to thank as he appeared to be deeply moved by the standing ovation he received when introduced by Nichols.

“It’s overwhelming,” Greenwood told the Herald-Citizen. “The most important thing to me is people and people came from El Paso, Texas and Melbourne, Florida and from South Carolina to be here. It was so moving. I had a great speech all ready and I got so tore up I couldn’t say too much. It tugs at your heart-strings. One time I was about ready to cry and I thought, ‘This can’t happen.'”

Greenwood’s former caddie Jim Bass attended the ceremony even though he and Greenwood hadn’t seen each other since 1975.

“He’s the one who got me into this crazy caddie business,” said Bass, who met Greenwood in March of 1970. “I was real pleased to get the invitation to come up here. There’s not a better person than Bobby. He’s a far better person than a golfer and that’s saying a lot.”

Published September 06, 2007 12:12 PM CDT

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Published in: on September 10, 2007 at 7:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Greenwood to be inducted into Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame

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Published by Glade Vista, Fairfield Glade, TN, February 27, 2007

Published in: on March 9, 2007 at 5:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Greenwood to teach at FCA camps

From the tee box: Greenwood to teach at FCA camps

Buddy Pearson
Herald-Citizen Staff

PGA professional Bobby Greenwood has given thousands of golf lessons throughout his illustrious golfing career. But, according to Greenwood, those lessons pale in comparison to what he will be teaching at two Fellowship of Christian Athletes golf camps this summer.

Greenwood will be the head clinician today through Wednesday at an FCA camp at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and then June 28 thru July 2 at an FCA camp in Powell, Wyoming.

“I hope to do the most important thing I’ve ever done in golf and that’s make a difference in a young person’s life and help them not make the mistakes I’ve made or seen,” Greenwood said. “This is more important than any major championships I’ve ever played in.”

A seven-year veteran on the PGA Tour, Greenwood accumulated over $100,000 in prize money during his professional career, competing in five USGA major championships and nine other national or major championships.

After his professional career ended, Greenwood captured the No. 1 club job in the country by becoming the club pro at Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., the sight of this weekend’s camp. While there, he hosted two The Player’s Championships during his two-year stay.

At the two FCA camps, the 66-year-old Greenwood will be able to convey his golfing knowledge as well as his deeply-rooted religious beliefs to young golfers ranging in age from 12 to 18 years old.

“It’s an honor to be afforded an opportunity to make a difference in a young person’s life,” Greenwood said.

Published May 28, 2005 7:01 PM CDT

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Published in: on February 22, 2007 at 2:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Greenwood’s Legacy Chronicled

Buddy Pearson
Herald-Citizen Staff

Greenwood, however, doesn’t have to venture too far to find reminders about his glory days. Besides being engulfed in awards and golf memorabilia at his home in Cookeville, all Greenwood has to do is go to the book shelf and open one of five books to recount some of his more successful moments on the links.

With a list of golfing accomplishments that is longer than a John Daly drive, some of Greenwood’s more memorable golfing escapades can be found in My 55 Ways to Lower Your Golf Score by Jack Nicklaus; My Story by Jack Nicklaus; Southern Golf Association: The First Hundred Years by Gene Pearce; The History of Tennessee Golf by Gene Pearce; and, most recently, The History of Sunnehanna Country Club and the Sunnehanna Amateur by John Yerger III.

“These books started happening. I have five books that have been written with me in there,” said Greenwood. “It makes you look back and say, ‘Why didn’t I have more confidence?,’ when you don’t know all that you’ve done.”

Greenwood has done plenty to establish a legacy among the nation’s golfing community.

The Sunnehanna experience

In college, Greenwood was a dominant force at North Texas State University. He was a three-time NCAA All-American and the only First Team NCAA All-American in the school’s history. He led the Eagles to three consecutive Missouri Valley Conference Titles and was also selected to the prestigious 10-member Texas Cup Team in 1964 where he bested golfing great Byron Nelson in a singles match.

During this time, Greenwood was making quite a name for himself as an amateur ball-striker. But, according to the prestigious Sunnehanna Amateur tournament in Johnstown, Pa., his name wasn’t big enough to play in the tournament of champions.

“I remember when I was a young golfer I wanted to play in the top amateur tournaments to try to learn how to play the game and one day get on the (PGA) Tour,” Greenwood explained. “I would write these tournaments and ask for an invitation to play in their tournament. I got a letter back from Sunnehanna, a very nice and polite letter, that said I didn’t qualify to play in their tournament. In order to qualify, I had to be a state amateur or state open champion. It’s the tournament of champions and that when I qualified to get back in touch with them.”

Using it as a source of motivation, Greenwood tacked the Sunnehanna letter to his wall so that when he got out of bed every morning he saw it and when he went to bed every night he looked at it again.

Finally, in 1965, he earned an invitation to the Sunnehanna Amateur.

“When I did win the Tennessee Open at Old Hickory by eight strokes, I got a letter saying that I had qualified for the tournament,” Greenwood said. “The club was beautiful and quaint — the golf course was beautiful. It was just a wonderful experience for a country boy from Tennessee.”

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

“I lost my clubs on the flight up there. So, I said, ‘What’s the use in practicing since I don’t have my golf clubs,'” Greenwood recalled. “I sat around the swimming pool for two days looking at pretty girls and resting. I had been practicing like a dog getting ready for the tournament.”

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

“The greens superintendent had a Bullseye putter that I liked,” Greenwood said. “I go out the first round and shoot 70 with borrowed clubs. That gives me confidence. If I can shoot par on this course with borrowed clubs, I should be do pretty good when my clubs get here.”

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

“He was a fan-favorite back then and very popular with the people in the pro shop and people in the community,” said Mike Mastovich, a sports writer for The Tribune Democrat in Johnstown, Pa. “The word of his legacy spread. I’m 40 and when he was here I was two years old but people told me about him and you just kind of root for the guy even though I didn’t see him play.”

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

“He actually crosses a couple of generations,” Mastovich said.

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

“An invitation was considered a privilege. There wasn’t opportunities for amateurs to play in medal-play tournaments. Sunnehanna was an exception,” author John Yerger III told the Herald-Citizen.

“For a lot of these guys, this book is a chance to reflect on good times, times of great success and great moments in life when things weren’t so complicated.”

USGA Tournaments

The 65-year-old Greenwood has been doing a lot of reflecting lately. He recently had open heart surgery and is recovering at his home on Spring Street. During his recovery he has had the opportunity to watch the U.S. Open and the British Open championships on television, both of which are tournaments he competed in while on the Tour.

“Bobby was a heck of a player,” said Larry Adamson, a former executive with the USGA. “I’ve seen a lot of players and he had a sweet, sweet swing. With a little break or two, I don’t doubt that he could have been successful.”

Greenwood tasted some success while on the Tour, accumulating over $100,000 in prize money. He competed in five USGA major championships and nine other national or major championships. Greenwood competed in the Canadian Open four times, the Bahamas National Open two times and the Jamaica National Open once. He played in the Senior PGA Championship at Laurel Valley Country Club in Ligonier, Pa., paired in a practice round with Arnold Palmer.

Greenwood narrowly missed the cut in the 1990 British Open at St. Andrews but did make the cut at two U.S. Opens. He played all four rounds in the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., and at the U.S. Open in Pebble Beach, Ca.

He was twice ranked among the top 10 amateurs in the United States by Golf Magazine, ranking sixth and eighth, respectively. In 1964, he was the co-medalist at the USGA Amateur held at Canterbury Country Club in Cleveland, Ohio. He also competed in USGA Amateurs held at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla., and Wakanda Golf Club in Kansas.

“I handled all the entries and I dealt with all the players and we would get 9,000 entries a year and the field is just 156 with 75 exemptions,” Adamson said about the U.S. Open.

“If you make the cut, I don’t care who you are, you are a player. If you go to the U.S. Open and make the field and then make the cut, you’re a good golfer.”

Southern Amateur and the History of Tennessee Golf

More of Greenwood’s golfing endeavors are chronicled in both of Gene Pearce’s books. In Southern Golf Association: The First Hundred Years Greenwood’s success in the Southern Amateur is duly noted. At the 1968 Southern Amateur at Lost Tree in North Palm Beach, Fla., Greenwood shot an 8-under-par 64 to set the course record. He finished third in the tournament, two shots behind winner Lanny Wadkins.

“I didn’t know that I finished third in the Southern Amateur Championship until the other day,” said Greenwood. “The guys I beat were some great players.”

Pearce’s next book, The History of Tennessee Golf, profiles Greenwood in depth, getting more into his background and accomplishments. And what a list there is.

Greenwood won the Tennessee State Amateur in 1966 and the Tennessee Open in 1968. He also won the Rhode Island Open in 1970. As a rookie on the PGA Tour, he was the “Champions Choice”, the PGA Tour rookie voted by past champions, to play in the Colonial Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas.

Upon leaving the PGA Tour after a seven-year stint, Greenwood captured the No. 1 club job in the country by becoming the club pro at Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. While there, he hosted two The Player’s Championships during his two-year stay. He was also the head professional at Suntree Country Club, a 36-hole Resort and home of the Suncoast Senior Golf Classic.

But one of the better kept stories in Pearce’s publication isn’t about Greenwood playing, but rather watching a golfing great.

While attending North Texas State, Greenwood would drive from Denton to Fort Worth in order to go to Shady Oaks and watch Ben Hogan practice. He did this several times and would watch from several yards away as Hogan would hit a bag of balls, stop and smoke a cigarette. One day Hogan invited Greenwood to get in his cart and ride over to the practice bunker.

Some time later, Greenwood was getting ready to play a practice round and Hogan joined him. Greenwood said that Hogan told him the shafts in his woods were too limber and then Hogan let Greenwood hit his driver on the 18th tee. The next week, Greenwood received a set of woods in the mail from Ben Hogan.

Beating Nicklaus

Greenwood has plenty of stories about his golfing past and he has the opportunity to share them with his wife Elma and his five-year-old daughter Viola. One of his most noted stories is beating Jack Nicklaus in a match-play tournament.

Nicklaus was in Memphis in the summer of 1961 at the Colonial Invitational, defending his title when he went up against Greenwood in the match-play event. Greenwood made an eagle on the 18th hole and then birdied the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the match. It was the last match Nicklaus lost as an amateur.

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

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

Greenwood’s legacy

Anyone interested in learning more about Bobby Greenwood doesn’t necessarily have to go to a book store. They can just turn on their computer

“My wife Elma is a computer whiz,” Greenwood said. “If you look up Bobby Greenwood on the computer now, there’s all this information.”

If folks don’t want to get on the computer or go to a library, all they have to do is call up Bobby Nichols at Ironwood golf course to get the lowdown on Greenwood. Nichols and Greenwood have been golfing buddies since the early 1960s.

“When he was at the top of his game, he was the best ball-striker I have ever seen,” said Nichols. “He was so far ahead of any other golfers from around here. He had all the shots and he was good under pressure. I hope that in some way he will be remembered as the best golfer in this area.”

Nichols and Greenwood squared off against each other in the inaugural TGA-TPGA Challenge Cup Matches in 1968 with Greenwood representing the amateurs and Nichols the professionals. The two have played with and against each other on numerous occasions since then.

“This new generation doesn’t know who Bobby Greenwood was,” said Nichols. “I wish these young people could have seen him play golf.”

Greenwood doesn’t play much golf any more. He spends his time as a golf-course architect and also gives lessons to aspiring young players on a limited basis.

“Kids that I give lessons to one of the requirements is to buy a hardback note book and keep it so that every time you get a lesson that changes your game or helps you, put down the date and what it was,” Greenwood explained.

Greenwood’s golfing proteges would be smart to write down what Greenwood says or does. Who knows, it may just come up in a book or two.

Published July 24, 2004 7:02 PM CDT
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Published in: on February 22, 2007 at 2:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Veteran Golfer Enjoying New Family, Old Game

Buddy Pearson
Herald-Citizen Staff

Bobby Greenwood celebrates Father’s Day with a glorious golfing past and a bright future with his family.

A seven-year member of the PGA Tour during the early 1970s, the Cookeville golf pro today — with his wife, Elma, and daughter, Viola, by his side — will watch the 100th U.S. Open on television, a tournament he played in on one of the most storied courses in Open history, .

Greenwood has played in five major championships during his golfing career, but his experience in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach seems to stand out the most.

“I was in 15th place going into the final round in 1972, the year (Jack) Nicklaus won,” said Greenwood. “I shot an even-par 72 in the third round and was playing pretty good in the tournament. If I stayed in 15th place, I would have been in the Masters the next year and back at the Open again.

“But, that was the year there was a yacht race canceled because of the high winds. The wind was blowing 30 miles an hour and I was playing right into it. I shot the highest round I ever shot in a tournament and it’s just the worst feeling. It’s tough to handle an 86 when you have shot 61, 63 and 64, at various tournaments.”

Now, 28 years later, if something like that were to happen to Greenwood, he would probably have an easier time handling it with the peace and serenity of his new family surrounding him. The 61-year old is married to a 29-year old native of the Philippines and is the father of a one-year old baby girl who is named after his grandmother.

“Some people say that I’m too old for her and too old to have a baby, but this has been a blessing,” Greenwood stated. “The key is marrying the right person. I have two grown children who have children of their own, and I was not looking to have more. But, if you love somebody, you can’t tell her you are not going to have a child with her. It happened and it’s been a blessing for us.”

Bobby and Elma became pen pals through a Christian singles International Filipino connection because he had heard that the Filipino culture was very conservative, sweet, kind and nice. He and Elma began writing to each other and began to fall in love during their correspondence. Greenwood then went to Japan to design a course for Jack Nicklaus. It was on a visit to the Philippines during his stay in Japan that the two finally met.

“I got to know her and her family while I was in the Philippines for two months,” he said. “I came back home and realized I was in this miserable, lonely existence again. So, I just called her and said ‘will you marry me’ and she said ‘yes’.”

It’s kind of ironic that Bobby’s friendship with Jack Nicklaus led to his newfound family. But Bobby and the Golden Bear go way back to the days of amateur golf when Greenwood had the upper hand.

“Jack and I are old friends,” Greenwood said. “I had beaten him in Memphis in a match head-to-head nine months before he won the U.S. Open. He doesn’t hold grudges about getting beaten. As a matter of fact, he wrote in two of his books about the match and that I was the last amateur to beat him and that kind of stuff.”

Not only did Greenwood beat him in the Colonial Classic, but he also set the course record on Nicklaus’s home course. Bobby shot an 8-under par 64 in the Southern Amateur Championship at Lost Tree Golf Club in North Palm Beach, Florida.

“It’s kind of funny because every time Jack goes out to play at his home course, it says Bobby Greenwood owns the course record,” he joked.

Greenwood has a golfing resume’ as long as a birdie putt seems to a 20 handicapper. Besides beating Nicklaus, he bested Byron Nelson in a singles match while a captain on the prestigious Texas Cup Team in 1964. He was twice ranked among the top 10 amateurs in the United States by Golf Magazine, ranking sixth and eighth, respectively. He was a three-time NCAA All-American at North Texas State University, earning first team honors in 1963. In 1964, he was the co-medalist at the U.S.G.A Amateur held at Canterbury Country Club in Cleveland, Ohio.

Greenwood captured the Sunnehanna Amateur (Tournament of Champions), carding a record 63 in the second round in 1966, garnering the tournament record of 269 in 1966. He won the Tennessee Open in 1968 and Rhode Island Open in 1970. As a rookie on the PGA Tour, he was the “Champions Choice”, the PGA Tour rookie voted by past champions, to play in the Colonial Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas.

Upon leaving the PGA Tour after a seven-year stint, he captured the number-one club job in the country by becoming the club pro at Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. While there, he hosted two The Player’s Championships during his two-year stay. He later co-founded the Tennessee Cup matches when he returned to Tennessee.

But, throughout all of his golfing glory, the one thing that means the most to him is how he became a PGA Tour member.

“I went to the qualifying school and I tied for third with Johnny Miller and earned my PGA Tour card,” boasted Greenwood. “The real, legitimate way to get on the Tour is through Q-school. If you’re a club pro, you can show up for qualifying on Mondays, but you really didn’t earn a spot on the Tour. You just got the invitation because you were a club pro. But, people will say they played on the Tour when all they did was show up for qualifying rounds and didn’t make it.”

Greenwood, who is currently a golf course architect and president of Greenwood-Clifton Golf Design Group in Orlando, Florida, still competes on a regular basis. In 1999, he finished seventh in the Tennessee PGA Section Championship, marking the oldest competitor to finish that high in the tournament. This past Monday, he carded a 71 at Bluegrass Country Club in Hendersonville to miss qualifying by one shot for the U.S. Senior Open Championship.

“In a way, I was happy I didn’t qualify,” he said. “If I had shot one stroke lower, if that putt had gone in that lipped out on the last hole, it would have cost me $3,000 to make the trip. I would have gone to the U.S. Senior Open to try and break 80 for four rounds and that’s not a lot of fun.”

“I like the challenge and I tried hard to do qualify. But, my best golf is behind me now. if you stop and think about it, playing in a major championship is brutal.”

Greenwood is happy to be playing golf at all these days. He has worked his way through various injuries just to be able to swing a club. He teaches lessons on a weekly basis and plays in a few selected events, other than that, he enjoys being with his family.

“Golf is still a tough game. It’s the most difficult of all games to play correctly. But, when you’re happily married and enjoying life, it’s nice.”

Published June 17, 2000 6:26 PM CDT
http://www.herald-citizen.com/NF/omf.wnm/herald/archive_display.html?[rkey=0011797+[cr=gdn

Published in: on February 22, 2007 at 2:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Greenwood Inducted into North Texas Hall of Fame

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, who will Greenwood be rooting for?

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

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

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

Golf at Dorchester with the great Bobby Greenwood

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

Golf at Dorchester with the great Bobby Greenwood 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PGA Pro Bobby Greenwood Reminisces About his Career

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

PGA Pro Bobby Greenwood reminisces about his career

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Hogan Connection

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

The Hogan Connection

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Nicklaus Connection

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

Bobby Greenwood PGA: The Nicklaus Connection 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Sunnehanna Experience

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

Bobby Greenwood PGA: “The Sunnehanna Experience”   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now…..and Then

This article was written by Rick McNeal of Glade Vista, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee, dated April 11, 2006.

The Legacy of Golf Pro Bobby Greenwood, PGA

             In the upcoming weeks the Glade Vista will have the privilege of bringing you a series of articles about golf legend, Bobby Greenwood PGA. “When he was at the top of his game, he was the best ball-striker I had ever seen,” said Bobby Nichols, Club Pro Ironwood Golf Course. “He was so far ahead of any other golfers from around here. He had all the shots and he was good under pressure. This new generation doesn’t know who Bobby Greenwood was,” said Nichols. “I wish the younger golf fans could have seen him play, and I hope that in some way he will be remembered as the best golfer in this area.”

            Even though Bobby has amassed numerous honors and accolades, has set several course records, and has played with the best of the best, he’s still Bobby to anyone that knows him. He’s a very humble Christian man, who is also a great husband and father.

            He lives in Cookeville now with his family and enjoys a very happy, laid back lifestyle. Instead of enduring the grueling life of a Tour Player, he now enjoys spending time with his wife Elma and 7 year old daughter Viola. The way Bobby and Elma met each other was quite a story, to say the least. They began writing through a Christian Singles International Filipino connection. While working in Japan, Bobby had to leave the country occasionally in order to keep his work visa and he would travel, as you guessed it, to the Philippines to meet Elma.

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

            Bobby graduated in 1957 from Riverside Military Academy,Gainesville, GA, and received the Horton Society Honor) Award at graduation. He began his college career at Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN, where he was runner-up in the OVC Conference Championship his freshman year. He  then went on the enroll at University of North Texas (formerly North Texas State University), in 1961, where he was a dominant force in college golf. He was a three-time NCAA all-American and the only First Team All-American in the school’s history. He led the Eagles to three consecutive Titles and was also selected to the prestigious 10-member Texas Cup Team in 1964 where he defeated well known golfer Byron Nelson in the singles match. He also was runner-up three consecutive years (Sophomore, Junior, Senior year) in the Missouri Valley Conference while at North Texas. He graduated in 1964 with a degree in Business Administration. According to an article in the 1963 school paper, Bobby was selected as the third All- American in school history. From the beginning North Texas Coach Herb Ferrill labeled Greenwood as “one of the best golfers I’ve ever seen.” Labeled a “perfectionist” by Coach Ferrill, Bobby continued to work on the basic fundamentals of his golf game, as he has since he began playing at the age of twelve at the Cookeville Country Club.

             While Bobby was in college he was making quite a name for himself on the amateur circuit as well. He was Co-Medalist U.S.G.A Amateur, 1964 – Canterbury Country Club, Cleveland, Ohio; Tennessee Cup Team, 1968, 1976, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000; Twice ranked in Top 10 Amateurs in U.S. by Golf Magazine, ranked sixth and eighth respectively;  Top 10 Amateurs in U.S. by Golf Digest, 1968, Rank – seventh, (his ranking is based on victories in the Sunnehanna Tournament of Champions as well as the Tennessee State Open and his third place finish in the Southern Amateur); Tennessee Amateur Champion, 1966; Sunnehanna Amateur ~ Tournament of Champions, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 1965 & 1968, (Bobby set tournament record of 269 total,  and current course record of 63 in second round in 1965); Tennessee Open Champion, 1968; Rhode Island Open Champion, 1970.

      Bobby turned pro in 1969 and there are several stories about the various tournaments in which he played. The upcoming articles will include the different courses, as well as the well known golf pros that Bobby has been matched with throughout his career. 

Published in: on August 13, 2006 at 3:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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