Individuals connected to the game of golf who died in 2018 made an impact on the sport in many different ways. From professional golfers to golf course architects to well-known personalities with affinities for golf, their contributions and legacies will not be forgotten.
The golf world mourned—along with the country—the death of George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States and a fierce golf advocate. Golf also lost a former USGA president and beacon of morality in golf, Jim Hand.
The golf media will remember a few of its prominent voices who passed away in Keith Jackson, a staple in ABC Sports coverage; Marcia Chambers, whose writing worked to address race and gender discrimination issues in golf; and Dave Anderson, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his sports writing.
The loss of a handful of prominent players, among them World Golf Hall of Famers Peter Thomson, Doug Ford and Carol Mann, brought back memories of triumphant moments in the sport. But it wasn’t just the victories we recalled, but the spirit of the individuals themselves, none more vividly than Australian golfer Jarrod Lyle. The 36-year-old’s long battle with cancer was felt across the golf community and particularly hard felt on the PGA Tour. Players and officials wore yellow ribbons to honor him and his courageous fight.
Other deaths of notable golf figures in 2018 include:
Dave Anderson, 89, Oct. 4:
Pulitzer Prize-winning sports columnist with the New York Times and long-time contributing writer at Golf Digest.
Gus Andreone, 107, Oct. 27:
The oldest member of the PGA of America, having worked for more than 90 years in the golf industry. He spent most of his career as the head professional at Edgewood Country Club in Pittsburgh.
Celia Barquin Arozamena, 22, Sept. 17:
Reigning European Ladies Amateur winner who had won the Big 12 individual title at Iowa State in the spring. Preparing to enter LPGA Q School, she was found tragically stabbed on a public course not far from campus.
William “Bill” Bishop, 91, Feb. 20:
One of the original four African-Americans to achieve PGA professional status after he earned his card in 1971. He was a member of the National Black Golf Hall of Fame and was honored by the PGA of America in 2001 for his work with junior golfers through the Bill Bishop Junior Golf Foundation.
George H.W. Bush, 94, Nov. 30:
The 41st President of the United States and an important golf advocate. Known for both strong and speedy play, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.
Marcia Chambers, 78, July 13:
A Golf Digest contributor whose writing worked to fix discrimination issues in golf. Her two-part series on race and gender discrimination in private clubs won a Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association.
Kurt Cox, 70, Feb. 1:
From San Antonio, played professionally on the PGA
Tour and the Senior Tour and won in Asia.
Vic Damone, 89, Feb. 11:
American singer and entertainer best known for his No. 1 hit “You’re Breaking my Heart.” He was an avid golfer and often played with Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Gene Sarazen. President George H.W. Bush invoked his name, for unknown reasons, emphatically saying, “Vic Damone!” whenever he won a match.
Katie Enloe, 35, July 3:
Wife of SMU men’s golf coach Jason Enloe and sister-in-law to PGA Tour pro Hunter Mahan. She had been remembered on the PGA Tour with players wearing orange ribbons as she fought to overcome leukemia.
Forrest Fezler, 69, Dec. 21:
A PGA Tour winner and golf course designer/builder known for protesting the USGA by playing the 18th hole of the 1983 U.S. Open at Oakmont wearing shorts.
Doug Ford, 95, May 14:
World Golf Hall of Famer who competed in 429 tour events from 1950 to 1963. Won 19 PGA Tour titles, including two major championships—the 1955 PGA Championship and the 1957 Masters.
Vincent M. Gaughan Jr., 65, Jan. 11.:
Helped develop golf courses in Russia after noticing the absence of places to play during business trips to the country. Partnering with Jack Nicklaus’ design company, he worked on two of the company’s largest golf course developments in Russia.
Billy Graham, 99, Feb. 21:
A prominent religious leader and avid golfer. Played in several pro-ams, twice in the Kemper Open pro-am with Gerald Ford. Known for his enduring quote on the game: “The only time my prayers are never answered are on the golf course.”
Hubert Green, 71, June 19:
A two-time major champion and member of the World Golf Hall of Fame who handled grace under pressure during his victory at the 1977 U.S. Open. Green played the final few holes after being told that a death threat had been made against him, and that he would be shot when he reached the 15th green. Given the choice to play the rest of the round the next day, he continued on and won by one stroke.
Jesse Haddock, 91, March 16:
Considered on premier men’s coaches in college golf history. Coached the Wake Forest to three NCAA titles (1974, 1975 and 1986), 15 ACC championships and dozens of team wins overall. The 1975 Demon Deacon squad is considered by many the best college golf team of all-time.
Shelley Hamlin, 69, Oct. 15:
Long-time LPGA Tour pro who had a mastectomy in the early 1990s after being diagnosed with breast cancer, only to win two of her three career LPGA titles afterward.
James (Jim) R. Hand, 101, Nov. 13:
Former president of USGA (1984-’85), recognized for a strong moral compass and for standing for everything that’s good in the game: camaraderie, competition, good health, friendship and the rule of law.
Jeff Hardin, 84, Jan. 1:
Prominent golf course architect and pioneer in golf course design. Known for designing courses in Arizona and surrounding states, many with the late Greg Nash, his partner from 1974 to 1981.
Mark Hayes, 69, July 17:
Winner of the 1977 Players Championship, one of three PGA Tour victories for the former Oklahoma State All-American.
Keith Jackson, 89, Jan. 12:
Broadcasting legend with ABC Sports and avid golfer who at 80 was breaking his age at Los Angeles Country Club, where he was a member.
Bruce Lietzke, 67, June 28:
PGA and Senior Tour veteran known for his reliable, low-maintenance fade. The University of Houston alum could takes months off from the game and still come back the next season able to contend on tour. He had 13 PGA Tour and seven senior titles to prove it, including the 2003 U.S. Senior Open.
Jarrod Lyle, 36, Aug. 7:
Australian golfer who joined the PGA Tour in 2007 and appeared in 10 events. Won twice on the Web.com Tour in 2008.
Carol Mann, 77, May 21:
World Golf Hall of Fame member, former LPGA president and 38-time LPGA winner, including two major championships—the 1964 Women’s Western Open and the 1965 U.S. Women’s Open.
Willie McRae, 85, Oct. 28:
Renowned caddie at Pinehurst for nearly 75 years who carried for U.S. presidents, celebrities and tour pros, becoming one of the resort’s most enduring figures.
Dick Nugent, 86, Jan. 1:
Served as president of American Society of Golf Course Architects in 1981. A veteran architect working mostly in the midwest and best known for his innovative design of Kemper Lakes in Long Grove, Ill., with Ken Killian.
Phil Rodgers, 80, June 26:
Five-time PGA Tour winner, known as “The Brashest Man in Golf” after appearing on the Jan. 14, 1963 cover of Sports Illustrated with that headline.
Johnny Sands, 87, Feb. 9:
Famously coined the term “Arnie’s Army.” He was a longtime Augusta newspaper editor who came up with the term to describe the fans following Arnold Palmer while editing a column in The Chronicle.
Peter Thomson, 88, June 20:
Australian Golfer and five-time Open champion with 85 wins worldwide. He was president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, helped found the Asian Tour and designed golf courses.
Jack Vickers, 93, Sept. 24:
Founder of Castle Pines Golf Club outside Denver and the International, the PGA Tour event it hosted for 21 years. He was an Augusta National member and close friend of Jack Nicklaus.
Brent Wadsworth, 88, Feb. 6:
Built or restored more than 900 golf courses with his company, Wadsworth Golf Construction. Also known as a local philanthropist in his hometown of Plainfield, Ill.