Tonight's the night. The New Jersey State Golf Association, with 118 years of golf history behind it, will induct the inaugural class of its NJSGA Hall of Fame, tonight, May 1.
The inaugural class boasts the most prominent names in that 118-year period including both famed players and those who have made a unique and lasting impact on the game of golf.
The induction ceremony is open to the public. Tickets are priced at only $50, including food and drink. The event takes place at 6 p.m. in the ballroom at Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth, home of the NJSGA. A special historical video of the inductees will be shown.
Among those honored are professionals Byron Nelson, Johnny Farrell and Vic Ghezzi, legendary amateurs Chet Sanok, Carolyn Cudone, Jerome Travers, Maureen Orcutt and Bob Housen and accomplished players Charlotte Glutting and Charles Whitehead.
Other inductees include renowned architect A.W. Tillinghast, who designed Baltusrol among others; famed African-American golf pioneer John Shippen; noted journalist Arthur (Red) Hoffman; Dr. Ralph Engel, founder of the Rutgers’ Turfgrass school , and benefactors Nestor J. MacDonald (founder of NJSGA Caddie Scholarship Foundation), and Billy Y. Dear (youth golf and caddie scholarship).
.“New Jersey has a tremendous heritage of golf and an association that ranks among the oldest in the United States. It was time for our greatest players and contributors to be recognized,” said Bill Frese, President of the NJSGA and Chairman of the NJSGA Hall of Fame Committee.
“We started with the idea of acknowledging the great players but quickly decided to include those who have made significant contributions to the game,” added Kevin Purcell, Executive Director of the NJSGA. “The NJSGA Hall of Fame will honor those with significant competitive achievements as well as those who helped bring recognition, honor, distinction and excellence to New Jersey golf.”
The Hall of Fame will be housed at Galloping Hill with a video kiosk and list of inductees. The Hall of Fame will also have a strong presence on the NJSGA’s website (www.NJSGA.org) which will be enhanced for 2018.
The NJSGA Hall of Fame has been established to recognize and enshrine men and women who, as New Jersey natives or residents at their time of achievement, have impacted New Jersey golf and/or have made extraordinary contributions to the game through competitive and non-competitive accomplishments.
The mission is to honor New Jersey’s finest amateur and professional golf competitors, as well as those who have made outstanding contributions in other areas of golf such as architects, journalists, superintendents, mentors, volunteers and others.
Beginning in 2018, nominations will be taken for worthy candidates and considered by the NJSGA Hall of Fame Committee.