In front of an overflow crowd of 250, the New Jersey State Golf Association, with 118 years of golf history behind it, inducted the inaugural class of its NJSGA Hall of Fame on Wednesday evening, 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 event took place in the ballroom at Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth, home of the NJSGA. A special 15-minute historical video of the inductees was shown. Bob Wischusen, the voice of the New York Jets, served as masgter of ceremonies.

Among those honored were 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 included renowned architect A.W. Tillinghast; 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 the NJSGA Caddie Scholarship Foundation), and Billy Y. Dear (pioneering contributor to 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.

Bob Housen’s family and friends were there in earnest to celebrate the evening, numbering 15 family members.

Other families represented included three grandchildren of Johnny Farrell; two daughters of Red Hoffman; a daughter of Chet Sanok; and a grandson of Nestor MacDonald.

Also on hand were Ruby and Thurman Simmons of the John Shippen Foundation, and Dr. Bruce Clarke, representing the Rutgers University Turfgrass program and inductee Dr. Ralph Engel.

Multiple NJSGA champion Allan Small was the presenter for Bob Housen. In a special moment, NJSGA immediate past president (and member at Mansquan River Golf Club) Dan Meehan, announced that the NJSGA Player of the Year Award will be forever named the “Robert Housen Player of the Year Award.”


Carolyn Cudone (1918-2009), Montclair Golf Club

Won 10 N.J. Women’s Amateurs, five consecutive US. Senior Amateurs

William Y. Dear (1912-1986), Morris County G.C. & Essex County C.C.

Benefactor to youth golf, NJSGA Caddie Scholarship Foundation

Dr. Ralph Engel (1915-1995)

Father of Rutgers University Turfgrass program

Johnny Farrell (1901-1988), Baltusrol Golf Club

Celebrated head pro at Baltusrol; U.S. Open, State Open among 22 pro victories

Vic Ghezzi (1910-1976), Deal Golf & Country Club

Won 1941 PGA championship, besting Byron Nelson; Won three State Opens

Charlotte Glutting (1910-1996), Rock Spring Club

Played on four Curtis Cup teams; Won four N.J. Women’s Amateurs

Arthur (Red) Hoffman (1918-2005), Plainfield Country Club

Worked for Newark Evening News and The Star-Ledger; dean of N.J. golf writers

Robert (Bob) Housen (1938-) Manasquan River Golf Club

State Amateur champion six times; won two Met Amateurs

Nestor J. MacDonald (1895-1991), Rock Spring Club

An original founder of the NJSGA Caddie Scholarship Foundation

Byron Nelson (1912-2006), The Ridgewood Country Club

All-time great won five majors and 64 pro events; his first was the State Open in 1935

Maureen Orcutt (1907-2007), White Beeches Golf and Country Club

Won six N.J. Women’s Amateurs, 10 WMGA championships; selected to four Curtis Cup teams

Chester (Chet) Sanok (1919-1996), Upper Montclair Country Club

Won five State Amateurs, two State Opens; first of three amateurs to ever win Met Open

John Shippen (1879-1968), Shady Rest Golf Course

African-American/Native American was first American-born golf pro; played in 6 U.S. Opens

Jerome (Jerry) Travers (1887-1851), Montclair G.C.; Upper Montclair C.C.

Won U.S. Open in 1915, second amateur to do so; won four State Amateurs

Albert Warren (A.W.) Tillinghast (1876-1942), Architect

N.J. resident designed Baltusrol, Somerset Hills, Essex County, Ridgewood, many others

Charles (Charley) Whitehead (1913-1984), Plainfield Country Club

Won six State Amateurs in seven years; first amateur to win State Open in 1942

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