Kloenne, Emerson and Purtzer inducted into Hall of Fame
Last night the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame inducted Bill Emerson, Tim Kloenne and Tom Purtzer as its newest members. The festivities were held at Orange Tree Golf Resort in Scottsdale.
The day started out with an enjoyable round of golf and was followed by an awards ceremony. Prior to the Hall of Fame inductions, the Junior Golf Association of Arizona, Arizona Women’s Golf Association and Southwest Section PGA presented their own awards. The Arizona Golf Association also presented its Champion of Golf Award to the 2012 recipient Dewey Blair.
Following that, Hall of Fame awards were presented by: Dr. David Kopek (Bill Emerson), Hale Irwin (Tim Kloenne) and Paul Purtzer (Tom Purtzer). Read more about the honorees below or check out photos from the event.
More About the Honorees
William EmersonBorn and raised in Dalton, Massachusetts, Bill Emerson attended the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, a Division of the University of Massachusetts. He received an Associate’s Degree in Turf Grass Management in May 1961.
From 1962 through 1982, Emerson maintained some of the finest golf clubs in the Mid-Atlantic including Chevy Chase Club, Towson G&CC, Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, Crofton GC, and Stockbridge GC. He was a driving force within the Mid-Atlantic Association of Golf Course Superintendents. He served as President of the Association in 1977 and 1978. Emerson also served in other organizations, including the Maryland Turf Grass Council and the O.J. Noer Turf Grass Foundation. In 1982, he earned the title of Certified Golf Course Superintendent.
In 1983, Emerson moved west to Arizona and became the superintendent of Paradise Valley Country Club. During his twelve years at the club, he revolutionized golf course maintenance standards. Bill recognized the need for turf grass research in Arizona and, along with other golf industry leaders and six private clubs developed the Par Committee. This committee was instrumental in funding University of Arizona turf grass research and working with the Arizona Department of Water Resources on manageable water regulations.
Emerson became a leader among the Cactus and Pine, providing organization and development to the growing organization and was instrumental in taking it from a loosely structured chapter to an organized group of industry leaders. He served many years as the Cactus and Pine Treasurer. He was also the first President of the Cactus and Pine Foundation. In 1996, Bill received the Art Snyder Award for his distinguished service.
After leaving Paradise Valley Country Club in 1995, Bill worked with several golf-related management companies (Green Releaf, Golf Sat, Floratine and Arizona Sport Turf) bringing revolutionary golf course technology to many golf courses. These products seemed far-fetched in the 90’s; but have become mainstays in today’s practices. Bill has never stopped mentoring or working with today’s Superintendent and being a voice of reason.
Bill’s contribution to Arizona golf cannot be pinpointed to one monumental event. Bill has consistently and purposefully raised the standard, bringing all the entities of golf together here in the Southwest. His leadership has spearheaded education, awareness, and growth in the state of Arizona.
Tim KloenneTim Kloenne came to Arizona thirty six years ago and soon became involved in the Arizona golf scene.
His first involvement came as a member of the Arizona Golf Association Board of Directors during its developing phase in the late 70’s, serving as President 1984-86. During that time, he was very involved with the creation of the Karsten Turf Research Center at the University of Arizona. He championed the “Lakes Bill” and property tax reform in the mid-80’s, which to this day provides golf courses with a stable basis for survival. Without his committee’s work, the golf course landscape in Arizona would be much different, and less attractive to tourism.
In 2007 Kloenne was the recipient of the Ed Updegraff Award, presented “in recognition of those who, by their actions or accomplishments, exemplify the spirit of the game.”
He has been an active member of the Phoenix Thunderbirds since 1983. Currently a “life bird”, Kloenne is The Thunderbird’s representative for the First Tee of Phoenix. Of all his involvement with the game, none has generated more passion and satisfaction than The First Tee. What started in 2001 with one employee and one site at South Mountain has grown to five locations and 13 staff members. Kloenne has been intimately involved every step of the way along with Executive Director Hugh Smith. He knows the kids by name, gives of his time to the programs and attends many of their functions. A few years ago, he personally sponsored a family from the Congo in Africa. The family moved to the United States and the children became active members and beneficiaries of the First Tee. Today, the First Tee of Phoenix is recognized as one of the most successful chapters in the country.
Kloenne has also served on committees at Paradise Valley Country Club, on the Southwest Section PGA advisory council, as a member of the USGA’s Regional Affairs Committee and as president of the Arizona Golf Foundation. He currently serves on the AGA’s Council of Past Presidents.
Tom PurtzerThomas Warren Purtzer was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1951 but spent most of his life in Arizona. A graduate of Sunny Slope High School, he attended Arizona State University in Tempe from 1970-73, where he was a member of the school’s golf team. He was inducted into the ASU Hall of Fame in 1989.
After graduating in 1973, he set his sights on professional golf and has played on both the PGA and the Champions Tour.
Purtzer was a five-time winner on the PGA Tour: 1977 Glen Campbell-Los Angeles Open; 1984 Phoenix Open; 1988 Gatlin Brothers-Southwest Golf Classic; 1991 Southwestern Bell Colonial and NEC World Series of Golf.
On the Champions Tour Purtzer won the 2003 SBC Classic; 2004 Toshiba Senior Classic where his first round was a course record 60 (tying the Champions Tour record) at the Newport Beach Country Club; 2005 3M Championship; and 2007 AT&T Champions Classic where he beat Ryder Cup star Loren Roberts in a thrilling 4 hole play-off at the Valencia Country Club north of Los Angeles. Internationally, he won the 2005 Australian PGA Seniors Championship.
Purtzer is often described in golf literature as having the “sweetest swing in golf”. His career has been defined by long accurate driving and pin-point iron play. He was the Long Drive Champion in 2008 on the Champions Tour for the 4th time in 6 years and also won the Long Drive Title on the PGA Tour. He won the Greens in Regulation Title in 2007.
In 1998, Tom and his brother Paul established the Purtzer Performance Golf School and Academy. Currently located at Stonecreek Golf Club, the academy provides instruction and a golf school experience for golfers of any age and skill level. It also provides tournament and corporate outing services. Although Tom’s playing schedule keeps him pretty busy, he still has time to assist with corporate outings and junior clinics.