Southwest Section PGA Taps Eight Inductees for Inaugural Hall of Fame Class
The Southwest Section PGA announced its Inaugural Hall of Fame Class at its Hall of Fame and Awards Dinner on January 15 at Firesky Resort & Spa in Scottsdale. Arch Watkins, Dave Engelking, Bill Farkas, Sr., Vernon “Red” Allen, Joe Bartko, Cliff Whittle, Jack Morrison, and Mack McCarley are the first inductees. Watkins (2000), Farkas (1975), Bartko (2006), McCarley (2007) and Allen (1968) are all members of the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame. Allen was one of four professionals inducted in the inaugural class in 1968. Michael Haywood, director of golf at Tucson Country Club, and Vice President of the Southwest Section PGA, served as chairman of the Inaugural Southwest Section PGA Hall of Fame Committee. The Hall of Fame Committee also consisted of Brett Upper, Greg Leicht, Wade Dunagan, John Gunby and Rick Price, all PGA members. The inscription on the plaque of each of the Hall of Fame winners reads: “The highest honor the Southwest Section PGA can bestow. This faithful PGA Professional will be forever remembered for his significant and endearing contributions to the game of golf and the Southwest Section PGA.” ARCH WATKINS (Born: 1925 Died: 1995) The late Arch Watkins (the Southwest Section PGA’s 1995 Anser Award Winner for positively influencing the history of golf in Arizona and epitomizing the spirit, drive and energy of Karsten Solheim) was a rare individual who, through his everyday efforts in life, had arguably more influence on the game in Arizona than anyone before him or after. Arizona has a long tradition of accomplished and nationally recognized golf instructors, but none surpassed the reputation of Arch Watkins, who spent 35 years on the lesson tees in the Valley of the Sun. Watkins, a native of St. Louis, arrived in Phoenix in 1960 following success as an assistant professional at Norwood Hills Country Club. He designed and built the Cardinal Course at Scott Air force base and was the head professional for 10 years. Watkins became the teaching professional at Arizona Country Club in 1961 and established the course record of 64. In 1963, he took a position as head professional at the newly-built Papago Golf Course in Phoenix, where he took responsibility for the golf operation and also taught from 1963 to 1981. Watkins spent 14 years at Camelback Golf Club until his death at age 69 in 1995. In 1991, a lifetime of teaching brought Watkins the recognition he deserved from the Southwest Section PGA when he was named Teacher of the Year. Watkins liked to work with young people. Among his early pupils were his son, Scott Watkins, the late Heather Farr and her sister, Missy, and future PGA Tour players Jim Carter and Billy Mayfair. There were no band-aid theories, no gimmicks with Watkins’ instruction. He stressed the basic fundamentals. BILL FARKAS SR. (Born: 1914 Died: 2001) When the words “junior golf” are spoken, a number of instructors come to mind in Arizona. But Bill Farkas, Sr., for members of the Southwest Section PGA, is arguably at the top of the list. Farkas taught the game to many, but none were more important than the 3,500 plus juniors he instructed during his lifetime at Maryvale Golf Course in Phoenix. Farkas tried extremely hard to instill not only the lessons of the game, but the lessons of life to his young juniors by instilling honesty, good manners and an appreciation for their fellow juniors. Farkas would frequently give three simple “tips of wisdom” to parents. 1. Encourage youngsters to WANT to play golf. 2. Allow a qualified professional to teach kids how to hit a golf ball. 3. Take your children to play golf often, and tell them about the management, rules and conduct of the game. In 1987, Farkas was named the Junior Golf Leader for the Southwest Section PGA and also won the PGA of America’s National Junior Golf Leader Award that year. His son, Jim Farkas, who accepted the SWSPGA Hall of Fame award on his behalf, received the SWSPGA’s Junior Golf Leader award in 1988 and 1992. Both men are life members of the PGA of America. Bill Farkas’s other section accomplishments were many: he was the 1975 Professional of the Year Award, the 1981 Horton Smith Award Winner, and the 1985 Bill Strausbaugh Award Winner. He was also a recipient of the Southwest Section PGA’s Anser Award (1993). A few years ago the SWSPGA’s Junior Boys Annual Award was named after Farkas. DAVE ENGELKING From Maryvale High School to the University of Arizona (where he played for the legendary coach Roy Tatum), Phoenix resident Dave Engelking, 61, began his career in the golf business working for fellow Hall of Famer Bill Farkas Sr. In 1970, Engelking took a job in Sun City, Arizona where he worked for Fielding Abbott, the director of golf for the Del Webb golf operations. After a summer (1971) in Casper, Wyoming in 1975, Engelking became the head professional at the Lakes East & West Course. A short time later he was the general manager of the Sun City Golf Division. On September 1, 1980 Engelking was named the first executive director of the Southwest Section PGA. With only 100 PGA members and 75 apprentices at the time, Engelking and one other employee began the task of serving the section and its PGA professionals. Engelking led the section nationally through his influence across the country. From 1981 until 1993 Engelking worked for five different presidents of the South Section PGA and countless members of its Board of Directors and Committees. His service to the membership was recognized in 1986 when he was named the Southwest Section PGA Professional of the Year. Engelking was later recognized for his mentorship and leadership with the Southwest Section PGA’s Bill Strausbaugh Award. After his tenure with the Southwest Section PGA, Engelking began a long and successful relationship with Phoenix-based Karsten Manufacturing, one of the game’s foremost equipment manufacturers and the Southwest Section’s finest supporter. An assistant to the president, John Solheim, Engelking is currently working on writing the 50th anniversary book for PING. V.O. “RED” ALLEN (Born: 1911 Died: 2007) When Red Allen first saw the golf course at what is now called the Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa in Litchfield Park, he couldn’t believe his eyes. He was quoted as saying…”It was the worst I’d ever seen.” If I had had any money, I would have gone home to Minnesota.” The 2005 Southwest Section PGA’s Anser Award Winner’s given name was Vernon Orrin Allen, who, oddly enough, never left Arizona. Red Allen went on to become the Wigwam’s first PGA Professional and a pioneer for the Arizona golf community in many unique ways. Allen was 96 years old when he died after being part of the Wigwam for over 70 years. He spread his knowledge and passion for the game around the state and inspired many others. Allen fell in love with golf when he first saw a golf ball as a boy, and that love never faded. A natural athlete, he honed his skill while he walked to and from school. When the Allen family arrived in the Valley, Red found just a handful of golf courses, including a primitive nine-hole, par-3 course at the Wigwam that had more dirt than grass and heavy oil on its sandy greens to keep them from blowing away. Despite the course’s condition, Allen stuck around and by 1941 had helped transform the Wigwam into an 18-hole turf course. Allen’s contributions to golf were not limited to the Wigwam. He co-founded the Southwest Section PGA and was privileged to be inducted into the Inaugural Arizona Golf Hall of Fame class in 1968. As a player, Allen qualified for the U.S. Open five times and also played in the Phoenix Open twice, tying for sixth place in 1944. His son, Doug, summed up Red’s feelings by saying, “Golf meant everything to him. He felt golf was the best thing in the world and that people shouldn’t be playing any other game.” Allen left an indelible legacy behind him at the Wigwam through Doug Allen and his grandson, Craig. Doug followed his father as the PGA Professional at the Wigwam in 1976 is now a Life Member of the PGA. Craig holds the family legacy in his hands today as the director of golf at the Wigwam. JOE BARTKO When you spend more than 30 years at a club in the golf business you have outlasted your critics and left an indelible mark of success. During his long career at Mesa Country Club, Bartko, who lives in Mesa, was very active in the Southwest Section PGA and served on its board of directors and on various committees for years. However, he will be remembered as the first president of the Southwest Section PGA, with boundaries that include Arizona and Southern Nevada. The 1974 SWSPGA Professional of the Year, Bartko once earned 40 cents a bag for caddying at Phillipsburg Country Club in Pennsylvania. From his experience as a caddie, Bartko learned how to treat people and later what it took to run a successful golf operation. In 1963, Bartko was named head professional at Thunderbird Country Club and was able to interact with a wide range of successful business people such as Bob Goldwater, Sr. and former Arizona Supreme Court Justice Fred Struckmeyer. Bartko’s involvement in the section was followed closely by his involvement in the community. He served on a number of boards with organizations such as the Lions Club and the Arizona Boys Ranch. Bartko is especially proud to have a number of his former assistants move on to successful positions as head professionals at clubs such as Oro Valley Country Club, Angel Park, White Mountain and Superstition Springs. His long tenure at Mesa Country Club will be remembered more than anything. Through numerous renovations and change Bartko was the decision maker on anything related to the game. He took pride in teaching the game, especially to juniors. The care he took with his membership was shown in how he handled even the most difficult of situations. He has been quoted more than once as saying: “Know their game, make them laugh and get ‘em on the golf course!” CLIFF WHITTLE (Born: 1927 Died: 2009) No one brought greater levity or humor to a Southwest Section PGA Annual Meeting than Cliff Whittle. The 1961 Professional of the Year for the Rocky Mountain PGA Section, Whittle was an accomplished player who won several important tournaments early in his career, including the San Juan Open, Nevada Open, Utah Open, Idaho Open and the Rocky Mountain PGA Championship in 1957. Whittle’s inspiration continues in the youth of today with the Cliff Whittle Cup, an event that honors his achievements and influence and provides opportunities for young people to play golf and have fun within a developmental league played at a number of different Valley facilities. President of the Southwest Section PGA from 1975 till 1977, Whittle was instrumental in establishing the growth and financial future for the section. His years of involvement with the Rocky Mountain PGA Section prepared him for the job. He was a strong believer that every PGA Professional should know how to teach and play the game at a high level. Whittle’s passion for education prompted his involvement as an instructor at both Business Schools 1 & 2 of the PGA Apprentice Program, and he served as host to the First PGA National Club Professional Championship in 1969. Until his death in January 2009, Whittle was a free-spirited PGA Professional who believed greatly in the men and women who served the game every day. JACK MORRISON (Born: 1926 Died: 1994) Another dedicated supporter of junior golf, Morrison spent 28 years at Rolling Hills Golf Course in Tempe (from 1966 to 1994), and was a gentleman who immersed himself in the inner workings of his profession. One of his former junior golfers once said: “Jack had a demeanor that made you feel guilty if you didn’t practice or play as often as he thought you should.” Morrison was part of a revolution of junior golf in the Tempe area that included many of the public facilities. He developed a group of youngsters that revered his message and remember his lessons as if they heard them yesterday. Morrison also participated actively in the Southwest Section PGA and the PGA of America. Whether it was serving on the board of directors or participating within the committee system, Morrison would steer the attention and focus toward making the PGA Professional a leader in the community as well as on the lesson tee. Gerald Candrian, a longtime friend and frequent playing partner, described him as always willing to lend a hand with someone’s golf game, and offering counsel on personal matters as well. Morrison left a positive impression on a number of adults who remember his lessons of life and the game. In 1978 the Southwest Section PGA awarded Morrison with its highest honor: Professional of the Year. A former member of the PGA of America’s National Board of Directors, Morrison took the message of the Southwest Section to a different level. He was often passionate about what he believed were the virtues and values of what made the PGA Member and his section the finest in the country. MACK McCARLEY For over 40 years McCarley, 70, has been a driving force within the Southwest Section PGA and, nationally, within the PGA of America, helping to educate the membership and grow the organization. For the better part of 20 years, he served on the board of the directors for the Southwest Section PGA, twice as its president (1975 and 1985). Mack McCarley, who resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, was named Professional of the Year (1977 and 1978), and is a five-time recipient of the prestigious Horton Smith Award for contributions to PGA Education. Retired from full time teaching, McCarley relocated to Utah several years ago and still maintains a part-time teaching schedule and conducts clinics for juniors and women. A PGA Teaching Professional at the Glenmoor Golf Course in South Jordan, Utah, he also serves on the education committee for the Utah Section PGA. McCarley played for legendary coach Bill Mann at Arizona State before joining the professional ranks. Early in his career, he worked as an assistant professional at the Wigwam Resort and then Mesa Country Club. McCarley was a head professional at Antelope Hills Golf Course in Prescott from 1970 to 1981. In 1981, he was hired as director of golf at The Phoenician Resort and three years later joined the development team for Superstition Springs Golf Course in Mesa, Arizona. While McCarley made significant contributions to golf in Arizona, his work on the national level and his involvement with helping to shape the PGA of America were arguably more important. He served on the National Long Range Planning Committee for four years and the Education Committee for six years. During that time he helped to establish the apprentice program and business schools, now referred to as the Professional Golf Management program. Participating in business schools throughout the country, he was able to meet many young professionals and took great satisfaction in watching their careers blossom.