SCGA inducts inaugural Hall of Fame Class
29 Oct 2007

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (Oct. 25, 2007) Six of the most prominent individuals in the history of golf in Southern California will comprise the inaugural class of the SCGA Hall of Fame, which will be inducted Tuesday, October 30, immediately following the Southern California Golf Association's annual meeting at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City.

The initial class includes:

A co-founder of The Los Angeles Country Club and of the SCGA, Tufts is often called the Father of Golf in Southern California. He was SCGA president from 1912 to 1927 and also served as the association's official handicapper for the first 27 years of the SCGA's existence.

The only five-time champion in the SCGA Amateur's 108-year history (1908, 1909, 1921, 1924, 1926), Hunter was also the California Amateur champion in 1920 and 1921.

A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, Von Elm won three SCGA Amateurs and the 1926 U.S. Amateur (beating Bobby Jones in the championship match).  In 1925, he became the only player ever to win the SCGA Amateur, California Amateur and Northern California Golf Association Amateur in the same year.

Dawson was one of Southern California's greatest golfers, winning four SCGA Amateurs and the 1942 California Amateur (he is the last person to win the SCGA Amateur and California Amateur in the same year).  However, equally important, Dawson was the visionary force that began the golf course boom in the Coachella Valley after World War II, developing Thunderbird CC, Eldorado CC and La Quinta CC, among others.

A native of San Diego, Wright was one of the greatest if not the greatest female golfer ever to play the game.  Among her 82 tournament wins were four U.S. Women's Opens and four LPGA Championships. Wright was also instrumental in the growth of the Ladies Professional Golf Association and is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Another San Diego-area native and also a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Littler was one of the first home-grown Southern Californians to become a PGA Tour star.  After winning the 1953 California Amateur and U.S. Amateur championships, Littler captured the San Diego Open as an amateur in 1954 and turned professional, winning 29 PGA Tour events including the 1961 U.S. Open.

Two years ago, the SCGA board of directors voted to establish the SCGA Hall of Fame and many months went into the selection process, explains SCGA President Ed Holmes, a member of Victoria Club in Riverside. 

"Although hundreds of players could easily be inducted into the SCGA Hall of Fame [and many will be honored in succeeding years]," says Holmes. "The selection committee and the SCGA board did not want to focus exclusively on playing accomplishments. To do so would eliminate the towering accomplishments and contributions of many people for whom golf was a passion but not something in which they excelled as players.

"In choosing the inaugural class," continued Holmes, "The committee and board sought to honor six individuals who span the association's 108-year history, in part to remind people that golf did not begin just a few years or even a few decades ago. Instead, the honorees are those on whose shoulders all of us who love this game stand. They represent those who brought the game to Southern California, who nurtured it through early decades into the first great "Golden Age" of golf course construction in the 1920s, who kept it alive during the Great Depression and World War II, and who had a vision for growth in the post-war era."

Artist Scott Medlock has created paintings of the class that will hang in the SCGA's headquarters in Studio City.

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