STUDIO CITY, Calif. (Oct. 23, 2008) - Five people instrumental in the establishment, growth and history of golf in Southern California will be inducted as the second class of the Southern California Golf Association (SCGA) Hall Fame at a luncheon following the SCGA's annual meeting on Oct. 29 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City.
The inductees are:
- Charles Maud, first SCGA president and designer of golf courses in the late 19th and early 20th centuries;
- Bruce McCormick, 1937 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, two-time California Amateur champion and three-time SCGA Amateur champion;
- Eddie Merrins, aka "The Little Pro," long-time head golf professional at Bel-Air CC and one of the nation's foremost golf teachers;
- Jim Murray, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Los Angeles Times who wrote prolifically and brilliantly about golf; and
- George C. Thomas, Jr. , legendary golf course architect who designed Bel-Air CC, The Los Angeles CC, Riviera CC and others in the 1920s.
At the luncheon ceremony, each inductee will be introduced by a short speech followed by the unveiling of a portrait painted by noted artist Scott Medlock. Merrins will be in attendance as will be relatives of the other four inductees, who are all deceased.
The portraits will hang at Golf House West, the SCGA's headquarters in nearby Studio City. Medlock also created the paintings for the INAUGURAL CLASS last year: Johnny Dawson, Dr. Paul Hunter, Gene Littler, Edward B. Tufts, George Von Elm and Mickey Wright.
Maud will be inducted by Ed Holmes, 2007 SCGA president and a member at Victoria Club in Riverside, a club that dates its history to a course originally designed by Maud. Maud is credited with helping to found many of the earliest clubs in Southern California, all in the Riverside area, including the Riverside Polo & Golf Club, which was one of the SCGA's five founding clubs in 1899.
Bob Gross and Steve Titus, members at San Gabriel CC, will speak for McCormick who was a member there (Titus is also on the SCGA board of directors and Gross recently won his eighth San Gabriel CC club championship). McCormick holds the course record at San Gabriel with a 59.
McCormick is one of six people in 97 years to capture consecutive California Amateur Championships which he won in 1946 and 1947. The following two years, he won the SCGA Amateur Championship, and he became the oldest SCGA Amateur winner when he won his third title in 1963.
Bob Lovejoy, director of golf at Big Canyon CC in Newport Beach, will induct Merrins. "The Little Pro" wrote his landmark book, "Swing the Handle, not the Clubhead" in 1973 and has since produced a video series with the same name. Merrins, who earlier this year was inducted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame, was also the men's golf coach at UCLA for decades; his 1988 team won the NCAA Division I national championship.
LPGA Hall of Fame golfer Amy Alcott will induct Murray, who was a Los Angeles Times sports columnist from 1961 until his death in 1998. He won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1990 and in 1988 was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
George C. Thomas, Jr. will be inducted by Bradley Klein, senior writer for Golfweek magazine, who specializes in golf course architecture. Thomas first came to prominence as a rose breeder on the East Coast and then gained fame as a golf course designer. He was one of the great architects in golf's first "Golf Age" of courses in Southern California in the 1920s; in addition to the courses noted above, he also designed Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, Palos Verdes GC and Red Hill CC, among others.
In addition to the induction ceremony, attendees will be able to view many pieces of memorabilia from the five inductees, including Murray's Pulitzer Prize and a sample of Thomas' roses.