BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (March 24, 2005) -- Kentucky amateur golf icon John C. Owens has been elected to the Southern Golf Association’s Hall of Fame. Owens, 78, was elected at the annual meeting of the SGA directors last week in Orlando, Florida.
He will be formally inducted on the eve of the 99th Southern Amateur to be played July 13-16 at the Dunes Club in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
“We should have done this years ago. John is a most deserving honoree,” said Orvis Miller, chairman of the SGA Hall of Fame committee.
Owens started a long amateur career playing on the Henry Clay High School (Lexington) and University of Kentucky golf teams. He won the Kentucky high school championship twice at Henry Clay and later the Southeastern Conference title in 1950 while at UK. He won the Kentucky Amateur twice and has won 35 club championships at three different clubs.
Owens won the 1984 British Senior Am and in 1991 won the U.S. Senior Am by beating former USGA President Bill Campbell, ironically the most recent (2003) inductee into the SGA Hall of Fame. A four-time winner of the Kentucky Senior Am, Owens was inducted into the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame in 1986 and presented the USGA’s Isaac Grainger Award for serving on various USGA committees for more than 25 years.
In 1997, the American Seniors Golf Association made him only the 20th recipient of its prestigious Distinguished Senior Award.
A CPA by training, Owens was president of Dynafacts, a computer software firm and later the financial officer for National Mines, a large, publicly-traded company. He lives in Lexington and Boynton Beach, Florida.
Owens becomes the 21st member of the SGA Hall which is unique in that it does not necessarily induct a member each year. The first inductee was the famed Robert Tyre ‘Bobby’ Jones, Jr. in 1972. Other honorees include such gilded amateur names as Billy Joe Patton, Vinny Giles, Charles Yates and current USGA president, Fred Ridley.
In addition to the Southern Amateur, the Southern Golf Association engages in various activities to promote amateur golf, including running the Southern Junior, which will be contested in June, 2005, at Orlando’s Golden Bear Club/Keene’s Pointe.