COON RAPIDS, Minn., (May 29, 2012) – Seven Minnesotans were selected for induction into the Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame in 2012 for their outstanding contributions to the game of golf. Representatives of the Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame task force selected George Carroll, Jon Chaffee, Nancy Foss Harris, Jo-Ann Lindsay, Garold Murphy, Tom Vardon and Michael Zinni for the 2012 class.
A General Manager for thirty-five years, Carroll has dedicated himself to providing the best service to his members and fellow managers. Carroll has been the General Manager at three Minnesota Clubs during his tenure, Southview Country Club, Town & Country Club of Saint Paul, and Interlachen Country Club and has been instrumental to the Upper Midwest Club Managers Association’s leadership. Carroll has served as President of the Upper Midwest CMAA twice, 1984 and 2007, and served on the CMAA National Board of Directors for ten years, highlighted by being National President in 1996.
Locally, Carroll has served on Executive Committee of the 2002 Solheim Cup and 2008 USGA Women’s Open, the Board of Governors of the Club Foundation, and worked with the Minnesota Golf Association and Minnesota Section PGA in hosting Championships at his facilities. Carroll has also been a featured speaker at the Club Managers Association of America National Conferences and Golf Course Superintendents National Conferences on several occasions.
Growing up in Austin, Minnesota, Jon Chaffee started winning championships at a young age by capturing the 1973 Minnesota Golf Association Junior Championship and finishing runner-up in same event in 1974. Chaffee also finished third in the 1974 Minnesota Golf Association Amateur Championship and runner-up in 1975.
Once turned professional, Chaffee began to dominate the local Minnesota golf scene winning the Minnesota Golf Champions event three times 1982, 1983, and 1985, and the Minnesota State Open in 1988. Chaffee also won the Minnesota Section PGA Championship three consecutive times 1989 – 1991 and was named Minnesota Section PGA Player of the Year in 1990 and 1991.
A PGA Member for twenty-five years, Chaffee also spent time on the PGA Tour, playing in more than one hundred tour events and also played in ten PGA of America National Professional Championships.
Nancy Foss Harris
A long-time amateur from Minneapolis Golf Club, Foss Harris waited until age fifty to put her mark on Minnesota women’s golf. From 1992 to 2006, Harris won 17 senior women’s state amateur titles: eight Minnesota Senior Women’s State Amateur championships (1992-93, 1995, 1999-2001, 2003-04), nine Minnesota Senior Women’s State Match Play championships (1992, 1994-95, 1997-98, 2002-03, 2005-06), and finished runner-up four other times and was named MGA’s Senior Woman Player of the Year nine times (1994, 1996 – 2002, and 2004). Harris also teamed up with fellow Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame inductee Jo-Ann Lindsay to win nine consecutive MWGA Senior Four-Ball Championships from 1997 – 2005.
On the National level, Harris qualified for ten consecutive USGA Senior Women’s Amateurs, 1994 – 2004, and finished runner-up in the 1994 North-South Amateur.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Jo-Ann Lindsay started playing golf at a young age before moving to Minnesota and playing little if any golf for a sixteen-year period. After her time away from the game, Lindsay in 1987 made a splash in her return finishing fifth in the MWGA Women’s State Amateur and qualifying for the USGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. In 1991, Lindsay won her first senior title, the Minnesota Senior Women’s State Match Play Championship and went on to win the event four more times (1999-2000, 2004, 2007). She partnered with fellow 2012 Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame inductee Nancy Foss Harris to win nine consecutive MWGA Senior Four-Ball Championships from 1997 – 2005. Lindsay also won the 1994 and 2005 Minnesota Women’s Senior Amateur Championship and was named the MGA Senior Women Player of the Year in 1995 and 2003.
On the National level, Lindsay qualified for the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur sixteen times and won the 1991 Canadian Women’s Senior Championship.
Like most people in the golf industry, Garold Murphy started working on a golf course at a very young age in Watertown, South Dakota and was soon asked to maintain the golf course. Not knowing much about golf course maintenance, Murphy decided to attend Penn State University turf school and upon graduation made his way back to South Dakota at Aberdeen Country Club. In 1961 Murphy applied for and became the head golf course superintendent at Somerset Country Club in Saint Paul, Minnesota and since then has been instrumental in the leadership of the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association. Murphy has served on the MGCSA Board of Directors for many years, highlighted by being named President in 1971. Murphy also spent two years on the National Golf Course Superintendents Association in 1970 and 1971 and was one of the first seven people in his field to become a certified Golf Course Superintendent.
For more than forty years, Murphy maintained Somerset Country Club to host Championships including the 1995 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, and several other Minnesota State Championships. Murphy retired from Somerset Country Club in 2005, but still stays actively involved in the MGCSA.
Tom Vardon arrived in Minnesota in 1916 as the little-known younger brother of one of golf’s greatest champions, Harry Vardon, but over the next two decades his name became synonymous with golf instruction and golf course design in the Upper Midwest. Hired as the professional at White Bear Yacht Club in 1916, Vardon was one of the first professionals in Minnesota to spend his winters teaching indoors at his golf school in Saint Paul and among his students was Hall of Fame member Jimmy Johnston, who many believe was the greatest amateur golfer in Minnesota history. Vardon’s skills as a golf course architect were also much in demand throughout the Upper Midwest as he is credited with designing more than forty golf courses in the area with many of which are still being played.
As a player, Vardon competed in eighteen British Open Championships, finishing in the top ten nine times and several USGA Open Championships, including being the oldest competitor at the 1930 U.S. Open at Interlachen CC.
A PGA Member since 1976, Michael Zinni has successfully combined service to the Minnesota Section PGA with top level playing like no one else in Minnesota. Zinni has served on the on the Minnesota Section Board of Directors for more than fifteen years, highlighted by being named President in 1995 and 1996. Zinni has also served on the PGA of America Board of Directors for two terms and was named Minnesota Section Professional of the Year in 1990.
A top player, Zinni has consistently been one of the top professionals on both the local and national level. Zinni won the 1985 Tapemark Pro-Am, the Minnesota Section PGA Senior Championship in 2003 and 2006, the Minnesota Senior Open in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and named Minnesota Section Senior Player of the Year five times. On a national level, Zinni has played in nine PGA National Professional Championships, six PGA Senior Championships and four USGA Senior Open Championships.
The 2012 honorees will be inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame at various PGA, MGA and allied golf association events throughout the year. Established in 1987, the Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame was recently renovated and reopened to the public in 2011 at the Bunker Hills Golf Course clubhouse in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. It is operated and supported by the Minnesota Golf Association and the Minnesota Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America.
The MGA-PGA Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame was established in 1987 to recognize Minnesotans for their outstanding contributions to the game of golf. A task force meets annually to determine nominations. The MGA- PGA Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame is housed at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids and is operated and supported by the Minnesota Golf Association and the Minnesota Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America.
The PGA of America, through its more than 28,000 men and women professionals, has dedicated itself to the growth of the game. The PGA of America conducts more than 30 tournaments for its members and apprentices. Through a network of 41 Section offices, the Association maintains a total commitment to the PGA Professional helping the membership meet the demands of today’s marketplace and addressing vital issues, such as pace of play, environmental concerns and accessibility.
Founded in 1901 with only seven golf clubs, the Minnesota Golf Association's membership has grown to more than 400 clubs and 82,000 individual members throughout the state. The MGA’s mission is to uphold and promote the game of golf and its values for all golfers in Minnesota.
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