2001 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Michel, Harden
Senate Concurrent Resolution 563
(As Adopted by Senate and House)
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING AND CONGRATULATING KEN LINDSAY, FAMED JACKSON GOLF PRO, UPON HIS INDUCTION INTO THE MISSISSIPPI SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2001.
WHEREAS, the Jackson Touchdown Club and Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame has unveiled the Class of 2001 of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, which features Ken Lindsay, the famed Jackson golf pro who became the 30th President of the Professional Golf Association (PGA); and
WHEREAS, his sports career is a matter of record: internationally renowned Jackson golf pro who rose in the golf world to become President of the PGA; although he had many offers to move to larger country clubs throughout the United States, Ken chose to remain in Mississippi playing professional golf, teaching golf, becoming one of the top golf rules experts in America, and officiating PGA events around the world; Ken hails from Glencoe, Alabama, in the northern part of the state near Gadsden; he attended Glencoe High School where he played quarterback for the football team, a forward on the basketball team, and he spent four years as a medalist among his peers every golf season; his interest in golf began at age 10 when he shagged golf balls on the Gulf Steel Gold Course and generally pestered local golfers into teaching him the game; the late golf veteran, George Black, took Ken under his wings while he was still a student at Glencoe; in 1960, Ken won his first state amateur title, a win in the Alabama Junior championship tournament; Lindsey received a golf scholarship from Memphis State University (now known as the University of Memphis) and competed for the Tigers from 1962-1965; Ken played in 15 college matches each year and went undefeated his freshman and senior seasons; during his college days in the Bluff City, Ken's team took on all of the SEC golf powerhouses, including other notable collegiate teams from Houston, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Louisiana State University (LSU), Mississippi State and Arkansas; he was selected as team captain after his sophomore season; Ken teamed up with notable Memphis players, such as Will Sowles, Mike Malarkey and John Schlee; Lindsay started out hot for the Tigers, winning 10 straight matches in his freshman year and 8 consecutive to start his second year at Memphis; the 18-straight wins shattered a Memphis record held by Hillman Robbins; Ken led the Tiger golf team to a staggering win in the LSU Invitational in Baton Rouge by shooting a one under par 141 to oust the homestanding Tigers and the Alabama Linksters by six strokes; while serving as captain for the Memphis team, Ken participated in the Biloxi based Sunkist Mid-Winter Tournament in 1964 and 1965; a second place finish in 1964 to Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame member Mickey Bellande made Ken all the more determined in 1965 as the 21-year old collegiate captain shot a 65 to clinch the victory; Ken frequently played his hometown Gulf Steel Golf Club course and he was an annual participant in the Gadsden Country Club tournament; while playing with his mentor George Black and Dick Schmuck, Lindsay racked up the longest ace ever made on the course when he drilled a 365 yard hole-in-one on the par four 10th hole; it was the third ace for Ken in his early playing days; Lindsay also won the Gadsden Tournament in back-to-back years; Ken had a tendency for slow starts in tournaments, but he had a tremendous late rush and put on show stopping course charges for his match wins; in the 1962 GCC tourney, he tore up the Alabama course while battling heavy rains; he holed two eagles to clinch a 9 under par win and a course record 63; during this time period, sportswriters from Memphis and Alabama took great interest in Ken's career; Alabama writer Jimmy Bryan once described Ken as "an unassuming young man who eats, sleeps and lives golf in Gadsden, Alabama, and Memphis, Tennessee"; Lindsay closed out his college career at Memphis State with an incredible 72.6 competitive scoring average and he racked up 40 match wins out of 44 matches played, which also established a school record; incredibly, in four years of collegiate competition, he only lost four individual matches; after graduation in 1966, Ken entered the Air Force as a 2nd lieutenant due to four years service in ROTC at Memphis State; his service career included work on ICBM and Titan Two defense missiles; he was stationed at the Air Force Base at Little Rock, Arkansas, where he continued to hone his golfing skills and knowledge of the game in between military assignments; he competed in military tournaments all across the South and Southwest; Lindsay won back-to-back base titles course; in doing so, he qualified to play in the Strategic Air Command Tournament at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska; the wins solidified his position as one of the top armed services golfers in America; the highlight of Ken's military golf accomplishments happened in 1968, when he won the 1968 World Wide Air Force Championship held at Lackland Air Force Base course in San Antonio, Texas; this tournament included every golfer in the Air Force world wide and Ken had to win on a weekly basis in a grueling elimination format; to capture the title, he shot an eight under par 280 in the four-day championship event; in 1969, Ken won the first state public links tournament in Arkansas at the Riverdale Golf Course in Little Rock; he fired a 68 after his traditional slow start; after posting a 75 on the first 18 holes of play, he charged back on the second 18 with a three under par 68 and a 36 hole total of 143; the Air Force Champion shaved 7 strokes on the final 18 holes despite landing two shots into water hazards and taking a pair of bogies in the early round; overall, during Ken's military career, he won 10 military tournaments; after serving his country from 1966 to January 1970, Ken received his honorable discharge and was bombarded with offers to become a club pro and to play on the PGA tour; this was a pivotal time in Ken's life, one that would shape his golfing career in remarkable ways; many followers, sponsors, friends and family literally urged him to join the PGA and he received several lucrative four-year sponsorship offers; he had a standing offer for one sponsorship from a Memphis doctor and the money offers were three times the earnings he could make as a club pro; Ken, however, had a goal to be the best club pro in PGA ranks which did not include playing on the tour; making headlines in Mississippi and Alabama, in 1970, Ken began his golf pro career as an assistant golf pro under Norman Bryant, the dean of Mississippi club pros at Colonial Country Club in Jackson; Lindsay wanted to learn from one of the best and Bryant fit the bill; his decision to become an apprentice to Bryant at Colonial and play in the professional ranks placed Ken on a path that would eventually put him into the PGA hierarchy; Ken soon settled in at Colonial as he played professional tournaments, taught golf and became a top flight rules expert; in 1972, just two years after joining the PGA apprentice program, Ken was named Mississippi Apprentice of the Year; one year later in 1973, he earned his national PGA membership; in 1974, Ken was elected Secretary/Treasurer of the Mississippi Chapter of the Gulf States PGA Section and stayed sharp in professional competition; he captured the Gulf States Championship with a 7 under par and began a streak of being named Mississippi PGA Player of the Year from 1974 to 1979; he was named Mississippi Player of the Year five times in a seven-year span; just five years after spurning PGA tour offers to work with Norman Bryant, Ken was named head professional at Colonial in 1975; combining his course skills with a command of talents as a golf pro, Lindsay served as President of the Mississippi Chapter of the Gulf States Section PGA in 1975 and 1976; in 1978, he once again was victorious in the Mississippi PGA Championship at the Laurel Country Club; he repeated the feat at Meridian's Northwood Country Club in 1979 by shooting a 73 for a 142 final on a tightly laid out course; Lindsay served as section secretary for the PGA from 1979-1980 and achieved the position of section president in 1981-1982; Ken had served on the Board of Directors of the Section since 1974; during this time period, Ken kept amazing his fans, family and friends with feats on the golf course; he shot a sizzling 63 on his home course at Colonial and mastered those links by shooting in the 60's often; he was under par at Colonial for an amazing 10 consecutive rounds of golf; Lindsay shattered two course records in MPGA events, including a 63 at the Canton Country Club and a 64 at the Jackson Country Club; he managed to shoot a course record 63 at his old Alabama stomping grounds at the Gulf Steel course near Gadsden; in 1980, Ken began his first tour of duty as a PGA rules official when he worked at a Rochester, New York, PGA event; he was soon named to the 25-man PGA Rules Committee and in the same year, Ken worked the famed World Series of Golf at the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio; Lindsay had passed the test of fire by a golf official in 1979 when he made all of the crucial rulings on the 11th hole at a PGA tournament played at Oakland Hills in Birmingham, Michigan; Ken learned all of the nuances concerning crowd control and TV coverage at the hole, which drew 22,000 spectators; he dealt with many situations when PGA pros fired five irons into the greens, the gallery and against TV equipment; he soon became a rules official workhorse as he appeared at all of the well known PGA tour events including the PGA Championship, the World Series of Golf, the Players Tournament of Champions, the Club Pro Championship, the PGA Seniors and the ultimate in 1992, the Masters at Augusta, Georgia; Ken worked the courses feverishly and became a familiar figure to stars such as Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson; Lindsay would spend as much as two months away from his family while racking up over 200,000 miles of travel annually for the PGA; he once disqualified Lee Trevino, who had mistakenly signed his scorecard wrong; Trevino took the snafu in stride and responded by saying "I'm more of a champion dummy than I am a champion golfer!"; in one tournament, Ken faced tremendous pressure as he had to place a ball for Jack Nicklaus three times before 14,000 spectators around the hole; his most famous ruling in a PGA event happened at the World Series of Golf when a Tom Watson shot stopped cold in a rut caused by a TV truck; Watson wanted to chip out, but the rut was blocking his efforts; Lindsay granted Watson relief from the rut and allowed him a drop, citing the rule for "unusual damage" to the course; Larry Nelson, who was leading the tournament at the time, protested Ken's ruling, but Ken's ruling stood; Watson later missed a putt on the hole which made Lindsay's ruling a moot point; the same year he worked his first Masters in 1992, Ken was invited for a homecoming event at the Gulf Steel Course where he learned the game in North Alabama; his 1961 Glencoe Golf team was reassembled in Gadsden by Gulf Steel pro Joe Stone for a weekend of fellowship and golf; though his teacher and mentor, George Black, had passed away, Ken reunited with former teammates Larry Parker, Arnold Walker, Dan Cosby and Coach R.G. Johnson; in typical Lindsay fashion, Ken put on a clinic in the morning, played 9 holes and swapped golf stories with memories of George Black; Ken told a local reporter that the purpose of the reunion was to "go back from where I was hunting golf balls for them to today, when I'm waving to them on TV!"; finally, in 1983, after being a PGA member for 10 years, serving as a rules official, attending 6 PGA schools, and having written a 20,000-word thesis entitled "The Putting Green Rule," Ken earned a Master Professional classification by the PGA; he was also honored in his milestone year as the Golf Professional of the Year by the PGA; Lindsay was also presented in 1987 with the esteemed National Horton Smith Golf Award, which placed Ken in an elite group of only four persons in the United States to receive these two particular awards; Ken rose through the PGA ranks like a meteor after his landmark year of 1983 as he became a powerful and influential figure in the golf world; he was one of the PGA's most active leaders and earned respect from all aspects of the golfing world with his work ethic and professionalism; in 1984, Lindsay was named Chairman of the National PGA Rules Committee, the beginning of seven years of service to the committee; at various times, Ken also served on the Membership, Communications and Public Awareness Committees of the organization; Ken was also a member of the nine-person Rules of Golf Board for the United States Golf Association for seven years; Ken's dedication to the PGA made him a national golf figure and he also became an international golf ambassador; he has officiated at many British Opens, European tournaments and several Ryder Cup Matches; Lindsay has officiated at all four of the PGA's major tourneys: the Masters, the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the British Open; in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ken achieved new heights in the golf world by being selected to the PGA's Board of Directors in 1989; Lindsay was also named General Manager of Colonial Country Club in the same year; he served on the board until 1991, when he was elected secretary in 1992, and was also named Director of Golf at Colonial; he served as PGA secretary until 1994, when he was chosen as vice president; ultimately, in 1996, Ken Lindsay was elected to be the 30th President of the PGA, golf's greatest organization with over 23,000 members; as President of the PGA, Ken truly distinguished himself and was an active advocate for his sport; he presented the winners' checks and trophies to champions on 11 different occasions; with his term as PGA president completed, Ken continues to make an impact with the world's most famous golf group; he still officiates PGA events and worked the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, North Carolina; Lindsay stays on the road to work PGA events across the United States and global boundaries; in 1995, he appeared on the cover of the PGA Executive Golfer and was honored as being one of the World's Greatest Golf Professionals; his loyalty to Colonial Country Club in Jackson is deep and he remains close to his rooted Mississippi and Alabama ties; Ken is recognized everywhere golf is played in the world as a man of honor and integrity; Lindsay has written numerous national articles on golf and he is a keen golf expert; he is currently the General Manager and Master Golf Professional of Colonial in Jackson and Deerfield Country Club in Madison; for over 30 years, Ken has been a champion for junior golf and he conducts over a dozen junior golf clinics and summer camps every year; Ken directs many charity tournaments at Colonial and Deerfield, including a short list of tourneys for Cystic Fibrosis, St. Richard's, Make-A-Wish, Multiple Sclerosis and many others; Lindsay helps raise anywhere from $75,000 to $100,000 each year for charity; despite his busy schedule in the golf world, Ken is a humanitarian of the highest order; Lindsay has a friend whose wife is incapacitated due to a severe stroke; Ken takes the time to personally visit with his friend several evenings a week; enshrinement into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame is the third Hall of Fame membership for Ken; he was a 1981 inductee into the University of Memphis Sports Hall of Fame and he became a member of the Gadsden, Alabama, Sports Hall of Fame in 1992; at the time of Ken's induction into the Memphis Hall of Fame, he was only the fourth golfer to be selected as a member of the Tiger shrine along with Hillman Robbins, Lou Graham and Mason Rudolph; Ken's nomination to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame was accompanied by letters of recommendation from a Who's Who in Professional Golf, including Jack Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen, Tiger Woods, Sir Michael Bonallack of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews (the British Open), Buzz Taylor of the USGA, Commissioner Timothy Finchem of the PGA and former U.S. President George Bush; in addition to the lofty honors mentioned, Ken was notified by Jack Nicklaus that he and former President Bush were elected to the Muirhead, Ohio, Golf Clubs' Captain's Club Award, an award for supporting charities, and was inducted into this outstanding club in 2000; Ken is married to the former Janet Taggweiler of Fort Myers, Florida, and has one son, David Michael Lindsay; and
WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize this outstanding athlete, whose high profile national image in the wonderful sport of golf has brought honor to his community and to the State of Mississippi:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend and congratulate Ken Lindsay, famed Jackson golf professional, upon his induction into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2001, and wish him and his family continued success in all his future endeavors.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be presented to Ken Lindsay at induction ceremonies to be held on March 23, 2001, in Jackson, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.