The Atlanta Chapter of Pro-Duffers USA was founded at the behest of Johnny Thomas (a Pro-Duffer at large) and Ocie Irons following their attendance at the 1995 Pro-Duffers’ National Convention in Jamaica. The rationale for the formation of the Atlanta Chapter was to serve the members common interest in golf. In addition, it was felt that there was a community need to involve underprivileged youth who may not otherwise be exposed to the game of golf.

C. C. Jones, a Memphis Pro-Duffer, formally installed the Atlanta Chapter of Pro-Duffers USA, on January 19, 1996. The sponsor for the Atlanta Chapter was Pro-Duffers USA, South Memphis. Pro-Duffers from the Memphis and Dallas Chapters present were Dan Evans, Wilson Clayton, Foster Kidd, Leon Griffin, C. C. Jones, Charles Campbell, Clyde Saunders, Larry Colbert, Bill Terrell, and J. McClure.

Sixteen charter members were inducted into the Atlanta Pro-Duffers. They were Thomas Arnold, Mark Brinkley, Obie Clayton, Francis Davis, Carver Fortson, Earle Harris, Ocie Irons, James Johnson, Bobby G. Jordan, Wilbur Leaphart, Robert Manley, William Shropshire, Leo Smith, Johnny Thomas, Ira Turner, and Craig Williams.

Our chapter was a proud bunch of men. We were looking forward to being a stalwart in Pro-Duffers USA. Our play indicated otherwise. Our first club champion was a transplant from the Dallas Chapter. He left after the first year. Our next club championship had a first day leader by 18 strokes and lost by three. That same year we hosted the Nationals (1997) and were admonished as being great dressers but poor golfers. We have come a long way, as our chapter won the 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2012 National Club championship.

The Atlanta Pro-Duffers Constitution provides for three (3) general meetings at the beginning of each year, the 2nd Saturday of January, February and March. An Annual Awards Meeting is also authorized. Additional meetings may be scheduled as needed. The president presides according to the conditions at hand and pursuant to an approved agenda. At this time, new members are considered and accepted or rejected. Dues, annual budget, play schedule and particular community and scholarship activities we plan to support are discussed, voted on and approved or modified. Pursuant to the National Constitution, the Atlanta Pro-Duffers’ Annual Tournament is cosponsored with the Marriott Marquis Bell Staff in June. This tournament provides a percentage of the funding for community projects that we sponsor. The projects we presently support are these:

1. Hook-A-Kid Project
2. John A. White 1st Tee Program
3. Whitefoord Elementary School
4. First Tee Saturday Golf Academy

For each of the past six years, the Atlanta Chapter of the Pro-Duffers USA has sponsored 20 to 30 youngsters in the “Hook-a-Kid on Golf Program.” The youngsters receive a week of golf instruction, a starter set of golf clubs, and other materials needed to help them learn the game. Clinics are highlighted by special talks about golf course maintenance, rules, and etiquette, as well as alcohol and drug awareness. These young people continue to improve their golf skills through the First Tee Saturday Golf Academy. The Atlanta Pro-Duffers sponsor an intra, intercity tournament that is supervised by a PGA-certified professional.

The Tournament Director and committee are responsible for selecting and planning the play schedule for each year. They ensure that all scorecards are collected and the results entered into the computer system. The Tournament Director is responsible for maintaining all handicap indexes and bi monthly revisions. The three major award plays are as follows:

1. Four rounds of Quota play
2. Four rounds of Division play
3. Two rounds of Club Championship play

Each year we participate in an interstate competition with the chapters of Columbia, SC and Orlando, FL on a home and home basis. The winner of the two-day competition receives a floating trophy called "The Battle of the South Cup" which they keep for a year.

The Club Championship play, conducted over a two-day period, establishes the best golfer, based on a net score for the two-day play period.

Our records reflect the following Club Champions:

Pete Draper
Walter Johnson
Johnny Thomas
Francis Davis
Samuel Scott
Jim Harmon
Herman Ponder
Ben Jenkins
Bill Selman
George Trammell
Cephus Jackson
Bernard West
Dan Pruitt
Timothy Moone
Gerald Griggs
Samuel Scott

1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012


In 2008 we recognized the Low Gross Champion during our Club Championship play. The winners are as follows:

Phil Johnson
Oscar Turner
John McEwen
Oscar Turner
Oscar Turner

2008
2009
2010
2011
2012

The Annual Awards Meeting is held the first week of December. We invite wives, significant others, and special guests to this meeting at which trophies are presented. This affair is as elite as we can make it. Dress is semiformal and is usually held at a four-star facility. We honor our wives and significant others by presenting them with special gifts as tokens of their forbearance. The president makes acknowledgments and the tournament director presents trophies to all award winners.

A highlight of our membership in the National Organization has been our participation in the Annual Spring Fling and National Tournaments. This has afforded us an opportunity to interact and establish lasting friendships with many other golfers from other chapters.


Former Presidents

Ocie Irons
Bobby Jordan
Earle Harris
Wilbur Leaphart


At this juncture in our history, we respectfully acknowledge the loss of the following members:

In Memoriam

Charles Funderburg
Ocie J. Irons
Carver J. Fortson
Walter J. Johnson
Thomas A. Arnold
Clayton Carter
J. Bernard Arnold
Leo Smith



 

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