ILLINOIS GOLF LEGEND BILL OGDEN TO BE INDUCTED MARCH 12 INTO THE PGA PROFESSIONAL GOLF HALL OF FAME
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Bill Ogden, who established an unparalleled tradition of mentoring young professionals while also carving an enviable Illinois PGA Section playing record, is one of eight inductees to be enshrined in the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame.
Ogden, who passed away in 2005 at age 78, will be honored Tuesday, March 12, at the PGA Education Center at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and his name enshrined in granite at the adjoining PGA Museum of Golf.
The PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame inductees also include: the late Jimmie DeVoe, formerly of Los Angeles; Don “Chip” Essig IV of Westfield, Ind.; Michael Hebron of St. James, N.Y.; Jim Mrva of Pittsford, N.Y.; the late William “Bill” Powell, formerly of East Canton, Ohio; Robert “Bob” Toski of Boca Raton, Fla., and PGA Honorary President Allen Wronowski of Bel Air, Md.
“It is with a great deal of pride at The PGA of America welcomes a special eight-member class into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame, who by their life’s work have made significant and lasting contributions to The Association and the game of golf,” said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. “This class features those who battled social injustice, renowned instructors, and leaders who exhibited a passion for serving others beyond their job description. Their names will be forever inscribed among those who have made golf the greatest game.”
Considered one of the most inspiring and engaging members in Illinois PGA Section history, Ogden took great pride in mentoring young PGA Professionals. Ogden, who turned professional in 1950, spent 40 years at North Shore Country Club in Chicago, and completed a special term of service within the Illinois PGA Section.
Throughout his career, he had 43 PGA assistant professionals go on to earn head professional positions. He was a Professional who made an impact in two parts of the country, during the spring and summer at North Shore Country Club and in the winter in Southern California. He served as PGA head professional at five different golf clubs in the Palm Springs, Calif., area from 1970-80.
“My father trained so many for the golf business, it was as if he had two daughters and more than 40 sons,” said one of Ogden’s daughters, Lori Ogden Moore, of San Francisco. “When young professionals that he had trained were being interviewed for jobs, they had an advantage. The training he provided was like a Harvard Business School for PGA Professionals.”
Ogden was the 1970 Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year and served as Section president. In 1990, Ogden was inducted into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame and the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame. He captured a record six Illinois PGA Player of the Year titles and competed in 31 major championships between 1953 and 1972.
One of Ogden’s golf practice partners in the 1950s was a professional from Iowa, Jack Fleck, who was struggling the week of the 1955 U.S. Open at Olympic Club. Ogden took Fleck out after the round to help him. Later that week, Fleck made golf history by winning the Open in a stunning 18-hole playoff over legendary Ben Hogan.
Among Ogden’s playing accomplishments was tying for third in the 1956 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am and sharing fourth in the 1968 Tucson Open. He won 18 Illinois PGA titles, and is the only Illinois golfer to win the Illinois Open, PGA Medal Play, PGA Match Play, and Assistants Championship.
Ogden retired in 1994 and passed away at age 78, on June 24, 2005, in Indian Wells, Calif. He is survived by his daughters, Lori Ogden Moore of San Francisco and Shelly Ogden Sage of Seattle, Wash.