Dean of American Golf Professionals

Nick’s brother-in-law, John Inglis, had a connection with golf that began before the turn of the 20th century. It was at the old Apawamis nine-hole links in Rye, New York, where a member stuck a golf club in his caddie’s hand, and told him to hang on to it. For the next 60 years he did that as a total professional: teacher, golf course architect and club maker.

At age 19 he took over his first job as the head golf professional at Larchmont Golf Club in Westchester County, New York. In 1908, Inglis switched from Larchmont to Fairview Country Club, where he served as its head golf professional for the next 51 years. He is prouder of his service to the game, and the PGA of America, than for his playing ability even though he once beat U.S. Amateur champion (1904) Walter Travis, 4 and 3, in an exhibition match.

John served as president of the Metropolitan Section of the PGA for 31 years, from 1928 to 1959—longer than any other Sectional officeholder. He was twice-elected National vice-president of the PGA of America. Inglis had as much to do with the organization of the PGA of America, in 1916, as any other individual. He also had a hand in the initial concept of a Senior PGA Tour.

The members of Fairview Country Club wished to show their appreciation to their beloved head professional, John Inglis. A golf gala was held at the club. The guest list included over 360 people (53 of which were invited golf pros playing in an invitational tournament).

On hand to help celebrate were some of J.R’s (as he was affectionately called) talented pupils. A roster that included former Open Champions Tony Manero and Johnny Farrell and five of the seven Turnesa brothers.

They all learned their golf from J.R. as caddie, caddie master, assistant pro, and head pro.

Also playing that day was Claude Harmon, (Masters Champion), Western Open Titleist Herman Barron, and former PGA champ Jim Turnesa. In addition to helping the professionals, some 8000 men and women started golf under J.R.’s tutelage. It is easy to see why so many admirers have given John Inglis the appellation: “Dean of American Golf Professionals.”

HistoryRichard DeMane