SCGA Hall of Fame’s new inductees

Charles Maud, Bruce McCormick, Eddie Merrins (aka “The Little
Pro”, Jim Murray and George C. Thomas Jr. will be inducted into the
Southern California Golf Hall of Fame tomorrow in a luncheon at the
Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City. They’ll be inducted for
being instrumental in the growth of golf in Southern California.
Merrins will be in attendance. The other four members are being
inducted posthumously. Maud was the first SCGA president. McCormick
was a two-time California amateur champion and three-time SCGA
champion. Merrins is a respected golf teacher and the long-time pro
at Bel-Air Country Club. Jim Murray was a Pulitzer Prize winning
columnist for the L.A. Times. Thomas Jr. was a golf course architect
and who designed Bel-Air CC, the Los Angeles CC, Riviera and others
in the 1920s.

CHARLES MAUD, BRUCE McCORMICK, EDDIE MERRINS, JIM MURRAY AND GEORGE C. THOMAS, JR. TO BE INDUCTED INTO SCGA HALL OF FAME ON OCT. 29

STUDIO CITY, CA, Oct. 23, 2008 — Five people instrumental in the establishment, growth and history of golf in Southern California will be inducted as the second class of the Southern California Golf Association (SCGA) Hall Fame at a luncheon following the SCGA’s annual meeting on Oct. 29 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City.

The inductees are:
– Charles Maud, first SCGA president and designer of golf courses in the late 19th and early 20th centuries;
– Bruce McCormick, 1937 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, two-time California Amateur champion and three-time SCGA Amateur champion;
– Eddie Merrins, aka “The Little Pro,” long-time head golf professional at Bel-Air CC and one of the nation’s foremost golf teachers;
– Jim Murray, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Los Angeles Times who wrote prolifically and brilliantly about golf; and
– George C. Thomas, Jr., legendary golf course architect who designed Bel-Air CC, The Los Angeles CC, Riviera CC and others in the 1920s.

At the luncheon ceremony, each inductee will be introduced by a short speech followed by the unveiling of a portrait painted by noted artist Scott Medlock. Merrins will be in attendance as will be relatives of the other four inductees, who are all deceased.

The portraits will hang at Golf House West, the SCGA’s headquarters in nearby Studio City. Medlock also created the paintings for the inaugural class last year: Johnny Dawson, Dr. Paul Hunter, Gene Littler, Edward B. Tufts, George Von Elm and Mickey Wright.

Maud will be inducted by Ed Holmes, 2007 SCGA president and a member at Victoria Club in Riverside, a club that dates its history to a course originally designed by Maud. Maud is credited with helping to found many of the earliest clubs in Southern California, all in the Riverside area, including the Riverside Polo & Golf Club, which was one of the SCGA’s five founding clubs in 1899.

Bob Gross and Steve Titus, members at San Gabriel CC, will speak for McCormick who was a member there (Titus is also on the SCGA board of directors and Gross recently won his eighth San Gabriel CC club championship). McCormick holds the course record at San Gabriel with a 59.

McCormick is one of six people in 97 years to capture consecutive California Amateur Championships which he won in 1946 and 1947. The following two years, he won the SCGA Amateur Championship, and he became the oldest SCGA Amateur winner when he won his third title in 1963.

Bob Lovejoy, director of golf at Big Canyon CC in Newport Beach, will induct Merrins. “The Little Pro” wrote his landmark book, “Swing the Handle, not the Clubhead” in 1973 and has since produced a video series with the same name. Merrins, who earlier this year was inducted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame, was also the men’s golf coach at UCLA for decades; his 1988 team won the NCAA Division I national championship.

LPGA Hall of Fame golfer Amy Alcott will induct Murray, who was a Los Angeles Times sports columnist from 1961 until his death in 1998. He won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1990 and in 1988 was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

George C. Thomas, Jr. will be inducted by Bradley Klein, senior writer for Golfweek magazine, who specializes in golf course architecture. Thomas first came to prominence as a rose breeder on the East Coast and then gained fame as a golf course designer. He was one of the great architects in golf’s first “Golf Age” of courses in Southern California in the 1920s; in addition to the courses noted above, he also designed Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, Palos Verdes GC and Red Hill CC, among others.

In addition to the induction ceremony, attendees will be able to view many pieces of memorabilia from the five inductees, including Murray’s Pulitzer Prize and a sample of Thomas’ roses.

ABOUT THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GOLF ASSOCIATION

Founded in 1899, the Southern California Golf Association is one of the oldest and largest regional golf associations in the world, with more than 160,000 individuals who belong to more than 1,200 clubs in Southern California and Baja California. Among its many services, the SCGA provides handicap indexes for its members; uses its own state-of-the-art handicap computer system at all clubs in Southern California; provides course ratings and Slope ratings for all clubs in the association; publishes FORE Magazine, an award-winning, four-color bimonthly publication for members; publishes the annual Southern California Directory of Golf; runs one of the most dynamic golf web sites in the world; conducts 13 championships and dozens of qualifying events for itself and the United States Golf Association; and presents dozens of seminars throughout the year for individuals and member clubs.

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About Jill Painter

Jill Painter is a sports columnist for the Los Angeles News Group, covering everything from the Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, USC, UCLA, Kings, golf and all human interest stories in sports.