Hall of Fame to induct four

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the honorees for this year’s class of the Kansas City Golf Hall of Fame.

Well known golf professional and stand-out amateur Jim Colbert joins the hall on the strength of his Missouri Amateur (1963), Heart of America Four Ball (1964) and Kansas Amateur (1965) Championships as well as his record of 8 PGA TOUR and 20 PGA TOUR Champions victories.

For more than five decades Frank Kirk has served the golf community in Kansas City. He was a principal founder and Board member of the First Tee of Greater Kansas City, has served on the Boards of the KCGA, KGA and the Western Golf Association, and gives freely of his time and resources to various community organizations and foundations.

In the 1930’s and early 40’s there was no one in the women’s game in Kansas City to compare to Jean Pepper. She won six KC Women’s Match Play Championships, was runner-up twice (losing to Hall of Famers Opal Hill and Marian Gault) and won the Missouri Women’s Amateur three times in succession (1939, ’40 and ’41).

Beginning with this, the fourth class of the Hall of Fame, the committee has initiated a “Committee Selection” to recognize outstanding individuals whose accomplishments might otherwise “fly under the radar” in the normal nomination/election process.

This year’s Committee Selection is Maxine Johnson. After four runner-up finishes in the KC Women’s Match Play, Ms. Johnson captured the first of her seven championships in 1953. She won the Missouri Women’s Amateur in 1951, was runner-up in 1956 and defeated 2016 Hall of Fame inductee Karen Schull (MacGee) for the title in 1957. She also was a consistent performer in the LPGA’s KC Women’s Open, never finishing worse than T-5 low amateur in the six years she competed.

These outstanding individuals join a star-studded cross section of individuals who make up the Kansas City Golf Hall of Fame. They include:

The 2013 class of Opal Hill, Miriam Burns (Horn), Bob Reid, Stan Thirsk, Leland “Duke Gibson, Chester Mendenhall and Tom Watson.

The 2014 inductees were Bob Stone, Karen Schull MacGee, and “The Foursome” a group of African-American golfers who played a major role in integrating public golf in Kansas City.

In 2016 we honored “The Father of Kansas City Golf” James Dalgleish, Marian Gault and Bill Ludwig.

When the committee was established in 2012, as part of the celebration of our first century serving the golf community in Kansas City, the charge was:

“…to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of area amateur and professional golfers, teaching professionals, golf course superintendents, pioneers of the game and others who have contributed to the success and growth of the game over the more than one-hundred years since the founding of the Kansas City Golf Association.”

As stewards of the game, we believe it is our responsibility to preserve our history and to recognize those who built the foundation of excellence on which we stand. The Kansas City Golf Hall of Fame is one of the ways we strive toward that goal.

The Hall of Fame Induction ceremony will be held at Mission Hills CC on November 17th. For those who wish to attend, register here. Attendance is $40. For any questions, email Doug Habel at doug@kcgolf.org.

Statement by Don Kuehn