Vaught's Views: McGuire, Brown earn statewide golf honors

October 20, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Football isn't the only thing Title Town can brag about when it comes to statewide recognition.

Old Bridge Golf Club pro Bruce Brown has been named Teacher of the Year by the Kentucky Section of the Professional Golf Association (PGA) and Danville's Herb McGuire received the prestigious President's Award.

Brown knew he was in the running for his award. McGuire had no idea he was going to be honored when he was invited to the awards dinner in Louisville. Instead, McGuire was told he was invited because he was on the Kentucky Section PGA Board of Directors, a position he's held for eight years.

"But when I got there, I was the only director there," said McGuire. "It was a total surprise to me when they gave me the award."


It shouldn't have been. The award goes to someone who has promoted golf throughout Kentucky and taken a leadership role in golf. That's McGuire.

He'll turn 70 next month and he's been playing golf for so long - 60 years - that he probably can't remember when he didn't play. The first time he played in the state high school tournament in 1948 a player named Gay Brewer won the title. Brewer went on to a successful professional career that included a win at the Masters.

McGuire, a former golf coach at Centre College, helped start the Women's Independent College Tournament. He helped bring the men's State Amateur here twice, including 1989 when a young player named Steve Flesch participated. Flesch now is a successful touring pro who barley missed a spot on the recent Ryder Cup team.

Want more? He's been on the Kentucky Golf Association board of directors for eight years and is a two-time past president of that group as well as past president of the Kentucky Section PGA.

Recently he's helped raised about $780,000 of the $1.2 million needed for a Kentucky Golf House that will be located at Persimmon Ridge Golf Club in Shelby County and will house the Kentucky Golf Association, Kentucky Senior Golf Association and Kentucky Section PGA.

"This is the most prestigious award I have ever received," McGuire said. "It covers part of the professional people and part of the amateur body. It's a real honor."

Helping players of all skill levels

Brown knows the feeling and certainly deserves his award every bit as McGuire did his. Brown has been one of the leading teachers not only of young players, but also veteran players. One of his prize pupils is Danville's Ben Fuqua, the 2003 state high school champion. However, he's also helped players of all ages and skill levels.

The award is based on overall performance, leadership ability, ability to inspire fellow professionals, promotion of golf, impact on teaching and golf instruction, involvement in junior golf activities and innovative contributions.

"That's really a nice award, too, one he certainly deserved," McGuire said.

Brown thought he had a chance to win the award. However, it was one of the last awards presented.

"I was beginning to wonder," Brown said. "This really means a lot to me. I enjoy teaching and this just kind of validates what I do. You don't help others for awards, but this means at least somebody thinks I am doing a good job."

He does. That's why so many players outside of Title Town come to Brown for instruction.

There was also another winner with a Title Town connection. Eric Gilliland of Audubon Country Club in Louisville was named Professional of the Year. He's a Centre College graduate who played golf under Joe McDaniel at Centre.

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