NORTON, Mass – The Massachusetts Golf Hall of Fame & Museum inducted six individuals into its Hall of Fame in a virtual ceremony October 13 that is available on Youtube.
The Class of 2021 includes Tara Joy-Connelly, Allen Doyle, Jesse Guilford, Richard D. Haskell, Harry B. McCracken, Jr., and Philip Young.
“The recognition of these six individuals is another significant occasion for Mass Golf,” said Thomas F. Bagley III, Committee Chairman of the Massachusetts Golf Hall Of Fame & Museum. “We are so blessed to have such a rich golf history, and it is exciting to welcome such a varied class of honorees. The Class of 2021 has earned their rightful place among the other golf legends already enshrined in the Massachusetts Golf Hall of Fame.”
The 54-minute virtual induction ceremony was hosted by Kate Merrill, from WBZ-TV News, and included exclusive interviews with two of the living golf legends – Allen Doyle and Tara Joy-Connelly. The accomplishments of Jesse Guilford, Richard Haskell, Harry McCracken, Jr. and Philip Young were memorialized by family members.
“Congratulations to the class of 2021 on such a deserving honor for being inducted into the Massachusetts Golf Hall of Fame,” said Mass Golf Executive Director/CEO Jesse Menachem. “Undoubtedly, you have left a mark on golf in Massachusetts through your outstanding contribution to the game. We would like to thank our sponsors and look forward to celebrating with you again in the future.”
In the player category, Tara Joy-Connelly, Allen Doyle, and Jesse Guilford were elected.
Duxbury native, Tara Joy-Connelly, is among the winningest Massachusetts amateur golfers in history, with more than 30 statewide and New England regional titles to her name. After a stint on LPGA’s developmental tour, she regained her amateur status in 2002 and became one of the fiercest competitors in the Bay State. She won the Massachusetts Women’s Amateur title in 2003 and 2013 and won the Mass Golf Anne Marie Tobin Women’s Player of the Year nine times, more than any other individual since the award was first bestowed in 1994.
“It came as a nice surprise to be told I was being inducted into the Massachusetts Golf Hall of Fame,” Joy-Connelly said. “It’s really quite humbling to be singled out this way. Golf has given me so many opportunities, and when I think back to all the courses played, it all started back on the 10th hole at Marshfield Country Club, shagging my own balls. And with the enthusiasm of the members and my parents, I was off to the races.”
Allen Doyle, who grew up in Norwood and attended Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury, is most heralded for turning pro at age 46 back in 1995, and then at 47 becoming the oldest rookie ever on the PGA Tour, earning his card for the 1996 season. From his hockey days, he developed an unusual stance that was short, choppy, and far away from the ball, yet still excelled as an amateur golfer. He finished runner-up in the 1969 Massachusetts Amateur and went on to make three Walker Cup teams, three World Amateur teams, and earn stroke-play medalist honors at the 1991 U.S. Amateur. When he turned 50 in 1998, he joined the Champions Tour and proceeded to win the 1999 PGA Seniors’ Championship and the U.S. Senior Open in 2005 and 2006.
“I was just one of those guys who got hooked on the game,” Doyle said. “To get a call like that and to look back to where you were when you started the game and where you developed as a young player is just a thrill.”
In the middle of the “Tiger Boom” in 2001 Allen Doyle, among the most unlikely members of pro golf’s millionaires’ club, accepted the $1 million tax-deferred annuity that goes to the winner of the Senior PGA Tour’s Charles Schwab Cup and promptly announced that the entire prize would be donated to charity.
Jesse Guilford, who made his home in Newton, was among the earliest amateur greats to hail from Massachusetts. One hundred years ago, he won the 1921 U.S. Amateur at St. Louis Country Club by upsetting 1909 champion Robert Gardner, 7 & 6. He was also stroke-play medalist at the 1922 U.S. Amateur held at The Country Club. Nicknamed “The Siege Gun” for his monstrous drives, Guilford was a three-time champion of the Massachusetts Amateur and in 1919 became the first amateur to win the Massachusetts Open, winning it again in 1929. He also led the U.S. to Walker Cup victories in 1922, 1924, and 1926.
In the builder category, longtime friends and past Mass Golf executives, Harry B. McCracken, Jr. and Richard D. Haskell, were elected.
RICHARD D. HASKELL
Richard Haskell served as Executive Director of what was then known as the Massachusetts Golf Association (MGA) from 1969-1997, overseeing one of the largest expansions of clubs into the state golf association. He added six statewide amateur championships to the schedule and introduced the computerized GHIN Handicap system and United States Golf Association (USGA) Slope System in Massachusetts. In addition to receiving several prestigious golf association awards, including the USGA Ike Grainger Award for volunteerism, Haskell was one of the game’s preeminent historians in the Bay State, helping establish MassGolfer Magazine and leading the publishing efforts into the MGA’s centennial book “A Commonwealth of Golfers.”
HARRY B. MCCRACKEN
Harry McCracken spent eight decades of his life serving the game of golf in Massachusetts, New England, and beyond. Volunteering was paramount for McCracken, who also served on the Massachusetts Golf Association Executive Committee and served as president from 1984-1985. He then served as Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the New England Golf Association from 1987 until his death in 2019. He also co-founded MGA Golf Consultant, Inc., which restored downtrodden golf facilities, including Boston’s William J. Devine Golf Course at Franklin Park and George Wright Golf Course. For his service as a volunteer, McCracken earned the prestigious USGA Joe Dey Award in 2007 and the 2013 USGA Ike Grainger Award for 25 years of service.
In the innovator category, Philip Young was elected.
Philip Young, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was the inventor of the process that created the original Titleist golf ball. He perfected the machining process in the 1930s by creating golf balls that had the best and most consistent centered cores. Young perfected his creation by 1935, and today Titleist markets itself as the “#1 Ball in Golf”, used by more players and more champions across the world.
(Content from Mass Golf was used in this report)
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