Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands

The Loop

Billy Burke: One man's legacy

July 06, 2009

Bill Fields' memorable column on Billy Burke's triumph in the 1931 U.S. Open at Ohio's Inverness Club (Golf World, June 29) drew a knowledgeable note from old friend Bruce Loman, who grew up here in Connecticut and then, after selling Callaway clubs in the early days of that start-up, moved to California 20 years ago to join Ely and company.

__Dear Editor, Great article about Billy Burke. The teaching legacy that he left at the 9-hole course in Naugatuck, CT ( Hop Brook ), has never been explored: Two Connecticut state junior champions, a state woman's champion, four PGA club professionals, including John Geleski, who was the head professional at Watertown C.C. and won the Connecticut Open. (John's son Mike is Executive V.P. of Peter Jacobsen Sports.) On any given Saturday morning there were a dozen players under 5 handicap setting up games. Most worked in the same foundry at some time, including my dad, who won the club championship a half a dozen times. I myself have been in the golf business for 40 years with the Bob Hope and Dinah Shore tournaments, as well as 23 years with Callaway Golf. If you look back I think Billy had a lot to do with all of it. Thanks!

Bruce Loman>

Newport Coast, CA>

Thanks, Bruce. It's the legacy of folks like Billy Burke who keep the game alive. Golf World and Golf Digest don't have room to give them all their due, but Bill's article, and your letter, help.

--Bob Carney __