Hill of Fame
From the very fertile mind of legendary Oak Hill member Dr. John R. Williams, the idea for a Hill of Fame was given life in1956. Located adjacent to the magnificent East Course’s thirteenth hole and shaded by towering trees of age, Oak Hill has immortalized those individuals who have contributed to the game of golf and left their indelible mark on the landscape.
The Hill of Fame is a manifestation of Oak Hill’s pride in its history and place in the game and its commitment to foster among all who visit, a deeper appreciation and respect for those who have made it so special.
Dr. Williams believed that a living tree is a much better monument than a piece of granite. He therefore selected trees as a means by which persons elected would be honored. A bronze plaque is affixed to the tree to commemorate their achievements.
To date, twenty-six ceremonies have inducted forty-two men and women, professionals and amateur golfers, presidents, administrators and duffers alike who, in the words of Martin T. Gullen (Dr. Williams’s successor as Hill of Fame Chairman) “are honored for their fine qualities of heart and mind and their personal contribution to some phase of human welfare and uplift.”
With over 50 years of historic perspective, it’s worth noting that all Hill of Fame inductees possessed that certain intangible that set them apart, and allowed us to say, they were all “persons of character”!
Hill of Fame Honorees
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Robert T. Jones, Jr.
Charles Coe •1949 US Amateur Champion
Dr. Cary Middlecoff
Mildred (Babe) D. Zaharias
William C. Chapin • Oak Hill Member
William “Billy” Casper
Dr. John R. Williams • Oak Hill Member
Charles (Chick) Evans, Jr.
Francis D. Ouimet
Joseph C. Dey, Jr. • USGA/PGA Tour Executive
Richard S. Tufts • USGA President
Clarence W. Benedict • USGA President
William C. Campbell • USGA President
Robert Trent Jones • Golf Course Architect
James R. Hand • USGA President
Donald J. Ross • Golf Course Architect
1995 European Ryder Cup Team
Sam Urzetta • 1950 US Amateur Champion
Don Allen • 6-Time NY Amateur Champion
Craig W. Harmon • Head Professional Oak Hill
Jim Awtrey • PGA Executive
Gerald A. Stahl • Oak Hill Member
What’s common among these most uncommon individuals is not just their extraordinary achievements, but also the spirit in which they engaged the tasks at hand and the character with which they comported their lives. All were pioneers, but in different ways. They pushed against barriers and drew lines in the sand.
They did it with civility to be sure, but with great panache all the same. They showed us the joy of a life well lead and let us share that joy with them.
If you have the opportunity to visit Oak Hill Country Club, be sure to spend some time on the Hill of Fame. It’s located a few feet from the front entrance to the Club. ~ W.A. Westerfeld
Hill of Fame Chairmen:
John R. Williams 1956 - 1965
Marty Gullen 1965 - 1980
Bill Reeves 1980 - 2013
Bill Westerfeld 2013 - to date
Byron Nelson Video
Tom Watson Speech