PGA Past President Ken Lindsay Honored by Peers

jim remy, ken lindsay
Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America
Ken Lindsay (right) received his Legends of the PGA Award from outgoing President on Saturday at the Annual Meeting.
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PGA of America

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Published: Tuesday, November 02, 2010 | 3:59 p.m.

PGA Past President Ken Lindsay of Jackson, Miss., who became one of the most respected rules officials in golf, will be celebrated by Association members as one of the "Legends of The PGA" during ceremonies Nov. 6, at the 94th PGA Annual Meeting at the Westin Copley Place in Boston.

Lindsay, 67, who served as the 30th President of The PGA of America from 1997-98, is a PGA Master Professional who spent 31 years as general manager and director of golf at Colonial Country Club in Jackson, Miss. Born in Gadsden, Ala., Lindsay turned professional in 1970, and was elected to PGA membership in 1973, igniting a career that would elevate him to serve at the highest levels of the Association, while also committing himself to the development of aspiring professionals.

One of The PGA of America's most decorated members, Lindsay was the 1983 PGA Golf Professional of the Year, the 1987 Horton Smith Award recipient and from 1984 to 1989, and served as chairman of the National PGA Rules Committee.

After completing his PGA officer service in 2000, Lindsay spent eight seasons as Rules Official for the Champions Tour before retiring in 2008. He is a member of the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame (2005); the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame (2001); the Gulf States PGA Section Hall of Fame (2000) and the University of Memphis Sports Hall of Fame (1981).

Throughout his professional career, Lindsay was synonymous with the Rules of Golf. His passion to be a practitioner and advocate of the Rules, he said, began early in his playing career.

"I realized how little I knew of the Rules of Golf and my colleagues did not know them well, either," said Lindsay. "At that point, I found that I needed to do something to enhance my career because I wasn't scaring anyone with my golf clubs! I began to study the Rules, attended many workshops, helped my fellow members and gave classes at the Chapter and Section level. It became an obsession."

Lindsay attended the first USGA Rules Workshop in 1975, joined by two other PGA Professionals who would also distinguish themselves in PGA history through the Rules – the late Ed Hoard of Athens, Ga., and past PGA President James R. Carpenter of Hattiesburg, Miss. Lindsay became certified in Rules that year and went on to work 31 PGA Championships, 32 Senior PGA Championships, 12 Ryder Cups, 12 Masters, 12 U.S. Open Championships and 10 Open Championships.

"When I look back upon my career, I think of how lucky I've been and the great people and experiences I've had," said Lindsay. "When I was inside the ropes this year at the Ryder Cup in the rain and mud, I didn't think about the weather but rather how few people get the opportunity to be doing what I'm doing in a career."

Lindsay attended the University of Memphis on a golf scholarship, and posted a 44-4 record in match play, the format conducted at the time in collegiate golf. He graduated in 1966, entering the U.S. Air Force and achieving the rank of captain before his discharge in 1970. During his service, Lindsay won the 1968 Air Force Worldwide Championship at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas.

"I never aspired to be a Tour professional, but I did want to be a good player that would apply to my being a competent club professional," said Lindsay, who went on to lead more than 100 PGA Business Schools and 35 USGA/PGA Rules of Golf seminars. "After I left the service I realized my calling was as a club professional. I watched The PGA of America grow and develop higher education standards. The Association has done the best that it can do to help us all enhance our careers."

Lindsay served as captain of two victorious PGA of America-sanctioned teams – the 2000 U.S. PGA Cup Team at the Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales, and the record-setting 2008 American Junior Ryder Cup Team that routed Europe, 22-2, in Bowling Green, Ky.

Lindsay recalled his roots in the game, when at age 10 in Gadsden, Ala., he had an exchange with a neighborhood friend who was walking to caddie at the nearby local course.

"I asked my friend, Phillip, 'What does a caddie do?' said Lindsay. "He said, 'he carries a golf bag and earns money.' So, I asked my mother if I could go. We walked a half-mile to the course. I ended up caddying for nine holes and earning a dollar. I was hooked on the game ever since."

Lindsay and his wife, Janet, who has been an LPGA rules official since 1994, live in Jackson, Miss. The couple has a son, D. Michael Lindsay, who is is a professor at Rice University, an ordained Baptist minister and author of four books.

The Legends of The PGA program was established in 1995 to recognize PGA presidents for their contributions to the Association and the golf industry.