PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Errie Ball, 100, the only surviving player from the inaugural Masters in 1934, will be the next featured speaker in the PGA Museum of Golf Speaker Series, on Wed., April 6, at 5:30 p.m. The fireside chat is held in conjunction with Masters Week, and will be conducted at the PGA Museum of Golf, at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Admission is complimentary and open to the public.
Ball has played with some of the game's most revered immortals, including Gene Sarazen and Bobby Jones, (who gave Ball a written recommendation for his first job); and also received putting lessons from Walter Hagen.
As the PGA Golf Professional Emeritus at Willoughby Golf Club in Stuart, Fla., Ball has taught golf there from 1989 to as recently as last year, when he was 99 years old.
Obtaining PGA membership in 1931, Ball is currently the second oldest living and second-longest serving PGA Member. He was recruited to America from his native Wales by his Uncle Frank, who was then the Head Golf Professional at East Lake Country Club, in Atlanta. Errie Ball's great uncle, John Ball, was the first amateur to win the Open Championship.
Drafted into the U.S. Navy in 1943, Ball served in World War II, attaining the rank of Seaman First Class. He then spent 24 years as PGA Head Professional at Oak Park (Ill.) Country Club during the summer and served 20 winters at Tucson (Ariz.) National Golf Club. He won the Illinois PGA Open, three Section Championships, Illinois Senior Open and Match Play Championship. He was inducted into the Section's Hall of Fame in 1990.
"Errie Ball is a beloved legend in PGA circles," said Bob Baldassari, PGA Village general manager. "His recollection of the game is a treat for any golf enthusiast who wishes to trace back to a bygone era and hear first-hand the story of someone that was an eyewitness to golf history."
Ball will speak of his most treasured golf memories in the rotunda of the newly renamed PGA Museum of Golf (formerly PGA Historical Center), located next to the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance, at 8565 Commerce Center Drive, in Port St. Lucie (I-95 Exit 121 St. Lucie West Blvd.).
As The PGA of America celebrates its 95th anniversary in 2011, PGA Village is commemorating its 15th anniversary, with special activities such as the PGA Museum of Golf Speaker Series. Admission to the Museum is free, with hours 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily through Easter. Visit www.PGA.com/museum for additional information.