BILL OGDEN, PGA
Considered one of the most inspiring and engaging members in Illinois PGA Section history, Bill Ogden took great pride in mentoring young PGA Professionals. Ogden, who turned professional in 1950, spent 40 years at North Shore Country Club in Chicago, and completed a special term of service within the Illinois PGA Section.
Throughout his career, he had 43 PGA assistant professionals go on to earn head professional positions. He was a Professional who made an impact in two parts of the country, during the spring and summer at North Shore Country Club and in the winter in Southern California. He served as PGA head professional at four different golf clubs in the Palm Springs, Calif., area from 1970-80.
Ogden was the 1970 Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year and served as Section president. In 1990, Ogden was inducted into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame and the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame. He captured a record six Illinois PGA Player of the Year titles and competed in 31 major championships between 1953 and 1972.
One of Ogden’s golf practice partners in the 1950s was a professional from Iowa, Jack Fleck, who was struggling the week of the 1955 U.S. Open at Olympic Club. Ogden took Fleck out after the round to help him. Later that week, Fleck made golf history by winning the Open in a stunning 18-hole playoff over legendary Ben Hogan.
Among Ogden’s playing accomplishments was tying for third in the 1956 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am and sharing fourth in the 1968 Tucson Open. He won 18 Illinois PGA titles, and is the only Illinois golfer to win the Illinois Open, PGA Medal Play, PGA Match Play, and Assistant Championship.
Ogden retired in 1994 and passed away at age 78, on June 24, 2005, in Indian Wells, Calif. He is survived by his daughters, Lori Ogden Moore of San Francisco and Shelly Ogden Sage of Seattle, Wash.