BOB TOSKI, PGA
One of the most popular and unforgettable golf instructors of any era, Bob Toski has always been a competitor, whether on the course or challenging students on the practice tee. At age 86 and celebrating 65 years as a PGA Professional, Toski continues to be a remarkable ball striker. He has lost little of his skills from his youth, recently posting a 73 on a 6,400-yard, par-72 course.
Inducted in 1990 into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame, Toski is the only one among that elite roster of instructors to capture a PGA Tour money title (1954). Though checking in at 118 pounds in his youth, Toski was considered one of the longest pound-for-pound drivers. He competed in 21 major championships, and won 11 overall events on the PGA and Champions Tours.
Leaving the Tour at age 30 to be closer to his young family, Toski utilized his animated style and showmanship to become a premier instructor. His students include Tom Kite, Bruce Crampton, Judy Rankin, Bruce Fleisher and Ken Duke. He was a pioneer in video golf instruction, starting the Golf Digest Schools in 1971 with late PGA teaching legend Jim Flick. He has authored multiple books and served as a regular contributor to national industry publications. His love of teaching is admittedly addictive. “If I don’t give a lesson today, I feel like I’ve missed something,” said Toski.
Born Robert Algutoski, the eighth of nine children in Haydenville, Mass., Toski was one of four brothers who became a golf professional. His parents, Walenty and Mary Algutoski, were immigrants from Warsaw, Poland. Toski graduated from Williamsburg (Mass.) High School before being inducted into the Armed Forces.
Toski was elected to PGA membership in November 1947. When he won the 1954 World Championship of Golf at Tam O’Shanter Country Club in Chicago, Toski pocketed $50,000, the largest first-place prize in golf at that time.
Toski’s wife, Jacqueline, passed away in 2011. He has three sons, Robert, Bruce and Scot; and a daughter, Karin, and four grandchildren.