The Northern California Section of the PGA of America (NCPGA) has announced that Henry Harris, a 77-year-old Navy Veteran and former construction developer from Roseville, California, has been elected to PGA Membership, making him the oldest individual in Association’s 103 year history to become a PGA Professional. Harris currently serves as a PGA Assistant Professional at Stockton Golf and Country Club in Stockton, California.
According to PGA of America Membership records, Harris broke the election age record of the late John Daddio of Palm Desert, California, who earned PGA Membership at age 73 in 1992. Harris now joins 29,000 fellow PGA Professionals, and becomes one of 1,100 Northern California PGA Section Members, who positively impact the game of golf and communities both regionally and nationally.
“The NCPGA is extremely proud of Henry Harris’ accomplishment in becoming the oldest person to earn PGA Membership,” said Len Dumas, Executive Director, Northern California PGA. “The criteria for achieving membership is difficult and time consuming, while passing the PAT (Playing Ability Test) requires strong golf skills. Henry’s love of the game, combined with his strong business acumen, clearly propelled him to this accomplishment and we are excited to welcome him as an official member of the NCPGA.”
A native of Portsmouth, Virginia, and a former multi-sport athlete, Harris earned an Associate of Arts degree from Palm Beach Junior College before moving to California in 1974. His career in the construction industry took him to locations that included the Middle East and North Africa. His inspiration to pursue a 2nd career as a golf professional was prompted while watching the game’s finest players compete on television.
“I had always wanted to take golf to a higher level. I didn’t want to settle for second-best,” said Harris, who passed his Playing Ability Test (PAT) on his first attempt. “I may be 77, but I’m happier than most 39-year-olds and blessed with good genes.”
Harris has mastered the trade of building franchise restaurants, hotels and other structures. When it comes to fulfilling the educational requirements for PGA Membership, it was a different challenge.
“I knew the educational requirements were not going to be that easy, but we decided to go through with it,” said Harris, who was a PGA Associate, training at Empire Ranch Golf Club in Folsom, California. He moved in June to Stockton Golf and Country Club, where he said the reception was overwhelmingly positive.
It was at age 14, when his High School friend Dick Crandwell, who is now an attorney, took him to Tazewell Country Club in Pounding Mill, Virginia. It was the first time Harris had hit a golf ball. Today, as a PGA Member, Harris is committed to ensuring them game is healthy for the next generation of players.
“Becoming a member of the PGA is a very special level of accomplishment,” said Harris. “Everyone who plays this game knows who and what the PGA is and becoming a member is a full completion of a lifelong dream.”