Mississippi Golf Hall of Fame
The Mississippi Golf Hall of Fame is the most prestigious award for golfers available in the state. In order to become eligible for recognition, a potential inductee must have had a Mississippi residence for over ten years, have had all of their major accomplishments occur within the state, or provide a notable service to the sport in Mississippi. Honorees are selected by a committee based off these requirements along with additional merits and are also considered based off of their adherence to golf’s core values and noble traditions. The following golfers were inducted into the hall of fame for its 2019, 2020, and 2021 considerations.
Following in his father’s first steps as a professional golfer, Louisiana native Johnny Pott had his start as a uniquely qualified golf player in college where he attended on a golf scholarship and won the NCAA championship in 1955. After winning five times on PGA tours, Pott was on several winning Ryder Cup teams. After his days as a professional golfer were over, Johnny Pott dedicated his life to developing well over fifty golf clubs and teams both in Mississippi and elsewhere.
Mississippi native Pete Brown gained most of his knowledge of golf by caddying at the Jackson golf course and turned professional in the mid-1950s. In the years that followed, Pete Brown became the first African American to win a PGA Tour event and only the second African-American to gain his PGA Tour Card. Brown competed on the PGA tour for nearly twenty years, and since worked in Dayton Ohio as the Lead Golf Professional at the Madden Golf Course.
Cissye Meeks Gallagher
Growing up in Greenwood, Mississippi, Cissye played golf on the boy’s team and continued on to play collegiate golf at Louisiana State University. She played one year on the LPGA but unfortunately had to retire early due to injury. Cissye Meeks Gallagher did,however, have a decorated amateur career, with several titles spanning between 1986 and 2015. She has worked hard to represent the women’s team in five USGA State Championships.
Longtime Mississippi resident Ken Lindsay holds several junior and amateur golfing titles, set records for his collegiate career at University of Memphis, had an outstanding record playing in the military after he joined the Air Force, and jumpstarted his professional career in Jackson, Mississippi. Lindsay moved on to be recognized as a major contributing factor in the PGA’s governing body in Mississippi as well as chapters representing all the gulf states and holds the 30th presidency of the PGA of America. Ken Lindsay is in over five golf-related halls of fame.
Robert A “Robbie” Webb Sr.
Robert A. Webb Sr is known to many golfers throughout the state of Mississippi as the “Godfather of Mississippi Golf” due to his time and investments into junior and amateur golfing across the state. Webb’s first Junior Amateur title was at the age of fourteen and went on in his later years to have a robust career in the PGA. Robert Webb Sr. has a legacy of coaching over 25 players to earn golf scholarships, state open titles, and state amateur titles. Robert Webb Sr. has his own day dedicated to his achievements, as designated by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour on January 8th.
Born in Canton, MS, Ben Nelson grew up playing at Canton Country Club before earning a spot on the Mississippi State University golf team, where he played until his graduation in 1966. His love of the game led him to pursue the position of Assistant Golf Pro. Then Head Golf Professional at Live Oaks Golf Club in Jackson, MS. Nelson served on the Board of the Gulf States Section of the PGA of America in various capacities in the 70s and 80s. He also served as a PGA TOUR Rules Official from 1987-1993 and PGA TOUR Tournament Director from 1993- 2003. From 2005 to 2008, he also served as Tournament Director for the PGA Champions Tour.
Lou Weddington Hart
Born and raised in Meridian, MS, Lou Weddington Hart found success early on during her days at Meridian Junior College and Florida State University. She would win her first of nine Mississippi Women’s State Amateurs in 1970. After college, she found her way to Northwood Country Club and Meridian Community College, where she coached from 1993-2006. She collected 7 NJCAA Region 23 Titles, a Runner-Up and 3rd Place finish in the NJCAA National Championship, and 3 MACJC State Championships. Throughout her life, she has continued to contribute to golf as two-time President of the MWGA and Secretary of NJCAA Golf Coaches Association. In 2003 was recognized by the MWGA for her contributions to golf in Mississippi.
Raised in Jackson, MS, Randy Watkins graduated from Manhattan Academy, where he was the MVP of the golf team all four years. At the age of 15, he won the PGA National Junior Championship in 1978. He was selected to play on the 1st PGA Junior Ryder Cup Team in 1979. Watkins played in over 40 PGA TOUR events in 84 and 85. His highest finishes were T-7 th in the Quad Cities Open and T-5 th in the Magnolia Classic. He also holds the title of 1st Mississippian ever to lead a round in the Magnolia Classic. Watkins also won the 1992 MPGA Invitational at Clarksdale Country Club. From 2005-2011 he also served as Tournament Director for the PGA TOUR’s Viking Classic.
Jim Gallagher, Jr.
Raised in Marion, IN, Jim Gallagher, Jr. signed to play golf for the University of Tennessee. As a member of the 1980 SEC Championship Team, he was named to the All-SEC Team in 1980 & 1982 and was an honorable mention for All-American. Gallagher turned pro and qualified for the PGA TOUR in 83. He competed full time until 2000 before playing a reduced schedule in 2001. Gallagher enjoyed eight tournament wins in his professional career. Since retiring, he has been a strong supporter of junior golf and worked as a golf analyst for numerous networks. In 1994 Gallagher was inducted into the Indiana Golf Association/PGA Hall of Fame.