“Greenwood Takes On Task Of Sawgrass Golf Pro In Time For TPC Tourney” (1977)

 Article By Frank Layne, Herald-Citizen Sports Editor, Cookeville, Tennessee, March 15, 1977.

 Transcription of the Article:


Come tee time Thursday morning”…the best tourney in the world” will get underway at Sawgrass Golf Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, some 30 miles south of downtown Jacksonville.

And Cookeville is going to have a definite part in the Tournament Players Championship as the Florida Publico Charities Inc., announced last week the employment of former Cookeville PGA tour player Bobby Greenwood as golf pro for the new, nature-oriented oceanfront recreation community.

GREENWOOD will be taking charge just in time to supervise the $300,000 PGA tournament that will be held at Sawgrass on a permanent basis, beginning Thursday.

“I am excited, and very happy, to have been chosen for this position,” Greenwood said last week after returning from Jacksonville where the announcement was made. “it will be a most interesting and challenging job. With a major championship played there; and the resort business plus the wonderful membership, I think that it will be a most interesting job.”

Sawgrass is a relatively new course, opened in August of 1974. And the Tournament Players Championship was also first held in 1974 in Atlanta (Ga.). In 1975 it was held in Fort Worth, Texas and last year was held on Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

But now it will be permanently held at Sawgrass and becomes the fifth major tournament in professional golf.

“My goal at Sawgrass will be to provide a complete golf program for the mutual benefit of the members and their guests, and also to support the Tournament Players Division of the TPC.

“I believe that the TPC will develop into the finest run golf tournament in the world,” Greenwood said. “We have three very important ingredients for success left over from the Greater Jacksonville Open (now replaced by the TPC) – the Jacksonville Committee volunteers,

Photo Above: BOBBY & ARNIE ~ Bobby Greenwood, new golf pro at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., will be no stranger to the many pros that will frequent the course, especially those who will be playing in Thursday’s Tournament Player Championship. Here he waits on Arnold Palmer to putt out in a tournament he and Palmer were paired together in. “Arnie’s Army” looks on expectantly from the background. (Photo by Chuck Brenkus – golfgraphy-News)

the Tournament Players Division, and a great golf course.”

And the golf course is evidently headed for golf destiny.

“It’s got a well-balanced course. There are some long holes and there are some short holes, and that’s good,” said golfing great Jack Nicklaus after recording a 34-36-70 last November while playing the course.

“If I’ve ever played a tougher course, it doesn’t come to mind,” Nicklaus said after his round. “That 70 has got to be a record – by eight shots.”

Greenwood and PGA tour Commissioner Deane Beman, along with Beman’s entire staff of PGA tour officials, were at Sawgrass two weeks ago reviewing the re-design of the course after the permanent TPC contract was announced. “Deane Beman and I toured the Sawgrass golf course last week,” Greenwood told this writer last week. “It is a well-balanced course, as Nicklaus said, and it’s going to be a tough tournament to play.”

The TPC is designated tournament, which means that all of the top PGA Tour players are required to participate. Each annual TPC will include the top 30 money winners from the preceding calendar year; tournament winners during the last calendar year; members of the last named Ryder Cup team; the British Open champion; and the Masters, U.S. Open, TPC and PGA champions from the last five calendar years.

Because of his seven years on the PGA tour, Greenwood will be right at home with the top professional tour golfers, and he knows what it takes to make a championship tournament, he has played in several of his own.

The TPC is not just some ordinary golf tournament. It is the tournament for, by and of the top players in the world. “Darn right it is,” said another golfing great by the name of Lee Trevino recently in The Florida Times-Union newspaper. “And it’s the best tourney in the world. You couldn’t get a better field if you raised the dead.”

There was no Monday morning qualifying yesterday for the TPC, because the field is made by selecting the top 144 money winners during 1976. And ABC-TV thinks it is a great tournament. They will telecast the 1977 and ’78 event, and after that the rights will be up for bids.

“Jacksonville has the Gator Bowl and now the TPC. That gives them two major sports events in the same city, and that means good things ahead for everyone,” Greenwood said on the eve of his departure for the southland and a new career as a golf pro at one of the newest, and now major, golf tournament sites.

His very attractive contract includes a 3-bedroom villa located on the golf course condominium named Deer Run Villa.

Sawgrass is an 1,100-acre recreation community bounded on the west by the new A1A By-Pass. It includes homes, two and one-half miles of the beach frontage, the 18-hole golf course, golf club, swim club and tennis courts.

All-in-all, it doesn’t sound like a bad deal for Greenwood — and Sawgrass.

***Transcribed by Elma Greenwood, Cookeville, Tennessee, November 4, 2004.


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