The First Tee of Greater Sacramento Inducts Barbara Romack, Bus Pendleton, Irene Kaminsky and Ed Burt Named As 2013 Class
Two-time LPGA Tour winner Barbara Romack, Bing Maloney Head Golf Professional Elliott “Bus” Pendleton, “Mother of Sacramento Junior Golf” Irene Kaminsky and Sacramento Bee golf writer Ed Burt are this year’s First Tee of Greater Sacramento Golf Hall of Fame inductees.
The First Tee of Greater Sacramento Golf Hall of Fame recognizes those individuals that have had an everlasting impact on the landscape of golf in and around Sacramento. Tour players, club professionals, media personnel, great amateur players and volunteers make up this unique list. Former inductees include Bob Eastwood, Al Geiberger, Scott McCarron, Kevin Sutherland, Natalie Gulbis and over two dozen more.
Barbara Romack not only has one of the most illustrious amateur careers in the history of women’s golf, but is still the only amateur women’s golfer to ever be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine. Romack won both the 1960 LPGA Tour Leesburg Open as well as the 1961 Tour Rock Cities Open, but it was her amateur career that was even more remarkable. She won the Canadian Amateur Championship (1953) and the USGA Women’s Amateur Championship (1954) and won the California State Amateur a record four times. (1952, 1954, 1956, 1958) Born and raised in Sacramento, Romack had a career golf record unmatched by any other woman locally. She learned the game early on from Bing Maloney Head Golf Professional Bus Pendleton and then later from Haggin Oaks Head Golf Professional Tom LoPresti. In 1955, her golfing prowess earned an invitation from then-President Dwight Eisenhower for lunch. Romack is now retired and living in Florida.
Elliott “Bus” Pendleton was a head golf professional fixture at William Land GC and Bing Maloney GC for nearly four decades and had an undeniable impact on local public golf. Pendleton was born in 1907 and was an outstanding amateur player, winning the second annual California State Fair Golf Championship when it was held at the Del Paso Country Club. It was at Del Paso where Pendleton was first introduced to golf. A native of Fort Bragg, he moved with his family to Sacramento in 1919. Shortly after arriving, he sold newspapers downtown during the week and on weekends caddied at Del Paso. Pendleton won his first tournament in 1922, a handicap event on the old Arcade course featuring sand greens. Two years later he opened a golf shop at the old Weinstock-Lubin department store at 12th and K streets. Pendleton took the head professional job at Land Park in 1935 and assumed additional duties as head pro at Bing Maloney when it opened in 1952. Bus paved a lot of roads for the success golf has today in the community. He’s also helped many others go on to successful careers in golf. Some of his pupils included Al Geiberger, Barbara Romack, Judy Ghilarducci, Frank Elston and Geoff Gorman, who would become president of the Ben Hogan Golf Co. Geiberger, the first touring pro ever to shoot a 59 and a success on the Senior PGA Tour, was his most famous pupil. Pendleton passed away in 1996 at the age of 89.
It is appropriate that the lady that people called “The Mother of Sacramento Junior Golf” be inducted along with some of her prized golfers that played in the tournaments that she ran. Irene Kaminsky grew up a fan of the game and dedicated her long life to creating tournaments and opportunities for junior golfers to learn the game of golf. She helped create the Sacramento Golf Council and was its very first woman member, acting as the Treasurer for over two decades. Says longtime Haggin Oaks Director of Golf, Ken Morton, Sr., “The impact and influence of Irene on junior golf here in Sacramento cannot possibly be overstated. Her passion and ardent support for the young golfers in our community led to every significant local junior golf tournament and the creation of the Sacramento Golf Council. It is only appropriate that the tournament she founded, the Sacramento City Junior Championship, has a trophy with her name etched on it in perpetuity. Kaminsky passed away in the early 1980’s making it all the way into her 80’s.
Ed Burt got his start working for the Marksville Appeal-Democrate after he graduated high school but soon joined the Sacramento Bee staff in 1942 as a courthouse reporter. He soon worked his way up through the general assignment and copy desks until the avid sportsman landed his dream job as the golf writer. He remained the golf voice for the newspaper until his retirement in 1972. During his tenure, he received special awards from the Northern California Golf Association, the Sacramento Golf Club and the McClatchy Broadcasting 25-Year Club for his service to the area and local golfers alike. He covered every local golf event imaginable, from the Swing at Cancer (where he would later handle publicity in retirement) to interviewing Lawrence Welk about his golf game when he was here locally for an event. Burt’s contributions to celebrating and publicizing golf in the Greater Sacramento area were immeasurable. Probably saying it the best is a plaque Burt received from the Northern California Golf Association that read: “To Ed Burt for special recognition in sketching the game of golf and its golfers exactly as they go without prejudice to friend or foe.” Burt passed away in 1976 at the age of 69.
Started in 1983 as Sacramento Area Youth Golf Association (SAY Golf), The First Tee of Greater Sacramento helps young people develop life skills and core values through the game of golf. Those core values are courtesy, perseverance, responsibility, respect, honest, confidence, integrity, sportsmanship and judgment. TFTGS offers multiple programs designed for specific skill levels that allow young people to advance toward greater mastery of golf. But the central purpose extends far beyond hitting a ball onto a green and into the hole. Its well established rules of etiquette and emphasis on sportsmanship-like conduct along with the high-level of hand-eye coordination required to play competently, provides an ideal backdrop to practicing self-discipline, setting goals and learning to respect others.
For more information about The First Tee of Greater Sacramento, visit online at www.tftgs.org.