Fort Worth will be well-represented during Monday’s induction ceremony at the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in San Antonio.
Marty Leonard, daughter of Colonial Country Club founder Marvin Leonard, will be inducted in the Distinguished Service category. In addition, Colonial Country Club will be added to the Texas Registry of Historic Golf Courses and the late Ralph Plummer, a Fort Worth native, will be added in the Pioneer category.
Leonard, a Fort Worth resident and longtime official with the United States Golf Association, served 18 years on the USGA women’s committee and was chairman in 1985-86. She was instrumental in bringing the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open to Colonial. She also owns and operates Leonard Golf Links in Fort Worth.
Leonard and her father, Marvin, will become the first father-daughter tandem inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame. Marvin Leonard was inducted in 1993.
“That makes it very special. This would make him very happy as it does me,” Leonard said. “It’s an honor I never dreamed I’d be receiving. And to have it happen at the same time as Colonial is honored … I’m really excited about it.”
Leonard, 74, had a distinguished amateur golf career marked by club championships at Colonial and Shady Oaks, as well as a Fort Worth city women’s championship. But she said her “greatest contribution I’ve made to the golf world” is Leonard Golf Links, a public practice facility in west Fort Worth, because it “affects so many people.”
Colonial, which celebrated its 75th anniversary this year, has been the venue for Fort Worth’s annual PGA Tour stop _ the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial _ since 1946. The course also has hosted the 1941 U.S. Open, the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open and the 1975 Tournament Players Championship (later renamed The Players Championship).
Plummer, a renowned architect, had a hand in constructing or renovating nearly 90 courses within the Lone Star State, including Champions Golf Club in Houston. He served as the construction foreman for architect John Bredemus during the design and construction stages at Colonial, which opened in 1936.
Plummer, who died in 1982, learned about golf as a teenage caddie at Glen Garden Country Club in Fort Worth. Plummer worked at the course a decade before eventual golf legends Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson joined Glen Garden’s caddie crew in the 1920s.
Austin resident Rich Beem, the 2002 PGA champion, and Dallas-based teaching pro Randy Smith _ whose pupils include PGA Tour winners Justin Leonard and Harrison Frazar _ also are among the members of the 2011 class. Other inductees include Don Addington, Jim Hardy and Gen. Bernard Schreiver.
_ Jimmy Burch
Follow Jimmy Burch on Twitter @Jimmy_Burch.