On Wednesday, June 2nd, Samuel Henry Ball, golf legend, passed away at Martin Hospital South in Stuart, Florida.
Ball was a PGA of America for 83 years and was inducted into it’s Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2011. Before passing, he spent his time as a director of golf at Willoughby Golf Club in Stuart, Florida.
Samuel was born in Wales and came from a bloodline filled with golf professionals. His father taught him the game and it became a huge part of his life. Golf legend Bobby Jones is rumored to have encouraged him to come over to America and pursue a professional golf career. When he arrived, he began working at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, Georgia, which happened to be Jones’ home club. This lead to a career enriched with teaching others all the way up to the end of his days.
In 1934, Ball had entered the Augusta National Invitation Tournament, which later on was renamed as the Masters. He finished in a tie for 38th, about 25 shots behind Horton Smith, the winner. For the rest of his career, he finished 19 Senior PGA Championships, once again meeting a tie in the 1962 tournament.
Aside from his prolific tournament career, he won the PGA Illinois championship three times, the Illinois Open, and the Illinois PGA Senior as well. He was a part of multiple pro clubs, located in Illinois, Florida, and Arizona. At some point, he retired to Florida with his family.
His daughter has shared kind words with the public about her father after his death. She speaks of his friendliness and quiet nature – how he loved “singing and dancing” but most of all “He was a very outstanding person with a good heart.”
The golf world will definitely miss Samuel Ball and will never be able to replace his love of playing and teaching the wonderful sport.