Jefferson City, Missouri (December 9, 2013)
At their annual meeting, The Board of Directors of the Missouri Golf Association voted unanimously to induct prominent St. Louis amateurs Don Bliss and Jim Holtgrieve into their Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be June 23rd during the playing of the 2014 Missouri Amateur at Norwood Hills CC (West Course).
Don Bliss has won a record-tying four Missouri State Amateur Championships. He joins Jim Manion, Bob Cochran, Tom Watson, and Jim Jackson in that illustrious group of decorated Missouri golfers. He has qualified for 29 USGA Championships, including 15 US Amateurs and 5 US Mid-Amateurs. Don holds a USGA record that will be hard to surpass: he made two holes-in-one in a 1985 US Mid-Amateur qualifying round at Brook Hollow CC. Others have made multiple aces in their USGA qualifying history-but none have made two in a single round. Don’s golf ball from that round can be found in the USGA Museum in Far Hills, NJ.
Don, upon learning of the MGA honor, said, “It is obviously a great honor to be named to the Hall of Fame and to be included in a group of great players such as Jim Holtgrieve, Bob Cochran, Tom Watson, Jim Jackson, and many more. I greatly appreciate the fact that the MGA promotes the game the way they do throughout the state of Missouri. To be recognized in this way is very special for me and my family.”
It seems Jim Holtgrieve’s name will always be linked to the US Mid-Amateur Championship. In June, 1981 he won his second Missouri Amateur and followed that victory by winning the inaugural USGA Mid-Amateur at Bellerive in October. Jim was instrumental in bringing that first Mid-Am to Bellerive, as he believed it was time to have a USGA championship for the “working” amateur golfer of 25 and over. It was quite an accomplishment to serve as the de facto host for that first Mid-amateur and then go on to win the championship, 2-up over Bob Lewis. Jim’s Hogan 1-iron from that championship now resides in the USGA Museum.
Holtgrieve served as US Walker Cup Team Captain in 2011 in a losing effort to GB&I in Scotland. He was again named Captain for 2013 and this past September led his team to a 17-9 victory over GB&I at the National Golf Links of America. He said, “I am honored and humbled to be named to the MGA Hall of Fame and proud to be going in the same year as Don.”
MGA Executive Director Scott Hovis, commented on the action of his Board of Directors. “It’s impossible to think of two more deserving individuals for our Hall of Fame class of 2014. Their respective championship records are simply staggering. More importantly, Don and Jim exemplify the true spirit of amateur golf in Missouri and throughout the US. They have been, and will continue to be, great ambassadors for our game.”
About the Missouri Golf Association
Founded in 1905, the Missouri Golf Association (MGA) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote the best interests and true spirit of the game of golf throughout Missouri. The MGA conducts 10 statewide Championships each year and also conducts a number of Junior and Senior events. In conjunction with the USGA, it also offers the GHIN handicap service to over 100 golf facilities across Missouri.