Emil Beck

Year Inducted: 1981

Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, July 31, 1907, Emil revealed an early interest in golf and spent a seven-year apprenticeship as club maker and assistant pro at the Lincoln Country Club leading to his 20th birthday.  He served four years as club pro at Eastridge CC in Lincoln while also taking courses in Agronomy and Turf Culture at the University of Nebraska.

The Great Depression of the 1930’s cost Emil the Eastridge job but he kept busy repairing clubs and teaching for a year until he landed a job as pro of the Dundee Golf Club in Omaha, Nebraska.  Five years later he began a four-year stint at the Soo GC at Sault Ste. Marie.

In 1940 he came to Port Huron and Black River Country Club . . . an association that was to last 25 years.

Working with Mr. Fred "Pop" Riggin, Port Huron’s leading golf personality, and Mr. Fred Vincent, long time Sports Editor of the Times Herald.  Emil made Black River Country Club available to high school golf teams, free of charge, and championed the encouragement of young people, both boys and girls, to play golf under good playing conditions, with good instruction and during autumn months.

While serving as President of the Michigan division of the Professional Golfer’s Association (P.G.A.) Emil convinced other club pros in other cities to adopt his ideas and soon golfing opportunities opened up for young golfers across the state.  Port Huron Junior College, under the coaching of first Chet Aubuchon and later Sam Kromer, soon was included in the program and produced golfers strong enough to compete at the national level.

(Mr. Riggin, Mr. Vincent and Mr. Aubuchon are all enshrined in the Port Huron Sports Hall of Fame.  Mr. Kromer is a member of the Hall of Fame Board of Trustees.)

Emil is a life member of the P.G.A., joining in 1924.  He is a life member of the Golf Course Superintendent’s Association.  He served two terms as President and five terms as Secretary-Treasurer of the Michigan P.G.A. He was elected Michigan Pro-of-the-Year in 1961.  He served four years as Chairman of the Educational Committee of the P.G.A. and four terms as Chairman of the P.G.A. Management committee.  He was founder of the P.G.A. Business Schools and served eleven terms as director.  He has won the Horton Smith trophy for contribution to education.

Emil and Mrs. Beck left Port Huron for Florida in 1967, when they began their current association with the Rolling Green Golf Club, Sarasota.