Chattanooga's Best Male Golfers - Top 30 All-Time

Gibby Gilbert Jr-Lew Oehmig are No. 1-2

Monday, July 14, 2014 - by B.B. Branton

With its rich golfing tradition, Chattanooga welcomes 168 young, talented   -  make that very talented  - golfers to The Honors this week as they tee it up Wednesday in pursuit of the title Southern Amateur champion.

Led by a trio of former Southern Champions from the Scenic City – Albert W. Gaines (1903), Ed Brantly (1957) and Mike Malarkey (1963) – Chattanooga has had its fair share of champion golfers.

From Polly Boyd, Lew Oehmig, Ira Templeton, Gibby Gilbert Jr. and Brantly to the young guns of the 1960s and early 70s  including Mike Malarkey, Mickey Mabry, Larry White, Mike Nelms and Hunt Gillaland  to today’s stars – Luke List, Stephan Jaeger, Adam Mitchell and Michael Morrison.

With valuable input from coaches, club pros, players and sports writers, here is the Top 30 best male golfers all-time in Chattanooga history.

1.      Gibby Gilbert Jr.

2.      Lew Oehmig

3.      Ed Brantly

4.      Luke List

5.      Polly Boyd

6.      Adam Mitchell

7.      Gibby Gilbert III

8.      Kip Henley

9.      Mike Nelms

10.  Larry White

11.  Richard Keene

12.  Stephan Jaeger

13.  Ira Templeton

14.  Hunt Gilliland

15.  Derek Rende

16.  Pat Corey

17.  Harold Lane

18.  Mike Malarkey

19.  Mickey Mabry

20.  Michael Morrison

21.  Wes Brown

22.  Harry Shoemaker

23.  Andrew Black

24.  Bryce Ledford

25.  Willard Miller

26.  Chris Byrd

27.  Gary Robinson

28.  Lex Tarumianz

29.  D.J. Nelson

30.  Albert W. Gaines 

Player Bios

1.      Gibby Gilbert Jr (Chattanooga Central; U of Chattanooga) … 1980 Masters runner-up (tied) … 5th at 1979 PGA … PGA titles (3) – Danny Thomas, Houston, Walt Disney… Champions Tour Wins (6) …. TGA State Open (4) … TGA State Championship (2)

  2. Lew Oehmig (Baylor School, U. of Virginia) … Tenn. State Amateur (8 in 5 decades) … Tenn. State Senior Amateur (7) … U.S. Senior Amateur (3) … Chattanooga Metro (7) … Signal Mtn (6) … Red Bud … U.S. Seniors Golf Assoc. ... semifinalist in 1956 Southern Amateur ... Walker Cup captain of 1987 winning USA team

3.     Ed Brantly (Baylor School; U. of Tenn.-Memphis State) … 1957 Southern Amateur champion … 1960 German Amateur … 1961 U.S. Open, third lowest amateur (27th place overall) … Tenn. State Amateur (3) … Tenn. State Senior Amateur … Chattanooga Metro (7) … Chattanooga Red Bud (7) … Signal Mtn (6) … Brainerd (2) … State 4-Ball (3)

4.      Luke List (Baylor School, Vandy) … U.S. Amateur runner-up … 2012 Web.com Georgia Classic … All-American (3rd team; 3x HM) … First team All-SEC … TSSAA state (2) … 4th in money earnings on web.com in 2012 with one win (Ga. South Classic)

5.      Polly Boyd (McCallie School; Dartmouth) …. 1922 Ivy League and NCAA individual champion … member of 1921 NCAA champion Dartmouth team … Tenn. State Amateur (4) … Chattanooga Metro (6 in three decades)

6.      Adam Mitchell (McCallie School; U. of Georgia) … three-time All-American … second team A-A in 2008 … HM All-American in 2007, ’09 … First team All-SEC, 2008 … member of winning Walker Cup team … 2008 Porter Cup champion … semifinalist U.S. Amateur in 2008 … two-time member of Palmer Cup team … state 4-ball champ

7.      Gibby Gilbert III (Tyner; U of Tenn.) … State Amateur … leading money winner on U.S. Golf Tour in 2006 … won 2 events … All-SEC at UT … Brainerd (3) … Signal Mtn …

8.      Kip Henley (UTC) … Tenn. State Open (2) … State PGA … Tenn. PGA Player of Year (4) … in 1980, won Chattanooga Metro, Brainerd, Signal Mtn. …

9.      Mike Nelms (Chattanooga City HS; U. of Kentucky) … State Amateur … State Open (2) … 1971 state high school champ … National Jr. Amateur, runner-up … State 4-Ball (2)

10.  Larry White (Chattanooga Central; U. of Houston) … member of NCAA team champions (1966-67-69) … Tenn. State Amateur …. Tenn. State Open …. Tenn. State Four-Ball (3) … high school state champ (1964)

11.  Richard Keene (Alexander City JC/Troy State) …. State Mid-Amateur (3) … Juco and NCAA D-II All-American … Brainerd (5) … Red Bud (6) … Players Championship (2)

12.  Stephan Jaeger (Baylor School; UTC) … 2012 First team All-American … 2012 NCAA Region champ … Southern Conference champion …

13.  Ira Templeton … first amateur to win State Open (1951) … State Senior Amateur … Brainerd (4), Chattanooga Metro (3) … Signal Mtn. (2) …

14.  Hunt Gilliland (Chattanooga City) ... 2x South Florida PGA Section Player of the Year (1987, 1991) ... State 4-Ball (2) ... Chattanooga Metro ... Brainerd

15.  Derek Rende (Soddy Daisy HS, UTC) … State Amateur … State Open … State 4-Ball … Red Bud (2)

16.  Pat Corey (Baylor School; UNC) … State Mid-Amateur … State 4-Ball (4) …. Chattanooga Metro (4) … Chattanooga Players Championship (3) … Chattanooga Open

17.  Harold Lane … State Open … Chattanooga Metro (3) … Signal Mtn (3)

18.  Mike Malarkey (Chattanooga City; Memphis State) …. 1963 Southern Amateur at age 17, third youngest … 4th at U.S. Amateur in 1967…  3x high school state champion …

19.  Mickey Mabry (Chattanooga City HS; U. of Tenn.) … 1972 SEC Champion … won pro tourney in Va. Beach … Chattanooga Metro (2) … Brainerd … Red Bud

20.  Michael Morrison (Baylor School; U. of Georgia) … All-American (third team) … All-SEC (first team) … member of Georgia national champions … Signal Mtn (5) … Red Bud (2) … Brainerd

21.  Wes Brown (McCallie School) … 1948 State Amateur …. 2004 State Senior Amateur … Mid South Champ (2) at McCallie …. Chattanooga Metro (3) …

22.  Harry Shoemaker (Chattanooga Central HS; Florida State) … 1948 state HS champ … National Left-Handers Amateur (3) …. National Lefthander Open … Chattanooga Metro (2) …. European Air Force title ….

23.  Andrew Black (East Ridge HS; U. of Tenn.) … Chattanooga Metro (3) …. In 2000, won Brainerd and Chattanooga Metro …. 2002, won Signal and Chattanooga Players

24.  Bryce Ledford (McCallie School; UTC) … State Open … State 4-Ball … Chattanooga Players (2) … Red Bud and Metro

25.  Chris Byrd …  1982 State Amateur … won Metro, Signal and Brainerd

26.  Willard "Taterhead" Miller (Chattanooga Central) … state high school champ … Brainerd (3) … Metro 3) … Signal Mtn (3) … won all three in 1947

27.  Gary Robinson … State PGA Section (3) … State Open    

28.  Lex Tarumianz … 2005 British Senior Amateur, runner-up … 2002 U.S. Senior Amateur, quarterfinals … Signal Mtn. … Metro

29.  D.J. Nelson (Hixson) … State Amateur …. Metro

30.  Albert W. Gaines … 1903 Southern Amateur … SGA president, 1902-03.

Note: Gene Pearce supplied the vast majority of the player bio information

 Tournament Champions

Southern Amateur: A.W. Gaines … Ed Brantly … Mike Malarkey

National Champs … Polly Boyd (collegiate, Dartmouth); Lew Oehmig (U.S. Senior Amateur … Harry Shoemaker (National Lefthanders Amateur (3); National Lefthanders Open) 

SEC Champ: Mickey Mabry (Tennessee)

Walker Cup: Adam Mitchell , 2009 (winning team); Lew Oehmig, winning captain - 1987

State Amateur: Lew Oehmig (8), Polly Boyd (4), Ed Brantly (3), Wes Brown, Chris Byrd, Gibby Gilbert III, Daren Hampton, D.J. Nelson, Mike Nelms, Billy Ragland, Derek Rende, Ewing Watkins, Garner Watkins, Larry White

State Open: Kip Henley (2), Mike Nelms (2), Harold Lane, Bryce Ledford, Derek Rende, Gary Robinson, Ira Templeton, Larry White

State Amateur & State Open: Mike Nelms, Derek Rende, Larry White

Chattanooga Metro: 7 – Ed Brantly, Lew Oehmig;  6 – Polly Boyd; 4 – Pat Corey

Signal Mtn. Invite: 6 - Ed Brantly, Lew Oehmig; 5 – Michael Morrison; 3 – Harold Lane

Brainerd Invite: 5 – Richard Keene; 4 – Vernon Smith, Ira Templeton

Players Championship:  3 - Pat Corey; 2 – Richard Keene, Bryce Ledford, Chris Treadway,

Red Bud: 7 – Ed Brantly … 6 – Richard Keene

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net


Notre Dame Blanks Merrol Hyde, 7-0

Using speed, ball control and an offense clicking on all cylinders, Notre Dame scored early and often to defeat visiting Merrol Hyde (Hendersonville), 7-0 in an A-AA Region 4 semifinal girls soccer match Tuesday night. The Irish (8-5-4) were led by a hat trick by junior Sofia Olenchek, while Gaby Mullin, Ashley McMeen, Emma Higgins and Liz Ciabattone each scored once. Assists ... (click for more)

State Volleyball Begins Wednesday In Murfreesboro

The ever-exciting state volleyball tournament will begin Wednesday morning in Murfreesboro with action scheduled for four different schools. The Boyd-Buchanan Lady Bucs are Chattanooga's entry in the Class A bracket while Red Bank and Signal Mountain will be competing in Class AA.  Baylor is entered in D-II Class AA. Boyd-Buchanan, 32-14, will face Loretto (31-12) in ... (click for more)

Architect/Contractor Selected By Erlanger For New Children's/Women's Hospital

HKS has been selected as the architect and McCarthy as the construction manager for a new Children’s and Women’s Hospital at the Erlanger campus on East Third Street. The Atlanta team competed against another Atlanta group for the major construction project. Erlanger officials announced Monday that $11.5 million is being set aside in a debt restructuring for the new $30 ... (click for more)

Westfield Charged In Burning, Torture Of Kitten At Cleveland

An arrest has been made in the case of a kitten who was burned and tortured in Cleveland, Tn. At 12:50 p.m. on Tuesday, Gary A. Westfield, 31, of Cleveland, was placed in custody on a warrant obtained by Lt. Robert Harbison and Detective Matt Jenkins of the Criminal Investigations Division. Westfield was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, which is a Class E felony. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Election Day Fable

Every day I am peppered with emails that friends send to me from across the country so I am unsure of where the fable you are about to read originated. But with early voting for the November general election now in full swing, I think everyone who will -- or will not -- take part in freedom’s greatest privilege should read this story because I believe there is a great lesson contained ... (click for more)