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


No.13 UTC Prepares for No.9 Jax State

“The Jacksonville State defensive front four is as good or better than Central Michigan’s.”   -- UTC offensive coordinator Jeff Durden. It’s “Whiteout Saturday” at Finley Stadium as Chattanooga hosts its oldest rival in Jacksonville (Ala.) State in a battle of two top 15 nationally ranked FCS teams. Both teams – No.9 Jax ... (click for more)

UTC is No.13 in This Week's Football Poll

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team moved up a spot in the national polls, despite dropping a tough 20-16 battle at Central Michigan last week.  The Mocs are No. 13 in the Sports Network Top-25 and No. 15 in the FCS Coaches Poll this week.  The No. 13 national mark ties the highest ranking for UTC in the Russ Huesman era (since ... (click for more)

Rhasean Lowry, 34, Charged In Death of 3-Year-Old Girl

Rhasean Lowry, 34, was arrested for abusing a three-year-old girl, and then criminal homicide after she died. Last Tuesday, the Chattanooga Police Department was called on a suspected child abuse case. Lowry took the victim to a local hospital and he stated the victim fell down steps. Doctors advised that the victim’s injuries were the result of blunt force trauma consistent ... (click for more)

City IDB Member Who Made Motion For $9 Million Black Creek TIF Had Not Lived In City For Years

A City Industrial Development Board (IDB) member who made the motion to approve a controversial $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) had not lived in the city for years, City Attorney Wade Hinton confirmed. Chris Ramsey, a BlueCross BlueShield official, was not present at an IDB meeting on Tuesday morning. Five other board members were. Citizen Helen Burns ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)