Marietta, Ga. – Two-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Jim Stuart of Macon, Ga., was one of four new members inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek on Jan. 22. It was the 22nd induction ceremony for the Hall of Fame and the first organized by the Georgia State Golf Association.
Mark Esoda, Peter Persons and the late Billie Wickliffe were also inducted into the Hall of Fame with Stuart.
In 1991, Stuart became the first golfer to claim back-to-back U.S. Mid-Amateur titles by defeating Bert Atkinson of Charleston, S.C., 1 up, in the final at Long Cove Club in Hilton Head Island, S.C. A year earlier at Troon Golf and Country Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., he beat Mark Sollenberger, 1 up, in the championship match. Only Nathan Smith (2009 and 2010) has matched Stuart’s feat of consecutive Mid-Amateur titles.
At the induction ceremony, Stuart spoke of how “golf is the greatest of all games, not because of the trophies on the mantle, but the people that you meet and the friends that you make.” Stuart also thanked a close group of Macon friends who attended on his behalf and his wife Kimberly for her support of him and his golf.
Twenty-three of the living Hall of Fame members attended events in their honor during the weekend and were joined by a near-capacity audience of close to 400 at the induction ceremony. There are now 86 members of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, including such famous Georgia golf heroes as nine-time USGA champion Bobby Jones, Alexa Stirling Fraser, Allen Doyle, Nancy Lopez, Davis Love III, Larry Nelson, Louise Suggs, Tommy Barnes and Charlie Yates.
In 2010, the GSGA obtained the rights to hold the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame banquet, coordinate the selection process for new members, store and display memorabilia of the members and use the Hall of Fame name and logo.
Founded in 1916, the Georgia State Golf Association (GSGA) received its official charter on June 24, 1924. Since that date, the GSGA has grown to one of the largest state amateur golf associations in the country, with over 350 member clubs and 85,000 individual members. With a mission to promote and preserve amateur golf in the state of Georgia, GSGA offers a computerized handicapping service, course rating and measuring, and annually conducts a full schedule of statewide competitions for men and women of all age groups. Other services include a summer-long junior sectional program, award-winning Golf Georgia magazine, membership recognition and rewards programs, management of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame and a charitable foundation administering two college scholarship programs.