Inductee follows uncle all the way to Hall

  • Follow Golf

It's been 19 years since Bunky Henry attended a Georgia Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Augusta. It just happened to be the inaugural event.

"I was always chasing him. It was kind of a goal of mine to get in the Hall. To be able to join him is just terrific. It means a lot to me." <BR> --  Bunky Henry, on joining his uncle in the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame  Michael Holahan/Staff
Michael Holahan/Staff
"I was always chasing him. It was kind of a goal of mine to get in the Hall. To be able to join him is just terrific. It means a lot to me."
-- Bunky Henry, on joining his uncle in the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame


Henry was there to see his uncle, William "Dynamite" Goodloe Jr., be one of the original inductees into the hall -- albeit posthumously.

Nearly two decades later, it was Henry's turn to join Goodloe, a fellow Valdosta, Ga., resident, in the Hall.

Henry, a former PGA Tour winner and two-time Masters Tournament participant, went into the Hall Saturday night with nationally known instructor Jack Lumpkin of Sea Island, Ga., and amateur Spencer Sappington of Milton, a winner of 125 tournaments.

The ceremony took place at the Augusta Marriott Hotel & Suites.

Henry, 63, didn't realize it had been 19 years since he'd been to the induction ceremony. He was just glad to follow Goodloe into the Hall, which now has 78 members.

"My uncle taught me how to play and I probably played more rounds of golf with him than anybody in my life," Henry said of Goodloe, who died in 1982. "He was like a role model. I was always chasing him. It was kind of a goal of mine to get in the Hall. To be able to join him is just terrific. It means a lot to me."

Another thing Goodloe and Henry have is common is unique nicknames. Henry's first name is George, but he's been called Bunky since he was an infant.

"My grandmother named me after a newspaper comic strip character who was a troublemaker," Henry said. "They said it was before I was 1 year old, and it stuck."

From 1964-1966, Henry was a two-sport star at Georgia Tech. Though he was on the golf team, he was better known as the Yellow Jackets' placekicker.

His field goals were the difference in "four or five" games, Henry said, including the 1966 game against Tennessee. The Volunteers were ranked No. 1 at the time before losing to Georgia Tech 6-3 on Henry's two field goals.

On the golf course while at Georgia Tech, he won the 1965 Canadian Amateur.

At the time, the Masters invited the Canadian Amateur champion, so Henry thought he was in. He soon learned, however, the invitation only went to the winner if he was Canadian.

"I was disappointed when I found that out; I didn't think I was going to get in," he said.

Five months later, in early 1966, Henry received a Masters invitation. He found out that each year the Masters asked former U.S. Amateur champions to pick one amateur for that year's tournament. They choose Henry, who had also won the Southern Amateur and the Georgia Amateur Championship.

He later played in the 1970 Masters as a pro, but it was his first appearance that was the most memorable.

"Being from Georgia, if you play golf, that's always your goal, to play in the Masters and win it," said Henry, who missed the cut in both his appearances.

As an amateur, he was allowed to stay in the Crow's Nest, which is located on the top floor of the clubhouse.

"That's my favorite memory," said Henry, who bunked with five other amateurs, including Bob Murphy. "I went over there as early as they would let me. That was a great event."

His PGA Tour victory came in the inaugural 1969 National Airlines Invitational in Miami. Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player were among the players in the event, which is now called the Honda Classic.

"Everybody was there because it has the second- largest purse on tour," Henry said.

That purse was $200,000; Henry won $40,000.

"Today, you get that if you finish 35th or something," said Henry.

GEORGIA GOLF HALL OF FAME


Bunky Henry


Eatonton, Ga. l Amateur/pro golfer


- Won Georgia State Amateur championship in 1964


- Was a four-year letterman at Georgia Tech and a first-team
All-American in 1967


- Won the PGA Tour's 1969 National Airlines Open


- Played in the 1966 Masters (as an amateur) and the 1970 Masters (as a professional)


- Finished in the top 10 in the 1969 U.S. Open and the 1969 PGA Championship

Jack Lumpkin


St. Simons Island, Ga. l Pro golfer/club pro/instructor


- Played on the PGA Tour in 1958 and 1959


- Played in three U.S. Opens, along with the PGA Championship


- Former head pro at Oak Hill and Cherokee Golf and Country Club


- Was PGA national teacher of the year in 1995. Has been ranked as the No. 1 teacher in Georgia by Golf Digest from 2000-present


- Instructor for Davis Love III and Vaughn Taylor. Has worked with Curtis Strange, Loren Roberts and Beth Daniel

Spencer Sappington


Milton, Ga. l Amateur golfer


- Has won 125 tournaments during his career


- Is the only four-time winner of the Georgia Senior Amateur (2003 -05 and 2007)


- Has won 13 Georgia State Golf Association events


-l Has qualified for 19 U.S. Golf Association events


- Was ranked in the top 10 in the nation among seniors from 2001-03

loading...
Search Augusta jobs