The Long Beach Golf Hall of Fame will be welcoming three new members in 2010, according to Hall of Fame Chairman Len Kennett. The new members are Bob Chaffee, James Oh and Ted Richards.
“The City of Long Beach has a rich tradition of good golf, good golfers, and great tournaments, and these gentlemen have been a part of that tradition”, said Kennett.
Bob Chaffee has been active in many facets of the Long Beach Golf scene including the popular Smooth Swing Golf Schools at Skylinks and was elected to PGA membership in 1997. A regular fixture at Skylinks GC, bob received his PGA membership in 1997, and was the PGA Head Golf Professional at Skylinks for the 8 years prior to the course closing for renovation in 2004. Along with being a busy and respected instructor, he mentored current Skylinks Head Pro Spencer McDaniel through his PGA apprenticeship, and has been a lecturer and instructor in the Long Beach State Phys Ed Department since 2002. Bob has a history of coaching dating back to his days at UCLA, and has been the Head Girls Golf Coach at St. Josephs’ High Schools since 2004. Bob has always been involved in the many golf-related activities going on in Long Beach, helping create the now 22-year old Special Needs Golf Clinic run in conjunction with the Long Beach Unified School District and became a rules official through attending PGA/USGA Rules of Golf Workshops so he could officiate in Long Beach Golf Festival events. When Skylinks closed, he accepted an offer to run the Long Beach Golf Festival, and continues to spearhead that nationally recognized group of tournaments in a professional and accommodating manner.
James Oh is yet another USGA Champion to be inducted into the Long Beach Golf Hall of Fame. An exceptional junior and high school player – particularly for his diminutive stature at the time – James won countless local and regional tournaments including the Moore League Championship and Knabe Cup while at Lakewood HS. His junior golf career included winning two AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions events and the 1998 United States Junior Amateur Championship, as well as several international junior teams. He was heavily recruited by many colleges but opted to attend UNLV. His amateur career included forays deep into the match play portions of the US Amateur Public Links and the US Amateur. James turned professional in 2002 and won a play-off for the 2003 Nationwide Mark Christopher Charity Classic at the Empire Lakes GC. He has played 2 years on the PGA Tour and 7 on the Nationwide Tour.
Ted Richards was a legendary golfer in southern California. Ted was born in Long Beach and was a standout at Wilson High School where he was runner-up in the 1939 CIF Championship to teammate Jackson Bradley, but he atoned with a 4 & 1 victory over Ed Peppe at Montebello CC in 1941. He was a decorated member of a B-24 crew that was shot down over Japan, and it took him 6 months to re-learn how to walk. He enrolled at UCLA and played 2 years for the Bruins losing only 2 matches. In the 1949 So Cal Pub Links Championship he recorded a 62 at Recreation Park, breaking Sam Snead’s course record. He advanced to the quarterfinals of the 1959 US Amateur where he lost to Gene Littler, but that wasn’t that bad a year for him as he defeated another Long Beach resident, Irving Cooper, in the US Amateur Public Links Championship at The Seattle Golf Club. Ted settled in Los Angeles and won 18 club championships at Bel Air CC between 1957 and 1981 and won 2 SCGA and 4 SCGA Senior Championships during his storied career. Ted passed away in 2009.
As always, the Long Beach Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will follow the conclusion of the $160,000 Long Beach Open professional golf tournament at El Dorado Park GC on Sunday, August 1, 2010, at approximately 2:30 p.m.