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Hill of Fame

The "Hill of Fame" - Paying Tribute to Those Who Have Contributed to the Game and Oak Hill

From the very fertile mind of legendary Oak Hill member Dr. John R. Williams, the idea for a Hill of Fame was given life in 1956. Located adjacent to the magnificent East Course’s thirteenth hole and shaded by towering trees of age, Oak Hill has immortalized those individuals who have contributed to the game of golf and left their indelible mark on the landscape. The Hill of Fame is a manifestation of Oak Hill’s pride in its history and place in the game and its commitment to foster among all who visit, a deeper appreciation and respect for those who have made it so special.
Bob Hope Tribute Plaque

Dr. Williams believed that a living tree is a much better monument than a piece of granite. He therefore selected trees as a means by which persons elected would be honored. A bronze plaque is affixed to the tree to commemorate their achievements.

To date, thirty-two ceremonies have inducted forty-five men and women, professionals and amateur golfers, presidents, administrators, and duffers alike who, in the words of Martin T. Gullen (Dr. Williams’s successor as Hill of Fame Chairman) “are honored for their fine qualities of heart and mind and their personal contribution to some phase of human welfare and uplift.”

With over 50 years of historic perspective, it’s worth noting that all Hill of Fame inductees possessed that certain intangible that set them apart, and allowed us to say, they were all “persons of character!”

Hill of Fame Honorees

  • 1995 European Ryder Cup Team
  • Don Allen6-Time NY Amateur Champion
  • Jim AwtreyPGA Executive
  • Miller Barber
  • Clarence W. BenedictUSGA President
  • William C. CampbellUSGA President
  • William “Billy” Casper
  • William C. ChapinOak Hill Member
  • Charles Coe1949 U.S. Amateur Champion
  • Roberto DeVicenzo
  • Joseph C. Dey Jr.USGA/PGA Tour Executive
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Charles (Chick) Evans Jr.
  • Gerald Ford
  • Jay Haas
  • James R. HandUSGA President
  • Walter Hagen
  • Craig W. HarmonHead Golf Professional Oak Hill
  • Ben Hogan
  • Bob Hope
  • Robert Trent JonesGolf Course Architect
  • Robert T. Jones Jr.
  • Nancy Lopez
  • Cary Middlecoff
  • Byron Nelson
  • Jack Nicklaus
  • Francis D. Ouimet
  • Arnold Palmer
  • Gary Player
  • Betsy Rawls
  • William Reeves
  • Donald J. RossGolf Course Architect
  • Gene Sarazen
  • Jeff Sluman
  • Horton Smith
  • Annika Sorenstam
  • Gerald A. StahlOak Hill Member
  • Curtis Strange
  • Lee Trevino
  • Richard S. TuftsUSGA President
  • Sam Urzetta1950 US Amateur Champion
  • Tom Watson
  • Curtis Whitworth
  • John R. Williams Oak Hill Member
  • Mildred (Babe) D. Zaharias

What’s common among these most uncommon individuals is not just their extraordinary achievements, but also the spirit in which they engaged the tasks at hand and the character with which they comported their lives. All were pioneers, but in different ways. They pushed against barriers and drew lines in the sand.They did it with civility to be sure, but with great panache all the same. They showed us the joy of a life well led and let us share that joy with them.

If you have the opportunity to visit Oak Hill Country Club, be sure to spend some time on the Hill of Fame. It’s located a few feet from the front entrance to the Club.
(W.A. Westerfeld, Current Hill of Fame Chairman, Contributor)

Arnold Palmer on 5th tee

Hill of Fame Chairmen

  • John R. Williams – 1956-1965
  • Marty Gullen – 1965-1980
  • Bill Reeves – 1980-2013
  • Bill Westerfeld – 2013 – to date