JACKSON, MS (WDAM) _ Two of the five-member inaugural class of the Mississippi Golf Hall of Fame will boast University of Southern Mississippi ties.
James Ray Carpenter and Robbie Webb will be inducted into the new hall on Jan. 26, 2019, along with Cissye Gallagher, Ken Lindsay and Mike Taylor.
Sponsored by the Mississippi Golf Association, the induction ceremony will take place at the Country Club of Jackson during the “Celebration of Golf” dinner.
“Our inaugural class showcases Mississippi’s rich golf heritage and honors amateur and professional golfers,” MGA executive director Margo Coleman said in a statement. “We are excited about the future of the (Mississippi) Golf Hall of Fame and honoring deserving golfers for many years to come.”
The late Carpenter, a Hattiesburg native, played three years on the golf team at Hattiesburg High School, but swapped his clubs for sneakers and cleats when he played basketball and baseball at Mississippi State University and University of Southern Mississippi.
When he returned to the game, he did so with gusto, becoming the golf professional at the USM course before becoming the Golden Eagles’ golf coach from 1968-80.
Carpenter became a member of the Professional Golf Association (1969-2018), and rose through its ranks: president of the Mississippi PGA (1973,1975,1976); secretary of the Gulf States PGA (1973); president of the Gulf States PGA (1974); Mississippi PGA Professional of the Year (1975); president of Mississippi Turfgrass Association (1976); Gulf States PGA Professional of the Year (1977); Member of the National PGA Board of Directors (1980-82); PGA Rules of Golf Committee (1979-2018); Rules Official, PGA Championship (1979-2018);
National Treasurer of the PGA (1983-’84); National Vice President of the PGA (1985-86); Chairman of the 1985 Ryder Cup; National President of the PGA (1987-88); Mississippi Pro Sportsman of the Year by the Jackson Touchdown Club (1987); and Golf Person of the Year by the Southern Golf Journal (1988).
Carpenter already belongs to four halls, including Southern Mississippi Athletic Hall of Fame (1977); charter member of the Gulf States PGA Hall of Fame (1999); Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame (2003); and PGA of America Hall of Fame.
The late Webb, a Gulfport native, was known throughout the state as “The Godfather of Mississippi Golf.”
A four-year golf letterman at USM (1957-61), Webb averaged 74.99 strokes over 62 ½ career rounds, which still ranks among the program’s top 20 career stroke average.;
Webb, who won the Mississippi State Junior Amateur title at age 14 and played in USGA Junior Amateur championships, turned professional in 1965.
He was a member of the PGA Mississippi Cup Team (1967,1970); Mississippi State Open Champion (1968);PGA Gulf States Professional of the Year (1970,1984); PGA Head Golf Professional at Deerfield Golf Club in Canton (1979-88); and Gulf States PGA Junior Golf Leader Award (1991, 1995,1996).
Webb was inducted into the Gulf States PGA Hall of Fame (1998) and the USM Athletic Hall of Fame (1976).