Des Moines | Inducted 2006 | Category: Club Professional
Bill Rose has a knack for teaching the game of golf, whether his pupil is an inquisitive Michael Jordan or a youngster gripping a club for the first time. A Korean War veteran, Rose turned professional around 1950 and started working for former PGA Champion Johnny Revolta in Evanston, Ill. That’s also where Bill started to teach the game. He eventually got the job as head professional at The Wakonda Club in Des Moines in 1960. The father of eight children with his wife, Robin, Bill left Wakonda for a more stable living in the insurance business. The change in occupations didn’t extinguish his love of teaching. He still gave lessons. One of his pupils, Mike McCoy, has won more major state championships than any golfer in Iowa history. “He enthusiastically worked with me to develop my technical skills, but his real legacy was his positive approach to the game,” McCoy said. “Bill taught me skills to believe in myself that I still draw upon to this day.”
Rose also served a spell in the 1970s as golf coach at Drake. In the 1980s, he taught golf at Dowling High School in West Des Moines. The Maroons, never a power previously, won five state titles in rapid order. “Good players, yes,” said Robb Pomerantz of Des Moines. “But Bill was the 15th club for sure.” Charles Reeves, another Rose protege, started a company called Michael Jordan Golf. Reeves arranged a game of golf between Rose and Jordan at The Merit Club in Chicago. On the 15th hole, Jordan asked Rose for some advice. Jordan listened. His next shot split the middle of the fairway. “The man (Rose) simply has a gift very few possess,” Reeves said. (Courtesy of Rick Brown) Mr. Rose still teaches on his own time out at the Wakonda Club.