Boone | Inducted 2006 | Category: Amateur Golfer

The Boone Golf and Country Club became Dr. Ed Updegraff’s second home as a kid. If he wasn’t caddying, he was playing. And his game advanced at a rapid rate. He was shooting in the 70s consistently by the time he was 12 years old.

His first big victory was a high school state title in 1939. Then came three Northwest Amateur crowns in 1940, 1941 and 1947. He also won the amateur division of the 1941 Waterloo Open. World War II interrupted his career, but he made up for lost time after moving to Arizona. He took his game national.

Dr. Ed’s llong list of victories included the prestigious U.S. Senior Amateur in 1981. He was also selected to three Walker Cup teams (1963, 1965, 1969), the most of any Iowan, and was captain of the 1975 team.

Dr. Ed played in six Masters and 17 U.S. Amateurs. He also claimed a pair of Western Amateur crowns, in 1957 and 1959, and the Sunnehanna Amateur in 1962. He won both the Arizona Amateur and Southwestern Amateur four times. His victory in the 1967 Pacific Coast Amateur Championship came over a field that included Johnny Miller and Hale Irwin. Dr. Ed reached the semifinals of the British Amateur in 1963.

The United States Golf Association presented Updegraff its highest honor, the Bob Jones Award, in 1999. This award is named for the amateur great and co-founder of the Augusta National Golf Club, and is given in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in the game. The award seeks to recognize a person who emulates Jones’ spirit, his personal qualities and his attitude toward the game and its players. Other winners of the Bob Jones Award include, Ben Hogan, Patty Berg, Arnold Palmer, Glenna Collett Vare, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Betsy Rawls, Jack Nicklaus, and Nancy Lopez.

Bill Campbell, a past USGA president and former Walker Cup teammate of Updegraff, nominated him for the award.

“Whether winning or losing, he was the same unassuming, modest and courteous person,” Campbell said. “Which is why his circle of good and lasting friends grew wider wherever he played. His dry wit adds to the fun of being with him, on and off the course. No player in any field is more popular.”

Dr. Ed Updegraff was 100 years old when he passed away on December 23, 2022.

Career Highlights

  • 1938 Iowa High School Individual State Champion at Boone
  • 1940, ’41, ’47 Northwest Amateur Champion
  • 1941 Waterloo Open Low Amateur
  • 1957, 1959 Western Amateur Champion
  • 1954, ’55, ’61, ’69 Southwestern Amateur Champion
  • 1952, ’55. ’61, ’69 Arizona Amateur Champion
  • 1962 Won the Sunnehanna Amateur
  • 1963 Was captain of the Americas’ Cup team
  • 1963 Semi-finalist in the British Amateur
  • 1966 Finished 4th in the Tucson Open
  • 1967 Pacific Coast Amateur Champion(beating a field including Hale Irwin and Johnny Miller)
  • 1981 U.S. Senior Amateur Champion
  • 1999 Recipient of the USGA Bob Jones Award
  • 17 U.S. Amateur Appearances
  • Played in 6 Masters and on 3 Walker Cup Teams
  • 5-time Golf Digest selection as one of the ten best amateur golfers in the U.S.
  • 1975 Walker Cup Team Captain. Team featured Curtis Strange, Craig Stadler and Lanny Wadkins.
  • Won 12 Tucson city championships and 27 club championships over 5 decades at the Tucson C.C., his home course.
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