2015 Inductee Biographies

Linares 2 sm   Richard "Dick" Linares – One of the considerations for inductees into the Long Beach Golf Hall of Fame is the answer to the question “how would golf be different in Long Beach if not for this person”. Well, golf would likely be very different in Long Beach had it not been for Dick Linares. When the Virginia Country Club bought land from the railroads and moved from their location at what is now Recreation Park GC, Dick Linares convinced the City fathers to take over the land and build an 18-hole golf course with grass greens. He became the first golf professional at “The Municipal Links” from 1922 to 1929 when he left to open a course in Tuscon, AZ. Dick was an exceptional golfer who won the 1924 So Cal PGA Championship, qualified for the US Open and played in exhibitions and matches against the likes of Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen. Dick passed away in February 1948.
Walt Willows sm   Walt Willows – If you have ever attended the Long Beach Open (or the Junior World at Torrey Pines) you have seen Walt Willows’ handiwork on the Tournament Scoreboard. Walt first became a PGA member in 1976 while working at Soule Park GC in Ojai, CA. From there, he moved to the San Diego area and became one of the Assistant Professionals at the popular Singing Hills Resort in El Cajon, where he worked for future PGA of America President Tom Addis, III. He left Singing Hills to become the Head Professional at San Diego’s Mission Trails GC, a job he held for 5 years before going into semi-retirement. Having done some scoreboard work at PGA Tour events and the Junior World, Long Beach Open Director and Long Beach Golf Hall of Fame member Chris Neal asked Walt to come up and do the Scoreboard for the Long Beach Open in 1992. He and his collection of red, black, blue and green ink pens and impeccable penmanship have been a mainstay of the Long Beach Open and hundreds of scoreboard watchers ever since.