Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – The Golf Heritage Society (GolfHeritage.org) announced the names of Society members who will be inducted this year into the GHS Hall of Fame, as well as the winner of the Harris-Wolke Award. The recipients will be honored October 13 at the banquet at the 2023 GHS National Convention, to take place Oct. 11-14 in Lexington, Kentucky.
“We will be honoring an especially accomplished and distinguished group of recipients this year,” said Dr. Bern Bernacki, president of the GHS. “They are highly deserving of the recognition.”
The 2023 GHS Hall of Fame inductees will be as follows:
John G. Capers III
John G. Capers III, of St. Davids, Pennsylvania, has served as the Historian/Archives Committee Chair at Merion Golf Club for more than 45 years. He had a distinguished amateur career which included captainship of the University of the South golf team and 20 Merion championships in every age group from junior to super-senior. A founding member of the GHS, Capers is a former board member and president. He has served for more than 20 years on the USGA Museum Committee and has been very involved in helping other prominent clubs to organize and maintain their historical collections and archives. Capers has been quoted in numerous golf magazines and he has appeared on several television channels and podcasts.
John W. Fischer III
John W. Fischer III studied journalism at the University of Michigan with every intention of pursuing that career path but later obtained a law degree from his alma mater and practiced law in Cincinnati, Ohio, for 50 years. A high school golfer, he has maintained a lifelong love of the game. He has shared his considerable writing skills with golf history features in numerous magazines and online publications. His literary contributions were honored by the GHS when he received its Golden Quill Award in 2019. A member of the Society since the late 1980s, Fischer served as its president from 2017-18. For 36 years he was a member of the USGA Museum and Library Committee and now serves as an advisor.
Col. Dick Johns (USA Ret.)
Dick Johns is a long-time, active member of the Society. After earning an electronic engineering degree from California Polytechnic State University and a Master’s in civil engineering from Arizona State University, he served in the U.S. Army for 26 years, finishing as Chief of Staff for its worldwide Corps of Engineers. After retirement from military service, Johns became the Executive Director of the Middle Atlantic Section of the PGA (MAPGA), a position he held for 17 years. In addition, Johns served as a rules official at numerous local and regional events for both amateurs and PGA Professionals, including three Presidents Cups. His distinguished service has been recognized with awards from the MAPGA and the Virginia State Golf Association. Johns also serves on the board of Links to Freedom, an adaptive golf program serving disabled veterans.
Melvin B. Lucas Jr.
Melvin B. Lucas Jr., of S. Dartmouth, Massachusetts, a U.S. Army veteran and a Certified Golf Course Superintendent, has held superintendent and turf positions at prestigious clubs throughout the Northeast since 1966. Lucas has consulted with more than 50 golf courses in Europe and spoken at numerous conferences on turfgrass issues. His distinguished service to the industry has been honored with awards from many organizations, including the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and the New York State Turfgrass Association. He is the only person to serve as president of both the GCSAA (1980) and the Golf Collectors Society (1995-96). He is the author of Golf’s Cause and Effect – A History of Greenkeeping (2020).
Philip Truett, of Surrey, England, has been a member of the Golf Collectors Society (now the Golf Heritage Society) for 50 years, and was one of five founding members of the British Collectors Society, in 1987. Currently he is the Senior Past President of the Society. A dedicated hickory player, Truett is a past Scottish, English and Welsh Hickory Champion. He was the archivist at Walton Heath Golf Club for 38 years. He was a founding member of the R&A Heritage Committee and currently serves as a consultant member on the USGA’s Museum and Library Committee.
The Golf Heritage Society Hall of Fame was created in 2003 as the Founders Award to honor those who have made a significant contribution to the well-being of the Society in particular and/or to golf collecting in general. In 2018, the GHS created a Hall of Fame to replace the Founders Award and all previous honorees became the inaugural inductees.
The 2023 Harris-Wolke Award will be presented to Bob Georgiade, of Durham, North Carolina, a long-time GHS member and an expert on collectible golf clubs. He is a familiar face at national conventions and trade shows, sometimes sharing his expertise as a presenter on how to evaluate clubs, which clubs are playable or not and more. Over the years he has offered advice to many individuals on both beginning or disbursing a collection. He has often been considered the go-to guy when questions of golf club values are broached. A veteran of eBay, Georgiade spends many hours each week selling clubs, sometimes buying, and often he helps dispose of collections for those with no other means of doing so. He has assisted countless individuals who wish to find just that one club to fill out a collection or play set. Georgiade has been unfailingly generous with his time and his knowledge, happy to help and without equal when it comes to matters of golf club collecting.
The Harris-Wolke Award was created by the GHS in 2018 to honor the late Richard “Richie” Harris and Eric Wolke, two near-inseparable friends and GHS legends. The award recognizes members for their generosity of time and expertise in the field of club making, repair and maintenance; and who were instrumental in helping other members further their collections or learn more about the history of clubs or golf heritage in general.
More complete biographical information about this year’s honorees can be found at GolfHeritage.org.
Founded in 1970, the GHS is a global nonprofit organization that honors and preserves golf’s history.
GHS membership benefits include invitations to local and regional events as well as the annual national convention; the celebrated quarterly magazine, The Golf; the GHS member directory; over 50 years of GHS archives; invitations to live Zoom presentations by notable individuals in golf; the Gazette, with features about golf history; the Newswire, with monthly updates about GHS activities; and – best of all – unrivaled camaraderie with others who value the history and traditions of the game.
For information or to join the GHS, visit GolfHeritage.org.
Sally J. Sportsman