The Professional Putters Association

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“Founded with the purpose of finding the world’s greatest putter, to promote Putt-Putt Golf Courses of America

and its franchised locations.”

circa 1959 Don Clayton, Founder of Putt-Putt Golf Courses and The Professional Putters Association.

Dave Taylor
1958 - 2014

        

It is with heartfelt sadness we learned of the passing of Dave Taylor.
The Maryland native joined the Professional Putters Association as a charter APA member in 1969 earning Pro status in 1974. Dave is a four time Virginia Player of the year (1986, 1988, 1993, 1994) winning more than 25 state titles that included three Virginia state championships and four National titles. He also appeared on the 1975 PPA TV series.

“Davey Taylor and I go back to the 1964 PPA Southern Open in Fayetteville on the original Putt-Putt, where he was just a little boy following his father, Buddy Taylor, who was competing in the pro division and I in the amateur division. He grew up to become a gifted putter in his own right. Davey was talented with a Bullseye putter in his hands, and I was fortunate to compete in many APA and PPA tournaments with him for more than three decades. He was an intense player who demanded the best of himself, and always the gentleman ... win or lose.  I am deeply saddened to learn of Davey's passing, and join with all in our PPA and APA membership in sending my heartfelt condolences to his wife Betty, father Buddy, mother Audrey, Kim, Rusty and Justin and the entire Taylor family.”      Bill Kirby Jr.


" Dave's passing has left a void in the hearts and minds of the PPA membership. A great competitor and friend, and part of the premier putting family. Dave will be missed, but his memory will live on as long as we continue to play. RIP Dave, and may the Lord bless and keep you and your family in His loving arms.         Bill Baus

"The heart of a Champion."    Rick Smith

"Dave was a fixture and ardent supporter of the Virginia tour from the beginning and played nearly every tournament for 25 plus years.  Dave was humble in victory and celebrated the success of his fellow players.

Dave was a competitor. He was champion. He had a passion and love for the game. Dave was a sportsman. He was a friend.  

I first meet Dave while playing with him in the APA in High Point when he was eight or nine.  Through the years, I had the privilege of playing with Dave on many more occasions. Dave's fierce competitiveness and love of the game will be missed, but will live on in those of us who knew him and shared in his life."   Gary Hinshaw

Funeral Arrangements

Viewing will be Sunday November 23rd from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 pm at Singletons Funeral Home in Glen Burnie, MD.  The funeral is Monday, November 24th at 1 pm at Singletons Funeral Home followed by the burial at Glen Haven Cemetery.  There will be a gathering for anyone who would like to attend at Ferndale Fire Hall in Glen Burnie immediately following the burial from 2 to 6 pm.

Our sympathies to the Taylor Family


  
Our Heroes and Champions


The Professional Putters Association proudly celebrated the 60th anniversary of Putt-Putt Golf Courses of America.  During the 2014 season, the PPA has recognized the 60 greatest PPA putters as voted on by current and former members.

Congratulations to all Players who's accomplishments are celebrated by vote of the
TOP 60 Players of all time.


Professional Putters Association

Texan Wins $50,000 PPA National Championship

“Never did I imagine,” Jeff Smith says of 11th round 20 that vaults the 54-year-old pro to the 55thAnnual PPA National Championship, his third straight PPA National Tour victory and a first-place paycheck of $10,000. 

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA – Twice a bridesmaid, but no longer.

Jeff Smith has his crown jewel.

I was confident I would have another opportunity, and I am thrilled that I won in Lake Charles, home of my late friend Al Simpson.,” says Jeff Smith, 54, who parlayed an 11th round 20 into a commanding lead that provided the Texan with the $50,000 PPA National Championship. “When I hit the final putt, I felt overjoyed, feeling like the most fortunate man on the planet at that moment.  Making it to the club that includes Greg Ward, Vance Randall, Alan Quinnelly, Lewis Burton, Andy Coradini, Randy Reeves, Bill Kirby Jr., Cliff Matthews among others is a goal of nearly 25 years realized. My only regret is that my mom, my dad and Al Simpson weren't here on earth to share the victory with me.”

Smith posted rounds of 24, 26, 25, 25, 24, 24, 23, 24, 25, 26, 20 and 25 for a 291 total, 141 under par, on the lightning-fast Lake Charles carpets for a 4-stroke victory over Kevin Lacey, the 2008 PPA National Champion from Cincinnati, Ohio, to take home the $10,000 first-place check. Lacey had rounds of 25, 27, 27, 27, 21, 22, 23, 27, 24, 25, 25 and 22 for 295, 137 under par, and a runner-up finish for the second consecutive year for a $5,000 paycheck. Joe Lea of Katy, Texas, fired scores of 25, 30, 23, 28, 26, 27, 24, 28, 20, 27, 22 and 22 for a 302 total, 130 under par, and third place for $3,500.

Andy Coradini of Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, who was bidding for his third PPA National title, Bill Kirby Jr., the 1995 PPA National Champion from Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Kevin Rutledge of Bristol, Virginia, shared fourth, all at 303, with each winning $2,100.

Rick Baird, the 2007 PPA National Champion from Charlotte, North Carolina, was alone in seventh at 306, followed by Jim Cruse of Baltimore, Ohio, eighth at 309.  2005 PPA National Champion Jay Klapper of Lawrenceville, Georgia and Greg Ward of Loganville, Georgia, a two-time PPA National Champion and the sport's most time-honored player, tied for ninth at 310.  

No Longer A Bridesmaid

Smith carried a 2-stroke lead over Lacey and Coradini in what began a 36-hole shootout on the final day of the 216-hole marathon that stretched over three days, and akin to the 1963 PPA National Championship in Cleveland, Ohio, a $50,000 event won by Johnny Spotts of Indianapolis, Indiana.

There was pressure. 

Twice, Smith had flirted with this title. 

Twice, in playoffs, Smith failed.


Smith suffered an 18-hole playoff loss to Lewis Burton of Lawrenceville, Georgia, when he held a two-stroke lead with three holes remaining in the 1998 PPA National Championship at Orlando, Florida, and was one up on Greg Ward with three holes to play in an 18-hole playoff in the 2012 PPA National Championship in Columbus, Indiana, before losing on the 20th extra hole.

Now, on this October 3rd  afternoon in the old Southwest town along Lake Charles, Prien Lake and the Calcasieu River and just a 30-mile drive from the Gulf of Mexico, Jeff Smith again was again bidding for the sport's most prestigious prize.

This time would be different. 

This would be his time.

This would be his moment.

This was his championship for the taking.

And, this time, he would not be a bridesmaid.

I was really happy to see Jeff Smith win the 2014 PPA National Championship,” says Ward, the 53-year-old PPA Hall of Famer who owns 19 major PPA titles and reigns as the most dominate player in the 60-year-history of the organization. “Jeff has been a great player for a long time. After losing in a playoff to win the PPA National Championship on two previous occasions, I guess you could say it was his turn. Jeff is a class act, and he will be a great representative for the PPA as its national champion.”

Burton, 49, remembers Smith's runner-up finish in Orlando.

 “I'm extremely happy for Jeff.” said Burton, the 1998 and 1989 PPA National Champion, and a PPA Hall of Famer. “He's been tremendously gracious in heartbreaking losses in the past.  A lesser player might not recover from such disappointment, but Jeff has more than bounced back.  He has demonstrated resilience that is the mark of a true champion.  I'm glad to see his enthusiasm for the game has been rewarded.  I wish I could have been there to congratulate him in person.  I'm sure he will represent the game we love with humility and sportsmanship.”

Lacey, Lea, Coradini Laud Conquering Champion                   Continue reading





PPATV

Enjoy the television history of The Professional Putters Association on PPATV.
Many of the players that are celebrated on these pages have displayed their putting abilities on PPATV shows, which began airing in 1960.
Take a trip back in time with more than 150 videos available to view.  Enjoy the memories.


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