Tuesday
Dec192017

Chicago golf world mourns loss of Carol McCue

By Tim Cronin

Reporting from Chicago

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Carol McCue was the First Lady of Chicago Golf.

She knew everyone in the game on a first-name basis and was a part of the game for over 70 years.

McCue died over the weekend at 94, after a period of declining health.

She walked into the Chicago District Golf Association office early in 1942, soon after the death of Joe Davis, the CDGA’s executive secretary, to fill in and help coordinate the Hale America National Open at Ridgemoor Country Club. Just out of business school at age 19, she stayed 40 years, becoming one of the leading administrators in the world of golf, first as executive secretary and then with the new title of executive director.

“The people involved in golf are very, very nice people,” McCue said in a 1989 interview with the Chicago Tribune’s Reid Hanley. “When you work in golf you meet people on their best terms.”

Nobody ever had a bad word to say about Carol McCue, because there were only good things to say.

She was the last living member of the inaugural class of the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame, one of the eight gaining entry in 1989. A decade earlier, she was awarded the National Golf Foundation’s Herb Graffis Award, named after a Chicago golf writer, one of the first people she met in the game.

“She was the gold standard for golf administrators, a great boss, mentor and friend,” said Dennis Davenport, who succeeded her as the CDGA’s executive director. “Dick Taylor, who helped found Golf World, often called her the Grand Dame of Golf.”

McCue, crediting the Royal Typewriter Company’s placement service to leading her to the CDGA, led the group into computerized handicapping in 1967 – eliminating the time-consuming need for people to travel to each club, check scores and calculate them individually for hours on end – long before the United States Golf Association did so.

She called on her friendship with Bob Jones in 1958 to create the CDGA’s Masters charter, which allowed several hundred members to take in the beauty of Augusta National for one day each April for decades. Soon, CDGA charters for golf outings were going everywhere in the world.

She helped lead the association, which started as a group of private clubs, into public golf, helping spread the word for the game in general. She wrote a manual on how to run a golf tournament – calling players to the tee before their tee time, long standard procedure, was a McCue innovation – and was a charter member of the Golf Writers’ Association of America.

In 1969, a McCue idea led to the formation of the International Association of Golf Administrators, a think tank that had led to countless improvements in how golf is run. A decade later, she was awarded the National Golf Foundation’s Herb Graffis Award, named after a Chicago golf writer and an NGF founder who was one of the first people she met in the game.

Always crediting the volunteer directors from area courses, McCue would say, “I’m just a hired hand” when someone credited her with an innovation. But someone had to organize it, and McCue was a great organizer and innovator, leading the CDGA to a position of prominence among regional associations.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of Carol’s passing,” said CDGA executive director Robert Markionni. “She was a true pioneer and leader in golf administration, not only in Chicago, but throughout the nation. Many of the programs that Carol initiated, such as public golfer memberships and computerized handicapping, revolutionized golf administration and set the stage for the innovative technology we use today. Even though she is no longer with us, Carol’s legacy will live on for many years because of her innovative work.”

The pros of the Illinois PGA thought so highly of her, that group made her an honorary member in 1962, a first for a woman for any PGA section.

Her retirement from the CDGA in 1982 was short-lived. Joe Jemsek hired her as a vice-president of Jemsek Golf to coordinate Cog Hill’s hosting of the 1989 U.S. Public Links Championship. Soon after, Cog Hill landed the Western Open for a run of nearly two decades, and McCue was the ideal person to work with the Western Golf Association and the PGA Tour. She worked for Jemsek Golf for over 20 years.

A believer in getting youth into the game, she started the Cog Hill Sizzler in 1988, which soon took up two of Cog Hill’s four courses for a day in August, the place overflowing with young golfers. Twenty years before, she suggested the shuttered Edgewater Golf Club be reopened as a junior-only course run by a charitable foundation. People cheered the idea, but nobody made it happen.

McCue was a tennis player when she was hired by the CDGA, but took up golf, in part to learn about the game she was working in, and became a 10 handicap at Evanston Golf Club. The par-3 seventh at Evanston was one of her favorite holes, because she scored a hole-in-one on it.

Her contacts were legendary. She became a friend of Herbert Warren Wind, America’s most erudite golf writer, and after Wind’s retirement, they would chat after each major championship. She also advised Wind and his partners on their “Classics of Golf” book reissue series.

She was also generous, especially with her time. She volunteered to help run the Southtown Challenge Junior Championship at Glenwoodie Golf Course – which she convinced this reporter to start in 1989 – until she no longer drove. One year she had to be convinced that it was better for her to be inside the air-conditioned clubhouse rather than at the unshaded scoreboard when the temperature climbed to 100 degrees.

A service will be held on Fri., Dec. 29 at 10 a.m. at Donnellan Funeral Home, 10045 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, with interment at Calvary Cemetery, Evanston.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (12)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: linked web site
    illinoisgolfer - Blog - Chicago golf world mourns loss of Carol
  • Response
    Response: togel hongkong
    illinoisgolfer - Blog - Chicago golf world mourns loss of Carol
  • Response
    Response: Terpercaya
    illinoisgolfer - Blog - Chicago golf world mourns loss of Carol
  • Response
    Response: game Poker terbaik
    illinoisgolfer - Blog - Chicago golf world mourns loss of Carol
  • Response
    illinoisgolfer - Blog - Chicago golf world mourns loss of Carol
  • Response
    Response: agen Qq
    illinoisgolfer - Blog - Chicago golf world mourns loss of Carol
  • Response
    Response: elo boost
    illinoisgolfer - Blog - Chicago golf world mourns loss of Carol
  • Response
    Response: فنادق مكة
    illinoisgolfer - Blog - Chicago golf world mourns loss of Carol
  • Response
    Response: Building wraps
    illinoisgolfer - Blog - Chicago golf world mourns loss of Carol
  • Response
    illinoisgolfer - Blog - Chicago golf world mourns loss of Carol
  • Response
    Response: Easternfringe.Com
    illinoisgolfer - Blog - Chicago golf world mourns loss of Carol
  • Response
    Response: togel Online
    illinoisgolfer - Blog - Chicago golf world mourns loss of Carol

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>
Main | Leishman brings it home »