The lives of Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dinah Shore were honored Tuesday as the trio was inducted into the Southern California Golf Association Hall of Fame at a luncheon in Universal City.
Family members of all three legendary figures were on hand to accept the inductions in front of a crowd of more than 250 people.
Hope and Crosby both had famous estates in Toluca Lake and all three were known to play regularly at the Lakeside Golf Course.
"Crosby, Hope and Shore all helped popularize the game in Southern California and the whole country," said Bob Fischer, SCGA board member and chair of the Hall of Fame committee, which is based in Studio City. "They also supported three of the most successful professional tournaments in the Southland. We felt inducting the three of them into the same SCGA class was appropriate."
Although she didn't take up the game until age 52, Shore was an illuminating presence for women's golf. Since 1972, her eponymous tournament has been one of the LPGA's most visible.
"That tournament was her joy, her passion," said Shore's daughter, Melissa Montgomery-Lynch, who accepted the induction on her mother's behalf. "She said, 'women golfers are great, and they deserve to be seen, heard and paid!'"
Former LPGA Commissioner Charlie Mechem and SCGA Hall of Famer Amy Alcott presented the Shore family with the honor. A video presentation during the event contained footage of a young Alcott and Shore jumping into Poppy's Pond following Alcott's victory at the 1991 Kraft Nabisco Championship, formerly known as the Colgate-Dinah Shore.
"This presentation is a dream come true," said Alcott. "Dinah was my dear friend and it's an absolute honor to induct her. Her contributions to the game of golf, especially to women, were phenomenal, and her legacy continues to give back in so many ways."
The same can be said for Shore's 2012 SCGA Hall of Fame classmate Bing Crosby, who in the words of award-winning journalist Mark Soltau, helped the game in one important way.
"Bing Crosby made golf cool," Soltau said to the crowd during the ceremony. "He drew others into the game and made it look fun and easy."
Easy is right, as Crosby is well known for being a two handicap who competed in both the British and U.S. Amateur championships, and was a five-time club champion at Lakeside Golf Club. Crosby's son Nathaniel, who was on hand to accept the honor for his father, shared stories of his father and his love for the game.
"My father and Hope used to sneak nine holes in before they were due on set, and they would often play nine more after!" said Nathaniel. "All my father ever wanted was to be able to hang out at Lakeside and golf all day."
In 1937, Crosby hosted the first National Pro-Am Golf Championship, the 'Crosby Clambake' as it was popularly known, at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club. Now the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, it has been a leading event in the world of professional golf.
Same went for Bob Hope, who's love for the game made him one of the most enthusiastic players to ever play it. As he traversed the globe entertaining both black-tie audiences and battalions of soldiers, Hope made a second career of teeing it up with Presidents, Princes and Kings. Hope took the reins of the annual Bob Hope Classic in Palm Springs in 1960, and was a life-long member of Lakeside Golf Club.
"Golf played a very important part in every aspect of his life," said comedian and actor Tom Dressen, who's speech inducted Hope into the Hall of Fame. "It was very important for Bob Hope to find golf, but it was also important for golf to find Bob Hope."
The SCGA Hall of Fame, which now has 23 members, is in its seventh year. It is governed by the SCGA Board of Directors and supported by the SCGA Hall of Fame Committee, which is made up of PGA professionals, golf administrators, club officials who all share a love of California golf history.
Shared Linda Hope at the conclusion of the ceremony, "Sharing this experience with Dinah and Bing would have really gladdened my dad's heart."
(from a press release of the SCGA.)