Cruickshank, Bobby (1996)

About Cruickshank, Bobby (1996)

No tribute video has been produced.

1894 – 1975. Robert Cruickshank entered the MAPGA Hall of Fame for his outstanding play at the regional and national level and for his contributions to the formation and leadership of the Virginia Association of Golf Professionals.

Born in 1894 in Scotland, he emerged as a golfing rival of Tommy Armour, but in school also starred in track and boxing. Bobby matriculated at Edinburgh College in 1914, but soon thereafter joined the Army with the outbreak of World War I. While a prisoner of war in Germany, he saved Sandy (Tommy’s brother) Armour’s life. Ironically, Bobby won the Edinburgh Trophy in 1919 by defeating Sandy Armour and repeated that victory in 1920.

He migrated to the United States in 1921 and turned professional holding assistant professional positions at Shackamaxon Country Club, Twin Hills, and Purchase Country Club. From 1932 to 1947, Bobby served as the Head PGA Professional for the Country Club of Virginia. He left there moving to Chartiers Country Club in 1948 where he remained until his retirement in 1968. “The Wee Scot’s” PGA credentials count 17 official tour victories. In 1927 Bobby won the Los Angeles Open, the Texas Open, the Hot Springs Open in Arkansas, the International Four-Ball in Miami with Tommy Armour and the North and South Open. He also led the PGA Tour in money earnings that year.

On the national scene he played in twenty-three US Opens, six Masters, and thirteen PGA Championships. Highlights of his US Open career include a playoff loss to Bobby Jones in 1923, a second place finish to Gene Sarazen in 1932, and a third place behind Ralph Guldahl and Sam Snead in 1937. Bobby’s last appearance, in 1957, occurred after he turned sixty-three years old. A fourth place finish in the 1936 Masters highlighted his career at Augusta. In thirteen PGA Championships beginning 1921 and concluding in 1951, he earned his way into the match play portion eleven times, advancing to the semifinals twice, but losing to Gene Sarazen in both instances.

Regionally, Bobby won six Virginia State Opens: 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937 and 1939. He won the Virginia State Open in 1934 at Old Dominion in Newport News by ten, by seven in 1935 at Old Dominion again, and over Errie Ball in a playoff at Farmington CC in 1937. Before arriving at the Country Club of Virginia in 1932, he won the Maryland Open in 1928 at Baltimore CC-Five Farms by two over Tommy Armour.  And in 1934, Bobby and Tommy Armour succeeded in the Pinehurst Fall Pro-Pro.

Additionally, as an MAPGA player between 1932 and 1947, Bobby laid out an impressive set of accomplishments. He captured the 1933 PGA Qualifier; qualified for the1934 US Open in a playoff over Al Houghton; won the 1934 National Capital Open at Kenwood, a PGA Tour event; and played on both the 1935 MAPGA team and the Virginia team against the touring Japanese All Stars at Kenwood and at the Cascades. His 1945 MAPGA Section Championship, which also served as the PGA Championship qualifier, found him ahead of Andy Gibson (by 4) and Ralph Beach (by 5).

After leaving the Country Club of Virginia, Bobby won the Tri-State PGA Championship in 1949 and 1950, and played in several more US Opens, the last in 1957. The Tri-State PGA Section has elected him to their Hall of Fame as well.  Towards the end of his career, Bobby played in seven PGA Senior Championships, finishing tied for 36th in 1964 and 1968.

On the personal side, “the Wee Scot” was well-known as a fisherman and expert flycaster. The National PGA Hall of Fame inducted Robert Allan Cruickshank in 1967.  (rev. 2011)