Isaacs, Jack (1996)

About Isaacs, Jack (1996)


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1908-1982. Jack Isaacs’ playing career included success at the regional and national levels, and for that and his leadership in the Virginia Association of Golf Professionals (VAGP), he was inducted into the MAPGA Hall of Fame.  As early as 1939, he served as a VAGP Vice President.  Between 1951 and 1954, he held the Presidency.  The VAGP saved the Virginia State Open from collapse in 1934, when he, Bobby Cruickshank, Chandler Harper and others formed that organization. The VAGP, and subsequently as the MAPGA Virginia Chapter, conducted a separate Virginia PGA Open until 1984. Jack held a MAPGA Regional Vice Presidency in 1950 – 1951.

Jack, a Richmond native, started as a caddie at the Country Club of Virginia. While there he looped for Walter Hagen in an exhibition with Joe Kirkwood in 1922. In 1928, he accepted the head PGA Professional position at Laurel Golf Club and in November 1929, moved to the Chesterfield Golf Club. Five years later, Jack relocated to the Old Dominion Club. Then in 1938, he accepted the Head PGA Professional position at Langley Air Force Base and remained there until 1963. He semi-retired to Tequesta CC in Florida, but then returned to Willow Oaks in 1965 before a final retirement in 1969. While at Langley, he served a four-year tour of duty with the Army Air Corps during World War II.

His earliest success as a player came when he shot 64 at Glenwood in the Public Links qualifier in 1928. Nationally, Jack played in eight U.S. Opens, qualified for 13 PGA Championships, appeared in two Masters, and also qualified for three British Opens. As a senior golfer he played in 16 PGA Senior Championships and won the PGA Quarter Century Championship in 1965 and 1966. His highest finish in the U.S. Open occurred in 1949 at Medinah, finishing tied for 23rd. In PGA Championships his greatest successes occurred in 1952 and 1953. In 1952, Jack knocked out Pat Abbott and Marty Furgol before losing to Clarence Doser. The next year, he ousted Chandler Harper, Fred Haas Jr., Labron Harris, and Henry Ransom to reach the semifinals where he lost to Felix Torza in 39 holes. At stroke play he finished tied for 49th in 1958 after turning 50 years old. PGA Senior Championships brought four top ten finishes with a fourth in 1963. In two Masters Championships, Jack finished with ties for 44th in 1950 and 53rd in 1954.

Regionally, Jack bested the MAPGA Section Championship field in 1941 and many years later he won the South Florida PGA Section Championship. He won the Virginia PGA Open five times: 1949, 1950, 1956, 1958 and 1961. In 1949 at Ocean View Jack opened with a 65. He captured the Maryland Open three times: 1949, 1951, and 1952. Once Jack turned fifty, the MAPGA Senior Championship came his way in 1959 at the Homestead; repeating in 1960 at Princess Anne, and for the last time at Prince George’s CC in 1961. At 59 years of age the MAPGA tapped him to play in the inaugural Schmidt Cup matches between themselves and the Philadelphia PGA Section in 1967.

Locally, he won the 1958 Howard County Open at All View. Also in 1958, he captured the Atlantic City Senior Open.

Two of his rounds are famous in this part of the country. In 1940, at the U.S. Open qualifier at Manor he opened with a 74, relegating him to sixth place when only five slots would be awarded at the conclusion of the afternoon round. In spectacular fashion, he carved out seven birdies and two bogeys for a 65 securing his place in the U.S. Open with a course record. Ten years later, in the Maryland Open at Columbia, he scored 66 from the back tees with five birdies and bogey. To date, that feat has only been done four other times on the course that dates back to 1911.  (rev. 2011)