Thursday, October 05, 2006

El Paso's Eschenbrenner Headed to the Hall of Fame

Last year, Bill Eschenbrenner, PGA Master Professional at El Paso's Lone Star Country Club, was named PGA Professional of the Year.

This year, he's going one step farther. Eschenbrenner has been elected to the PGA Golf Professional Hall Of Fame in a class of seven inductees that includes Jack Nicklaus. The inductees will be honored in a ceremony, Friday, Dec. 8, in conjunction with the 10th PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit, Dec. 6-10, at the PGA Learning Center at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

In addition to Eschenbrenner and Nicklaus, 2006 inductees include PGA of America President Roger Warren of Kiawah Island, S.C.; 1958 PGA Champion Dow Finsterwald of Colorado Springs, Colo.; 1986 PGA Teacher of the Year Manuel de la Torre of Milwaukee, Wis.; PGA Master Professional William Heald of Westchester, Ill., and 1987 PGA Teacher of the Year Gary Wiren of North Palm Beach, Fla.

The announcement was made by the PGA of America, which has this to say about Eschenbrenner:

A PGA Master Professional at Lone Star Golf Club in El Paso, Texas, Bill Eschenbrenner was the 52nd recipient of PGA Golf Professional of the Year in
2005, the highest annual honor bestowed by The PGA of America on a PGA Professional. A native of Fort Worth, Texas, but an El Paso resident since 1961,
is a former caddie at Worth Hills Municipal Golf Course in Fort Worth, Texas, and made a career path to professional golf through his association and friendship with many of the premier players in the Lone Star State, including legends Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson.

Elected to PGA membership in 1965, Eschenbrenner was the 1994 national Horton Smith Award winner for contributions to PGA education and winner of the 1984 Bill Strausbaugh Award for mentoring fellow PGA Professionals and community service. Among those guided by Eschenbrenner was the legendary Lee Trevino, who credited Eschenbrenner for helping him gain a PGA Tour berth.

Eschenbrenner served 35 years as PGA director of golf at El Paso Country Club, and five years as consultant. He developed a city-wide junior golf program in El Paso. In 1974, he founded the NCAA College All-American Golf Tournament, an event that has returned more than $600,000 in golf scholarships to participating college programs. From 1976-77, Eschenbrenner served as president of the Sun County PGA Section, was District 12 Director for the national PGA Board of Directors (1995-97), and was a past Board member of the Southwest PGA Section from 1965-74.

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