Sept. 1, 2009
Larry Penley, a championship winner as both a player and a coach, will be inducted into the South Carolina Golf Hall of Fame in December.
The long-time coach of Clemson University’s high-powered team, Penley will become the 58th member of the state’s golf shrine on Dec. 5 in ceremonies at Columbia Country Club.
A native of Dallas, N.C., Penley, 50, excelled in junior and collegiate competition and developed into one of the dominant amateurs in the Carolinas. In a four-year stretch (1986-89), he finished second-first-first-second in the South Carolina State Amateur. He often qualified for the United States Amateur, and his other titles include in both the Carolinas Golf Association’s and the South Carolina Golf Association’s Mid-Amateur championships.
His playing accomplishments only begin to tell the Larry Penley story. A 1983 Clemson graduate, he became the Tigers’ head coach for the 1983-84 season. Since that first year only two of Penley’s teams have failed to reach NCAA finals.
The 2003 Tigers won the NCAA Championship and seven other Clemson teams posted top-five finishes in the national tournament. Overall, his teams have won 58 tournaments, eight Atlantic Coast Conference Championships and seven NCAA Regional titles.
He has been chosen ACC coach of the year six times, NCAA District coach of the year five times and national coach of the year once.
A member of the College Golf Hall of Fame, he has coached two U.S. Public Links champions (Kevin Johnson, 1987, and D.J. Trahan, 2000), a U.S. Amateur champion (Chris Patton, 1989), an NCAA champion (Charles Warren, 1997) and a U.S. Open champion (Lucas Glover, 2009).
Glover, Trahan and Jonathan Byrd are former Penley players who have won tournaments on the PGA Tour. His program has produced more than 50 All-American selections.
For additional information, contact Happ Lathrop, South Carolina Golf Association, 803-732-9311.
Penley Quick Facts
Born: Feb. 14, 1959 in Dallas, N.C.
Family: Married to former Heidi Grove. The couple has two daughters, Kelsey Lou and Mollie Ashton, and a son, Andrew William.
Education: 1983 graduate of Clemson University with bachelor’s degree in recreation and parks administration.
Playing experience: Member of Clemson golf team 1977-81. First-team all-ACC 1981. Winner of Iron Duke Classic and Southern Intercollegiate in 1981. South Carolina Amateur champion 1987 and 1988. South Carolina Mid-Amateur champion 1990. Carolinas Mid-Amateur champion 1992.
Major coaching honors: National coach of the year 2003. ACC coach of the year 1987, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2004.
Major coaching championships: National championship 2003; NCAA Regional championships 1993, 1994, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004; ACC championships: 1987, 1988, 1990, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004.
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