Curtis S. Person, Jr.
was a car dealership owner by trade but a golfer by heart. Although an excellent golfer all his life, it was when he became a senior that his winning ways truly took flight. He won more than 75 senior championships, including four Eastern Seniors, two USGA Senior Amateurs, two International Seniors, three North and South Seniors, a U.S. Seniors, two Southern Seniors, four Southern Golf Association Seniors, a Western Senior, an American Seniors Stroke and American Seniors Match, four Southwest Seniors, fand five World Seniors Four-Balls, among many, many others. During the stretch of 1968-1969, Person won 69 of 72 competitive matches, including 38 in a row.
This is not to say Person did not succeed before becoming a senior. He had two Mississippi Amateurs to his credit as well as two Tennessee Opens.
Person was repeatedly honored for his success and his contributions to the game of golf. Golf Digest called him their Top Senior five consecutive years from 1966 to 1970.
Following his five victories in important tournaments in 1968, the state of Tennessee named him athlete of the year. Three years later, that state would induct him into their Sports Hall of Fame. And after winning the USGA Senior Amateur and International Senior Amateur, the Golf Writer's Association presented him with their Ben Hogan Trophy in 1969.
Life on the links was always the preferred place for Person. Golf was where he could escape and enjoy himself. He once said, "I've been knee-deep in the game and have had more fun than I can tell you about." Employees at his Curtis Person Chevrolet Dealership in Millington, Tennessee would often see their boss, golf bag in hand, heading off to the course. He would often say, "My one rule is this: Never let business interfere with golf."
He did include himself, however, in the business of golf: Person was the co-founder and six-year chairman of the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic, past President and Director of the Tennessee and Southern Golf Associations, Director of the National Golf Foundation, a member of the PGA Advisory Board, and a member of the USGA museum committee.
He was well placed as a member of the museum committee seeing as how he had a large room in his house dedicated just to golf memorabilia. By 1995, Person had 409 putters, 250 bag tags, and half a dozen golf bags chock full of clubs.
Curtis Person exemplifies the true meaning of the Southern Golf Association Hall of Fame, which he was inducted into in 1976. By having an outstanding competitive career, contributing administratively, and for tirelessly promoting the great game of golf, Curtis Person, Sr. stands as a shining example to all those who follow in his footsteps.
World Seniors Four-Ball Champion - 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970International Seniors Champion - 1969, 1971U.S. World Senior Team (Playing Captain) - 1969
Southern Golf Association Senior Amateur Champion - 1965, 1967, 1968, 1970USGA Senior Amateur Champion - 1968, 1969United States Seniors Champion - 1968North and South Senior Champion - 1966, 1968, 1969Eastern Senior Champion - 1966, 1967, 1970, 1974Western Senior Champion - 1970Southern Seniors Golf Association Champion - 1967, 1968American Seniors Match Play Champion - 1969American Seniors Stroke Champion - 1969Southwest Seniors Champion - 1967, 1972, 1972, 1974Pinehurst Seniors Four-Ball - 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971
State Competition - Mississippi/Tennessee
Mississippi Amateur Champion - 1941Mississippi Amateur Champion - 1945Tennessee Open Champion - 1953Tennessee Open Champion - 1957