Awards to be given at Feb. 5 dinner
Longtime Alabama-NW Florida PGA section members Bud Rousey and Chris Burns are the newest members of the section’s hall of fame.
The two will be inducted into the hall of fame during the section’s Awards Dinner at Wynlakes Golf & Country Club on Feb. 5
Rousey joined the PGA after his military career ended. He has been a member for nearly 30 years, all in the Alabama-NW Florida Section.
He started as a non-member head Professional at Cane Creek Golf Course at Fort McClellan in Anniston. He eventually made his way to Pensacola, where his focus shifted to golf instruction. He spent many years teaching at the Cove Golf Center, which he operated, and at A.C. Read Golf Course.
Rousey had a major impact on the section. He served as a Gulf Coast chapter officer and was then elected as a section officer. His term with the Section culminated with his service as Section President from 2008-2009. Following his Section board service, he was elected to the PGA of America Board of Directors and served the association in a three-year term representing District 3.
Rousey served as education chair and was awarded the Horton Smith Award seven times. A knowledgeable rules official, Rousey worked numerous PGA Tour qualifying tournaments, section tournaments, and Player Ability Tests.
In 2012, Rousey was named the Alabama-NW Florida Golf Professional of the Year, the Section’s top award.
Chris Burns spent his entire 52-year PGA career in the Alabama-NW Florida Section and was the head professional at Florence Golf and Country Club. He’s especially known as a one of the top teachers for juniors in the state, and more than 70 of his students went on to play college golf. Seven went on to careers in golf as PGA of America professionals.
Burns is widely regarded with jump-starting the career of Stewart Cink, who won The Open Championship in 2009.
Burns is also well known for his charitable contributions to the game. He established the George E. Wilson Memorial American Heart Association Golf Tournament in 1992. Renamed the Chris Burns Classic in 2007, the tournament eventually raised more than $550,000 for the American Heart Association in its 21-year history.
Burns also initiated the Laurie Burns Franks Memorial Golf Tournament in 2005, benefitting area high school golf teams and teams . During its 14 years, high school golf teams received a total of $360,000.
Included among Burns’ section awards were Teacher of the Year, Senior Golf Professional of the Year, Junior Golf Leader, and Bill Strausbaugh Awards. He was also named one of Golf Magazine’s Top Teachers in America.
Burns is a member of the Lauderdale County Sports Hall of Fame. The Burns family has a long history of golf in Alabama. With his induction into the Section Hall of Fame, Chris will join his brother, Bud, and nephew, Tommy.
Featured image: Bud Rousey (left); Chris Burns, courtesy of the Alabama-NW Section PGA.