Harry Pezzullo

As a player, coach, and behind-the-scenes influence, Harry Pezzulo put an indelible stamp on the world of professional golf

Harry Pezzulo was a fine golfer in his day, winning multiple amateur and pro titles through the 1930s and 1940s. His playing career peaked in 1952, when he won the 1952 PGA Player of the Year Award. He was also able to secure some quirkier honors, like being the only person to score holes-in-one both left and right-handed.

Pezzulo also made a stamp on the game while not on the links. He was president of the Illinois PGA for 14 years, was the four-time vice president of the national PGA, and presided over the Seniors Tour. Perhaps most importantly, in 1936, while winning the Rhode Island Public Links Championship, he met entertainer Bing Crosby. Impressed by Pezzulo’s ability, Crosby invited him to play in California. One thing led to another, and the following year, the Bing Crosby Invitational National Pro-Am was born.

Now the pro-emeritus at the Ballen Isles Country Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, Pezzulo was elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.