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Golf / Shav Glick : Robinson and Dutra Newest Inductees Into Southland Hall of Fame

February 02, 1986|SHAV GLICK

Joe Robinson of Riverside, a PGA golf professional for 51 years, and the late Olin Dutra, a former U.S. Open and PGA champion, are the latest inductees into the Southern California PGA Hall of Fame.

Robinson, 72, is owner and director of golf at the Jurupa Hills Country Club in Riverside, where he has been since 1963.

His first job as head professional was at the Brentwood Country Club in West Los Angeles in 1935. He remained there until 1946, when he moved to the Virginia Country Club in Long Beach, where he stayed for 17 years.

Dutra, who died two years ago, at 82, was the first Californian to win the U.S. Open. He won it in 1934 at Merion, Pa., two years after winning the PGA title.

Dutra was also a five-time Southern California PGA champion and worked as a head professional at such clubs as Brentwood, Wilshire, El Rancho Verde, Jurupa Hills, Anaheim Municipal and San Luis Bay Club in Avila Beach.

The careers of Robinson and Dutra crossed paths on several occasions.

When Robinson came to Southern California from Idaho at 15, he got his first job working for Dutra at Brentwood. When Dutra left to become head pro at Wilshire in 1935, Robinson became Brentwood's head pro.

In 1963, when Robinson, George Lake and golf architect Billy Bell Jr. built the Jurupa Hills course, they hired Dutra as the club's first professional.

"It is quite a thrill for me to receive this (Hall of Fame) honor the same year as Olin," Robinson said when informed of the award.

Dutra, besides winning the Open and the PGA, finished second in both the 1933 British Open and the 1935 Masters, the one in which Gene Sarazen got his historic double eagle. He was elected to the PGA Hall of Fame in 1982.

The Wilshire club perpetuates Dutra's name with the Olin and Mortie Dutra Team Championship Trophy. Mortie still teaches golf occasionally at Studio City.

As a player, Robinson won the 1938 Southern California Open at Clover Field with a record 72-hole score of 272. The tournament has been 54 holes in recent years. Among the players Robinson defeated were Dutra, Craig Wood, Lloyd Mangrum and MacDonald Smith, all nationally ranked players. In 1951 and 1957 he won the Southern California PGA pro-president tournament.

Robinson was one of the founders of the Southern California Junior Golf Assn. in 1947 and served on the local PGA chapter's board of directors for 17 years.

For the last 13 years he and his son, Ron, now head professional at Jurupa Hills, have been co-hosts of the Southern California PGA Seniors' championship tournament. In 1960, while at Virginia, Joe was named Southern California PGA pro of the year.

Previous inductees into the local golfing Hall of Fame are Joe Novak, George Lake, Paul Runyan, Bud Oakley and Ellsworth Vines.

The presentations will be made Feb. 11 during the PGA chapter's president's dinner at the Seacliff Country Club in Huntington Beach. Dutra's son, Gerald, who lives in Ventura, will accept the award for his father.

Golf Notes Open qualifying for the Shearson-Lehman Brothers-Andy Williams Open is set for Monday at Stardust CC with four spots open from an entry of 150 pros and amateurs with handicaps of two or better. Once known as the San Diego Open, the $450,000 tournament will start Thursday at Torrey Pines. Woody Blackburn is defending champion. A $16,000 pro-am Wednesday will feature Bob Hope, making his 15th appearance in the San Diego event; former President Gerald Ford, entertainers Glen Campbell, Fred MacMurray, Dennis James and Pat Boone; athletes Dan Fouts, Don Sutton and Graig Nettles and host Andy Williams. . . . Los Angeles Open qualifying for PGA members will be held Feb. 10 at Hillcrest and open qualifying is set for Feb. 14 at Los Serranos CC in Chino.

Irvine Coast CC has changed its name to Newport Beach CC. Its first tournament under the new moniker will be the 12th Crosby Southern Pro-Am, a 36-hole event Feb. 15-16 for $4,500 that benefits the 552 Club, a support group for Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian. It will pair 74 pros with as many amateurs. Last year's winner was John McComish. . . . Another name change: L.A. National, originally Walnut Valley and later Pomona National, is now L.A. Royal Vista GC. . . . Less than a month after being elected president of the Rancho Men's Club, Newell Morris, 71, died of pneumonia. Vice President Mike Clements is acting president until the board meets Feb. 10.

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