Upstate PGA teaching professional Mike Lawrence was inducted into the South Carolina Golf Association’s Hall of Fame.
Lawrence and King join the SCGolf Hall of Fame
It was easy to understand why the gathering at the Columbia Country Club quickly rose out of their seats to give the two newest members of the South Carolina Golf Association’s Hall of Fame a standing ovation.
Longtime upstate PGA professional, Mike Lawrence, and one of the all-time best amateurs from the low country, Kevin King, became the 71st and 72nd members to be honored by the state association.
Lawrence, from Liberty, has been a career club professional who has had the playing ability to step out from behind the counter and win three SC Opens championships.
He has competed in 5 Senior PGA Championships, 3 PGA Championships a US Open and a US Senior Open. He also won qualifying tournaments to win his way into several PGA Tour events including the Heritage at Hilton Head.
Lawrence was nominated and supported for the honor by what became known as “Team Lawrence.”
Boscobel staff professionals Jim Nimmo and Joey Herbert along with Clemson golf coach Larry Penley were joined by a group of Hall of Fame members in supporting the recognition for Lawrence.
“I’m really honored to be named to the Hall of Fame. It is something I never thought about or aspired to. I just went about doing what I always have done in golf. It is really awesome that people think I’m worthy of being part of the Hall of Fame,” concluded Lawrence.
Spending his entire life in the game, picking a Hall of Fame memory from his career is almost impossible. Lawrence places the 18 times he has qualified to play in the National Club Pro Championship as a career highlight.
“The game is so awesome, the experiences are so varied, to single out just one or two is difficult,” said Lawrence. “The first US Open I played in, those are experiences that came early in my career and are so memorable,” he said.
While the former All-ACC golfer at Clemson has spent many years in charge of golf operations at Smithfields, Pickens and the Cliffs at Glassy he always loved helping golfers play better.
He founded the TGM teaching Academy in the upstate and has been a full time instructor for many years.
Lawrence has developed a teaching method he calls the R3 Approach. His website at http://www.mikelawrencegolf.com. offers theory and instruction based on his opinion about golf developed over a lifetime in the game.
“Their are so many awesome experiences we have in golf. The places we get to go, the great people we meet and then we play the game and that can be peculiar,” he said.
A favorite tip Lawrence has offered golfers during his many years of giving lesson is pretty simple and also obvious.
“Breath. They don’t call it choking for nothing,” he joked. “When we get in pressure situations our bodies physiology changes and it begins with breathing. If you are a golfer just remember, keep your breathing good,” he said.
The new Hall of Fame inductee will turn 65 this year. At a time when many make plans to retire, Lawrence does not even consider the opportunity.
“No, I’m just getting started,” said Lawrence.
Bluffton’s Kevin King joined Lawrence in the Class of 2020. The long time amateur has a Hall of Fame collection of accomplishments.
King is only one of two golfers in the Palmetto State record book to win the SCGA Amateur, Mid-Am and Senior Am.
Some of his victories include nine-time Hilton Head Amateur Champion, multiple partner Championships, a seven time USGA Mid-Am and US Amateur contestant, 2019 USGA Senior Open qualifier and three-time representative of SC in the USGA’s Team Matches.
The SCGA Golf Day also honored the top players and contributors to the game in the state.
Jordan Sease of Lexington was recognized as the Player of the Year after a year long points race.
Eddie Hargett of Columbia won the Senior Player of the Year award by a fraction of a point over three-time senior award winner Walter Todd of Laurens.
Boiling Springs junior MK Talledo won the Beth Daniel Junior Girls Player of the Year and Gene Zeigler from Florence was the Jay Haas Junior Boys Player of the Year.
The former executive director of the SC Junior Golf Association Chris Miller received the Charles Drawdy distinguished service award.
The Women’s South Carolina Golf association was presented the Tom Fazio Service to Golf Award and the Seabrook Island Club was honored as the SCGA Club of the Year.