A New England native son, Bob Toski received the highest award that The PGA of America can bestow on a member when he was inducted on March 12 into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame. Toski was enshrined with seven other colleagues, and all were recognized for having “made significant and lasting contributions to the growth of The PGA of America and the game of golf.”
One of the most popular, animated, and unforgettable golf instructors of any era, Robert Algutoski was born in Haydenville, Massachusetts, near Northampton, the eighth of nine children. He was one of four brothers who became golf professionals.
Now 86, Toski, who is in his 65th year as a PGA professional, turned pro in 1947 and captured the 1954 PGA Tour money title. He competed in 21 Majors and won 11 events on both the PGA and Champions tours. He also won the Mass Open at Hyannisport Club in 1958 and the Maine Open at Penobscot Valley in 1959.
Choosing to spend more time with his young family, Toski left the Tour in 1955 at age 30 to become a club professional and to dedicate himself both to understanding the fundamentals of the golf swing and to communicating that information to players of all abilities.
Toski said, “When I joined the Tour, I studied the best players to see what they did that I didn’t do. I came to the conclusion that the successful players had the Three C’s: Confidence, Composure, and Concentration.”
Touring pros such as Brad Adamonis, Jane Blalock, Pat Bradley, Bruce Crampton, Bruce Devlin, Ken Duke, Bruce Fleisher, Birdie Kim, Tom Kite, Judy Rankin, and Lexi Thompson sought his advice. After 2005 US Open champ Kim was asked how much the instruction of Toski had meant to her victory, she said, “Everything.”
In 1971, he started the “Golf Digest” Schools, directing them for 20 years, and his system became the standard against which all other schools were judged. He was a pioneer in video instruction, authored many instruction books, worked for NBC Sports as a commentator, and regularly contributed to golf magazines. In 1990, he was inducted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame.
Toski said about his life as a teacher, “If I don’t give a lesson today, I feel like I’ve missed something.”
The induction ceremony took place at the PGA Education Center in Port St. Lucie, Florida. NBC Sports interviewer and essayist Jimmy Roberts was the Master of Ceremonies.
The other inductees were Jimmie DeVoe, Chip Essig, Michael Hebron, Bill Ogden, Bill Powell, Jim Mrva, and Allen Wronowski.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?