The Northern California Section of the PGA of America (NCPGA) has announced the 2020 Class of PGA Professionals inducted into the Association’s Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees are Roger Maltbie, Alan Krueger, Charlie Leider, Rick Rhoads and Ken Towns.
“The NCPGA Hall of Fame was created to enshrine PGA Professionals from the section in recognition of their significant, enduring accomplishments and contributions to the game and to the PGA of America,” said Len Dumas, Executive Director, Northern California PGA. “This year’s class, like those before them, is made up of leaders and stewards of the game with track records of success that span decades. Each of these inductees has represented the NCPGA with great class and professionalism, and we are very proud to add their names to the NCPGA Hall of Fame.”
Roger Maltbie, 38-Year PGA Member
Roger Maltbie is a 38-year PGA Member, five-time winner on the PGA Tour and a key member of NBC Sports’ golf coverage team since 1992. As the network’s lead course reporter, Maltbie traditionally walks with the leaders and provides expert on course insight. A lifetime resident of San Jose Maltbie began his golf career in 1958 taking lessons from Eddie Duino, the PGA Head Professional at San Jose Country Club. A graduate of San Jose State University, he was an accomplished amateur golfer, winning the 1971 Northern California Championship and the 1972 California State Amateur Championship. His dream of playing on the PGA Tour was realized in 1975 when he qualified for the Tour, and then won two events in his first season, while capturing Rookie of the Year. Among his accomplishments, Maltbie captured the prestigious Memorial Tournament hosted by Jack Nicklaus in 1976. In his best major finish, he tied for fourth place at the 1987 Masters Tournament. After a shoulder injury shortened his PGA Tour career, he was hired by NBC Sports as an on-course broadcaster. While enjoying an illustrious nearly 30-year broadcasting career, Maltbie always finds the time to give back to the game of golf, his community, the NCPGA and Northern California junior golfers. In addition to his induction in the NCPGA Hall of Game, Maltbie has been named to six other Hall of Fames.
Alan Krueger, 51-Year PGA Member
Alan Krueger, a 51-year member of the PGA was born in Minnesota and is the eighth of eleven children. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, where he played golf and played the trumpet in the marching band. In 1963, he joined the Army and was stationed at Fort Ord, in Marina. A competitive golfer, during his service time he won the sixth Army Golf Championship and qualified for the All-Army Golf Team. In 1965 he was hired by Round Hill Country Club, in Alamo, as a golf shop assistant, where he would remain for over 40 years as the PGA Golf Professional, before retiring in 2005. During his tenure, Krueger made a significant impact on membership growth, while serving as a leader in junior golf development, among other successes. An accomplished golfer, Krueger won multiple NCPGA Senior Player of the Year awards and was a longtime member of Senior Cup team. Throughout his career, he was a dedicated NCPGA volunteer and served on the Board of Directors, as well as leading the Seniors board. In 1992, Krueger was honored as the NCPGA Golf Professional of the Year, which was followed with recognition as the 2005 Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient. At 80 years old, he owns the distinction of achieving 16 holes in ones while playing the game.
Charlie Leider, 56-Year PGA Member At 86 years old and a 56-year PGA Member, Charlie Leider is the current owner of Pajaro Valley Golf Club in Salinas, which he operates with his son and daughter, and where he still goes to work every day. He began his golf career at Crystal Springs Golf Course in Burlingame, where his family had a long term lease on the facility. A San Jose State graduate, Leider was an accomplished golfer in his early career, and earned NCPGA Player of the Year honors in 1971. He was also elected as the President of the NCPGA section and served from 1971 -1972, while also receiving the prestigious PGA Professional Development Award. In addition to being a PGA Professional, Leider is a proficient aircraft pilot and earned an IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) rating, which allowed him to pilot his own pressurized twin engine aircraft. Ironically, one of Leider’s best friends since the early 1960s is Ken Towns, with whom he played many rounds of golf at Crystal Springs, and who is a fellow 2020 NCPGA Hall of Fame inductee.
Rick Rhoads, 46-Year PGA Member
Rick Rhoads, a 46-year PGA Member, is a 1967 graduate of the University of Southern California, where he was a two-time golf All American. After turning professional, Rhoads served in the Army National Guard from 1968 to 1974, while also playing on the PGA Tour. Eventually, he turned to teaching and honed his skills under the tutelage of the legendary Claude Harmon, at the famous Winged Foot Golf Club in New York. He became a PGA member in 1974 and was hired at the San Francisco Golf Club as the Head Professional in 1976. During his time at the SF Club, Rhoads still competed at the highest level but also became a highly respectable golf instructor, both learning and working with the likes of Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Dave Stockton, Al Geiberger, Sam Snead, Dave Pelz and many others. He also taught a concentration program called Maximum Golf. A dedicated volunteer in promoting the game and his profession, Rhoads was a regular panelist for the “Teachers Teaching Teachers” forum and was passionately involved in the First Tee of San Francisco from 2005- 2014. Based on his longtime expertise, Rhoads was recognized by his peers as the NCPGA Teacher of the Year in both 1986 and 1994.
Ken Towns, 52-year PGA Member
A PGA Member for 52 years, and close friend of fellow 2020 NCPGA Hall of Fame inductee, Charlie Leider, 92-year-old Ken Towns was born in San Mateo, where he learned the game of golf and eventually won a host of amateur events, including the National Public Links Championship in 1949 and the San Francisco city crown in 1964. Towns earned his way onto the PGA Tour and played from 1964-1966, where one of his highlights was capturing the Pro-Am portion of the Bob Hope Desert Classic. After leaving the tour, he was hired as a club professional in Fort Lewis, Wash., where he honed his golf business skills before being hired in 1967 as the golf professional at Tracy Country Club, in Tracy. Later in his career, Towns served as the golf professional at Graeagle Golf Course in Blairsden. Kenny, as his friends call him, was an excellent player in the NCPGA section, winning the NCPGA Stroke Play Championship and the NCPGA Match Play Championship numerous times. When asked, Towns said his best part of the PGA Tour was “hitting good shots,” and the toughest part was “turning in the scorecard at the end of each round.”