Hall of Fame

SGA Director Catherine Powell, left, toasts Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Leech along with Sue Arnold and SGA friend Clark Werner

SGA 2018 Hall of Fame Inductee Jeffrey Leech

Each year Senior Golfers of America inducts an SGA member into its Hall of Fame.  The first member was SGA founder Bob Swanson, who was surprised at The Cloister in 1995 by Director Cynthia Powell, his daughter.  For some time setting up a Hall of Fame had been discussed, and finally, Cynthia decided to take action and tap her dad as the first inductee.

Hall of Fame members are nominated and voted on by those currently in the Hall of Fame.  Members must be serious about upholding the traditions of golf, and must be friendly and welcoming to new and to longtime SGA tournament participants.  They must speak highly of the organization and of fellow SGA members at all times.  

Congratulations to SGA’s 2018 Hall of Fame inductee Jeffrey Leech! Jeff was welcomed into the Hall of Fame at the Cloister at Sea Island, Georgia, in December of this year by fellow members Bill Mackey, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Kathy Oven, Dunmore, Pennsylvania, and Bill Suehs, Kerrville, Texas.

Jeff is a lawyer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has been an SGA member since 2012, when he met SGA Directors Cynthia Swanson and Catherine Powell at the SGA event at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Jeff has been very active in SGA events, participating in more than twenty tournaments and bringing in several new members.  He is a very competitive golfer, winning the Low Gross Championship at one of his favorite home-state courses, the Old Course at Bedford Springs in September of 2018.

Jeff celebrates with fellow Hall of Fame members Bill Suehs and Kathy Oven

Most importantly, Jeff is a very outgoing individual and extremely enthusiastic about the SGA tournaments. He and Sue Arnold hold cocktail parties regularly at their home in Pittsburgh to tell friends and neighbors about the SGA events. Also, he has sponsored several Leech cousins from the 100-member Leech family reunion annual golf tournament, the Leech Open!

One of these cousins, Bob Leech, was Low Gross Champion at the End-of-Summer event at Eseeola Lodge in August of 2018.  When hearing of Jeff’s induction into the SGA Hall of Fame, Bob wrote this special tongue-in-cheek congratulatory note to his cousin.  “As you know, our fathers and their brothers all achieved a very high level in athletics in high school, college, and even beyond... So the genes were there.  Although it has taken you a little longer to develop into a Hall of Fame-type athlete, I have always said it was just a matter of time. Congratulations and hit ‘em straight!”

“This is a wonderful award to receive,” said Jeff. “Sue and I have completely enjoyed our membership in Senior Golfers, and our trips with the organization all have been great.  Both Lake Como and Iceland were experiences of a lifetime, and Eseeola Lodge is always a special favorite.  But of all the great places we have visited, I will have to say the most beautiful course I have played is the Teeth of the Dog in the Dominican Republic, one of the first trips we took with SGA. I am extremely proud to be a member of the SGA Hall of Fame, and am looking forward to many future events with this excellent organization.”

Jeff was presented with a vintage trophy created by Shannon Crystal in Western Ireland. Historically, craftsmen in Ireland had access to the white sand found in the Wicklow Mountains, which was very pure and created the clear glass that formed the basis of crystal making. The glassmaking tradition goes back many generations in Ireland, as does the proud Leech family which is now in America.

Bob Swanson 1995

Burwell Jones 1996

Harreld Kirkpatrick 1997

Bobbe Gaskin 1998

L.A. Koenenn 1999

Horace Meredith 2000

Arlene McKitrick 2001

Miles King 2002

DIck Askew 2003

Jack Threet 2004

Taylor Brown 2005

Bunny MacAlpine 2006

Miles King 2002

Dave Watts 2007

Roger Dionne 2009

Frank Beam 2010

Kathy Oven 2011

Bill Suehs 2012

Dick Harrington 2013

Bill Loehr 2014

Bill Macket 2014

Chuck Ribelin 2016

Mary Ann Emerson 2017