Bud Rousey & Chris Burns Inducted into Section Hall of Fame
The Alabama – NW Florida Section will be inducting two new members into the Section’s Hall of Fame on Sunday, February 5, 2023. The inductions will take place during the Section’s Awards Dinner at Wynlakes Golf & Country Club. The new Hall of Fame Members are Bud Rousey and Chris Burns.
Bud Rousey – Bud Rousey became a PGA Member following his military career and has been a dedicated Member for nearly 30 years, all in the Alabama – NW Florida Section. He started as a non-Member Head Professional at Cane Creek Golf Course at Fort McClellan in Anniston. Bud eventually made his way to Pensacola, where his focus shifted to golf instruction. He spent many years teaching at the Cove Golf Center, which he operated, and at A.C. Read Golf Course.
Bud devoted his time and service to the Section, and his impact was immense. He served as a Gulf Coast Chapter Officer and was then elected as a Section Officer. His term with the Section culminated with his service as Section President from 2008-2009. Following his Section Board service, Bud was elected to the PGA of America Board of Directors and served the Association in a 3-year term representing District 3.
Bud’s service outside of the board room was also extensive. He served the Section as Education Chair and was awarded the Horton Smith Award seven times. Bud is a very knowledgeable Rules Official and worked countless PGA Tour qualifying tournaments, Section tournaments, and Player Ability Tests.
In 2012, Bud was named the Alabama – NW Florida Golf Professional of the Year, the Section’s top award. Now, 11 years later, he is being inducted into the Section’s Hall of Fame.
Chris Burns – As a PGA Member for 52 years, Chris has spent his entire career in our Section. He spent 40 years as the Head Golf Professional at Florence Golf and Country Club. Chris’s teaching and junior golf programs were exceptional, producing Men’s, Women’s, Boy’s, and Girl’s State Amateur Champions. More than 70 of his students went on to play college golf. Seven went on to careers in golf as PGA of America Professionals. Chris is even credited with jumpstarting the career of one Major Champion, Stewart Cink, who won The Open Championship in 2009.
Chris established the George E. Wilson Memorial American Heart Association Golf Tournament in 1992. The tournament was renamed the Chris Burns Classic in 2007. The tournament continued to grow each year with the support of Florence G. & C. C. and the community. In its 21-year history, this tournament raised over $550,000 for The American Heart Association.
Chris initiated the Laurie Burns Franks Memorial Golf Tournament in 2005, benefitting area high school golf teams. The teams received $360,000 in the 14 years of the tournament. Chris received several Section awards during his career, including the Teacher of the Year, Senior Golf Professional of the Year, Junior Golf Leader, and Bill Strausbaugh Awards. He was also named one of Golf Magazine’s Top Teachers in America.
Chris’s accomplishments were acknowledged locally in 2003 when he was inducted into the Lauderdale County Sports Hall of Fame and again in 2009 when he was named Shoals Citizen of the Year.
The Burns family has a long history of golf in Alabama. With his induction into the Section Hall of Fame, Chris will join his brother, Bud, and nephew, Tommy, in the Hall of Fame.