John Owens

The Southern Golf Association Hall of Fame was established in 1972 by the Board of Directors of the Southern Golf Association. The following qualifications were established as criteria for nomination of an inductee, but an inductee does not have to meet every single criteria. The candidate must have: 1) Outstanding competitive career; 2) Outstanding administrative contributions; 3) Outstanding promotional contributions; 4) The candidate must have met the above criteria while a member of a Southern Golf Association Member Club. The Southern Golf Association Hall of Fame is unique in that it does not necessarily induct a member each year, nor does it select multiple inductees.

John C. Owens, of Lexington, Kentucky has truly surpassed many amateur golfers of his time. John began a long amateur career when he joined the Henry Clay High School golf team in Kentucky. Because of his accomplishments in high school he became a member of the University of Kentucky golf team, where in 1950 he won the Southeastern Conference Individual Golf Championship. Upon graduation from U of K, John worked in his CPA practice, while he continued playing competitive golf during his vacations. During this time, he won the Kentucky State Amateur twice and ten Lexington City Championships.

On a national level, John has qualified and played in two U.S. Opens, seven U.S. Amateurs, the British Amateur, and the 1964 Masters.


As a senior golfer, John won the Kentucky Senior Amateur Championship four of the five times he played. He has played in the British Senior Amateur four times and the USGA Senior Open.


Golf Magazine ranked him as the 16th Best Amateur in the United States in 1963. Golf Digest Magazine ranked John as the 9th Best Senior Amateur in 1983.


In 1986, John was inducted into the Kentucky Hall of Fame and has been active in several state, regional and national organizations. He was awarded the American Seniors Golf Association Distinguished Senior Award in 1997, making him only the 20th person since 1954 to receive this honor.


John is the 1986-1987 Southern Golf Association Past President and is currently an Emeritus Director. He served on the USGA Sectional Affairs Committee from 1963-1983 and is still active on the USGA Senior Amateur Committee. John also travels to USGA events as a Rules Official.