November 23, 2011
WAYZATA -- The end of the 2011 golf season brings with it the conclusion of Phil Reith's tenure as the head professional at Woodhill Country Club after 46 years. He ranks as the longest-serving head pro in the history of Minnesota golf.
Now that Phil has retired, it's also the first time in 58 years that a Reith hasn't been a head pro somewhere in the Twin Cities. His father, Bob Reith, Sr., was the head man at The Minikahda Club for 32 years, beginning in 1953, during Dwight Eisenhower's first year as President. (Phil's brothers Bob, Jr., and Chuck were pros, as well.)
This year also saw the retirement of Dick Tollette at Bunker Hills. He was the only head pro the course had known, from the time it opened in 1968 until Tim Anderson took over on June 22, the day the new 36,000-square foot clubhouse was officially opened. Tollette's 44 years of service as a head professional rank second in the state only to Reith's 46.
Before Reith and Tollette both cracked the four-decade mark in recent years, Wally Mund held the record for Minnesota's longest-serving head pro, and he matched Reith for time spent at one club. Mund was at Midland Hills for 46 years, the first six as an assistant and the last 40 as the head man. He retired in 1975.
The new leader in the clubhouse is Larry Murphy, who run the show at Moorhead Country Club for 43 years, and counting.
For anyone who might be wondering, the longest combined tenure for one family in the head pro's job at one club is 74 years by Willie Kidd, Sr., and Bill Kidd, Jr., at Interlachen. (That's a record that will never be broken.) Willie was there for 38 years, beginning in 1920, and Bill Jr. carried the torch for another 36 before he retired in 1993. Bill's son Jim just completed his third year as the head pro at Windsong Farm.
Here is a list of the Minnesota Section PGA head pros with the longest terms in office as of 2011:
Phil Reith Woodhill CC 46 years
Dick Tollette Bunker Hills GC 44
Larry Murphy Moorhead CC 43
Mike Schultz Hazeltine National 36
Rob Hary Minnesota Vally CC 35
Mike Diebel Goodrich GC 33
Tom Purcell Keller GC 33
Mark Carlson Nemadji GC 33
David DuSchane Somerset CC 32
John Dahl Oxbow CC 31
Mike Tracy Stillwater CC 30