New to the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame are a pair of individuals whose credentials are impeccable.
Phil Owenby, previously the golf pro in Roanoke at Hunting Hills Country Club and later at Roanoke Country Club, was named to the Virginia Golf Hall of Fame earlier this year.
In ceremonies Tuesday night at the Roanoke Country Club, Owenby will be joined by fellow honoree Andrew Green, a graduate of Lord Botetourt High School and Virginia Tech, in the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame.
“The roots of both sides of my parents’ families were based in agriculture and farming,” Green said in an interview earlier this year.
“So, I think it was bred into me — or into my blood — to dig in the dirt, if you want to say that. I could sort of see what that side of the business was like, as opposed to the monotony of cleaning carts and picking up range balls.”
He has been described as golf’s next “Open Doctor” because of his ability to restore championship links in time for major events.
Owenby has been the director at the Kinloch Golf Club in Goochland County since 2000.
Owenby, who was born in Charlottesville, learned to play golf at a nine-hole municipal course, McIntire Park, with his father and uncle. The family later moved to Raleigh, N.C., where he was a member of the N.C. State golf team for four years.
Owenby subsequently returned to Charlottesville, where he worked under John Snyder at Farmington before heading to the Roanoke area, where he became the head golf professional at Hunting Hills in 1979.
After that, he accepted a position as the head pro at Roanoke Country Club from 1990-2000.
Green, whose older brother was a golf superintendent, said he considered a career in political science, “which I’m really glad I didn’t pursue,” Green said.
One of his mentors at Tech was professor Dean Bork, who was head of the landscape architecture department. It was a five-year program that Green was able to complete in four.
“While he was at VT, I did what I could to introduce him to contacts in the golf industry,” Bork said. “He obviously has gone well beyond that to a distinguished career in golf-course design.”
During summers in his college years, Green worked in golf course restoration.
Today, he is president and principal architect of A.H. Green Design/Green Golf & Turf, Inc. in Forest Hill, Maryland, just south of the Maryland-Pennsylvania line. He was recognized by Golf Digest in November of 2018 as the #3 Renovation Expert currently working. Current projects include the renovation of Congressional Country Club’s Blue Course in preparation for 10 different PGA of America Championships over the next two decades, including the 2036 Ryder Cup. His work on the East Course at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York opened in the summer of 2020 and will host the 2023 PGA Championship.
“Creating things is what I wanted to do and what I’m doing now,” said Green. “There’s also the camaraderie of what it takes to build these things. It’s a good excuse for a job.”