18 Holes with a Legend

Coach Bowden follows through on the 6th at Killearn CC

Coach Bobby Bowden Hosts Us For a Round of Golf at Killearn Country Club

The career accomplishments of Wuerffel Trophy National Selection Committee Member, Robert Cleckler “Bobby” Bowden, are downright astonishing. Or to use his words, pretty “Dad Gum” incredible:

  • All time winningest FBS (Div 1) coach with a record of 377-129-4.
  • 2 National Championships
  • 12 ACC Championships
  • From 1987-2000, a minimum of 10 wins each year and finished in top 5 each season

But, even with all of that, you really aren’t allowed to be in awe of him when you are with him. He’s just too nice of a guy. Humble is an understatement.

And he loves to play golf. When we played (on a Wednesday) he’d already played each of the 2 days before.

And he will turn 88 years old this November. Incredible.

We met at his home course, Killearn Country Club, the former home of the Tallahassee Open, where he has lived on the 7th fairway since 1976.

He’s easy to find. “We’ve always been listed in the phone book and still are,” he said. With only one losing season (his first), fans don’t call him to complain. They call him for autographs.

But the man loves to play. He took up the game in 1956 when he was coaching at South Georgia State College.

“I was lifeguarding at the pool back then to make extra money and the golf course surrounded the pool. I saw all these guys playing and so I gave it a try,” he remembered. “Never did take a lesson. I wish I had. But, I guess you can tell that. ”

He hits it as straight as a string, he only missed one fairway all day.

His greatest golfing memories? “Well, I played with Arnold Palmer in Birmingham at the Senior Tournament’s Pro-Am. Man, I’ll never forget that,” he recalled.

Coach Bowden and Tom Brassell before the round at Killearn Country Club.

Did you ever get to play Augusta National?  “Yeah, played it 3 or 4 times back when I was coaching? Beautiful place,” he remembered.

“3 or 4 times? It’s one or the other,” I asked.

“Hah! That’s a good one, boy,” he quipped.

The talk turned to football eventually.  He has great memories of our award’s namesake.

“I recruited Danny pretty hard,” he remembers. “We were recruiting 3 quarterbacks back then.  One was from Minnesota and the 2 Danny’s, Kanell and Wuerffel.  Kanell committed first so then Wuerffel was off the table.

“I told Danny (Wuerffel) that I wished I could have coached him but God had bigger plans,” he added.


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2017-04-18T09:07:00+00:00 April 17th, 2017|By Wuerffel Trophy, Home|

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