Champion of the Month

Jim Gallagher, Sr. Share

Aug 6, 2020  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

Mar­i­on is home to a true cham­pi­on for the game of golf, and the future of golf. 

Jim Gal­lagher, Sr. and his wife, Janie,” moved to Mar­i­on, IN from John­stown, PA in 1961. The golf pro at Meshin­gome­sia Coun­try Club had placed an ad in a mag­a­zine in search of an assis­tant, and Gal­lagher took on the oppor­tu­ni­ty. He served as assis­tant pro there for 4 years, then became the pro for many decades until he retired in 2000, but with­out end­ing his mission.

Jim Sr. is undoubt­ed­ly a well-known fig­ure in the world of golf: a 50-year mem­ber of the PGA, 3‑time pres­i­dent, and PGA Pro­fes­sion­al of the Year in 73 and 78. In 1996, the Indi­ana Golf Asso­ci­a­tion induct­ed him into the Indi­ana Golf Hall of Fame, the high­est recog­ni­tion for golf in the state which he shares with his son, Jim Jr., who was induct­ed in 94.

Jim Sr. cham­pi­ons for youth golf. One way is through the YMCA Junior Golf Camp he co-found­ed in 1985. He con­tin­ues to work with youth through the clin­ic and more at age 82. He found­ed the Junior Golfers of Grant Coun­ty. In 1989, he was giv­en the Junior Golf Leader Award through the PGA. From 1985 until 2005, the Gal­lagher fam­i­ly with mas­sive sup­port raised over a ½ mil­lion dol­lars toward the Junior Golf Fund through the annu­al Gal­lagher & Friends Skins Game. 

Gal­lagher has made quite an impres­sion in Mar­i­on, the state, and across the coun­try through golf. He and his wife raised 3 chil­dren to suc­ceed in the game as pro­fes­sion­al ath­letes. Each of their indi­vid­ual accom­plish­ments in the sport earned the Gal­laghers the Jack Nick­laus Golf Fam­i­ly of the Year Award in 1990.

Jim Sr. keeps active at the Meshin­gome­sia Coun­try Club help­ing main­tain the grounds, work­ing at the pro shop, instruct­ing golf, and work­ing out reg­u­lar­ly as a mem­ber of the Y. He and his wife are long­time mem­bers of St. Paul Catholic Church. The fam­i­ly is spread out around the coun­try, and report­ed­ly all hap­py and healthy.

May­or Jess Alum­baugh has looked up to Jim Sr. for many years. Sr. has devot­ed his life to teach­ing indi­vid­u­als the game of golf, many times at his own expense. He has been teach­ing young peo­ple the game of golf as well as life lessons. The City of Mar­i­on is proud of his daugh­ter and two sons, all three of which have brought hon­or to our city. We are thank­ful for the exam­ple he has been to this com­mu­ni­ty not only through sport, but in dai­ly life.”

Jim Sr. encour­aged par­ents to get their kids involved in golf. It’s a game they can play now and for the rest of their lives. It’s also some­thing mul­ti­ple gen­er­a­tions can do together.”

Many more hold Jim Sr. in high regard.

Jim is an icon, gem, and advo­cate for junior golf and the game in gen­er­al. He is a prize to this com­mu­ni­ty and we are blessed to have him.” – Dr. Jeff Bragg, Mar­i­on Fam­i­ly Practice

He’s one of the most giv­ing peo­ple I know for the pur­pose of junior golf and expand­ing golf in the com­mu­ni­ty. It is an hon­or to know him and the whole fam­i­ly and I’ve real­ly enjoyed our rela­tion­ship.” – Steve Turn­er, Pro Prints Gear


Pho­to cour­tesy of the Chron­i­cle Tribune.

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