Hillendale and the PGA of America
Hillendale Country Club has had a long and impressive history with our Head Golf Professionals with the PGA of America and the game of golf on regional and national levels.
Allen Wronowski, 37th President of the PGA of America
Allen Wronowski, came to Hillendale in 1979 as our First Assistant PGA Professional, was elevated to Head PGA Professional in 1990 on Bill Clarke’s retirement and elevated to the position of Player Development in 2010, a position he held until he retired in December 2013. Allen has served on the MAPGA Assistants Committee in various capacities including President and as their Director on the Section Board of Directors. He served every office of the MAPGA Board including President and was awarded the Sections Highest honor, PGA Professional of the Year. He was elected to serve on the National PGA Board of Directors and elected to National Office serving as Secretary, Vice President and the 37th President of the PGA of America. This is the first time that two Head Professionals at one facility have become the association’s President. Some of his other accomplishments include:
- Rules Committee member for the Masters Golf Tournament
- Rules Committee member for the US Open Championship
- Chair of the Junior PGA Championship
- Chair of the PGA Professional Championship
- Chair of PGA Junior Golf Committee, the PGA Board of Control, and the PGA Budget Committee
- Folds of Honor Foundation Board member
R. William Clarke, 18th President of the PGA of America
From 1954 until 1990, R. William Clarke served as Hillendale’s Professional, from 1974 to 1988 as the club’s executive director, and was named Professional Emeritus in 1990. Better known as Bill, he was also referred to as Mr. Hillendale. He served as Secretary, Treasurer and President of the Middle Atlantic Section PGA and was awarded the Sections highest honor, PGA Professional of the Year. Bill would continue his involvement serving on the National PGA Board of Directors from his region and then was elected to National Office serving as Secretary, Treasurer and as the 18th President of the PGA of America from 1973-1974. Some of his accomplishments include:
- PGA Championship Chairman
- PGA Rules Committee Chairman
- Official at 23 Masters Golf Tournaments and 17 Ryder Cups.
- National PGA Horton Smith Award Winner for efforts in education
- Middle Atlantic Section PGA Hall of Fame member
- Legend of the PGA Inductee
- PGA National Hall of Fame member
In 2006, a plaque celebrating his career was placed by the first tee in Bill Clarke’s honor. It has been said that prior to beginning your round and teeing off, touching the plaque with the head of your driver will bring you great luck!
Charles Betschler, 1st President of the MAPGA
Charles Betschler, also known as Charlie or “The Little Dutchman” was an outstanding player and won the Baltimore Pro Golfer’s Championship in 1923, 1924, 1925 and 1926, won the Maryland Open in 1925 and the MAPGA Championship in 1934 and 1936. Beyond his playing talents,he was also a strong administrator and was instrumental in forming the Middle Atlantic Section PGA in 1925. He would go on to become the first President of the MAPGA and serve from1925 to 1928. Charlie was elected to the MAPGA Hall of Fame, Class of 1997.