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Jeff Kolpack, Published June 04 2013

Longtime Moorhead head pro named to Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame

FARGO – Larry Murphy was teaching junior golf lessons Tuesday morning, which seems appropriate considering the topic of the day. He’ll be inducted into the Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame with one of his legacies being his contribution to young golfers.

Murphy will be one of five to receive the highest honor from the Minnesota Golf Association.

“Humbling and overwhelming,” he said. “This one came out of the blue, I had no idea. I’m still kind of stunned.”

The reasons are numerous for the longtime head professional at Moorhead Country Club, but one of them cited by the MGA is his contribution to junior golf. He and the late Steve Weidner created the Fargo-Moorhead Junior Tour – now called the Steve Weidner Fargo-Moorhead Junior Tour – that has spawned thousands of players, including a few who have reached the professional level.

“We felt at the time that it was needed,” Murphy said. “Junior golf had taken a turn downward after being in its heyday for a while. So the two of us created this. We approached the clubs and asked for volunteer dates. It’s been very rewarding.”

In its release, the MGA recognized Murphy for his service on the Minnesota Section and Dakota Chapter boards and his status as a five-time winner of the Golf Professional of the Year saying, “Murphy has inspired many people through the game of golf as well as his presence in the community.”

He’s been at Moorhead for 44 years. A plaque at the clubhouse lists every assistant who worked under him, a group that Murphy said made his Hall of Fame nomination possible.

“It’s not about Larry. It’s about the people that surround me,” he said.

Also set for induction are women’s golfers Claudia Pilot from Austin and Rosalyn Wisen, former MGA executive director W.R. “Ray” Smith and C.T. “Clive” Jaffray, who created the first permanent golf course in Minneapolis in 1898.

The Hall of Fame was created in 1987 and has a permanent display at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids. Murphy is the only PGA teaching professional to be inducted this year. Each recipient has a separate induction ceremony, and Murphy said he’s uncertain when his will be held.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia