This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
a longtime tour pro and close friend of Venturi, to the San Francisco Chronicle. “Not just his great playing record, but also as a transcen- dent television analyst, and then with his philanthropic endeavors. “Really, I can’t think of

one person who has hit the game so vastly and through so many different channels.” Venturi nearly won the Masters as an amateur, tak- ing a four-stroke lead into the final round, before losing by one. He won 14 times as a pro on the PGA Tour, but none was more memorable than his lone major, the 1964 U.S. Open. Still recovering from a car

crash less than three years earlier, Venturi battled 100 degree temperatures at Con- gressional CC in Maryland and shot 66-70 the final day to win by four. “My God, I’ve won the

Open!” an exhausted Venturi let out while crying. “I’ve seen people over

the years who tell me where I won, what I shot and exactly what I did,” he said in an April 2011 interview with the Chronicle. “There aren’t many Opens where everyone can tell you all about it.” Venturi was nearly pulled off the course by a doctor, who feared he could die from heat exhaustion if he con- tinued to play. But Venturi staggered on, and somehow picked up his first win in nearly four years. Venturi’s final win came at the 1966 Lucky Interna- tional, which was staged at Harding Park. Hand prob- lems, eventually diagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome, soon ended his playing career, but then came his CBS career, which lasted 35 years.

(L-R) Longtime SJCC head professional Eddie Duino, Ken Venturi and Hank Lucente at a public exhibition at San Jose Country Club in 1964 honoring the new U.S. Open champion.


sk Hank Lucente how many times he’s shot his

age, and he has the answer queued up like he’s giving out his phone number.

“Six-hundred and eighteen times,” he replies without hesitating. And then there are the 15 holes-in-

one he’s recorded since he was born 91 years ago. Affectionately known as “The Legend” at San Jose Country Club, Lucente still plays to a 17 handicap. “He loves golf,” said Audrey, his wife of 71 years. “He’d rather play golf than anything. The younger guys love to play with him, because he can play as well as them.”

Lucente began his golf career as a caddie at San Jose CC in the 1930s as a 15-year-old, and learned the game from legendary teacher Eddie Duino. Lucente joined the Navy during World War II, flying dive-bomber missions over Tokyo as a radioman/gunner. Following the war, the golf-starved Lucente played at Harding Park GC

NCGA Noteworthy Member Spotlight: Hank Lucente

for 90 straight days, where he began to hone his skills into a champion golfer. During that time, he played with Ken Venturi, and they remained good friends. When Venturi played a public exhibition round at San Jose CC following his incredible 1964 U.S. Open victory, Duino and Lucente filled out the group. Venturi was always fond of Lucente’s grip, calling it one “of the best grips in golf.”

Lucente was the runner- up in the 1954 San Francisco City Championship, before winning the 1972 Santa Clara County Championship, when the 50-year-old beat a

36-year-old John Brodie in a playoff. The NCGA course rater of more than 20 years also won the NCGA Senior Championship in 1981, the Alameda Commuters Senior title, and the San Francisco City Super-Senior, among many other tournaments. Lucente first shot his age at 68, and has been piling on to that total ever since. He is a member of the Cali- fornia Golf Writers Association and San Jose CC Halls of Fame. He has a son, Tom, and daughter, Debra.

Lucente and wife Audrey

SUMMER 2013 / NCGA.ORG / 17

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76