Toney Penna

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Toney Penna
Toney Penna 1942.jpg
Penna in 1942
Personal information
Full name Toney G. Penna
Born (1908-01-15)January 15, 1908
Naples, Italy
Died August 6, 1995(1995-08-06) (aged 87)
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Nationality  Italy
 United States
Career
Status Professional
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins 5
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 4
Other 1
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament T8: 1947
U.S. Open T3: 1938
The Open Championship CUT: 1954
PGA Championship T9: 1944, 1945

Toney G. Penna (January 15, 1908 – August 6, 1995) was an Italian-American professional golfer and designer of golf clubs and gear.[1][2] He won four events on the PGA Tour between 1937 and 1947.[3] He introduced new lines of golf clubs and was the holder of four patents for golf clubs.[4][5] Many of these clubs are considered collectors' items: some are still in production. He also introduced the use of color to both clubs and to golf accessories, such as carrying bags.

Character[edit]

Penna was born in Naples, Italy. He grew up in Harrison, New York and also lived in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio.[6][7] By 1946, Penna had moved to Delray Beach, Florida.[8]

Starting out in golf by being a caddy, Penna was known for his personality and individualism as much as for his golfing abilities.[9] He was often a critic of his high-ranking golf contemporaries, and published a table illustrating his thoughts about the strengths and weaknesses of each in his autobiography.[10] With a ready temper but also a sense of humor, Penna's work as a golf pro brought him into contact with Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, and Bob Hope, among others.[5][11][12]

Perry Como was a long-time friend of Penna's. Before his permanent move to Florida, Como often came to golf with him on the weekends after completing his weekly television program.[13][14] After a tournament where Penna beat Como, he remarked that the only thing that was keeping him from returning to the large professional golf tours was his lack of hair. A week later, Penna received a package from Como; inside was a hairpiece and a note which said "Go!".[15]

Penna was a longtime employee and representative of the MacGregor Golf Company.[13] After years of working for MacGregor, Penna started his own company and manufactured his own golf clubs.[2] A stretch of road in Jupiter, Florida, where his company was located is named after him.[16] Penna used the spelling of his name as an attention-getter, and was known for having a taste for fine clothing.[17][18] Penna displayed an ability for concentrated problem-solving in improving golf club performance which led to his success as an equipment representative, a golf pro, and also as the producer of his own line of golf clubs.[10][19]

With his brother, Charley, Penna was associated with the Beverly and with the Calumet Country Clubs, both near Chicago; at one time both brothers were playing professionally.[20] Penna died in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida in 1995 at the age of 87.[4]

Professional wins[edit]

PGA Tour wins (4)[edit]

Other wins[edit]

this list is incomplete

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP T31 T10
U.S. Open T55 DNP CUT T28 T3 CUT
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
Masters Tournament T10 T19 22 NT NT NT T21 T8 45 T23
U.S. Open 42 T33 NT NT NT NT T15 T31 T8 CUT
The Open Championship NT NT NT NT NT NT DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship R64 R32 R32 NT R16 R16 R32 R32 R64 DNP
Tournament 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954
Masters Tournament T21 WD DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
PGA Championship R64 R32 DNP DNP R64

NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Yellow background for top-10

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 3 8 11 10
U.S. Open 0 0 1 1 2 3 12 8
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 2 7 11 11
Totals 0 0 1 1 7 18 35 29
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 20 (1940 Masters – 1949 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (twice)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Two Nationally Known Golfers Will Play Here". Lewiston Morning Herald. October 5, 1939. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Hennessey, Helen (July 15, 1973). "Something New in Clubs". The Altus Times-Democrat. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  3. ^ Barkow, Al (November 1989). The History of the PGA TOUR. Copyright PGA Tour. Doubleday. pp. 239–40, 250, 253. ISBN 0-385-26145-4. 
  4. ^ a b "Plant City's Stiles falls in semifinals". Lakeland Ledger. August 7, 1995. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "And Golf Legends Moan As Palmer Leaves Tour". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. August 16, 1969. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Penna's 280 Wins Richmond Open". The Free-Lance Star. January 21, 1946. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  7. ^ McGeorge, Dick (June 14, 1946). "Slamming Sammy and Toney Penna Get 69s to Lead". Toledo Blade. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Toney Penna Wins Golf Tourney". The Portsmouth Press. November 6, 1946. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  9. ^ Fraley, Oscar (January 11, 1963). "Changing Ways of Caddy Ranks Hurt Italians". The Windsor Star. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Fraley, Oscar (July 1, 1953). "Sports Parade". The News-Dispatch. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  11. ^ Smith, Red (March 24, 1965). "Red Smith". The Miami News. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Bing's Boy Playing in Masters". Times-Union. April 9, 1982. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Taylor, Dick (January 29, 1956). "Eggs Ala Como For Toney's Gal". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  14. ^ "Como Aids Penna Team". The Miami News. December 14, 1959. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  15. ^ "'Slammer' Sets Lesson In Razzing". The Milwaukee Sentinel. December 4, 1960. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  16. ^ "3 Golfers Head Hall Nominations". The Palm Beach Post. January 13, 1980. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Toney Penna Goes Ahead at Durham". The Lewiston Daily Sun. March 31, 1945. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Von Nida Leads Qualifiers For U.S. Open Golf". Meriden Record. May 31, 1950. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  19. ^ Grimsley, Will (July 9, 1969). "Nixon Uses Baseball Grip In Golf". Tri City Herald. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Penna Boys Pushed to Beat Local Duo". The Palm Beach Post. December 1, 1941. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  21. ^ a b "Penna Captures Richmond Golf". The Pittsburgh Press. January 21, 1946. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Toney Penna Wins Atlanta Tourney". St. Petersburg Times. September 22, 1947. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Penna Wins North-South". St. Petersburg Times. November 6, 1948. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

Penna, Toney; Farley, Oscar (1965). My Wonderful World of Golf. Centaur House. ASIN B000I6ZUME.