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The Utah Golf Association is rich in tradition and heritage. Find out about the people who
have made the game
great in the state
Billy Johnston, 69, has had a diverse career as a player, a club professional, tournament director, and golf course architect.
He won the Utah State Amateur in 1947 and the Utah Open in 1954 and 1960, one of only six golfers to win both crowns.
He played on the PGA Tour from 1950 through 1980, and since then has played on the PGA Senior Tour. On the PGA Tour he was a semifinalist in the PGA Championship when it was a match play tournament, won the Sahara Invitational, and the Texas Open. He was runnerup in the French Open, the Denver Open, the Long Beach Open, and the Texas Open.
In addition to his two Utah Open victories he won the Nevada Open four times, the Arizona Open three times, the Colorado PGA Match Play twice, the Southwest PGA twice, the Arizona PGA Match Play twice, the Rocky Mountain PGA twice, the Montana Open twice, and the Colorado Open once.
He has played in the majors, the British Open, the U.S. Open, the Masters, and the PGA a total of 22 times.
As a club professional he has hosted and sponsored many tournaments, including six PGA Senior Tour events and ten Arizona Opens.
His first club professional job was at Dinaland Golf Course in Vernal. He later became head professional at the Timpanogos Golf Course in Provo.
He won many Utah events as a professional and was known for his charismatic personality. He has a distinguishing walk, and played with a winning flair that made him easily recognizable and attracted large galleries.
After leaving Utah he held numerous club professional jobs, and has built and owned several of his own golf courses. He has designed eight golf courses.
He was born January 2,1925 in Donora, Pennsylvania. His family moved to Ogden when he was four years old. He graduated from Ogden High School and the University of Utah.
He played golf on the University of Utah golf team where he was the Skyline Conference individual champion twice. He was recent inducted into the University of Utah Sports Hall of Fame.
He served in the U.S. Navy and graduated from Submarine and Torpedo School.
He married JoAnne Whitehead and they have four sons, Brad, Blake, Brice, and Burke.
He is currently the head professional at Orange Tree Golf Club Scottsdale, Arizona