Mossy Oak Golf Club in West Point Credit: Mossy Oak Golf Club

Mississippi golf will soon have a hall of fame.

The Mississippi Golf Association, the governing body of amateur golf in the Magnolia State, will induct the inaugural class of the Mississippi Golf Hall of Fame on Jan. 26 at Country Club of Jackson.

The first five inductees (in alphabetical order): James Ray Carpenter, Cissye Gallagher, Ken Lindsay, Mike Taylor and Robbie Webb. Carpenter and Webb will be inducted posthumously. The induction ceremony will take place during the MGA’s Celebration of Golf Banquet, which recognizes players of the year, state tournament champions and the Robbie Webb Junior Golf Achievement Award recipient.

A brief biographical sketch of each of the first five inductees follows:

• James Ray Carpenter: A multi-sport athlete at Hattiesburg High, he played basketball and baseball at first Mississippi State and then Southern Miss. Carpenter did not take up golf seriously until he was 33 years old but then rose through the ranks to become the President of the PGA of American in 1987 and 1988 and chairman of the 1985 Ryder Cub. Carpenter, who died in September at age 92, already has been inducted into the halls of fame of the PGA, Hattiesburg, Southern Miss, and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

• Cissye Gallagher: A Greenwood native, she won tournaments on the boys team at Pillow Academy and then played at LSU. She has won a record 12 Mississippi State Amateur championships. She won her first State Am in 1986 and has won the tournament as recently as 2015, a span of 29 years. She won the State Senior Women’s Amateur in 2017 and continues to compete on a national level.

• Ken Lindsay: Like Carpenter, Lindsay rose to become President of PGA of America, serving from 1994-96 when he was the Director of Golf at Colonial Country Club in Jackson. Lindsay was an outstanding junior golfer in Alabama and then played college golf at Memphis, where he lost only four of 44 matches and once won school record 18 straight. Lindsay joined the U.S. Air Force after college and won the USAF worldwide golf championship in 1968. He is a member of the Memphis, Gadsden, PGA of America and Mississippi sports halls of fames.

• Mike Taylor: A Meridian native, Taylor holds the record for winning 10 Mississippi State Amateur championships, including four in a row from 1972 until 1975. He was an All-American college golfer at BYU where he was teammates with Johnny Miller and, for a time, played ahead of him. He also won the Mississippi State Open twice, the Mississippi Mid-Amateur twice and the Mississippi Senior Amateur once. He was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and is a former president of the MGA.

• Robbie Webb: A Gulfport native and long-time Canton resident, Webb was legendary in Mississippi golf circles, first as a player and then as a club professional and teacher of some the state’s most outstanding junior golfers. Unofficially, he was often called the “Godfather of Mississippi Golf.” The son of a golf pro, Webb won the state junior amateur championship at age 14. He later played college golf at Southern Miss. Later, he won the State Open in 1968. For all his accomplishments as a player and as a pro, he is most remembered as a champion of junior golf. Twenty-six of the junior golfers he taught went on to earn college scholarships. Webb died in 2012 at the age of 72.


For more information about the Jan. 26 banquet, contact Margo Coleman or Emily Sullivan at 601 939-1131 or email either at

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Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.