But ask anyone associated with the game of golf, not just across the United States but around the world, about Jim Flick and the response would be instantaneous. He is recognized in golf circles everywhere as one of the premier teachers of the sport, and is a man who has devoted his professional life to helping others enjoy the game to its fullest.
Flick came to Wake Forest in 1949 from his hometown of Jeffersonville, Ind., on a basketball scholarship, eventually lettering two years under coach Murray Greason. At the same time, he developed a close relationship with classmate (and roommate for a time) Arnold Palmer and other members of the Deacon golf squad and competed with them for two seasons.
In 1950, Palmer and Flick were brought together by a tragic car accident. Flick's best friend, Gene Scheer, and Palmer's closest friend, Buddy Worsham, died in an auto accident. The four friends had been working as ticket-sellers at a Wake Forest-Duke football game. When Palmer and Flick could not balance their cash drawers, Worsham and Scheer left the stadium on their own.
That sport would provide his future. In 1955, he began a career as a teaching professional at the Evansville (Ind.) Country Club following a two-year military stint. Flick eventually became affiliated with the highly regarded Golf Digest Schools as their director of instruction, a position he held for nearly 20 years. From 1991-2001, he devoted the majority of his energy to the Nicklaus-Flick Golf Schools, which were held in a number of locations across the country, including his present home of Scottsdale, Arizona.
Flick has served as a golf instructor in 23 nations and has worked with close to 300 former or current professional players at all levels. Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Ian Woosnam and Tom Lehman.
An author of five books and producer of 20 instructional videotapes on his sport, flick also holds the distinction of having given a lesson to golf's living legends, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.
Flick was inducted into the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame on Jan. 14, 1994.
A Wake Forester in the truest sense, Hooks attended the College in its original home of Wake Forest, N.C., following an outstanding career as a three-sport athlete in his hometown of Rocky Mount. He gained All-America honors as a third baseman in both 1949 and 1950 for the Deacon baseball squad and helped that program to the national runner-up position in 1949.
Following a stint in the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds, Hooks returned to academia. He completed work for his masters in education at the University of North Carolina during the 1951 and 1952 off-season. He worked as a physical education instructor at North Carolina State in 1953 and 1954. After the 1954 season, Hooks returned to school to get his doctorate degree. His playing career was cut short due to arm and knee trouble.
Hooks completed his doctorate in physical education from Peabody College in Nashville, TN and returned to Wake Forest in 1956 as an instructor of physical education. He coached the Demon Deacons baseball team from 1957-59.
Along with his athletic and coaching abilities, Hooks used his knowledge to author the book Application of Weight Training in Athletics in 1962. Hooks advocated weight training for improving strength and athletic performance at a time when it was not widely accepted. A revised edition of his book was released in 1974 in three languages.
After earning his masters and doctorate degrees, Hooks returned to Wake Forest (now in Winston-Salem) as an instructor in the physical education department, where he taught until his appointment as athletic director in February of 1964.
Hooks served in that job for 28 years to improve Wake Forest athletics. He had a reputation as an innovator and sound financial manager. Athletic department revenues increased more than tenfold under Hooks. Wake Forest University recognized Hooks' lifelong commitment to its athletic program by naming the baseball stadium after the former standout player in 1988.
He also is a past recipient of the WFU Medallion of Merit, the highest award presented by the university, for his distinguished service.
Hooks remained closely involved with intercollegiate athletics after his retirement from Wake Forest. He served as executive director of the Division I-A Athletic Directors Association through his office in Winston-Salem.
Gene Hooks and his wife Jean have three sons. Hooks was inducted into the Wake Forest University Sports Hall of Fame on January 14, 1994. He was elected to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.
In the spring of 1971, Headley and basketball player Charlie Davis were co-recipients of WFU's Arnold Palmer Award as the university's outstanding athletes. Headley, an eighth-round draft choice of the Green Bay Packers in 1971, played for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League and returned to Wake Forest as an assistant coach under Chuck Mills.
He was inducted into the WFU Hall of Fame in 1994.
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