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Monday, July 15, 2024

Arch Watkins

Known as "The Pro's Pro" and Arizona's first Big Name Golf Instructor

After constructing and running the golf course on Scott Airforce Base (acting as the course architect, superintendent, and head pro) in St. Louis, Arch and his wife Marilyn moved their family to Phoenix, AZ in 1960.  There Arch landed at Arizona Country Club serving as the Director of Instruction before becoming the first Head Pro at Papago Golf Course in 1963.  It is at Papago where Arch really established his reputation as a great instructor and help lay the foundation for golf in Arizona.  As an instructor Arch stressed the fundamentals and had a certain knack for communicating with his students in terms they could grasp and then apply.  He had a great following in the Valley with all ages, but had a special connection with juniors.  He taught future Tour pros such as Billy Mayfair, Heather Farr, Joe Porter, Howard Twitty, Jim Carter, and his son Scott Watkins.  After 18 years at Papago Arch moved over to Camelback Golf Club, in 1981, where he would teach full time until his passing in 1995.  Arch was awarded just about every honor the game has, receiving the Southwest Section PGA Teacher of the Year as well as the Southwest Section PGA Anser Award for his influence on golf in Arizona; he is enshrined in the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame as well as the Southwest Section PGA Hall of Fame.

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