Tee It Up with The Little Pro – Eddie Merrins Introduction
We are honored to feature PGA Hall of Famer, Eddie Merrins’ blog series, “Tee it Up with The Little Pro”. The Little Pro will entertain and enlighten us with his insights and stories derived from more than 50 years experience playing with, competing against, coaching, and teaching the best players in the game.
Eddie Merrins is one of the most decorated and respected golf professionals to grace this game we all love.
“The Little Pro”, as he is affectionately known, has contributed mightily to golf instruction with his books, videos, articles, and appearances. At this stage of his life he is devoting his efforts toward helping others improve their lot in golf. Whatever ranking he derives as a teacher is well deserved” – Byron Nelson
Halls of Fame Inductee
- 1989: Southern California PGA Hall of Fame Inductee
- 1992: NCAA Coaches Hall of Fame Inductee
- 1996: UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
- 2000: Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Inductee
- 2002: Southern California Golf Hall of Fame Inductee
- 2002: Southern California Golf Writers Hall of Fame Inductee
- 2005: Louisiana State University Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
- 2008: World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame Inductee
- 2009: PGA of America Hall of Fame Inductee
- 2013: Metropolitan PGA Hall of Fame Inductee
UCLA Men’s Golf Coach: 1975 – 1989
- 1988: NCAA National Champions
- 1978-1989: 12 Consecutive NCAA Tournament Appearances
- 1982, 1983, 1985: Pac 10 Champions
- 1982, 1983, 1985: Pac 10 Coach of the Year
- Developed 16 NCAA All-Americans
Tom Pernice Jr.
Amateur and Professional Competitive Record
- Mississippi State Junior Champion
- 3-Time Mississippi State High School Champion
- 2-Time Mississippi State Amateur Champion
- Defeated Sam Snead and Byron Nelson in Foursome Matches
- Gulf Coast Open Champion
- New Orleans Invitational Champion
- Western Amateur Champion
- Colonial Invitational Champion
- SEC Champion
- Southern Intercollegiate Champion
- Metropolitan PGA Champion
- Long Island Open Champion
- 2-Time Southern California Medal Play Champion
- Played in over 200 PGA Tour events
- 5-Time USGA Open Championship Medalist
- Played in 6 PGA Championships
- Played in 2 British Opens
In 1980, Eddie Merrins founded Friends of College Golf, Inc., a non-profit organization designed to raise money for struggling college golf programs. Upon his retirement from coaching in 1989, the name of the organization was changed to Friends of Golf, Inc. (FOG). Today FOG not only supports colleges programs, but also numerous high school golf programs, caddie programs and the Evans Scholar Foundation. To date the FOG organization has donated more than 6 million dollars to these worthy causes. FOG is responsible for the creation of the Ben Hogan Trophy, which annually goes to the top amateur player in the country who is a collegiate golfer. This trophy was the dream of former Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon and became a reality with the blessing of Ben Hogan. Eddie Merrins and FOG are also responsible for the creation of two other highly regarded collegiate awards, the Byron Nelson Trophy and the Dinah Shore Trophy. These trophies are awarded annually to the male and female golfer of the year who have excelled both academically and on the golf course. Tom, Ben, Byron and Dinah, four wonderful people whom we miss dearly and who will forever be Friends of Golf.
Athletes and Celebrities Instructed by Eddie Merrins
Craig T. Nelson
Robert J. Wagner
Ann Meyers Drysdale
Haley Joel Osment
George C. Scott
The “Tee it Up with The Little Pro” series will debut on July 14, 2014.
Eddie Merrins "The Little Pro"
Affectionately known as “The Little Pro”, Eddie Merrins has long been revered as a golf guru. “The Little Pro” has had success at every level throughout his career.
During his 14 years as UCLA men’s golf coach, the team reached #1 and won an NCAA National Championship. Eddie also had a stellar professional career playing in over 200 PGA Tour events including 8 US Opens, 6 PGA Championships, and 2 British Opens. While playing professionally he managed to leave his mark as a Club Professional at some of the most famed clubs in the United States, including Merion and Bel-Air Country Club where he is currently the Golf Professional Emeritus after a 40 year run as the Director of Golf.
Throughout his career he’s had the opportunity to instruct some of the biggest names in entertainment, as well as some of the highest-level professional and amateur golfers. His teaching philosophy propelled him into a class of few peers. He’s listed as a Top 100 Golf Magazine instructor and has been elected to numerous Halls of Fame, and most recently, as an inductee to the PGA of America Hall of Fame.
“The Little Pro” has a unique ability to effectively communicate the golf swing, as he displayed by authoring a best-selling book “Swing the Handle, Not the Clubhead”. This book led to the success of the “Swing the Handle” video series. You can purchase both here.
"The Little Pro" is passing along his knowledge through these articles with the help of his longtime friend Rick Oldach.