The lanky Augusta, GA native was both a fine amateur player and an outstanding administrator.
P.J. Boatwright’s playing record included victories in the 1961 Carolinas Amateur, the 1967 Carolinas Open and the Carolinas Four-Ball Championship in 1951 and ‘53. One of his biggest thrills as a player came in 1951 when he defeated fellow Hall of Famer E. Harvie Ward in the championship match of the Biltmore Invitational. He also played in four U.S. Amateur Championships and survived the 36-hole cut in the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion.
But Boatwright, who grew up in the South Carolina towns of North Augusta, Rock Hill and Spartanburg, is best remembered for his achievements as an administrator. He served as executive director of the Carolinas Golf Association from 1955-’59, conducting tournaments, working on handicaps and rating courses. He once joked that he had “played more courses than anyone in the history of the Carolinas.”
His work with the CGA prepared him for his next job, which came in 1959 when he joined the United States Golf Association as assistant executive director. He later became the USGA’s executive director for Rules and Competitions.
During his stint with the USGA, Boatwright became known as one of the most knowledgeable Rules of Golf experts in the world. He participated in a number of quadrennial Rules conferences between the USGA and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and was responsible for a multitude of Rules Decisions.
He was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 1976 and the South Carolina Golf Hall of Fame in 1987.
PJ Boatwright was inducted into the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame in 1985.