One of the most feared competitors on the professional golf tour in the 1940's and ‘50's, Heafner gained a reputation for unpredictability and was once described as the angriest man in golf.
Before his death in 1961 at age 47, Heafner bought and operated the Eastwood Golf Club in his native city Charlotte. When his wife died a year later, Eastwood was left in trust for his three children. One of his sons, Mike, operates the club and another son, Vance, followed his father to the PGA Tour for a brief stint.
Among Heafner’s notable tour victories was the Mohoning Valley Open in 1941 and 1942, the Jacksonville (Fla.) Open in 1947, and the Colonial Invitation in 1948. Locally, he won the Carolinas Open in 1939 and 1953 and the Carolinas PGA Section title in 1950. He was twice runner-up in the US Open and first came to public eye in the Open of 1939 at Medinah. He shot a third round 66, the lowest round of that championship. It raised him into a tie for second place, but his last round of 80 dropped him out of contention. Two years later he was tied with Ben Hogan with one round to play but Hogan returned an unanswerable 67 and won by 2 stokes.
Heafner played in two Ryder Cup matches and was unbeaten in four matches. In 1951 at Pinehurst he halved with Fred Daly. In that match he was laid a stymie by the Irishman, believed to be the last stymie on record. the stymie was abolished six weeks later. He played in nine Masters Tournaments with his best finish in 1946 when he took seventh.
Clayton Heafner was inducted into the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame in 1982.