David Strawn reached the final of the U.S. Amateur in 1973, losing to future Masters champion Craig Stadler. The rest of Strawn’s resume also can’t be matched by many across the Carolinas, including playing in 8 U.S. Mid Amateurs and 14 Carolinas-Virginias Team Matches, along with winning the club championship at Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte a record 11 times and the club’s senior title five times.
Strawn, 68, lived next to his father’s driving range growing up and started hitting balls when he was 6 years old, playing in his first tournament when he was 11.
“It was about the time that Arnold Palmer was getting popular and golf was getting very popular, and my dad Robert used to say ‘Hey boys, you have this great opportunity to practice whenever you want so you ought to take advantage of it.’ So we did,” Strawn said.
Strawn went on to play college golf at Furman, where he was a two-time Southern Conference champion.
Over a two-year span (1973-74) Strawn tied for second at the Eastern Amateur and Carolinas Open, was runner-up at the U.S. Amateur, won the Sunnehanna Amateur, and played in The Masters and U.S. Open. He later turned pro in 1974 and went on to play golf across the world, including in the Dutch, German, Portuguese, French and Spanish Opens before regaining his amateur status in 1986.
“I always liked amateur golf,” Strawn said. “When I played pro golf I was young and traveling and it was kind of fun, but amateur golf really is more fun over the long haul. You are trying to play the best you can, you are not mixing it up with trying to make a living.”
The real estate lawyer took a few years off to start his practice when he return to amateur status, then began playing at a high level again later in life, becoming a semifinalist in the 1993 U.S. Mid Amateur. Strawn also went on to win the N.C. Senior Four-Ball championship four times – each time with a different partner.
“It’s a great honor for me, but at the same time I am humbled by it because of all the people who are in there like Billy Joe Patton and Harvie Ward and Bill Harvey and Paul Simson – just extraordinary people and golfers.”