Kansas Golf Foundation Kansas Golf Hall of Fame - 2020

J.L. Lewis

2020

J.L. Lewis' life was dedicated to golf. His life was one representing a dream come true for a golfer. He was a talented junior and outstanding high school golfer earning scholarships at two universities. He entered the PGA Apprentice Program, becoming a Class A PGA Professional while continuing to compete. He earned his PGA Tour card only to lose it after a year. More determined than ever, he regained his Tour status and won two events which put him in very rare company. He became the fourth native Kansan to win on the PGA Tour in the last 50 years. He, then, went on to qualify for the Senior Tour with expectations of more success, but cancer detoured his plans. J.L. never gave up. Unable to compete at the highest level he returned to teaching the game he loved. J.L. Lewis' career was indeed devoted golf.

After high school in Emporia, Kansas he was a 3-sport star in football, basketball and golf earning All-State honors in basketball. He attended Emporia State University on a golf scholarship winning the NAIA District 10 Championship in 1980. Seeking a more competitive environment in golf JL transferred to Southwest Texas State University where he was Runner Up in the NCAA D-II Golf Championship while leading his team to the National title.

J.L. qualified for the PGA Tour in 1988 and played in 21 events in 1989 but lost his card and returned to the club pro world until 1995, when after repeated attempts he joined the PGA Tour for good. Prior to 1995, J.L. had many golf accomplishments and tournament victories, including:

  • 1986 Alamo Chapter Southern Texas Player of the Year
  • 1988 Las Vegas Section Player of the Year
  • 1992 Champion Southern Texas PGA
  • 1992 Southern Texas PGA Player of the Year
  • 1993 Champion Southern Texas PGA
  • 1994 Member of victorious PGA's US Cup Team over European Team, where J.L. made a cinching 50' putt on the last hole to win.

J.L. was diagnosed with multiple myeloma which ended his competitive career on the golf course.

Thereafter, J.L. dedicated his time to sharing his love of the game with others through golf instruction at Yaupon Golf Club in Lakeway, TX; Cimarron Hills Golf Club in Georgetown, TX; and various driving ranges in and around the Austin, TX area. J.L. became Head Golf Professional at Mill Creek Country Club in Salado, Texas for 18 months from January 2012-June 2013.

Following Mill Creek, J.L. opened the J.L. Lewis Golf Academy at Avery Ranch Golf Club in Austin and at Teravista Golf Club in Round Rock . He was the Director of Golf Instruction until he passed away New Year’s Eve, 2019.

J.L. is inducted in to the Kansas Golf Hall of Fame in the category of Professional Player.

 

Bryan Norton

2020

Bryan was born and raised in Salina, learning the game under the tutelage of Salina Country Club Golf Professional and Kansas Golf Hall of Fame member, Wally Beets. Bryan went on to play golf at Oral Roberts University, contributing to a team that included four All-Americans players and finished 2nd in the NCAA in 1981. Bryan was twice a 2nd Team All-American, finished 4th individually in the 1980 NCAA Championship, and won his first Kansas Amateur Championship in 1980.


After college, Bryan played professionally for 10 years: five on the PGA European Tour, one year on the PGA Tour, one year on the Ben Hogan Tour (now the Nationwide Tour) and won the Kansas Open in 1984. In his final year playing as a professional, Bryan won the 1992 Oklahoma Open. After retiring from professional golf, Bryan settled in Kansas City, where he now works for Lockton Companies. A reinstated amateur, Bryan has continued to compete. He won the Kansas Amateur Championship twice more (2002 and 2014) and has qualified for Match Play in ever Kansas Amateur Championship since 1977. In 2003 Bryan was runner-up in the US Mid-Amateur and earned stroke play medalist honors at the British Mid-Amateur. He led the Kansas team that won the USGA Men's State Team Championship in 2010, and won the Kansas Senior Amateur Championship in 2010, 2011 and 2018. He was named to the US teams for the 2016 Concession Cup and most recently, he was named on the 2020 East West Cup.

Bryan currently resides in Overland Park, serves as the Kansas Golf Foundation President and has served as a Trustee since 2008. He enters the Kansas Golf Hall of Fame in the category of Amateur.