*Golf experiences & insights
Philadelphia Golf Legends: Manufacturers' Lou Riggs
Not many can say they defeated William Hyndman, III and R. Jay Sigel in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Amateur Championship by the same margin.
Lou Riggs can. The longtime Manufacturers Golf & Country Club member ousted Hyndman in 1966 and Sigel in 1969 on the 21st hole. Overall, Riggs qualified for match play in 12 Amateur Championships across four decades — advancing as far as the semifinals on two occasions.
In 1959, he fell to eventual champion Connie Campbell of Torresdale-Frankford Country Club, 2&1, at Philmont Country Club. Ten years later, Riggs suffered another 2&1 defeat — this time at the hands of eventual winner Allan Sussel of Squires Golf Club. Hard luck followed Riggs throughout his Amateur bids. He bowed out to prominent players such as Sam Maniaci, John Guenther, Jr., Robert “Beetle” Beirne and Paul “Bucky” Erhardt, III.
Riggs did strike gold in the Tournament of Champions, which he captured four times (1971-73, 1975). In his 1973 victory at Manufacturers, Riggs edged Sigel by a stroke following a two-putt from 50 feet for par on the 18th hole. He represented the Association’s Compher Cup (1962-63, 1965-67, 1970-71, 1973) and Mason-Dixon 1959-62, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1973) teams eight years each.
Outside of the GAP circuit, Riggs finished fourth in the Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Amateur Championship in 1968 and 1970. He was crowned co-champion of its 1987 Senior Amateur Championship after rain cancelled the tournament’s final round. Riggs won countless better-ball events and team events alongside the likes of O. Gordon Brewer, Jr. (GAP Hall of Famer), Rosann Klinefelter (1967 Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia Amateur Champion), good friend Don Norbury, the 1970 GAP Amateur Champion, and his mother Peg.
Today, Riggs, 80, of Warminster, Pa., plays golf regularly at his home course, where he’s captured 11 club championships.
Launched in 2010, the Legends video series features prominent local players recalling their experiences and accomplishments both on and off the golf course. This is the 11th installment in the series overall. O. Gordon Brewer, Jr. of Pine Valley Golf Club, Tom Conboy of Sandy Run Country Club, Paul Erhardt, III of Cavaliers Country Club, James Finegan, Sr. of Philadelphia Country Club, Herman J. Fry of Reading Country Club, Blaise Giroso of Fieldstone Golf Club, John Guenther, Jr. of Heidelberg Country Club, Bob Levy of Philmont Country Club, John Markel of Berkshire Country Club, Lincoln Roden, III of Huntingdon Valley Country Club and Don Weiland of Phoenixville Country Club were also spotlighted.
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 145 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.