Preserving Golf's History for Future Generations
Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame Members
Michel "Mike" Kaplan (1946-2017)
Inducted in 2017
Mike was a nationally prominent tax attorney with Sherrard Roe Voigt & Harbison in Nashville and served as legal counsel to the TGF, Tennessee Golf Association and Tennessee Section PGA for the past 26 years. He is a past President of the TGA and was an accomplished expert in the USGA Rules of Golf. Michel orchestrated the historic merger in 2000 of the Women’s Tennessee Golf Association and the Tennessee Golf Association. “What Mike did was brilliant and golf leaders from around the country marvel at how two established organizations came together to make the game better,” noted fellow Hall of Fame member Lew Conner. He established the Bylaws for both the TGA and the TGF as charitable entities as well as council for an important favorable law on lowering the property taxation for all Tennessee golf courses.
Inducted in 2017
Joe has been a turf grass leader in Tennessee and on a national stage. He has been the head superintendent at the Vanderbilt Legends Club since it opened in 1991. He is a past officer of the Tennessee Turfgrass Association and has been at the forefront of turf research at The Little Course, growing 56 varieties of Bermuda, zoysia, fescue and bent grass since 1995. It is the only golf course with active, turf research on its entire property with golfers playing over 16,000 rounds annually. “Joe and fellow Hall of Famer David Stone (the Honors Course) set the standard for golf turf in the southeast transition zone. Keeping golf turf year-round with temperature ranges from -10 degrees to 105F is next to impossible and nobody in America does it better than Joe Kennedy,” noted TGF President Dick Horton.
Inducted in 2017
Toby was the Independent Director of the Tennessee Golf Foundation for its first 19 years. He and the late Bronson Ingram were principal founders of The Golf Club of Tennessee, a facility that has hosted TGF’s primary fundraiser, Vince Gill’s “The Vinny” since 1993. Toby has international acclaim and is seen by millions each April as the Starter on the first tee for The Masters at Augusta National. Wilt has teamed with PGA Ryder Cup member Brandt Snedeker to win the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. His endowed Toby S. Wilt Scholarship at Vanderbilt has been given to such notables as Snedeker, the PGA TOUR’s Luke List and current NCAA All-American Matthias Schwab. Mr. Wilt is chair of the TGF President’s Advisory Committee. His other sporting love is football which has led him to chair the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.
Jean St. Charles
Inducted in 2018
Jean St. Charles was a former president of the WTGA (1987-89) which under her watch progressed to become a more structured organization in which women could test their skills competing in championships which were administered by knowledgeable rules officials, many of whom Jean personally mentored. She has been honored by the USGA for volunteering across the country for twenty-five years. She has been a director of the Tennessee Golf Association since its merger with the WTGA in 2000 bringing her years of service to Tennessee golf to more than fifty years. Jean also helped establish the Tennessee Women's Open which has shown Tennessee to be a leader in opening frontiers for both professional and amateur women golfers across the nation. She has served as the tournament director since the beginning of the championship.