Sherm Keeney is a hall of famer — again.
The York High graduate, who has become a well-known golf institution in York County over the past five-plus decades, has been selected as the newest member of the York Area Sports Hall of Fame.
The longtime golf pro at Cool Creek Golf Club in Wrightsville was the only person selected for induction in 2018.
This will become the third time that Keeney has been picked for a hall of fame. He had previously been honored by York College and the York County Amateur Golf Association.
“It was a very pleasant surprise for me,” said Keeney, who was nominated for the honor by his daughter, Holly Davis.
Longtime passion: For the 72-year-old Keeney, golf has been a passion since he was just a boy, when he started playing the game with his father. He stopped his competitive career just a few years back. During that time, he captured numerous championships, both as an amateur and a professional.
“It’s been fun,” he said. “I started playing tournament golf at 11 and I just fell in love with it. I’ve always said I’ve had the greatest life in the world. At Cool Creek (where he worked from 1974 until 2002), I always looked forward to going to work every day. Golf is the greatest game ever invented, but also maybe the toughest and most frustrating, but it’s one you can play your entire life. I still enjoy playing with my kids.”
Biggest thrill: Despite his many titles, Keeney said his greatest thrill in golf didn’t come from winning a trophy. Instead, it came in 1963, when he got to caddie for Arnold Palmer when the golfing legend came to Briarwood Golf Club for an exhibition.
Keeney had finished second in a York Jaycees tournament. The winner of the Jaycees event, Mac Jones, got to play in the same foursome with Palmer, along with York County Amateur champion Pete Miller and Palmer’s former teammate at Wake Forest University, Charlie Strack, who was from York County.
As the Jaycees runner-up, Keeney got to pick which player he would caddie for.
“It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out,” Keeney said. “What a gracious man. I never met anyone as congenial as that gentleman. He was my favorite golfer before that and after that.”
Career achievements: As for his on-course achievements, Keeney said his top title may have been winning the Senior Player of the Year title for the Philadelphia Section of the Professional Golf Association (PGA) in 1997.
Before he became a pro, Keeney earned three York County Amateur crowns and four YCAGA Champion of Champions titles during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
He also excelled on the college level at both York Junior College (now York College) and Temple University.
Rounds reduced: Keeney said he doesn’t play a lot of golf these days, managing just six or seven rounds last year. He’s hoping to up that total to around 20 rounds this season. He gave up competitive golf about five years ago because he “just can’t hit it far enough anymore.” He did manage to shoot his age, however, when he was 65.
Keeney said he also recently gave up his longtime role as the YCAGA tournament director, although he will continue to volunteer with that group. He also works part time at Bon Air Country Club near Glen Rock.
One thing Keeney will not relinquish, however, is his PGA certification. That certification annually gives him free access to the toughest ticket in golf — the Masters. It’s an event he says he’s attended 10-15 times.
Reach Steve Heiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.