Six inducted into Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame in Class of 2023

Allegheny Country Club hosted the 2023 Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Champions Dinner, where Fred Brand, Sr., Jane Fassinger, Jerry McGee, Harton "Bud" Semple, Phyllis Semple, and Steve Wheatcroft were inducted on November 2, 2032.

By WPGA • November 2, 2023

PITTSBURGH – The Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame proudly inducted six new members on November 2, 2023. These outstanding individuals have made lasting contributions to the sport and have left an indelible mark on the region’s golf community.

The ceremony, held at Allegheny Country Club, showcased the achievements and passion that these remarkable golfers have exhibited throughout their illustrious careers.

Below are the newest members of the Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame. You can read expanded articles on their backgrounds by clicking their names.

Fred Brand, Sr.: Born in Scotland in 1885, Brand, Sr. came to the United States and became an accomplished golfer at the turn of the century, winning the 1905, 1908, 1916 and 1924 West Penn Open. He served Allegheny Country Club for 38 years and helped lay the groundwork of the WPGA. Brand, Sr. founded the Tri-State PGA and served as President for 25 years. In 1922, he was named the Vice President of the PGA of America. Brand played in ten U.S. Opens, finishing ninth in 1907.

Dr. Jane Fassinger: An early trainee of Deacon Palmer – the father of Arnold Palmer – Fassinger went on to win the prestigious Women’s Western Junior and Pennsylvania Junior Girls Championships in 1968 and 1969. Also in 1969, she placed second in the U.S. Girls Junior Championship. She was a member of the Curtis Cup in 1970 and was the second-lowest scoring amateur in the 1970 U.S. Women’s Open. Raised on a farm and driven by a love for animals, Fassinger became a successful veterinarian.

Jerry McGee: A Ryder Cup winner in 1977 and Ohio State grad, McGee went on to become a highly respected instructor of the game in Western Pennsylvania. He served as Director of Golf at Oak Tree Country Club in West Middlesex, Pennsylvania and was named the Tri-State PGA Teacher of the Year in 1982. As a player, he appeared in 26 major championships, including three top 10 finishes and a fifth-place mark in his 1972 Masters debut.

Harton “Bud” Semple: A key figure in the creation of Sewickley Heights Country Club in 1961, Semple worked as a successful attorney in Estates and Trusts. He was the father to one of amateur golf’s most accomplished female players, Carol Semple Thompson, and the husband to Phyllis Semple, another Class of 2023 Hall of Fame inductee. Harton Semple was a longtime USGA volunteer, worked as the USGA’s legal counsel in the 1960’s and was named the President of the USGA in 1974.

Phyllis Semple: The Women’s Golf Association’s Western Pennsylvania Player of the Decade in both the 1950s and 1960s, Semple had a long and successful path in the game of golf. She won the WGAWP Championship six times, the PA Championship in 1964, the Pa. State Golf Association Senior Championship and a U.S. Senior Championship. She also served as a member of the USGA Women’s Committee for 15 years.

Steve Wheatcroft: An Indiana, Pennsylvania native and Trinity High School grad who went on to play collegiately at Indiana University-Bloomington, Wheatcroft forged a strong career in professional golf, earning $4.4 million as a pro before retiring in 2019. Wheatcroft played on the PGA Tour, Korn Ferry Tour and Gateway Tour. He registered seven professional wins and finished 63rd at the 2010 U.S. Open. Among his many amateur victories, Wheatcroft claimed the Pennsylvania Open in 2003 and the West Penn Open in 2004.

The Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame and the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association continues to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the region's golfing legacy. The newest inductees join a long list of individuals whose dedication to the sport has bolstered the game in the region and will continue to do so for years to come.

About the WPGA
Founded in 1899, the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association is the steward of amateur golf in the region. Started by five Member Clubs, the association now has nearly 200 Member Clubs and 37,000 members. The WPGA conducts 14 individual competitions and 10 team events, and administers the WPGA Scholarship Fund.