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guestview: Happy Birthday, Tom Foree

Tom Foree [was] 91 years old Monday, April 5. For you new members of Fox Den, Tom was the head golf professional from the early beginning in 1968 (when Fox Den was only a 9 hole course) until his retirement in 1984. Many current members remember the wonderful old days when our club was in its infancy. Tom and his wife, Louise, were in the center of all activities as the club grew and matured.

In his long and heralded golf life, Tom has been part of many exciting golfing events. He was a friend of legendary golfer, Gene Sarazen, who used to come by Fox Den just to visit with Tom. Besides Mr. Sarazen, he has played golf with many famous golfers such as Julius Boros, Arnold Palmer, and Jess Sweetser who beat Bobby Jones in the final match of the U.S. Amateur in the 1920s. He was the Assistant golf professional at Sciota Country Club when a 10-year-old youngster named Jack Nicklaus started playing golf.

Tom started his golf career at the ripe old age of 18 when he accepted the head professional job at Green Meadow Golf Club in Maryville. He would work the golf season (about 7 months a year) at Green Meadow and then become an employee at Alcoa Aluminum Company during the winter months. In addition, he attended college at Tennessee Wesleyan in Athens, TN.

Tom’s golf career was interrupted by World War II. He volunteered for military service and became a combat navigator flying B-24s as part of the 389th Bomb Group attached to the Eighth Air Force in England. He flew 28 combat missions over Germany completing his military service following the war in 1945.

Tom returned to Knoxville and became the assistant golf professional at Holston Hills Country Club working for his brother, Lloyd. From there he worked at several golf clubs (including the famous Scioto Golf Club) with his longest tenure at the golf course at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. From Wright-Patterson, Tom and Louise returned to Knoxville in 1968 and the rest is part of Fox Den history. The Forees still live in Fox Den and Tom still hits the ball “down the middle.” Happy birthday to a Fox Den legend!!

— George Kershaw


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