In memoriam: George Benson - 1946-2009

Posted February 12, 2009 - Western Pennsylvania Golf Association - Contact

George G. Benson, South Hills, a top amateur player for decades, passed away on February 11, after a long battle with cancer. He resided in McMurray.

Benson came from one of the area’s most prominent golf families. Jack, his father, won six West Penn Amateurs, 1934-1954, and the WPGA Father & Son, with his father, with George and with his brother Jack. The WPGA’s Tournament of Champions trophy is named in Jack Benson’s honor.

George played collegiate golf at Duke University, graduating in 1968. He then served in the US Air Force, European Theatre, for six years as a fighter-bomber pilot and navigator, reaching the rank of Captain.

After returning to Pittsburgh, Benson won ten WPGA championships, including the 1982 West Penn Amateur at Longue Vue. Jack and George Benson are the only father and son duo each to win the West Penn Amateur. George also won eight WPGA Brothers titles with Jack, 1963-1986, all at Shannopin, the second most in the event’s sixty-year history. He also won the 1976 WPGA Four-Ball with Stanley Price, III, at Youghiogheny.

George Benson’s six decades involvement at South Hills includes twelve club titles, tying his father, the last in 2004 during his battle with cancer. His brother Jack also won a club championship, so the Benson family won 25 South Hills club titles in a sixty-year period. George held many leadership positions at South Hills, including the club presidency.

He was CEO/owner of Benson Lincoln-Mercury for more than 25 years, and was influential in developing the Pittsburgh Area Lincoln-Mercury Dealers sponsorship of the 2008 WPGA Mid-Amateur Championship. He attended the 2008 WPGA Fall Players Dinner at Montour Heights, and was recognized for his role as a fine player and strong supporter of the game.