Charlie Daugherty was born June 30, 1919, in Deep Water, Mo. He started hitting golf balls at age 12 and caddied at a local course in Warrensburg, Mo., for 50 cents for 18 holes.
Charlie entered the Air Force during World War II, and his training took place in Texas, where he became a flight engineer.
Golf has always been an important part of Charlie’s life. He got interested in golf club fitting at age 62 after he retired from the Tandy Corp. He attended training classes at Golfsmith, which at the time was the leader in golf fitting equipment. Golf club fitting soon became his hobby.
He has traveled the United States and Europe playing golf. Daugherty had a motor home and pulled his car behind it. At age 70, he visited Europe with his son, where he played many of the British Open courses, including St. Andrews.
He had previously played in Pro-Ams with Hale Irwin, Ben Crenshaw and Tom Watson at the Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, when he was with Tandy. Charlie also played Augusta National 10 years ago with his son, grandson, and Buzz Taylor, a member of Augusta National and past president of the USGA.
Daugherty and his late wife moved to Sun City in 1996, and he soon turned his club fitting and repair hobby into a business. Charlie estimates that he’s made clubs for more than 2,000 people in Sun City and purchased more than 200,000 grips from Golfsmith that he has installed for local golfers.
Five years ago, when I moved to Sun City, my students kept talking about Charlie and how he made them their first set of clubs. They also talked about how he changed their golf grips and fixed their broken shafts. I decided to find out more about Charlie and went to see him.
His garage was set up with all sorts of club-fitting equipment. He was very gracious and wanted to help in any way with my LPGA Girls Golf program, cutting down clubs and making donations.
Charlie is a truly remarkable person. He has shot his age several times, with the last time being at age 90 at the Okatie Creek course in Sun City. He last played golf two years ago but finally had to quit because of bad knees.
Charlie can no longer offer his club service, but he wanted to make sure his Sun City neighbors have a club fitting person they can rely on. Guess who that is? “I have known Dr. Jean for several years,” said Daugherty, “and I can’t think of a better person to take over my club repair business.”
I look forward to expanding my golf equipment knowledge to accommodate my golf students as well as the residents of Sun City. I know that I can’t replace a legend, but I will sure try.
Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at Brown Golf Management courses. jean.golfdoctor.harris @gmail.com; www.golfdoctorjean.com