Tony Butler

Inducted: 1998

Best Known For: Golf

Hometown: Harlingen, TX

College: University of Texas at Austin

Professional Team: Texas PGA


Every Valley golfer knows the Harlingen course, but do they know that its namesake was a superstar who was so skilled that he specialized in playing entire rounds using only a 4-wood?

Tony Butler turned professional in 1928 after a stellar career at UT, winning the 1931 Texas PGA title and finishing in the money six straight times that year. In 1932 he was second in the Texas PGA Tourney played at the Harlingen Country Club, and came to work in the Valley the next year.

Butler, known as “King of the Short Knocks,” for top-rate putting, taught and played for decades after that, operating a pro shop and entertaining with his superb golf shots.

He was instrumental in the growth of the RGV Open and Life Begins at 40 Tournament, and was honored for lifetime excellence when the Harlingen Municipal course was renamed Tony Butler Golf Course in 1973.