Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame celebrated 50 years of champions, mourns loss of Matt Chandler

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 10:58 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Wednesday evening some of the most talented men to swing a golf club in the area attended a special event celebrating half a century of the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame Tournament. “The idea was formed basically just to try to get everyone here for the 50th anniversary,” notes Darrell Craft of the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame. “So in 25 years from now, someone could look back and say, ‘look, here’s the first 50 years summed up in one night.’”

“We have most of the champions back tonight, which is very exciting. It’s great to see some old friends and really some old enemies,” laughs five time tournament champion Dicky Linkous. “When we were younger, we were a little a little hotter under the collar and love beating each other.”

At the time the dinner was planned, all 33 champions of the tournament were alive, and most were able to attend, but just last week, one of the most decorated area golfers passed away.

“Unfortunately, this ribbon that I have on me, represents the passing of Matt Chandler, who was a great champion that won this event five times,” explains Craft.

“I’ve had a chance to see a lot of great golfers, and Matt was one of the greatest arm players I’ve ever seen,” adds Linkous.

He also noted that one of Chandler’s greatest traits was his humility.

“Never heard him say anything in a braggadocious manner. He was just a good player.”

So with 24 Champions in attendance, the men celebrated their community and their accomplishments by keeping them front of mind, and close to heart.

“When I spoke to Matt, Matt, on April 18th, he told me that he would do anything for me. Even though Matt’s game was very good, when it came to local golf, Matt always found a place in his calendar to play in this event. Matt wanted to be here tonight and Matt would have been here tonight had he not passed.” Says craft.

Matt Chandler was set to be inducted into the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame this November.