It was said of the legendary Walter Hagen that “his place in golf’s hall of fame is deserved not only because of his achievements but also because he brought to the game a much needed sense of sport and fun.” The same can certainly be said for Norm Lutz.
Norm epitomizes the amateur spirit of playing for the love and enjoyment of the game. For over 50 years, he has been a fixture at Pawtucket Country Club, where he has won 19 club championships, and in Rhode Island golf, where he won his first state title in 956. In 2004 Norm competed in his 50th RI State Amateur.
As an individual, Norm reached the finals of the State Amateur four times, winning once in 1970. He won the Rhode Island Open in 1975 and the Senior Amateur in 1990 and 1992. He was the Par Three champion seven times. In addition to playing in numerous regional and national events, Norm also qualified for the U.S. Amateur three times and the U.S. Senior Amateur four times.
But it was in team competition that Norm really thrived. He won the New England Four-Ball twice, the Florida International Four-Ball twice, the Rhode Island Four-Ball four times, and the Senior Four-Ball twice. He played on countless Rhode Island teams in the Tri-State Matches. It was his love of competing with and against others that made him a must in these events. And a good story or two at the end of the day never hurt, either.
Norm gave back to the game while serving on the Board at the RIGA, eventually serving as President in 1991. In the early years of the Northeast Amateur when the tournament was more a regional event, Norm, along with Bob Kosten, traveled to national tournaments and successfully recruited prominent national players. Norm helped to set a foundation for the Northeast to eventually become one of the most highly regarded amateur events in the country.
Like Walter Hagen before him, Norm possessed talent and flair, doing it his way all the while. Here’s to a true Rhode Island golf legend.