Longtime PGA pro behind scholarship fund to help local students become ‘future legends’

Neighborhood All-Stars

SAN DIEGO – For all intents and purposes, Chuck Courtney is San Diego golf royalty.

From his extensive career on the PGA Tour, including as winner of two events, to his place in the San Diego State Hall of Fame and Pebble Beach Walk of Fame, Courtney, 79, has done it all on the links.

“It was thrilling,” said Courtney, the first Aztec golfer to earn All-America honors, which he did twice. “Some of my buddies — the ones that are still alive — we still talk about how much fun we had playing Division I golf back in the late 50s and early 60s. It was fabulous.”

But Courtney’s greatest accomplishment came years after his 2004 retirement.

Starting in 2012, Courtney helped launch Future Legends, a scholarship fund intended to provide financial relief and mentoring to high school student-athletes and golfers from around the region. Twenty students from around the region have been helped by the fund, including John Michael Horvath.

“This scholarship helped me afford college when I probably couldn’t have” Horvath said.

Ultimately, the goal of the scholarship is to make an impact for generations of future legends to come, said Vearl Smith, founding chairman of the scholarship.

“We’re not looking for anything other than scholars that want to be super in their world professionally,” Smith said. “We want them to want to be a legend in their industry.”

Added Courtney, “It’s also very important. Some of these kids are not from the most privileged of backgrounds, I would say. They really can’t get that kind of mentoring from their parents.”

“We’re really proud of what we’ve done with these kids,” he said.

More information about Future Legends is available online at futurelegends.org.

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