The local golf community has lost a longtime rules official and major player in the local golf community.
H. Mallory Privett, a memmber of both the South Florida PGA and FSGA Halls of Fame, died on December 26th at the age of 79 after losing his battle to a lengthy illness. Privett, who served as mayor of North Palm Beach from 1971-74, spent much of the past 23 years since his retirement serving as a rules official and volunteer coordinator, serving as Volunteer Chairman of the Honda Classic from 2006-12. In November, he became just the third recipient of the Florida State Golf Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
“He was literally the first call I made when we took over the Honda in 2006,” Honda Classic Executive Director Ken Kennerly said to the Palm Beach Post. “And I truly believe he’s one of the reasons the tournament is where it is today.”
Privett was born in Selma, Alabama and was introuduced to the game by his father. He maintained a single-digit handicap for much of his life and in 1992, the year he retired, he won the PGA National senior championship and Palm Beach Gardens city championship. It was that same year that he took an interest in the job of rules official after a failed attempt to qualify for the U.S. Senior Amateur.
Privett was inducted into the FSGA Hall of Fame in 2010 and the South Florida PGA Hall of Fame in November.
“He’s meant the world to our organization,” FSGA Executive Director Jim Demick said. “He was an amazing individual; he gave himself to every golf organization that needed help, and was so tremendously capable. He was the face of golf in Southeast Florida for the last 20 years.”