Lowcountry golf legend passes away

By Dean

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - The Lowcountry lost one of its great golf ambassadors and friend on Monday. Terry Florence passed away from complications of liver cancer at the age of 64.

Country Club of Charleston Director of Golf Hart Brown considered "Flo" one of his best friends.

"Best friendship ever, great friend and mentor. I looked up to him as a player and he was the best club professional than I've ever seen in my life," said Brown.

Florence was inducted into the South Carolina Golf Hall of Fame in 2006. According to their website, his record was long and distinguished and included:

  • 1976 & 78 SC Open Champion
  • Four time SC PGA Champion
  • 1980 & 1984 United States PGA Cup Team Member
  • Seven time participant in Major Championships (4 PGA, 1 Senior Open, 2 Senior PGA)

Frank Ford III said he was the best South Carolina had to offer both on and off the links.

"He was as loyal as a person possibly could be. We were neighbors so we were always back and forth. When things went well, he was the first one to call. When things went bad, he called even faster," Ford said.

But it was on the course where Florence first caught Ford's attention.

"He had an amazing attitude, he was blessed with great golf swing and blessed with a great putter. He was the best player I ever played with that didn't play the tour," said Ford.

But he gave the tour a shot in the early 70s and came up one shot short.

"I asked him one time why he wasn't on the tour and he told me he tried it one time and missed by a shot," said Brown.

"First and foremost, he was in love with his wife Hope and they gave it one year. He played as hard as he could but came up short and he decided to come home and get into the golf business," said Ford.

Florence started at Charleston Municipal golf course and was then hired to help put Wild Dunes Golf resort{}on the map.

And he did.

After Wild Dunes, he was hired to be Director of golf at a new course built by Joe Rice. It was there at Bulls Bay where Hart Brown will forever remember "Mondays at Bulls Bay."

"When he was diagnosed six years ago, we made a pledge to always play golf every Monday at Bulls Bay. Whether it was one hole, nine holes or if he didn't feel up to it we'd just have lunch," said Brown.

Florence grew up in Charlotte and was a first team all-American at Gardner-Webb University.

Florence is survived by his wife Hope and two children, Margaret-Ann and John.