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Packer alumni back in Titletown

Green Bay Packer Alumnus Ron Pitts, 1988-90, at right, poses with his son, Shea. Ron’s father Elijah Pitts also played for Green Bay, 1961-69. Kris Leonhardt photo

Golf outing raises funds for Packers Hall of Fame

By Kris Leonhardt


GREEN BAY – Combining an affinity for golf and football, the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. hosted its annual golf outing and celebrity dinner on July 17 at Green Bay Country Club.

This was the first year the annual Packers Hall of Fame Golf Classic was held at the Green Bay course, departing from a long run at The Bull in Sheboygan Falls.

The event benefits the non-profit corporation which is independent of the Packers organization and welcomed back over two dozen former Packer players for a day of camaraderie and storytelling, including 1963-72 linebacker David Robinson, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.

Robinson, who was drafted by three professional leagues, said he didn’t know anything about Green Bay when he was drafted by Vince Lombardi.

He recalled the 1966 championship game against the Dallas Cowboys where the Packers forced an interception in the end zone, but he was given a failing grade by Lombardi.

“[The Cowboys] threw the ball in the end zone to the tight end and it hit him right in the chest, and he dropped the ball. But, they also were offsides so they moved the ball back to the six (yard line.) They came back down again and now it was fourth down and two,” he said.

Robinson said that he thought the Cowboys were then likely to run the same play that they had already run twice.

“They say if you always do what you have always done, then you always get what you’ve always got. I knew what they were going to do if I forced the run. They watched our defenses; they know how we play the rollout,” he explained.

“I thought that if I played like that, they were all set for that. So, I decided to play my own way.

“And then, they made another mistake. They brought Bob Hayes to block me on tight end; normally, that means he is going to block me if I run off tackle. Bob Hayes, and if he had a twin brother and one more guy, he couldn’t block me. I wasn’t even worried about that.

“So, I engaged Bob, and he was struggling to break free and when the guard pulled, it looked like Bob was blocking me. So, the guard passed us up, and when he passed us up, I went behind the guard. And then, there was space between Don Meredith and myself, and Don was either slower than he thought or I was faster than he thought I was.”

Though Robinson got a failing grade from Lombardi, he kept the Cowboys from scoring.

Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy golfed the course in a Maxwelton Braes Golf Course hat, noting his recent acquisition.

“It all came together pretty quickly. My wife Laurie and I have a place up in Door County — Bailey’s Harbor — and spend a lot of time up there. Maxwelton Braes is a beautiful public course right in Bailey’s Harbor. We’ve played a lot there and really enjoyed it. We got wind that the owner Jim Bresnahan was thinking about selling. We just wanted to make sure that it didn’t go to a developer that would turn it into townhouses or condos,” he explained.

Murphy said that Bresnahan is staying on as general manager to run the course and recalled an earlier day when he managed a college golf course.

“When I was the athletic director at Colgate (University in New York), we had a public golf course that fell under the athletic department,” he stated.

Murphy and Robinson were joined on the event’s alumni roster by Kevin Barry, Willie Buchanon, LeRoy Butler, Paul Coffman, Lynn Dickey, Gary Ellerson, Gerry Ellis, Ken Ellis, Marv Fleming, Tiger Greene, Tim Harris, Eddie Lee Ivery, Chris Jacke, Mark Lee, Ryan Longwell, Chester Marcol, Dexter McNabb, player Mark S. Murphy, Ron Pitts, Bill Schroeder, Harry Sydney, David Whitehurst and Frank Winters.

The Packers Hall of Fame Golf Classic is held during the lead-up to the annual induction ceremony,

On Aug. 31, the Hall of Fame former Packers Jordy Nelson and Josh Sitton will be inducted at the nonprofit’s 52nd induction banquet in the Lambeau Field Atrium.

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