Longtime Kentucky pro Leishman, 83, dies

Gordon Leishman, a longtime Kentucky PGA member, died July 3 during a casual round at Spring Valley Golf Club in Lexington. 

Leishman, 83, parred the first hole, hit his drive and second shot, and then fell over with what was later described as a massive heart attack. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

Leishman joined the PGA of America in 1948 and was golf professional and course superintendent at River Road Country Club in Louisville from 1957 to ’63. His tournament titles include the 1963 Kentucky Open and three Kentucky PGAs (1959, ’66 and ’72). He served three decades as head professional at Idle Hour Country Club (1964-95) in Lexington. During that time, Leishman was vice president of the PGA of America (1973-74). He had remained active in Lexington golf as an instructor and owner-operator of Tee It Up Golf Range. 

Leishman was inducted into the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame in 1998.

Pete Garvey, Leishman’s successor at Idle Hour, fondly recalls Leishman as “an outstanding professional, a great player, someone who put a lot of guys in the business.’’ Idle Hour annually holds the Leishman Cup, a one-day stroke-play event for amateurs, in honor of the club’s longtime pro. Garvey says he expects a full house for this year’s event, scheduled July 30.

Leishman is survived by wife Ann, son Art and daughters Holly and Heather.

Memorial contributions are suggested to the Lexington Humane Society, 1600 Old Frankfort Pike, Lexington, KY 40504, or Crestwood Christian Church, 1882 Bellefonte Drive, Lexington, KY 40503.

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