By Bob Denney
PGA Historian Emeritus
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (Nov. 9, 2020) — Mickey Powell, the 24th president of the PGA of America who oversaw a period of rapid growth and development in the Association during his term in office, passed away early Sunday in Indiana. He was 81. The Powells reside in Lost Tree Village, North Palm Beach, Florida.
Powell was elected to PGA Membership in 1965 and served as the PGA’s 24th president from 1985-86. For more than 55 years in professional golf, Powell brought to his work a blend of innovation, passion and love for the PGA Member. According to those who worked with him at the Golf Club of Indiana in Zionsville, a typical greeting was, “What have you done today that you are proud of?”
"The PGA of America is deeply saddened with the passing of Mickey Powell, who led our Association with vision, class, honor and a sincere love of the game," said PGA President Jim Richerson. "Mickey was someone who didn't ask why, but rather why not? Under his watch, the Ryder Cup grew in stature; children of PGA Members realized dreams of higher education through scholarships; and he helped launch what became today's PGA Golf Properties. A friend and mentor to many through the years, Mickey helped promote PGA Members as premier coaches and leaders in the business of golf. We will miss him dearly and extend our sympathies to his wife, Diana, and family."
Powell’s ascension to one of golf’s premier leadership positions can be traced to his start in the sport as a 13-year-old caddie at the Country Club of Indianapolis. His first-ever loop was for a couple named Pete and Alice Dye, who were to become the driving force in worldwide golf design.
Born June 17, 1939, in Indianapolis, Powell’s chance meeting with the Dyes would blossom.
Powell, whose first golf routing was planting coffee cans in his family yard to simulate a course, asked Pete Dye to cosign a note to defray expenses so that he could attend college.
“My parents could not afford to send me,” Powell recalled when he became PGA President. “Pete said I’m the only kid he helped go through school who ever paid him back.”
Powell was a four-year all-conf