distinguished service award
by Alexander Gross
It’s fitting this story is published soon after the U.S. Marines celebrat- ed its 237th birthday and the country commemorated Veterans Day. The heroes of the military and sports, in particular, golf, intertwine with the life of Kelly Gutshall. A devoted husband and father, talented player and patriarch of Lehigh Valley golf, specifically Lehigh University golf, Gutshall of Indian Valley Country Club received the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Distinguished Service Award at the organization’s
Annual Meeting on Oct. 24 at Commonwealth National Golf Club. The
Association’s Distinguished Service Award is presented to an individual from
any golf related discipline, who has exemplified the spirit of the game at its
highest level and who has made a substantial contribution to the game at the
Philadelphia, national or international level.
“It’s very humbling,” said the 87-year-old Gutshall. “I got this award from doing what I love to do.”
Gutshall grew up in Springfield, Pa., going to
a one-room schoolhouse with the same teacher for
four years instilling that solidarity in the classroom
is the key to opening doors of opportunity.
He spent four years in the Marines, which al-
lowed him to study for two years at Muhlenberg
College. Gutshall then spent two years at Lehigh
University upon completion of his service in the
Marines. He was too small to play football and
started his competitive athletic career in soccer at
age 22 when then Lehigh golf coach Bill Leckonby
asked him to be part of the team for the simple fact
he had a car. He was older than the rest of his team-
mates because of his time in the service, but that
proved to be a great advantage.