The Southern Ohio PGA is saddened to share the news of Southern Ohio PGA Hall of Fame member El Collins passing in Springfield, Ohio on Sunday, January 22, 2023.
Born in Hazard, Kentucky, Elhanon “El” Collins fell in love with golf growing up caddying for his father. He went on to serve four years in the United States Navy before attending Eastern Kentucky University.
Collins began a professional career in the industry as an Assistant Professional at Lancaster Country Club (now Lancaster Golf Club) in Lancaster, OH. In 1962, he moved south to become the Head Professional at Sharon Woods Golf Course in Cincinnati. Two years later, he settled in Springfield, OH where he would spend 35 years as the Head Professional at Reid Park Golf Course until retiring in 1999.
On the course Collins found success as a competitive player beginning as an amateur. He claimed numerous Miami Valley Golf Association titles including three Miami Valley Stroke Play Championships and five Miami Valley Match Play Championships. Once turning professional, he earned Southern Ohio PGA Player of the Year honors in 1985 and 1986. He was the 1986 Southern Ohio PGA Professional Champion. The following year he competed in a total of 25 PGA TOUR Champions Events where he made 24 cuts, including one top-10 finish and four top-25 finishes.
Collins was an active member of the PGA of America organization, serving on the Board of Directors at the Section level including as President from 1978 to 1979. He went on to represent the Southern Ohio Section on the PGA of America Board of Directors as District 5 Director from 1983 to 1986. Collins was recognized for his outstanding commitment to the industry as the 1982 Southern Ohio PGA Golf Professional of the Year. He also received the SOPGA Professional Development Award in 1983, and the SOPGA Legacy Award in 2006. The 58-year PGA Member was elected to the SOPGA Hall of Fame in 1998.
Collins is survived by his wife Mary, three children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. The family will receive friends at Littleton & Rue Funeral Home (830 N. Limestone St., Springfield, Ohio 45503) from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Saturday, February 4, 2023. In leiu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to Southern Ohio PGA Junior Golf at Southern Ohio PGA Golf Foundation, 66 S Central Ave., Fairborn, Ohio 45324, or online at El Collins Memorial SOPGA Donation.