William A. Strausbaugh Jr., 76, the golf professional emeritus of the Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, where he had worked since 1968, died of cancer Sept. 11 at his home in Gaithersburg.
Mr. Strausbaugh was a local golf legend. He not only coached Washington's rich and powerful but also inspired, coached and mentored talented youth. He also was the pro whom many of golf's leading professionals consulted when tournament play brought them to the Washington area.
Among the professional players he coached was Tom Kite. He also had been a teacher and mentor to such local pros as Jim Fitzgerald at Chevy Chase Country Club and Dennis Satyshur at Caves Valley Country Club in Baltimore.
Mr. Strausbaugh spent a lifetime as a golf pro in Maryland, not only inspiring and teaching but also serving as a leader in the Professional Golfers' Association and collecting an impressive array of awards.
Mr. Strausbaugh, who served as PGA national vice president in 1975, was a past chairman of the PGA of America club relations and employment committee. He served as president of the Middle Atlantic PGA from 1974 to 1977 and was inducted into the organization's Hall of Fame in 1989.
He was named PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1966 and PGA Teacher of the Year in 1992. He also received the organization's Horton Smith Award for all-around excellence and contributions to professional education, and the National Golf Foundation's Joe Graffis Award.
In 1979, in recognition of Mr. Strausbaugh's training of young golf professionals, the PGA of America established an award in his name. The Bill Strausbaugh Jr. Award is presented annually to a club professional.
Mr. Strausbaugh had represented the PGA of America in this country and abroad as a teacher and program administrator. He had conducted seminars and had lectured overseas in Europe, Canada and Japan.
A Baltimore native, he served with the Marine Corps aboard the carrier Wasp during World War II. After graduating from Loyola College in Baltimore in 1946, he became an assistant pro at the Country Club of Maryland. From 1955 to 1961, he was head professional at Fountain Head Country Club in Hagerstown. He then served as head pro at Turf Valley Country Club in Baltimore until taking over as head pro at Columbia. He was named golf professional emeritus in 1995.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Dorothy Nicholson Strausbaugh of Gaithersburg; six children, Timothy Strausbaugh of Taylorsville, Theresa Strausbaugh of Mount Airy, Md., Joan and Matthew Strausbaugh, both of Washington, and Lucy Strausbaugh and Brother Stephen Strausbaugh CFX, both of Baltimore; and four grandchildren.