He honed his golf skills in Indiana and his business and executive skills in the 24 years he served at Firestone Country Club, going from club pro to director of golf to general manager. Earlier this summer Don Padgett became president of Pinehurst, one of the most prestigious golf complexes in the U.S. He was quoted in a Beacon Journal story at the time as saying “I feel I grew from a young man to a man at Firestone. I had so many tremendous life experiences in Akron, Ohio. I could not have been in a better place. And to see Firestone in 1980 and to see what it is today is extremely rewarding.” It was in 1980 that Padgett had left Woodland Country Club in Carmel, IN to come to Firestone. To an already famous layout, the West Course was added while he was in charge. Padgett had an excellent college career at Indiana University. He was the Big 10 champion in 1969 and was a member the conference championship team in 1970, earning All-American honors both years. He was also the 1971 Indiana amateur champion and the following year Padgett won the Indiana Open. He repeated that victory in 1975, a banner year for Padgett, as he pulled off a rare fete by winning the state stroke, match play and the Jeffersonville Open tournaments as well. A member of the PGA for 28 years, Padgett played the tour in 1972, ‘73 and ‘74. He has played in 10 major championships, three U.S. Opens and seven PGA tournaments and made the cut in five. Padgett has been a member of four PGA Cup teams, became a two state champion when he won the 1988 Ohio Open. and is a four-time winner of the Northern Ohio PGA section championship. Padgett is a member of the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame, the Delaware County (IN) Sports Hall of Fame and the Northern Ohio PGA Hall of Fame.