MOBILE, Ala. -- Local golf icon Marvin Russell Woodall III, better known to his friends as Woody, passed away January 29 at age 76. Woodall served as Director of Golf at the Country Club of Mobile …
MOBILE, Ala. -- Local golf icon Marvin Russell Woodall III, better known to his friends as Woody, passed away January 29 at age 76. Woodall served as Director of Golf at the Country Club of Mobile from 1975-2008.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Woodall won a football scholarship as a field goal kicker and attended Auburn University from 1959-1963. He kicked the first ever field goal in an Auburn-Alabama game; No. 9 Auburn went on to beat No. 6 ranked Alabama, 10-6. After Auburn, Woodall played for half a season in the Pro’s with the Dallas Cowboys before an injury ended his professional career.
Fortunately during his college years, he developed an interest in golf that eventually turned into a career. Woodall lived next door to Alan Kaufman, then the golf coach at UAB. Kaufman took an interest in the young athlete and gave him a job as his caddie.
Eventually, Woodall joined the PGA and played about 35 tournaments in the early sixties. He described his experience, “The way it worked back then was that you qualified on Monday for that week’s event, but only the top fifty players got paid on Sunday. I did well, but it was hard to break into that top group. After a while the idea of becoming a club Pro and earning a weekly paycheck looked better and better, so that’s what I did.”
During his lifetime, Woodall won many awards both professionally and personally. Among them were being inducted into the Dixie Section of the PGA Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. He was also a decorated Vietnam War hero being awarded a Purple Heart in 1969.
Over the years I interviewed Woody many times and got to know and like him. My favorite remembrances were of him and his lifelong friend Joe Namath. Woody and the legendary Broadway Joe shared many great times and visited each other often.
Woodall is survived by his wife of 52 years, Charlotte, loving family and friends.