Born July 19, 1937, in Waterloo, Iowa, David “Duff” Lawrence would travel far from the heart of the Midwest to spend his lifetime compiling a highly noteworthy golf resume in various regions throughout the United States. He was the Arizona state high school champion in 1954 and 1955, which led to his f=receipt of the first golf scholarship ever awarded by Arizona State University. Two years later he was named the school’s first All American golfer. Duff also finished as the low amateur in the 1957 Phoenix and Tucson Opens, and the Arizona State recognized him as their Athlete of The Year in 1959. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, Duff served his country as a soldier in the U.S. Army from 1960-1962. During this time, he was a member of the All-Army golf team for two years, and he also won the Los Angeles City Amateur Championship, the 1961 California Open, and the 1962 Nevada Open.
Duff claimed over twenty five amateur invitational titles before turning professional and competing full-time on the PGA Tour in 1963 and 1964. He won the 1963 Iowa Masters before making the making the transition to a long and distinguished career as a club professional. His first position in the club pro ranks was that of assistant professional at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio. While at Scioto, Duff was a two-time runner up in the Ohio Open, and he qualified for the 1965 U.S. Open at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, where he succeeded in making the cut. In 1967 he became the head professional at New Orleans Country Club, and the following year he won the Louisiana PGA Championship. He then returned to Ohio in 1969 for a fifteen year tenure as the head professional at Cleveland’s storied Canterbury Golf Club. During his years at Canterbury, Duff served as an officer of the Northern Ohio PGA section in 1972 and 1973 and won the section’s Player of the Year award in 1974. He served as the host professional for the 55th PGA Championship in 1973 (won by Jack Nicklaus) and the 78th U.S. Amateur Championship in 1979 (won by Mark O’Meara). Duff also served as a member of the national PGA Rules Committee from 1974-1982, and he won Sport’s Illustrated’s 1980 Merchandiser of the Year award for Ohio private clubs. In 1984, he ventured back to the Southwest when he was named the head professional at Desert Highlands Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. He became the Director of Golf at the Karsten Course at his alma mater, Arizona State University, in 1989, then moved on in 1991 to serve as the head professional at Paradise Valley Country Club, where he remained until retiring in 2003.
Duff was honored to receive the PGA’s 1999 Southwest section Horton Smith award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the development and improvement=ent of educational opportunities for his fellow PGA of America professionals. He has previously been inducted into the Northern Ohio PGA Hall of Fame, the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame, and the Waterloo, Iowa Golf Hall of Fame.