Pat Browne, Jr. – Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame
Jesuit High School/Tulane University
After a standout athletic career at Jesuit and Tulane, Pat Browne, Jr., became one of the top blind golfers in the world. Throughout his career, he posted 65 blind golf tournament victories around the world.
Browne was a star athlete at Jesuit in the late 1940s, lettering in basketball, baseball and golf. He earned all-state honors in baseball and was selected to the American Legion All Star Team after posting a league-leading batting average of .484. After graduating in 1950, he continued his athletic success at Tulane, where he lettered three times in both golf and basketball and was named captain of each team for two years. He set Tulane’s single-game scoring record during his senior year.
Upon receiving his Law Degree from Tulane in 1956, he practiced law for eighteen years in New Orleans, before becoming President and C.E.O of Hibernia Homestead Bank, an office he held for thirty years.
In 1966, lost his sight and sustained multiple injuries as a result of an automobile accident. After a long recovery process he was introduced to the idea of blind golf by his close friend, Henry Sarpy.
A 2-handicap prior to his accident, he eventually won his first USBGA National Championship with Henry as his coach in 1975. Beginning in 1978, Browne and his coach, Gerry Barousse, won the USBGA National Championship 20 consecutive years. When his win streak was snapped, he wasn’t done as he went on to win two more championships – one with David Clark as his coach, and, most recently in 2005, with his son Patrick at his side.
He also won 18 titles at the Ken Venturi Guiding Eyes Golf Classic, which has been referred to as the “Masters of Blind Golf” due to its invitational nature.
Browne recorded the lowest four consecutive rounds ever by a blind golfer, shooting rounds of 75, 74, 79, 75 at Mission Hills Golf Club in Palm Springs, California. He and Barousse shot 85 at St. Andrews and 80 at Pinehurst, as well as recording the lowest-ever nine holes of competitive blind golf, shooting an even-par 36 on the back nine of the USBGA National Championship in Greensboro, N.C.
In 1988, the United States Golf Writers Association presented Browne with the Ben Hogan Award in Augusta, Ga., during the Masters. This award is presented to a golfer who has overcome great adversity.
In 2007, New York Metropolitan Golf Writers Association presented Pat with the Mary Bea Porter Award, which “recognizes an individual in golf who, through a heroic or humanitarian act, saves or betters the lives of others.”
Browne was inducted into the United States Blind Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2008. He is also a member of the Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.