ROBERT "Bob" HEATON
Golf may be the only sport in which players can improve with age. Living proof for that claim is Bob Heaton. As a senior at Antioch High School, he helped the Panther golf team to an undefeated season in 1957, playing alongside teammate Wayne Sleppy, a 2008 Sports Legends inductee. Five decades later, Bob has built an amateur golfing career that may never be matched by another local player.The Antioch native was born in 1939 on Texas Street in a house his father built. Bob graduated from DVC in 1960, then joined the U.S. Army in 1961, stationed in Japan. During his stint in uniform, he won numerous tournaments, including the U.S. Army Pacific, and then represented the Army in Atlanta in 1964, in a tournament won by Bob’s roommate Orville Moody, who became a U.S. Open Winner in 1969. After the Army, Bob built a career as a successful Antioch real estate broker while simultaneously building his resume of golfing accomplishments. He won Antioch and Pittsburg city tournaments multiple times and was the 1966 Northern California Golf Association Public Links champion. Bob turned professional at age 50 to join the Senior Tour, then returned to amateur status when he was 55. Since then he’s played in two USGA Senior Opens, seven USGA Senior Amateur Tournaments between 1997-2004 and two British Senior Amateurs. Playing against Bob in those tournaments were golf legends like Jack Nicklaus, J.C. Sneed, Gary Player, “ChiChi” Rodriguez, Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino. Bob has personally played with Alan Gieberger, Bob Murphy and Ray Floyd. The year 2000 was an endurance contest; Bob played in 49 events, placing in 27 of them and winning eight, earning the nickname “California Ironman” from USGA magazine. That year Bob earned his second NCGA Player of the Year honor (he also won in 1999) and set a record for points earned with 933. Bob has won more than 100 tournaments in his career, among them; NCGA Public Links and Senior Championship, Northern California Senior Open, Alameda Commuters, Sacramento City and County, Contra Costa County and six father-son tournaments with his son, Rob. Bob continues to play tournament golf and may add even more holes-in-one to his lifetime total of 17.