For anyone who knew Jerry Lockwood, if he wasn’t spending time with his loving family, he was probably on the golf course.
As a young boy, Lockwood fell in love with the game. His family recalls that as a kid he was playing in the woods around Moon Brook Country Club when a member yelled out to him that he would pay him a quarter to carry around his bag.
“That first day of caddying led to many more days and saving his money to buy his own set of clubs,” said Lockwood’s daughter, Kristie Traverso. “He was even known to hitch hike if that is what it took to get a round of golf in.”
As a teenager, Lockwood continued to develop his talent, competing in, and winning, junior invitational tournaments across the region. As a student at Jamestown High School, he led his golf team to several victories and went on to play for one season at Jamestown Community College before earning a scholarship to play at the University of Kentucky. And then he met Jane Palmer.
It didn’t take long for the two to become inseparable, eventually marrying and raising their three children back home in Chautauqua County.
“We have many fond memories of growing up, but the second week of August was the annual Member-Guest Tournament (at Moon Brook Country Club) and it was like Christmas at our house,” Traverso remembers. “My dad’s partner, David Lincoln, would bring his family and we would all have fun! The wives would wear long dresses for the dinner dance on Saturday night and us kids would just swim and play all day.”
Over the years, Lockwood continued to golf. He received numerous distinctions and accolades, both locally and regionally. At Moon Brook Country Club, where he was a 70-year member, he set a course record and has the sole distinction of being the only member to win the Club Championship in three different decades – the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Golf became a family affair. His children lovingly remember accompanying him on the golf course, learning from him and playing with him. In later years, Lockwood mentored his grandchildren in their golf games, becoming a fixture at Maple Grove and Niagara University.
“Dad became a fixture at Maple Grove Golf and later Niagara University while rooting for Wil,” his son, Mark Lockwood said. “We all treasure these memories of him.”
When Lockwood passed away in August 2020, his family looked for a way to keep his legacy, and love of the game, alive. They worked with the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to create a scholarship that would inspire and support future golfers in Chautauqua County.
The Jerry Lockwood Golf Scholarship will be awarded annually, starting this fall, to graduating Chautauqua County high school seniors who participated on their school’s golf team.
“This scholarship means so much to us all. It is a fitting tribute to a man who loved golf, his family and Chautauqua County,” David Lockwood, his son, said. “We are so grateful to those who donated to help make this happen.