Glenn Johnson, the son of a Great Lakes Ship Captain, was a sailor and multi-sport athlete, including playing quarterback at Michigan State University (then Michigan State College) before taking up golf seriously.
The Grosse Ile Country Club legend won five Michigan Amateur Championships, including three consecutive from 1954 to ’56, a GAM Championship and a GAM Senior Championship and was named the “Golfer of the Decade” for the 1950s by the Golf Association of Michigan. At one point he had won 23 consecutive matches in the Michigan Amateur before falling in the semifinals in 1957, and he qualified for the state championship 23 consecutive times and 25 overall. His state championship match play record was 64-20.
He played well on the national level, too, qualifying for and playing in 17 United States Golf Association championships, including four U.S. Opens and five U.S. Amateurs. He was the low amateur at the 1981 U.S. Senior Open won by Jack Nicklaus at Oakland Hills Country Club.
Known for his short game and putting – he one-putted the last four holes at Oakland Hills to be low amateur in ’81 – Johnson has the scoreboard at Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs named in his honor.
In addition to his wins, he is remembered for a keen wit and colorful wardrobe on and off the course, and he served in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot and instructor and also the U.S. Coast Guard. He died in 2014 at the age of 92.