Sam Kocsis, one of three Kocsis brothers in the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, is the only Michigan native to win the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, a longtime national amateur championship that is no longer conducted. He topped Lewis Bean 2-up in the 1955 final match of the championship at Coffin Golf Course in Indianapolis, besting a then-record of 2,007 entrants.
As a junior golfer, Kocsis won the 1939 Western Junior Championship, hosted that year at the University of Michigan Golf Course, and two years later in 1941 won the Michigan Amateur Championship at Belvedere Golf Club. In 1957 he reached the third round of the U.S. Amateur Championship before being topped by a young Jack Nicklaus. Kocsis continued to play well into his senior years and won the 1984 Michigan Senior Open at age 65.
His more famous brother Chuck, called him one of the best players who never practiced. Like his brothers, Chuck and Emerick, he caddied as a youngster and was a standout golfer for Redford High School. Later, he played collegiate golf for the University of Detroit.
Kocsis served in the U.S. Army Air Corps at the end of World War II and worked in the steel and tool and die industries. He founded the Samuel D. Kocsis Foundry. A public course golfer for many years, he eventually became a lifetime member of Atlas Valley Country Club. He was inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame on his birthday (Aug. 23) in 1987, and he died in 2013 at the age of 93.
Year inducted: 1987