TWO NEW INDUCTEES
Frank Nobilo and Greg Turner were last month inducted into the New Zealand Golf Hall of Fame.
Frank Nobilo and Greg Turner are the latest inductees into the NZ Golf Hall of Fame.
The pair who combined for their famous International team win at the 1998 Presidents Cup in Melbourne, were both inducted at an emotional dinner in Wellington late October just before the commencement of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.
They join a select group of Arthur Duncan, Charles Howden, Oliver Hollis, Stuart Jones and New Zealand's only major tournament winners Sir Bob Charles and Michael Campbell in the Hall of Fame.
Frank Nobilo is now one of world golf's most respected television analysts and Greg Turner is a renowned course designer, and occasional writer for this magazine, who oversaw the revamp of Royal Wellington, which was the host of the prestigious APAC event.
Nobilo who competed in 27 major championships, with his best result a fourth placing at the US Masters in 1996, remains the only New Zealander to have finished in the top-10 of all four majors. He showed raw emotion after what was a special night for him and his family who sent videos of support.
“It's a true honour to be inducted and this means a lot to me and my family, it's been a very humbling and amazing evening,” said Nobilo.
He played in three Presidents Cups, twice as assistant captain, and represented New Zealand in 11 Dunhill Cups and 12 World Cups before he was forced to retire early in 2004 with ongoing back pain.
Turner carried the New Zealand flag on the European Tour for nearly 20 years. He won 12 professional tournaments, four on the European Tour and six on the Australasian Tour which included victories at the New Zealand Open in 1989 and 1997. (Publisher note. I was privileged to stand alongside Greg as he played in his final PGA event, and hit his final 18th hole drive at Coolum all those years ago!)
“To be compared alongside these names is something very special. This game has given so much to me and so many memories, so I cannot thank everyone enough for being here and supporting me,” said Turner.
He joined Nobilo in the International team in the 1998 Presidents Cup where they combined to beat Davis Love and Justin Leonard in the foursomes on the way to the International team's only victory over the United States.
Turner retired relatively young from the pro ranks, compared to today, and started a golf course design company. His influence is evident at Millbrook, Royal Wellington, Harewood, Cromwell, Russley and a growing number of other layouts. He was also on the Australasian PGA Board of Directors for a long time.
Nobilo and Turner have left their mark on the game in New Zealand. As multiple winners on tours around the world to off the course in design and broadcasting, they remain large influencers of the game in this country.
Greg Turner (born 21 February 1963) is a New Zealand professional golfer. Turner was born in Dunedin. He attended the University of Oklahoma in the United States but spent most of his career on the PGA Tour of Australasia and the European Tour. He won four tournaments on the European Tour and achieved a career best ranking of 18th on the European Tour Order of Merit in 1997. He has represented New Zealand in international competitions many times and was one of Peter Thomson's two wild card selections (along with Frank Nobilo) for the winning International Team in the 1998 Presidents Cup. Turner also represented New Zealand at the Eisenhower Trophy in 1982 and 1984
Since retiring from tournament golf, Turner has set up a golf course design and corporate hospitality business. He is also active in the promotion of a series of tournaments in New Zealand for both amateur and professional golfers. His influence is evident at Millbrook, Royal Wellington, Harewood, Cromwell, Russley and a growing number of other course layouts. He was also on the Australasian PGA Board of Directors for a long time.
Turner's brothers are former national cricket captain Glenn Turner and award-winning poet Brian Turner. His sister-in-law Sukhi Turner is a former mayor of Dunedin.
PGA Tour of Australasia wins (6) • 1984 New Zealand
PGA Championship • 1989 New Zealand Open • 1990 Johnnie Walker
Australian Classic • 1991 Daikyo Palm Meadows Cup • 1997 New Zealand Open • 1999 Australian
PGA Championship • Other wins (2) • 1985 Fiji Open • 1986 Singapore Open Frank Ivan Joseph Nobilo, CNZM (born on 14 May 1960) is a professional golfer. Nobilo had a successful playing career, winning 15 pro tournaments around the world. He was at his peak during the mid-1990s when he also produced strong finishes in all four major championships.
Since his 2003 retirement, Nobilo has worked as a television announcer for golf events.
Nobilo was born in Auckland, of Croatian and Italian descent, and is the great grandson of an Italian pirate. At birth, his right leg was shorter than his left, which has caused him some back problems throughout his life. He was educated at St Peter's College in Auckland where he was persuaded to play golf.
Nobilo and his wife, Selena, married in 1998 and awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM). He has a daughter, Bianca Nobilo, from a previous marriage. Nobilo works as an ambassador for The House of Nobilo, one of New Zealand's leading wineries and founded by one of his relatives Nikola Nobilo.
In 1978, Nobilo won the New Zealand Amateur Championship at 18, the second-youngest winner of this title. He turned professional in November 1979. His first professional win came in 1982 at the New South Wales PGA Championship on the PGA Tour of Australasia.
Nobilo joined the European Tour in 1985 as a full-time player, having played in selected events in 1982 and 1983. He recorded his first win on the Tour in the 1988 PLM Open (not to be confused with the KLM Open). Nobilo subsequently won four other European Tour events and finished inside the top 50 on the Order of Merit every season from 1988 to 1996, with a best of 14th place in 1993.
After strong performances in all the majors, including a 4th-place finish in the Masters Tournament and a tie for 8th in the PGA Championship, Nobilo left Europe at the end of 1996 and joined the United States-based PGA Tour for the following season. He won the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic during his rookie season, which proved to be his only win on that tour. He has featured in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings.
Nobilo played for the International Team in each of the first three Presidents Cups (1994, 1996, 1998). He contributed significantly to the international appeal of the event, when in 1998, and paired with Greg Turner, he holed a 70-foot putt on the final green to defeat the American pairing.
Upon retiring from tournament golf in 2003, Nobilo joined the Golf Channel for studio coverage. He has been a key member of the Live From team at the major championships. From 2012-2014, he occasionally filled in for Peter Jacobsen on NBC's golf.
In 2015, Nobilo joined CBS's golf coverage, replacing Peter Oosterhuis. Like Oosterhuis did, he worked only the cable coverage of about half of CBS's events, while working on the network coverage of the other half, including the Masters and PGA Championship. He remained on Live From on Golf Channel. Nobilo made his CBS debut at the 2015 Phoenix Open.
Frank Nobilo and Greg Turner during the World Cup of Golf at the Buenos Aires Golf Club in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 8 December 2000. Credit: Jonathan Ferrey ALLSPORT.
Greg Turner (L) and Frank Nobilo enter the Golf Hall of Fame.