Andy Bean

Student-Athlete
Inducted 2015

Growing up on Jekyll Island on the Georgia coast, Andy Bean started playing golf when he was three years old. He began his high school career at Glynn Academy in Georgia before moving to Lakeland for his junior and senior years where he attended Lakeland High School. After graduating from LHS, he went on to the University of Florida. And during his four years with the Gators, Bean earned All-American and All-SEC honors in 1973, 1974 and 1975, and was a member of UF’s 1973 national championship team. During this time he also claimed four amateur tournament crowns.

Since turning professional, Bean has 18 career professional wins, including 11 PGA Tour tournament victories. He also has two Japan Golf Tour wins and three Champions Tour triumphs. Bean had a 10-year stretch from 1977-1986 where he finished in the top 35 on the money list and was in the top seven in five of those years. He was also a member of two Ryder Cup teams in 1979 and 1987, and spent several weeks ranked in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings in 1986 and 1987. He was a runner-up on three separate occasions at PGA Tour major tournaments: the 1980 PGA Championship behind Jack Nicklaus, the 1983 British Open one stroke behind Tom Watson, and the 1989 PGA Championship one stroke behind Payne Stewart.

He is also well-known for his strong belief in his ability (“I always think I can beat anybody,” Bean once told Sports Illustrated in a 1979 interview) and for how consistently straight he struck the ball. His former caddie Ray Medlin rarely watched Bean’s tee shots. “Why?”, said Medlin. “I know he’s going to be in the fairway.”

For his accomplishments along with his class, he has been inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame (1978), the Florida Sports Hall of Fame (2000) and the Polk County Sports Hall of Fame (2013). With career earnings of more than $6 million, Bean has staked his claim as being one of the most successful golfers of the past half century.

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