Many may remember him as the quarterback who led Bradwell Institute to an undefeated regular season in 1979, but Hal Johnson long has had another passion.
It’s called golf.
On Sunday, Johnson shot a tournament-low round of 70 to earn the City of Macon Championship and finished a stroke behind Shawn Hodge in the Middle Georgia Championship.
“This is the first time I won the City Of Macon Championship,” he said. “I placed second three or four times, but it’s the first time I won.”
Johnson said this weekend’s tournament in Macon actually was three tournaments in one. It’s the City of Macon Championship, the Middle Georgia Championship and the Middle Georgia Senior Championship.
After winning the City of Macon Championship, Johnson applied pressure to Hodge in the back nine during the Middle Georgia Championship.
“He had to make about a 10-footer on the last hole to avoid a playoff and to his credit, he did,” Johnson said. “It was a good tournament. I was happy with the way I played. I wish I had one more shot in there but I was happy with the way I played.”
Johnson played football for the Tigers under the guidance of his father, coach Clifford Johnson. The younger Johnson played on the Tigers golf team as well, but didn’t play sports at the University of Georgia.
He said he currently competes in about 10-12 tournaments a year and credits his father for his golf skills.
“From the time I could walk, I followed my dad around while he was playing,” Johnson said. “He played all around the Southeast while I was growing up and he was the one that got me hooked. When I got old enough, he and I played in some tournaments together and I just kept it up over the years.”
Johnson, a pharmacist, has lived in Macon for more than 20 years and has competed in a number of state amateur championships.
His next tournament will be the first weekend of July in Brunswick.
Clifford Johnson coached at BI for 17 years and compiled a record of 131-60-3, according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association. He was inducted into the Liberty County Athletic Hall of Fame in December 2004.