William "Buck" Hyndman 4th, golfer, insurance executive, car collector

William Hyndman 4th
William Hyndman 4th
Posted: July 15, 2012

William "Buck" Hyndman 4th, an accomplished amateur golfer, insurance executive, and car collector who built on his family's legacy in sports and business, died Tuesday, July 10, at his Doylestown home after a four-year battle with multiple myeloma. He was 72.

Mr. Hyndman, known as Bucky in the golfing world and as a gentleman on and off the links, showed his promise in the sport early. He won the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association during his senior year at Abington High School and the All-Army Golf Championship while serving in the Army's intelligence branch.

He had an impressive teacher: His father, William "Big Bill" Hyndman 3d, who died in 2001, was long one of the Philadelphia area's dominant amateur golfers, playing in dozens of national and international tournaments and winning two United States Golf Association championships.

The younger Mr. Hyndman racked up an impressive list of titles, too, including a championship at South Jersey's famed Pine Valley Golf Club, where he won the Crump Memorial Cup in 1968. Closer to his longtime home in Huntingdon Valley, he won the Huntingdon Valley Country Club championship 10 times. He qualified for eight USGA amateur championships.

Golf was often a family affair for Mr. Hyndman. At 21, playing with his father, he won the Anderson Memorial Four-Ball Invitational. He won the Golf Association of Philadelphia's Father-Son Championship five times - twice with Big Bill and three times with his son William "Bill" Hyndman 5th.

The family's prominence was never more evident than in 1971, when three Hyndmans qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship at Wilmington Country Club: Big Bill and both his sons, Mr. Hyndman and his brother, Tom.

"It may have been the only time they had three members of a family in the U.S. Amateur Championship," his son Bill Hyndman said.

The Hyndman Open, an annual tournament supported by the family for member professionals of the Philadelphia PGA, will be held Monday, July 16, at Huntingdon Valley.

Mr. Hyndman also followed his father into business, joining the insurance agency he founded, which was bought by the Willis Corroon Group in the 1990s. Until his death, Mr. Hyndman was a vice president at Willis of Pennsylvania.

Although Mr. Hyndman was fascinated by investing and the markets, the insurance business was never just business to him, his son said.

"He still had some of his original customers that were lifelong friends, dating back to the '60s," he said. "He was so personable that a lot of his customers became dear personal friends."

He was also known for those qualities among his fellow golfers, said Jack Connelly, head pro at Huntingdon Valley for 36 years before retiring in 2010.

"Bucky was one of the true gentlemen of the club," Connelly said. "He treated everybody the same. He was one of the real good eggs."

Connelly said Mr. Hyndman did not inherit his father's natural swing but reached for his accomplishments and did not worry about comparisons.

"He worked to become a good player, and he was always a good putter," Connelly said. "But I never thought he felt pressure to emulate what Big Bill did. They were two different individuals, but they were both gentlemen. The Hyndman name was synonymous with gentlemen."

Connelly recalled an incident that might have provoked other players but not the younger Mr. Hyndman. It occurred when he moved a marker on the green at the request of an opponent so that the opponent could putt, an ordinary courtesy.

But Mr. Hyndman forgot to return his ball to its original spot, and his opponent failed to remind him - also a common courtesy. The error cost him the hole, and it became clear immediately that his opponent did not share Mr. Hyndman's decency.

"After he putted, the guy said to Bucky, 'You lose the hole,' " Connelly said. "I think Huntingdon Valley wound up losing the match by a half-point. I would have been angry, but it didn't bother Bucky. He was a true gentleman."

In addition to his son, Mr. Hyndman is survived by his wife, Eloise; daughter Wendy Hyndman Combs; a sister; and five grandsons.

A memorial service is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, at Abington Presbyterian Church, 1082 Old York Rd., Abington. Burial will be private.

Contact Jeff Gelles

at 215-854-2776 or jgelles@phillynews.com.

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