Widely acclaimed as “the greatest natural golfer” in the century-old history of Denver Country Club, William D. P. Carey II never took a golf lesson in his life.
Yet Bill has done and won so much in the great old game that it would take hours to chart it. His father, William D. P. Carey, and uncle, Emerson, found golf so enchanting that they founded famed Prairie Dunes Club in 1937 on their family’s property in Hutchinson, Kan., where Bill and cousin Duke (Emerson III) lit their competitive fires and cut their first wedges. Bill would win the club title an impressive four times.
Duke’s family moved to Denver in 1939 and while Bill was finishing a World War II session with the Marines, the younger Duke was winning three DCC club championships (1947-49) before he turned 21.
Bill moved to Denver in 1950 and won the DCC championship his first year. Between 1947 and ’75, the Careys stroked off with 24 DCC championships, eight of them by Bill. Lacking formal lessons, Bill became notorious for playing courses every way but as designed, thus picking up the sobriquet of “Wild Bill.” Creative shot-making was his trademark.
He won the popular and power-packed old Park Hill Invitational a record five times, the Colorado Stroke Play championship in 1966, and had a banner year in 1969 when he qualified for the U.S. Amateur at Oakmont and the U.S. Open at Houston. He also became the youngest Denver Country Club president with his election in 1957 at the age of 32.
Carey died at the age of 78 in 2003, four years before his induction into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame.