William D P Carey II
2007 Colorado Golf Hall of Fame Inductee
Widely acclaimed "the greatest natural golfer" in the century-old history of Denver Country Club, William D. P. Carey II was a "natural" for induction into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame. The wonder is that it took until 2007 for this most deserved recognition, four years after his passing. Bill, who never took a golf lesson in his life, has done and won so much in the great old game that it would take hours to chart it. Charles Bonniwell needed a virtual chapter in his excellent 100-year history of Denver CC to delineate Carey's exploits. Knowing the roots of the fascinating Carey Golfing Clan, however, certainly sets the scene. Grandfather Emerson Carey, who discovered salt beds in his Hutchinson, Kansas, property, liked the game. His sons Emerson II and William D. P.Carey, were so enchanted with golf they founded famed Prairie Dunes Club in 1937 in Hutchinson, where Bill and cousin Duke (Emerson III) lit their competitive fires and cut their first wedges. 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 Denver CC championships (1947-49) before he turned 21.
The entire Carey clan became trophy magnates, but it was Bill who stormed onto the scene once he moved to Denver in 1950 and won the Denver CC championship his first year. In 28 years, 1947-75, the Carey's stroked off with 24 DCC championships, eight of them by Bill. Known for being disciplined and meticulous as much as for never having taken a lesson in his life, he became notorious for playing courses every way but as designed, thus picking up the sobriquet of "Wild Bill." He may have had a tiger in his tank even before the modern day Eldrick came along because "creative shot-making" was "Wild Bill's" trademark.
Born in Oxford, England, in 1925 where his father was studying as a Rhodes Scholar, Bill launched his golfing career winning the Eastern Collegiate while attending Cornell, the family alma mater. Not to be overlooked was prepping at Prairie Dunes Club, regularly rated one of the top 20 courses in the world and where he won the club title an impressive four times.
However, once ensconced in Denver with a Muzak franchise in Boulder/Denver, Carey became a fixture on the amateur tournament circuit. 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. Then again, the Carey name is synonymous with Denver CC. While Bill has passed away, daughter Meegan lives in Denver with daughter Katie, 19, and sons Mark, 21, and Timmy 10. "We're all hackers at Denver CC; none of us had dad's ability," Meegan insisted. Son David and wife Kathy Carey live in Hawaii with daughters Jessica and Shannon and sons Conner and Maverick.