Born in Salem, Oregon, Herb Fritz was a naval air gunner in long range flying boats in the Pacific theater during World War II. After the war and, following graduation from the University of Washington and moving to Vancouver, B.C. in 1955, Fritz became a contractor and headed his own business. Along with six others, he developed Nico Wynd Estates, an upscale golf and residential development in White Rock, B.C., which includes nine-hole Nico Wynd Golf Course.
Fritz was a fine player on the senior amateur circuit. His ability in these competitions, which was also evidenced in friendly matches, stemmed from his unerring concentration. He enjoyed a fundamentally sound but unorthodox swing, and had the rare ability to tap years of experience to make prompt corrections when his golf swing went awry.
Helping the PNGA Through a Tough Period
Although Fritz's playing record is commendable, he will be recognized for his contributions to the PNGA during a crucial transitional period during the 1980's, when the association began to experience significant growth. It was at this time the USGA Slope Rating System was being introduced along with the USGA GHIN Handicap System. The PNGA was one of the early amateur golf associations to adopt both programs. While both of these services proved very beneficial for the PNGA and its members in the future, the change was significant and required much advanced promotion and education of PNGA members. In addition, it was in 1984 that the PNGA Women's Decision was born and many hours of meetings were devoted to working out the details to bring this about. If this were not enough, the PNGA inaugurated four new championships during Herb's years as PNGA President. Through it all, his leadership was steadfast.
Herb's wife, Mary Anne, gave some perspective during this tumultuous time. "Herb's years as a Director range from the tranquil time os the Sixties and Seventies to the rapid growth years of the Eighties. The inevitable stresses and strains of that development led to the fine, far-reaching, organization the PNGA is today. Herb was a steady, fair and capable President through some of the most controversial years. He gave much energy, time and miles traveled willingly through that period."
For those contributions and his fine competitive record, Herb Fritz was inducted into the Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Fame in 1997.