Georgia superintendent and wife have heart attacks in back-to-back weeks

By |  October 13, 2014 0 Comments

We’re very happy to report that Anthony Williams, CGCS, CGM, director of grounds at Stone Mountain (Ga.) GC is alive. And, we’re happy to report his wife, Phyllis, is also alive.

Two weeks ago, Phyllis Williams suffered a heart attack in Hilton Head Island, S.C., the day before the Sustainability in Golf conference (where Anthony was speaking as well as reporting on on behalf of Golfdom as our environmental editor.) The ambulance was called in time, and Phyllis survived a major heart attack thanks to the prompt care of her family, the local emergency response team and the surgeons.

Then last week, Anthony felt a pain in his chest. Not long after he was in a helicopter, getting life-flighted to the hospital for emergency open-heart surgery.

“I’ve never seen Atlanta from that angle before,” laughs Williams, now recovering in his hospital room.

The headline is misleading here and I should clarify that Anthony technically didn’t have a heart attack, but an “aortic embolism.” Still, the result was a helicopter ride and emergency open-heart surgery, so I think you’ll forgive my creative liberty.

Some couples like to do everything together, right? But heart attacks?

Anthony and Phyllis’ son Luke said it best when he called me over the weekend to alert me to what had happened. “I told them, if you guys wanted to do something together, go fishing.”

Both Phyllis and Anthony are recovering nicely. What a week, though — both of these heart ailments could have resulted in a very different ending, something Anthony realizes.

Anthony reports that he doesn’t recommend open-heart surgery for anyone, and he thanks everyone for their support and prayers. He says it’ll be a while before he’s driving a golf cart again, but he and his wife are still alive, and that’s what has him thankful.

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About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at

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