Sam Parks (1909-1997) surprised the golf world when, as the golf professional at South Hills Country Club, won the 1935 U.S. Open at Oakmont defeating the likes of Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Henry Picard, Horton Smith, Bobby Cruickshank, and Craig Wood. As a youngster at Highland Country Club, he took lessons from Gene Sarazen during Sarazen’s brief stay at Highland. Parks won the 1926 West Penn Junior. While a student at the University of Pittsburgh, he was influential in the Panthers starting their varsity golf program. His amateur career included a runner-up finish in the 1931 North & South Amateur.
After his U.S. Open title, he won both the West Penn Open and Tri-State Section championships in 1940. He won two more Section championships, then left the golf business in 1942 to accept a job with US Steel. He later became a member at Oakmont in 1947. Parks was a volunteer chair for scoring during the 1962 U.S. Open and 1969 U.S. Amateur, both at Oakmont. He attended the 1994 U.S. Open at Oakmont as a special guest of the club.