Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame Names Allara and Allison To 2017 Class

Jack Allara (L) and Jake Allison at the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame banquet November 14 at Roanoke Country Club. They became the hall’s 48th and 49th members.

The Roanoke Valley Golf Association has named a pair of long-time golfing standouts as their newest members of the RVGA Hall of Fame.

You could say these were two that clearly made the “A” list.

Jack Allara II and Jake Allison became the 48th and 49th members to be inducted into the Hall at a special Hall of Fame banquet held November 14th at the Roanoke Country Club ballroom.

Allara, a West Virginia native, moved to Roanoke in 1984 to establish his dentistry practice in Botetourt County. Thirty-three years later, he’s still taking care of his patient’s teeth and from that initial arrival in 1984 his golf kept on improving.

His first try at a state major came in 1988 in the Virginia State Golf Association Four-Ball Championship played at The Waterfront course at Smith Mountain Lake. In 1990, Allara and partner Charlie Turner took home the championship trophy in the same event played at Hidden Valley Country Club.

That got the ball rolling and Allara has been among the best ever since, winning nearly 30 state titles to go along with a highlight reel of local majors. He won Roanoke Valley Hall of Fame in 2001 and added the Hall of Fame Senior title in 2013 when he nearly holed a wedge shot on the final hole at Roanoke Country Club to edge out charging Bill Nunnenkamp. He’s one of only three players to ever accomplish the feat of winning both titles, joining Roanoke golf legends Ned Baber and Dicky Linkous.

For Jake Allison, the rise to the top of local golf came much earlier.

Allison began playing on the Northside High School golf team in the late 1970s where he won the State Group AAA golf title in 1979 (the highest high school classification at the time). After graduating from Northside in 1981, he went on to play at Old Dominion and eventually Virginia Tech where he was honored as Tech’s first golf academic All-American and won the state intercollegiate title in 1985.

He qualified for the U.S. Amateur in 1994 at TPC Sawgrass in Florida.

2017 RVGHOF Players of the Year (L-R) Sue Smith, Ross Funderburke, Melissa Meng, Justin Young and Van McCarter (not pictured- Lyndsey Hunnell and Keith Decker)

Allison’s golf game continued its rise, and he won consecutive Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame championships in 1995-96 to go along with his Roanoke Valley Amateur title he had previously won in 1984. He has won 10 local club championships, including 7 at Roanoke Country Club, 2 at the former Countryside Golf Club and once at Ballyhack. That’s spreading your talent around.

Today, Allison, in his mid-50s, works for Norfolk Southern in Norfolk, Virginia. He began with the railroad giant in 1993.

Founded in 1973, the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame serves to promote the game of golf in and around Roanoke, Virginia. The Hall of Fame, which includes 12 public and private clubs, provides annual scholarships and honors outstanding high school players and coaches each year. It administers a points ranking system, presents certificates of merit and inducts members who have made an outstanding contribution to golf in the valley.

The annual Hall of Fame tournaments bring together the Roanoke Valley’s top amateur men, women, junior, senior and super senior golfers each summer for team and individual competition.

Bill Turner