Charley Stine, 81, founder of Florida Golfweek and later Golfweek Magazine, died Tuesday, March 3 at Good Shepherd Hospice in Auburndale, Fla. He had been hospitalized for the past two weeks with a failing heart and pneumonia.
A lifelong newspaper writer, editor and publisher, Charles William Stine launched the fledgling Florida GolfweeK from his garage in Winter Haven, Fla., on March 13, 1975. He professed, “Florida has more golfers, golf courses and tournaments than any other state in the country, and it should have its own golf publication to cover it.”
He funded the publication from his salary as the managing editor of the Winter Haven News Chief and that of his wife, Jackie, who was a dental hygienist. Jackie was at his side when he passed away. He never missed a week of publishing, even when he didn’t have the money for the next issue. Gradually, he got several small investors to help with his vision and enlisted sportswriters to send him copy from all over the state.
In 1983, as its popularity and coverage grew, “Florida” was dropped from the name and the publication expanded to cover all of the southeastern U.S. In 1986, it expanded to national coverage, and in 1990 the publication was sold to Rance Crain of Turnstile Publications, and Mr. Stine semi-retired.
Mr. Stine, who lived in Haines City, FL, is survived by Jackie, his wife of 35 years; seven children and two step-children; 17 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. He was born June 27, 1927, in Somerset, Ohio, the only child of Thomas L. and Alma Stine. He briefly attended Ohio University and served in the U.S. Navy before receiving a medical discharge. He began his journalism career immediately after his release from the Navy and worked at many weekly and daily newspapers throughout Ohio and Indiana.
“Dad always felt it was Golfweek’s job to report every name, every score, every hometown from every tournament in the country, pro and amateur alike,” said his oldest son, Tom. “He took great pride in speaking out in his columns about issues concerning the golf industry and the game. Oftentimes, he was critical of industry leaders or organizations, which caused heartburn among our advertising sales people. But he would not buckle to generally accepted reasoning. He always asked, ‘Why?’ He was not always right, but he always had an opinion.”
His son, Bill, an owner and operator of six golf courses in Florida, said, “Dad loved golf, but he loved the business more than the game. He liked golf architects and club professionals, and amateurs more than pros. He liked people ‘of’ golf more than people who just talked about golf.”