Birthdate: November 1, 1940
High School: Fairmont (1958)
Height & Weight: 5-foot-10, 158
College: University of Dayton (1958-x)
The son of Bill “Bones” Zimmerman and Marion Zimmerman, Bobby grew up in a house on Melrose Avenue near Community Golf Course. His younger brother, Mike Zimmerman, also became a golf professional. He was head pro at Kittyhawk Golf Course in 1998 when he died in an auto accident.
Won Dayton City Match Play Championship in 1957 at age 16, defeating John Blesi, 4 and 3, at Walnut Grove CC.
Runner-up in 1958 City Match Play Championship at age 17, losing to Jack Zimmerman (no relation), 4 and 3, at Wright-Patterson.
Won the 1958 Ohio High School golf championship by 12 strokes, posting scores of 76 and 70 for a 146 total. (His Fairmont team was runner-up).
While Jack Nicklaus won individual title in 1956 and 1957 for Upper Arlington High School, Zimmerman finished fifth in 1956 and was runner-up to Nicklaus in 1957.
Turned professional in 1959. Was in the U.S. in Army from December, 1962, to 1964, and spent much of that time working at military golf courses.
Played on PGA Tour in 1965, 1966 and 1967. Made Senior PGA Tour appearances from 1991 through 2001. Played full-time in 1994 and 1995, earning $82,822 in 1994 and $139,988 in 1995.
Zimmerman joined the Tournament Players Tour (predecessor of the PGA Tour) in 1965. He was sponsored by 37 members of Moraine Country Club. Playing in 24 tournaments, he finished 66th on the money list with earnings of $16,000.
Zimmerman returned to the tour in 1966. He finished sixth in his second event – the San Diego Open – but won only $5,713 in prize money the rest of the year.
Zimmerman’s biggest check on tour was $3,500 for a seventh place finish in the 1965 Buick Open. He left the tour in 1967 and took a job as pro at Hidden Valley Lake in Indiana for three years.
“I got to play with all of the great players,” he said. “I played in four U.S. Opens and two U.S. Senior Opens.”
Before going on tour Zimmerman worked as an assistant to head golf professional Tommy Bryant at Moraine Country Club. When Bryant retired, Zimmerman was one of the five candidates interviewed for his job. “That was my dream job,” Zimmerman said.
He thought he might get the assignment, but it went to Rudy Gimbrone, who spent much of his life at Moraine before turning over the job in 1997 to the present pro, Brent Sipe, who had been his assistant.
Zimmerman spent several years as a salesman for Ram Golf and Dexter shoes, but he got the itch to play tournament golf again in 1992 when he was 50 years old and eligible for the Senior PGA Tour.
“I had to make a choice on whether to work or play golf,” He said. “If I go down and qualify for the tour this year, I’m going to play golf.”
Zimmerman got his card for the 1994 season – the year after he was the first-round leader in the 1993 British Senior Open.
He would play in 63 events, making 42 cuts and had four top 10 finishes. His prize money was $19,910.
None of it would have been possible without financial support from Bill “Fish Man” Easton. then of Centerville, who often traveled the tour and caddied for Zimmerman. Easton owned a local company that supplied fresh fish to restaurants.
Zimmerman and his wife, Dawn, moved to Florida after Bobby quit playing competitive golf. They lived in The Villages for three years and moved to Port St. Lucie where they spent the last 20 years.
They moved back to Dayton on March 1st, and are living in Centerville in a home that his son, Bobby, remodeled for them. Zimmerman’s plan is to hang out at Community Golf Course and give lessons two or three days a week.