The passion for golf held by many Shoals-area golfers can be traced to one man - Chris Bums. He served as head professional at Florence Golf and Country Club for 40 years before retiring on December 31, 2001.
Burns was a pioneer of the junior golf program in Alabama, introducing hundreds of youths to the sport. His program produced two Men's State Amateur Champions, a Women's State Amateur Champion, a Boys' State Amateur Champion, a Girl's State Amateur Champion, about 60 collegiate golfers, seven Professional Golf Association members and a PGA Tour player in Stewart Cink. About 100 youths each summer participated in his junior golf program where they received instruction in skills, rules and etiquette. He was the Alabama PGA Professional of the Year in 1968 for his work with the junior program. He also had a hand in starting and coaching several high school golf programs in the Shoals. He supervised the construction of the additional nine holes at the club in 1962. The July 4, 1963 opening of the addition made FG&CC the first 18-hole course in the Shoals. He began his golfcarcer as a caddie at the age of 6.