Mr. Giles excelled on Episcopal’s football, basketball, and track and field teams, in addition to serving as a Monitor and member of the Honor Committee. He also has the unique distinction of being one the greatest athletes in American history in a sport in which he could not compete while at EHS.
He played defensive halfback for the football team, was a top-scoring forward on the basketball team, and ran the quarter mile for the track and field team. However, Mr. Giles also displayed significant talent in a sport not offered at Episcopal – golf. Instead his hurdles coach, Billy Boothe, would play with him on the weekends, allowing Mr. Giles to hone his skills on the green.
The weekend practices paid off; Mr. Giles was a three-time NCAA All-American at the University of Georgia and runner-up at the 1966 NCAA championship. He led Georgia to three SEC championships in 1963, 1964, and 1965, and he won the Dogwood Open in 1963 and 1965.
Despite his success, Mr. Giles chose to remain an amateur instead of joining the pro tour. He continued to play on the amateur tour circuit, finishing second in the U.S. Amateur for three straight years before winning it in 1972. In 1975 he won the British Amateur, and he also won numerous other amateur titles, including seven Virginia State Amateurs, two Southern Amateurs, and three Virginia Opens. Mr. Giles played on the Walker Cup team in 1969, 1971, 1973, and 1975, winning three times, and he captained the 1993 team to victory. He played on three winning Eisenhower Trophy teams (1968, 1970, and 1972), later captaining the 1992 team to a second-place finish.
Mr. Giles has played in 11 professional majors, making the cut in three of his nine Masters Tournament appearances and in both of his U.S. Open appearances. He was low amateur in the 1968 Masters Tournament, the 1973 U.S. Open, and in three U.S. Senior Opens (1993, 1996, and 1997). He won the 2009 U.S. Senior Amateur championship, making him one of only two players to ever win both the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Senior Amateur titles; he is the only player to ever win both the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Senior Amateur, and British Amateur, considered the three most prestigious amateur golf tournaments.
He is a member of the University of Georgia, Virginia State, National Seniors, and Southern Golf Association halls of fame. In 1994 he was commended by the Virginia House of Delegates for his “notable successes at the state, national, and international levels of amateur golf; for the leadership and dedication he has given amateur golf; and for sharing with others his love of the game.”