Every once in a while, those who toil thanklessly in the background, get their moment in the spotlight. So it was for Ron Willis, our tireless (and brave) Men’s Handicap Chair. Monday, October 21st, at Royal Oaks Country Club, The Annual Oregon Golf Association Awards were presented, and Ron received the “Handicap Chair of the Year” award.
There is no other volunteer job that one can take on, which carries as much “gravitas” as that of Handicap Chair. The position should come with a bodyguard, or extra life insurance. Playing almost every day, as Ron does, with the knowledge that “playing by the rules” isn’t just a personal choice, but also takes on new meaning when others around you know that they are playing with someone who is functionally in charge of “stern written warnings,” and potential disqualification from a tournament.
However, those who know Ron, know that he takes this role (as well as his service to the Membership Committee) with a smile on his face, and serious dedication to making sure that the course play is level and fair. Ron exemplifies what it means to be a great member, a good friend, and an honest golfer…three traits that make him deserving of this wonderful recognition.
In another amazing year of PGA Junior League competition, Shadow Hills CC took both 1st and 2nd place in league competition. Loads of fun, great competition, and genuine skill was displayed during league play and the subsequent year-end celebration.
For Team Rosters and Pictures, continue reading
It is a rare thing when someone quietly, though persistently works in their own way to create change in their world. So often “those who serve,” are motivated by personal gain, or to fulfill some personal agenda. So it is very rare indeed, that a person who has worked tirelessly and selflessly for decades, should be singled out as “The Best” at something, for the simple reason that they work so hard not to call attention to their actions, or brush praise away with a “Happy to do it!” smile.
However, on October 22nd at the OGA annual meeting, recognition was due and given to our own Steve Mason, with his receipt of the “Member of the Year” award. How special is this award? The numbers speak for themselves, as the The OGA represents 170 clubs and 41,000 members.
I wrote about Steve in an article on ShadowHillsExtra.com more than three years ago. And since then, Steve has continued to be “the hub” for an amazing list of club-enhancing actions that have become part of the fabric of Shadow Hills.
He has served on the Membership Committee, is currently co-chair of the Handicap Committee, and is notoriously the “Ticket Guy” for almost any Pac-12 event, providing great deals on all sorts of sports and concert events “in his spare time.”
But, most of us know Steve as “The Commish” of the ever-popular and amazingly fun, Shadow Hills Senior Men’s group. This “Fed-Ex Tour” style of events, with accumulated points being awarded to a leaderboard, ultimately results in the awarding of the “Mason Cup” for the overall winner. However, adding to this, is a huge array of social events, golf weekends, annual trips, and a wide range of community-building fun, that are all made possible by Steve’s generosity of time, and creative spirit.
Breaking 80 is a feat that less than 5% of all golfers accomplish, according to USGA statistics. According to those same statistics, the percentage of golfers who “shoot their age” is a mere .0000089%, or less than 9 per million.
However, there is a way to “trick the stats” if you are trying to shoot your age, and that is to live long enough to be outside of the sub-80 realm, remain healthy, and play a lot of golf. That description pretty much fits our own Ted Brandt to a tee!
On May 30th, Ted turned 90 years old, and celebrated with friends and family with an evening of libation and fun. Ted was joined by a number of his Shadow Hills Senior Tour friends, where there was more than one story of Ted’s golf prowess, and close calls with disaster being told.
A Shadow Hills member, since 1980, along with his wife Arlyn, Ted has been a familiar face on the course and at social gathers for almost 40 years. As the former owner of Eugene Tile and Marble for more than 55 years, you can find Ted’s handiwork in countless Eugene locations including several Eugene hospitals, State, Federal and City buildings, and shopping malls.
But has he shot his age?
SHCC’s own Randal and Cindy Whipple were featured in an article in the “Blue Chip” section of the Register Guard. Some of you may know Randal’s backstory as a child actor, including a short stint on a network TV series. But, many may not know the long, and varied path that he and his wife Cindy traveled to reach to become one of the top Real Estate sales teams in the nation.
Finding your golf game challenging? This is a great story in perseverance!
Meet Our New Superintendent
A Conversation with Ryan Wyckoff
by Patric Miller- ShadowHillsExtra editor
When you first meet Ryan Wyckoff, you are immediately struck by his youth, his intensity, his smile, and his height. Of course “youth” is gauged by those doing the observing, and with most of those in the cluster of members shaking hands of introduction in the lobby, all being “well past middle age,” everyone younger than 45 seems youthful.
But, when you take a look at Ryan’s resume, it’s clear that he has packed a lot of impressive experience into a career that began in 1997, with a Bachelor of Science in Turf Management from Oregon State, and has taken him through some of the best-known courses and tournaments in golf.
Starting as an Assistant Superintendent at the Links at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach, then on to Pebble Beach Links, Loomis Trail Golf Club in Blaine, WA, and then to a long stay as Superintendent, and then Senior Director of Golf Operations at the OGA Course in Woodburn, Ryan has been involved with a wide range of weather and course conditions.
Add to that, tournament experience with a long list of events, including three U.S. Opens, several state and regional invitational, and U.S. and amateur tournaments, and you begin to understand why bringing him here to Shadow Hills introduces a level of excitement and hope for “next level” quality.
I had the chance to chat briefly with Ryan after he had a chance to do a basic assessment of our course, and to get his impressions of what he was seeing.
NOTE: A “Meet and Greet” event for Ryan, has been scheduled for Saturday, March 12th at 2PM in the dining room. You are all welcome to attend.
For more than 40 years Shadow Hills has been blessed by Harriet Smith’s membership. In the early days, as Harriet and her husband Wayne became thoroughly committed golfers, they also participated in the tree planting and fairway rock removal efforts supplied by Shadow Hills Founders.
Following Wayne’s instruction to hang on to their Shadow Hills membership, Harriet survived her early widowhood and thrived in the warmth and wholesome activity of Shadow Hills Country Club. Serving on committees, scoring for tournaments, organizing an annual women’s event, playing bridge, enjoying most evening social gatherings, encouraging new golfers, and reliably greeting and welcoming new members, Harriet participated as long as she was able.
Although Harriet could no longer play golf, she maintained a golfing membership to the end. The Smith Garden, named in her and Wayne’s honor, represents the very generous monetary gift with which she joined Gene Gustafson’s fund raising effort and without which Shadow Hills New Clubhouse would not exist. We are all beneficiaries and will miss her.
Harriet died on New Years Day 2016; she was 97 years.
Her Memorial Service will be held at 2:00pm, Sunday, January 24, 2016 at Terpening Terrace
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Sacred Heart Hospice, PO Box 10905, Eugene, Oregon 97440 or to a charity of your choosing.
PLEASE NOTE- parking at Terpening Terrace for Harriet’s Celebration of Life is limited. It would be good if folks parked at Albertson’s and crossed River Road at the light or at the PeaceHealth Santa Clara office that is on the same side of the street as Terpening. This will make it easier for those attending who are disabled, or less able to walk longer distances.
The dress for the service is “golf course casual.” The SHCC dining room dress code would apply in this situation.
Please feel free to leave your remembrances of Harriet in the comments below.
I have been a member at Shadow Hills since 2009. I am not retired, but being self-employed, and having clients hailing primarily from the East Coast and Mid-West- I am often free to golf in the early afternoon. In fact, so frequent were my regular rounds at 2:22 (the soonest I could break free each day) that the pro shop started calling 2:22 “Miller time.”
I often play alone…but also leave the tee sheet open, in case anyone wanted to join me. And many people do. Also, as a single, I often end up running into the group before, or being forced to join a group who catches me from behind, if the group in front is lagging (rare at SHCC). But the result is that I get to play with a large variety of members, and enjoy hearing about their lives, their interests, and their experience as members at Shadow Hills.
I love the purview from my slot at 2:22. There are days when I can blast through 18 in just over 3 hours (my record is 2:45). And there are days when the pace of play allows me to use the time to take in the surroundings, enjoy the animals and natural beauty that share the course with us, and ponder life. These things will be the topic of future “View from 2:22″ offerings.
So…now…on to “The Best Round of My Life”
By Patric Miller ShadowHillsExtra Editor and SHCC Membership Committee member
Joining a new Country Club can be nerve-racking in the first few months as you do your best to learn other member’s names, figure out tee times, and try to be part of an existing long-term membership. As part of the “Great Springfield Migration of 2009,” I was expecting to spend weeks, if not months, trying to make new friends, and get a sense of the membership at Shadow Hills. One person made our transition smooth, welcoming and almost immediate.
Steve Mason was one of the first to reach out and welcome us as members, and then gently, but firmly cajole many of the senior men (I just made the age cut at the time) to join the new Senior Men’s league he was forming. It was one of the single best choices I have made as a member.
Those who know Steve Mason (aka The Commish), know him to be an ever-smiling, encouraging, and ardent promoter of community and friendship at Shadow Hills Country Club. The Senior Men’s group is based on a foundation of “meeting and golfing with other members here and at other clubs,” in the Northwest. From all reports, Steve’s objectives have been met and surpassed.
Due in part to the way that Steve organizes the events and the “Fed Ex Tour,” the league emphasizes playing with an ever-changing mix of partners, challenges and locations that offers fun, variety and strong competition.
The primary “tour” events feature Stableford scoring resulting in “Fed Ex points” and prize money to the top players in each of 15 events. But adding to the fun and challenge, many of the events are played at a wide variety of our reciprocal golf courses. This year, there are more than 65 players participating, with the final points coming down to the final event to determine the top 5 winners.
Anyone on the email list of Steve’s weekly updates is immediately impressed with the detail, organization and subtle humor. Always self-deprecating, Steve is known to almost apologize when he plays well enough to be “in the money.” But all who know of the hard work he puts into making the league fun and rewarding, wish him nothing but the best as he battles to remain in the top five, after spending several years in the “lower quarter” of the events he organized.
In addition to the regular events, Steve also organizes several regional golf outings that have regularly included long weekends at Bandon, Central Oregon, and even a five day excursion to play several courses on the way to and from the US Open at Chambers Bay this year.
Steve’s membership began as part of a family membership with his father, more than 44 years ago in 1971. He converted to full membership in his late 20s in 1974-80, and returning in 1988. Steve is yet another example of members who make Shadow Hills part of their life, generation to generation. He is one who truly appreciates the myriad changes and improvements to the club over the decades, and sees the value of our continued growth and improvements.
Many also know Steve to be the consummate sports booster, as well a purveyor of tickets for almost every major college sports event in the region. When I had a last minute opportunity to go to San Francisco in 2012, it was Steve who found tickets for the U. S. Open tournament, just two weeks before the event. Duck tickets? Beaver tickets? Buying? Selling? Steve is your connection.
Steve Mason is a valuable asset to Shadow Hills Country Club. We are all fortunate to call him a friend of the entire membership. A very special thanks is due to him, as he is a perfect example selfless volunteerism, which adds to the friendship, community and camaraderie we all share together at Shadow Hills.