November 17, 2006
A few months after beginning this column in 1999, someone suggested I should speak with Bob McCurry about junior golf.
All I knew about him was that McCurry was affiliated with Toyota after a long career with Chrysler, a member of Rehoboth Beach Country Club, a very good golfer in his own right, and a good friend of some folks who are very close to me.
The initial reason for the contact was because he was bringing PGA Tour professional Mark O’Meara to Rehoboth Beach CC for a special one-day event in late June 1999, the first season after O’Meara won both the Masters and the British Open.
For some reason, I was more nervous about meeting McCurry than I was about meeting O’Meara. Any trepidation I had about meeting McCurry was immediately dissipated, however, as soon as we talked.
He was completely charming, despite the seemingly gruff exterior that McCurry may have developed when he was a captain of the Michigan State football team, after serving in World War II.
McCurry was also obviously completely devoted to the cause of promoting junior golf. Together with Ron Barrows, the long-time head professional at Rehoboth Beach CC, he was one of the founding members of the Delaware State Golf Association Scholarship Fund.
O’Meara was just one of many Toyota-related PGA professionals whom McCurry brought to the Cape Region for a series of one-day fundraisers for the scholarship fund. McCurry also hosted such notables as Raymond Floyd, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Brad Faxon, Peter Jacobsen, and Dr. Gil Morgan for these annual get-togethers.
Each of these outings raised thousands of dollars, and together with other McCurry-related ventures helped offset college expenses for many junior golfers, including such Cape Region standouts as J. J. Oakley, Christina Wagamon, and John Purple, Jr. During the Rehoboth Beach Junior Open tournaments, held at Rehoboth Beach CC each June, McCurry would proudly announce the winners of the coveted awards.
McCurry didn’t limit his efforts at promoting junior golf to the Cape Region. For many years he also sponsored a significant fundraising tournament for juniors in the desert resort areas of Southern California.
“Bob loved junior golf, and he couldn’t do enough for them,” said Barrows. “He was also instrumental in bringing both Chrysler and Toyota into their sponsorships for professional golf, with the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and the Skins Game.”
In recent years, McCurry struggled with health problems, and finally succumbed on November 13. He left behind his wife of 61 years, Jane Lynam McCurry; two daughters, Meg Rapp and Jody Burton; a son-in-law, James Rapp; and four grandchildren.
McCurry also left a legacy of significant support for junior golf in the Cape Region that deserves to be remembered.
I can think of at least two ways for this to happen.
One is to re-title the annual Rehoboth Beach Junior Open in his name. How does the Bob McCurry Junior Open sound?
Another option, which can easily be joined with the first, is to create a new, separate golf scholarship fund for juniors under the DSGA auspices, again honoring McCurry’s contributions to deserving young golfers.
If anyone is interested in following up on that second idea, and would like this column’s help in starting it up and keeping it going, I would be more than happy to oblige.
Peninsula Golf earns new honor
The folks who run Golf Inc. Magazine recently announced that The Peninsula was awarded the publication’s 2006 Development of the Year award, in the private sector category.
Golf Inc. is a specialty publication, aimed at golf course developers, golf management executives, and owners and operators of daily fee/public, resort, and international golf clubs.
In a press release announcing the award, developer Larry Goldstein expressed his appreciation. “The Peninsula’s goal was to create an impeccable course for homeowners, and this award is the realization of our aspiration to be the top new private golf course, given by the publication that knows golf best,” he said.
To learn more about the new Millsboro golf community, call 866-736-3352 or visit www.peninsuladelaware.com.