Longtime USGA event relationship director Jim Gaquin dies at 98
Jim Gaquin cherished his spouse, Lois, his prolonged household and Boston College athletics. He additionally cherished, as many know, golf.
Golf grabbed this unimaginable man in his palm and helped lead a life that included Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Participant, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and all of the PGA Tour gamers from the Fifties to 1978, his final yr in as event relationships. director of america Golf Affiliation.
After 20 years of dwelling principally in a suitcase, that is when Jim and Lois determined that Cape Cod was going to be their last vacation spot.
And, for these of us lucky sufficient to know and work with this couple, it was a day that marked all of our lives.
Sadly, 5 and a half years after shedding Lois to most cancers, Jim left us robbed of his information, staunch loyalty and friendship when he handed away on Saturday on the age of 98.
There will probably be a celebratory Mass for Jim at 11 am Monday at St. Francis Xavier Church in Hyannis adopted by his burial on the household plot at 2 pm on the Cemetery of Gethsemane Gardens in West Roxbury.
It has been over a yr since I visited Jim in particular person on the Mayflower Place Nursing and Rehabilitation Heart in Yarmouth – not as a result of I did not wish to, however as a result of the influence of COVID-19 on our world prevented me from doing it.
Jim moved there two years in the past as his mobility turned restricted and he might not bodily do the issues he did at 95, like jogging (not strolling) on Buck Island Highway as a part of the of his day by day routine. His wit was nonetheless as sharp as a tack (maybe sharper) and his thirst for info – particularly relating to native golf – was insatiable.
His skill to recollect dates, information, conditions in nice element has all the time blown me away. He remembered a selected transfer from one of many many tournaments he and Lois labored on throughout their wealthy careers. He had tales that stored you enthralled with the dialog and that all the time praised one thing somebody had achieved. He requested about household, the efficiency of the highschool golf staff I coach, what my kids (now adults) have been doing, and what my spouse, Deborah was like.
His love of BU athletics was additionally accompanied by background info, together with particular gamers, video games and outcomes. When Boston College canceled its (then) Div. 1-AA soccer program, he was so upset that he wrote a letter to the college chancellor berating the choice and informing him that Jim would not be making contributions to the college.
Jim was as “old-school” as you might get. He believed the outdated methods of doing issues labored nice and he received kicked and screamed into the twenty first century (again then it was the twentieth century). He was extra comfy writing his press releases or event tales on an IBM Selectric than utilizing a pc.
For tournaments hosted by Jim and Lois, it was necessary that paper scoring tapes be the order of the day quite than working scores from a pc on an image display. It took so much longer and sometimes pushed reporters to satisfy their deadlines, however it was like that earlier than and in the long term, every part was high-quality. I am positive there are many Cape Cod Open, Cape Cod Senior Open, NCAA Girls’s Golf Championship and Weekly Professional-Am winners who’ve these rating strips hanging in a trophy space as proof of success on the hyperlinks.
Fortunately for Jim, Lois was greater than keen to grab the long run and as a staff they put collectively issues just like the Cape Cod Open, which Jim was director of till he stepped down after he stepped down. the 2019 occasion. They raced the 1984 US Girls’s Open on the Salem Nation Membership and teamed up for one of many high NCAA Division 1 ladies’s golf championships in 1985 on the New Seabury Nation Membership.
From that occasion, 36 gamers ended up competing on the LPGA Tour.
Jim and Lois Gaquin, proven on the New Seabury Golf Course in 1995, had the golden contact when it got here to saving troubled golf occasions and turning them into one thing particular.
Collectively that they had the golden contact when it got here to saving struggling golf occasions and turning them into one thing particular. In addition they introduced the idea of internet hosting a event as a enterprise to a lot of locations. They turned the thought into an thought which, aside from having a enjoyable event and having the correct of route and guidelines, needs to be an occasion that additionally seems to be profitable.
They took over the nation’s oldest league in 1985, the Cape Cod Professional-Am Golf League. By that point he was out of breath and on the verge of extinction. They ran it till 1998. After they took over, the league had 82 members, barely had sufficient gamers for every weekly occasion, and was on the verge of chapter. After they have been unceremoniously ushered out in 1998, the league had 400 members, a full area each week that performed for $ 4,000 in money and bonds.
The league has since folded and is not a part of the Cape Cod golf program.
Charitable organizations have been a significant a part of Gaquin’s enterprise, which entails organizing golf tournaments. The Cape Cod Open, which started as Brookside Hospital / Sally Quinlan Professional-Am, has raised over $ 250,000 over its historical past for charity. Jim has contributed to the Ouimet Fund and was one of many many interviewers of potential fellows.
“I feel it is essential for golf to provide again to your neighborhood,” Jim has stated usually. “Golf has this skill and it is essential that we assist all forms of individuals. Golf is lucky to have lots of people who’re financially steady and it’s important for us to assist those that want it probably the most.
The obituaries will tick the listing of Jim Gaquin’s accomplishments: sports activities reporter for the Waltham Information-Tribune, reporter for the Worcester Telegram, area secretary for the PGA Tour after which as event supervisor. He was Government Director of the Royal Canadian Golf Affiliation, Director of Event Relations for the USGA, winner of the distinguished William D. Richardson Award from the Golf Writers Affiliation of America for his contributions to the sport, Event Director for 1980 and 1981 PGA Championships, 1984 US Girls’s Open at Salem Nation Membership, 1985 NCAA Division I Girls’s Golf Championship at New Seabury, Founding father of Cape Cod Open, Founding father of Cape Cod Senior Open and Member of Guidelines Committee the Massachusetts Golf Affiliation. One factor that will not seem, however it ought to, is an effective good friend.
After Lois died in 2014, a part of Jim handed away together with her. She was his rock, his associate, his greatest good friend and regardless of her courageous face and her stroll ahead, he missed her.
“We have been a staff since our marriage,” Jim stated. “I can not keep in mind what it was earlier than and I do not know if I can deal with what it should be after. I could not boil water as a result of I did not know easy methods to do it. Lois would by no means let me into the kitchen – for good motive. Now I’ve to adapt and attempt to transfer on with out it.
Jim got here into my life “on the time”. It was an encyclopedia of data and information about golf. He was a man who tipped me greater than a waiter might earn in his life.
He was a superb man. He was my good friend.
We miss you, Jim.
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