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Ever since graduating from BYU 23 years ago, Dave Terry has held key positions in golf management in Utah, beginning as the Tournament Director of the PGA Ben Hogan Tour, Assistant Executive Director of the Utah Section PGA, Golf Manager in St. George City, and currently Golf Program Director for Salt Lake City, the state's largest golf operation with 135 holes. Along the way, he has been influential in almost all aspects of Utah golf, but especially so in the expansion of junior golf programs and increasing promotion of Utah's incredible selection of public golf facilities on both a local and national scale.
After serving an LDS Mission to Florida, he enrolled at BYU with a focus on business administration and helped finance his education by teaching beginning and intermediate golf classes at BYU and by working in the pro shop at Riverside Country Club under the direction of Head Professional, Robert McArthur. That experience, combined with his teenage years working in the pro shop at Richfield's Cove View Golf Course when he wasn't playing or practicing, provided the foundation for the rest of his life. His most noteworthy playing accomplishments were earning medalist honors in the 1984 2A Utah High School State Championship played at Bonneville, helping Richfield High School win the last three of its record-setting seven consecutive team titles, and earning a golf scholarship and playing for SUSC (now SUU) his freshman year. He graduated from BYU in 1990 with a degree in Business Administration, and that was also the year the PGA Tour created the Ben Hogan Tour with one of its first sites at Riverside Country Club.
Terry's work ethic caught the eye of Jeff Beaudry, Executive Director of the Utah Section of the PGA, and Terry started working for Jeff the day after graduation assisting with all Utah Section PGA activities including the operation of the Ben Hogan Utah Classic. Two years later, when Nike became the sponsor of the tour, Terry was given the title of Tournament Director with the responsibility of generating all sponsor revenue, coordinating with the PGA Tour, and handling all aspects of tournament operation. In 1997, he was hired by St. George City as its first full-time Golf Manager responsible for the operation of Dixie Red Hills, Southgate, St. George Golf Club, and Sunbrook. Working closely with PGA professionals, they created the very successful St. George JAG (Junior Association of Golfers) Junior Golf Program. As a member of the Washington County Travel & Convention Bureau Board of Directors, he also spearheaded the development of St. George's Red Rock Golf Trail that has grown into a major marketing program attracting golfers from throughout the country. St. George became a destination golf vacation for thousands of out-of-state players, along with snowbirds from northern Utah, and golf has become a major economic development tool in Utah's Dixie.
After eight years at St. George, he was asked to take the biggest, and some would say the toughest golf management job in the state, as director of golf for Salt Lake City. It is a daunting task. The city owns and manages Bonneville, Forest Dale, Glendale, Jordan River Par Three, Mountain Dell, Nibley Park, Rose Park, and Wingpointe. With little fanfare in his first two years on the job, Salt Lake golf revenues increased by ten percent, from $7.5 million to $8.3 million. In concert with SLC's PGA professionals, he developed Salt Lake City' Youth on Course Golf and Life Skills Program that included clinics, camps, leagues, and tournaments including a series of nine-hole parent/junior scramble events that he says are his favorite junior golf development activities, the concept which he started in St. George and still continues there as well. Currently, one of his primary focus points is working with Salt Lake City's elected officials and Public Services Department management to obtain approval to proceed with millions of dollars' worth of long-deferred capital improvement projects necessary to keep Salt Lake City's golf courses on par with Utah's outstanding selection of public golf facilities.
While managing the Ben Hogan and Nike Tour event in Utah, the tournament raised $300,000 that went to Utah Special Olympics and junior golf programs. The tournament consistently received a superior rating from the PGA Tour for its tournament operations. Working side-by-side with Jeff Beaudry, he helped pioneer the organization of golf clinics for Utah Special Olympics that proved to be the catalyst in the development of golf as a Special Olympics sport in 43 states and 12 countries. Beaudry, in recalling those early years in Dave's career, said, “He has two traits that stick out in my mind. One, that when making decisions he had the ability to look into the future and see where those decisions might lead, and two, he had the persistence and follow through to see that things got done. Planning was not the end for him. He performed. “Dave also served the full three terms on the Board of Directors of the Utah Golf Association during which time he advocated for establishment of golf as an official program for girls in high schools throughout the state. In just a few years, this new prep program has grown to include over 1,500 girls each spring. In all of his positions, he has been a big promoter of junior golf, and tired of all the talk instead did the walk. Terry has never been a do-it-alone guy. He has always built coalitions and given credit where credit is due. Outside of his duties for Salt Lake City, Terry's current golf project is working with the Utah PGA, Utah Golf Association, Intermountain Golf Course Superintendents Association, Fairways Media, and other groups to organize the Golf Alliance for Utah, with an initial focus on working with the national Golf 20/20 organization to complete an economic and environmental impact study for the golf industry in Utah. The primary purpose of this study will be to help decision makers throughout the state realize the scope of golf's impact on economic vitality as well as the quality of life enjoyed by Utah residents.
He lived the first forty years of life with kidney problems, and in 2006, shortly after moving back to Salt Lake City, his older brother, Jim Terry, who taught him how to play the game as well as how to conduct oneself on the golf course, donated a kidney for him. It is the ultimate bonding of brothers. The past three years, he has been dealing with a carcinoma cancer that has required numerous procedures. Through it all, he has gained even greater admiration from his peers and co-workers for his determined work ethic and resilience. With these health setbacks, it would seem like a good time to rest on his laurels, but that isn't the case with Dave. Along with a focus on raising two daughters, Megan and Sarah, with his wife, Pam, he's still on the job, still smiling, still working for golf and golfers and the joy it brings to others.