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Golf Loses Another Great One: Ross Caputo

Sad news! Golf has lost one of its greats.

Ross Caputo, the greens keeper at Rose Park Golf Course for more than 40 years, passed away unexpectedly last night. The news is spreading fast through the golf community because of the great love golfers have for him.

Dave Terry, Director of Golf for Salt Lake City, said, “”Ross Caputo dedicated his entire professional life to providing Salt Lake City and area golfers with a quality public golf facility at Rose Park.  His passion, beyond raising six wonderful children, was making sure the greens at Rose Park lived up to the reputation earned thanks to his work as the best around; public course or private club.”

“More than his expertise in golf course agronomy, Ross was a great friend to golfers and co-workers alike. Anyone fortunate enough to call Ross a friend knew that he would do anything to help them, whether that meant with an employment matter, a softball tip given his reputation back in the day as one of the state's best competitive softball players, or how to kick a football as he held the record for the longest field goal in Utah high school history until just a few years ago.”

“The passing of Ross Caputo leaves the regulars at Rose Park and the entire staff of Salt Lake City Golf with heavy hearts. He is one of those men you don't replace, you just attempt to move forward grieving the loss while recognizing that knowing Ross made you a better person.”

Lisa Imamura, the controller at the Utah Golf Association and former professional at Rose Park was heavy hearted when reached for a comment.

She said, “I am really going to miss Ross!  I have known him since I was a little girl.  I had the privilege of working with Ross for about 18 years at the Rose Park Golf Course.  He was like a big brother to me and was always watching out for me at work.  He was affectionately known to many of us by his nickname: Tiger.

“He worked for Frank Orlando and then Lee Terry. After Lee’s departure from Rose Park, Ross became the course Superintendent.  He was always at the golf course.  It was his home away from home.  He mentored many other superintendents, assistant superintendents, groundskeepers, and night water-men.”

“Ross was always known to have kept some of the best greens in the state of Utah.  He was highly sought after and was constantly being “wooed” by other golf courses.  But he was content at RPGC.  He must have learned his grounds maintenance and upkeep from his father, John, who was the groundskeeper at Ken Price baseball field.” 

“Ross was also a great softball player.  He played fast-pitch for the Larry Miller softball team and later for Page Brake.  Playing competitive softball allowed Ross to travel to many different places. I remember him telling me that Hawaii was one of his favorite places he was able to visit.” 

Ross’ cousin Tony is famous for his market and deli.  But, many people probably did not know that Ross also was a very good cook.  His spaghetti was the best.  He would cook the sauce for days before he would let us have any.  It was worth the wait!”

Click HERE to view the completed press release from the Salt Lake City Golf Enterprise Fund.