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Utah Golf Hall of Fame Gets Five New Members

With Master of Ceremonies Wesley Ruff regaling the full house audience with timely tidbits of humor and golf advice five new members were inducted into the Utah Golf Hall of Fame Saturday night at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City.

The inductees were Mike Malaska, Keith Hansen, Jeff Beaudry, Mark Passey, and Jimmy Blair.

Malaska is the first inductee who was elected based on his reputation as one of the nation’s top golf instructors, but he was also an outstanding player and won the Utah Open. He was inducted by Tom Sorenson, the head pro at Mountain Dell who got him started in the game.

“I’m really proud of what he has accomplished. He took an interest in golf as a junior and began working odd jobs around the golf course and in the process became a great player. He was always interested in the mechanics of the golf swing,” Sorenson said.

Keith Hansen, volunteer extraordinaire, was inducted by Jacob Miller, UGA Director of Competitions. Hansen has been regarded as Utah’s top rules official for the past quarter of a century and is also highly respected on the national level where he has worked   number of USGA championships. Hansen has been donating his services as a volunteer for 25 plus years.

“Keith has been an inspiration to me as well as a great teacher,” Miller said. “His influence will be with me forever,” he added.

Beaudy was the Utah Section PGA Executive Director for many years and instituted many new programs including Special Olympics, the Ben Hogan Tour that morphed in the current Tour. He has been working with the PGA of America as Director of the Western Region. 

He was inducted by Joe Watts, former UGA Executive Director.

“Jeff was one of the key players responsible for the cooperative relationship that has developed between the Utah Golf Association and the Utah Section of the PGA, and also was instrumental in elevating the professional standards of the PGA,” Watts said.

He also praised Beaudry for his vision in establishing golf in Special Olympics. “He deserves a halo for his efforts in that regard,” Watts said.

Mark Passey, former Executive Director of the UGA and now a Regional Manager of the United States Golf Association, was inducted by Mike Bailey, who is also a USGA volunteer.

“Passey is Utah golf’s Johnny Appleseed,” Bailey said. “He has placed many Utahns in many important golf positions during the past few years and their influence will continue for years to come.”

Jimmy Blair, former State Am and Utah Open champion, and golf course owner, manager was inducted by his former BYU teammate Mike Reid. Reid told numerous stories about Blair and called him ‘one of the greatest competitors I have ever known.”