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Kean Ridd Retires at East Bay
Last month Ron Branca, son of Utah Golf Hall of Famer Tee Branca, retired from his 20 plus years as head professional at The Country Club, and this month Kean Ridd, son of Utah Golf Hall of Famer Jack Ridd, has announced his retirement as the head pro at East Bay Golf Course, a position he held for 37 years.
The golf exploits of the Brancas and Ridds, along with the Summerhays family, have been the major source of eight-column golf headlines in local newspapers for the past three quarters of a century. They, along with numerous other golfing families, have made golf known as the ‘family sport’ in Utah.
Ridds replacement at East Bay, Brett Watson, does not carry the Ridd name, but he is a member of the Ridd family. He is Kean’s step-son and has been the assistant pro at East Bay for three years.
Kean started his professional career in 1968 as an assistant at Phoenix Country Club, and then the Ridd twins became joint head pros at the new Bloomington Country Club in St. George. He then became an assistant pro at the famous Spyglass Hill Golf Club at Pebble Beach. He moved back to Utah to take the head job at Oquirrh Hills Golf Course in Tooele.
His final stop came in 1978 when he took the head job at the old Timpanogos Golf Course in Provo which later was closed and replaced by the current East Bay Golf Course at a nearby site.
The list of Kean’s golfing triumphs is long and rich and unmatched by very few Utah golfers. He has won tournaments in Utah in seven decades, which is an accomplishment achieved by only a few golfers. He won junior tournaments, high school championships, and was All-WAC while at BYU. He won the Daiwa World Father-Son Championship and played in two U.S. Senior Opens.
However, he is also known as participating in one of the greatest matches ever played in Utah State Amateur history. He lost in the semifinals in a 23-hole match against his identical twin brother Craig as their Hall of Fame dad watched anxiously from the gallery. Craig went on to win that 1967 Utah State Am championship at Alpine Country Club.
Kean has been an active member of the Utah Section PGA organization and has been recognized with several awards for his professional example and leadership.
He and his wife Jan have two sons, two daughters, and six grandchildren.