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Utah Golf Loses Farrell Thomas, One of the ‘Good Guys’


By Joe Watts


The Utah Golf Association is sad to announce the passing of Farrell Thomas, one of Utah golf’s ‘good guys.’

He passed away on February 27th, but because the obituary was not published in the Salt Lake Tribune, we are just becoming informed of his passing. He made friends wherever he went and had a huge impact in bringing hundreds of young people and women into the game through his upbeat, energetic teaching methods. He taught mostly, and formally, at Fore Lakes Golf Course, but he taught wherever he was and wherever there was anyone interested.

He was Utah golf’s Johnny Appleseed.

His teaching expertise was not with the great players, but with the beginners. He just wanted them to get the basics so that they could enjoy the game that he so loved. He left the subtle nuances to the experts, something he never claimed to be.

He was part of the personality of Fore Lakes Golf Course for many years, and Fore Lakes is one of the state’s foremost leaders in introducing golf to beginners.

Todd Barker, Owner and Superintendent of Fore Lakes Golf Course, said, “Farrell was with Fore Lakes for over 35 years. During his career, he found the greatest joy in teaching the juniors that would come from all over the valley to join our junior programs. Parents that had been taught by Farrell as children would later bring their own kids back to be taught by the guy in the flashy matching outfits and his Hotdog shaped putter.”

“Farrell taught the game of golf with love, passion, and enthusiasm that will never be duplicated. Students who had the pleasure of learning the greatest game on earth from Farrell will always remember the lessons he instilled in them. The golfing community lost its biggest fan, and he will truly be missed. Rest in Peace, Mr. Par 3. May there be more holes in one in the afterlife,” Barker concluded.

Farrell also was a dedicated volunteer for the Utah Golf Association and other golfing organizations and gave his services freely and enthusiastically.

Joe Watts, former executive director of the UGA during Farrell’s years as a volunteer, said, “Our hats are over our hearts in sadness at his passing, but our hearts will all be warmed whenever we think of him. He was an absolute joy to everyone around him. We extend our greatest sympathies to the love of his life, Marene, and to his children.”