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February Volunteer Spotlight: Jean LaBrie
By Tanner Clegg, P.J. Boatwright Intern
Each month, the UGA spotlights one of our devoted volunteers to express our deep appreciation for all they do and to help you, our loyal members, become well acquainted with them. The month of February features one of the UGA’s women’s course rating volunteers, Jean LaBrie.
Jean was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, the youngest of five children in her family. Her father was a member of the United States Air Force so she quickly became accustomed to moving. She lived in eight states prior to making Utah her final destination where she has lived for the past 14 years. Utah is the perfect place for her to enjoy her two favorite hobbies, golfing and skiing.
Growing up, Jean didn’t quite catch the golf bug even though her parents were golf fanatics. Her parents enrolled Jean and her siblings in two-week summer camps to help them learn the game. Jean would only play occasionally so her parents would gather equipment for her to play with from their “stock.”
Jean received her bachelor’s degree in business education at Auburn University. She then went on to work for fun with Delta Airlines, later enjoying a career in field sales with Hallmark Cards. Jean met her future husband, John LaBrie, in the middle of the MS 150, which is a long-distance cycling fundraiser, and they have been together ever since. They were married in December of 1996 and just celebrated 20 years of marriage!
Well, times have changed for Jean! She has now caught the golf bug and turned into a fanatic! She loves everything about the game. She now plays all of the time, watches it on television, subscribes to the magazines, and is an active member of the UGA.
Learning to golf at a young age has proved to be very beneficial for Jean where she has carried on the family tradition of being a successful golfer. Her father became a golf professional after retiring from the Air Force, and she wishes she could have played more with him.
“My only regret is that I didn’t play when my father was around. My mother and I had many fun times on the course playing in tournaments, including when my mom was my caddie when I won my first club championship,” expressed Jean.
Her grandmother was a club champion at her club in California; her mother was a 23-time club champion at her course in Alabama, and Jean won club championships in Washington as well as 2.5 times in Utah (the .5 comes from a tie and, unfortunately, losing the playoff).
Besides club championships, her winning record also includes UGA championship titles.
“One win I’m grateful for was winning the 2010 Utah Women’s Senior Amateur,” stated Jean. “This win was just two months after completing six months of chemotherapy.”
Jean was also part of the winning team at the UGA’s 22nd Annual Utah/Arizona Shootout in 2012. Jean’s consistent play and determination to keep improving has not only led to tournament wins but also four holes-in-one! The most recent one came on No. 7 at Hidden Valley on the Lakes Course in November of 2015.
Jean joined the Women’s Course Rating team in 2012 with fellow members of the Hidden Valley Country Club.
“I jumped on the opportunity to participate because I find course rating fascinating. It’s a system that allows players of all abilities to play a course. We input course information and a computer calculates the final number.” explained Jean. “The rating team is made up of a very diverse group; from scratch golfers to average golfers, we are all representing what course rating is all about. We all have a passion for golf and enjoy the comradery. And as in golf, many long-term friendships are created.”
Jean’s passion for golf does not only resound with her, but also with her husband.
“All of my passion for golf has been supported by my No. 1 fan and cheerleader, my husband and fellow fanatic!”
The Utah Golf Association thanks its volunteers for sacrificing their time and energy to help the UGA fulfill its mission to promote interest in the game of golf by encouraging, organizing, supporting, sponsoring, and administering golfing activities and programs. If you are interested in volunteering for the UGA, contact Rules and Competitions Director Jacob Miller at [email protected] or 801-563-0400.