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Reed McGregor: A love for the game that doesn’t necessarily involve playing it
By Beaux Yenchik, UGA Intern
It was a frosty morning and the field had already waited a half-hour to get out on the course and resume the final day of play at the Utah Four-Ball Championship. Standing on the practice-putting green at Park Meadows Country Club with some Utah Golf Association volunteers, I stepped away to talk to rule-stalwart Reed McGregor, asking him if we could sneak off into the clubhouse to do a quick interview about him and why time-and-time again he showed up as a volunteer at our association’s championships.
With the colorful mountain range behind us, we began to chat about life. With the conversation eventually turning over to focus on him, McGregor began to tell me about his life and how he had ended up in the chair right in front of me.
“For me, it has never been about the game or the score,” McGregor said. “It’s been about the beauty of the course … “
Born in Kewanee, Illinois, McGregor and his family moved to the Beehive State when he was just a little kid – 3 years old to be exact. Calling Logan home, McGregor grew up in Cache Valley and enjoyed what the area had to offer. He attended Sky View High School – having played football, track and golf for the Bobcats.
Originally wanting to be a dentist, McGregor attended Utah State University with every intention of fixing people’s teeth, etc. for a living. To pay for school, McGregor said he became an Aggie because of the scholarship offered to him to throw the javelin.
As time progressed there in Logan while McGregor was at school, his interests changed, and he realized that becoming a dentist was not what he wanted to do after he graduated. He had decided he wanted to be a chiropractor.
So, he changed his major to geography as a way for him to be able to teach seminary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Snowflake, Arizona for a year before he and his family moved to Portland, Oregon where he attended the Western States Chiropractic College.
Returning to Logan following his final year of schooling, McGregor and his lovely bride, Susan, raised their family on the edge of Logan Golf & Country Club. Having played there as a kid, mostly with his mom who introduced him to the game of golf, McGregor gained membership when he bought it from his parents.
“We’ve been a golfing family since day one,” McGregor said.
Never getting extremely serious about the game of golf himself, McGregor did however help raise his family around the sport that was family-friendly. McGregor said all the vacations he took his family on, as his children were growing up, centered around attending golf tournaments. McGregor’s sons, Jim and Ben, both loved the game so much that they went on to play golf in high school, and Jim even in college.
In a previous article written about McGregor, Megan Huntsman (then Megan Terry), wrote this:
“Following a summer of swing lessons [for Jim] from [PGA Tour Champions] Professional Bruce Summerhays, Reed asked [Summerhays] what he owed him for the lessons. Rather than charging for the lessons, [Summerhays] requested payment in the form of service and asked [McGregor] to find a way to give back to the Utah golf community.
McGregor then called longtime friend and [then] USGA Regional Affairs Director Mark Passey for advice on how to be involved. Passey encouraged [McGregor] to learn the Rules of Golf and become acquainted with UGA volunteers Lee Samsel and Keith Hansen. Samsel and Hansen invited [McGregor] to observe the officiating process and attend the USGA Rules of Golf Workshop, which is exactly what [he] did.”
After this life-altering commitment, McGregor had promised to give back as much has he possibly could to the game and told himself he would keep giving as long as he enjoyed it and could physically do so. But, he was quick to mention that none of what he does – a UGA volunteer/board member/president, the Senior Rules Official of the western half of the United States for the Future Collegians World Tour, and the help he provides the United States Golf Association – would be possible without the support of his sweetheart.
With giving back for over twenty years, what gets McGregor to return every year? It certainly isn’t just the free meal that’s given to him and all the other volunteers when they come to help with local UGA tournaments.
McGregor said there were several things that keep him coming back. The first is his ability to “enjoy the association with the people I work with.” Because the golfing community in Utah is very close knit, it seems that whatever tournament you go to, you are bound to know someone and meet someone new.
Having just finished his thought, McGregor paused then stated that his favorite thing to do as a volunteer is getting to set-up the golf course in preparation for a tournament. He relishes the opportunity he has to be alone and have the chance to take everything in – the smells, sounds and nature itself. For him, getting to do that has provided opportunities for Ah-Ha moments – something he said happens every time he does it.
McGregor boldly stated, “[I’ve] never seen an ugly golf course.”
Outside of golf, McGregor stated he loves to travel with his wife to Hawaii or Mexico, fish and hunt, do archery, and attend his grandkids sporting events.
Reed, thank you for everything you have done for the UGA and for the game of golf. Your dedication is unmatched. We here at the UGA would like to say thank you for your hard work and dedication.
For additional information on Reed McGregor’s life and different aspects within it, please read Megan Huntsman’s article “Reed McGregor to receive Gold Club Award.”