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NCGA Noteworthy So nice, that when Lang-


ley had to fire a caddie for some pretty obvious offenses, the conversation ended with a tearful embrace. “I’ll never forget, the


caddie is getting fired, and he’s hugging Jim on the way out,” remembered Reamer. “How do you fire someone and have them hugging you in the same conversa- tion? The caddie was saying, ‘Thank you for keeping me this long, you should have let me go a long time ago.’” Reamer feels Langley’s


spirit every day at Cypress Point. He spent six years as the caddie master and assis- tant pro under Langley, and his desk was decorated with Post-its of Langleyisms. “I was just trying to soak


everything in,” Reamer said. “I would make all these little notes and have all these Langley quotes around. ‘You have to give what you have.’ He would give you every- thing. ‘Practice humility’ was my favorite. He was a very, very humble man. He would never, ever complain.” Langley refused to make


excuses, even though he suf- fered painful and lingering injuries after a car accident in 1987. Langley felt con- stant pain in his legs and es- sentially lost use of his right arm, but the accident only made him more determined to overcome any perceived disadvantage. He even main- tained that it helped him teach golf by demonstrating a more fluid swing with just his left arm. The 6-foot-4 Langley


was a phenomenal athlete. He was recruited to play tight end at Stanford, but in- stead chose to play basketball at Cal under Hall of Fame


Coach Pete Newell. Lang- ley was an instrumental player on the 1959 national championship team, which beat Oscar Robertson’s Cincinnati in the semifi- nals, and Jerry West’s West Virginia in the finals. But Langley actually


turned pro in golf, even picking up a second-place finish at the PGA Tour’s Azalea Open. He also shot a course-record-tying 9-under 63 at Cypress Point (which has been matched by Ben Hogan and Reamer). When Langley was


hired as Cypress Point’s fourth head pro in 1972, he was famously told by club president Charles de Bretteville, “We’re going to take a chance on you.” When Langley retired


in 2006, Cypress Point bestowed him with an honorary membership. The only other person


to receive an honorary membership? Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th presi- dent of the United States. “I’m just so blessed to


have worked with him,” Reamer said. “I’m just proud to say I knew who he was. Working here is won- derful. Cypress Point is the best place in the world. But working with Jim Langley is even better. “He’s a father figure,


but he’s more than a father figure. I had a great dad, but Jim’s taught me so many things about life and family, and how to be a bet- ter husband and dad. He’s in all of us. “He set the bar so


high. You can never reach it. You can never fill his shoes. He just gave and gave and gave.”


Corral de Tierra’s Brian Sjogren Named Technician of the Year


B


rian Sjogren can fix just about anything. Sjogren is a self-taught mechanic, an amateur civil engineer, a wildlife enthusiast, a bio-


diesel-production pioneer and the 2013 TurfNet Technician of the Year award recipient. Sjogren has been working at Corral de Tierra CC for more than 20 years, and is an integral part of the maintenance staff. There, he rebuilds mow- ers and grinding reels, designs and builds bridges on the course, manages the turf maintenance equipment, and oversees a biodiesel-production program in which he makes about 40 gallons of fuel per week from used cooking oil. The TurfNet Technician of the Year award is a


prestigious honor given to one recipient annually. Sjogren was selected from a list of three finalists and was honored for excelling in crisis manage- ment, effective budgeting, environmental aware- ness, interpersonal communications, inventory management and cost control, overall condition and dependability of rolling stock, shop safety and, most of all, work ethic. “It was really unexpected to win,” Sjogren said. “I didn’t even know I had been nominated!” Shortly after receiving the award, Sjogren left


his award on the table where he and his co-work- ers had been gathered. “Did he forget it? I’m not surprised,” said Corral de Tierra superintendent Doug Ayres as he gathered up the award and returned it to Sjo- gren, who was already back to work rebuilding mowing reels.


“I love my job,” Sjogren said with a smile on his face, “There is something different happening every day.”


FALL 2013 / NCGA.ORG / 19


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