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From the Executive Director by Vaughn Kezirian My Hometown Team I


t was more than 50 years ago, but it’s as easy to remember as your first hole- in-one—if you’ve been lucky enough to have one.


The first time I was exposed to golf was when I turned 12. For my birthday, I got six lessons at Hank’s Swank Driv- ing Range in my hometown of Fresno. My father, Bob Kezirian, learned the


game through his lifelong friend, Haig Nishkian. My father passed his love of golf to me, and it was Hank Bocchini who helped me learn how to swing. The night of my first lesson, riding


home with my mother, I listened on the radio as another rookie, Juan Mar- ichal of the Giants, tossed a no-hitter through eight innings before allowing a two-out single in the ninth. Marichal spent 14 seasons with the


Giants. Having recently turned 67 years old, I’ve had a pretty good run with what turned out to be my home team— the NCGA. Hooked on the game, I took what swing I had to UC Berkeley. My passion for the game was only re-ignited after I enrolled in golf as a physical education class. But it was also the beginning of a lifetime friendship with Steve Desim- one, now the men’s golf coach at Cal. While I’m thankful for many


friends I’ve met through golf, I’m especially fond of the Saturday and Sunday morning groups at Fort Wash- ington CC, where I became a member in 1977. It pleases me that clubs that revolve around groups like the ones I were a part of are slowly recovering from the Recession. At Fort Washington, I was approached


by good friend Derrell Biddy about joining the NCGA Board of Directors in 2002. That was two years after I volun- teered for my first NCGA tournament. Like many of our volunteers today, I somehow found the time to support golf while managing a reinforcing steel business in Fresno. That original conversation with


8 / NCGA.ORG / SUMMER 2015


Derrell culminated in me becoming NCGA president in 2010. Little did I know that following a


brief retirement I’d return to serve the NCGA. In 2011, I joined the Rules and Competitions department. Again, the fire was re-ignited. For me, it really was a life-changing experience. Things changed again in 2013 when


I was asked to become interim executive director and usher the Association through Poppy Hills’ grand reopening. I accepted the role at a time when the board felt my service was needed. I will always appreciate the way the staff accepted me. Some of the greatest things I expe-


rienced at the NCGA are the growth of the Foundation and serving as a director for our highly praised Youth on Course program.


I am also pleased to see NCGA Golf


become one of the finest golf publica- tions in the country, and am thrilled by the growth of the tournament program, which now includes the successful Junior Tour of Northern California, and will soon add a Women’s Amateur Tour. The value of NCGA membership


has increased. We now offer a smorgas- bord of amenities. I’m also proud to be part of Poppy Holding Inc., which delivers quality experiences at Poppy Hills and Ridge. Throughout it all, there have also been


my rocks—my wife Ann and daughters Robin, Teriann, Corrie and Bobbi—who have supported me. They’ve sacrificed, and can tell you that many a family vaca- tion morphed into an NCGA vacation. If this all sounds like a goodbye, it’s


because in a way it is. By the end of 2015, I will no longer serve as executive director. It’s simply time for someone else to take the helm. I’ll still be involved, helping with the


Junior Tour and serving the Cal Seniors and Senior Golf Association of North- ern California. But now, when I take a vacation, it’ll


be a vacation.


NCGA GOLF


The official publication of the Northern California Golf Association Volume 35, Number 3


Editorial & Business Office Northern California Golf Association 3200 Lopez Road, Pebble Beach, CA 93953 P: (831) 625-4653; F: (831) 625-0150 NCGA.org; ncgainfo@ncga.org


Editorial Staff Scott Seward – Editor & Publisher


Kevin Merfeld, Richard J. Cerame, Jerry Stewart, Laurie Lee


Advertising Managers Tom Black, Jim Whittemore


Contributing Writers Jaime Diaz, Tom Dellner, Ron Kroichick, Brian Murphy, Jeff Ritter, Alan Shipnuck


Contributing Photographers Joann Dost, Lindsey Novitzke, Aaron Olson, Terry VanderHeiden


NCGA Staff Vaughn Kezirian – Executive Director, NCGA Adam Heieck – Executive Director, NCGA Foundation


Alex Anderson, Toivo Betancourt, Jim Brady, Jeff Burgess, Richard J. Cerame, Kelly Cimino, Ben Coronado, Jim Cowan, Ryan Dunham, Ryan Farb, Mark Fitch, Aana Fitzgerald, Lenny Fudenna, Martin Fuentes, Svetlana Gavrilenko, Jason Gilbert, Evelyn Gomez, Otis Goodwin, Jeremy Gray, Ryan Gregg, Aaron Hartesveld, Maryjane Hatch, Joe Huston, Keenan Jones, Steve Latos, Rick Leoncio, Michael Lowe, Jillian MacDonald, Kevin Merfeld, Helen Nicolayev, Lindsey Novitzke, Malinda Oliver, Jean Quismundo, Rick Rangel, Kristina Saich, Sam Staton, Scott Seward, Jerry Stewart


NCGA Board of Directors Lee Gidney (President), John A. Ronca (Vice President), Patrick N. Quinn (Secretary/Treasurer), Brian D. Morse (Immediate Past President)


Stacey Baba, Brad Bell, Thomas E. Bone, Thomas H. Carter, John A. Dodsworth, Gary Fox, Robert J. Goldstein, Samuel A. Gross, Susan Morse, Michael J. O’Donnell, David L. Pearson, Gail A. Rogers, Michael W. Weeks, Richard M. Wise, Paul F. Yost Jr.


Golf Courses Owned by the Northern California Golf Association Poppy Hills Golf Course P: (831) 622-8239; F: (831) 626-5421 PoppyHillsGolf.com; info@poppyhillsgolf.com 3200 Lopez Rd. Pebble Beach, CA 93953


Poppy Ridge Golf Course P: (925) 456-8202; F: (925) 455-2020 PoppyRidgeGolf.com; info@poppyridgegolf.com 4280 Greenville Rd. Livermore, CA 94550


NCGA Golf (ISSN-1524-4385) is published quarterly by the Northern California Golf Association, 3200 Lopez Road, Pebble Beach, 93953. All rights reserved, including right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Members pay an annual subscription fee of $1. Printed in U.S.A. Please send change of address notice on Member Change form (available at your club). Periodical postage paid at Pebble Beach, CA and additional mailing offices. Advertising contained herein does not constitute endorsement by the Northern California Golf Association. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to NCGA Golf, P. O. Box NCGA, Pebble Beach, CA. 93953-1157.


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