following players,” said Farran, who has a Ph.D. in chemistry. “I signed up for a workshop and I was hooked. “I was still three or four years

from retirement but I actually quit my job so I could work enough tournaments to become proficient.” That most certainly has been the

Dr. Robin Farran (left)

Volunteer of Year Farran has lived life by the rules

give up their profession to pursue it, but Dr. Robin Farran is an exception. Farran, 78, is considered one of


the foremost authorities on USGA rules and his devotion to that pursuit earned him the Doc Graves Volunteer of the Year Award for 2017.

Tanigawa tops Mayfair Award, turns sights on Champions Tour

Ken Tanigawa has come full circle in his golf career and it was his participation in Arizona Golf Association tournaments that helped him complete the journey. The 50-year-old Tanigawa put together another banner year in AGA events in 2017, and his consistently high level of play earned him the Billy Mayfair Award, given to the golfer with the lowest weighted scoring average for the season. “I didn’t realize that I played that well,”

said Tanigawa, when told that he averaged 67.88 strokes per round in AGA events. “But

any of those who get involved in administering the Rules of Golf aren’t so devoted that they

“I think they ran out of candidates so

they gave it to me,” Farran deadpanned. “It’s just one of those things that I have enjoyed doing ever since I started.” That was in 1994 in New York,

where he volunteered for an LPGA- USGA event while he was working in management for Eastman Kodak. “I didn’t anticipate doing anything

more with it at the time, but I really enjoyed walking with the officials and

case. For the past 14 years, Farran has been a fixture at AGA, USGA, SWSPGA, AWGA and JGAA events. He also teaches Advanced Rules of Golf at the Golf Academy of America and travels around the state conducting rules seminars. Farran works 30-45 tournaments

a year around Arizona and has officiated at 13 U.S. Opens and 80 USGA national championships. “What I discovered is that I knew

what was in the rules book, but it’s a lot different when you’re out there on the golf course,” he said. As for when he will “retire” from

rules, Farran said, “I’ve got a lot of kids and grandkids I would like to spend more time with, so I might have to ease off on the travel, but I’m really not sure when that will be.” n

Champions Tour Qualifying School last fall and tied for fourth at TPC Scottsdale, earning full exempt status for 2018. He was the first amateur to do so since Jim Roy in 2009. Tanigawa made his Champions Tour debut in

Ken Tanigawa

I certainly was pleased with how the year went and what I was able to achieve.” Tanigawa, a native of Kobe, Japan, who

played at UCLA, won the Arizona Amateur for the second time in three years, reaching the finals for third consecutive year. He also won the Players Cup, finished second in U.S. Open local qualifying and in U.S. Mid-Amateur sectional qualifying, and tied for third in U.S. Amateur Four-Ball qualifying with partner Andrew Medley. A former mini-tour player, who regained amateur status seven years ago, he entered

the Boca Raton Championship in Feburary, and it was a confidence booster as he tied for 10th place. It’s been quite a start as Tanigawa in his first two events has shot par or better in every round. The journey from professional to amateur and

back to the pro ranks has completed a personal comeback for Tanigawa, who stopped playing golf for about six years before getting back into the game through AGA events beginning in 2011. “That played a huge part in me pursuing

(tour golf) again,” he said. “If I hadn’t had the success or wasn’t winning or being competitive, I probably never would have tried it again. I would have never entered Q-school. “I owe a lot to the AGA to be able to play in

those events and have some success, which certainly gave me the confidence to take the next step.” n

SPRING-SUMMER 2018 | AZ GOLF Insider | 33



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