It is with great sadness that the SCGA family mourns the loss of one of its dynamic personalities, Bob Thomas, who died Thursday after being diagnosed with cancer last summer.
Thomas, 72, served as the Association’s director of communications and publisher/editor of FORE Magazine for over 25 years before retiring in February 2009. His extensive contributions were vital to growing the SCGA’s footprint within Southern California and establishing it on a national scale.
Additionally, Thomas grew FORE Magazine — the vehicle he helped build as the “information conduit” of the Association, and inaugurated the SCGA Directory in 1992. He edited over 150 issues of FORE, penned hundreds of articles and snapped thousands of photos, covering a slew of SCGA and amateur tournaments around the state.
While overseeing the SCGA’s Centennial and launch of SCGA.org, the ever-passionate Thomas also ushered the Association into the digital era, helping the SCGA become the first golf association in the country to offer live scoring during amateur golf tournaments.
“In a sport that features a wealth of interesting personalities, Bob stands out as one of the great characters,” said SCGA Executive Director Kevin Heaney. “Everybody who knew Bob has a wonderful story about him, although the best anecdotes came from Bob telling stories on himself.”
Thomas was a long-time member of the United States Golf Association’s Communications Committee and received the “Media Service Award” from the California Golf Writers & Broadcasters Association in 2011.
Even after his retirement, Thomas’ zeal for the Association never wavered. He remained engaged on the SCGA Hall of Fame Committee and made contributions as a dedicated historian.
“As was the case with everything in Bob’s life, he brought a tremendous passion to his role in communications for the SCGA,” Heaney said. “While FORE Magazine was his pride and joy, Bob was involved in all aspects of Association activities. I am not sure I ever saw Bob happier on the job as when he was covering the State Amateur at Pebble Beach.”
Thomas studied journalism at the University of Southern California and music at California State University, Los Angeles. A classical music critic and columnist for the Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune and Southern California News Group, Thomas continued writing about music until his passing.
Outside of classical music, he was very active with the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, serving in various capacities including Elder, Director of Administration and a member of the music ministry. He sang as a soloist or in choirs for over 50 years.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Read more about Bob in the Pasadena Star-News.