Richard White’s eight-year stint in the Military after his High School education was long enough to ‘bury’ the passion of a rookie who had barely started playing golf in High School. He admits that, except for a tour in Hawaii, he rarely had the opportunity to practice the game. In the unusual down time, he perhaps gripped the clubs occasionally to remember just what it felt like. In the midst of all the routines in a Military camp and the obscure scenes mostly associated with the service, dreaming about golf probably didn’t feel right.
The craving to play again and spend more time on the golf course undoubtedly stayed on him and he has since reeled in the fun and challenging aspects of the game. “I just never lost the love of the game and when the time was right I picked it up again”. He intimated
Recounting his journey through golf, the Medical Laboratory System expert explained that, “When I was about 40 years old I had the pleasure and honor to be an assistant to a PGA Professional for about 2 ½ years even though my handicap at the time was 8. My strength with the club was member relations and club operations. Then I went back to the medical field and regained my amateur status. For about 10 years prior to coming to Ghana in 2002, I had the pleasure of traveling all over the US, the Caribbean and Mexico installing medical laboratory systems”.
In as much as he travelled around to undertake installations, he sure had a travelling companion to fix up his ‘ego’ as well; his golf clubs. He enjoys the solidarity of the game and the opportunity to relax in beautiful natural settings with like-minded colleagues, whether playing on lush landscapes or tough courses. He is a pleased golfer. He has played over 100 courses, a feat he relishes to the brim. Among the top courses he has played include; International Golf Club, Orlando FL, ST Cloud Golf Club, PGA Golf Club, Royal Oaks Country Club,
At 65 years, he concedes that, his game suffers but he is thankful for relatively good health. In addition, working the greens makes his retirement great. “I thank God for every round played”. He added.
Now, a member of the premier Achimota Golf Club, Richard lauded the efforts of the club in winning the Independence International Matchplay between AGC and IBB. But underscored that the yearly match play persists beyond who wins or loses “Anytime we as golfers have the opportunity to combine the advancement of our sport with promoting international relations it is a win-win for all. The social aspects are very important in my opinion”. He said
Experts say, golf is a mental game, and you have to stay cool and exercise lots of control to achieve your mission. This attribute ultimately finds home with Richard White. He easily pins down a direct connection to his service in the army. “My eight years’ service in the U.S. Marine Corps, with two combat tours, taught and instilled in me discipline and accomplishment of mission”. A trait, which forever will stay premium in the game as long as it enjoys the huge euphoria and success.
Golf invariably enjoys howling successes in many countries. Indeed, at some courses around the world, a golfer’s pulsation starts racing the moment he or she makes a tee time to play such amazing course. Exceptional courses with immaculate conditions, lush fairways, and top-notch staff. These descriptions mostly stay true only in the dreams of many administrators of golf in many parts of Africa and Ghana in particular.
Richard White however believes that, the continent’s game can get better when professional golf is embraced by corporate and private investment. “Aside from the standards of the facilities they use to groom their skills, professional golf must have greater sponsorship commitments for professional competitions AND individual assistance to those players who excel”. He continued that, “without that type of commitment and financial support, golf in the US, Europe, Asia and S. Africa would not be at the level they are.”
With lesser work strain on him, Richard White wittingly argues that, a BAD day on the golf course is BETTER than a GOOD day at work. Losing one or no balls define a good day for the ardent golfer. He explained further that, “If I can stay out of the water and bush I am cool. Chipping and putting on a good day is my strong suit and therefore my favorite part of the game”.
In a shrill display of fervor for the game, Richard White throws out a strong advocacy but sadly sustainable only in a perfect world. He maintains that, “ young men and women would be required to play a minimum of two years of golf versus two years military service.” Sigh! “That would be utopia.” He exclaimed
Story by Collins Oppong