Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.
Issue link: http://gcmdigital.gcsaa.org/i/385759
18 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 10.14 June 17, 2014. You may or may not remember what you were doing that day. I do. You could fnd me on the grounds of Pinehurst No. 2 for the Women's U.S. Open. In time, though, it proved to be a signifcant day for me for other reasons. I was not alone. It certainly had an affect on two families and who knows how many others. Part of my job includes compiling informa - tion for our "In Memoriam" section of GCM. Here is how that works: Becky Downing, our senior data integrity specialist at GCSAA, sends me obituary notices of deceased members in an interoffce envelope that is delivered to our de - partment on the fourth foor of the GCSAA headquarters building in Lawrence, Kan. It is my duty to compose what will appear. Sometimes the deceased may have passed away as long ago as 18 months. Or it could be six weeks. There is no question this is sensitive stuff, to be handled with care. Proud families who want to remember their loved ones often will re - quest multiple copies of GCM as keepsakes. For the families and friends of Ernie Hayes and Aylor Rogers, June 17 always will be cir - cled on their calendars. A few weeks ago, I received their obituar - ies. Usually the frst things I look at are years of membership and date of death. What ini - tially caught my eye was that both Hayes and Rogers died on the same day. June 17. Soon I learned they had more in common than pass - ing away that day. In Downing's notes to me, she let me know that Hayes and Rogers were best friends. "They were different personalities," Mi - chael Hayes, Ernie's son, told me. "Dad was a little bit quieter. Aylor was outgoing and boisterous. But they were big buddies. Aylor had heard about Dad's golfng prowess. That's when they fnally met up to check out each other's golfng skills." Their paths frst crossed in the Carolinas. Hayes, a 40-year member of GCSAA, had ev - erything to do with Land Harbor Golf Club in Linville, N.C. He was there for the frst day in 1969 and later designed and constructed the back nine. Rogers, a 47-year member of GCSAA, spearheaded the construction of Grandfather Golf & Country Club in Lin- ville. Only about 10 minutes separated these two men whose friendship seemed insepara - ble. Their families would gather at one of their homes on occasion, which was another sign of how much they meant to one another. "They kind of seemed like brothers," says Brenda, Aylor's wife. "They were very close. They would go on golf trips together. They were just very, very close." Hayes and Rogers were instrumental in shaping their profession in North Carolina. Hayes was a founding member of the West - ern North Carolina Turfgrass Association. Six years ago, it named its scholarship endowment in his honor. Rogers was a lifetime member of the North Carolina Turfgrass Council. In their later years, Hayes and Rogers were unable to meet and greet each other as often as they would have liked. Michael Hayes, 25-year GCSAA Class A member and op - erations manager at Land Harbor, thinks the last time they saw each other in person was at Ernie Hayes' 85th birthday party. Still, they would talk on the phone. Even that, however, became more diffcult in their twilight. Ernie Hayes suffered from dementia in recent years. On the morning of June 17, Aylor Rogers passed away. He was 90. Later that evening, Ernie Hayes passed away. He was 91. The Rogers family phoned the Hayes family. That is when each of them learned that these two men, signifcant in the golf course industry and the fber of their families, had died. "At frst, it was kind of a shock," Michael Hayes says, "but then I just fgured that it was divine intervention that they had to make a tee time together." Brenda Rogers thought something similar. "I know they're up there having a good time, talking about golf," she says. The families requested that their "In Me - moriam" notices appear in the same issue. So, on Page 114, GCM has honored their request. Actually, it is our honor. I never met either man. Somehow, though, I expect whenever June 17 rolls around, I will think of them. Howard Richman is GCM 's associate editor. Howard Richman email@example.com twitter: @GCM_Magazine A matter of life and death (inside gcm) Aylor Rogers (left) and Ernie Hayes