NCGA Golf

Winter 2018

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NCGA.ORG | WINTER 2018 21 "We draft by need and we needed a lobbyist," Gordon said. "I said I happen to know one who is passionate about golf." Bone, 68, is a lawyer and he worked as a political advocate at the state capital for 43 years before retiring in 2016. A love of golf has infused his life ever since his father introduced him to the game at age 8, buying him six lessons—the only formal lessons he's ever had. Golf was a way to spend four hours of quality time with dad. Together, they learned the sweet mysteries of the game and a lot about each other. "I cherished those times when I went out and played with him," Bone said. His father took him to play when he could, but as a pharmacist and owner of three drug stores he worked long hours. So his mother dropped Bone off at Haggin Oaks, and a host of father figures whose authority he respected helped look after him. They taught him the rules and eti- quette of the game. "They said if you want to become a gentleman you have to learn and under- stand the right way to play the game," said Bone's wife, Carol. It made an impression on Bone, which may explain why he and his wife have devoted their energies to the NCGA's Youth on Course program. In college, Bone worked at Davis Golf Course, where he did everything from cooking hamburg- ers and hotdogs to working the counter and picking up range balls. He played whenever he could and became good enough to shoot in the low 70s. Today, his handicap hovers around 7, and he plays frequently at North Ridge, where he's been a member since 1996, and is known for organizing an annual trip for 32 golfers from his home club to play Poppy Hills Golf Course. Bone says he can never repay the game for what it's meant to him. He watched the way Gordon and others served on the NCGA board and wanted to do his part, too. Bone's lobbyist background and knowledge of tax codes made him a natural in this role. He impressed with his worker bee, roll-up-the-sleeves mentality. The more he volunteered, the more they leaned on him. It didn't take much to convince several members of the nominating com- mittee that he was a consensus builder and had the management skills and dedication required to lead the association. Why has Bone devoted so much time to the NCGA and the game? The response when that question is posed to those who have worked with him and know him best is a popular refrain: He simply loves the game. It's an answer that is hardly revela- tory; so do many of us, but do we ever lift a finger to help organize the junior clinic or do we spend our time beating another bucket of balls? Gordon may have put it best. It occurred to him that this is Bone's way of ensuring the sport he cherishes as much as anything passes to the next gener- ation. Bone remembers those first rounds at Pacific Grove and Pasatiempo; how working at the muni in Davis taught him the value of a dollar and a hard days work; and how club and NCGA competitions taught him that success in tournaments (as in life) is determined by courage and will at least as much as by talent. Bone wants other NCGA area kids to learn those same lessons and many more, and perhaps the game will become part of the framework of their lives the way it has become part of his. "A wise man once advised, do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life," Bone said. "I've finally found the one thing that I love so much that it doesn't feel like work." P ast NCGA president Kerry Gordon sounds like the general manager of a sport's franchise when he explains how Tom Bone, his fellow member at North Ridge Country Club near Sacramento, ended up joining the NCGA's board of directors in 2010. "I've finally found the one thing that I love so much that it doesn't feel like work." Hometown: Sacramento (born and raised) High School: Rio Americano College: U.C. Davis/McGeorge School of Law Occupation: Political lobbyist (retired in 2016). "I did it for 43 years, which explains why I'm short and bald. No one comes out of it looking the same." Family: Wife, Carol and daughters, Tracy and Haley. Joined NCGA board: 2010 Handicap Index: 7.3 Why You Love Golf: I love the social aspect, the time between shots to get to know people. My golf buddies are among my best friends. Favorite Golf Memory: Playing with my dad. I still remember my first nine holes during a family vacation at Pacific Grove Golf Links and playing at Pasatiempo. That was it. I was hooked for life. Favorite Golf Courses: Pacific Grove and Pasatiempo hold a special place in my heart. So does Spyglass. San Francisco Golf Club is my No. 1 that I get to play every once in a while. 2018 NCGA President Tom Bone

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