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State College Native Will Have a Hand in Ryder Cup

by on September 19, 2012 7:01 AM

The Ryder Cup will take place Sept. 28-30 at Medinah Country Club.

State College native Hans Larson, head golf professional at Westmoreland County Club in Wilmette, Ill., 12 miles north of Chicago, will have an up-close view of all the action.

“We are very excited to have the Ryder Cup in Chicago,” Larson said. “I have the opportunity to be a captain on the driving range for the week, which means I will help oversee the activities at the practice facilities and assist the players and caddies in any way possible.

“The Ryder Cup is the biggest golf event in the world and I can't believe I get to be a part of it. I kick myself every once in awhile that a kid from Boalsburg gets to take in golf on the world stage. I remember when I was 18 years old and decided that I was going to make golf a career.

"Scott Frey, the PGA Professional at the (former State College) Elks Country Club at the time, and Jim Sylves, a former PGA member and a member at the Elks Club, both told me if I was going to do this then I better go all the way and that is what I am trying to do. Be the very best and represent my hometown well.”

Larson’s big break in the golfing business came at the Elks, recently renamed the Mountain View Country Club, and also through having an uncle in the business.

“I got into the golf business by growing up in Willowbrook Estates next to the State College Elks,” Larson said. “David Redmond was the PGA Professional and he gave me a break to work picking the range and cleaning carts.

“My uncle, Cliff Larson, was also a golf professional and superintendent at Beakman Country Club in Hopewell Junction, New York and I enjoyed being around golf. Once I started working at the Elks Club, I never looked back.

"I worked for great golf professionals, David Redmond, Jeb Boyle at Centre Hills (Country Club), Bruce Patterson at Butler National. I am really fortunate to have learned from some of the best guys in the business,” Larson said.

John covers sports for the Gazette.
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