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Shayne Grier has one of the biggest and most boisterous personalities among Mass Golf volunteers. But he’s also recognized and respected as one of the most knowledgable Rules officials in the state.
Grier, 73, has traveled internationally for golf-related events, caddying for some of the best players in the world, including including John Lister, Steve Melnyk, and Hubert Green. His great PGA TOUR accomplishment came when in 1977 when he looped for Green as he captured the U.S. Open at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The pair also traveled together for British Open and Ryder Cup events.
Grier grew up in Worcester and played golf at courses such as Worcester Country Club, Green Hill Municipal Golf Course and Juniper Hill Golf Course. He went on to attend Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York and graduated in just three and a half years.
Now retired after working 30 years in the Steamship Authority, you’ll often find Grier at Mass Golf and various qualifying events taking place on Cape Cod or the nearby Southcoast area. He will be the Official In Charge for next week’s Massachusetts Senio Open Championship at Pocasset Golf Club in Bourne.
The following interview was lightly edited for clarity and brevity.
Mass Golf: How did you get into Volunteering with Mass Golf?
Shayne Grier: About 20 years ago, [Mass Golf Volunteer] Jim Horvath needed spotters. I worked a few tournaments and got interested, and Jim Gaquin, who is also a member at Cummaquid Golf Club, got me to be a Rules Official.
MG: What is your most memorable golf shot?
SG: I was playing in a two-day member-guest at Oak Hill Country Club, and I made back-to-back eagles on holes 3 & 4. This put a major dent in the birdie pools.
MG: Favorite course you have played in Massachusetts?
SG: My favorite course is Cummaquid Golf Club. I have been a member there for 36 years. The only reason that I have been there that long is because I never get tired of playing it.
MG: What is your dream foursome?
SG: I would like to caddy in this one and not play in it. My dream foursome is a four-ball match in which I am caddying for Jack Nicklaus and his partner is Ben Hogan, and their opponents are Tiger Woods and Bobby Jones.
MG: What clubhouse in Massachusetts has the best lunch?
SG: It is a toss-up between Pleasant Valley Country Club and Willowbend. Those two are outstanding.
MG: What keeps you coming back as a Mass Golf volunteer? And why would you encourage someone to volunteer for Mass Golf events?
SG: Mass Golf is a dedicated entity for the enhancement of golf’s many phases. Mass Golf does things the right way, and that is the way I like to see things get done. I would encourage people to come out and volunteer because it beats staying home and cleaning windows. And on top of that, the camaraderie is great.
MG: BONUS QUESTION – What stood out when you were on the bag for Hubert Green when he won the 1977 U.S. Open?
SG: Not to promote any self-image of myself or anything, but that was one of the better caddying moments of my career when on the 14th hole, Hubert was told that he might be shot, and he chose to keep playing. Hubert kept telling me to stay away from him. On the 15th hole, he told me to go ahead, and I said “Hey Pro, I grew up in the mean streets of Worcester. If somebody was going to shoot me, they wouldn’t give me a telegram.” He said, “yeah you’re right” and knocked his next shot to within 3 feet. And that pretty much clinched the Open for us.