Not an easy week to write about golf after learning of the passing of three wonderful people who enriched the lives of the North Shore golf community and beyond dating back to the 1970s.

Dick Biegger, George Stravros and Dan Hurley made golf a special passion in their lives and for the benefit of countless others.

Biegger, 76, and wife Jan were long-time members of Wenham Country Club and volunteered for the LPGA Boston Five Classic during its 11-year run at Fernroft Country Club from 1980-90. He served as the right-hand man in the Classic press tent to the late Al Longo, and in his past professional capacity worked as an executive with the Flatley Companies. 

Stavros, 86, after going to work as a teenager on his uncle James’s Cape Ann Golf Course in Essex, later became owner and operator for many years of the picturesque nine-hole public layout located on Route 133.

Hurley, 87, was a Merrimack Valley boy but his life-long involvement in football and golf officiating, best known by this observer during his extensive service and, at one time, presidency of the Massachusetts Golf Association, made him a frequent visitor to tournament sites here on the North Shore and a friend to hundreds of North Shore players. 

The Bieggers retired about 10 years to golf mecca Pinehurst, N.C. to be near their three sons, Todd, Troy and Terry and their families, all of whom staked roots in the Carolinas. Todd has had a successful career as a golf course superintendent, formerly at the world famous Pinehurst Resort No. 8 course and currently at Crowfield Golf and Country Club in Goose Creek, S.C.

No one had more fun during Boston Five Classic Week than Biegger. He relished his multiple roles as Longo’s ‘go-to’ colleague while assisting the media, accompanying players to the press tent for interviews and making sure the tent was run with maximum efficiency.

After retiring with Jan to Pinehurst, Dick was constantly involved with Pinehurst Resort golf activities, serving on the Board and volunteering for virtually every tournament that the world famous facility hosted.

(While on the topic, how many of the 11 Boston Five Classic champions can you name? Here they are, starting with 1980 winner Dale Lundquist Eggeling: Donna Caponi, Sandra Palmer, Patti Rizzo, Laurie Rinker, Judy Dickinson, Jane Geddes (back to back), Colleen Walker, Amy Alcott (boasting the record low score of 16-under 272) and Barb Mucha.)

Stavros had worked the 55-acre Cape Ann property since 1935 and had lived on the property since 1953, though in recent years he had relinquished his duties to sons John, James and George J. The patriarch made sure you remembered your visit to Cape Ann for several reasons: the giant wooden golfer that stands outside the pro shop, the priceless view from the fourth tee looking down on the ever-changing colors of the nearby marshlands and distant waters of the Atlantic, and the ever-improving course conditions.

Long before he joined Myopia Hunt Club, acclaimed author John Updike enjoyed traversing the Cape Ann layout and wrote about it on more than one occasion, in The Big Bad Boom and The Golf Course Owner, in honor of George.

Hurley’s dedication to the game of golf cannot be overstated. His memberships at Indian Ridge and Kittansett were one thing, but he sacrificed thousands of hours of playing time to help run the Massachusetts Golf Association as an executive committeeman, then officer and eventually president, and was a permanent fixture at MGA tournaments for years. Massachusetts golf has suffered a great loss with Dan’s passing, but he leaves a notable legacy to the game.

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Congrats once again to the remarkable Cy Kilgore of Tedesco CC fame, who at the age of 60 qualified for the USGA Senior Amateur, slated for Big Canyon CC in Newport Beach, Calif. Sept. 13-18. Kilgore shot 75 to secure the third and final slot at the sectional qualifying at Framingham CC … Josh Salah of Bass Rocks makes it two for shooting 71 at Ipswich CC and qualifying for the New England Open Sept 15-17 at Belmont CC.

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Belated congrats for the fine showings by Myopia assistant Dan Venezio (6th place) and Beverly head pro David Dionne (12th) at last week’s 94th NEPGA Championship in New Hampshire ... Congrats as well to President Jack King, Centennial Chairman Michael Finn and Kernwood Country Club, which concludes its 100th anniversary celebration last Saturday night with a party marking the presentation of the club’s history book to the membership.

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After winning the New England Junior championship individual title the previous week, Salem CC’s Steven DiLisio tied for 13th with a 224 total at the AJGA tournament at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club in Dagsboro, Del. Phillips Exeter teammate Paul Lei of Ferncroft finished second at 218, two shots behind winner John Lazor of Westwood … Get well wishes to long-time Myopia course superintendent David Herorian, who continues to serve the club on a consultant basis while battling cancer. His superb work over the years thrust Myopia into the “America’s Top 100 Courses” lists. Jonathan Wilber, formerly of the National Golf Links of America on Long Island, is the new full-time course super.

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Big weekend down at TPC Boston in Norton for the annual Deutsche Bank Championship, Round 2 of the four-week FedEx Cup playoffs. Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson lead the field that begins play today and concludes Monday.

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Gary Larrabee, a former 25-year member of The Salem News sports staff, has been writing about golf on the North Shore for 45 years. His most recent publication is Sensation at Salem: The Legendary Babe Zaharias’s Historic 1954 U.S. Open Victory.

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