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Losing a friend / co-worker (some golf history here too)


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The past 5 months I have been helping a friend and co-worker who is ill. I guess this has added to my stress (a different post).

He is Ralph Guldahl, Jr. 73. His dad is famous in the golf world - same name obviously. His dad won several golf tournaments in the 30's. The Braemar CC in Tarzana, CA has a room dedicated to Ralph Sr. and a life-size bronze statue, and 1 of 2 courses there is named after Ralph Sr.

I feel like a daughter to Ralph and I think he kinda sees me that way lately. He has had so many complications with diabetes and his general health that it is my understanding from his social worker that his health is progressively declining. Since I am not family she is not allowed to say more. So sad. He has the mind of a steel trap as we say at work. He is our museum curator. He also was a golf pro in his early years, then car racing journalist. He taught me some good golf tips. We used to practice putting in my office during break times and I sunk 10+ in a row one time and he said, "I give up, you're just too good now." It was all in jest and we still laugh about it to this day.

-just wanted to share. I know there are some golfers out there who might find his dad's history interesting. Funny (odd) thing is, Ralph Jr. is supposed to attend a Jack Nicholas event in May this year because Ralph Sr. is being inducted in Jack's hall-of-fame deal. The PGA calls our work constantly and sends mail to get Ralph to come out there. They know about his condition but not all.
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I am sure that your being part of his life is very comforting to him. I hope your little talk goes well, he definitely does need to make sure he has his stuff in order. btw, if he says you can be made privy to what is going on medically, the social worker can tell you, but only with his permission.


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You know, your post seems to mirror the same steps that we go through. First, your post mentions the stress that you obviously are experiencing.
Then, you reflect on the fond times and memories you have had with him, and then end thinking about his well-being and care.

It seems that so many things are pulling at our time/effort that we become naturally guarded. However, when we take the first step to give, its truly a blessing how many things we get back in return.

It would appear this man has had an effect on you. I suggest you set up a video camera and record you talking, playing golf, and goofing around with him. As life progresses, his health will deteriorate, and his mind will become hostage to his body. When that happens, pull your tapes out and remind yourself of the great man you remember him to be.

As Steel mentioned, as soon as possible, make sure you get all the paperwork in order, where the hard decisions can be made as painlessly as possible.

I'm not much of a golfer. I admire him more for the positive effect he has in people's lives; like you. If you thought enough to come here and share thoughts and pictures, he must truly be a great man.

Thanks for the story. :)


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Thanks for the kind words and advice. He has had a huge impact on me. No reality chat today. I'm going to wait to talk with his case worker. Spent a lot of time and laughed a lot. He's such a character. I still have hope that he'll get better.
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