Posted on November 2nd, 2015 1 comment
Back when he was kid, incoming 2016 SGANC president Doug Beaumont grew up in a Garden Grove that was nothing like the city is today.
The Garden Grove of then had a population of just over 3,000. It was the original Orange County, where just about everywhere stood a citrus tree or asparagus farm.
“When they built Disneyland (which opened in 1955) I was close enough that I could see the fireworks every night,” said the now 68-year-old Beaumont. “It was fun.”
At the time, golf was one of the last sport’s on Beaumont’s to-do list. Instead, his focus was on the ‘Big Three’ of football, basketball and baseball.
Things would change, however, after some visits with a friend around his age who lived across the street.
“My dad had played golf, and I’d go out and play with him but golf wasn’t my sport,” Beaumont said. “Then I found out that the kid across the street played, too.”
Helping Beaumont with the game—both then and even now– was his natural athleticism.
“Golf was never my sport, I just did it because I was athletic. That and it was fun,” the Vacaville resident said. “That’s the way I still approach the game. I don’t practice. I just try to go out and enjoy the good shots.”
For Beaumont, baseball was still his best sport. A pitcher, he was good enough to earn a scholarship to CSU-Los Angeles.
But everything changed for Beaumont with the Vietnam War.
It was 1968, and with the draft going on, Beaumont realized his plans could change in an instant. Instead of waiting to be called into the Army, he’d opt to join the Air Force.
“I figured I’d rather by flying over Vietnam than be on the ground,” he said.
As it turned out, it was only the start of what would turn out to be a career in the air. For the next 26 years, a now Colonel Beaumont flew C-141 cargo jets as a member of the Reserve.
It was during his time as a Reserve that he’d get hired as a commercial pilot for Braniff International Airlines. He’d also fly for UPS, Pacific-Southwest Airlines and US Airways before finally grounding himself by retiring after 28 years in the air.
“I was commuting from Vacaville to Philadelphia to fly to Europe. That was my regular route for 13 years,” he said. “It was tiring. Basically, I don’t go near airports anymore. I drive if I can.”
Today, Beaumont is still married to his college sweetheart, Lynn. The couple has two children.
While not flying anymore, he stays busy on the Supervisory Committee of Travis Credit Union. He’s been an NCGA Rules Official for the last 13 years, and has been so good at that he earned Tournament Official of the Year honors in 2012.
Now, it’s on to serving as President of the SGANC for 2016.
“I’m looking forward to the events we put together for 2016 and making sure the members have a great experience at the two championships we run every year,” Beaumont said.
Recently, Beaumont took a timeout for a quick Q & A session.
What are you looking forward to as SGANC President?
I’m eager to coordinate the 2017 events and get a schedule and also to work with the Board. They’re a quality group of guys. I’m also looking forward to trying to get the word out about our Association. Getting more people to know we’re here.
How did you first get started with golf?
Through my friend who lived across the street in Garden Grove who was on the golf team and playing with my dad. They were my two biggest influences.
What is your greatest golf memory or moment?
There’s a couple. One is playing Pebble Beach in 1974 in the rain for $75. I also once played Riviera with my dad back in the early 1980’s. There’s also shooting my best score, a 73, playing with friends Vic Ventura, Lee Gidney and Rich Schmidt at Paradise Valley in Fairfield.
Anything you would change with the game?
I think the rules simplification is going to come up in another three years or so. I think that will help the average golfer.
What is your favorite course and why?
My favorite course is on Catalina Island. It’s a short, 9-hole course behind Avalon back in the hills. The locals play it every day. I’d play it with my dad and the locals and it was always a fun time. Also, there’s Spyglass Hill. Playing holes No.1 through No.5 as a loop. I once did it by myself at the end of the day following a tournament. The sun was setting. I thought to myself, ‘This is what golf is all about.’
What courses are still on your wish list?
I want to go back to Pebble Beach and play it one more time, to relive that memory of playing in 1974.
Who was your biggest golf influence?
Probably my dad, because he kept me going at it. He introduced me to a lot of courses that otherwise I wouldn’t have had access to.
Does your business career intertwine with your golf game?
It does now, through the Credit Union. I do a lot of public relations work for them and play in a lot of scrambles. We do a lot of charitable donations. The Credit Union likes to have a community presence.