Dick Williams left a legacy when he passed away earlier this year at the age 84. His love of golf and teaching it to young boys and girls was only surpassed by the love he had for his Lord.
Monday, the Ark-La-Tex Junior Golf Tour puts wraps on its 2020 summer tour at Pinecrest Country Club. Awards are to be handed out to the top performers in each age group for both boys and girls.
Those trophies will now have the name Dick Williams etched upon them. It’s a most fitting tribute to a gentleman who devoted the last half of his life promoting golf to countless young boys and girls.
“My dad was very invested in the kids. He went above and beyond to help them. I think this is a great opportunity to recognize him for his personal sacrifices,” said Williams’ son, Richard.
Williams, along with Alpine Target Golf Center’s Mike Williams (no relation), started the East Texas Junior Golf Association in 1984 in an effort to grow the game of golf across the area.
“This was a love of his for the last 35 years. His heart and soul was in this year round. No question he impacted a lot of lives, including mine. I considered him a mentor,” said Mike, who along with his wife, Paige, decided to name the player of the year trophy in his memory.
“We had worked together for 50 years. He helped me with my swing from time to time. We partnered together in some Saturday and Sunday games through the years. He was pretty much avid in whatever he decided to do.”
Williams, who counted among his friends Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson and Longview’s own Matthew McConaughey, so loved the game of golf that he always impressed on young people playing the value of good sportsmanship. He believed character counted as the most important component in the makeup of a good golfer.
This year’s group of kids receiving the Dick Williams trophy are most likely to remember the namesake and his impact on golf in East Texas.
Ten years down the road, however, there will be a new set of prospective golf enthusiasts that never met him. But his legacy and the many lives he touched will live on and Dick Williams will not be forgotten.