With the passing of Bob Lorentzen on May 25 at the age of 85, the Northwest golf community lost one of its great ambassadors, and whose behind-the-scenes impact will be felt for years to come.
Bob had served as counsel to the Northwest Golf House Committee, and was one of the attorneys (along with Bill Bergsten and Bill Mays) who was instrumental in reviewing legal documents during the acquisition phase of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association and Washington State Golf Association purchasing The Home Course in DuPont, Wash. Bob then served on the board of PNGA/WSGA Properties, Inc. (for The Home Course) since the course was purchased in 2007, a position he held until his death.
“I remember him playing in our PNGA championships back in the early 2000s,” said Troy Andrew, who is now the CEO of the Washington State Golf Association and the Pacific Northwest Golfer Association, as well as The Home Course. Andrew used to be the PNGA’s director of rules and competition, in charge of conducting the region’s premier amateur championships. “I think everyone would agree that he was just a great guy, always giving of his time, always enjoyed playing golf, always supportive of the golf industry and the community at large.”
He was born Sept 13, 1930 in Seattle to hard-working Norwegian immigrant parents, Martin and Olga. He graduated from Ballard High School 1948 where he played on the golf team. During summers he worked on a commercial fishing boat with his father to pay for college tuition. In 1952 he graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. He was a member of the Husky golf team. He served in the U.S. Navy (1955-1958) as an officer, stationed at Monterey Calif. then on to Alaska to become a weatherman. He qualified for the G.I. Bill and earned his law degree from the University of Washington in 1961. While in law school he met his future wife, Joyce McDonald, also a student at UW. They married in 1962, a loving marriage that lasted 54 years with two wonderful sons and two grandchildren.
Bob practiced corporate law for 40 years. He was a man of incredible integrity, intellect, and strong work ethic, who gave volunteer time generously. He was a Boy Scout master, youth softball coach, Shoreline College Foundation board member, past president of the Norwegian Commercial Club, and past president of Seattle Golf Club.
He also had a passion for golf history and served on the USGA Library and Museum Committee since 1988. He was also a representative for the Northwest Region of the Golf Collectors Society.
He was a humble man of few words, but wise counsel to many, and a friend to all. Yes, he will be missed.