Parker knew what to do and how to help

SPEC­TA­TOR GOLF

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - GARRY MCKAY

Terry Parker is be­ing re­mem­bered as a hard-nosed busi­ness­man who could have a heart of gold.

The long­time PGA of Canada pro­fes­sional at Hid­den Lake Golf Club in Burling­ton, where he was also part-owner, died last week of can­cer. He was 67.

“He was a very, very sharp busi­ness­man when it came to deal­ing with sup­pli­ers,” said Ge­orge Tidd, Parker’s best friend of al­most 50 years and co-owner at Hid­den Lake. “They say in the restau­rant busi­ness that you have your guys in the front of the store and the guys in the back, and I was al­ways the guy in the front of the store who knew ev­ery­body’s name and was hand­shak­ing and back­slap­ping. Parker was be­hind the scenes do­ing the buy­ing and book­keep­ing and check­ing in­voices. He was the busi­ness mind. We al­ways said that we only had half a brain each but to­gether we were pretty good.”

While he was ham­mer­ing sales reps in the front of the pro shop to get the best deal pos­si­ble, Parker was al­ways avail­able to help young golfers learn the busi­ness.

Cana­dian Na­tional Am­a­teur Team mem­ber Blair Hamil­ton of Burling­ton, who is play­ing in this week’s RBC Cana­dian Open, has played out of Hid­den Lake and worked in the back shop since he was a teenager.

“Mr. Parker was al­ways re­ally good to me and Hid­den Lake has been huge for my golf­ing ca­reer,” said Hamil­ton. “He was a straight shooter and ev­ery­one who knew him would tell you that. He’s go­ing to tell you ex­actly what he thinks and he re­spected peo­ple who were straight shoot­ers. I never had an is­sue with him, not one time. He al­ways helped me out when I needed it and I’ll think back very highly of Mr. Parker.”

Burling­ton na­tive Michael Gligic, who is now play­ing the McKen­zie PGA Tour Canada, ad­mits he took a while to re­al­ize the life les­son he learned from Parker when he worked in the back shop as a teenager. “He was hard to work for at times, but now that I’m older I re­al­ize that he just wanted things done right. He was a great guy.”

Tidd and Parker met at the nowde­funct Lido Golf Club in Oakville in the late 1960s, where Tidd was the se­nior as­sis­tant pro­fes­sional and hired Parker. To­gether they ran a very suc­cess­ful pro shop.

In 1979 when it be­came ob­vi­ous that the land Lido was on would be de­vel­oped, they joined an own­er­ship group that was pur­chas­ing Hid­den Lake. “It had been closed for three years, so we put that back into op­er­a­tion and opened it in 1980,” said Tidd.

When the group made the de­ci­sion to ex­pand the 18-hole track first to 27 and then 36, Parker went to Florida to study golf course ar­chi­tec­ture. When he re­turned, he did most of the de­sign work on Hid­den Lake’s New Course.

WHOLE-IN-ONE: Gligic played in a three-day tour­na­ment in Pitts­burgh re­cently. When he and David Bradshaw fin­ished in a tie they went to a three-hole play­off, which also ended in a stale­mate. On the first sud­den-death hole, a par three, Gligic put it on the green 25 feet from the hole. Bradshaw ended it by mak­ing an ace.

With files from Teri Pe­coskie Garry McKay is a veteran, award-win­ning golf jour­nal­ist and a for­mer sportswriter with The Hamil­ton Spec­ta­tor. gar­rym­ckay1@rogers.com

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