Richard “Dick” Rene Farley
Richard “Dick” Rene Farley, longtime Stroudsburg, PA resident and lifelong PGA member, died peacefully on June 29, 2021 at the age of 91. He was born on July 14, 1929 in Alameda, California to the late Clarence Valentine and Marie Agnes Farley.
Professional: Dick grew up in Alameda, California. He was often found on the Alameda Municipal Golf Links, sweeping the pro shop or doing a caddy in exchange for course privileges. He graduated from City College of San Francisco in business administration and got his first job as an assistant pro on a golf course in Mare Island, CA. There he met the golf professional Harry Obitz, whose invitation was to change the life of young Dick. Harry invited Dick to work as an apprentice golfer at the Shawnee Inn in Pennsylvania. In 1948, Dick borrowed money for the overland trip and slept in the luggage compartment until he could afford to rent a room. After five years of training, he became an official member of the PGA on August 28, 1952. He and Harry used their teaching experience to manage and develop several golf resorts in the 1960s. They ended up in Freeport, Bahamas, where they developed Swing’s the Thing Golf Schools and Golf Show. The show was the first of its kind to be both educational and entertaining, featuring golf professionals swinging and performing trick strokes in unison. The Swing’s the Thing Golf Show toured the world with stops in Asia, Europe, Great Britain, Canada and Mexico. They have appeared on national television and were invited to make a special appearance at President Eisenhower’s birthday party in Hershey, PA.
In 1974, Dick returned to the Shawnee Inn and Country Club as golf director. He co-authored the book Six Days to Better Golf and his Swing’s the Thing Golf Schools expanded nationally and internationally. Soon after, he began a partnership with Rick McCord and together they ran the golf operations at Orange Lake Country Club in Kissimmee, FL. Over the years he has written numerous articles on the teaching of golf and Golf Magazine has named him one of its Top 50 Teachers. Another Dick project in the early 1970s was the World Pro-Am Golf Tournaments. He started with a tournament in Pebble Beach, CA that grew to 12 tournaments around the world. Many amateurs and professionals have fond memories of playing these tournaments on world famous courses in Pebble Beach, Scotland, Ireland, Portugal, Jamaica, the Bahamas and Mexico. Some of his professional memberships and affiliations have been: Lifetime PGA Member, British PGA Member, Member of the Professional Golf Writers Association, and Teaching Editor of Golf Magazine.
Personal: Despite all of his previous awards, Dick remained down to earth and humble. He met the love of his life, Julie, in 1959 at the Shawnee Inn and Country Club. They married in the Bahamas in 1966, where their two daughters Jackie and Lisa were born. Dick and Julie were happily married for almost 48 years until their death in 2014. Together they enjoyed spending time with their grandchildren, playing golf and traveling the world. Dick enjoyed hunting almost as much as golf. He looked forward to spending time with dear friends on his annual hunting trips to California, Nebraska, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
On Christmas Eve 1992, Dick gave his life to Jesus Christ. He would say that above all it was the most important decision of his life. His faith and his family were the two things that mattered most to him. Dick studied the Bible and enjoyed discussing theology with good friends. He was actively involved in Sunday school, in prison service, and started a prayer group in his senior ward. The many people who also crossed his path in his last days praised his friendliness, humility, gentleness and generosity. He will be very missed by everyone who knew and loved him.
Dick is survived by his brothers Bob Farley of Alameda CA, Ray Farley of Lodi, CA, and Don Wilson (Barbara) of Alameda CA; Daughters Jackie Fisher (Chris) from Chattanooga, TN and Lisa Murray (Kevin) from Earlysville, VA; and grandsons Joshua, Zachary, Jonathan and David Fisher and Bailee, Anna, Rachel and Meghan Murray.
Family welcomes friends to the Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 East Brainerd Rd. Chattanooga, TN on Saturday, July 10, 2021 from 2pm to 5pm. In addition, a Celebration of Life Service will take place on Monday, August 16, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. at the Shawnee Inn and Country Club. A reception will follow. The family visit takes place from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. A memorial can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in Dick’s name.
Please visit www.heritagechattanooga.com to give comfort to the family.
Arrangements by Heritage Funeral Home East Brainerd Chapel.
Published by Pocono Record from July 7th to July 8th, 2021.