This month I would like to highlight Life Member Rives McBee who is also a Lifetime Member of the Champions Tour. He was hired by George Clark at Midland Country Club where he worked until 1967 when he left to play on the PGA TOUR. Rives played on TOUR four and a half years, from 1967 to May 1971 when he accepted a position at Las Colinas Country Club. He was elected to PGA Membership in 1971 as well. He held this position until 1980 when he was asked to move to the Las Colinas Sports Club (Four Seasons Resort and Club) to help host the Byron Nelson Golf Classic working with PGA TOUR officials and the Dallas Salesmanship Club. He recalls that Ben Crenshaw won the first event, and made the comment that "with the 2017 event being the 35th year at the facility - we did something right!" He left in 1983 and then spent five years at the Bear Creek Golf Course working as an teaching professional. He left Bear Creek GC in 1989 after turning 50 to join the Champions Tour where he played for nine years before retiring in 1997.
My wife Kay and I have been married for 56 years and have two daughters Kayla (51) and Kathy (48) that have blessed us with three grandchildren Tary (23), Carly, (21) and Corey (20) the only boy, and Grampy's golf partner since graduating from high school.
What do you love about the golf business? The people that love the wonderful game of golf, which I have loved since the age of 12, make it a sport that never stays the same. I believe Mr. Harvey Pennick said it best when he coined the phrase, "If you play the game of golf, you are a friend of mine!" I have to agree with him!
Who got you started in the game? I threw a paper route that went by the North Texas College golf course. The college team at that time were four-time NCAA Champions. Curiosity got the best of me after throwing the superintendent's paper everyday and going by the practice range. I found numerous golf balls on my route. I went to the clubhouse and asked what the game cost to play. I was hooked.
Did you play college golf? I played college golf in my hometown of Denton, Texas for North Texas State where I graduated in January of 1964 with a Bachelors Degree in education. I was captain of the team my senior year.
What is your most memorable moment in golf? Two moments come to mind. First was in 1966 when I qualified for the U.S. Open at the Olympic Country Club in San Francisco. During the second round I fired a U.S. Open record tying score of 64, which helped me finish in the top 15 at the event. This qualified me for the Masters and the U.S. Open in 1967. The second was the 1973 PGA Club professional event in Pinehurst, North Carolina played over three golf courses where I won the title and topped 299 other contestants.
Where is your favorite golf destination that you have played? The Olympic Club, Pinehurst #2, Champions in Houston, Colonial CC and Las Colinas CC are ALL great facilities.
Who makes your dream foursome? My foursome would include Don January, Billy Maxwell and my grandson Corey.
Have you played golf with anyone famous? I hope I don't run out of paper! My list is very long, but I wouldn't want to leave anyone out as I have played with a lot of famous people. They include golfers: Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Tommy Bolt, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Johnny Miller and the rest of the Senior Tour members; country stars: Jimmy Dean, Glen Campbell, George Strait, Bobby Goldsboro, Faron Young, Charley Pride and Willie Nelson; baseball stars: Johnny Bench, Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio; and actors and actresses: Mike Connors and Dinah Shore.
What is a course that you wish you could play but have yet to have an opportunity to do so? Merion and Pine Valley. Both course are in Philadelphia.
What is something interesting about yourself that other members may not know about you? I taught school for a year and a half after graduation from North Texas. Garland High school hired me to teach sophomore physical education. While there I assisted the head basketball coach, Joe Brown. His normal assistant was also a football assistant coach and the Owls were in the state playoffs. When basketball season started I volunteered to help Coach Brown and took over the "B" team and finished out the season with a 25-5 record and the unofficial "B" team district title. A great season for a great group of kids!
What are some of your hobbies? I spend a lot of time working in my yard and flowerbeds. I also have a huge golf collection of balls, clubs, bags and golf antiques including pictures. It keeps me busy in my retirement years. I also play in Hickory events around the country. We play with the "old" equipment produced in the early 1930's. It makes you appreciate the scores they shot with these clubs.
What is your favorite type of music? I love country music and the 50's and 60's rock and roll era music. I have a huge music collection stored on my computer and I like to make my own cds. I haven't listened to the radio in my car since I bought it. I play my favorite music on my cds.
What is the best golf book that you would recommend? Ben Hogan's Five Lessons - The Modern Fundamentals of Golf
What is your go-to karaoke song? I've only done karaoke once in my life. Tom Wargo, Larry Laoretti and I hosted a caddie picnic in North Carolina and we had a karaoke machine hooked up. The three of us joined in on a Ray Price song, "For the Good Times". We did get a standing ovation, but that will never happen again!