As part of the SCGA's Membership Season, we are checking in with SCGA Members and Member Clubs and learning what they find most valuable about their SCGA Membership. Below is a special Veteran's Day edition of our Member Spotlight series.
With more than 24 years serving with the Marine Corps, SCGA commiteeman Gary R. Albin was a clear choice for our Veteran's Day Member Spotlight.
"I am always proud to talk about my [Marine] experiences," said Albin earlier this week.
After growing up in rural Idaho and having very little experience with military life, Albin received a Navy ROTC scholarship to the University of Idaho, and upon graduation was commissioned into the Marine Corps. The young man was quickly sent to flight school and became a helicopter pilot. During his more than two decades in the Marines, Albin served in two wars (Vietname and Desert Storm), and says that some of his most memorable experiences include being a Helicopter Squadron Commander, the Executive Officer of a Marine Expeditionary Unit and a Presidential Helicopter Command Pilot for President Carter and President Reagan.
"I enjoyed twenty-four years of service to the Corps," said Albin. "As a Marine Officer and pilot, I was afforded the pleasure of serving with many dedicated, talented and undeniably patriotic individuals. The challenges were many, but the satisfaction was great, especially assisting individuals in need, as I did when called upon to serve in combat or perform rescue/humanitarian operations."
These days, Albin has continued to make productive use of his time. For the past couple of years, the former Marine spends more than 120 days a year volunteering his time as a Rules Official for the SCGA, SCPGA, AJGA and City of Long Beach. Albin especially enjoys working with the AJGA and SCPGA Jr. programs. "Not only are [the juniors] exceptional golfers, but they are fine young citizens," said Albin. "It is great to associate with young athletes who have their heads on straight."
Despite not getting into the game of golf until later in life, Albin has a strong love for it now. A bogey golfer and happy to be one, Albin loves "the beauty of the courses and the personal challenge of getting the ball in that little hole in a reasonable number of strokes. It makes golf not just a sport, but also a tremendously challenging experience."
Albin credits the Marine Corps for molding him into a person who enjoys trying new things and is extremly orderly and organized. Characteristics that you can bet help him with the Rules of Golf.
"The Rules of Golf are hard to grasp," said Albin. "The evolution of the interpretations are constant, and it keeps me engaged and young.
"Perhaps it is all those years in the Corps, but I have to love a game and an organization where individual responsibility is expected, courtesy is demanded and honesty is the hallmark."
If you would like to volunteer with the SCGA as a Rules Official, click here for the application. Rules and Competitions volunteers provide assistance administering SCGA tournaments, assisting with pace of play, Rules interpretations, scoring and starting. Volunteers must have a strong interest in the Rules of Golf and tournament officiating.
If you would like to learn more about the Rules of Golf, attend an SCGA Rules of Golf Workshop.