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Bob Thomas remembered for bringing SCGA to the forefront

May 07, 2018

It is with great sadness that the SCGA family mourns the loss of one of its dynamic personalities, Bob Thomas, who died Thursday after being diagnosed with cancer last summer.

Thomas, 72, served as the Association’s director of communications and publisher/editor of FORE Magazine for over 25 years before retiring in February 2009. His extensive contributions were vital to growing the SCGA’s footprint within Southern California and establishing it on a national scale.

Additionally, Thomas grew FORE Magazine — the vehicle he helped build as the “information conduit” of the Association, and inaugurated the SCGA Directory in 1992. He edited over 150 issues of FORE, penned hundreds of articles and snapped thousands of photos, covering a slew of SCGA and amateur tournaments around the state.

While overseeing the SCGA’s Centennial and launch of, the ever-passionate Thomas also ushered the Association into the digital era, helping the SCGA become the first golf association in the country to offer live scoring during amateur golf tournaments.

“In a sport that features a wealth of interesting personalities, Bob stands out as one of the great characters,” said SCGA Executive Director Kevin Heaney. “Everybody who knew Bob has a wonderful story about him although the best anecdotes came from Bob telling stories on himself.”

Thomas was a long-time member of the United States Golf Association’s Communications Committee and received the “Media Service Award” from the California Golf Writers & Broadcasters Association in 2011.

Even after his retirement, Thomas’ zeal for the Association never wavered. He remained engaged on the SCGA Hall of Fame Committee and made contributions as a dedicated historian.

“As was the case with everything in Bob’s life, he brought a tremendous passion to his role in communications for the SCGA,” Heaney said. “While FORE Magazine was his pride and joy, Bob was involved in all aspects of Association activities. I am not sure I ever saw Bob happier on the job as when he was covering the State Amateur at Pebble Beach.”

Thomas studied journalism at the University of Southern California and music at California State University, Los Angeles. A classical music critic and columnist for the Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune and Southern California News Group, Thomas continued writing about music until his passing.

Outside of classical music, he was very active with the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, serving in various capacities including Elder, Director of Administration and a member of the music ministry. He sang as a soloist or in choirs for over 50 years.

Thomas is survived by his wife of 42 years Nikki, daughter Kimberly Boneham, son William Stark, sister Rebecca Thomas, brothers Ken Thomas and Dan Thomas and mother Evelyn Heyne.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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Handicap Index:
Thursday, May 17, 2018

I’ve been privileged to play in dozens of SCGA, CGA and USGA events during the time that Bob Thomas oversaw… no.. cared for, FORE Magazine.  So much of my infinity for the SCGA and their tournament events is due to the way that he and Mike Peck documented these snapshots of my life, and so many other players as well.  I can’t recall an interaction with Bob, that I didn’t enjoy.  He was such an advocate for amateur golf and you could tell that he loved what he did.
But as much as he loved his job, I learned throughout the years that he loved his faith and family even more.  We should all be that blessed in life.
Thank you for everything Bob!
Scott McGihon