When I first met Tony Dear, nearly eight years ago, I knew him by reputation but had not met him personally. Tony, like myself, is an expat; Tony from across the pond, and myself from New Zealand. Well, we’re both in our forties, stand over 6 feet tall, married to two lovely American women (courageous enough to marry us), and–like most–have more than a few hiccups in our golf game. Tony, less so– given his silky-smooth swing and knowledge of the game!
That’s about where the similarities begin and end. Tony is an internationally respected and awarded golf writer who has played a significant role in the growth and evolution of Golf Today Northwest. From our very first story about the Central Oregon golf region way back in early 2009, when he was gracious and patient enough to endure more than a few rounds of golf with me as I hacked away the turf of the Nicklaus Course at Pronghorn, or shanked a few at the lovely Black Butte Ranch golf resort. Truth be told, I quickly learned a few things about Tony that included not only his incredible depth of understanding about the history of golf– both in the Pacific Northwest and abroad– but also just how damn good a writer he is. He has authored five books, written countless stories (both short and long) about golf courses, golf personalities, and the state of the game in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. And he was good enough to join me on a bit of jaunt to Bend while I learned my way around.
In the eight years he has been penning feature stories for Golf Today NW on everything from the new Silvies Ranch, the latest Dan Hicks design in Oregon—to naming the David McLay Kidd-designed Gamble Sands in Central Washington, or playing a huge role in our incredibly successful issue dedicated to the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in 2015, where he interviewed everyone from course designer Robert Trent Jones II to local PGA professional, Ryan Moore. The bottom line is this: When it comes to golf and writing about it, Tony is about as good as you can find ‘em–and he’s a really good ‘bloke’ to boot. Congrats on being recognized by your peers as this year’s Northwest Golf Media Association recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, Tony. Cheers!