GLENVIEW, IL — Dave Ryan gives his acceptance speech during the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame ceremony at The Glen Club on Friday, Nov. 10.
Breeze-Courier Sports Editor
GLENVIEW, IL — The Illinois Golf Hall of Fame recognized six golfers on Friday, Nov. 10 at The Glen Club just outside of Chicago. Taylorville native and avid lover of the individual sport, Dave Ryan, was fortunate enough to join the prestigious club.
“I’ve been playing competitively for over fifty years.” Explains the sixty- nine year old. “My parents took me to the golf course one day and I fell in love with it. When you hit that first shot, if you hit it well, you get addicted to the game. It just gets in your blood and you love to do it.”
From the age of nine, Dave knew golf was a passion of his. The raw passion for the game has lead him to dominate Central Illinois from his teen years even sparking a brief professional career. It was his later years when he really found success. He began his senior amateur play in 2009 and took home CDGA’s Senior Player of the Year seven times in eight years from 2009-2016 even being crowned Overall Player of the Year in 2012.
“It’s a very difficult game.” He continues. “The secret to golf is in the dirt. You have to practice. it takes a lot of time. Most people today want instant gratification. They think they’ll take one lesson and they’re supposed to get it over night. It doesn’t work that way.”
His hard work finally paid off in 2016 when he won the U.S. Senior Amateur. He made it to the Semi- finals a year later in 2017.
“Another thing about the game of golf is, competitively, it’s the only sport, I know, where you lose more than you win.” He said. “I’ve played in thirty-six USGA Championships. I won, one.”
The ceremony itself was held in Glenview at The Glen Club. The country club is seated on 195-acres of green grass which overlooks the beautiful Chicago skyline. Dave Ryan, along with Margaret Abbott Dunne, Harry Collis, Randy Kane, Tim O’Neal (PGA) and Bruce Patterson (PGA) were all met with honors from the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
Selection Committee chair Tim Cronin sang high praise for each one of these individuals.
“This esteemed 20th Illinois Golf Hall of Fame class captures the breadth of golf in the state, with early pioneer and Olympian Margaret Abbott Dunne, modern-day standout player Dave Ryan, behind
the scenes innovator Dr. Randy Kane, multi-tacker Harry Collis and Charity- minded PGA professionals Tim O’Neal and Bruce Patterson. It couldn’t be more diverse or vibrant.”
Dave Ryan is a three-time Central Illinois Player of
the Year and fifteen-time Radix Cup participant with an overall record of 8-5-2.
“I have so many people to thank that I would run out of room.” Dave humbly states. “I grew up playing at Taylorville Country Club. A little nine-hole golf course. Hung around a lot of older guys. So I’ve listened to stories.”
Ryan mentioned two men in particular who were “like a father to me”, Judge Don Beane and Bill Hopper.
“All those guys kinda mentored me.” he says. “It rubbed off on me. Maybe by osmosis.”
All jokes aside, Taylorville now has two home grow individuals from the community in the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. Jim Frisina and, now, Dave Ryan.