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Ye Olde Saipanne Golfe Clubbe honors fallen member Richard Jones

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(YOSGC) — The Ye Olde Saipanne Golfe Clubbe mourns the passing of Richard Jones, a YOSGC member who earlier this month succumbed after a long battle with cancer.

Known to the club members as “Fast Richie,” he began playing with the YOSGC after the illness had progressed to the point where he could no longer play a full round of golf.

Undeterred by his ill health and buoyed by his youthful optimism and unfailing optimism, Fast Richie improvised a way to continue playing the game he so dearly loved without exhausting himself.

Instead of playing each hole from the teeing ground, he would drop a ball in the fairway generally about 75 yards from the green and play in from there.

Ye Olde Saipanne Golfe Clubbe holds  “The Fast Richie Challenge” in honor of the late Richard Jones at Kingfisher Golf Links on Saturday. YOSGC photo

It was a sight none who witnessed will ever forget as Fast Richie, decked out in zories, pajama bottoms and a flouncy pirate-like white cotton shirt, all topped off with a French legionnaire’s cap, chopped, whiffed, topped and shanked his way towards the hole, his demeanor oscillating from jocular to grim to exuberant as the strokes added up.

Upon his eventual arrival upon the green, Fast Richie would stoically insist on putting (and putting and putting) until his ball was in the hole, resulting in the number of such putts approaching, and sometimes reaching, double digits, all the while enduring the inevitable ribbing from his playing partners with good humor and usually giving back every bit as much grief as he took.

So, on Saturday, May 30, 2020 the YOSGC honored their fallen comrade and friend with “The Fast Richie Challenge.”

The brainchild of member Richard “Caddy Dipper” Miller, the Challenge had each of the golfers present line up 75 yards in front of the 18th green at Kingfisher Golf Links, place a golf ball on the fairway and upon the call of “1-2-3-Fast Richie” pitch in unison onto (or near) the green.

With the object of the Challenge (and, coincidentally, the game of golf) being to get the ball into the hole in the fewest strokes possible, three members, Wilhelm “Paki” Maui, Roy “Raw” Alexander and “Double” Dan Harding emerged victorious, managing a three on what came to be known as “Fast Richie’s Last Hole.”

After the Challenge was completed, the members gathered (while practicing safe social distancing) to share stories and remembrances of the garrulous, unflappable, cheeky and, yes, slightly bawdy fellow who was Richard “Fast Richie” Jones.

The mood was best expressed by Juan “Juj” Lizama, the eldest member of the YOSGC, who encouraged all to “enjoy golf as Fast Richie did, because this game we love, much like life itself, ends all too soon.”

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