James R. Hand of Juno Beach, FL, died on November 13, 2018 in Manchester, VT, at the age of 101.
Born on January, 12, 1917 in Cutchogue, NY, Jim’s lifelong love of the game began at eight years old when he caddied for his father, James A., at their local course, North Fork Country Club. Jim spent time as a player, too, winning the North Fork Country Club club championship at 16 years old, and the Sleepy Hollow Country Club club championship four times, many years later.
The Hand family, the recipient of the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association Golf Family of the Year (1963), shared that Jim often said “every good thing in my life came out of caddying.” Jim gave back in many ways to the game, but his passion was advising young people through their college career and beyond.
Jim settled his family in Westchester, NY, and spent his professional career with the National Bank of Westchester, retiring in 1980 as Chairman.
Jim served as president of the Westchester Golf Association in 1958-59 and president of the Westchester Golf Association Caddie Scholarship Fund in 1987-89. He was a member of the MGA executive committee (1962-66) and a recipient of the MET Distinguished Service Award in 1986. Jim began his term as president of the United States Golf Association in 1984, the same year he hosted the US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club.
Jim, an early president in the sixty-two year history of the Caddie Scholarship Fund, instituted several initiatives that are still party of today’s program.
“He was solely responsible for launching the bag-tag program,” Bob J. Thomas, former WGA Executive Director, said. “It was a priority given to him by Willie himself.”
Willie Turnesa, another Westchester golf legend known internationally, co-founded the WGA Caddie Scholarship Fund in 1956 with his good friend Udo Reinach of Quaker Ridge.
Jim Hand is survived by many family members, including his sons Jim of Dorset, VT and John of Juno Beach, FL. Services will be held privately for the family; a memorial service is planned for May 18, 2019 at Ekwanok Country Club in Manchester, VT.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jim’s memory to the WGA Caddie Scholarship Fund.