Submitted by Ben Hallowell
Tribute to a longtime Coronado friend and great guy
I first met Ron Yarbrough in 1965 when he was an aspiring apprentice at the Coronado Golf Course under John Ruedi, who also became a very close friend. To say Ronnie Yarbrough and I grew up and matured together while pursuing our diverse careers is indeed an understatement. We both loved golf and as bachelors shared the good life back then – dice cups to roll for drinks at Dino’s or Mexican Village after golf, a souped-up Mercury for road trips, we created memories one after another.
The one thing I noticed about Ron almost immediately was his great heart – by that I mean he would do anything to help a friend or someone in trouble and Ron would do it quietly and without fanfare. This quality served him well as he deservedly progressed as a PGA golf pro to become head professional at Coronado until his retirement last week. He deserves to be “outed” for some of his unsung kindness to others – one shining example is hiring and mentoring the younger Doug Clarke, a truly quixotic and gifted Walker Cup golfer and Stanford graduate, who could not shake his demons and ended up in federal prison. Ron took Doug on as a staff member and did everything to help him when no one gave him a chance – unfortunately no fairy tale ending (RIP Doug), but Ron tried his best – only a few of us knew of Ron’s many other kindnesses to those out of luck.
Ron, you are a great guy and served Coronado well as a true PGA golf professional in every sense of the word. I hope this small tribute surprises and embarrasses you ‘cause I love you man!