Did you know that one of the two biggest green grass Pro Shops in the country has been hiding right here in your own backyard? Joe & Leigh's Discount Golf Pro Shop at The Pine Oaks Golf Course got its start in 1981. At that time, it wasn't much bigger than most average living rooms and we weren't exactly high tech. In fact, we used to have to keep a 4 iron next to the 1970's era cash register to bang it open when the drawer got finicky.
A lot has changed over the past 40 plus years.
For those of you who may not have heard, Mark Petrucci passed away on March 5, 2017 after a lengthy illness. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him and all who loved him. In Mark's case, those were typically one in the same.
There was no one who embodied our philosophy to "always make a friend" better than Mark.
As one person who wrote on the memorial website connected to Mark's obituary put it: "he was a gentleman in every respect with a special way about him that made you feel like you were always very important to him."
True words. And Mark was equally important to us.
He was a friend from the beginning. We first met Mark when Leigh was working as a groundskeeper at Easton Country Club. Some of the older kids in the neighborhood had been getting into some mischief on the course after hours and Leigh decided to deputize some of the younger kids to keep an eye out for trouble when he wasn't around. Mark took on that responsibility and wore the badge with pride.
Years later, when his after school job as a flower delivery driver was proving to not be such a great fit, Mark came to work at Joe & Leigh's and became part of our family.
And from there, we grew together.
Now our friend is gone but will not be forgotten. Mark's influence will continue to be felt in the culture that he helped to create. His passion for the game will live on in the thousands of people he taught as a PGA professional every time they take to the course. His memory will endure in the hearts of everyone who knew him, all of us who loved him and in each person who learned to be a better friend by his example.