Tom Perry first witnessed golf as a child and instantly fell for the sport. After years of playing in tournaments and 30-plus years teaching experience, you can find him coaching golfers at Swinomish Golf Links or enthusiastically organizing golf tournaments.
Growing up in scenic Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, the Riviera Country Club was a short trip away. Surrounded by a family of golfers, there was frequently friendly competition between Tom and his brothers.
Though Tom played basketball and baseball in high school, he stuck with golf. He appreciates the independence golf allows.
“You end up really going out and competing against yourself on the golf course,” Tom said.
Golf allows each player to compete with themselves, each round an opportunity to grow and improve their score. While other sports are team sports, said Tom, golf is an individual sport.
“It’s you against the world.”
Tom once beat the course record at the world-renowned Los Angeles Country Club and held the record with a score of 65.
Now Tom is putting his skills toward education, working with adults and youth to fulfill their golfing goals — anything from fulfilling a lifelong dream of playing golf or preparing them for the golf-related business meetings. He’s worked as associate golf instructor since the Swinomish Golf Links’ beginnings, when the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community purchased the property in 2013.
On top of that, Tom manages golf tournaments for the Grass Roots Golf Foundation and is founder of the National Charity Golf Association.
For the third year running, the Grass Roots Golf Foundation is holding a Junior Golf Tournament with Tom’s help. It gives youth a chance to compete for a chance to win money toward a college savings account.
The money, held at a Heritage Bank, is released to the children once they enroll in college. Every year they compete and win money, it’s collected, earns interest and grows. The money goes toward any college program they choose — two-year degree, university or technical school.
To register, those interested apply then play for a place in the tournament. Last year they had more than 100 applicants, and about 15 to 30 children competed.
Whether you’re searching for a casual hobby, attempting to strengthen business relationships or striving to build character, Tom said golf is the answer.
“Golf is a game for a lifetime.”
For information on golf classes at Swinomish Golf Links, call or stop by the Pro Shop.