Adirondack Daily Enterprise, April 1, 1985 Adirondack Daily Enterprise, June 13, 1951 Born: August 4, 1902

Died: March 29, 1985

Married: Valeda Strack Tyrell (1900-1996)

Children: Virginia Hasenoehrl

R.A. "Hike" Tyrell became the second pro at the Saranac Lake Golf Club in 1926. He and his wife lived in the Ames farmhouse for 58 years, from 1926 to 1984. Beloved as a teacher and a gentleman, Tyrell became a member of the Northern New York Professional Golfers Association Hall of Fame in 1979. 1 Hike helped Ben Hogan work on his game at the course during the summer of 1939.


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, April 1, 1985

Local golfing legend R.A. 'Hike' Tyrell, dies

SARANAC LAKE, —Long-time golf pro, golf teacher and Hall of Famer Richard A. "Hike" Tyrell, 83, died here Friday morning, March 29, at the General Hospital of Saranac Lake.

The greens and fairways of the Saranac Lake Golf Club will be without Tyrell's care for the first time in almost 60 years, as will the many golfing enthusiasts who regularly sought him out for tips on the game.

At the time of his death, Tyrell was a resident of the Greenwood Apartments in Lake Placid. However, he and his wife Valeda had lived in a farmhouse across from the Golf Club on the Sara-Placid highway from 1926 when he was appointed golf pro until 1984.

Born to Thomas and Emma Tyrell in Saranac Lake Aug. 4, 1902, he started his golfing career as a caddy in Lake Placid. Also a member of the track and baseball teams, he graduated from high school there in 1920.

While the local people got to know Tyrell in the summer, golf competitors in the southern states became acquainted with him in the winter. He regularly traveled to Florida where he competed in the National Senior PGA Championships.

It was during Tyrell's early days of golfing competition that he landed the job as Saranac Lake's professional. He had been the golf pro at the Ruisseaumont Hotel Golf Course on Old Military Road in Lake Placid, and then left to play the southern pro tour in 1926.

In Pinehurst, North Carolina, Tyrell was playing in a golf tournament when he met up with a contingent of Saranac Lake golfers who also served on a committee for the Saranac Lake Golf Club. He had already submitted his application to the local club in hope of getting the pro's job.

After a fine day of play, Tyrell was Offered the job on the spot. His contract was drawn up on the back of a dinner menu.

In that same year, Tyrell won 11 out of 13 tournaments on the Adirondack circuit.

The golf club went through two bleak periods during Tyrell's term as pro: during the Great Depression, and again during World War II. In 1937, Edward Guggenheim, a summer resident and avid golfer, made donations to the club and considerably improved its condition, rejuvenating local interest in the sport once again.

Later, the Works Progress Administration began building an additional nine holes for the course on the west side of the highway, when its efforts were halted by World War II.

During the war, Tyrell is credited with keeping the greens intact and taking care of a new wave of golf enthusiasts returning from the war.

In the early 1970's, construction of a new clubhouse for the Saranac Lake Golf Course began. Club, members dedicated the two-story structure to their pro, R;A. "Hike" Tyrell, on May 20,1972.

Besides teaching patrons of the, club, Tyrell also helped train the, Saranac Lake High School Golf Team. He also encouraged the Women's Team to provide free after school lessons for students.

Tyrell held the course record set in 1941 at 64 (34-30), the, Ruisseaumont course record at 65, and the Ausable Forks course record of 62 (32-30).

Tyrell always continued his competitive role in the world of golf. He regularly played in the Northeastern PGA, and then later in the Northeastern Senior PGA Championship, which he won four times. His victories enabled him to compete in Florida, where he entered the National Senior Championships many times.

Tyrell played with many pros, including Craig Wood and Arnold Palmer, both on the circuit and when they came to this area to play.

In 1979, Tyrell became a member of the Northeastern New York PGA Hall of Fame.

The renowned golf teacher was especially noted for his success in teaching women golfers from all over northern New York, and building up female membership in the Saranac Lake Golf Club.

He was also known locally for his bowling abilities.

He was a member of the national Professional Golf Association, the Golf Course Superintendents of America, the Saranac Lake Elks Lodge, and was a life member of Council 1827 Lake Placid Knights of Columbus.

Mr. Tyrell is survived by his wife, the former Valeda Strack; a daughter, Virginia Hasenoehrl of Edmonds, Wash.; three; sisters, Mrs. Evelyn Beede of Auburn, Mrs. Marie Wilson-of Central-Square and Mrs. Eleanor Burst of Liverpool; four grandchildren; two great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

A son, Thomas, predeceased him. Calling hours will be today from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Clark Funeral Home in Lake Placid and include an Elks service at 7:30 and Bible vigil at 8:00.

A Mass of Christian burial will be said Tuesday at 10 a.m. at St. Agnes Church in Lake Placid with Monsignor Peter Riani officiating.

Burial will be in St. Agnes Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Service or the Saranac Lake Rescue Squad.

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Footnotes

1. Peter Martin, 83-84.