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Ray Bolo, legendary Michigan senior golfer, Western G&CC pro, dies at 88

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Ray Bolo, the head golf professional at Redford's Western Golf & Country Club for nearly four decades and a four-time Michigan Senior PGA player of the year, has died.

Bolo died at home in Walhalla, South Carolina, on Aug. 10. He was 88.

Ray Bolo, former head pro at Western Golf & Country Club, has died at 88.

Bolo worked at Western Golf & Country Club from 1960 until his retirement in 1997, and won the Michigan Senior PGA Championship in 1988, 1994, 1995 and 1996. He played in four U.S. Senior Opens, six Buick Opens on the PGA Tour, and four National Club Professional Championships.

Also among Bolo's victories: the pro-am portion of the famed Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 1983, the National PGA Senior Junior in 1990, and the senior division at Glen Eagles, Scotland, in 1983.

He also played in more than 30 Michigan Opens, competing well into his 60s.

"As long as they'll put up with me, I love it," Bolo said ahead of his 30th Michigan Open appearance, in 1997. That tournament championship always eluded him; his best finish was fourth.

Bolo was inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2006, and he also is a member of the Michigan PGA Golf Hall of Fame.

Bolo often was referred to by friends and colleagues as a "gentle giant," who ranked, in importance in life, faith, family and Western Golf & Country Club, past club president David Baughman once told The News.

"Western likes to portray itself as the club of good fellowship," Baughman, a member of the Golf Association of Michigan board of governors, told The News upon Bolo's retirement. "If that didn't start with Ray Bolo, he sure amplified that feeling with the members, the guests and anybody who ever came to Western."

In South Carolina, he founded a Christian men's golf league, and helped launch Falcon's Lair Golf Club. He was an outdoorsman, and a Baptist church regular.

Bolo is survived by wife of 68 years, Marcia, and three daughters, 10 grandchildren and several great grand-children. He was preceded in death by his oldest daughter. At his request, there will be no funeral. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name can be made to Samaritan's Purse (Boone, North Carolina) or St. Jude's Children Hospital (Memphis, Tennessee).

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Twitter: @tonypaul1984