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PGA Award Winner Bob Beach 'Braintree's Humble Hero'

Beach is the Golf Pro at the Braintree Municipal Golf Course.

Braintree Golf Pro Bob Beach.
Braintree Golf Pro Bob Beach.
The Professional Golf Association of America, founded nearly 100 years ago, represents some 27,000 men and women. 

Last month, Braintree Golf Pro Bob Beach was the one member honored with the 2013 Patriot Award, for his extensive work with veterans and special needs golfers.

"We are fortunate to have Bob in our midst," Mayor Joseph Sullivan said at an event celebrating Beach's career. "If the art of life is good living, then Bob Beach has painted a masterpiece with his life."

Dozens of veterans, people with developmental disabilities, residents and town officials turned out at Braintree Town Hall Monday evening to honor Beach, who has been the golf pro at Braintree Municipal Golf Course since 1991. Sullivan declared Dec. 31, 2013 "Bob Beach Day" in the Town of Braintree.

"He was always out there giving something to the community," Town Council President Charles Kokoros said, adding that Beach has never been a self-promoter and is instead "Braintree's humble hero."

Beach's humility was evident Monday as he looked away from an eight-minute video put together by the PGA and looked down as speakers described how generous and helpful Beach has been with veterans and people with disabilities. 

His brother-in-law, state Attorney General candidate Warren Tolman, talked about learning basketball from Beach in fifth and sixth grade, and how it was Beach's father John, a World War II Air Force veteran, who gave Beach his humility.

Tolman also talked about his brother-in-law's sense of humor. He said Beach's wife Kathleen had a C-section the day before April 1 to ward off her husband naming their daughter "Myrtle Beach." 

Beach, 60, is a 28-year member of The PGA of America, and is the first member of the New England PGA Section to receive the Patriot Award, according to a press release on PGA.com.

He began working with veterans after seeing how poorly they were treated by some people following their service in Vietnam. Beach now offers clinics for veterans throughout the state and began supporting a Vietnam Veteran Tournament in Braintree 22 years ago.

In 2012, according to the PGA, Beach conducted 46 free golf clinics, providing instruction for veterans and disabled veterans at four locations in Massachusetts and one in Rhode Island. He also served from 2009 through 2012 on the national PGA Disabled Golf Committee.

Beach grew up in Watertown and began caddying and playing golf at age 13.

When he moved to Braintree, Beach said he was delighted by how much the town valued inclusion, and said if not for Braintree's positive attitude about those with disabilities, maybe he would not have done as much himself.

"Braintree does a better job – towns have to do it – but Braintree does a great job," Beach said, accepting his local accolades with his trademark humility.

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