By: Dan Ivers | Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 10:35 pm
MERIDEN - Even in the midst of a two-year battle with cancer, Arthur "Tex" Kane could not be kept away from the game he loved.
Just weeks before his death on Tuesday at 64, the longtime local golf pro was out on Hunter Golf Club's front nine, where he played six or seven holes with his friend of more than 30 years, Les Zimmerman - and had barely lost a step.
"Despite all the stuff he was going through, he still took a pretty good rip at it," said Zimmerman, a former Meriden City Golf Championship title holder.
Over his more than three decades at courses around the state, Kane helped shape thousands of golf swings. Zimmerman recalled his gift not just for playing the game, but helping to share his love of the game.
"He had just a tremendous knowledge of the game and particularly the golf swing. He was a wonderful teacher," he said.
Born in Temple, Texas, Kane began his golf career as an assistant pro at the Clinton Country Club in 1974, before becoming an assistant pro at the Farms Country Club in Wallingford the following year.
Kane soon moved to Pilgrim's Harbor, now the Tradition Golf Club, and later spent time traveling on the PGA tour as a swing instructor for Sony. He also worked at the New Haven Country Club before landing at Meriden's Hunter Golf Club in 1996.
He was named the state's best golf instructor by CTGolfer in 1997, and served as an assistant pro at Hunter's until taking over for David Cook as head pro in 2004.
Bob Tiedemann, who caddied for Kane as a youth and served as an assistant pro at Hunter's for the last six years, said his jovial presence would be missed around the course by players and employees alike.
"Everybody's taken aback a little," Tiedemann said Wednesday. "He was a lot of fun - either playing golf with him or having a drink with him."
Outside the course, Kane was a dedicated father to his sons, Bryan and Ryan, who shared his love of the game and worked in the pro shop at Hunter's during his time there. He also leaves a brother, sister, and three grandchildren.
"I could pick up my cell phone on the fifth hole and call him, he could tell me what I was doing wrong and he'd straighten my shot out over the phone. His teaching techniques were just very unique," said Bryan Kane, who lives in Meriden.
Outside the golf course, the two shared a close bond, and Bryan recalled his father's honesty and willingness to speak his mind as particularly notable.
"He was a class act," he said. "He impacted so many people, and touched so many lives."
City Golf Commission Chairman Patsy Papandrea called Kane "the epitome of a golf professional" and recalled his dedication and passion for working with children.
"I don't think you could find a better person than Tex Kane," Papandrea said. "It's going to be a difficult job to replace a man like that."
Tue, November 29, 2011
by Bryan Kane