The Northwest golf community has lost an industry icon, as Orrin Vincent, founder of OB Sports Golf Management, passed away October 25, 2021 at his home in La Quinta, Calif. He was 76.
Orrin grew up in Kent, Wash., picked up range balls and mowed fairways at Lake Wilderness GC, played freshman basketball and golf at Seattle University, just missed making it on the PGA Tour and ended, finally, at Lake Tahoe in the 1970s, where he gave lessons to Elvis Presley.
In 1972, Orrin founded OB Sports and built it into one of the industry’s most highly-respected and innovative golf management firms. Their original office was located in Kirkland, Wash.
A real visionary in the golf industry, Orrin developed the idea of “theme golf,” building courses unique unto themselves.
At Langdon Farms, south of Portland, the clubhouse is a bright red barn, and on the eighth hole the cart path cuts through the middle of a restored 1911 barn. At The Reserve Vineyards and GC, another course near Portland, golfers dine at a French Chateau and can enjoy a bottle of wine created for The Reserve. Trophy Lake and Casting Club in Port Orchard, Wash. was designed around a fishing theme. Washington National in Auburn, Wash. is all about the University of Washington Huskies.
It was Orrin who brought golf course architect David McLay Kidd to the dry stretches of Central Washington to look at a stretch of land that would become Gamble Sands.
“On behalf of the entire team at OB Sports and Troon, we are so grateful for the time that we all had with this amazing friend and mentor,” said C.A. Roberts and Phil Green, Orrin’s longtime partners at OB Sports. “Words cannot appropriately capture the charisma, enthusiasm, motivational spirit, and genuine compassion for others that Orrin provided to everyone he touched, both in and out of the golf industry.”
In 2019, OB Sports was acquired by Troon.
In addition to his accomplishments with OB Sports, Orrin’s background and specialties included coaching and mentoring numerous aspiring junior, collegiate, and professional golfers; golf course design; golf course construction; premium facility maintenance; innovative marketing and brand development; retail sales; and growing every component of the great game and business he loved.
Orrin received numerous personal awards for his expertise in golf. He was twice named the PGA Professional of the Year, seven-time PGA Merchandiser of the Year, “Bill Strausbaugh Award” winner and the prestigious “Presidents Plaque.” He was a seven-time SNPGA Player of the Year and was also inducted in the Seattle University Athletics Hall of Fame.
He always had a keen interest in junior golf, serving as a U.S. Junior World Cup Team Captain and was a founding board member for the American Junior Golf Association. He was awarded the AJGA’s “Digger Smith Award” for his lifetime achievements and support of junior golf. This past summer, he co-founded Coachella Youth Golf and was focused on promoting the game in the Coachella Valley and his beloved Pacific Northwest.
Orrin leaves behind his wife Barbara, his three children O.D., Sheridan and Jenifer, and six grandchildren.