O'Brien: Westview time has special meaning to course's long-time starter
Published: 5/12/2013 | Updated: 9/1/2015

On a beautiful Friday morning for golf, Gordon Pasley looked down at the wristwatch on his left arm just after he had sent 150 or so golfers out for a day's worth of fun.

"This has always been official Westview time," Pasley said, motioning to his arm.

"This one is pretty close," he said, motioning to a clock-equipped plaque he had just received from the Quincy Park District for his more than 30 years of service as the starter at Quincy's public course. "I guess I'll always be on Westview time."

Play at Westview has ran on Pasley's time since 1979.

A no-nonsense guy who is as organized as anyone you'll ever meet, Pasley kept things moving on the fairways and greens, summer after summer after summer. If you showed up to play at Westview, you always knew when it was your turn to step up to the first tee. Pasley would bellow out which group was on the tee, which group was on deck and which group was in the hole. He tried to keep things running smoothly to the minute.

Until he tendered his resignation as starter on March 13, Pasley had been part of Westview's fabric since 1977. His first year at Westview was Scotty Glasgow's last as the course pro. Wearing a big smile Friday, Pasley pointed out that this year is the first since Westview opened in 1949 that neither he nor Glasgow worked at the facility.

Two years before he became a familiar face at the first tee, Pasley worked in the concession stand in the old clubhouse.

"By the time I was finished with work each day, I had beer running up and down my arms and smoke ground into my clothes," Pasley said. "I said that I had to do something else beside this."

He happily accepted the position, even though he wasn't quite sure he was qualified.

"I didn't know the first thing about golf," Pasley said.

Pasley didn't need to be versed in the game to do the job that he did. As a people person, Pasley loved getting to know the golfers, and with his penchant for organization, he was a perfect pick for the summer job.

After Pasley retired as a social studies teacher at Quincy High School in the late 1990s, he was looking for something to do to keep busy. He served as a sports clerk at The Herald-Whig during my tenure as sports editor. Pasley would go to the ends of the earth to find out results and get the information readers needed. If he couldn't track down the score, the game never happened.

"That was my 50-year fantasy that I fulfilled," he said of his time at the Whig. "Back in high school, I always thought that I would like to deal with reporting high school sports."

He is living out another fantasy these days. He is enjoying his retirement with his wife of 52 years, Margie. They keep track of their children and grandchildren in Quincy, Springfield, Dixon and Phoenix.

Pasley also is fighting Parkinson's disease, which he was diagnosed with five years ago.

"I feel great," he said. "I've got Parkinson's, but my goal is to keep Parkinson's from getting me."

The Park District had Pasley out as a special guest starter for the first Scotty Tournament on Friday. Money raised from the event is going to go toward improving Pasley's old stomping grounds in the starter's area. He was happy to see a lot of familiar faces.

"I miss the golfers," he said. "I don't miss getting up early on Saturdays and Sundays."

Even though Pasley won't be there to start its golfers every day, Westview will forever be on Gordon time.

-- dobrien@whig.com/221-3370


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