When an assistant golf professional position at Needham Golf Club opened up in the late 1990s, a 40-something Harry Rose decided it was time to turn his passion for golf into a career. Over the ensuing 20-plus years, Harry demonstrated his dedication to the profession time and time again.
While he was getting started in the golf business, Harry had a large section of his left thigh removed after discovering Stage 4 melanoma. Ten years later he underwent major surgery for prostate cancer, but again did not let the diagnosis deter him. Another decade later in the winter of 2018, Harry was diagnosed with another form of cancer, neuroblastoma. A 12-hour surgery to remove a brain tumor was followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Again, Harry returned to work that spring, as motivated as ever to help others overcome their own limitations. He used his experience to develop a teaching method that addressed students’ limitations so people of all ages and abilities could truly enjoy the game at Needham GC.
Because of the outstanding dedication, character and leadership Harry displayed in the face of adversity, Harry has been recognized as the 2020 New England PGA Deacon Palmer Award recipient.
NEPGA: When did you decide to become a PGA Professional, and why?
HARRY ROSE: I entered the PGA program in 1998. I always enjoyed the game and I really enjoy working with people. I soon found I loved not only the game but the business of the game as well.
NEPGA: Who inspired or mentored you?
HR: Richard Hasenfus, the long time professional at the Needham Golf Club. I will forever be indebted to him for taking a chance on inexperienced middle-aged guy. We’ve been working together now for over 20 years.
NEPGA: What interests do you have outside of golf?
HR: I have always been interested in all sports and fitness. I’m also very interested in art and antiques and have owned my own auction business for years. I try to be involved in as many charitable events and organizations as time will allow. Fortunately, charity and the golf business seem to go hand-in-hand.
NEPGA: What motivates you as a golf professional?
HR: Growing the game, introducing new people to the sport both young and old. Trying to make sure that each individual that comes to the club each day leaves having had a positive experience.
NEPGA: What have you accomplished as a PGA Professional that you’re most proud of?
HR: I am most proud of the feedback I have received through the years from members, students and guests. The support from everyone during my recovery was more than I could have ever imagined.
NEPGA: What does it mean to you to be recognized with a New England PGA Section Award?
HR: I am humbled beyond words bit all I really feel I did was go to work and do my job.
NEPGA: Are there any people who have contributed to your success who you would like to recognize?
HR: Obviously Rich Hasenfus for being my mentor through the years. Also, fellow professionals like Joe Carr, John Theo, Tim Bishop, Tom Rooney and the list goes on and on. Most importantly every member of our staff at Needham Golf Club and each member as well. Some of the finest people I’ve had the opportunity to know.
NEPGA: Is there anything else you would like to shar?
HR: I just feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to make a career out of this fabulous game.