Mike Rapisarda Will be Missed
For the last 17 years, Mike Rapisarda was Head Golf Professional at Rye Golf Club. He left this month and he will be missed. Mike was a pure, consummate golf professional, a student of the game, as well as a superb teacher. When you talked with Mike, his conversation was to the point; he was not a social schmoozer. Nevertheless, I always felt welcome when approaching him about my swing, the pro tournaments, and particularly about golf greats such as Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead.
My last conversation with Mike was about Collin Morikawa and Dustin Johnson — the way they bowed their wrists at the top of their backswings — which we agreed was not for mere mortals.
Mike has a way of putting golf wisdom into a few words. For years I urged him to write a column for the RGC newsletter, which I suggested he call “Rapisarda Raps”. A few years back I excitedly rushed to his office with my latest “secret of golf”: “Don’t focus on the ball during the swing, but stare at a blade of grass in front of the ball. Since the grass doesn’t move, I was sure that my head and spine angle would remain stable.”
Regarding me patiently, and in pure Rapisarda Rap, he replied, “That will work (pause) until it doesn’t.”
I’ve been playing golf since I was 15; I’m now 79. Like most golfers, I discover a different “secret” every time I play. Mike’s observation, “That will work, until it doesn’t”, boils the game of golf, and perhaps the game of life, down to its essence. That’s why I will miss Mike Rapisarda.
- Bob Marrow