As we all know, the Marty stories are endless. I would like to share two.
“Marty’s introduction to big time golf courses” I say this because Marty always told me that I got him hooked on great golf courses, whether I can take credit for it or not remains to be seen.
The very first time I met Marty was on a Sunday morning pickup basketball game at San Jose City College around 1977-78. The baseball coach opened the gym for his friends and their friends, so one morning a new guy shows up with a smile and a pretty good game. We were both regulars after that and in the typical Marty way we built a friendship with golf and racketball. We would play many years of city league basketball games together, as well as many mornings of racquetball. I was in the golf business and got Art Wilson to sponsor our basketball team. It also helped that Marty was in Sunnyvale Parks and Recreation, which negotiated Art’s contract. It was my early days in the golf industry and I received a call from one of the company owners who invited me to play Pebble Beach on a Sunday and bring a friend. I am not sure how I decided, but decided to ask Marty. In those days, our golf was at the local muni’s, like Sunnyvale, Santa Teresa and San Jose Muni. He obviously jumped at the invitation. I had to tell him that it was a good news and bad news invitation. I was staying over and playing Cypress Point with them the next day with their cousin, who was a member, so unfortunately there was no room for him. He handled that well, never having the opportunity to play either and said that he had a very important meeting the next morning, so it wouldn’t have been possible. We played that day and to no surprise, the couple, who were both good players, were enamored with Marty and enjoyed the day. He was his normal hit. We had lunch and then off he went. About two hours after, I get a call from them and it seems the cousin had to cancel and they wanted to know if Marty wanted to play Cypress Point with us. I almost didn’t call him knowing he had the important meeting with his boss, but I did. To no surprise the meeting wasn’t that important and he was on the first tee at Cypress Point on Monday morning at 8:00 AM. A couple months later we went to The Olympic Club and Silverado. As everyone knows he never looked back. His quest to play great golf courses had started and it is my would guess he probably never played San Jose Municipal again.
Marty called a spade a spade.
Twenty years later on my 50th birthday, my wife had a small dinner party at MacArthur Park restaurant in Palo Alto. The couples invited were mostly golf people: the Hager’s (my lawyer), the Inskster’s (Brian and Juli), the Eddie’s (Charlie and Delores), the McLennan’s (Steve and Lori), Rozanne and I and the Ruberry (Marty and Mary). At the time Marty was President at Sharon Heights CC. With the golf people, the conversation was a lot of golf, which was probably predictable. Charlie Eddie, the La Rinconada head professional, was telling us about his new General Manager, Bob Lee. He had mixed emotions about how it would go between them and then realized that Bob Lee was at Sharon Heights before coming to La Rinconcada. Charlie leaned over the table and ask “Hey Marty, Bob Lee was at Sharon before coming to us, were you happy with him?”. Marty smiled and said “Charlie, the best thing I did at Sharon was to fire him last month”. Charlie didn’t have a comeback for that, so the table moved on to other subjects.
Yes, Martin Ruberry was special person for all of us. Whether you met him one time or spent years with him, he was kind, gentle, interested and caring about all people. He was a gift to all of us.