Haskell oversaw decades of growth in Massachusetts

He had a passion for golf – especially the amateur variety – and maintained it till the very end.

Richard Haskell simply adored what the game stood for.

“He was an innovator in traditional-tweed cloth, a fellow who respected the game’s values and rich history, while acknowledging that any healthy sport needs to be contemporary,” said David Fay, executive director of the U.S. Golf Association.

Years ago, as an administrator with the Metropolitan New York Golf Association, Fay leaned heavily upon Haskell, the longtime executive director of the Massachusetts Golf Association.

“Dick was one of my role models,” said Fay, who was in St. Andrews for the Open Championship when he heard that golf had lost one of its most passionate friends.

Haskell, 84, died July 11 at his home in Brookline, Mass.

“I valued his counsel in 1976 and still followed it in 2010,” Fay said.

Haskell traded in a 19-year advertising career with Sports Illustrated to become the MGA’s executive director of the in the late 1960s. For 30 years, he oversaw incredible growth, with club membership going from 172 to 318 and a dramatic increase in championships and entries for the qualifiers.

In retirement, Haskell remained involved in a number of golf-related projects, including production of “The Story of Golf at The Country Club,” which won the USGA’s 2009 Herbert Warren Wind Award.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Elizabeth; sons Richard and Stephen; daughters Maggie and Mary; and five grandchildren.

Show Hide