Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Golf Still Big Part of Life for Rack, 100

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Golf Still Big Part of Life for Rack, 100

Article excerpt

It would be unimaginable now for a 6-year-old to caddie, but that's how Eddie Rack got involved in golf.

He was the son of a coal miner, so there wasn't much money to go around while he was growing up. He had to work, even at 6.

His job as a caddie started a lifelong journey in golf for Rack, who turned 100 June 12. He has beaten legendary golfer Arnold Palmer in an amateur tournament and owned two golf courses in an era when courses were failing all across the country.

From 6 to 100 -- Rack has been involved in golf longer than most people have been alive.

"He wasn't a big guy, either," said one of his granddaughters, Lynne Kuehner. "He was a little kid and the caddie master kept telling him that he was too little, but he carried the bags anyway. He didn't have a choice, he had to earn money for his family."

After finishing high school, Rack competed in amateur tournaments around the country. It was at one of those tournaments that he beat Palmer, who wound up becoming one of the best golfers in PGA history.

In the early 1950s, a local real-estate developer named Ed Sullivan asked Rack to help him design 18 holes for a new course in Elizabeth. In 1955, 7 Springs Golf Course officially opened with Rack running the course.

Later that year, Sullivan married and had plans to move to Florida. He sold the course to Rack for $240,000, starting an ownership that remains in the family 58 years later.

Instantly, the course became a family business. Rack's wife, Genevieve, picked up her husband's passion for the game as soon as they took ownership and their three children weren't far behind.

Today, the course is run by one of the daughters, Janice, and a wide collection of grandchildren and people who have married into the family. The grandchildren grew up on the course, making forts and cabins in the woods that separate the public course's fairways.

All of them left at one point or another to try their own thing - - whether that be hotels or the Navy -- but all the grandchildren eventually came back to help run the course.

Eddie doesn't have a role in day-to-day operations anymore, but his presence is still felt at 7 Springs. …

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