Still in the Game: Golf keeps Lavin connected to Quincy

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jun. 3, 2020 12:01 am

QUINCY -- As a 10-year-old walking the fairways at PGA Tour events, Tim Lavin felt it was natural to know someone in the field.

"I thought everybody had a cousin who did this," he said.

He eventually learned that wasn't the case.

He also figured out not everyone had a cousin quite like D.A. Weibring either.

"As I got older, I realized the quality of human being he is," Lavin said. "He is an example in sports of somebody who remained the same through the level of success. D.A. always treated people the way he wanted to be treated."

Taking that to heart and emulating such character has enabled Lavin to carve a niche for himself in the golf world.

A record-setting junior golfer who caddied professionally for a short while and spent three years as the assistant pro at Quincy Country Club, Lavin is a territory representative for Mizuno Golf. He is based in Kansas City, Mo., serves all of the Show-Me State and made sure Quincy became part of his coverage.

It's a job he's thrived at since he wrapped up his career as a teaching professional, and it's allowed him to stay in the game.

"Golf is something that always has been a part of my life and I'm glad to be able to give back anytime I can," Lavin said. "It has afforded me the opportunity to travel the world. I've made all kinds of friends all over the world and all over the country. I honestly can't picture myself not a part of the golf industry or community in some sort of fashion."

Nor can he imagine severing ties with the Gem City.

Although he never called Quincy home, it always felt that way. His grandparents. J.T. and Mary Rowsey, owned and operated State Street Dry Cleaners. His mother, Judy, graduated from Quincy High School in 1959 and Quincy College in 1963. While at QC, she met John Lavin, a two-sport athlete who had offers out of high school from the St, Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees as a center fielder.

An arm injury suffered during summer workouts cost John Lavin the chance to play professional baseball, but it afforded him more time to play golf. It led to him winning the 1965 Quincy men's city golf championship, beating Dennis Cashman in a one-hole playoff.

The caddie that weekend for Lavin? None other than a young D.A. Weibring.?"My dad was this heroic sports figure to D.A. back in those days," Tim Lavin said.

The Lavins moved to Richardson, Texas, raised two kids and often came home. Tim spent several weeks each summer in Quincy, playing in the Little People's Golf Championships and chasing golf balls around QCC with Brett and Brad Rosely.

"Brett and I would play Quincy Country Club every day," Lavin said. "They were almost like family there, too."

Lavin felt so much at home that he left his mark on the LPGC. In 1986, he established the tournament's single-round record in the boys 16-17 division by shooting a 66 in the first round. The mark was tied in 2009, but it has yet to be broken.

He ended up finishing fourth.

"I had a great day and then a not-so-great day," Lavin said. "I really should have won it, but fourth is OK."

That's the tricky nature of golf.

Lavin played high school and college golf and spent some time caddying, toting Weibring's bag for more than 30 tournaments, including the British Open, before signing on as the assistant pro at QCC under Lynn Rosely in 1993. He spent three years in that role, earned his PGA membership and returned to Texas in 1996. He worked as a head professional at several clubs before becoming a general manager of a teaching facility in the Dallas area connected to Weibring's design company.

A few years later, a friend of Lavin's who had transitioned from being a club pro to an equipment rep for Adams Golf talked to him about a similar move. Lavin took a chance and joined the Adams staff as a territory rep.

The opportunity to move to Kansas City came with it.

His wife, Carrie, is a graduate of the University of Missouri and grew up near Marshall, Mo., in the central part of the state. So when Adams was looking for a rep based out of Kansas City, it seemed like a natural move.

"I knew it would bring me back to the Midwest, which is what I wanted to do," Lavin said.

That was in 2005, and he spent the next nine years working for Adams. When the company was bought out by Taylor Made and changes loomed, Lavin found himself a wanted man. Mizuno reached out, the opportunity had promise and Lavin took it.

He now covers all of Missouri, a small piece of Arkansas and a small part of Illinois for Mizuno.

"It was one of those things where everything lined up," Lavin said. "I call on any accounts that are golf related that are wholesale."

It's allowed him to watch his son, John, develop into a multi-sport athlete, who is now embracing golf along with baseball and basketball. That keeps the game fresh.

"I want him to play and enjoy it," Lavin said. "I want him to learn the fundamentals. It sure brings a lot of enjoyment to do things together. Every summer, as a family, when we take trips, we usually take our clubs and want to play somewhere different."

It's just another way he's still in the game.