Gone Too Soon But Not Forgotten: Selflessness, Enthusiasm, and Sacrifice Helped Make Bobby McCullough Special
Bobby McCullough, the head professional and general manager at River Hills Golf Club, passed away September 30, 2022 following a bout with cancer, leaving a hole in the Founders Group International family.
A native of Kingston, N.Y., golf was an integral part of McCullough’s life, beginning in childhood, and his passion for the game never waned. His desire to build a career in golf brought him to Myrtle Beach, where he worked at Sea Gull (now Founders Club), Burning Ridge, and Wachesaw Plantation in the early years of his career.
While McCullough spent most of his career quietly running courses with great care and efficiency, he attracted the spotlight when he saved a man’s life at the 2018 World Amateur Handicap Championship.
Harry Whitt, a World Am player, went into cardiac arrest on the 15th tee at Indian Wells and when his playing partners called the pro shop, Bobby rushed to the scene and delivered lifesaving CPR. Whitt regained a pulse with McCullough performing CPR and when the emergency crew arrived they transported him to the hospital, where he was nursed back to health.
It was an act that embodied so much of what people appreciate about McCullough. He saved a man’s life but returned to the pro shop immediately afterwards and resumed doing his job. He didn’t seek attention and when it came, he was quick to credit Whitt’s playing partners and the EMTs who arrived on the scene.
While many people are familiar with McCullough’s effort to save Whitt’s life, most are unaware of how he developed the skills to resuscitate a man. Bobby spent his entire professional life in golf, save for a 6-year period from 2010-2016, when he worked as a nurse tech at a local hospital.
McCullough didn’t take a hiatus from the game because he had tired of it. Quite the contrary, he put his career on hold to help care for his father, who battled a long illness before passing away in 2015.
That selflessness is what helped define McCullough, both personally and professionally.
After a period of grieving, he returned to the industry he loved and Founders Group was the beneficiary of his return. He was initially hired as an assistant at River Club and was quickly promoted to first assistant at Indian Wells and then first assistant at Grande Dunes. He was hired as the head professional and general manager at River Hills in January 2021.
Bobby worked hard to move up the ranks in FGI. He was a person who brought enthusiasm and passion to his life every day. He was known for his excellent customer service skills in every golf shop he worked. Matt Daly, FGI’s director of operations said of McCullough: “Bobby was a special person, who loved life, loved his family and loved the game of golf. We will miss the energy he brought to us every day, and hope to honor his legacy by being stewards of the game he loved.”
While we can discuss work ethic and his accomplishments in a still ascending career, the highest compliment we can pay Bobby (or anyone for that matter) is this: he was the kind of guy everyone wanted on their team.
Bobby had a life well-lived and he left us way too early, but he won’t be forgotten.