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FEATURE: Long Beach’s Bob Livingstone Elected SCGA President

For the last three decades, Bob Livingstone has been a central figure in the Long Beach golf community. A member of the El Dorado Park and Recreation Park Golf Clubs, Livingstone’s resume includes a 14-year tenure as head coach of the men’s golf program at Long Beach State, and induction into the Long Beach Golf Hall of Fame in 2001. Now, Livingstone is beginning a new chapter in his career as the new president of the Southern California Golf Association (SCGA).

Livingstone has been a member of the SCGA’s board for the past 11 years, and called it “an honor” to ascend to the role of president. Upon his retirement from Long Beach’s Parks, Recreation and Marine Department–where he spent a decade as a contract management officer–Livingstone has been more active at SCGA Tournaments and events the past two years.

A lifelong resident of Long Beach, Livingstone began his playing career at Millikan High, then joined the Long Beach City College golf team for two seasons before transferring to Long Beach State. While he did try out for the 49er golf team and legendary coach Del Walker, Livingstone opted to leave the team before competing. Ultimately, Livingstone would follow in Walker’s footsteps, taking over the reins of the program as head coach from 1994-2008.

Now as the leader of the SCGA, Livingstone will oversee one of the preeminent regional golf associations in America. According to Livingstone, there are several factors that make Long Beach a unique golfing community and that upbringing will greatly influence his tenure.

“Obviously we’ve had some tremendous players, and we’ve also had some visionaries,” Livingstone said of Long Beach’s golfing legacy. “I got on the golf commission at the same time that Ralph Cryder became Director of Parks, and he was a passionate golfer. With me on the commission and him as parks director, we had a great relationship that put policies in place to guide American Golf to provide a really good product on our golf courses.”


Livingstone pointed to a capital improvement fund that was established in Long Beach to continue to invest in and update the city’s public courses.

“We’ve always had great people,” he continued. “Going back to John Mansell and B.K. Jones, who were the Superintendents of Golf in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s when we built Heartwell, El Dorado, and Skylinks, Long Beach has always been blessed with people who were passionate about golf and were able to positively influence our golf system. The public courses have always been blessed to have a couple people who were passionate about golf and were in the right position at the right time.”

Livingstone has certainly taken over his new role at an interesting time, as the country continues to grapple with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. He said the SCGA will continue working on a strategic plan that will help the SCGA be more prepared for unforeseen circumstances–like a pandemic–that could arise in the future.

One area where Livingstone does hope to make an impact is expanding golf’s accessibility to a wider community. Specifically, he mentioned the addition of a few women’s tournaments, including a women’s mid-amateur to target former collegiate players who have yet to turn pro, but are still looking for the opportunity to play competitively.

Livingstone also underscored the importance of public courses to help expand the sport, and said that their importance has only grown in recent months.

“We’ve got several members of our board, including myself, that come from public golf,” Livingstone explained. “We want to remind governments that golf is a great recreation that shouldn’t just be looked at as a cash cow. Golf boomed in the ‘60’s when Arnold Palmer was on television and half the golf courses in America were built by cities and counties. We need to remind local governments that golf is not just a rich white guy sport, but it is for everybody.

“And you look at this pandemic, I would say at least half of the people out playing golf right now are not historic golfers. They’re out there golfing because golf, tennis, and hiking are really the only outdoor activities you can have. So the fact that in Long Beach we have five public golf courses that are magnificent, we are meeting a recreational need for people.”

Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.