Thursday Apr 07 2011
Recognized for baseball, Gonzalez is all about golf these days
By: Paul Apfel Inside Lincoln Correspondent
Ramon Gonzalez Jr., Turkey Creek Golf Club’s golf operations manager, is one of the newest inductees into the Mexican American Hall of Fame Sports Association. In ceremonies held March 15 at the Jose Rizal Community Center in Sacramento, Gonzalez was recognized for his baseball achievements while growing up in South Sacramento. In 1970, his senior year at McClatchy High School, Gonzalez starred at center field as the team took first-place honors at the Sacramento Tournament of Champions. Moving on to Sacramento City College, Gonzalez earned letters in both baseball and basketball in 1971 and 1972, and was nominated for college baseball player of the year for Sacramento. He remained at Sacramento City College as assistant baseball coach in 1973 before accepting a scholarship the next year to Oregon State University where he earned his varsity letter. He also found time to earn Golden Gloves recognition in 1974 and 1975. In 1975, Gonzalez was awarded baseball All Conference Pac 8 honors. Drafted by the Seattle Raniers baseball Single A team, Gonzalez played the 1975/1976 season at center field. He was also Oregon State’s assistant baseball coach in 1976 and 1977 as he wrapped up his college career with an undergraduate degree in exercise and sports science. Ever the athlete, Gonzalez maintained an active role in community competitive softball and racquetball, where he earned first-place honors in Oregon for 1982. He also earned a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do, while coaching Babe Ruth boys’ baseball, women’s softball and teaching racquetball. In 1995, he partnered with a colleague from his Oregon State days to design and develop the Diamond Woods golf course in Monroe, Ore. Named one of the Top 10 golf getaways in Oregon by the Oregonian newspaper, this course continues to be successfully operated by the major partner. Gonzalez relocated to Sacramento in 1999 so his wife could take a job promotion in Roseville and he could spend time with his ailing father in Sacramento. Finding himself with some spare time and wanting to get back into golf, Gonzalez volunteered to work as a starter at the Turkey Creek Golf Club on Highway 193. Eleven years later, Gonzalez is still at Turkey Creek, only now he is the golf operations manager. The Turkey Creek complex is approximately 224 acres of tees, fairways, greens and trees. Approximately 82 acres is irrigated and maintained turf while 7.3 acres are devoted to lakes and ponds. Area golfers confirm that this course is one of the more challenging in the region. This is Gonzalez’s world six days a week. In a stroke of understatement, Gonzalez confirms, “Golf is part of my life.” “I own one (partner at Diamond Woods), I live on one (in Roseville) and I work on one.” Gonzalez’s wife is also a golfer and they can often be found playing a few holes together on his day off. in Corvallis, Ore.