Ballarat, along with the Australian golf community, is mourning the loss of one of the sport's most influential figures.
Ray Drummond, famous for founding and growing Drummond Golf stores across the country, died suddenly at the weekend in Brisbane at the age of 84.
Born in Sydney, Mr Drummond moved to Victoria before making the decision to open Ray Drummond Golf in Bendigo in 1974. It was two years later that Mr Drummond opened his second store, located in Ballarat.
Mr Drummond's son Warren said the sudden passing of his father has been difficult to deal with, however he remembered him as an ever-supportive mentor.
"He was a very supportive father," he said.
"Always happy to offer suggestions but never pushed us in any direction. He was always happy to help but never expected anything in return."
Warren said he spent a lot of time with his father, laughing when thinking about tournaments Ray sponsored that Warren would win on occasion.
"He taught me everything about the sport when I was younger," Warren continued.
"Golf wasn't a job to him, he just loved being involved in the sport. He used to sponsor a lot of golf tournaments around the country... it would always make me laugh when I won those tournaments and he had to hand me a trophy."
While growing his business, Ray continued to push the growth of the sport at the grassroots level.
Close friend of over 30 years, Andrew Cartledge, a pro at the Ballarat Golf Club, said no one has been as instrumental in the sport's growth locally in the country.
"I couldn't name one person in Australia that's had a bigger effect on grassroots golf," he said.
"He created his own golf clubs with the sole purpose of making it easier for people looking to get involved in the sport."
He said Mr Drummond's death was tragic, especially as he was so beloved within the community.
"You'd never meet a more congenial person. It didn't matter whether he was sitting in a boardroom with top executives or out in a paddock teaching golf to farmers, you could never take the smile off his face.
"In the 30 years I knew him I honestly don't think I ever saw him angry, he was just a joy to everyone that knew him. He was a pretty incredible guy."
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