Lipsey, Rick 1967–
Lipsey, Rick 1967–
Born 1967; married Carrie Cohen, 2000. Education: Cornell University, B.A., 1989. Hobbies and other interests: Golf.
Worked as a caddy for twelve years. Sports Illustrated, writer and reporter. Golf pro for the country of Bhutan; founder of the Friends of the Bhutan Youth Golf Association, New York, NY.
(With Rudy Duran)In Every Kid There Lurks a Tiger: Rudy Duran's 5-Step Program to Teach You and Your Child the Fundamentals of Golf, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2002.
Golfing on the Roof of the World: In Pursuit of Gross National Happiness(memoir), Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2007.
Rick Lipsey's career has revolved around golf—playing it, writing about it, and promoting it. A graduate of Cornell University, he changed his major from architecture to English, which added to his value as a sports writer. After working for a dozen years as a caddy, Lipsey became a golf writer for Sports Illustrated. In that capacity, he was able to write about the best golfers in the world, including the only Ivy Leaguer to make it as far as the PGA tour. Bob Heintz was playing for Yale when Lipsey was playing for Cornell. Lipsey continues to maintain his connections to the Big Red, attending events, including hockey games whenever possible. While a student, he watched the games at Lynah Rink, home to the Cornell hockey team, which at that time boasted players who included icons Joe Nieuwendyk and Mike Schafer, who later became Cornell's head coach. Lipsey is on the executive committee of the alumni magazine and acts as an interviewer for high school seniors who are applying for admission to Cornell.
Lipsey, who first played golf in Florida with his parents and grandparents at the age of five, has promoted golf for younger players in several ways. He wrote In Every Kid There Lurks a Tiger: Rudy Duran's 5-Step Program to Teach You and Your Child the Fundamentals of Golf, with Duran, and Golfing on the Roof of the World: In Pursuit of Gross National Happiness.
Lipsey and his wife, Carrie, a former Cornell lacrosse player, spent their honeymoon in Bhutan, a tiny country in the Himalayas landlocked between China and India. Bhutan was and is evolving, incorporating its traditional Tibetan Buddhism with contemporary democracy and technologies. While there, he played the single nine-hole course, Royal Thimphu. They returned in 2000 with their baby daughter for another vacation. Lipsey gave tips to other golfers at the club, leading to an invitation to become the country's first golf pro. Lipsey took the job for the several months that they were there and recruited sponsors like Callaway to provide golfing equipment. He continues to promote golf for both the adults and children of the country. Lipsey founded the Friends of the Bhutan Youth Golf Association, through which he raises funds for children's golf. The organization also benefits from tours arranged by Geographic Expeditions, proceeds of which go directly to benefit the sport for children in Bhutan. Early in 2007, some of the young golfers from Bhutan traveled to Calcutta to compete in the Asian Junior Masters.
Bethany Karantonis profiled Lipsey for [email protected] online, writing: "According to Lipsey, golf teaches the children honesty, integrity and hard work." Karantonis concluded by commenting: "In a 2003 interview, Lipsey talked about loving Cornell, but noted, ‘No buildings are named after me.’ Yet his impact is stretching far above Cayuga's waters." Lipsey's close ties to the people of Bhutan also led him to volunteer at a school for blind children in Eastern Bhutan, and to volunteer with the Achilles Track Club.
Golfing on the Roof of the World is a book about golf, but even more, it is an account of living and working in Bhutan, where archery is the national sport. The national standard for success is happiness; the king has established a policy of "Gross National Happiness." Lipsey writes of the changes that are taking place in this traditionally spiritual land in a time of change. His enchantment with the beautiful landscape and its majestic peaks reflect his own happiness with being in Bhutan and being able to bring the game he loves to the people he has come to care so much about. A Publishers Weekly reviewer described Golfing on the Roof of the World as a "joyful work."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Lipsey, Rick,Golfing on the Roof of the World: In Pursuit of Gross National Happiness, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2007.
Publishers Weekly, March 19, 2007, review of Golfing on the Roof of the World, p. 52.
Friends of the Bhutan Youth Golf Association Web site,http://golfbhutan.com/ (November 21, 2007).
IvyLeagueSports.com,http://www.ivyleaguesports.com/ (June 17, 2003), "Catching Up with Rick Lipsey," interview.