Editor’s note: We received this recently from Shane Riley of Winfield Solutions, reflecting on Paul Colleran, the golf course superintendent at Aldarra Golf Club in Sammamish, Washington, who died of brain cancer last fall.
Paul Colleran, 54, left us after a yearlong battle with brain cancer. He will be greatly missed by those of us fortunate enough to have known him. Many of us in the golf industry in the Pacific Northwest, whether as a player or superintendent, can tell an interesting story or two about Paul.
Paul grew up in Bellevue, Washington, and is survived by four great brothers, countless nieces and nephews and an incredibly strong wife, Joan Colleran, who grew up in Everett, Washington. His sons, Troy and Bryce, will no doubt have a hole in their hearts but they have a great family circle to draw strength from. Paul also left his companion dog, Sage, who was always ready to chase geese.
I’m fairly certain the next time I hear the whoosh of a fly line going out I’ll think of Paul. He was magic with that fly rod. The first time I felt I really knew Paul was when we took an afternoon after the Northwest Turfgrass Association Conference to go fly fishing on the Yakima River. He loaned me Joan’s fly rod since I was a rookie at the sport and showed me the nuances of casting. I spent most of my time snapping flies off and got mostly skunked. Paul would catch one small fish after another and just chuckle at my follies.
In our great green industry, we called Paul the “godfather” because he mentored so many young people into the superintendent family tree.
I teased Paul about being a Platypus, what we in the Northwest call a cross between an Oregon State Beaver and an Oregon Duck. Beavers normally don’t like Ducks, but Paul was an exception.
There’s a lot of great bentgrass in heaven, Paul. Those of us in the golf business will miss you. Thanks for your friendship.