Longtime golf writer Larry Bush, who covered the sport throughout South Florida for more than six decades, died in his sleep March 18. He was 87.
Bush had been dealing with longtime health issues, but continued to cover the sport he loved, writing a story on a local mini-tour three days before his death. He died after the first round of the Honda Classic, one of his favorite events, which he was unable to cover because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Whether it was writing about legend Jack Nicklaus or a local amateur event, Bush covered it with the same passion and expertise.
“Larry Bush was a staple in the South Florida golf community for more than 60 years,” Nicklaus said.
“What I respected so much about Larry was his love of and commitment to local golf. If it involved golf and it was happening in this area, Larry not only knew about it, but he wrote about it.
“Larry was a history book when it came to the game of golf, but with his love for juniors, the amateur game and grassroots programs, he was always looking to write the next chapter in the story of golf in South Florida. Larry Bush will be greatly missed, and Barbara and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to his wife Meredith, and daughters Elizabeth and Linda.”
Bush, a longtime West Palm Beach resident, started working for the Palm Beach Post Times in 1958.
“Larry was a history book when it came to the game of golf, but with his love for juniors, the amateur game and grassroots programs, he was always looking to write the next chapter in the story of golf in South Florida.”
Bush also worked for newspapers in Tampa, Fort Pierce and Cocoa before becoming a freelance writer in 1981. He often wrote for The Tee Times.
“Over 15 years of working with Larry, he never missed the mark on professionalism and always came through with more than I hoped from whatever his assignment was,” said Lawrence Hollyfield, editor of The Tee Times. “Larry was always eager and so gracious. I will miss him very much.”
Even as Bush suffered health issues the past few years, he remained determined to keep covering the sport locally. Even if he wasn’t working, Bush would still show up at events to reconnect with friends and stay involved.
“Golf was his love,” said Bob Koepka, father of four-time major champion Brooks and Chase, who made the cut at the Honda Classic. “He enjoyed watching the kids he covered grow up and have success. He was as excited about interviewing them after a win as we were to have him interview them.”
Bush spent the last 30 years working as a freelancer for top golf organizations such as the PGA of America and the South Florida PGA, bringing attention to local events and players that would otherwise be overlooked.
In recent years, many local golfers would end their round after a tournament and ask, “Where’s Larry?” if he wasn’t there. That’s the kind of impact he had on the local golf scene.
“He was so important to the history of our section and was the trusted voice telling the stories of the great play of PGA Professionals for decades,” said Geoff Lofstead, executive director of the South Florida PGA.
Bush was inducted into the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. He served the Hall of Fame in many roles during the last 45 years, most of them on a volunteer basis.
Bush was born Dec. 5, 1933 in Wellsboro, Pa. After graduating from Academy High School in Erie, Pa, he served two years in the U.S. Army.
Bush is survived by his wife, Merry, and daughters Elizabeth Bush and Linda Bush.