Area golfer says goodbye to Thursday night golf league

Sid Bryant (right) and Jim Church relax at Spring Valley Golf Course prior to the Thursday night men’s league. It was Bryant’s last round of golf in the league prior to his permanent move to Arizona. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

REED CITY — Thursdays just won’t be the same anymore at Spring Valley Golf Course.

It’s mainly because a men’s league favorite, Sid Bryant, played his final league game there on July 5 and has moved permanently to Arizona. Bryant threw himself a sendoff dinner after the Thursday Men’s league.

“He is a favorite of many people that known him,” Carol Schroeder Semeyn, who owns the course along with her husband. “He has been given the ‘fun guy’ award many.

times by the Thursday men’s league. He has also played on the Monday Master’s League and the Friday night couples league for many years.”

Jim Church has been Bryant’s partner 12 years. Both live in the Evart area.

“Jimmy would go to Florida during the winner and I would go to Arizona,” Bryant said.

Bryant has lived in the area full-time since retiring 1995 and was previously in Dearborn for Ford Motor Co., for whom he worked 34 years. Church also retired from Ford and came to this area in 1997.

Church also plays in the other leagues with Bryant. Their wives Dorothy Bryant and Ruby Church, play together in a Wednesday league.

“I couldn’t ask for a friend to be any nicer than I have as a partner,” Bryant said. “We enjoy each other’s comments.”

They recall playing in the rain during a tournament all day at the former Meceola Country Club, east of Big Rapids.

“We were wet,” Bryant said. “They started off with 33 carts and only 11 finished. We were one of the 11. We got up to our first tee box, the rain stopped and we took off all our rain gear. By the time we left the tee box. we were wet because the rain came back. As long as you’re having a good time, it’s the people you’re with. The camaraderie is fantastic.”

Bryant said he didn’t play any golf until he was 65.

It’s basically for health reasons Bryant is moving to Arizona.

“Last year I got two brand new knees out there and the service was fantastic,” he said. “We felt when you can be to the doctors and hospital in less than 10 minutes out there and the service is so good and, at 83, you don’t know when you can drive anymore. We felt it was time to make the move. Even if I lose my driver’s license, you can still use the golf cart. You can drive anywhere with the golf cart.”

Church will stay in the area, but will need another partner.

“It will have to be somebody I can have fun with,” Church said.

“It’s a game, it’s enjoyment,” Bryant said.

His permanent home will be northwest of Phoenix. Lack of bugs and lack of humidity is what attracted Bryant to Arizona, where he’ll keep playing golf.

“I’ll miss my partner and all the gentlemen I played with here,” Bryant said. “They’ve made it so wonderful. They accepted me especially on the Thursday night league where it’s all age groups.”

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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