David Allen Beardmore, 56, Anne Arundel County golf pro

March 10, 2002|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

David Allen Beardmore, a well-known golf pro and teacher whose nearly lifelong struggle with diabetes failed to dim his enthusiasm for the game, died Thursday of the disease at his Millersville home. He was 56.

Mr. Beardmore, who was born in Baltimore and raised in Severna Park, was age 12 when the disease was diagnosed.

He graduated from Severn School in 1963 and attended the University of Maryland, College Park, where he discovered the joys of playing golf.

He was an assistant at Annapolis Roads Course from 1965 until 1967, when he joined the Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville, Va., in a similar capacity.

From 1968 until 1980, he was the pro at Suburban Country Club where he created the "Beardmore School of Centrifugal Force" in teaching the golf swing.

It was while he was at Suburban that one of the members and golfers, Dr. Arnall Patz, realized that Mr. Beardmore was having eye problems. His next 10 years were marked by serious medical problems and the struggle to overcome them.

Medical tests revealed that high blood pressure and high blood sugar had contributed to vision problems, and it was only after the intervention of Dr. Ron Michaels at the Wilmer Clinic of Johns Hopkins Hospital that his sight was saved.

"I was told I could go blind. When I thought I was on my way back to teaching golf, my pancreas ceased to function and my kidneys, too. It meant three-hour dialysis treatments three days a week," Mr. Beardmore told The Sun in 1991.

He later was one of the first Maryland recipients of a pancreas and kidney transplant, and returned to teaching golf at Night Hawk Golf Center in Gambrills in 1991. In 1993, he became the pro at Severna Park Golf Center, where he was working until the time of his death.

His philosophy of teaching golf was far from complicated or overwrought.

"What I try to do is show how simple the game really is. I never had a golf lesson. I read a book as a kid by a pro named Joe Dante that gave me the basics. I added other things but not too much because centrifugal force is within all of us. It's a matter of allowing it to happen," he said in the interview.

"He played nine holes the day before he died," said a son, Christopher Beardmore of Los Angeles.

Because of his medical struggles, Mr. Beardmore was awarded the Severn School's Courage Award in 1996. The award was established to "recognize one who demonstrates courage, resolution and bravery in the face of great adversity."

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. March 19 at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church, 611 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd., Severna Park.

Mr. Beardmore is survived by his wife of 36 years, the former Brenda J. Sullivan; two other sons, Bruce Beardmore of Crofton and Brett Beardmore of Millersville; a daughter, Joan E. Fairhurst of Severna Park; a brother, Clayton A. Beardmore of Severna Park; and a grandson.

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