Tributes continue to pour in for Kelly Woodland, a longtime golf pro and the owner of The Barn Golf Club in Pleasant View, after he died last week due to complications from COVID-19 a week before his 67th birthday.
“We would like to take a minute to thank literally EVERYONE for your constant prayers and concern for our family at this time,” reads a post on The Barn’s Facebook page signed by “The Woodlands.”
“We don’t deserve all of the attention. We know that we are one of many families dealing with hardships and we send prayers in return that you may feel comfort and peace as well. Your kindness, thoughtfulness and willingness to help is humbling and appreciated beyond words. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! May we all look forward to brighter days ahead,” the post continued.
Woodland’s death was announced Friday. Since then, many have mourned the passing of a man familiar to pretty much anyone who went golfing at The Barn.
Woodland became owner of the course decades ago and at the time, The Barn was nothing special. It was run-down and not in great shape in those days, Weber State men’s golf coach Scott Erling said.
“I think their biggest impact was just providing a great place to play and just encouraging people to take up golf and keep going in the game, giving them a good place to play for a reasonable price and a place you could go and just feel comfortable,” said Erling, who first met Woodland when he was a teenager more than 30 years ago.
“There’s just gotta be thousands and thousands of golfers who — their only kind of touchstone in the game was Kelly and The Woodland family and The Barn, so they just provided that opportunity,” Erling continued.
Erling, who lives near The Barn, and Woodland would frequently get together for coffee over the years, Erling said. Woodland was the type of person who made people feel welcome and feel like they’d made a friend, he said.
“He was a great friend, always there. I never heard him really talk bad about hardly any people. That’s rare,” said Craig Sarlo, a longtime friend of Woodland’s and the general manager at the Ogden Golf and Country Club.
He also had a way with words — “Kelly-isms,” they are called.
“In the golf business, the guys around here — my assistants — we still talk in Kelly-isms in his voice because he had a distinct way of saying things. Some of them you can print, some of them you can’t,” said Sarlo, who knew Woodland for around 50 years.
Three of the PG-rated Kelly-isms: saying “a round of golf is 18 holes” if someone wanted to play nine holes, saying “go in the hole” if someone hit a good drive on a Par 5 hole, or buying someone two drinks instead of one because “you have two hands, don’t you?”
Both Erling and Sarlo said they couldn’t say enough good things about Woodland, a sentiment echoed on The Barn’s Facebook page where hundreds of people left tributes to the late Woodland.
Another post on the Facebook page asked people to donate to a golf fund in Woodland’s name for kids who can’t afford to get a start in the sport.
Woodland was known even farther than Utah. The PGA of America released a statement attributed to its president, Jim Richerson.
“Beloved for making The Barn a community that felt just like home, Kelly was known for his kindness and love of the game. He inspired generations of family members to pursue golf, including sons Kory as a fellow PGA member, and Justin, who would become a Utah GCSA President. To the entire Woodland family, the PGA extends our deepest prayers,” read part of the statement.
Late Tuesday night, another post from The Barn said a standard visitation with a closed casket will be held Sunday, April 18, at Lindquist Mortuary in Ogden.
It said a “BIG well deserved send off” for Woodland will be held outdoors at the golf course at 11 a.m. Monday, April 19.
“Please plan on observing COVID-19 safety protocols considering that is what took him from us,” the post reads. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking those interested to donate to the Kelly Woodland Junior Golf Memorial Fund through the Goldenwest Credit Union website or at the institution’s Farr West branch.