Canyon Lake golfers pay tribute to fellow golfers


On the first day of the tournament, golfers were greeted by a were greeted by a golf cart bearing Dale Willingham and Fran Pothier’s golf clubs and a photo of the two of them together at another gathering. The two men passed away this year. Photo provided by Sam Theodora

Approximately 100 Canyon Lakers escaped the high temperatures of Canyon Lake in late August for the 9th annual Pismo Golf Getaway to enjoy the cool ocean air of Pismo Beach. The event was a four-day getaway with a two-day tournament at Cypress Ridge Golf Course.

Most of the Canyon Lake golfers attending the event stayed at the Oxford Suites Hotel where they enjoyed comfortable rooms, a full cooked breakfast each morning and complimentary evening cocktails and appetizers.

The tournament had 80 golfers in three flights each for men and women and paid over 50 percent of the field with prize money. Walking away with first prize rewards in the women’s flights were Merilyn Murphy in A Flight, Cathy Barr in B Flight and Sandy Coleman in C Flight. Winners in the three men’s flights were Steve McCain in A Flight, Phil Coughlin in B Flight and Roland Clark in C Flight.

The awards were presented at a banquet at the Cypress Ridge Pavilion where all were treated to barbecue tri-tip steak and chicken along with all the fixings.

In addition to the golf and other social activities, the group paid tribute to two longtime Canyon Lake golfers, Dale Willingham and Fran Pothier, both of whom participated in the former tournaments and passed away this year.

When the golfers arrived at the golf course the first day they were greeted by a golf cart bearing Dale and Fran’s golf clubs, Fran’s infamous USC flag and Dale’s American flag. Also on the cart was a sign reading “With us in Spirit Dale Willingham and Fran Pothier” accompanied by a photo of the two of them together at another gathering. Dale passed away at his home in Canyon Lake on July 5 from cancer. Eighty-six-year-old Fran Pothier passed away earlier this year while on a “Bucket List” golf trip with 15 of his close friends.

This year’s Pismo Golf Getaway sponsors are Anne Norris of Pelorus Capital Management and Manny Luis of Avilla Wine Tasting who each made generous donations to help make it a special getaway for many Canyon Lake golfers.

Tournament results and photos will be posted on the group’s website at