Valley resident Thomas Leslie Crow, loving husband and father of two, died Jan. 18 at age 88. His family provided the following.
Tom was born Aug. 23, 1931, in Melbourne, Australia, to John Avon and Irene Maud Crow. Tom was the youngest of three after John Malcolm (deceased) and Peter Douglas (deceased). He was a natural athlete and charismatic leader as evidenced from his time at prestigious Scotch College, where he was elected school captain in 1950. Tom was a stand out athlete representing the school in Aussie Rules Football, swimming and cricket.
Tom’s love of all sports was borne out especially with the game of golf. He started playing at the age of 18 and went on to win over 20 club championships at Royal Melbourne, Kingston Heath,Royal Sydney and La Jolla Country Club. Tom represented Australia as a member of the Eisenhower Trophy team in 1962 and 1964. But his crowning achievement was his victory in the 1961 Australian Amateur Championship.
Tom’s course record 63 on the Royal Melbourne West Course set in 1956 still stands today.
Professionally, Tom followed his passion for golf into a lifelong career he would never have to call a job. After working for a golf club manufacturer in Australia for several years, his unshakable belief that he could produce a better golf club prompted him to move his young family across the globe to San Diego.
Upon arriving in California, Tom founded Cobra Golf Inc. In 1975, he released the Cobra Baffler, a utility wood featuring a patented soleplate that greatly helped golfers of all abilities. The Baffler revolutionized golf club design and was the beginning of many innovative products from the company. Cobra Golf remains one of the most recognizable brands in golf.
Recognition for Tom’s contribution to the game of golf came in 2003 when the United States PGA awarded him the prestigious Ernie Sabayrac award for “lifetime contributions to the golf industry.”
Around that time Tom and Cally retired to Jackson Hole, where they had long visited, and became active participants in the community.
Tom’s friends will tell you how they admired his entrepreneurial spirit, passion for family, his competitive spirit, a well-timed joke or ribald story, all encased in a gentleman’s cloak. He was a voracious reader of world history, a crossword puzzle devotee and enthusiastically enjoyed his beloved Australian red wines.
Tom is survived by his wife of 58 years, Carol Ann “Cally” (Guest) Crow; his two children, James Crow and Annabelle Marvin; son-in-law Jeffrey Marvin; and his five grandchildren: Cailey Crow, Thomas Crow, Matthew Marvin, William Marvin and Charles Marvin.