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Dickey aims to please Toshiba fans

GOLF: Newport Beach Country Club general manager has done his best to make the tournament memorable.

March 12, 2007|By Steve Virgen

The moment came Sunday when a champion was crowned at the Newport Beach Country Club. Finally, there amid the hoopla and celebration, finally, Perry Dickey could exhale.

The week was over, the NBCC general manager's first with the Toshiba Classic. He's worked big events before, the Ryder Cup and PGA Championships, but with the unique community feel at the Toshiba Classic, Dickey wanted to make sure to maintain the atmosphere and make it memorable for everyone.

He spent the greater part of 2007 planning for the event, studying what was in the past and remembering what he was told from his good friend, Jerry Anderson, the former general manger.

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Last year, Dickey started his job at the NBCC just before the 2006 Toshiba Classic. It led to a smooth transition as he studied Anderson working his final Toshiba.

The two worked together fine. They've crossed paths a few times throughout their respective careers.

Before Anderson became general manager, representatives of the NBCC called Dickey asking whom he would recommend. Dickey responded with Anderson as one of the names.

In 1997, when Dickey stepped down as president of the PGA Southern California section board of directors, Anderson took the spot.

Then about two years ago, when Anderson was asked who would be the right fit for the NBCC, he suggested Dickey.

"It's funny how things come around," Dickey said. "But 20 years [after I said his name for the job] he put my name to the International Balboa Bay Club company and I'm fortunate to be here.

"NBCC has always been special to me. To be a part of this is special. As far as being your first year out of the box, I was fortunate enough last year to shadow Jerry. But now it's my deal and I have the reins and I want to make sure it's done to the best of everybody's ability."

While at times Dickey's style could be described as intense — he said he could not truly enjoy the Toshiba Classic until it was over — he encouraged his staff to try and have fun.

He told them to realize the impact the tournament makes on the community, yet he reminded them to savor the moments of delight it could bring.

Dickey, 52, didn't want to heed that type of advice for himself. He was too busy trying to bring out the best of the Toshiba Classic. He was too involved with what he called putting out little fires.

He said those minor problems are bound to happen at a big tournament. He knows from his experiences with the Ryder Cup and PGA Championships.

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