Ouimet Alumnus Tim Barton’s first memory of golf is hitting wiffle balls with his dad in his backyard as a six-year-old. His dad introduced him to the game, and he loved it from a young age. At age 10, Tim used his paper route earnings to pay $50 a year for a junior membership at Braintree Municipal Golf Course, and by age 13, Tim would find his way to the club by bike with his bag on his back.
“I lived at the golf course,” Tim Barton said. “I was a fixture from very little and it was my second home. So, it was a natural progression to knock on the door and ask for the opportunity to work there.”
Tim started working there when he was 16 throughout his junior year in high school, taking on various roles. He worked in the pro shop and cart barn, caddied for the occasional regional tournament, and assisted the starter. For Tim, golf was a way to spend quality time with his dad, learn about the game, and compete.
“Golf taught me honor, and it is a game of integrity and values and principles and making the right decision as a young person,” Barton said. “I had a strong foundation with parents who taught that, but the game of golf was all about discipline and getting exposed as a young person to a diverse mix of people on a more even playing field.”
In addition, golf allowed Tim to spend time with Ouimet Alumnus Bob Beach, the Assistant Head Professional at Braintree Municipal Golf Course at the time.
“Bob was a mentor and the kindest, most thoughtful leader,” Barton said. “He was very invested in me as a person, and he took care of me. He was a great teacher and held people accountable but with incredible soft skills.”
Bob encouraged Tim to apply for a Ouimet Scholarship and wrote his recommendation letter, along with Dick Hanscom, the Head Golf Professional at Braintree Municipal Golf Course at the time.
“Receiving my scholarship was a game changer for me,” Barton said. “It completely transformed my life at that age.”
Tim funded 100 percent of his college education and knew Bryant University was the right school for him. The difference between what he could afford and borrow was significant and his Ouimet Scholarship made attending Bryant possible.
“Without the Ouimet Fund, I would not have been able to go,” Barton said. “Each year tuition went up, and each year my Ouimet Scholarship did too, and if it didn’t, I would not have been able to stay in school there.”
Tim started a house painting company in college to make money, but even with that, the rising cost of tuition was outpacing his earnings.
“The Ouimet Fund enabled me to get in and to stay,” Barton said. “I met my wife at Bryant, and it was the single biggest game-changing impact on my young life.”
Tim played competitive golf growing up and led Braintree High School’s golf team as captain. However, after college and as he got older, he had less time to play and felt connected to the game through his involvement with The Fund.
“I love golf and have always stayed connected to it emotionally through the Ouimet Fund,” Barton said. “Regardless of how much I golf, I always think about what the Ouimet Fund did for me and prioritize giving back.”
Tim credits The Fund for teaching him the significance of philanthropy, something he values deeply.
“Being a Ouimet Scholar shaped my mindset around philanthropy and giving back,” Barton said. “As a Trustee at Bryant University, I’m trying to instill in young people the importance of philanthropy and what it teaches.”
Another philanthropic project Tim is involved with is the restoration of Francis Ouimet’s childhood home on Clyde Street, spearheaded by Tom Hynes.
A fellow member of The Country Club, Tim, heard about Tom’s initiative and reached out to him, offering his services.
“Francis Ouimet is one of the most influential individuals in my entire life, and I never even met the man,” Barton laughs. “So, the opportunity to participate and preserve the house in the memory of Francis was a simple decision.”
In a full circle moment, Tim and his college roommate Dave Beirne were the first folks to stay in the renovated Brookline house when they were in town to play in The Country Club’s member-guest tournament.
“He was my roommate at Bryant, and he knows firsthand how little money I had, so he often funded me and helped me as well,” Barton said. “He knows how much Francis Ouimet changed my life. To stay at the house together was quite extraordinary, and it wasn’t lost on him what a big deal it was sleeping in Francis’ room.”
Tim can still recall how nervous he was going into his Ouimet interview at Thorny Lea Golf Club when he was 17 years old.
“I remember that interview like it was yesterday, and it was the first time I’d ever presented myself in such a way to a panel of distinguished professionals,” Barton said. “Being selected is one of my proudest accomplishments as a young person.”
Tim refers to his Ouimet interview when he teaches young people about gaining experiences in formal settings on how to present themselves. Because for Tim, being a Ouimet Scholar was always more than just financial support.
“There is so much value in what the Ouimet Fund does for young people who may not have resources and what it teaches,” Barton said. “The Fund selected me, and supported me, and invested in me, and everything that happened after wouldn’t have happened without Francis Ouimet.”