October 28, 2021

Memorial statue taken from the UW Golf Range

A photo of the wooden memorial statue Tora. The Golfing Man wears a medical mask and stands near a sign reminding patrons to follow the COVID-19 rules.

The Golfing Man statue demonstrates proper mask wearing outside the Golf Range.

Update Nov. 11: The statue has been returned to the Golf Range. According to Niles Appleby, manager of the range, “Many kids are happy to see him back as well as a number of seniors.” The statue will reside inside until we are able to better secure him outside the range.

A memorial wooden statue created by artist Katsu Hirasawa in 2009 was removed from the Golf Range the evening of October 21st. The statue, called Tora, is based on images of Tiger Woods demonstrating his backswing. In Japanese, “tora” means “tiger.”

The piece is affectionately known as “Golfing Man” around the range, and it was donated to the UW Golf program in July of 2019 by Hirasawa’s wife Louise Hirasawa. Katsu took his first golf lessons at the UW in the late 1970s, and later joined Sand Point Country Club in 1985 where he was a member there for 35 years.

The Golf Range would appreciate the return of this piece, no questions asked. If you have the piece it may be dropped off at the range, and if you have any information about its whereabouts, please contact the range at (206) 543-8759 or, or you may connect with the UW Police at (206) 685-8973.

A photo of artist Katsu Hirasawa stands next to the wooden memorial statue Tora holding a golf club.

Artist Katsu Hirasawa stands next to the wooden memorial statue Tora.

The wooden memorial statue Tora stands in front of the Golf Range, wearing a medical mask.