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Robert H. Schuh, pro golfer

Robert H. Schuh, a golf pro who owned and operated Pleasant Valley Golf Course in Stewartstown, Pa., died Sunday of heart failure at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium.

He was 78 and lived in Baldwin.

The son of a banker and a homemaker, Robert Hall Schuh was born in Chevy Chase and moved to Wollaston, Mass., with his family in 1947.

He attended Landon School in Bethesda, Thayer Academy in Braintree, Mass., and graduated in 1952 from Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H.

After graduating in 1956 from Dartmouth College, he served for two years in the Army, where he trained in the Nuclear Guidance Systems program at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala.

He studied under rocket pioneer Wernher von Braun and later was stationed in Germany in one of the first U.S. guided-missile units in Europe as part of the Nike program.

After being discharged in 1958, he became a professional golfer and began his career as golf assistant at the Naval Academy under Bob Williams. He then took a job at Argyle Country Club in Silver Spring, working with club pro Billy Gilbert.

After working with Vic Conti at Chestnut Ridge Country Club in Lutherville, he became head pro in 1961 at the VFW Country Club in Frederick.

In 1964, Mr. Schuh was hired to become Crofton Country Club's first golf professional, a position he held for a decade at the course designed by Edmund B. Ault.

"We have a real fine course here" and will be "ready to entertain the United States Open in about three years," he told The Baltimore Sun in an interview at the time.

In 1970, Mr. Schuh broke the course record with a 5-under-par 67 on the 7,140-yard championship course.

While at Crofton, Mr. Schuh developed a number of programs and placed an emphasis on junior golf.

In 1972, he founded the South Atlantic Junior Championship, which grew to become one of the premier junior golf tournaments in the country and attracted golfers from as far away as Florida and Michigan.

"We have a strong junior program here, and I wish junior golf would become a little stronger in the rest of the state," he told The Evening Sun in 1971.

Under his mentoring and development, at least 15 area junior golfers went on to become head professionals or members of the PGA or LPGA tour.

In 1974, he leased the golf course and golf operation from the club's owner, Charles D'Arco, a mortgage company president from Washington.

His goals, he told The Sun at the time, were to "run a strong tournament program for men, women and children," restore the course to "A-1 shape" and increase club membership to 450.

While living in Crofton, Mr. Schuh helped establish youth baseball programs and coached for many years.

He left Crofton in 1977 to become head professional at Lakewood Country Club in Rockville, where he remained until 1981, when he began leasing Pleasant Valley Golf Course.

After purchasing the club in 1994, he oversaw and directed a complete renovation of and addition to the clubhouse, which is now a multiuse facility that can accommodate 150 guests in a dining room that overlooks the course.

Mr. Schuh continued his interest in youth golf and supported many tournaments.

An active tournament player, he won the New England State Junior Championships as an amateur, and later as a professional had success in the PGA's Mid-Atlantic section.

"Bob was the ideal golf pro. He was one of the nicest guys. He was very outgoing, friendly, who wanted to help golfers with their game," said Hank L. Majewski, owner and golf director at Wakefield Valley Golf Club in Westminster, who first got to know Mr. Schuh in the early 1960s.

"He was a good golfer. We played some, and he always shot in the low 70s," he said.

He founded and served as president of the MPGA Junior Golf Association, designed especially for pros who had played as juniors and still wanted to compete as seniors.

"I first met Bob when I came to Baltimore to play for the Bullets," said Barney W. Cable, who retired from the National Basketball Association in 1967.

"We played in a lot of pro-amateur tournaments," said Mr. Cable. "He was a very good golfer. Bob was a conscientious, laid-back person, and he was the same way on the golf course."

Mr. Schuh celebrated his 50th year as a member of the PGA in October.

"He loved running a golf club and was still going to work every day. He hadn't retired," said his wife of 52 years, the former Joan A. Zito.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Lemmon Funeral Home, 10 W. Padonia Road, Timonium.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Schuh is survived by two sons, Steven R. Schuh of Gibson Island and Scott L. Schuh of Severna Park; a daughter, Susan J. Zeiler of Parkton; a sister, Carolyn Carey of Chester, N.H.; and seven grandchildren.

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