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Service above par

Gordy Angell loves golf

Gordy Angell“If it pertains to golf, I’m all for it,” the 91-year-old says. He had been a golfer for as long as he could remember and continued to play with friends after he and his wife, Barbara, relocated to The Terrace senior apartments at SummerWood of Chanhassen, Minnesota. But after his health changed four years ago, Gordy and Barbara moved to an apartment at The Commons assisted living to benefit from additional support. He hadn’t had an opportunity to play golf since the move. 

Al Gustafson, Chief Engineer at SummerWood, shares Gordy’s love for golf. Over the years, the two men have talked a lot of golf and watched tournaments on TV together, comparing and critiquing the pro golfers’ swings. “I know how much he loves the game,” Al said. 

So, in June 2015, when SummerWood announced the first annual Golf Scramble to kick off its 10-year anniversary, Al decided to tee up a plan to get Gordy on the greens. He summoned the assistance of Jonathan Schmidt, Engineering Technician at SummerWood, and the two assisted Gordy through the 9-hole course at Halla Greens golf course in Chanhassen. Al drove the golf cart and Jonathan maneuvered Gordy’s walker. Together, they helped Gordy to his feet and kept him stable while he took every swing for every hole on the course. 

“Gordy even chipped in for an eagle,” exclaimed Al. “We could see him come to life as we slowly played our way down the course,” he said.

“It was one of my better days,” Gordy said with more than a hint of pride and joy. 

Gordy AngellThey had such a good time in 2015 that Gordy and Al resolved to do it again on June 27, 2016 at the 2nd annual SummerWood Golf Scramble. The two duffers were among the 10 residents and staff who participated in this year’s Scramble. The support techniques they worked out last year were replicated by staff, enabling other residents, who might otherwise not be able to participate, to join the game. 

Al has worked for Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS) for 23 years, 10 of which have been at SummerWood. Jonathan has served at SummerWood for nearly 2 years. They clearly see their service through the PHS vision to provide more choices and opportunities for more older adults to live well. “Exceptional service and making people’s days inspires me,” Al explains. Helping make Gordy’s golf game happen is only one of the many ways he and Jonathan live out the PHS value of “Service Excellence” by creating exceptional customer experiences. “If I was in Gordy’s shoes, I’d like someone to do this for me,” Al empathized. 

“Al is my partner,” said Gordy. “He’s a good guy. Plays a pretty good golf game too,” he admits.

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