Remembering Ben Wright
September 2, 2021
It is with heavy hearts to share our longtime friend Ben Wright has passed away at age 88. Ben had a special place within our Crystal Mountain family and he will truly be missed.
Wright was the namesake of the former Ben Wright Crystal Mountain Invitational, played at Crystal from 2005 to 2019. For 14 of 15 years, Wright participated in the Invitational and keynoted an evening of story-telling, while building friendships and memories along the way.
“I first met Ben in 2005 here at Crystal during what began as the Four Seasons Invitational tournament (then re-named the Ben Wright Invitational)," remembers MountainWoods resident and Four Seasons Club member, Chuck Bavol. "Ben and his partner ended up winning the tournament on a miracle last shot pulled off by Ben. Several celebratory glasses of wine later, Ben and I became the best of friends; as did my wife, Georgia with Helen. Ben’s spirit and personality simply filled the room, as well as one’s heart. I know I speak for many when I say that a void now exists that we can only hope to fill with our fond memories of a great man."
Wright was an Emmy and Peabody award-winning broadcaster and a lover of golf for more than 50 years. A native of England, he spent 23 years as “the voice of golf” for CBS Sports, covering the game’s greatest events including the Ryder Cup and The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.
He was also an accomplished writer and penned two books including an autobiography, “Good Bounces and Bad Lies,” as well as another entitled “Speak Wright,” in which he worked with Michigan-based collaborator Michael Patrick Shiels.
In addition, he worked as a columnist for several newspapers and contributed to Time magazine and Sports Illustrated, and designed several golf courses.
But it was the lasting impression he made on many of the Crystal Mountain property owners and Four Season Club members that will be his legacy at the resort.
"When Ben was speaking with you, you felt as if you were the only person in the room," recalls Bavol. "A consummate professional broadcaster and writer, his nearly 89 years were completely filled. He truly lived every day of his life.”
“Ben had a fantastic memory,” Mo and Linda White recalled. “After meeting me for the first time, along with numerous others in a very few minutes, he remembered my name a year later. As we got to know him better over several years, we enjoyed his sense of humor and his stories which we never grew tired of the retelling.”
He is survived by his wife, Helen (Litsas), his daughter Margaret (Taylor) Lanier, and grandchildren Stella Jane, Bentley, Wesley, and Andrew (Greensboro NC), and sister Susie (Roger) White of Epsom, England.