Tribute to Ray Arinno

Tribute to Ray Arinno

One of the best golfers ever to come out of Sacramento, Raymond David Arinno, 77, passed peacefully in his sleep at his home in La Quinta, CA, on Friday, June 7th, 2024.

Raymond was raised in Sacramento, CA, where he attended Pope Ave. Grammar School, and Mira Loma High School, At the age of 10 he began playing golf, riding his bike to Haggin Oaks golf course with his brother Phil. In the summer months, they would play 27 holes a day, walking and carrying their bags. Ray’s golfing skills developed considerably and so did his passion for the sport. it was the beginning of his life-long career and love for the game of golf.

In 1971, he qualified for the PGA Tour, and played the tour in 1972, 1980 and 1981. In 1974, he moved to Arizona to play the mini tours, and became known as the “mini tour king”. There he earned enough money to regain status on the PGA Tour. In 1975, he went overseas to play in the Far East Tours, finishing 2nd a few times. Ray was a fixture at the McGregor Skins Game held around many public golf courses in the Greater Sacramento Area in the 80’s and 90’s. He was clearly the top player in his era, and all the young bucks wanted to play with Ray but would rarely win.

When the Campus Commons Golf Course in Sacramento opened up for a lease, Ray and his longtime friend James Kouretas partnered in securing that lease. It was a very successful venture and continued for roughly 20 years.

In 1997, he qualified for the Senior PGA Tour, and played in 1998 and 1999. He had some success but gave it up when travel became burdensome, and he missed being home…away from friends and his beloved cats.

Ray stayed in Sacramento and joined Del Paso Country Club, enjoying his many friends and playing a lot of golf. Then in 2000 he also joined The Palms Golf Club in La Quinta, CA. He later moved to La Quinta to live full time.

Some of his golfing highlights include being the California State Fair Champion in 1967, 1969 & 1970, Northern California Open Champion in 1976 and 1978, the Utah Open Champion in 1978, and the Long Beach Open Champion in 1980. He held many course records, including shooting the elusive “59” from the blue tees at The Palms Golf Club.

He will be missed by his many close friends at The Palms Golf Club. If anyone wants to donate in Raymond’s memory, please help any cat rescue facility. He loved his cats!

At this year’s 100th playing for the California State Fair Championship, Ray will be honored along with other past champions at a Champions Reception on the eve of the tournament. The reception will be held Friday evening, August 30, from 7:00 to 8:30pm in the Pavillion at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex. Chips, salsa and light refreshments will be served, and a cash bar will be available should you wish to toast Ray or other former champions.