ALPENA — Countless hours of practice over the past 44 years has landed Terry Garbe of Alpena in the South Dakota Pool Hall of Fame. He received the honor during the South Dakota Amateur Billard Association 8-ball Tournament, which was held March 21-25 in Brookings.
“Just getting recognized as a pool shooter meant a lot to me,” said Garbe, who has a long list of honors he has received throughout his pool shooting career.
Garbe acquired a love for the sport at the age of 10 from his father, Wayne. Since that time he has created many friendships and considers the players he competes against as part of his extended family.
“I’ve shot with these guys for more than 30 years. You have your regular family and you kind of have your pool family,” he said. “When you go to the state tournament it is kind of nice to see all the different people every year, and that’s the only time you get to see them.”
The 1985 A Division team title at the state tourney was the first for many championships Garbe would win throughout his career, which will continue for the forseeable future. He has won seven State VNEA champions in 8- and 9-ball in both singles and team events; two State SDABA championships; was fourth in the International Championships in Las Vegas in men’s classic singles; and six-time team champion at the Heartland Pool and Dart Tournament in Huron with the Scoreboard Sidewinders.
Throught his career Garbe has strived to accomplish a few feats he had set his sights on. The first on the list was to win a State 8- and 9-ball singles tourney, with winning a “Charlie” trophy at the VNEA National Tourney in Vegas coming next.
After winning numerous state titles, Garbe was able to win a “Charlie” in 2017. He defeated a player from New Zealand to finish fourth at the international tournament.
“I really enjoy shooting in Vegas, shooting against people from all over the world,” he said “Especially the one where I won a “Charlie”, which was a long-time dream of getting in the top four.
“I’ve played people from all over the world — Finland and France,” he added. “I really enjoy that the most.”
Another one of his dreams was to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and that came to fruition this year when fellow pool shooter Britt Brunner nominated him for the honor.
Despite achieving his ultimate goal of reaching the Hall of Fame, Garbe will be looking to continue adding to his list of accomplishments and helping other shooters achieve their goals.
“I’ll just have to make new ones,” Garbe replied to his wife, Paula, when she asked what happens now that all of his dreams have come true.
Garbe would like to see some younger players become involved in the sport and is eager to assist anyone interested in doing so. Players can contact Manford Music in Huron for more information.
“There’s some around that I went and helped out a few weeks ago,” Garbe said of younger players. “But out at the state tournament you don’t see many. They might shoot in the Junior Nationals, but in our league you hardly see any young players, which is alarming.”
Garbe, who has been the VIP in the Huron League on numerous occasions will be looking to add to his trophy case during the Heartland Pool and Dart Tournament, which continues through Sunday at the Nordby Exhibit Hall on the South Dakota State Fairgrounds. The dart portion of the event is being held at the Huron Event Center and the Plains.
Alpena’s Terry Garbe poses with his plaque for induction into the S.D. Pool Hall of Fame - in addition to the other hardware his talent with a pool cue has earned him in his playing career. Garbe prepares to end another game, as he lines up the eight ball.