Golf Oklahoma www.golfoklahoma.org April - May 2011
BO VAN PELT F PGA T amily comes first for rising
Official publication of the Oklahoma Golf Association
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The Links at Tuscaloosa Golf & Country Club, Tuscaloosa, AL Paradise Valley Golf & Athletic Club, Fayetteville, AR Lost Springs Golf & Athletic Club, Rogers, AR Centennial Valley Golf & Athletic Club, Conway, AR Nutters Chapel Golf & Country Club, Conway, AR Eagle Hill Golf & Athletic Club, Little Rock, AR Hurricane Creek Golf & Country Club, Bryant, AR Marion Golf & Athletic Club, Marion, AR Derby Golf & Country Club, Derby, KS Springfield Golf & Country Club, Springfield, MO Grand Summit Golf & Athletic Club, Grandview, MO Broken Arrow Golf & Athletic Club, Broken Arrow, OK Owasso Golf & Athletic Club, Owasso, OK Moore Golf & Athletic Club, Moore, OK The Links at Stillwater Golf & Country Club, Stillwater, OK The Links at Norman Golf & Country Club, Norman, OK Irene Golf & Country Club, Memphis, TN
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24 Interview with Bo Van Pelt Features
10 Letter from the editor 12 OGA 16 Chip Shots 30 Where we play 44 Pro Profile 45 Amateur Profile 52 High School Preview 54 WOGA 56 Instruction 58 Super’s Perspective 60 Schedules & Results
Black or White: New drivers creating a buzz.
The Broadmoor: Iconic Colorado destination beckons.
College Golf Preview: State schools have chance for rare sweep.
Looking Back: Waco Turner and the Poor Boy Open are a colorful slice of Oklahoma golf history.
Support junior golf by contributing to the OGA Foundation Call 405-848-0042 for more information www.golfoklahoma.org ••••••
Letter from the publisher
Golf Oklahoma Volume 1, Number 1 Golf Oklahoma Golf Oklahoma Offices Southern Hills Plaza 6218 S. Lewis Ave., Ste. 200 Tulsa, OK 74136 918-280-0787
Welcome to the debut issue of Golf Oklahoma. Oklahomans are a diverse lot united by some common goals, just as Oklahoma’s terrain offers just about every micro climate imaginable. Our goal at Golf Oklahoma is to reflect the diversity and the commonality of the land, the courses, the golfers and their interests throughout our great state. Oklahoma has some incredible history with the game and is creating more all the time. This first issue takes a look back at some of that history, by excerpting a behind-thescenes look at the wacky times at the Waco Turner Open in Burneyville, from Del Lemon’s excellent book The Story of Golf in Oklahoma. And John Rohde takes a look at the potential of our state to create history this spring, as state schools have a legitimate chance to sweep the national championships in men’s golf at the NAIA, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division I levels. Another man who will be creating future history for the state is Bo Van Pelt, and Jimmie Tramel’s excellent interview with Bo helps you get to know the PGA Tour star on a new level. We hope all of the state’s golfers will find stories of interest in Golf Oklahoma. We will cover personalities, courses, travel, equipment, instruction, rules, lifestyle and any other issues that come to our attention regarding the game we all love. Golf Oklahoma will be published four times during the season, in April-May, June-July, Aug.-Sept. and Oct.-Nov., with an annual course directory issue at the beginning of each year. You should be able to find the magazine in your local pro shop as well as numerous hotels and restaurants. Subscriptions are also available, just look on the masthead for more information. We’re starting this publication fully aware that golf – locally, regionally and nationally – is coming off one of the worst years the game has endured. The weather took a devastating toll on courses. The economy didn’t help. Play and purchasing of equipment were at record lows. Many grow-the-game initiatives were floundering. Yet we’re hopeful and already seeing many signs that golf will return to health. The weather is fickle, yet almost every course lacerated a year ago has rebuilt and is eager for the coming year. Equipment sales are up. There is a genuine buzz around the courses again. Here at Golf Oklahoma, we’ll be huge proponents of junior golf initiatives, including the OGA Golf Foundation. We’ll be watching and reporting on all junior golf and grow-thegame initiatives. It’s time we all realized that the future of the game is not guaranteed, it’s up to all of us that love the game to make sure that our children have the same or greater affordable opportunities to play as we did. We also realize that the digital age is fully upon us. One thing you won’t find in the printed magazine is an overload of daily tournament news. For that, we invite you to make www.golfoklahoma.org one of your favorite web sites and check it daily. The new website will have breaking news, tournament results, a complete course directory, tee time services, information on tournaments you can play and much more. You can also go there to sign up for our free enewsletter. The enews is a combination of breaking news and special offers exclusively for our readers. One of the first things we’ll be doing this spring is giving away a number of tickets to The Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, but you have to be signed up to have a chance to win. We will also be communicating through Facebook and Twitter. We invite your feedback. You can email letters to firstname.lastname@example.org for publication or respond to our web stories online. If you have tournament information or results or any news, please pass it along as well. The site will be the conduit for useful golf information in the state and your participation can make it happen. Thanks again for reading Golf Oklahoma and golfoklahoma.org. – Ken MacLeod
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Oklahoma City Office 405-640-9996 Publisher Ken MacLeod email@example.com COO/Marketing Director A.G. Meyers firstname.lastname@example.org Art & Technology Director Derek Hillman email@example.com Subscriptions to Golf Oklahoma are $15 for one year (five issues) or $25 for two years (10 issues). Call 918-280-0787 or go to www.golfoklahoma.org. Contributing photographers Rip Stell, Mike Klemme, PGA of America, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma City University, Jim Misunas Golf Oklahoma PGA Instructional Staff Jim Woodward Teaching Professional, Oak Tree National firstname.lastname@example.org, 405-348-2004 E.J. Pfister Teaching Professional, Oak Tree National email@example.com Pat McTigue Owner, GolfTec Tulsa and Oklahoma City firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Ball Owner, Ball Golf Center, Oklahoma City www.ballgolf.com, 405-842-2626 Pat Bates Director of Instruction, Gaillardia Country Club email@example.com, 405-509-3611 Tracy Phillips Director of Instruction, Buddy Phillips Learning Center at Cedar Ridge firstname.lastname@example.org, 918-352-1089 Jerry Cozby Master PGA Professional email@example.com, 918-914-1784 Oklahoma Golf Association 2800 Coltrane Place, Suite 2 Edmond, OK 73034 405-848-0042 Executive Director Mark Felder firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Handicapping and Course Rating Jay Doudican email@example.com Director of Junior Golf Morri Rose firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright 2011 by Golf Oklahoma Magazine. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from Golf Oklahoma. Golf Oklahoma is published by South Central Golf, Inc.
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Call 1-888 -815 -1902 today! www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 11
Letter from the president david thompson
The Oklahoma Golf Association (OGA) is are tax deductible. Contact Executive Direc- OGA is the license holder from the USGA excited about its affiliation with “Golf Okla- tor Mark Felder at email@example.com, to for providing GHIN handicap services within homa.” Many of you may not be familiar find out how. Oklahoma for more than 14,000 golfers withwith OGA and the services it provides to OGA also conducts State Championships in the state. Jay Doudican, Director of GHIN golfers in Oklahoma. in Stroke Play, Match Play, Mid-Am and Se- Services, works with golf professionals at Starting with juniors, OGA acquired the nior categories. These championships are member clubs to ensure that their members’ Oklahoma Junior Golf Tour in 2010 and conducted throughout the golfing season handicaps are current and correct. provides opportunities for boys OGA is responsible for golf and girls to play in multiple course ratings and slope ratings 2011 OGA Schedule tournaments around the state. within the state. Our volunteer Morri Rose, Director of JuMay 16-17: Spring Four-Ball and Senior Spring Four-Ball, teams of course raters undergo Twin Hills G&CC, Okla. City nior Golf, continues to mentor extensive training conducted these kids and promote golf as June 13-16: Junior Boys, Kickingbird GC, Edmond by the USGA to ensure rating a means of achieving a college July 11-14: State Amateur, Meadowbrook CC, Tulsa consistency not only within education. OGA conducts the July 25-26: Senior State Amateur, Gaillardia G&CC, OKC our state, but across the naJunior Boys State ChampionAug. 8-10: Stroke Play, Muskogee CC tion. ship each year and has recently Aug. 26-28: Oklahoma Open, Oak Tree CC, Edmond OGA volunteers and staff entered an agreement with Sept. 12-13: Senior Stroke Play, The Trails GC, Norman assist USGA Committee memKickingbird Golf Course in EdSept. 26-27: Mid-Amateur, Rose Creek GC, Edmond bers at USGA Championship mond as a permanent home for Oct. 10: State Club, The Greens CC, Okla. City Qualifying events within Oklathis Championship. homa. The Oklahoma Golf FounOGA and the “Golf Okladation was founded to support junior golf and are open to Oklahoma residents or out homa” affiliation is a natural. Both organiand provide opportunities for juniors to be of state college students attending a college zations are all about golf in Oklahoma For able to compete in local and national events or university within Oklahoma. OGA vol- information about how you can become in which they otherwise may not have fi- unteer Rules Officials supplement staff at more involved in OGA, contact Executive nancial means. You can support junior golf these Championships. Director Mark Felder at 405-848-0042. You through donations to the Foundation which Championships are not our only business. can also visit our website at okgolf.org
Time for a quick rules review Now that the golf season is upon us, I thought it might be appropriate to review some of the common situations from a Rules standpoint and refresh our memories as to how to proceed. As you are aware, each player is responsible to know the Rules. My ball is on a cart path, what should I do? A path is an immoveable Obstruction so you are entitled to relief, without penalty, pursuant to Rule 24. You take relief in two steps: (1) establish the nearest point of relief; and, (2) drop the ball within one club length of that spot. There is only one “nearest point“ and it is the closest point to where the ball lies and where no interference by the condition would exist for the stroke the player would have made, and no closer to the hole. Under this Rule you must take “complete relief” and this means after the ball is put back in play you do not have interference with that same Obstruction for your stance and swing. You will use the 12 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
same procedure for relief from ground under repair and holes made by burrowing animals. I accidentally moved my ball while address- Gene Mortensen OGA Rules ing it. Rule 18 tells us Director that if a player causes the ball to move there is a penalty of one stroke and the ball must be replaced. The fact that the movement was “accidental” does not save the player from the penalty. A word of caution in respect to the Rules; when the term “must” is used it is a command and a penalty will ensue if it is not done. In this case, if the ball is played from the new spot, there is a two stroke penalty in lieu of just the one. One of the previous players left footprints in the bunker and my ball came to rest in one of them; do I get free relief? While it may seem unfair, the answer is “No.” Play the
ball as it lies or declare the ball “Unplayable” and proceed with a one stroke penalty. You may not use a rake anywhere in the bunker before playing the stroke as this would be testing it in violation of Rule 13-4 . My ball lies in tree roots and I don’t want to risk hurting myself; what are my options. Rule 28 tells us that a player may declare his ball unplayable anywhere on the course, except in a water hazard. When you make that election, there are three options: (a) drop a ball at the spot where the original was last played; (b) drop a ball on an extension of the imaginary line formed by the flagstick and the spot on which the ball lay; and (c) drop a ball within two club lengths of where the ball lay, no closer to the hole. If the ball is in a bunker, dropping under options (2) and (3) must be in that same bunker. Remember that if you take relief under this Rule and the ball rolls back into the unplayable position, you start over with the additional penalty so proceed with caution.
Over the past 28 years the SCSPGA has provided youth in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas with broad opportunities to experience the game of golf, allowing them to develop their talents as players and individuals. In 2011 the South Central Section PGA will be offering over 65 events between three separate Junior Tour levels. The 2011 schedule will include an increase in events located within southern Kansas and Arkansas.
Find the level that fits YOUR game! Players Tour
New! Players Tour:
Open to junior golfers ages 12-18 who have distinguished themselves in local, regional, statewide, and national competitions. 36-hole events played at championship quality golf courses throughout the SCSPGA, culminating with the Tournament of Championships at Gaillardia Country Club. The Players Tour provides tournament participants the opportunities to gain national Junior Golf Scoreboard Ranking points. This option will provide serious players necessary experience in their journey toward collegiate golf. Members must meet GHIN handicap requirements before membership approval
The SCSPGA Junior Tour is designed to introduce junior golfers ages 9-18 to competition, the Rules of Golf, and the benefits of the game. Single day, 18-hole events will be held throughout the SCSPGA section in cooperation with PGA Professionals. Tour members cumulate player of the year points throughout the year, which will determine participation in the season-ending Tournament of Champions and Player of Year winners.
Provides youth ages 5-10 with a unique opportunity to be introduced to the game of golf. An instructional based program targeting the Rules of Golf, golf etiquette, the basic fundamentals of putting, chipping, the full swing, and on-course play. Prior to the start of each event participants will receive a 30minute instructional clinic from the Host PGA Professional covering basic skills.
For registration, tournament schedule, and other details visit www.southcentral.pga.com
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www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 15
News from around the state
Ridings into the sunset South Lakes pro to retire this spring Golf courses have gone soft, just like the rest of America. So says Paul Ridings, who is retiring at the end of April after 35 years of working with Tulsa County courses LaFortune Park and South Lakes, the last 23 as the head professional at South Lakes in Jenks where he presided over operations of one of the state’s most popular courses. “Back when we started, the course didn’t close any day but Christmas except for weather,” said Ridings. “Now we close three days a year.” Ridings is joking, we think. He certainly learned the ropes as a PGA professional from one of the all-time taskmasters, former LaFortune Park head professional Jerry Jones. Ridings was working with Jones at Surrey Hills Golf Course in Oklahoma City when Jones, who had formerly worked at LaFortune Park, came back to replace Charlie Wisner as the course’s second head professional. Ridings then moved to South Lakes in 1988 to oversee the construction and grow-in of the new course Ridings knew the Randy Heckenkemper design, squeezed into a 130-acre parcel of land just
16 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
The new facility for the First Tee of Metropolitan Oklahoma City. south of Jones Riverside Airport, would be popular as it was both enjoyable and easy to walk. But no one knew how popular. In 1992, one year after severe winterkill affected the Bermuda fairways, the course recorded 57,000 rounds. In 1994, more than 58,000 rounds were played at South Lakes. The course was popular with seniors, women, juniors and everyone else. The numbers have tapered off somewhat of late due to increased competition and a lagging economy, but South Lakes is still pulling in more than 40,000 rounds in years most courses are pleased to hit 30,000. “It’s been fun to be associated with something of quality right from the start,” Ridings said. “We knew when the course was built that it was not that difficult and would be a lot of fun to play. That’s always been our motto. It’s fun to play.” Ridings’ son Tag was 14 and playing in numerous junior events when Ridings started at South Lakes. He got to play with and watch Tag grow up to be an All-American at the University of Arkansas, followed by a career on the Nationwide and PGA Tour that continues today. “When Tag first started playing on the section junior tour, I knew he had a chance to be good because he never seemed to be bothered by shooting low,” Ridings said. “A lot of kids get scared if they get a few shots
under par. He could get to 4- or 5-under and it never bothered him. He could maintain the round.” The two competed in friendly rounds at South Lakes over the years even when Tag would return after leaving home. Alas, back and arterial problems have forced Paul Ridings off the golf course. He hasn’t played a full round in nearly eight years. So golf won’t be a high priority in retirement. Fishing, gardening and traveling to see more PGA Tour events and to see his grandchildren will occupy his time. “The best part has been all the people who worked here and played here and adopted the course,” Ridings said. “It’s just been fun to watch and to be a part of it. We did a feasibility study before we built the course and the rounds we’ve done have far, far exceeded that. So it’s been very rewarding.” Replacing Ridings at South Lakes will be Jason Hines, formerly the director of golf at the Back Nine Golf Academy in Bentonville, Ark. “Paul has done an outstanding job at South Lakes and I’ve enjoyed working with him,” said Pat McCrate, who overseas golf operations for the Tulsa County courses South Lakes and LaFortune Park. “He’s produced a lot of excellent assistants who have gone on to outstanding careers in golf. He’s been great for the game and great for me.”
ONLINE: Get the latest news on Oklahoma golf at
A new beginning First Tee of OKC gets a permanent home Thanks to countless contributions, donations and volunteer hours, the First Tee of Metropolitan Oklahoma City was able to celebrate the opening of its new 5,100square-foot facility adjacent to the Jimmie Stewart Golf Course on March 26. Debi Martin, who has spearheaded the project and served as the volunteer executive director, said she was thrilled with the permanent facility, which includes a beautiful new clubhouse, 40-station driving range and a three-hole practice course designed by architect Randy Heckenkemper and built by Jones Plan, both of Tulsa. The clubhouse and facilities cost roughly $1.65 million and were made possible by the generosity of major donors such as Jim and Christy Everest, the Tom L. Ward Family Foundation, Inasmuch Foundation, Chesapeake Energy and Tracy Alford, as well as nine other sponsors who will be represented on signs promoting the nine core values of the First Tee program and countless others who have given in some fashion. Prior to the completion of its permanent home, The First Tee of Oklahoma City has thrived by having satellite stations at area golf courses such as Lake Hefner, Kickingbird, Fairfax, John Conrad and Westwood Park. Teachers at all those facilities will continue to be part of the program, which last year served 300 children in the spring, 425 in the summer and 287 in the fall, as well as reaching out to some 2,600 other children through target programs in schools, churches and with the Police Athletic League. The new program facility will not only allow the students to work on their games on the range at the three-hole practice facility, but it is right next door to the nine-hole James E. Stewart Course, one of the five courses run by Oklahoma City. It will offer nine-hole rounds at reduced rates to First Tee students.
Section Tour unveiled Junior Tour upgraded with Players Tour events The PGA South Central Section, long known for its successful junior tour, has stepped up its offerings and is working in conjunction with the Oklahoma Golf Association and other state associations to make sure there is plenty of high level competi-
Craig Humphreys chats with Phil Mickelson at Augusta National. tive golf available for the area’s top junior amateurs. In 2010, the top amateurs in Oklahoma played on the Oklahoma Junior Golf Tour (OJGT) administered by the Oklahoma Golf Association. In 2011, the OJGT moves its events to the fall and the section introduces a new Players Tour, with nine 36-hole events, including four in Oklahoma. Andrew Zeller, the new tour’s executive director, said each event will include Junior Golf Scoreboard rankings for the contestants and they will all be professionally run by PGA professionals on some of the section’s top courses. Players must have a handicap of 9.1 or less for boys and 18.1 or less for girls, or a waiver from their club pro, in order to compete. Zeller is hoping the fields range from 75 to 100 contestants per event. In addition to new competitive events, the section will administer its traditional junior tour for ages 9-18 consisting of single-day 18-hole events around the section. Annual membership is $75 and registrations can be made online at www.southcentral. pga.com. A third tour will also be held simultaneously this year. The Lil’ Tykes Tour is a series on nine-hole events for children ages 5-
10 and is ideal for beginners. A membership in the Lil’ Tykes Tour is $50. The three tour’s reflects a renewed commitment by the section professionals to strengthen their commitment to junior golf. Schedules for all three tours are on the scoreboard page and available at www.southcentral.pga.com.
Rite of Spring Craig Humphreys and The Masters go together Fortunately for all Oklahomans who love golf, Craig Humphreys was back in Augusta, Ga., this spring for his 24th consecutive appearance at the Masters. Humphreys files numerous reports daily for The Sports Animal out of Oklahoma City, which is also picked up the majority of the day by The Sports Animal in Tulsa and other markets. Although he spends much of his time these days working on pre- and post-game shows for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, Humphreys has an unbridled passion for golf. He is the president of the board for the First Tee of Metropolitan Oklahoma City and has worked hard behind the scenes and devoted much time to help that group celebrate the opening of a permanent home this spring. His son Sam is one of the state’s www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 17
Output On: March 18, 2011 12:14 PM High-Resolution PDF - PRINT READY
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Chip shots top juniors and plays for powerful Edmond North. Humphreys began attending the Masters on his own nickel in 1988 and secured his first press credential in 1998 while working for Sports Talk 1340. In 2001 he began coverage of both The Masters and the U.S. Open for Westwood One Sports. Now his coverage is limited to The Sports Animal, for whom he typically files reports at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. with the various hosts. Humphreys loves everything about The Masters: the history, the course, the traditions and the memories he’s accumulated. Some of his most memorable moments: • Tiger Woods first major victory, the 1997 Masters, in which he won by 12 shots. “I saw him play everything that year. That was history.” • Standing on a chair behind the 18th green in 1988 when Sandy Lyle made an improbable birdie from a fairway bunker to win. • Being in the tower on 18 for Westwood One while Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player finished their round. “Who would have ever thought I would be in a tower at Augusta covering Arnold, Jack and Gary!” • Watching Woods complete the “Tiger Slam: in 2001. Watching Ben Crenshaw win for Harvey Penick in 1995. Greg Norman’s six-shot collapse in 1996. Phil Mickelson’s breakthrough win in 2004. • Humphreys has twice won the media lottery and been allowed to play August National on a Monday, the first time in 1999 and then again in 2008. The veteran Oklahoma City announcer has interviewed all the top golfers dozens of times and estimates he’s talked with Tiger Woods 35 to 40 times and usually found him cordial and helpful. However, he also said Tiger’s press conference in 2010 after his return from exile was one of the most bizarre events he’s ever witnessed. Overall, Humphreys’ passion for the game, the course and the tournament comes through in his reporting. He has his facts and historical context down cold and mixes in enough personality and first-person experiences to make his reports lively, entertaining and enlightening.
News from around the state
NJCAA honors Cozby He led Odessa Junior College to two titles Jerry Cozby, who retired in 2010 after 41 years as head professional at Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville, will be formally inducted into the Junior College Golf Hall of Fame at a dinner May 17 at Odessa Junior College. Odessa Junior College is the site of this year’s NJCAA National Championship. It is also where Cozby led Odessa to backto-back national championships in 1961 and 1962 before starring for Lamar for two years. Odessa, under Cozby’s former coach and fellow Hall member Jimmy Russell, won the first five NJCAA national championships and six of the first seven. Cozby was actually inducted in 2010 but will be personally in attendance at this year’s dinner where he will be introduced by Gary Ray, head professional at Lakeside Country Club in Houston where Cozby now teaches in late winter and spring before returning to Bartlesville.
remained No. 1, followed by Pacific Dunes and Old Macdonald, both Tom Doak courses on the coast in Bandon, Ore. Jim Urbina has a co-design credit on Old Macdonald. Whistling Straights in Kohler, Wis., is No. 4, followed by Friar’s Head, which like Sand Hills was designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. Pine Valley remained ahead of Cypress Point on the Top 100 Classics list (pre 1960). Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa stayed
Patriot ranked in top 50 Oklahoma has three courses in top 55 The Patriot Golf Club in Owasso made its debut on the Golfweek Top 100 Modern Course List (1960 and later) at No. 48, one notch below Oak Tree National in Edmond at No. 47 and a few spots higher than Karsten Creek in Stillwater at No. 53. The Patriot, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., give Oklahoma three courses on the list, a strong representation. The only states with more than three courses are Oregon with seven, California, Florida, South Carolina and Arizona with six each, Michigan, Colorado and North Carolina with four each. “Obviously we’re very pleased to be in the top 50 after less than one year of operation,” said Director of Golf David Bryan. “We’ve had a lot of good responses from the raters and specifically that they really enjoy the minimalistic architecture. “I think you’re seeing a lot more appreciation for that. We moved a lot less dirt out here than you would see on some similar projects. As the USGA says, brown is the new green, and they did a good job here of using and highlighting a lot of the native areas.” Sand Hills Golf Club in Mullen, Neb.,
Scenic view from No. 1 at the Patriot put at No. 25, the only Oklahoma course in the top 100. The issue of Golfweek also offers a state list of best courses you can play. Oklahoma’s list including course designers was: 1. Karsten Creek, Stillwater, Tom Fazio 2. Chickasaw Pointe, Lake Texoma, Randy Heckenkemper 3. Jimmie Austin University of Oklahoma Golf Course, Norman, Perry Maxwell, Bob Cupp redesign 4. Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Perry Maxwell, Tripp Davis redesign 5. Forest Ridge Golf Club, Randy Heckenkemper www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 19
Some things we like to do before and after the round
The Desert Island Golf Library Ten essential books for the literary golfer by tom bedell
ne thing Vermont has over Oklahoma is a long off season, which gives me more couch time with golf books in my hands. But if I had one hundred years in front of me with nothing to do but read I’d still never reach the other shore on the ocean of golf books. Naturally, there’s some garbage floating around. But greatness, too. When I began thinking about what ten titles would constitute a solid desert island golf library, about five came immediately to mind. Then I put it out on the social media to friends and colleagues – if limited to one golf book to take to the proverbial desert island,
The Golf Omnibus
by P.G. Wodehouse (Gramercy, 1996) I suspect even non-golfers would be seduced by this collection of 31 stories by the creator of Wooster and Jeeves. The rest of us will be helpless. Even the preface is hilarious, but the master unfurls a parade of hapless lovers, obsessed duffers, dastards due a comeuppance, most in tales narrated by that clubhouse fixture, the Oldest Member. Love, and golf, usually triumph.
what would it be? The results mostly proved that great minds think alike, since we agreed on many titles. But extra points for thinking ahead to golf blogger David Rowell, who said he would take Dream On by John Richardson, along with his sand wedge. Still, presuming there wouldn’t be much chance to play on a desert island, it would be cruel to list any instructional books. So I haven’t, concentrating on stocking the raft with good reads to see us all through, until rescued by the beginning of the season.
Following Through: Herbert Warren Wind on Golf
(Ticknor & Fields, 1985) You’ll probably have to search the net or used book stores for this superb collection of pieces by the stylist the USGA annual book award is named after. Wind preceded both Updike and Owen at The New Yorker and it always amazed me how his pieces on major tournaments long over could be spellbinding cliffhangers. His paean to the Highlands, “North to the Links of Dornoch,” will unleash a yearning that can be satisfied in only one way.
by John Updike (Knopf, 1996) The late Updike, renaissance literary man, was also a devoted mid-handicapper. He was The Golf Courses of the British besotted by the game and wrote about it of- Isles ten with his usual élan, on sustaining display by Bernard Darwin (Nabu Press, 2010) here in stories, essays, and novel excerpts. The grandson of Charles Darwin pub(Yes, Rabbit Angstrom plays through.) My lished his first and some say greatest work father and I once spent the better part of a in 1910, surveying the great courses of the dinner laughing over the title essay, about those impossible golf shots we face in our dreams. Worth the price of admission, and that’s just the first hole.
My Usual Game
by David Owen (Main Street Books, 1996) Like Updike a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, Owen was a mid-life golf recidivist. Having once forsworn the game, he fell hard upon his return, and in one comically entertaining essay after another about golf schools, Myrtle Beach, playing in Scotland and Ireland and inventing excuses to play golf that wives will buy, he speaks directly to the addict in us all. 20 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
Realm, and in the process setting the bar awfully high for his successors. This reproduction volume includes the equally alluring illustrations by Harry Rowntree.
Blasted Heaths and Blessed Greens
by James Finegan (Simon & Schuster, 1996) He’s nowhere near the stylist of the other writers on this list, but Finegan’s enthusiasm and love for Scottish links courses, and an amiable anecdotal approach make this an essential carry-on for any traveling golfer, and the same can be said for his companion volumes Emerald Fairways and Foam-Flecked Seas (Ireland) and All Courses Great and Small (England and Wales).
by Richard Price Fox (Crane Hill Publishers, 2001) Next to the Wodehouse trove, this 1963 work remains one of the funniest golf books ever written, a wholly imagined epistolary collection. Head of the Eagle-Ho Sanctuary in Arkansas, where caddie flogging is still in vogue, Doctor Golf answers Dear Abbylike queries from the golf perplexed--players who slice even when off the course, a wife who thinks there’s something wrong when her husband sleeps with his clubs (Doctor Golf fails to see this as a problem), all the while flacking dubious gadgets, such as the Doctor Golf Eagle-Ho Swing-Speed Whistle Control or the Eagle-Ho water-filled-head putter.
ONLINE: Get the latest news on Oklahoma golf at
Golf in the Year 2000
by J. McCullough (Rutledge Hill Press, 1998),
Golf in the Year 2100
by Bob Labbance (TowleHouse Publishing, 2003) Okay, cheated a little here, but this is an ideal pairing of novels, the first written in 1892, and yet prescient in visualizing such wonders to come as television, digital watches, bullet trains, remote-controlled golf carts and Ryder Cup-like matches. In Labbance’s sequel of sorts, golf nut Martin Grant awakens from a century-long cryogenic snooze, and is soon teeing it up at the seventh Bandon Dunes course – at 9,384 yards long “short by modern standards.” At long last, we learn, golf balls send out locating signals,
scorecards speak, there are aerial hazards, laughs and plenty of flavorful golf. What magnetized bunker sand, and something the heck, slip the sequel in, too – Shanks for called Altered Element Golf. Luckily, as Nothing. Grant puts it, “beer was still beer.”
by Rick Reilly (Broadway Books, 1997) Sportswriter Reilly presumably needs no introduction, but for those who know him mostly for his often comic nonfiction, welcome to the world of the Ponkoquogue Municipal Golf Links and Deli, presumably the world’s worst municipal links, and right next door to the posh and ultra-private Mayflower Club. This is essentially a When-WorldsCollide farce, the flawed heroes and craven villains clear, but the soundtrack filled with
The Legend of Bagger Vance
by Steven Pressfield (Avon Books, 1996) From the Mystic Golf School of writing, with talk of The Field and The Authentic Swing, not to mention a time shifting battle sequence that sure wasn’t in the movie. Heavy, man, but leavened by the great 1931 fictional match between protagonist Rannulph Junah, Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen.
Tom Bedell reads by the woodstove in Vermont.
Fine Wine, Good Cigars E.P. Carrillo 2010 Edicion Limitada One of the year’s Top 25, grab one while you can
Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, the original owner and founder of El Credito Cigar Company Miami, Florida, has produced brands such as La Gloria Cubana and El Rico Habano. In 2009, Carillo released his newest cigar line the E.P. Carrillo. Teamed with his son Ernie and daughter Lissette, they have released multiple cigar lines that are giving this boutique brand some serious attention. The E.P. Carrillo 2010 Edicion Limitada has helped put the brand on the map with a rating of 94 points by Cigar Aficionado. This score helped the cigar to achieve a ranking of 8th in Cigar Aficionado “Top 25 cigars of the year.” The E.P. Carrillo Edicion Limitada is made with a binder from the Dominican Republic, Nicaraguan filler with a wrapper from Brazil. It has a sweet flavor with some tasting notes of cedar, caramel and a hint of leather. It sports a price tag of $15.00. Unfortunately, it was only produced in very minimal quantities. Only 1000 boxes containing 10 cigars were made.
Luke Donald just getting better with age What happens when a wine-loving golf pro meets a golf-loving wine pro? Well, when the PGA player is Luke Donald and the wine guy is Terlato Wines International CEO Bill Terlato, a new brand is born. Luke Donald’s association with wine began with golf, specifically when he was attending Northwestern University on a golf scholarship in the late 1990’s. Bill Terlato was taking golf lessons from Donald’s coach. Luke and Bill became golf buddies: Luke helped Bill’s game; Bill conducted impromptu wine seminars for Luke. Whether on the golf course or in the vineyard, both men shared a similar passion for excellence. In 2006, Terlato floated the idea of creating a wine for Donald and in 2007, the two men met in Napa to craft the first wine, a Claret-style blend. Donald, born and raised in England, prefers to call it a “Claret” because that’s the British word for Bordeaux blends. Also, from a golfer’s point of view, the Claret Jug is awarded to the winner of the British Open, something Donald hopes to acquire. Donald has an affinity for the great white Burgundies of France. This is the inspiration behind his Luke Donald Collection Chardonnay from Carneros, a wine that reflects Luke’s passion for elegant, well-balanced Chardonnay. With an emphasis on crisp, clean minerality this Chardonnay highlights the cooler climate and rich soils of Carneros, and is crafted in a style that pairs well with a wide variety of foods. www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 21
IN THE BAG: DRIVERS
R11 was star of PGA Show by ed travis
Each January’s PGA Merchandise Show sees golf-club manufacturers introducing their offerings for the coming season. As is often the case, at the 2011 edition of the show a lot of attention was paid to the new drivers, so after three days walking the miles of aisles here are some of the big sticks that caught our eye. Hands down the most talkedabout driver this year was market segment leading TaylorMade Golf’s R11. The first impression of the R11 is the white crown of the 440cc head and the striking contrast of the black clubface. At address the two seem to frame the ball, making a really good aid to your alignment. The R11 also features three adjustment systems to fine-tune performance to the user’s swing. The now familiar strategically placed movable weights, originally used on the R7 driver, promote a draw
or fade bias and adjust ball trajectory. R11 also has the same adjustable hosel first seen in 2010 on the R9 driver. When rotated it increases or decreases the loft and therefore launch angle. However, since changes of loft also affect the face angle (i.e., the amount the face is closed or open), TaylorMade added a pivoting sole weight to the R11 so the original face angle can be maintained with the new loft. This Chinese restaurant menu mixand-match gives 48 possible settings to promote a particular ball flight and compensate for a player’s swing idiosyncrasies. Street price for the R11 with a Fujikura Blur shaft is $400. The tour model R11 TP is $500. Callaway Golf debuted the RAZR Hawk driver with the clubhead making use of a lightweight carbon fiber material co-developed with Italian automaker Lamborghini that was seen for the first
Full Metal Lineup
Titleist hopes 910 spurs fairway metal and hybrid sales by ken macleod
Black or white? It may not have mattered to Michael Jackson, but the color may be a determining factor for some serious golfers trying to choose this spring between two high-performance drivers, the white TaylorMade R-11 and the new Titleist 910D2. For Titleist, the 910 is its first foray into the adjustable head technology. The D2 has a hosel adjustment that changes the loft and lie to give the golfer 16 different settings to choose from. Fighting a low hook all of a sudden? Give yourself a higher loft and a more open clubface in a couple of clicks. Beyond the hosel adjustments, the 910D2 is creating a buzz for its look and performance. Pat McCrate, director of golf for LaFortune Park in Tulsa, was one of the first PGA professionals in the area to receive the 22 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
new driver and has already moved all of his drivers and restocked three times since the fall of 2010. “This is the first time Titleist has entered into the adjustable head technology and it’s been a big hit,” McCrate said. “We sold some in the winter, which we never do. Titleist has always been huge in custom fitting, but now they’ve taken it to another level, particularly with the new lightweight shafts. “The Titleist and TaylorMade drivers have been the big buzz. Do you like the black one or the white one?” “This driver is going to rock,” said Titleist rep Pat Moriarty. “It’s the best driver we’ve come to market with, probably in the history of the company. “I’m looking forward to getting out there
at demo days this spring and getting consumer reaction. Initially it’s been great.” The new driver certainly looks sleek with its ultra-thin crown and optimized face design, touted as a fast face with a larger maximum ball speed area and improved launch and spin face map gradient. Moriarty said the new driver will propel sales of the 910 fairway metals and hybrids. “Those have been two of our weaker categories and now they are two of our stronger categories. You can see it by how well we’re doing on the PGA Tour equipment counts. We’re doing better than we’ve ever done in those categories. We’ll be able to get customers into a full metal lineup for the first time. The key is going to a shop that has some demos and an experienced custom fitter.”
time last year in the Callaway Diablo Octane driver. Callaway says because the material is so strong they can forge wall thicknesses precisely to within one-thousandth of an inch, giving them exact control of weight distribution. The RAZR Hawk comes in either a neutral or draw bias, both having a streamlined shape. According to company research aerodynamic drag is reduced by 43 percent compared to the old Calloway FT-9 driver. Each of the three RAZR Hawk models, the Neutral, Draw or the Neutral Tour, carries a street price of $400. At Cleveland Golf, this division of Srixon has made a big commitment to lowering overall driver weight in its second generation of the Launcher Ultralite series. Show attendees were intrigued by these really light drivers that go all the way down to 270 grams or roughly 35 grams less than normal. The series takes advantage of the fact that lighter clubs can be swung faster, while acknowledging the law of diminishing returns applies to taking weight out of the clubhead. Remembering back to high-school physics class, force equals mass times acceleration, so a requisite amount of clubhead mass is needed to produce the force to give maximum distance. Being lightweight is great but it cannot be at the expense of how the club plays, i.e., the swing weight must still be in the traditional D5 range. Cleveland accomplishes this by adjusting the head weight distribution, using a Mi-
The Tour Edge Exotics XCG-4 use vacuum brazing to join the tungsten and titanium of the club face and sole.
yazaki Tour C Kua shaft and a super-light 26-gram Winn grip in the lightest driver of the series, the 270-gram Launcher XL 270. Additionally there are the Launcher XL 270 Draw (draw bias), the Launcher SL 290 (290 grams) and the Launcher TL 310 (310-gram tour model). The company says this range of overall club weight ensures every player will find the right driver for maximum distance and playability. Each carries a street price of $300. At the other end of the weight spectrum and very much at odds with the ‘lighter is better’ idea is the Boccieri Heavy Driver. Yes, the same Boccieri Golf who make the Heavy Putter. Boccieri has applied the moreweight-may-mean-less-speed-but-alsomore-control theory, used successfully with their putters, to drivers. The Heavy Driver weighs in at 375 grams or about 100 grams more than a super-light, but in order to not compromise the club’s balance counter-weighting is used under the grip. This bumps up the overall club weight without a disproportionate amount in the head, In fact, the 460 cc titanium clubhead is only 208 grams. During an interview on the show floor Steve Boccieri said, “A heavier weighted club makes it harder for the average golfer to come over the top and the club is on plane longer and the arms are in a better position closer to the chest.” He continued, “I like to explain it like an ice skater who can spin much faster with his arms folded on his chest.” From the large number visiting
Callaway says the RAZR Hawk’s new streamlining reduces aerodynamic drag by 43 percent compared to the old FT-9 driver.
his booth this idea seems to have resonated with more than a few. Suggested retail for the Heavy Driver is $400. Adams Golf continues to push clubhead aerodynamics as the key to improving driver performance, and the popular Speedline drivers carry the flag for the company’s commitment to an active airfoil design. For 2011 the new Speedline F11 has three slots added at the rear of the crown and the sole which, along with a tweaking of the head shape (for a fifth time which proves the longevity of the Speedline franchise), gives a 35 percent reduction in drag according to Adams research. In fact they say the new F11 is so sleek it can produce 3 to 4 mph additional clubhead speed which will translate to 12 yards more distance. The Speedline F11 clubhead has a slightly larger footprint than last year’s model, meaning more hitting area and more off-center hit forgiveness combined with a further lowering of the center of gravity for distance producing low spin, high launch. The F11’s two models, neutral and draw bias, both have a street price of $300. The Exotics XG-4 driver continues club maker Tour Edge’s reputation for innovative design and manufacturing techniques. The XG-4 comes in two flavors, the 276-gram Super Ultra Light and the 310-gram Ultra Light. Both feature a clubhead made with a titanium face and sole with dual tungsten sole weights and carbon sole inserts capped by an amorphous carbon crown.
Cleveland Golf is committed to lightweight drivers introducing the second generation of the Launcher Ultralite series with the lightest weighing in at 270-grams, 35 grams less than most drivers.
www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 23
rrie and with wife Ca w, 4. Bo Van Pelt ce, 8 and Cre ra T , 9 , a vi children, Oli
Home is where the heart is for Bo Van Pelt By JIMMIE TRAMEL Photos by RIP STELL 24 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
t’s the spring of 1998. The Big 12 championships are being staged at Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, Kan. Bo Van Pelt is a senior at Oklahoma State University and doesn’t know if he has ever played golf in worse weather. “It was 40 degrees,” he said. “The wind was blowing about 30 miles an hour. It was raining.” Then he spots Carrie. Carrie is an OSU cheerleader and she drove with friends to Hutchinson because she wanted to support her beau, or, in this case, her Bo. “She watched, like, the last six holes of my first round and the whole 18 of my second round,” Bo recalled. “I remember looking at her and I was like, ‘I don’t think I would watch you do anything in this weather.’ “And she was like, ‘Hey, I came up here to watch you. What am I going to do? Go sit up in the clubhouse?’ “ If Bo hadn’t realized this before, he certainly knew it that otherwise gloomy day that Carrie was a keeper. “Exactly,” he said. “I tell her you don’t know how many stripes you earned that day. That was impressive. I think that was the neat part about her was she didn’t really care about the golf one way or another. She was rooting for me because she knew that’s what I loved to do.” Fast forward to the present. Bo still loves golf – and golf loves him back. Bo posted a career-best 70.07 scoring average on the PGA Tour in 2010, finishing in the top 25 in half of the 28 tournaments he entered and posting eight top-10 finishes. He earned $3.36 million and rose to 13th place in the FedEx Cup Standings. But golf has to share Bo with Tulsa (it’s where the Indiana native settled) and wife Carrie (a Union High School alum) and their three children. Daughter Olivia will be 10 in May. Sons Trace and Crew are 8 and 4. Is it difficult to make family a priority and still be at the top of your game? A 2007 Golf Magazine article reminded readers that Jack Nicklaus won all of his 18 majors after becoming a dad, including a U.S. Open only months after his first son was born. “You’ve got somebody to play for, somebody to come home and share it with and somebody to root for you that’s right there that you love,” Nicklaus said when asked about the golf/parenthood juggling act in 2009. “So that’s the way it should be.” Olivia and Trace and Crew no doubt believe their dad is a winner, regardless of tournament outcomes. But Bo’s career took off following his first PGA Tour victory at the 2009 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee. It came in his 229th tournament and he got the monkey off his back by beating John Mallinger
in a playoff. Between family duties and PGA Tour obligations, Bo carved out enough time in his schedule to participate in a question-and-answer session for the inaugural issue of Golf Oklahoma.
mind. Man, if I just could have birdied the last (hole) or done this. But at the same time, those thoughts don’t last very long because you remember ‘Hey, on Thursday, I hit a really bad shot and then I chipped in when I could have made bogey or double.’ There are always those, so it always kind of evens You’ve tweeted that even though you play out in the end and you can’t really think too professional sports, there’s nothing more much about that. I think just the nervousnerve-racking than being a parent and ness comes from the fact that it’s your child watching your children compete? and you want them to do well and you don’t For sure. They are starting to play sports. have any control over it and it’s just fun to I’m kind of a silent parent over in the corner, watch. but that doesn’t mean inside I am not nervous. Olivia competes in gymnastics? She’s a gymnast. This is her second year of competing. Last year was really her first year. Are you all of a sudden a gymnastics expert? No. I would say I’m learning, I guess, as she goes through it. But I am far from an expert. But you get big-time butterflies watching her compete? Exactly. She practices hard. She practices five days a week for three hours. She works hard at it and likes it. When she’s your little baby out there, your firstborn, and she’s out there in the middle of that gym doing stuff, you want her to do her best. You’re definitely nervous, because it’s kind of like golf. It’s not a team sport. She’s out there on her own, so you have your fingers crossed that it is going to go well.
Was it a situation where we’ve got to clear dad’s trophies out of the way to make way for hers? Oh yeah. Absolutely. Her medals definitely take precedence. We have room at the house that’s for sure. Are Trace and Crew old enough to participate in sports? Trace is just starting to play around. He is playing soccer and played a little basketball and flag football and stuff and has started to play golf a little bit, so he just now is starting to take an interest in athletics. So that’s been fun now that he wants to go out and shoot hoops or throw the football or go hit golf balls. That’s fun for me because I can play sports all the time, no matter what the sport. It’s something I have always done. When I was young, I went from one sport to the next, so it’s just something I have always been around. It’s fun now that they like going outside and doing that kind of stuff.
What do you think about this whole parenthood thing? Were you a person who was always looking forward to having children? I always wanted kids. In college, I would go home for the summer and live with my sister and she had kids that I helped out with and would babysit. That was kind of my summer job. They were always a lot of fun to me. My wife and I talked about it. She was an elementary education teacher, teaching out at Monte Cassino. She wanted kids, so we had kids pretty young. We were, I guess, 25. For this generation, I guess it’s somewhat young. Not super young, but kind of young. We wanted to have multiple children and it was something we both were Bo Van Pelt during the final round of play at the 92nd PGA looking forward to. That was Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. never a question mark for me. I Photo by Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America always wanted children.
You’ve stood over putts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Are you seriously more nervous watching your children compete than standing over a mega-dollar putt? Yeah, definitely, because I don’t have any control over it and they are young. To me, they are always my babies. Every parent feels like that. I have been playing golf for so long, playing and competing. It’s weird to say, but I have never really thought about the money. I guess I always just thought if I played well, that stuff would take care of itself. I would be lying if I said there weren’t times when Sunday night or Monday that thought hasn’t crossed my
Has Olivia won gymnastics events? The funny story is, in her division, she won the state championship last year. She had done well, but she hadn’t won the all-around in any meet, so she ends up having a good meet at state and winning the whole dang thing, so she was pretty excited about that.
Your job demands that you are away from home a lot, so what’s your day-to-day routine with the children? When I’m home, I try to get up and make a breakfast and take them to school and pick them up every day that I can. My wife has to do that three-quarters of the time. It’s a www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 25
“If I play bad and miss the cut and get home late Friday night or Saturday morning, they don’t say one word about the golf. They are just excited that I am there. That’s an awesome feeling.” thing where, because of the PGA Tour lifestyle, she has a lot of burden on her when I am gone. I try to make up as much time as I can when I am home. It’s important to me, and the kids like it, so I try to give her a little break when I am home. It’s fun, taking them to school and then while they are at school
I try to get a little workout in and practice Trace are. Just this last summer they have a little bit and then herding them back up gotten to the age where instead of going when they get out of school. to the day care, a lot of times they want to come watch nine holes or even 18 and they Are your children old enough to grasp what will walk with Carrie. So I think probably you do for a living? when they were young, they didn’t get it. They are starting to. I think Olivia and But now that they have actually seen the
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grandstands and the scoreboard and walked a tournament and kind of seen what I do and seen me inside the ropes while I am playing, I think it has kind of registered a little bit more. So I think they get it now.
known any different. My wife and I, we had a blast. For almost four years, we had a motor home when Trace and Olivia were just babies. They were out every week and that was our life.
Have there been any moments where they jump inside the ropes and want to run to dad? No. A few years ago, like the first time Olivia walked down at the Byron Nelson, some of her cousins came down from Tulsa to watch. And she wanted to walk with them and she was kind of standing over by the ropes. I wasn’t playing very good... but there were a couple of times where she yelled ‘hey dad’ and waved, so that was kind of cute. They know that they are not supposed to run out there. They are pretty well-behaved out there on the golf course.
They were all with you on tour? Yeah. They were out probably 90 percent of the time because they are only like 18 months apart. We had two little ones out with us every week and that was just all we knew. It was good for me. My wife has been such a big help. She is very organized. I am not the organized one in the relationship. From a golf standpoint, she has helped me get more organized and, just how organized she keeps our schedule in what’s going on with the kids, it’s invaluable -- just uniforms and practices and this one needs to go here. I will do the grunt work, but I couldn’t organize it. She has been invaluable from that standpoint, as far as what she brings to the table and just keeping everything organized and the kids on schedule and stuff like that. It’s been a huge help. It has made my golf easier and it has made it so much easier when I come back in town to kind of get into what their schedule is because she does such a good job of being organized.
How have you managed the golf and family juggling act? I guess I have never really known any different. My wife and I always wanted to have children, so I never had this vision in my head that I have got to be single until I am 30 and try to do all this stuff and maybe have kids. I think some people have that in their heads. I never did. I guess I had never
If golf is all you had in your life and you were playing badly, that could be difficult because you wouldn’t have anything to take your mind off golf. But if you have children and you play a stinker of a tournament, maybe kids keep you from dwelling on it? They really could care less. They get excited if I play well or if they are home and get to see me on TV or something. But if I play bad and miss the cut and get home late Friday night or Saturday morning, they don’t say one word about the golf. They are just excited that I am there. That’s an awesome feeling. When you miss a cut, they get to spend a weekend with dad? Absolutely. For them, it’s a bonus. They could care less. All they know is I’ve got a couple more days at home and that’s all that matters to them. You said the motor home thing was fun, but when it was time for the kids to start attending school, you needed to settle down somewhere. Was there ever any doubt you would wind up in Tulsa? My wife and I never really discussed it as far as wanting to go somewhere else. We
www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 27
had kind of set up our roots here. Her mom is here. Her sister is here. Her best friends that she grew up with are here. We all have young kids together. All the husbands, we all get along really well. I remember when I first got married. I got married in my rookie year on tour. It was either (Bob) Tway or (Scott) Verplank. I can’t remember. It might have been both of them. They just said, ‘You know what? Live wherever your wife wants to live, because you are not home enough for it to matter.’ They were right, but I have also fallen in love with Tulsa. It’s a great town. The golf is great here. The people are great. It’s centrally located. And it’s easy to come back and get away from golf for a while and just kind of get lost in what the kids are doing and with your friends here. That’s fun for me as well.
weather gets bad in the wintertime, we’ve got an airport 15 minutes from our house. I can go somewhere and practice for a few days if I need to. I don’t have to be able to get in my golf cart to go drive down and hit balls for a couple of hours. If I need to go work, then I’ll get on a plane and go somewhere for a couple of days and get some work done.
Not a lot. She didn’t really understand the Q school and trying to turn pro and what all that entailed at first. I think she had asked my friends, ‘Hey, is he any good? (And they said) ‘Yeah, he is good.’ That was kind of about it. From a golf standpoint, the light bulb has really come on for you in the last few years. From a big-picture standpoint, where did it all change? I think getting my first win two years ago in Milwaukee helped. (Not winning a tournament) probably bothered me more than I wanted to admit. It was nice to kind of get that out of the way and just focus on trying to get better as a player. I think I narrowed down some areas of my game that I need to work on -- my short game and just the mental aspect. I worked hard on that last year and I think that it finally came around. That’s the thing that’s hard for the average sports fan to understand, how small a difference it is between guys that are playing well on the Nationwide Tour and guys that are playing awesome on the PGA Tour. It’s really not that big a gap. I think in other sports, there is a bigger gap, but when you look at golf, a half a shot a round is the difference between having a great year and a bad year.
Was that the case during Tulsa’s historic blizzard? I was actually out playing. I played those two weeks. I left Tulsa and it was 70 degrees and when I came back it was 65, so I missed the blizzard of 2011.
You met your wife in college. How did you meet? One of my roommates, T.J. Nance, who Many pro golfers choose to reside in played at Oklahoma State had started dating warm-weather cities in Florida or Arizona. a girl over the summer that was a cheerleadAre other players curious that you picked er at OSU. Carrie was a cheerleader there, Tulsa? so when I came back to school at the start I think everybody’s question is always of my senior year it was kind of her group ‘Tulsa? Why do you live there?’ But they get of friends and T.J.’s group of friends and we it. For me it was easy. I grew up in Indiana, just kind of met that way. so I was used to taking a break from golf in the wintertime. I never grew up playing golf Did she have any idea what she was get12 months a year. And the other part is if the ting into as far as the golf situation?
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And it’s such a hard thing to grasp, not only for players, but for fans. I think mentally I got stronger and I think it’s about just saving shots. To me, the thing with golf, and if you polled 100 guys I think they would all agree, the guys who play well on tour, when you have a really good year, it’s how you play when you are not playing your best. Every guy out there, if they are playing well, they are going to shoot 6-, 7-, 8-, 9-under. Anybody can do that. It’s hey, on the day when my swing doesn’t feel that good or I get off to a bad start or a million different things, what do I shoot when I am off? If I can still shoot 1-under par or 2-under par or scratch out an even-par when I bogeyed the first three holes, those are the rounds that really make the difference. I think I have just done a better job the last couple of years, when I wasn’t at my best, still finding a way to shoot a good number.
Scottsdale or Los Angeles or whatever, nobody would know who he was. If you are No. 1 in the world in basically any other sport, you can’t do that. I think you would stand out. That’s kind of the cool part about golf. Guys that are way more high-profile than me, golfers just like your average, everyday guy walking around a restaurant or a Target. They don’t look any different, so everybody just kind of blends in.
You said not winning bothered you more than you wanted to admit. Charles Barkley, Karl Malone and Dan Marino were great players in their sports without winning a championship. Did you feel like you weren’t really a member of the club until you won a tournament? A little bit, yeah. I think the other thing too was every time you would play well, you would get off to a good start in a tournament, and it was the same question. It was Besides stats and results, is there any part the right question to ask me. It was like ‘Hey, of being on Tour that make you realize you have proven you can make money out your profile has sort of gone up? here. You have proven you can do this, but Not really. The neat part about golf is is this going to be the time when you first outside of Tiger and Phil (you can be sort of win? Why haven’t you won?’ I think the anonymous). Martin Kaymer is No. 1 in the longer that goes on, the harder it goes on. It world. The guy is unbelievable. But I’ve got was just one of those things that I needed to a feeling that if you took him to the mall in do. I needed to finish a tournament off. And
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I need to do it again. I wouldn’t be satisfied if the only time I ever won was Milwaukee. I think it’s one of those deals where, as a competitor, anybody who plays pro sports or college sports, you are just competitive. And that’s the hard part about golf. Even the best players only win a couple of times a year out of all the tournaments you play. It’s hard to get in that mindset of winning. I think sometimes in golf you get off to a bad start and you make the cut, but you can’t win. You have got to play little mind games with yourself of ‘Hey, I’ve got to get to this score.’ Even though you probably know you are not going to win, it’s like you have to create victories out there so that way you build on what you are doing. Do you go to most – or every – tournament with the mindset of thinking you can win it? Yeah. If I play my best, I feel like I can compete in any tournament that I play in. You are always thinking that way. I think that’s the only way to get those kind of results is if you have that in your mind. Early in my career, I was trying to figure out whether I could make cuts out there. When you are worried about making cuts, it’s amazing how every Friday you are on the cut line.
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Where we play
Forest Ridge shines again
New greens, bunkers, clearing all draw raves by ken macleod
The successful completion of a major playability, enhance strategy and make ForGreen speeds on the Tyee putting surfaces renovation has made this spring a rewarding est Ridge the place to play in town for the will be maintained at close to a 10 on the time to be the head professional at Forest next 20 years.” stimpmeter, with superintendent John Babe Ridge Golf Club in Broken Arrow. In some of the areas that have been able to move that figure up or down depend“The reaction has been ing on the weather or event. phenomenal, to sum it up “With faster grasses on the in one word,” said Lance playing surface, the rest of the Allen. “The greens are way course should be more playbeyond expectations, conable,” Allen said. “We will sidering we had just this fall continue to offer some shaved to grow them in. When we areas around the greens as tell people we’ve only had well, giving golfers a lot of four months of actual growshot options. We have a lot of ing weather, they say they really good players out here look like they’ve been there who want us to maintain the for years.” challenge of the course, and It’s not just the 18 new we will. At the same time, we greens, using the superior want to make it a good experiTyee bentgrass, that has ence for every level of player.” the golfers at Forest Ridge excited. Every bunker on TCC rebuild continues the course has been rebuilt, Membership excited by restoration massive clearing of tangled In his 21 years as head prounderbrush has opened new fessional at Tulsa Country vistas and sight lines and Club, Jeff Combe said he has No. 15, formerly a middling never seen the membership so par-3, has been turned into excited. a spectacular hole with new “You can’t believe the exelevated tees and a four-acre citement level around here,” lake down the left side that he said after giving a writer a crosses in front and behind tour of the ongoing renovathe hole to create a peninsula tion of one of the state’s oldgreen. est courses. “We’ve had a lot of “There’s been a huge reacnew member interest this wintion to the clearing and, of ter as well. When everything course, to the lake on 15,” Alis done, this is going to be one len said. “Golfers get to that unbelievable golf course.” point of the course and say, It’s hard to imagine a more ‘Where are we?’ It really is a thorough transformation than dramatic change.” what is occurring at Tulsa Course designer Randy Country Club. The clubhouse, Heckenkemper, who did practice facilities, course and the original layout in 1987, Top, the new lake fronts the 15th green at Forest Ridge. Below, a new grounds, all have come in for returned to oversee the reno- bunker guards the green at the tough par-4 eighth hole at TCC. major changes. vation project and is thrilled As the first issue of Golf with the result. cleared, native fescue has been planted and Oklahoma went to press, the back nine holes “I think what we did at Forest Ridge is should provide a good contrast to fairways were being sodded and the greens had all get ahead of the curve,” Heckenkemper and roughs as it browns in mid-summer. been seeded with a blend of Tyee and 007 said. “We were very well positioned for the With the new faster and firmer greens, the bent grasses. The front nine fairways had all first 20 years. The adjustments we’ve made fairways were widened slightly in places been sodded last fall with U3 Bermuda and will ensure that we are well positioned for and the plan is to keep the rough more man- the greens were grown in with up to eight the next 20 years. The facelift will enhance ageable. inches of root depth. 30 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
Every hole has been subtly tweaked by architect Rees Jones and his associate Bryce Swanson. Some are longer, some shorter, but all should be more strategic and offer more shot options, particularly around the much more natural looking greens and green complexes. “You will have to use every club in your bag,” Combe said. “The green complexes won’t be as penal, but you’ll have more decisions to make off the tee and on your second shots.” There are 41 new bunkers on the course, many of which will influence the path members choose from the tee. From the championship tees, the course has been lengthened to 7,150 yards, up from 6,750, but the distance from the members tees will not change that dramatically. If the back nine sod takes hold quickly, the plans are for a soft opening of the front nine in June followed by a grand opening in July. Members are already enjoying the clubhouse redesign by Tom Hoch of Oklahoma City. The pro shop now ties in with the clubhouse, there are new lockerrooms, fitness center, dining areas and grills.
finished product but are signing up in droves. After the membership fell to 74 members in the last days of the previous ownership, it has rebounded to 284 and climbing since Eddie Gibbs of Owasso bought the resort last year and began carrying out his bold renovation efforts. “They are flying in right now because we still don’t have an initiation fee,” Sheffield said. That fee will begin after the clubhouse is completed. Shangri-La has hired Rob Yanovitch as its new head professional and director of golf operations. Yanovitch comes to Shangri-La from the Lonnie Poole Golf Course at North Carolina State University. He has previous Oklahoma experience at both Twin Hills Country Club and Cedar Ridge Country Club. He also has worked outside the industry as an executive producer with Blue Yonder Films. “Rob has got a great personality and can do many different things,” Sheffield said. “He’s a second generation head pro, a down-toearth guy and a great fit for a resort course. I can’t wait for him to get started and to hand off the golf operations to him.”
Bailey Ranch renewed Recovery completed from devastating weather Corey Burd is excited for the opportunity to restore the good name of Bailey Ranch Golf Course in Owasso. Like courses throughout Oklahoma, Bailey Ranch took a crushing double body blow in 2010, getting hit with winter kill on the fairways in the spring and then watching the greens suffer from the extreme heat in late summer. Bailey Ranch responded by taking the opportunity to resod or reseed all the greens with the new Tyee bent grass. Those greens have grown in well, but that was just the beginning. Superintendent Chris Cook and his staff have reworked all the bunkers, rebuilt a bridge on the 16th hole, added electric lines and new fans, did some clearing, finished sodding some fairway areas and overall conducted a major spruce up of the 1993 Bland Pittman design. “We’re excited,” said Burd, the director of golf. “We’re coming out this spring with so many changes and improvements. We’re promoting it as a grand reopening of Bailey Ranch. Golfers are going to really appreciate the improvements.”
Progress at Shangri-La Clubhouse set to open on Memorial Day Work continues briskly on both the golf course and clubhouse at Shangri-La Resort in Afton near Grand Lake. The opening of the 13,000-square foot clubhouse is planned for Memorial Day. The clubhouse sits on the highest elevation on the property and should offer a commanding view of the course and lake. “There won’t be a nicer building anywhere on the lake,” said project manager Jason Sheffield. The clubhouse occupies land on which holes 2 and 3 on the championship course were formerly. Those holes have been rerouted by architect Randy Heckenkemper and constructed by builder Dale Forrest. Heckenkemper has also designed nine new holes on the site of the former Gold Course. These will be seeded and sprigged in May with a goal of opening by Labor Day. At that time, the greens on the seven holes on the back nine that have not been rebuilt will be closed for repair, which should take until the spring of 2012. The final nine holes are scheduled to be renovated in the spring of 2012. By the fall of 2012, all 27 holes will be either new or rebuilt. Members, however, are not waiting for the www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 31
The Broadmoor graces major championship stage again by david r. holland
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Broadmoor, one of the world’s preeminent golf resorts, has a glorious history of hosting major championships. It began in 1959 when a pudgy, 19-year-old Jack Nicklaus won the U.S. Amateur on the final hole against one of the best amateurs of all-time, Oklahoman Charlie Coe. So it is fitting that 2011 will bring another chapter in the major championship saga of The Broadmoor, when the USGA brings the Women’s U.S. Open to town, July 7-10, and for the first time in LPGA history they will tackle the 7,000-yard barrier. This Broadmoor East Course will measure 7,047 yards at par 71. “There are so many wonderful attributes that makes us want to stage a major championship here,” said Mike Davis, Senior Director, Rules & Competitions of the USGA. “It has the old charm of just being around since 1918 with Donald Ross and Robert Trent Jones Sr. combining for the design. Experts look at the scorecard and think it shouldn’t be such a tough test, but once you have 32 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
witnessed golf here and played here you Top, the 18th hole on the East Course at know that the effect of Cheyenne Moun- the Broadmoor. Above, the palatial clubtain makes the greens the toughest I’ve ever house on the East Course. putted on.” Photos courtesy The Broadmoor
The 1959 U.S. Amateur
tion team includes golf-course architect Ron In 1959, on the beautiful grounds of Forse, The Broadmoor’s Miller and SuperinBroadmoor East, Coe and Nicklaus staged a tendent Fred Dickman. 36-hole final day match that many consider “What we’ve done on the East Course is among the best in amateur history. to restore it to the way it was originally in Coe was coming off a 1958 champion- 1918,” said Miller. “Over time, because of ship, his second U.S. Amateur title, at San irrigation, maintenance, or somebody who Francisco’s Olympic Country Club, but this just didn’t like where a bunker was things teenager he was facing was formidable. got changed. To me, Ross was a great artOnly Bobby Jones had won three amateurs ist. You wouldn’t take a Picasso painting and and Coe was denied his third this day. change it. No. 18, a 415-yard, par-4, doglegs right, The team started with research. They had with a pond 125 yards out, creating an ap- hand-drawn architect’s plans from 1917 and proach with The Broadmoor Clubhouse in photos going back to the early 1900s. Then the foreground. On the tee the duo were they assembled some 1937 aerial photos all square. Nicklaus hit nine feet below the taken by the U.S. Government. hole, but Coe made a tactical error -- his apForse said that even golf grill photos, proach flew the green creating a scary down- sketches and old ball room pencil drawhill return. Astoundingly, Coe chipped his ings showed things that were very valuable delicate, tricky third stiff. It was a gimme, in the restoration. For example you can see but Nicklaus stroked in his birdie putt win- mounds short of the green on 18 East that ning his first major one-up. were there in the beginning, but removed Coe, who spent summers the final two over time. decades of his life at Colorado’s Castle Pines Today’s West Course measures 7,016 Golf Club, was honored with a Wall of Hon- yards at par 71 and has rolling fairways and Ask Meg Mallon, too, about the greens. or in the locker room. Nicklaus’ letter honor- multi-level greens that overlook the city The winner of a Women’s U.S. Open and ing Coe said in the late 1950s there wasn’t a and the mountains. It plays tighter off the Women’s Canadian Open with spectacular better golfer in the world than Charlie Coe. tee than the East Course, with more heavputting performances, said: “I have never ily tree-lined holes, and also gives the player played harder greens than what they have The Broadmoor today: 54 holes many spectacular approach shots. Water at The Broadmoor.” of spectacular golf features tantalize you on the par-3 holes and On July 16 of the 1995 Women’s U.S. When The Broadmoor’s East Course the greens are tricky. Open at The Broadmoor Mallon began the opened in 1918 Donald Ross was quick to The renovated Mountain Course meafinal round with a five-stroke lead over 24- say it was his best work. And that included sures 7,637 yards at par 72, and includes rugyear-old Annika Sorenstam, but No. 4, the a course in North Carolina he had finished ged terrain, forced carries and an awesome daunting par 3 that will play from 142 yards that is now known as Pinehurst No. 2. And panorama of the city below its mountainous in 2011, was her downfall. She posted a over the next location. It was seven and Sorenstam won her historic first 93 years the built on the Past USGA Championships professional victory by one stroke. splendor that site of the old at The Broadmoor “The Broadmoor’s greens are so tricky be- is The BroadArnold Palmercause they are very difficult to read,” Mallon moor just got 2008 U.S. Senior Open Eduardo Romero Ed Seay design 1995 U.S. Women’s Open Annika Sorenstam said. “The slopes come off the mountains better and that was de1982 U.S. Women’s Amateur Juli Inkster and you have to look at the entire moun- better. stroyed by ero1967 U.S. Amateur Bob Dickson tain range to see which way the greens are Broadmoor sion from an 1962 Curtis Cup United States breaking.” East became a ancient water 1959 U.S. Amateur Jack Nicklaus Many first-time Broadmoor golfers walk combination source beneath off the courses muttering about a scorecard of the original the fairways. loaded with three-putts. Putting tips from a Ross design Today’s course member or from Director of Golf Russ Miller mixed with holes designed by Robert Trent building technology fixed the problems. are invaluable. “In theory it is pretty simple,” Jones, Sr., who arrived on site as early as the When you are on the fairways of the Miller says. “Normally long is bad and short 1950s to work on a nine-hole addition and Mountain Course you are reminded of why is good. The general rule is to keep the ball continued with visits up to 1965, completing Colorado Springs is such a travel destinaon the front part of the green with the flag- what became the West Course. tion. Everywhere you look are those “purstick between you and Cheyenne Mountain But in 2005 The Broadmoor started a res- ple mountain majesties” that Katherine Lee and you will have an easier, uphill putt.” toration that would return the fabled East Bates wrote about on July 22, 1893 when Optical illusions can be mystifying, es- Course to Ross’ original ideas and to tackle she wrote a little song called “America The pecially when a green is sloped, appearing an overhaul of the West Course to make it Beautiful” after a trip up to Pikes Peak. downhill, when it is actually uphill. more like Ross’ characteristics. That restorawww.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 33
Above, an aerial view of the seventh hole on the Mountain Course. At right, an autumn view of the ninth hole on the West Course.
The Broadmoor: luxury, scenic views everywhere
For 35 consecutive years The Broadmoor has been honored by the American Automobile Association with the coveted FiveDiamond Award for Excellence. Only three other U.S. properties have had the prestigious designation for as long. Just in the past decade the ultimate resort has added private “Brownstone” residences, the Broadmoor West Residences located along the second fairway of the West Course, renovation of the South Tower that includes all new rooms, many with balconies, flat screen TVs, and state-of-the-art control panels for everything from lights to curtains. Then there are The Broadmoor Cottages, opened in 2009, situated along the 18th fairway of the East Course, which includes five 8-bedroom and one 4-bedroom cottages. One can stay in various combinations of the cottages and they all have state-of-the-art amenities and a special view of those playing the 18th hole. The Cottages brought the total accommodation space to 744 units, including 107 suites and 44 cottage bedrooms. And in 2010 the West Tower rooms and suites received new carpet, curtains, bed34 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
ding, and televisions. The West meeting rooms were completely redone to more closely match the look and feel of other meeting space and the West Lobby Bar was remodeled to include a scenic outdoor patio and a bar dining menu is available. What else does The Broadmoor offer? Full-service spa and fitness center; six tennis courts, including two clay; three swimming pools; 18 restaurants, cafes and lounges; and 25 specialty, boutique and retail shops. Little wonder presidents, world leaders and celebrities have been visiting The
Broadmoor since 1918. If you visit once, you will know why.
David R. Holland is an award-winning former sportswriter for The Dallas Morning News, football magazine publisher, and author of The Colorado Golf Bible. Before launching a career as a travel/golf writer, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force reserve, serving during the Vietnam and Desert Storm eras. Follow Dave’s golf travels on Twitter at David_R_Holland.
Alabama offers something for golfers of all abilities. Namely, a big ol’ slice of humble pie.
When it comes to challenging public golf courses, Alabama has more than any other state. In fact, we’re the home of three of America’s 50 Toughest Courses as selected by Golf Digest. Testing your mettle is as easy as visiting Silver Lakes, The Shoals or the stunning new Ross Bridge near Birmingham. They’re part of the mighty Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail – 24 demanding gems that are winning accolades from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Golf Magazine to name just a few. If you’d like to combine time spent in the beach with a little time spent relaxing on the beach, there are a half-dozen more world-class public courses on Alabama’s gorgeous Gulf Coast featuring designs by the likes of Arnold Palmer and Jerry Pate. And more great golf ﬁnds are sprinkled throughout the entire state. Truly, if you’re looking for great golf and genuine hospitality on your next trip, you owe it to yourself to w w w. a l a b ba a m a .t .t ra ra av vel experience all Alabama has to offer. www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 35
36 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
Broadmoor management, owners have common goal By Ken MacLeod Oklahoma’s ties to the magnificent Broad“I’ve been there for 20 years and I can’t em- me in the eye and said, ‘Go do it.’ Then he moor Hotel in Colorado Springs run deep. phasize enough how meaningful the owner- went off to meet his wife Thelma for apple This is where Charlie Coe, the most deco- ship group has been to the overall success of pie. The whole thing took five minutes. But rated amateur golfer in our state’s history, The Broadmoor,” Bartolin said. “At many of with the confidence he placed in me, do you lost the U.S. Amateur by a single shot to our competitors, there is no connection be- think there was a chance I would ever let Jack Nicklaus in 1959. Thousands of Okla- tween how the place is owned and the folks him down?” homans, from politicians to entertainers to who work there. Here you’ve got a private Thus began a string of major projects, inregular families, have escaped the summer corporation behind it. Sure it’s an asset and has cluding renovations to all three golf courses. heat to cool off in style at the base of Chey- been a good investment for the Gaylord fam- A luxury spa, golf and tennis club was added enne Mountain. ily, but at the same time there is a love and car- in 1995 that included a fitness center, aeroThere is one state tie that trumps all others. ing for the Broadmoor and our employees.” bics studio, indoor and outdoor pools, a new Since 1988, Oklahoma Publishing Company Bartolin learned a valuable lesson early in clubhouse, golf shop, tennis shop, three res(OPUBCO) has owned the taurants and lounges. In hotel and resort. Edward 2001 an 11,000-squareL. Gaylord purchased the foot infinity-edge swimresort from the family of ming pool was built founder Spencer Penrose, along with waterslides, who opened the resort whirlpools, cabanas and in 1918. Christy Gaylord a café. In 2002 a Lakeside Everest became president Suites building opened of OPUBCO upon E.L. with 21 rooms. In 2005, Gaylord’s death in 2003 an additional 60,000 and she works closely square feet of meeting with General Manager space was added called Steve Bartolin and DirecThe Broadmoor Hall. tor of Golf Russ Miller in “It’s a race without a the effort to constantly finish line,” Bartolin said. improve and upgrade one “We want to constantly of America’s most historic give people reasons to resorts. come back and experiFor Everest, an accomence The Broadmoor. plished golfer who has “Christy is so much made six lifetime holes-inlike her father. She surone and has finished run- OPUBCO President Christy Everest and Broadmoor General Manager Steve rounds herself with ner-up for the club cham- Bartolin (right) applaud 2008 U.S. Senior Open winner Eduardo Romero. good people whom pionship at Oklahoma she likes and trusts and City Golf & Country Club more than once, his relationship with Edward Gaylord. The gives them the resources to work with to be the Broadmoor Hotel is a labor of love. hotel, golf courses and many of the ame- successful. It’s a real pleasure to work with “We are just fortunate at this time in the nities were tired and in need of upgrading someone you like and care about personBroadmoor’s history to be its stewards,” when Bartolin came on board in 1991. ally.” Everest said of her family’s role. “That’s how “I’d put together a plan for the first ma“Christy loves the game of golf,” Miller we think about it. It was there long before jor round of renovations, about $43 mil- said. “She respects it, enjoys it and underus and we hope will be a beautiful, iconic lion worth of new guestrooms, spa, a new stands it. When we advise her we need to resort for generations to come. Our thought ballroom and other improvements. I had an do certain things, she gives us the economy process is long term, not just preserving it army of experts waiting in the wings on fi- to do what we need to do. She trusts us and but enhancing it.” nance, construction and every detail. I had has an open ear to us.” To that end, said Bartolin, he could not the whole thing rehearsed and practiced and Everest deflects all credit for the Broadhave had better owners. Bartolin has been was prepared for any question. moor’s long-term success back to Bartolin, in charge of daily operations since 1991 and “We sat down and he asked me one of the Miller and the rest of the on-site team. has overseen continued renovations and en- best business questions I’ve ever been asked. “We have wonderful people there. They hancements funded by the owners’ decision He said, ‘Do you think this is the right thing run it and I’m just glad to help. Steve has put to direct much of the resort’s profits back to do?’ I was willing to put my job and an unbelievable group together and they all into the resort. career on the line and said yes. He looked respect him. They’re like part of our family.” www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 37
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COLLEGE GOLF PREVIEW
Get out the broom
From left, OCU’s Clark Collier, UCO’s Colby Shrum, and OSU’s Peter Uihlein.
State schools have chance for unprecedented sweep by john rohde
EDMOND – In mid-June, after all the 2011 championships have been completed in collegiate golf, perhaps the top teams throughout Oklahoma could gather in the middle of the state for a 54-hole tournament. This so-called “Oklahoma Challenge” could be staged at Oak Tree in Edmond. Round One would be at the Oak Tree Country Club West Course; Round Two at the Oak Tree Country Club East Course; and the final round at Oak Tree National. Three superb courses offering three levels of difficulty. This would stretch far beyond being just an in-state showdown. One look at the team rosters shows it would qualify as a global event. That state of Oklahoma has produced some powerful men’s programs in the past. This spring, three national team titles could be headed for the state. In NCAA Division I, Oklahoma State once again is atop the national rankings, while Oklahoma is back on the radar and creeping toward Top-20 status once again.
Bill Brogden has been at both Oral Roberts and Tulsa and has advanced to the national tournament 33 times in his 41 seasons as a collegiate coach. In the NAIA, as has been the case for the better part of a decade, Oklahoma City University and Oklahoma Christian are two powerhouses wrangling for the national crown. In NCAA Division II, Central Oklahoma could have its best team ever. In mid-March, the Bronchos were ranked No. 4 in the latest Division II coaches’ poll. “Hands down, this is by far the best team I’ve had,” said Dax Johnston, who is in his 10th season as coach of the Bronchos. “We’ve got a pretty strong crew.” A former Class 5A state medalist at Yukon High School in 1990, Johnston played two seasons at OU and then transferred to UCO, where he became the 1996 Division II national medalist. The Bronchos reached their current status by Johnston doing something quite rare. He redshirted two talented veterans last season
– senior Colby Shrum and junior Baer Aneshansley – so the team’s younger players could gain valuable tournament experience. The plan obviously worked. The Bronchos won five of their first seven tournaments in the 2010-11 season. OSU coach Mike McGraw grew up in Edmond, played for Central Oklahoma himself (previously known as Central State), and calls this year’s team the best in school history. “I don’t ever remember UCO being this good,” McGraw said. There’s also a chance the Cowboys have never been this good, which is saying something given their 10 NCAA championships, 16 national runner-up finishes, 54 conference crowns, 45 individual conference champions, nine national players of the year, eight NCAA medalists and 160 All-Americans. OSU has qualified for the NCAA Championships every year of the program’s existence (64 straight seasons and counting) and has accomplished this under just three head coaches – Labron Harris, Mike Holder and McGraw. www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 39
COLLEGE GOLF PREVIEW McGraw won the national title in 2006, his first season as head coach after serving as Holder’s assistant for seven years. Had the NCAA Championship format not changed to match play two years ago, the Cowboys would be looking for their third straight NCAA crown this season. OSU handily won the stroke-play qualifying portion at the last two championships, which this year will be staged on its home course of Karsten Creek (May 31-June 5). Together for the third straight season at OSU are senior Kevin Tway (son of 1986 PGA champion Bob Tway), a two-time NCAA Regional medalist and the 2005 U.S. Junior Amateur champion; junior Morgan Hoffmann, the 2009 Big 12 champion and Walker Cup member; and junior Peter Uihlein, the reigning U.S. Amateur champ, a four-time collegiate winner and also a 2009 Walker Cup member. McGraw said he believes the best way to handle lofty expectations every season is to embrace them. “Absolutely,” McGraw said. “We don’t mind people expecting us Abraham Ancer, a transfer from Odessa to do well because we expect that of our- Junior College, has the Sooners back in the selves. Mentally, I think you adjust a little Top 25.
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bit year-to-year. You try to win as many tournaments as you can, bring a conference championship and a national championship, if you can. The ultimate goal is to keep getting better, but I think that goes for anybody who competes.” OU claimed the 1989 NCAA championship on the Oak Tree Country Club East Course and has quickly made strides toward regaining its status under second-year coach Ryan Hybl, who receives high praise from both McGraw and Johnston. “When Ryan Hybl got hired (June 22, 2009), I told everyone who would listen to me, ‘You watch what this guy does for that program.’ He’s got OU back on the map,” Johnston said. “Hybl’s one of my favorite people. That program will be a top-20 program for as long as he’s there.” OCU is well on its way to becoming the NAIA equivalent of OSU. Under the guidance of 14th-year coach Kyle Blaser, the Stars have won seven of the last 10 national titles, 75 tournaments, 12 conference crowns and 11 regional titles. He has had four national medalists and 21 All-Americans. A six-time selection as NAIA national coach of the year, Blaser was inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame last December. OC has four national runner-up finishes under David Lynn and captured the elusive NAIA crown in 2009 under coach Kelsey Cline, a former player at OU. Lynn has served as head coach from 19992008 and took over again after Cline’s departure. Under Lynn, the Eagles have won 37 team titles, 37 individual titles and had 29 All-Americans. In mid-March, OCU was No. 1 and OC was No. 2 in the Golf World/Nike Golf Coaches poll. “They’re awesome this season,” Blaser said of the Eagles. “They’re strong and we’re strong ourselves. Hopefully, it’ll come down to one of us winning it this year.” An international flair is found throughout the state. This year’s OSU roster has two players from Germany. OU has one player from Mexico. Tulsa has one player from Malaysia and one from Brazil. Passports are at a premium at OCU and OC. The Stars’ roster features players from South Africa, Sweden, Norway, England and Australia. The Eagles have players from Sweden, Norway, Australia, Argentina and two from England. Despite his steady stream of imports, Blaser said he has never crossed the Atlantic.
The best recruiting tool often is word of mouth. If a foreign player enjoys his college experience at an American school, he’ll pass along his endorsement to a fellow countryman. “Word spreads,” explained Blaser, who has gotten to know four or five families from South Africa and also trusts the recommendation of a prominent local pro there. “It’s been enjoyable for me, my family and the program to deal with all the different cultures.” Blaser chuckled as he recalled a story involving budding Australian superstar Jason Day, who in 2007 won on the Nationwide Tour at age 19 to become the youngest player ever to win a PGA-sanctioned event. Day was an amateur playing an event in California when he was spotted by OSU assistant coach Alan Bratton. “Alan called me and said, ‘How the heck do you already have this Jason Day kid signed up?’ I didn’t even know who the kid was,” Blaser said. “Turns out one of our kids had given him a (school) hat and he was wearing it. Jason Day never stepped foot on our campus, but word spread.”
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Recruiting globally leads to very little overlap, even locally. “There seems to be enough talent throughout Oklahoma and Texas for us not to be beating on each other’s door too much,” Lynn said. Meanwhile, UCO’s roster is almost entirely homegrown. The Bronchos have 11 players from Oklahoma, five from Edmond alone. Others hail from Perry, Clinton, Chickasha, Stillwater and Ardmore. The only two outof-state players are Colorado transfer Josh Creel, who hails from Cheyenne, Wyo., and Colin Morgan from Ontario. Division I programs get 4.5 total scholarships for golf, while Division II schools get 3.2 scholarships. Rather than load up on three or four players with hefty scholarship offers, Johnston chooses to spread the scholarships among seven or eight players whenever possible. “I’ve got to stay in-state because of the cost,” Johnston said. “For every out-of-state kid I bring in, it would cost me the equivalent of two in-state kids. But it’s pretty fun for me to go to these small towns and find these kids who have been overlooked. When MILLIONS
you grow up in a small town in Oklahoma, chances are you’re coming from a great family background. You’ve been raised by good parents and you’re not expecting the world. These kids are eager to get what they can, but they’re not expecting a whole lot.” Located just 11 miles apart, OCU and OC have one of the NAIA’s most competitive rivalries in any sport. “It’s been pretty sketchy at times,” Blaser admitted. “Now I’d say if we don’t win it, I’d pull for them.” Lynn said, “It’s really been shocking how good Oklahoma schools are, considering we’re so close to each other. “It’s unbelievable how good Oklahoma golf is, at every level. I think much of it has to do with the tradition at OSU, which brings the general recognition to the entire state of Oklahoma in golf. I try to capitalize on that. The kids out there know that many great golfers have come to Oklahoma State and gotten better.”
John Rohde is a sportswriter with The Oklahoman newspaper and can be found at www.NewsOK.com. LESSONS
SOMETIMES WORKING HARD ISN’T ENOUGH.
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www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 41
GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB
Southwest Oklahoma’s Premier Golf Facility
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FEATURE: OU SIGNEE
Won state title with two broken wrists by jim misunas
STERLING, Kan. – Two-time Kansas high-school golf champion Michael Gellerman accomplished his goal of signing a Division I letter of intent with the University of Oklahoma. The Sterling High senior is focused on making his final season memorable after not achieving his goal of being the first four-time Kansas state champion. His goal is always to play his best and win every tournament he enters. Despite playing at tiny Sterling (enrollment 145), he has received Division I interest since his sophomore season. Gellerman will seek his third Kansas highschool championship at Salina Municipal Golf Course May 23. Salina Municipal will also be the site of the Kansas Junior Amateur, a championship that Gellerman has yet to win. He’s also never won the KGA Junior Match Play Championship. Oklahoma coach Nate Hybl won the recruiting battle for a player who manages his emotions and game. Gellerman’s style is to hit a high percentage of fairways and greens. Given the choice, he’ll generally choose the safer option rather than pull off a lower-percentage shot. Gellerman said signing a scholarship offer last fall relieved some anxiety. “’I’m excited about attending the University of Oklahoma,” he said. “They’ve got some very challenging courses to play down in Oklahoma that will prepare us really well. There was constant pressure about what I would do until I signed. Now, I go out and play my best and not worry about that.” Gellerman’s primary goal is to play consistently. The 5-10, 165-pounder averages between 290 and 300 yards off the tee. But his main focus is to maximize the number of fairways and greens he hits. “Whenever I hit a fairway, I’ve got a very fair chance of making a good shot to the green,” he said. “I like to think my way around the course and I don’t like to give away strokes. I’ve learned to give the par 5s a good run. But I’ve learned over the years that doesn’t mean you hit driver every hole.” Gellerman has won 16 of 20 high school tournaments the past two seasons. He captured a Class 3A State Championship at Wichita’s Tallgrass Country Club in 2009.
He placed fifth in the Class 3A State Championship at Smoky Hill Country Club in Hays in 2010. Perhaps Gellerman’s most memorable accomplishment was capturing the 2008 Class 2A State Championship after missing the entire regular season with two broken wrists. Just prior to his freshman golf season, Gellerman broke his wrists while breaking a fall. “I was coming down backwards and put my hands down to catch my fall, but I landed on both wrists,” Gellerman said. A broken right wrist required surgery and a broken left wrist healed on its own with a splint. He was out six weeks, but was limited to just a few days of practice hitting full shots. He captured first place at regionals by over-clubbing and sweeping his iron shots rather than taking divots. “Getting to state was mostly mental
toughness,’ he said. His putting saved him at the Class 2A State Championship at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course in Garden City. He converted two lengthy par putts and added a pair of birdies to win by four strokes. Former Sterling High golf coach Don Zimmerman still marvels at what Gellerman accomplished that day. “What Michael accomplished after missing the whole season should be impossible to do,” Zimmerman said. “Michael had what I’d call youthful naivete – he expected to win because he didn’t know any better.” Gellerman credits his father, Jerry, for teaching him how to work hard. “He’s been tough on me at times and there have been times where I didn’t think golf was too much fun,” he said. “There have been times where I wanted to walk off. But all that hard work has paid off.”
www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 43
MAHOGANYâ€™S PRO PROFILE
BOB TWAY Oak Tree resident and member Bob Tway is an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, highlighted by his victory in the 1986 PGA Championship at Inverness Golf Club in Toledothe 2003 Bell Canadian Open. In 2010, he competed on the Champions Tour fulltime, entering 21 events with three top-10 finishes. Bob and his wife Tammie have two children, son Kevin (opposite page) and daughter Carly Paige. What do you enjoy more these days, competing or working with Kevin as a caddie or mentor? I still love playing golf, but if I had to choose between my career or watching, caddying, helping Kevin, I would certainly choose to help him. But fortunately I can do both. Like all parents, watching your children compete in sports or other activities is very exciting and for me very nerve-racking. What goals do you still have in golf? I still love playing golf and plan on playing the Champions Tour full time and for as long as I feel I am competitive. What do you regard as your greatest achievement and greatest regret? Winning the 1986 PGA Championship was my greatest achievement in golf. I really have no regrets even when things I tried backfired. I was doing what I thought I needed to do to get better. You and the rest of the Oak Tree Gang have lived in Oklahoma for many years when most other pros for various reasons reside in Florida or Texas. Did you ever consider leaving and what kept you here? I have been very fortunate to have been a member at Oak Tree National and Oak Tree Country Club for 30 years. These two facilities are some of the best in the
world. Having Oak Tree to play and practice at is one of the main reasons I have continued to live in Oklahoma. The people associated with each club have made us always feel welcome and the quality of the members and staffs throughout the years have really made it a special place to live. I always thought raising children in Oklahoma was a plus. The lifestyle and people in the state are top-notch. People seem to focus on Tiger Woods when discussing the health of the PGA Tour. What do you see as the bigger issues facing the future of the game, not necessarily on tour, but as a healthy sport? Golf really grew when Tiger came on tour. I have always said he made golf cool. The economic times have slowed things down the last three years. I feel we just need to weather the storm, tighten our pursestrings and we will be OK. Junior golf and the First Tee programs have helped grow the game, but golf is an expensive sport so it will always struggle through tough times. Who would be in your dream foursome and why? I once played a round of golf at Lakeside in Stillwater with my great-grandfather, my grandfather and my father, so if I could add my son Kevin to that group that would really be something special. I know that is a fivesome, but in Oklahoma fivesomes are allowed.
CHARLESTON’S AMATEUR PROFILE
KEVIN TWAY Kevin Tway, proud son of PGA Tour golfer Bob Tway, is a senior at Oklahoma State. The All-American has won the NCAA South Regional in Stillwater as a sophomore and the NCAA Central Regional as a freshman. Tway gained national attention in 2005 when he won the U.S. Junior Amateur, was also the Oklahoma Class 6A state champion as a junior and senior at Edmond North High School. How important is it to you that the team win the NCAA Championship in your senior season and will there be more pressure or less playing at home? Very Important. Letting the last two years slip was extremely disappointing and stayed with us for a while. Also to go four years and not win one would be heartbreaking since I feel like we have had the best team every year.
Do you still lean on your father for advice and in what areas is he most helpful, the swing or the mental side of golf? I lean on my father for advice in everything about the game. Not doing so would be ignorant. He has been successful at the thing that I plan on doing. He figured out his path on his own, some things he did right and some wrong, but by doing so he has learned and can provide me with the things that worked right The Cowboys have been domi- for him. With my dad’s advice I nant in stroke play the past few believe I have great potential. years but unable to get through the match-play portion. Will Tell us your favorite golf movie playing at Karsten Creek be and what you like about it. more of an advantage in one My favorite golf movie is Tin format or the other and why? Cup. Kevin Costner is one of my I think it will be an advan- favorite actors. I think the movie tage in both formats. Playing is funny and portrays a good the course every day and in ev- sense of humor about the game. ery condition is a big help. We know where to be conservative How about your favorite movie and also aggressive. Match play and book outside of golf? is anyone’s game, but having “Remember the Titans.” It gets this much course knowledge me pumped and is very inspirawill play into our hands. tional. I read Lance Armstrong’s biography a couple of summers As you get ready for a profes- ago and it was really good. sional career, what areas of your game are at PGA Tour You’ve had a lot of heralded level and what do you still need teammates at OSU. Who’s the to work on? most underrated golfer you’ve I believe that my physical played with at OSU and why? game is Tour-ready. Course Trent Whitekiller. He has a lot management, mental game and of game and talent. He also just just getting used to the different won his first pro tournament. lifestyle will probably be something I will have to get used to. Who would be in your dream I have great people around me foursome? that will help me through the Kobe Bryant, Jessica Biel, Bob lifestyle and get started. Tway, myself.
A LOOK BACK
Waco Turner BY DEL LEMON
Eccentric oilman brought the world’s best golfers to tiny burneyville
The following is excerpted from The Story of Golf in Oklahoma by Del Lemon, first published in 2001 by the University of Oklahoma Press in Norman. We recomend you purchase Del’s excellent book, available in hardcover for $24.95, from the OU Press at www.oupress.com
f all the venues in the United States ever to host a professional golf tournament, few would seem less likely than tiny Burneyville, Okla., tucked away in the cotton and ranch country of the Red River Valley, about halfway between Oklahoma City and Dallas. Even at the beginning of the 21st century, almost 50 years after PGA and LPGA stars brought the dateline “Burneyville” to sports pages around the country, so modest is the south-central Oklahoma hamlet at a river bend in the sand hills that state highway maps do not even assign it a population. The nearest major airport is 150 miles away. This tract of Love County, just south of the Old Indian Trail between Marietta and Spanish Fort, was settled in 1844 by the Burney family, prominent citizens of the Chickasaw tribe, who emigrated to Oklahoma from Mississippi. A post ofﬁce was opened on May 5, 1879, and the name Burneyville was chosen to honor one of the ﬁrst settlers from Mississippi, Wesley B. Burney, and his son, David C. Burney. Even during its “boom” years between 1910 and 1915, Burneyville topped out at a population of 85. There were two doctors, a grocery, hotel, church, blacksmith, drugstore, cotton buyer and two general merchandise stores. Ninety years later, all that remained of Burneyville were a post ofﬁce, a couple of dozen homes, a Baptist church and a cemetery. An L-shaped country lane dips down off State Highway 32 to take locals and the curious there. But back along the main highway, heading a little farther west, signs of a flourishing community greet visitors: an expansive, onestory structure, proudly ﬂying the American and Oklahoma ﬂags – with block letters across the front of the building proclaiming “Turner Schools” – and a nearby fountain standing sentinel beside a ﬂagstone-gated entrance bearing the name “Falconhead.” The guarded gate leads into what turns out to be a scenic 4,000acre resort and retirement community of 400 homes, complete with private club, lodge, inn, ﬁve lakes, chapel, ﬁre department, 4,200foot airstrip and historic eighteen-hole golf course. Neither Falconhead nor the Turner School would exist today were it not for public school teacher-turned-oilman Waco Turner, who, like Burneyville’s founding father, came with his family from 46 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
Waco Turner, right, with Byron Nelson and the untamed horse he gave Nelson after the 1954 Ardmore Open. Courtesy Barbara Sessions Mississippi to a farm near Burneyville. Waco Franklin Turner was born in Mississippi on Feb. 15, 1891. His family arrived in Indian Territory in 1897 and they settled in Love County, southwest of Ardmore. Turner’s father taught school to Chickasaw children. According to an article by Bill Hamilton, managing editor of the Daily Ardmoreite, “Turner worked his way through Southeastern State College at Durant by washing dishes for tuition. He found himself more interested in geology than any other subject and be-
gan buying oil leases.” In May 1921, having cated Turner was not much of a scientist, a concept the Turners would later bring to taken a job teaching at nearby Overbrook, but even they could not dispute that he had golf. Turner married Opie James, a teacher at Bur- a nose for oil. When the time came to spud In June 1951, the Turners attended the neyville who had come to southern Okla- in, Turner made all the decisions himself. Inverness Four-Ball Invitational at Toledo, homa from Honey Grove, Texas. Waco and His routine was to walk around the lease Ohio. On the way home the idea for an ArOpie lived at the Turner homedmore Open was born. The ﬁrst steps for attracting stead near Burneyville. Soon after their marriage, Waco the PGA to Ardmore (it was not took an interest in prospecting for yet called the PGA Tour) were to oil. In order to raise capital for hire a prominent golf professional wildcat well drilling, he tempoand refurbish the Dornick Hills rarily relocated to Texas, investCountry Club course. Supporting ing his savings from a previous oil the effort out of his own pocket, strike and even some of his wife’s Turner brought in a highly remoney in a cotton brokerage spected and competitive Arkansas business. When the cotton marpro, E.J. “Dutch” Harrison, who ket collapsed, the Turners went had already won 11 professional tournaments. Turner’s ﬁrst assignbroke. By the early 1930s, Waco’s inments for Harrison were to build terest in geology surpassed his a new pro shop and oversee imlove for teaching. He hustled provements to the golf course. . . work as a lease hound for Gulf States Oil, earning commissions The 150-player event, held the while trying to acquire drilling week before the 1952 U.S. Open, rights on behalf of the company. was the 11th professional tourBut jobbing for somebody else Charlie Coe, right, joins Waco and Opie Turner for a celebra- nament (besides the Oklahoma was just a means to get into the tion. Courtesy Barbara Sessions Open) held in Oklahoma since 1922. Unfortunately the ﬁeld was game. As soon as Turner cached enough for his next grubstake, he was back a while, pick the spot, then slam down his missing many of the game’s top names, beto punching holes. boot heel and say, “Put her here.” Often cause the tournament coincided with the At ﬁrst Turner engaged in a high-wire act enough, whether by science or not, Turner’s annual Sam Snead Golf Festival at White called “poor-boy drilling,” not unlike a golfer oil instincts were right on the money. Waco Sulphur Springs, W.Va. It was a scheduling conﬂict destined to playing thousand-dollar Nassaus with a few and Opie had struck it rich. hundred dollars in the bank. Poor-boy drillFor the next two decades the Turners made plague every men’s tournament the Turners ers, whose solvency teetered one trip to the more money than they could ever spend. ever hosted. Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Cary bank ahead of their creditors, were master- Estimates of the Turner fortune varied from Middlecoff, Bobby Locke and Jimmy Demaminds at the art of check ﬂotation. And few “They don’t know what they’re worth” to ret had all committed to Snead’s event and were better at it than Waco Turner. Many a $1 million a day to “$4,000 an hour, 24 hours could not play at Ardmore in 1952. Even so, time Turner would write a worthless check a day.” Much of their income was reinvested there were several prominent PGA players after the banks closed on Friday, rig up and in their business, drilling for oil, but there entered: U.S. Open champions Dick Mayer drill like a madman on Saturday, then spend was more than a little left over for entertain- (1957), Lawson Little (1940) and Lloyd ManSunday trying to peddle enough interest in ment. Burneyville freelance writer/historian grum (1946); future U.S. Open champions the well to cover the check on Monday. Barbara Sessions wrote: “The Turners spent Julius Boros, who would earn that title the Some of the time it worked, but as often a fortune, estimated at $40–$50 million, following week, and Oklahoma-born Tomas not, dry holes did him in. Turner had doing just what they pleased. And what my Bolt of Haworth; future British Open drained most of his savings a second time pleased them most was sports, especially winner Roberto De Vicenzo of Argentina; before he ﬁnally caught a break. Sometime professional golf.” Texas Golf Hall of Famer Shelley Mayﬁeld; in 1931, Ardmoreite “Dad” Joiner, a 70-yearWith wealth and time to enjoy it, both multiple Canadian PGA winner Ted Kroll; old hickory nut of a failed prospector whom Waco and Opie delved into sports, par- PGA champions Jim Ferrier and Jerry Barber; Turner had befriended, called Turner from a ticularly baseball and golf. They joined the reigning Oklahoma PGA section champion lease in East Texas and told him to beat it prestigious Dornick Hills Country Club in Dick Metz from Maple City, Kan.; future down there in a hurry. This time Dad guar- Ardmore, the course designed by Perry Max- Masters winner Doug Ford; 1956 Oklahoma anteed it. He had a gusher. Waco made a bee- well. Waco bought the Ardmore Cardinals City Open champion Fred Hawkins, plus line for East Texas and upon arrival bought baseball team in the Sooner State League Fred Haas, Bob Toski, Toney Penna, Al Besall the oil leases he could get his hands on. and Opie devised an incentive plan for the selink, Earl Stewart Jr., Smiley Quick, Porky By the time Turner returned to Oklahoma, players: paying out $5 for a double or stolen Oliver, Joe Kirkwood, Marty Furgol and host he was a millionaire several times over. base, $7.50 for a triple, and $10 for a home pro Harrison. Jackie Burke Jr. of Houston, Rival geologists claimed the college-edu- run or win by a pitcher. The bonuses were the PGA’s leading money winner in 1952, www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 47
played two practice rounds at Dornick before a knee injury forced his withdrawal. Including expenses, the Turners laid out almost $100,000 for their ďŹ rst pro tournament. Galleries reportedly averaged 5,000 a day, with tickets sold for $3.50. Most of the players expressed elation with their lucrative week in Ardmore. However, already there were signs of dissatisfaction that would ultimately terminate the Turnersâ€™ relationship with Dornick Hills Country Club, spurring them to move the tournament and to change it from an open competition to an invitational one. . . . If 1952 had been a get-acquainted party, the next two years were bashes, although the uproar from a premature news leak almost sabotaged the event in 1953. When more than one media outlet is involved in coverage of a PGA or LPGA event, it is customary for announcements involving the tournament to be made available to all media at once. Hence with seven newspapers, two wire services, one magazine, four radio stations, and one newsreel covering the 1953 Ardmore Open, it was something of a public relations nightmare when the Daily Oklahomanâ€™s Wally Wallis broke a story late in the week, ostensibly with a tournament
ofďŹ cial as the source, that Turner had set up an endowment fund to perpetuate the tournament for the ensuing 24 years, â€œWhether I live or die.â€? It was computed that Turner would need an endowment of $650,000 to generate enough prize money to sustain the tournament. The Oklahoman ran a clariďŹ cation three days later saying that the announcement had been premature: â€œThe Turners are prepared to make the endowment, but two important hurdles remain to be cleared: a contract with the Professional Golfers Association and another with the directors at Dornick Hills.â€? The PGA hurdle was eventually overcome, but the one with the directors proved insurmountable. In 1953, the Turners raised the Ardmore Open jackpot to $21,300, placing it behind the Tam Oâ€™Shanter Worldâ€™s Championship as the second-richest tournament in professional golf. First prize went up from $5,400 to $6,400. In honor of Jelliffeeâ€™s 19 from the year before, Turner had a plan to pay $100 to the player taking the most strokes at Old Stone Face. But that idea was nixed by the PGA, pointing out that someone out of the running might intentionally run up a high score. . . .
As the 1953 event wrapped up, Wallis wrote in his column: â€œHere there is growing evidence that the Turner turkey-trot is nearing the end of the honeymoon. The story of the Ardmore Openâ€™s 24-year endowment was spilled at Thursday nightâ€™s pro party. Only by accident did a majority of the reporters ďŹ nd out about it the following morning. Old-time members of Dornick Hills are not pleased, either. They have nothing against the tournament or its players, but they feel that they have been circumvented. They feel that they built Dornick Hills and they feel that they should be counted in on more of its doings. Turner is now club president. Endowed now for the next 24 years, the tournament has an interesting future ahead.â€? Despite the media hubbub and snubs from golfâ€™s biggest names, by 1954 more pros than ever began to take notice of the Turnersâ€™ largesse: $27,000 in 1952 and $47,000 in 1953. By 1954, entries came in like birds to a feeder. Suddenly, there were 191 qualiďŹ ers plus 50 exempt, for a record 241 entrants. Ten top amateurs received sponsor invitations from Waco himself. Sixty more amateurs went after another 11 spots. The ďŹ nal ďŹ eld was set at 145 pros and 21 amateurs. Even ďŹ tness guru Frank Stranahan, two-
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time winner of the British Amateur, accepted an invitation to play, as did legend Byron Nelson, by then semi-retired on his ranch in Roanoke, Texas. “Waco contacted me more than once about playing up there,” Nelson said in 1997. “Even though it was pretty big money for those days, and he offered extra money for birdies and eagles and such, I wasn’t really interested. But he told me if I would come up and play, he would give me a ﬁne horse.” Nelson said he did not play well by his standards (78-71-75-74, tying for 51st) but Turner delivered on his promise, unexpectedly including saddle and bridle. “When the tournament was over, the sheriff of Ardmore rode up to the 18th green on a beautiful palomino mare and I climbed up on her. But I could tell right away we probably weren’t going to get along; she was wall-eyed and turned out to be the meanest, toughest horse you ever saw in your life. They delivered it to my ranch down in Roanoke. I tried to ride her a couple of times, even in a plowed ﬁeld. But it was no use. I ﬁnally gave her to a friend of mine in the oil business who had a ranch south of Fort Worth. “I said, ‘You got some good cowboys down there?’ He said he did. ‘Well give ’em this horse.’ A month later he told me, ‘You
were right, they couldn’t handle her either.’ She probably ended up as dog food.” Most of the headlines at Dornick Hills in 1954 belonged to sweet-swinging Julius Boros, who had won the U.S. Open two years earlier. Boros, nicknamed “Moose,” led all the way, earning the $7,200 ﬁrst prize and a one-shot victory over Jerry Barber. Bo Wininger – Guthrie resident, Oklahoma A&M star and head pro at Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club – was a model of consistency, ﬁnishing two strokes back in third place with rounds of 70-71-70-70. The 1954 Ardmore Open was the last PGA event in Oklahoma for two years and the last Turner-sponsored men’s tournament until 1961. Unable to resolve his differences with the board of directors at Dornick Hills, Turner took his seemingly inexhaustible bankroll and found a new playground: he would build his own golf course at his Burneyville ranch in Love County and host his tournament there. As his course architect, Turner hired Robert Charles Dunning. Dunning, a native of Kansas City, Kan., had taken a B.A. degree at Emporia State College in 1921 but opted to become a professional golfer. In those days, there was precious little money to be made competing, so Dunning learned the club-pro business,
apprenticing under Art Hall in Kansas, then took a position as pro and greenskeeper at McAlester Country Club in Oklahoma. He subsequently attended the Massachusetts Turfgrass School and spent World War II with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, developing Bermuda grass runways in Texas. When Dunning opened an ofﬁce in Tulsa, Turner learned of the Kansan’s expertise at building golf greens on terrain consisting almost entirely of sand. Turner’s money and Dunning’s expertise were a perfect match for the sandy, salty soils of the Red River basin. It took almost four years to construct the lodge and golf course. In 1961, Turner once again sponsored a PGA tournament, this one the same week as the Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas. Its ofﬁcial name was the Waco Turner Open, but Turner liked to call it the “Poor Boy Open,” in tribute to the year’s nonwinners (who did not qualify for the Tournament of Champions) and his own lean times as an oil prospector. Notable traditions from Dornick Hills – bonus money and parties – were carried forward to Burneyville. Turner treated the pros to vaudeville acts, yacht rides (there were seven lakes on his Oklahoma spread), fresh seafood in bowls of carved ice, sides of beef, whole turkeys and
www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 49
fresh milk (white gold) poured from miniature oil derricks. “Waco and Opie would sit up on the ledge of the main scoreboard,” wrote golf historian Al Barkow, “like bleacher kids, their feet dangling over the edge as they watched the golf and reveled in their open-handedness.” The ﬁrst Poor Boy Open, held in May 1961, brought together all the nonwinners on the PGA Tour from the previous 12 months plus a good number of Oklahoma pros and a few surprise entries. For starters there was 49-year-old Nelson; he had vowed seven years earlier that he would never play for Turner again, but somewhat amused by Turner’s eccentricities and Burneyville being less than 200 miles from his ranch in Texas, Nelson agreed to play, 15 years after his ofﬁcial retirement. He made the cut (73-7375-76), ﬁnishing tied for 47th. . .
Tournament: Nicklaus the Man to Beat.” Oklahomans had seen Jack Nicklaus as an amateur twice before, in the 1953 U.S. Junior at Southern Hills and the 1958 U.S. Open at the same club. Nicklaus had not won on either occasion; he came in 41st at the U.S. Open, and he lost 5 & 4 in the National Junior quarterﬁnals, to Robert G. Rufﬁn of Winston-Salem, N.C. During that ﬁrst week of May 1962, Nicklaus made it no secret that he would rather have been at the Tournament of Champions. The week before, he lost a playoff at the Houston Open. Already, the 23-year-old Nicklaus had ﬁnished in the money at all 13 of his previous tour events, including a tie for 15nth at the Masters. At Burneyville, Nicklaus tied for third place (71-73-70-71) with Buster Cupit and Tommy Aaron. Five weeks later Nicklaus captured the U.S. Open at Oakmont, his ﬁrst victory as a professional and first of 18 However, the big story at Burneyville career major championships. . . . that year was a brilliant young player from Columbus, Ohio, who had turned pro less The Ohio State Buckeye, who came to be than a year before and had earned less than called the “Golden Bear” and later voted by $15,000 in his career. But his amateur record his peers the greatest golfer of the 20th cenwas outstanding: two U.S. Amateur titles and tury, had played in his last Poor Boy Open. one NCAA Championship. The headline of “Waco called it the Poor Boy Open, but the Daily Ardmoreite on May 3, 1962, pro- he took good care of us,” recalled Masters claimed: “Pros Open Fire Today in Turner champion Gay Brewer, who won the Poor
Boy in 1963. “The course was a nice layout but it was never in very good condition. Waco could be helpful to a fault. One day Frank Wharton, a pro from Akron, Ohio, came in and said, ‘Waco, you have a vice back there? I want to bend my putter.’ Waco said, ‘No problem, Frank. Just set it there in the corner and I’ll get right to it.’ ” With all the bonus money he offered, Turner did not worry unduly that his course was still maturing. It was said that the fairways were as hard as runways and some of the greens had sprouted wild onions. He constructed a deer park and planted gardens and orchards abutting the fairways. He grew pumpkins, watermelons, pears, peaches, radishes, cucumbers and beets that were canned in the kitchen of the lodge and served in the dining room. “The thing I remember most about the course was hitting my ball into the rough and having it land behind a watermelon,” recalled 3-time U.S. Women’s Open champion Susie Maxwell Berning of Oklahoma City.
Del Lemon (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas. His second book, “Pinned: The Swing Secret Ben Hogan Took To His Grave,” will be published next year.
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HIGH SCHOOL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Edmond North-Jenks battle looms by ken macleod
Of all the high school golf storylines derail the Huskies, it will have to take that will play out this spring, perhaps advantage of its familiarity with one of 2011 State High School none is as intriguing as the titanic batthe state’s most challenging courses. Championship Sites tle shaping up between Edmond North Not only is Staggs a Cedar Ridge Girls - May 4-5 and Jenks in the Class 6A state chammember, but so are talented sopho6A, Earlywine Golf Course, Oklahoma City pionship May 9-10 at Cedar Ridge more Brendan Jelley and senior Eric 5A, Bailey Ranch Golf Course, Owasso Country Club in Broken Arrow. Coatney, a newcomer to the team 4A, Lake Hefner South, Oklahoma City Edmond North comes in with a who was previously home schooled. 3A, Dornick Hills Country Club, Ardmore swagger, having won six consecuJuniors Aaron Davis and Will McDon2A, Sugar Creek Canyon, Hinton tive 6A state titles and boasting four ald round out the starting five. Boys - May 9-10 returning starters from the 2010 title “I’m hoping we’ll have a little bit of 6A, Cedar Ridge Country Club, Broken Arrow team. Jenks wore the state crown the a home course advantage,” said Jenks 5A, Dornick Hills Country Club, Ardmore six years prior to Edmond North’s run coach Brent Wilcoxen. “We’re hoping 4A, Lake Hefner North, Oklahoma City and has three starters who are memto start a new streak.” 3A, Cimarron Trails, Perkins, bers at Cedar Ridge, led by Oklahoma Fro that to happen, Wilcoxen will 2A, Sugar Creek Canyon, Hinton State signee Colton Staggs. need Staggs at his best. The senior Edmond North fields a team with won the Oklahoma Golf Association rich golf bloodlines. Seniors Austen Fuller phreys is the son of The Sports Animal golf State Amateur championship in 2009 at age and Alec Heinen and freshman Nick Heinen analyst and broadcaster Craig Humphreys, 17, the youngest ever to win the crown, but are the sons of golf professionals Mark Fuller while freshman Hayden Wood is the son of battled through a bit of a slump during his and Mike Heinen respectively. Caleb Mey- longtime PGA Tour golfer Willie Wood. junior season. ers is the son of former Oak Tree general Not that any of that will matter when “Colton is back to playing really well and manager A.G. Meyers. Freshmen Sam Hum- they tee it up at Cedar Ridge. For Jenks to that helps us a lot,” Wilcoxen said. North is so deep that Wood, a fine player, cannot crack the lineup of Fuller, the Heinen brothers, Meyers and Humphrey. Fuller is a University of Oklahoma signee and the defending OGA Junior Boys Stroke Play champion. He also won the season-ending Tour Championship on the Oklahoma Junior Golf Tour in 2010. The outgoing Alec Heinen, a Wichita State signee who crushes the ball off the tee, won two OJGT events in 2010 while compiling a 70.3 stroke average. Quieter brother Nick won four events in the 12-14 age group, while Wood won six events in the junior Rated 4 stars by Golf Digest, Eagel Crest Golf Course is truly a group. Humphreys spent the summer “playDiamond in the rough. Located conveniently off of I-40. With each ing up” against older competition. cart and green fee purchase get a FREE night in our onsite RV Park. “These freshmen (including Cole Matthews) work harder and have higher goals Call for details: 1-479-632-8857 than any group I’ve had,” said Edmond North coach Jeff Doherty. “It’s killing Cole Check us out at and Hayden not to be in the top five because they want to be four-year state champions. I www.golfeaglecrest.com love it that they are really goal oriented and A member of the Natural State Golf Trail. reaching for the stars.” There is always the chance that neither Edmond North nor Jenks will win. If a third school were to end the 12-year reign of the super powers, it would likely be Edmond Memorial, led by junior and 6A defending individual champion Taylor Moore. “I think Taylor is the best golfer in the state,” Doherty said. 52 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
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WOGA: Letter from the President
New events on tap
Team Championship added For WOGA members, 2011 brings new and exciting things! We have a new championship, a new venue, a new website, a new Boatwright Intern, a new committee and new initiatives to increase membership. In addition to all these new things, WOGA has a first-class tournament schedule for its members. If you have never been a member in the past, this is the year to join! The Inaugural WOGA Cup Club Team Championship will be held at Oakwood Country Club in Enid May 16-17. The format is similar to the Solheim Cup. This will allow WOGA members to bring a team of old and newly recruited members to bring the “Cup” back to their home club. Oakwood has a brand new clubhouse to show off. It should be a great time in Enid! Once again WOGA is thankful to the USGA for providing the funding for an intern. Justin Limon has been selected as WOGA’s USGA Boatwright Intern for the 2011
54 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
Season. He is a graduate of Coweta High School, and played competitive Susan Hall golf throughout his WOGA junior career. He curPresident rently is a student at UCO and will become a PGA class “A” professional while earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management thru the PGA Golf Management program. Muskogee Country Club will host the 93rd State Amateur Championship, June 20-23. This will be the eighth time for the historic club to host the championship since WOGA was founded in 1915. Past champions at Muskogee CC include Pat Grant, Beth Stone and Dale McNamara, all members of the Women’s Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame; and Lee Ann Fairlie and Rachel Poole. The defending State Amateur Champion is Whitney McAteer, Northeastern State sophomore.
WOGA members will enjoy the Stroke Play/Mid-Am Championship which will be held July 19-20 at Gaillardia Country Club in Oklahoma City. Ellen Mueller, OU senior, is the defending Stroke Play Champion and Katy Treadwell, OKC, is the defending MidAm Champion. This will be, we hope, the first of many WOGA Championships to be held at this prestigious club. The Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association 61st Girls’ Junior State Championship will be held July 11-12 at The Oaks Country Club in Tulsa. In the 1950’s, 2005 Hall of Fame member, Mabel Hotz, was an Oaks Country Club member and initiated the Junior Girls’ golf program in Oklahoma. Under Mabel’s leadership, the program became the largest junior girls’ golf program in the nation. For the past several years, the Women’s Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame has supported and co-hosted the championship. Megan Blonien, Altus, is the defending champion. Dornick Hills Country Club, Ardmore, will host the Partnership Championship, August 22-23. Defending champions are Jill Johnson and Janet Miller, both from the Tulsa area. And to end the season, WOGA will
hold the 35th Senior Championship at the Trails Golf Club in Norman Sept 19-20. Teresa DeLarzelere of Broken Arrow has won the last three Senior Championships. For the 17th year, WOGA will sponsor a team of 10 golfers to compete in the Fore State Championship. The team competition between Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas is scheduled for Aug. 4-5 at Hardscrabble Country Club in Fort Smith, Ark. The State Amateur, Stroke Play and Mid-Am Champions will be rewarded with automatic berths on the team. Five team members will be determined by a point system based on tournament participation and the remaining two team members will be selected by Captain, Sheila Dills. Oklahoma is tied with Missouri with the most wins at six each. WOGA will also sponsor a 3-woman team in the biennial USGA State Team Championship October 4-6 at The Landings Club, Savannah, GA. For membership or tournament information, contact: Susan Hall, susanhall4@ cox.net or visit our new website at www. woga.us. On May 23rd at the Patriot Golf Club in Owasso the Board of Directors of The Womenâ€™s Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame will host the Hall of Fame Classic golf tournament. The format will be a four-person scramble with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. with lunch provided before play and Rib Crib BBQ after play. Womenâ€™s teams, menâ€™s teams and mixed teams are welcome. This tournament will include a silent auction, tee prizes, a wonderful hole-in-one prize and a $500 cash prize for the person who gets closest-to-thepin for the day. True to tradition, we will also have the â€œwine holeâ€? with someone on each team going home a winner. All proceeds from The Classic will help fund the 2011 Oklahoma Girlsâ€™ Junior Championship and the 2012 Womenâ€™s Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame banquet. Entry forms may be obtained by emailing email@example.com or by calling Ann Watkins 405-372-5265. The Womenâ€™s Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame has inducted 17 people over the course of 7 years with its inaugural induction ceremony held in 2005. Womenâ€™s Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame Members include; Jarita Askins, Susie Maxwell Berning, Mabel Hotz, Jackie Hutchinson, Patti Blanton, Patty McGraw Coatney, Carol Belcher Collins, Dale Fleming McNamara, Dena Dills Nowotny, Betsy Cullen, Alsie Hyden, Linda Melton Morse, Ann Pitts Turner, Joan Blumenthal, Janice Gibson, Pat Grant and Beth Stone.
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A simple setup tip can save years of aggravation In the more than 30 years I have been a golf professional I cannot remember a time when people have made this game more complicated. I am not sure if the golfers are more gullJim Woodward ible or if it’s the simple Director of Instruction fact there are so many Oak Tree people trying to find the National HOLY GRAIL. Think about it. We have a one-plane swing, twoplane swing, Stack and Tilt, Natural and so many more types of swings. The one thing they all have in common is a tour pro claiming this swing is the best ever. Well, last time I checked, that’s why they are called golf pros, they can dang near swing any way and learn how to be competitive. So as you get
ready to read this instruction, remember it’s an idea how you can simplify your game, not complicate it, I think there is enough of that going on already. As I said, I have been playing and teaching golf for the last 30 years. In that time, if I could pick one thing that most amateurs do wrong is they aim too far right of the target on almost every shot. The reason this causes so many issues is you can miss the ball both left and right with this setup. Once you aim right, you either have to come over the top and pull it on line, or hang back on
your right side and try to flip hook the ball on line. Let’s say by chance you don’t do either one and make a good swing, the balls goes right of your target. However, let me remind you that is where you aimed it, you made a great swing, but because of the result, you don’t believe it. So by now you’re either shaking your head going, yep that’s me, or you’re not buying any of this. If you are one of the latter, go ahead and move on, I can’t help you. If you believe, read on and fix your alignment problems forever. We already stated most people aim too far right and they do this because of one simple mistake. Look at photo A. If you set up with your right foot even or forward of the ball, you will aim right every time. Look at photo C, notice how closed the feet and hips are, this setup is a ticket to failure. Now look at photos B and D. In photo B see how the right foot is well behind the ball and the hips and shoulders are open to the target line. Now as the student steps into his setup in photo D, his his body is much more square to the line. Think about this when you watch golf on television. Watch how many of the pros come in from a open position. Trust me it will be most of or all of them. Okay, told you it was simple. For some reason, golfers think it has to be complicated. I’m here to tell you that’s just not true. I really hope you will try this tip because I know it will work. Good luck to all of you, and remember always try to enjoy the game no matter what you shoot.
ON THE AIR: Listen to golf instructors, pros and other guests each Saturday morning on the Mastercraft Collision Golf Oklahoma Hour, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on The Sports Animal Tulsa, 97.1 FM and 1550 AM. 56 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
Resolve to get help
Making the most of a new year on the course Resolutions 101
Pat McTigue Owner GolfTEC Tulsa & Okla. City
I commit to get help with my game from a qualified and respected PGA Professional. Or, if I don’t, I will whine less and play faster. Golf is hard, and no, I can’t figure it out myself, and the ‘help’ I get from my buddies is questionable
at best. Before I try to incorporate the swing idea that I saw at 2 a.m. on the Golf Channel last night, I will make sure my setup fundamentals are acceptable. I know that making a good swing from a bad setup will not produce good results. I resolve to be more patient, and understand that the golf swing is the most complex series of movements in all of sport. I don’t really want my chosen leisure activity
to be harder and more frustrating than my job, but hey, it’s golf. I know that if I want to play better, it will require instruction and commitment. I know I can’t learn the game through osmosis.
ing wedge, or gap wedge. If I am missing too many putts, I will first make sure that I’m not moving my head early and that I’m properly aligned before making other changes.
I resolve to put less air and spin on my short chips, choosing instead to bump the ball to the edge of the green with a 7 or 8 iron and let it roll to the hole. Hitting a flop shot will be my last resort, not my first. Practicing my short game would be helpful. I will not buy a driver because it is white, black, purple, triangular, square, trapezoidal or because I can adjust it 743 ways. I will buy a driver because it complements my strengths and minimizes my weaknesses, and I will use a qualified club-fitter to help with my decision. I will try practicing longer bunker shots by hitting explosion shots with a 9 iron, pitch-
I will practice more like I play, working to move away from mechanics on the range, working on my routine, and evaluate shots more like I do on the course. I will hit a variety of shots when warming up, including high, low, left to right, right to left. I will rehearse on the range the first five tee shots that I will hit that day on the course. I will work on specialty shots on the range: big hooks and slices, left hand shots, fried egg lies, fairway bunkers, wind cheaters, and uneven lies. I resolve to enter at least one tournament this year where I will be way out of my comfort zone.
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Better times ahead
2010 weather worst in 30 years by mike wooten
The weather these past 15 months has been very unusual to say the least. We were extremely cold in the winter of 2009-10. However, the Bermuda fairways and roughs remained healthy despite the temperatures until we had an unfortunate seven-inch snow on March 21. The melting of the snow during the day and the freezing back at night was more than the Bermuda could handle, again proving the theory that winter kill is actually spring kill. There is a period in spring when Bermuda is attempting to break dormancy when it is most vulnerable to injury. The plant uses all the energy it stored in the fall to make that one big push toward green-up in the spring. If anything disrupts that photosynthetic process during that early initial stage of greenup such as freezing moisture, excess traffic or prolonged cold spells, then the chance for winter injury is increased dramatically. Ar-
58 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
eas in shade, compacted or poorly drained soils and heavily-trafficked areas are the first to die. This year we were fortunate to have two feet of snow cover to insulate the Bermuda grass before the cold weather hit. When the snow melted, the temperatures stayed warm, allowing the moisture to soak in or drain off before freezing weather came back, just the opposite of last year. As of this writing, the Bermuda is green, maybe too green for this early in the year. But it is healthy and if the good weather continues we should have an early spring and green fairways instead of winter injury. Last summer was definitely the worst for golf courses and particularly the greens since 1980, maybe the worst ever. Daily high temperatures were higher in 1980, but there were other factors last summer that contributed to weak bent grass such as high humidity,
lack of natural air flow and high nighttime low temperatures. The plant diseases we battle today didn’t even exist in 1980. The reason they didn’t exist is because we didn’t stress the grass as much back then. Disease is a by-product of stress. Some of the diseases we have today don’t even have a true pathogen. They are environmental diseases. Bentgrass is under stress even in the best of weather and when they weather goes bad, considering today’s management practices and expectation levels, problems will arise. I always compare golf course management to a runaway train, it is not if you are going to have a wreck, it is when and how bad will it be? People and grasses are very similar. They both can handle high levels of stress for short periods, such as during the work day, but
mill is prior to the heart attack, not after you collapse. Just as a doctor would spend weeks or months improving the health of a patient preparing them for major life-threatening surgery, Superintendents want to do the same for their patients but this process is at odds with the concept of PGA Tour-like conditions at all times. So we push the envelope, live on the edge and hope we don’t fall off. Like people, bent grass needs a healthy environment and lifestyle, proper medicine, occasional corrective surgery to guarantee that lifestyle, convalescence time, and,when necessary, timely hospital stays. The key for What many greens looked like last fall, hopefully not to be repeated this year. us is to get the treatment program underway before the patient dies. The key for the both need time to recuperate at night to get ing, more rolling, higher mowing heights, golfer is a little understanding and patience ready for the next day. We had prolonged adequate moisture and nutrient levels, dis- when the conditions put bent grass greens periods of extremely high nighttime temper- ease protection and even closing the hole or on life support. atures and humidity that did not allow the entire course until more favorable weather plant any time for recuperation. Similar to returned. Once the death spiral starts it is Editor’s note: Mike Wooten is a three-time a person deprived of sleep, food and water very difficult to decide what level of protec- past president of the Oklahoma Golf Course for several days, grass cannot rest, breathe tion is necessary and at what stage or time Superintendent’s Association and past president or eat in high temperatures. frame to implement protection measurers. of the Oklahoma Turfgrass Research Foundation. Superintendents made all the necessary As with your own personal health man- He has been superintendent at Cedar Ridge since moves to protect the grass, such as less mow- agement, the best time to back off the tread- 1987.
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SCHEDULES & RESULTS SCHEDULES WOMEN’S OKLA. GOLF ASSOCIATION May 16-17: WOGA Cup, Oakwood CC, Enid June 20-23: State Amateur, Muskogee CC July 11-12: Girls Junior State, Oaks CC, Tulsa July 19-20: Mid-Amateur Stroke Play, Gaillardia CC, Okla. City Aug. 2-4: Fore State, Hardscrabble CC, Fort Smith Aug. 22-23: Partnership, Dornick Hills CC, Ardmore Sept. 19-20: Senior Championship, The Trails GC, Norman GOLF INC (OKLAHOMA CITY) April 9-10, 16-17: Spring Four-Ball May 14-15: Two-Man Scramble June 4-5, 11-12: City and Senior City Amateur June 25-26: Eric Bergquist Memorial Classic July 21-24: Club Championships July 27-28: Junior Invitational Aug. 6-7: Interclub Aug, 20-21: Senior Interclub TULSA GOLF ASSOCIATION April 29-May 1: Individual Match Play and Senior Match Play, Emerald Falls GC May 20-22: Four-Ball Match Play and Senior Four-Ball Match Play, Page Belcher GC June 25-26: Stroke Play and Senior Stroke Play, LaFortune Park GC July 30-31: Four-Ball Stroke Play and Senior Stroke Play, Forest Ridge GC Aug. 26-28: Two-Man Challenge II, Page Belcher GC Oct. 11: Snowman Open, LaFortune Park GC GOLF CHANNEL (OKLAHOMA) TOUR April 16: Forest Ridge Classic, Forest Ridge GC, Broken Arrow April 30: The Open at Rose Creek, Rose Creek GC, Edmond April 30-May 1: Midwest Classic, TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Ill. May 7: Cherry Springs Classic, Cherry Springs GC, Tahlequah May 21-22: Payne Stewart Classic, Payne Stewart GC, Branson, Mo. June 4-5: Texas Masters, TPC San Antonio June 11: Shawnee Classic, Shawnee CC June 18: Battle Creek Open, Battle Creek GC, Broken Arrow June 25: Clary Fields Classic, Clary Fields GC, Sapulpa July 11: Las Colinas Championship, Las Colinas CC, Irving, Texas July 16: Grand Lake Showdown, Patricia Island E&GC, Grove July 31: Cowboy Classic, Lakeside GC, Stillwater Aug. 6-7: Texas Shootout, Redstone GC, Humble, Texas Aug. 13: River Oaks Classic, River Oaks, GC, Edmond Aug. 20: Tour Championship, Jimmie Austin OU GC, Norman HOOTERS AMATEUR TOUR April 17: Peoria Ridge GC, Miami, Okla. May 15: Battle Creek GC, Broken Arrow June 4: Adams GC, Bartlesville June 26: Bailey GC, Owasso July 9: Forest Ridge GC, Broken Arrow July 31: Emerald Falls GC, Broken Arrow Aug. 20-21: Cherokee Hills GC, Catoosa Sept. 23-25: Tour Championship, Peoria Ridge GC, Miami, Okla. O-TOUR April 23: Eagle Crest GC, Alma. Ark. May 14-15: WinStar Casino GC, Thackerville June 4: Heritage Hills GC, Claremore June 25: Forest Ridge GC, Broken Arrow July 16-17: Chickasaw Pointe GC, Kingston July 30: Muskogee CC Aug. 13-14: Emerald Falls GC, Broken Arrow Aug. 27: Lakeview GC, Ardmore Sept. 17-18: Cherokee Hills GC, Catoosa Oct. 8-9: Cherry Springs GC, Tahlequah
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OKLAHOMA JUNIOR GOLF TOUR May 29-30: Oklahoma High School All Star Classic, John Conrad GC July 18-19: Battle for Broken Arrow, Emerald Falls GC Aug. 13-14: Norman Pediatrics Associates Trosper Park Challenge, Trosper Park GC Aug. 20-21: Heritage Hills Fall Round Up, Heritage Hills CC Aug. 27-28: Kickingbird Fall Challenge, Kickingbird GC Sept. 4-5: John Conrad Labor Day Challenge, John Conrad GC Sept. 10-11: Clary Fields Fall Classic, Clary Fields GC Sept. 17-18: Lake Hefner Shootout (North), Lake Hefner GC Sept. 24-25: Mohawk Junior Open, Mohawk Park GC (Woodbine) Oct. 1-2: Best of the West Classic, Lincoln Park GC (West) Oct. 8-9: Pryor Fall Challenge, Pryor Creek GC Oct. 15-16: Tour Championship, Page Belcher GC Oct. 29-30: Red River Team Cup Challenge, Dornick Hills G&CC SOUTH CENTRAL JUNIORS June 2: Lil’ Tykes, Belmar GC, Norman June 2-3: PGA South Central Section Championship, Lincoln Park (East) GC, Okla. City June 6: Jay Myers, Meadowbrook CC, Tulsa June 6: Muskogee Junior, Muskogee CC June 6-7: Players Tour No. 1, Hillcrest CC, Bartlesville June 7: Westwood Junior, Westwood Park GC, Norman June 7: Lil’ Tykes. LaFortune Park GC Par-3, Tulsa June 8: Bill Nicklas, Kickingbird GC, Edmond June 9: Lit’l Links Junior, Par-3 at Lit’l Links, Tulsa June 9-10: Players Tour No. 2, Hot Springs CC, Hot Springs, AR June 10: Pryor Junior, Pryor Creek GC June 13: Meadowlake Junior, Meadowlake GC, Enid June 14: Lake Murray Junior, Ardmore June 15: Parent-Child, LaFortune Park GC, Tulsa June 16: Heart of Oklahoma, Brent Bruehl GC, Purcell June 17: Riverside Junior, Riverside GC, Clinton June 20: McAlester Junior, McAlester CC June 20-21: Players Tour No. 3, Belmar GC, Norman June 21: Lew Wentz, Lew Wentz GC, Ponca City June 22: Shelby Ross, Lakeview GC, Ardmore June 22: Clary Fields Junior, Clary Fields GC, Sapulpa June 23: Trosper Junior, Trosper Park GC, Okla. City June 24: Lil’ Tykes, Par-3 at Lit’l Links, Tulsa June 27: Blackjack Ridge Junior, Canyons at Blackjack Ridge, Sand Springs June 27-28: Players Tour No. 4, Terradyne CC, Andover, KS June 28: George Phillips, South Lakes GC, Jenks June 29: Lil’ Tykes, Kickingbird GC, Edmond June 29: Lake Hefner Junior, Lake Hefner GC, Okla. City June 30: Windy Trails Junior, Altus AFB GC July 5: River Oaks Junior, Edmond July 6: Shawnee Junior, Shawnee CC July 5-6: Players Tour No. 5, Stillwater CC July 6: Lil’ Tykes, The Trails GC, Norman July 7: Lincoln Park Junior, Lincoln Park GC, Okla. City July 7: Lakeside Junior, Lakeside GC, Stillwater July 8: Owasso Junior, Owasso G&AC July 11: Lil’ Tykes, LaFortune Park GC, Tulsa July 11: The Trails Junior, The Trails GC, Norman July 11: Broken Arrow Junior, Broken Arrow G&AC July 11-12: Players Tour No. 6, Hardscrabble CC, Fort Smith, AR July 12: LaFortune Junior, LaFortune Park GC, Tulsa July 13: Battle Creek Junior, Battle Creek GC, Broken Arrow July 14: James E. Stewart Junior, James E. Stew-
art GC, Okla. City July 16: South Lakes Parent-Child, South Lakes GC, Jenks July 18: Cushing Junior, Cushing CC July 19: Fairfax Junior, Fairfax GC July 20: Lil’ Tykes, South Lakes GC, Jenks July 20: Bailey Ranch Junior, Bailey Ranch GC, Owasso July 20-21: Players Tour No. 7, Forest Ridge GC, Broken Arrow July 21: John Conrad Junior, John Conrad GC, Midwest City July 22: Riverside Junior, Riverside GC, Clinton July 26-27: Hoedebeck Junior, Duncan Elks CC July 26-27: Players Tour No. 8, Sand Creek Station, Newton, KS Aug. 1-2: Walter Hopper Tour Championship, Rose Creek CC, Edmond Aug 2-3: Players Tour No. 9, Pinnacle CC, Rogers, AR Aug. 9-10: Players Tour Championship, Gaillardia G&CC, Okla. City COLLEGES Men April 18-19: Summit League Championship, Primm Valley GC, Primm, Nev. April 24-26: Conference-USA Championship, Texarkana CC April 25-27: Big 12 Championship, Prairie Dunes, Hutchinson, Kan. April 25-27: Sooner Athletic Conference Championship, Cherokee Hills GC, Catoosa May 19-21: NCAA regionals May 31-June 5: NCAA Championship, Karsten Creek GC, Stillwater
RESULTS GOLF INC (OKLAHOMA CITY) BIG SIX March 12-13 Championship: 1, Brent Stone/Jay Singley 67-67 – 134; 2, Max Showalter/Tyler Hall 66-73 – 139 (won scorecard playoff); 3, Randy Robinson/ Mike Faulks 67-72 – 139; 4 (tie), Phil Ross/Kevin Reddick 68-73 – 141 and David Hatkoff/Brett Payne 70-71 – 141; 6, Larry Windsor/Mike Jackson 73-70 – 143; 7, John Carver/David Payne 72-74 – 146; 8, Doug Stoy/Greg Stephens 73-76 – 149. First Flight: 1, Bob Tate/Doug Randall 66-67 – 133; 2, Perry Cook/Kevin Souder 70-68 – 138; 3, Jason Acebo/Harvey Kringles 70-69 – 139; 4, Phil Linville/Dave Thomas 70-73 – 143. Second Flight: 1, Reed Simms/Trey Simms 69723 – 141; 2, Chad Jerman/Bill Craig 73-71 – 144. JUNIORS EAST-WEST TURNPIKE CHALLENGE At Lincoln Park GC (East), Okla. City (par-72) March 16 Boys 1, Taylor Moore 64; 2, Alec Heinen 70; 3 (tie), Austin Fuller and Max McGreevy 74; 5 (tie), Nick Heinen and Drew Posada 75; 7, Aaron Davis 76; 8 (tie), Casey Fernandez, Jackson Hess and Brett Williamson 77. Girls 1, Kendra Mann 76; 2 (tie), McCandren Lewi, Alexis Sadeghy, and June Tigert 80; 5, Ashton Collier 81. TULSA GOLF ASSOCIATION DESERT SHOOTOUT South Lakes Golf Course March 26-27 Championship Flight: 1, Carrell Chissoe, Brady Wood, 161; 2, Sam Braver, Cole Wiederkehr, 162 A Flight: 1, Charlie Brown, Rod Rist, 172; 2, Ed Cohlmia, Mike Lusnak, 174 B Flight: 1, Justin Little, Matt Zimmerman, 179; 2, Bryan Lunger, Gary Keeth, 180 C Flight: 1, David Myers, Jon Paine, 190; 2, Robert Flynn, John Potts, 198
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Discover Oklahoma's newest sport publication. In our first issue we sit down for a one on one with Bo Van Pelt, talk state college golf, sho...