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Official publication of the Oklahoma Golf Association www.golfoklahoma.org

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Are You Cravin’ a Blue Haven?






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Contents april/may 2015

Vol. 5 Issue 2

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15 WOGA celebrates Centennial 30 New format for Patriot Golf Championship 34 TopGolf, Flying Tee come to Oklahoma 38 First Hall of Fame class announced 42 Legends tournament returns to Branson 45 Ben Crenshaw to design Branson course 46  Robert Streb’s passion paying off 51  Cushing CC renovated, renamed




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Letter from the publisher OGA Rules, Gene Mortensen WOGA USGA News The Goods Equipment Chip Shots, Oklahoma news Summer Golf Camps Industry Profile: Neil Metz Edmond Junior Profile Pro Profile: Rhein Gibson Amateur Profile: Michael Hearne Fitness Instruction Superintendent’s Perspective Schedules and results

On the cover Robert Streb pictured here at the 2014 Patriot Cup in Owasso. Photo by Rip Stell

Support junior golf by contributing to the OGA Foundation Call 405-848-0042 for more information 6 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

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April / May 2015 letter from the publisher

Stopping counterfeiter club makers hard, not getting duped is easy The U.S. Golf Manufacturers AntiCounterfeit Working Group has seized more than a million counterfeit golf products in the past decade. Problem is, shady folks pump more than two million counterfeit clubs and goods into the world marketplace each year, the vast majority of them coming from China. Everyone wants a good deal on clubs and the internet is full of them. Apparently there’s a sucker born every second. Here’s some easy advice when purchasing clubs to make sure your new Ping, Callaway, Cleveland, TaylorMade or Titleist driver is what you think it is. One, don’t be greedy. Two, don’t do anything foolish. For starters, you should be buying your clubs from a PGA professional after you have been properly fitted in their shop. You’ll play better, enjoy the clubs more and you’re contributing to the well-being of the courses you enjoy. If you feel the need to get your specs and then go online to shop but don’t want to purchase directly from the manufacturer, here are some tips from Jason Rocker, the spokesperson for the anti-counterfeit group. “What we say is, look where they are shipped from,” Rocker said. “China is a dead giveaway. And the website themselves, if it’s one you haven’t heard of before, be careful. If you’re on Ebay and there’s a seller with no rating system, watch out. “The other thing you’ve got to remember when you buy these hugely discounted clubs online is that you’re giving your credit card information to a criminal.” The criminals are extremely resourceful. Imitation clubs will look exactly like the real thing to an untrained eye. Performance varies wildly, however. 10 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

“You can see anything from a loss of distance to a loss of accuracy to a real safety issue,” Rocker said. “Most of the time they are producing a large number of clubs in what is a garage type atmosphere. They produce it very quickly and with no standards of quality.” Rocker’s group is working with Chinese authorities and last year confiscated more Jason Rocker than 150,000 counterfeit clubs. Unfortunately, as long as the demand keeps up, it’s like playing Whack A Mole, as soon as they shut down one group another pops up. It’s up to us as U.S. consumers of golf equipment to have the common sense to know what’s too good to be true. Get fit, get good clubs and you won’t need to chase the next special offer. There are plenty of certified used clubs and special offers right at your local pro shop. – Ken MacLeod

Volume 5, Number 2 Golf Oklahoma Offices Southern Hills Plaza 6218 S. Lewis Ave., Ste. 200 Tulsa, OK 74136 918-280-0787 Oklahoma City Office 405-640-9996 Publisher Ken MacLeod ken@golfoklahoma.org COO/Marketing Director A.G. Meyers agm@golfoklahoma.org Art & Technology Director Chris Swafford chris@golfoklahoma.org 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, Bill Powell Golf Oklahoma PGA Instructional Staff Jim Woodward Teaching Professional, Oak Tree National jwoodwardgolf@sbcglobal.net, 405-348-2004 Jim Young Teaching Professional, River Oaks CC 405-630-8183 Pat McTigue Manager, GolfTec Tulsa pmctigue@golftec.com Steve Ball Owner, Ball Golf Center, Oklahoma City www.ballgolf.com, 405-842-2626 Pat Bates Director of Instruction, Gaillardia Country Club pbates@gaillardia.com, 405-509-3611 Tracy Phillips Director of Instruction, Buddy Phillips Learning Center at Cedar Ridge vt4u@yahoo.com, 918-352-1089 Jerry Cozby PGA Professional jerrycozby@aol.com, 918-914-1784 Michael Boyd, PGA Professional Indian Springs Country Club 918-455-9515 Oklahoma Golf Association 2800 Coltrane Place, Suite 2 Edmond, OK 73034 405-848-0042 Executive Director Mark Felder mfelder@okgolf.org Director of Handicapping and Course Rating Jay Doudican jdoudican@okgolf.org Director of Junior Golf Morri Rose morose@okgolf.org Copyright 2015 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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From the Executive Director

OGA State Club Championship returns Due to an unfortunate scheduling conflict, the OGA State Club Championship was not a part of the association’s schedule in 2014. It is back this year and should be a goal for all Mark Felder the state’s competitive OGA golfers. Executive The State Club ChamDirector pionship consists of a four-man team of either four top amateurs or three amateurs and the club’s professional in a one-day stroke play event in which the top three scores count for each team. The event will be held Sept. 15 at the Oaks Country Club in Tulsa, which will be reopening this spring after a massive renovation with all new greens, bunkers and many tee boxes. The State Club Championship is open to both public and private courses. Some courses send the top three finishers in their club championships, while others have different selection methods. In addition to great competition, the

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OGA Club Championship is a fun and social event in which the participants gather after for a steak dinner and camaraderie. Competitors in the OGA State Amateur Championship this summer will take on arguably the state’s most difficult challenge in Oak Tree National. The event is scheduled July 20-22 with qualifying taking place earlier at venues in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The good news for all competitors is by the time you reach Pete Dye’s diabolical masterpiece, it will be match play, so one bad hole can be shrugged aside. Other OGA scheduling highlights this year include the 2015 OGA Junior on June 1-4 at Kickingbird Golf Course in Edmond, the Stroke Play Championship set for Aug. 3-5 at Chickasaw Pointe on the shores of Lake Texoma, the Senior State Amateur on June 15-18 at Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville, and the MidAmateur Championship on June 29-30 at The Club at Indian Springs in Broken Arrow, all tremendous venues. The Oklahoma Open returns to Oak Tree Country Club on Aug. 21-23.

Oklahoma Golf Association News

My ball is in a puddle, what should I do? May is historically Oklahoma’s rainiest month. With the rain comes the puddles. So, it’s a good time to review what the Rules permit when your ball Gene Mortensen comes to rest in one. OGA Rules As you become Director familiar with the Rules, you will see that the USGA hasn’t adopted the vocabulary golfers use; they like to make up words. A puddle is “casual water” and it is discussed in Rule 25 -- Abnormal Ground Conditions. Casual water is a temporary accumulation of water in a place where you wouldn’t ordinarily see water. Snow is casual water, but dew and frost are not. Interference occurs when the ball lies in the condition or when the condition interferes with the player’s stance. In taking relief from casual water there is no penalty. There is no free relief under this

Rule, however, for casual water within a water hazard, Rule 26 applies. When you have interference from casual water in a fairway or the rough, you will determine the nearest point of relief, lift the ball and drop it within one club length of that point, no nearer the hole. When you have interference from casual water in a bunker you follow the same procedure. In this case, however, the nearest point and the spot on which you drop the ball must both be in that bunker. If complete relief is not available (area with no water), drop the ball at a spot where you have maximum available relief. This means, if your ball is in a puddle that is 10 inches deep and you can play your ball at a spot no nearer the hole where the water is 1/4 inch in depth, drop it there. If you can’t find a place that provides maximum relief, you may, under penalty of one stroke, drop the ball outside the

bunker on the extension of the imaginary line formed by the flagstick and the spot where the ball lay originally with no limit on how far back you go. When you have interference from casual water on the green, you lift the ball and place it at the nearest point of relief and that nearest point may even be off the green. You may also take relief if the condition intervenes on your line of putt. Be aware of this caveat, there is no intervention relief for casual water on a green if your ball lies off the green. When you are absolutely certain that your ball is in casual water, but it can’t be found, assume that the ball lies at the spot where it crossed the outermost limit of the condition, and proceed from there. Without that degree of certainty, you have a lost ball. See Rule 27. The Rules of Golf are your friend; learn how to use them to your advantage. And if you have questions, contact the Oklahoma Golf Association.

Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association

WOGA benefits from Women’s Golf Alliance membership Since 2011, the Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association has been a member of the Women’s Golf Alliance and there have been many advantages that have resulted Sheila Dills from that relationship. President WOGA The Women’s Golf Alliance formed in 2010 when a group of executive directors from a few of the larger state and regional golf associations saw a need to improve on their collaboration. Some of the advantages for WOGA belonging to such an organization are increasing the voice and visibility of women golfers, enhanced member benefits and services, marketing, management and governance resources for board and staff members and networking opportunities. Each spring, the Women’s Golf Alliance hosts the Women’s Association Round Table meeting (WAR M) in Phoenix. This is an opportunity for state and regional associations across the country to share ideas and resources. The Alliance brings in guest speakers

to talk on subjects such as board governance, empowering women and girls, tax issues, best practices and brand marketing. WOGA has improved its policies and procedures from the sharing of best practice documents from the WAR M conference along with adding significant programs that were modified to work in Oklahoma, such as the high school grants program for underfunded

high school girls golf programs.. The Alliance’s Board of Directors is represented by members from California, Arizona, New York, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Kansas, Maryland and South Carolina. Bylaws have been modified recently, creating membership for individuals who would like to support the Women’s Golf Alliance. Go online to womensgolfalliance.org for more information.

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United States Golf Association News

presented by

Playing in a USGA event is a worthy goal How would you like to play in a USGA championship? This year’s championships are headed to some outstanding locations. David Thompson There are some USGA Regional Affairs Committee players who are automatically eligible to enter because of rankings, but if you meet the handicap requirements, you also have a chance to participate in one of those national championships. During a recent meeting with USGA committee persons from around the state, one major topic was qualifiers. Each championship conducts qualifying round(s) to determine who from that qualifying site will advance to the championship. In Oklahoma, we are very fortunate that clubs provide their courses for these qualifiers. This year is no exception with Oak Tree National kicking off the season with qualify-

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handicap index restrictions. You can find those on USGA.org and if you meet those qualifications, you can enter at that same site. Below are the dates for qualifiers within Oklahoma and also for the Men’s Amateur Four-Ball that will be conducted this year in Arkansas. Also, volunteers are still needed for the U.S. Girls Junior Championship July 18-25 at Tulsa Country Club. Volunteer online at www.tulsacountryclub.com and select your times and positions.

ing for the U.S. Open. Both the Junior Amateur and the Girls’ Junior players will do battle with Karsten Creek Golf Club to see who can advance to those championships. In addition, The Golf Club of Oklahoma, Quail Creek CC, Shangri-La Golf Club, and Cedar Ridge CC will each host a championship USGA Qualifiers qualifier. Jimmie May 12: U.S. Open, Oak Tree National, Edmond Austin Golf Club in June 22: Boys and Girls Amateur, Karsten Creek GC, Stillwater Norman will host July 6: U.S. Amateur and Mid-Amateur, Golf Club of Oklaboth the Senior homa, Broken Arrow Amateur and Senior Aug. 26: Men’s Four-Ball, Pleasant Valley CC, Little Rock Women’s Amateur Aug. 31: Men and Women Senior Amateur, Jimmie Austin qualifiers on the same date. OU GC, Norman Each championOct. 14: Women’s Four-Ball, Cedar Ridge CC, Broken Arrow ship has different

WOGA to celebrate centennial this summer by ken mac leod

The Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association will celebrate its 100th anniversary this summer, capped by a huge celebration July 26 at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, site of the first WOGA State Amateur Championship in 1915 and the 2015 State Amateur as well. WOGA president Sheila Dills has been working hard researching events and personalities stretching back to the beginnings of WOGA’s formation in 1914. Women played golf in long flowing dresses with puffy sleeves and hurried through tournament rounds in order to get to the fair on time. The gala celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. and is open to anyone who loves golf. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at www. woga.us. A party bus will bring northeast Oklahoma celebrants from Southern Hills Country Club, returning that evening. Details are on the website. WOGA was formed, Dills said, by a socially elite group at Oklahoma City Golf Patti Blanton & Country Club in 1915. The first state amateur championship was won by A.W. Wills of the home course. The medalist score in the nine-hole qualifier was 52. The women’s state amateur quickly became a hugely popular social as well as athletic event. Many would enter just for the parties that would take place at the host club on championship week. Entries swelled up to as high as 234, many of them strictly social. On the course, talented golfers began to emerge. The 1920s were dominated by Patty Blanton, Estellen Drennan,

Pat Grant

Betsy Cullen

Mabel Hotz

LeeAnn Fairlie

today. Gibson is Lucy Wallace and Hulbert Clark, who the director of the combined for 12 State Amateur chamFirst Tee of Tulsa, pionships while also winning titles in Coatney is a manthe Trans-Mississippi Championship, ager at Stillwater Women’s Southern Amateur, the BroadCountry Club, moor, the Mexican Amateur and the Luellen is the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. coach at Arizona Pat Grant of Cushing, a captain in the State and Dills is U.S. Army, became the only person to the president of win five consecutive amateur champiWOGA. onships when she did so from 1939-42 Although the while a student at Oklahoma Baptist, highest level of then again in 1946 when she returned Patty Coatney the women’s state from serving in World War II. There amateur today is dominated by high were no tournaments from 1943-45. In the early 1950s, Mabel Hotz started school and collegians – then 13-yearold Yujeong Son became the youngest a junior girls program at Tulsa Country winner ever in 2014 – the women have Club that became hugely popular across done well retaining the social aspect the state and the talent that eventually and providing a setting for competition rose up from those ranks was stunning. for all. The Championship Flight of the Susie Maxwell Berning, Betsy Cullen, Women’s State Amateur is limited to 16 Beth Stone and Dale McNamara were players after qualifying, but there are four Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame memsix other flights for the higher handicap bers who came out of that program. golfers. Another wave of talent came through Dills, who won the WOGA Junior the WOGA ranks after Title IX was in 1984 and the state amateur in 1989, implanted in 1972 expanded the oppor1994, 1995 and 1996, tunities for collehelped save the junior giate golfers. Patty event when the orgaMcGraw Coatney nization was ready to (OSU), Janice Burba give up on it in 1985 Gibson (OSU), Melisdue to low participasa McNamara Luellen tion. At 18, she became (TU), Adele Lukken the tournament direcPeterson (TU), Teresa tor and helped the Streck Delazalere event change from (TU), LeeAnn Hammatch play requiring mack Fairlie (OU) a week to 36 holes of and Sheila Luginbuel stroke play over two Dills (OSU) herself days. Participation were some of the has slowly built back standout Oklahoma up and a full field is juniors who went on expected this summer to solid collegiate when the event is held careers and many July 14-15 at Southern are still influential Hills. in Oklahoma golf Yujeong Son www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 15

Goods the

Some things we like to do before and after the round

The Bookshelf

The Squeeze a fun, fast romp “The Squeeze” probably isn’t a good bet to pull down any Oscars next year, and there are plot holes you could drive It shouldn’t be a great surprise that a golf cart through. But it’s a fast-paced one of the positive pre-release blurbs and entertaining 95 minutes with an for “The Squeeze” is from Phil Mickelson, since the new movie is all about appealing cast, ably put through the paces by golf and gamwriter and dibling. rector Terry Set to debut Jastrow. in theaters and With decades Video on Deof sports mand on April directing and 17, the film is a producing fictional romp to his credit based on the (17 Emmys real-life youthworth), Jasful adventures trow knows of Keith Flatt, how to film a now president golf shot. (He of a golf manproduced the agement firm On the set of The Squeeze. Tom Watson in Las Vegas. videos reviewed here in the AugustLas Vegas is where the movie ends, September 2014 issue.) with our young hero, Augie Baccas, in And he knows what a golf swing a million-dollar match with the reigning amateur champion that promises to should look like, so he was lucky to have a fatal outcome for Augie whether find engaging young actor Jeremy Sumpter to play Augie. Sumpter plays he wins or loses. to a +1.1. The golf coursBefore reaching Sin City we see Augie in his rural hometown, nursing U.S. es look pretty good, too, with the climactic match Open dreams but struggling to keep filmed at Wynn Las Vehis mother and kid sister safe from an gas, a course most of us abusive father. He’s eking out a living through house-painting while winning will only get to see here. local golf championships with ease and sustaining a relationship with his A Game For Life girlfriend, Natalie. Another fictional efEnter the figurative devil, a slick fort, but back between professional gambler called R iverboat, book covers, is Spencer played to the nines by familiar charac- Stephens’ “Church of ter actor Christopher McDonald. R iver- Golf ” (Saint Pete Press, boat waves wads of greenbacks before $14.25). With those Augie’s eyes, and he’s soon in the clues and a subtitle of process of selling his soul in hustling “A Novel of Second money matches set up by R iverboat. Chances” I was afraid The team is so successful that R iver- I was about to plunge boat persuades Augie it’s time to go for into a religious tract the big money in Las Vegas, where the that somehow equated naive youngster is about to get a hard playing golf with coming closer to education. But one that he then puts to God. pretty good use. Well, actually, it does suggest that by tom bedell

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golf has a spiritual side, but even heathens can enjoy this book, loaded with ribaldr y. The main character, Donald Gibson, is a college sports hero turned sour in his adult life as a car salesman in suburban Mar yland. Stephens based Gibson on a childhood friend who never had a second chance and died early from substance abuse. Gibson’s second chance comes by way of a legacy from an aunt in Lanai, who leaves her $4-million estate to her nephew provided he not leave the tiny Hawaiian island for three years. There, Gibson is a square peg in a round hole, but he begins playing on a golf course that villagers consider a worship center— it’s actually called the Wakea and Papa Worship Center — and interacting with the mildly eccentric inhabitants around him. And over time (the stor yline spans 50 years), Gibson is slowly transformed, and improves his short game, too. Stephens is an attorney in his day job and this is another production unlikely to sweep any literary awards off the table. He has an especially ir-

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ritating habit of describing character’s golf swings in more detail than anyone would desire. On the other hand, he’s pulled off the great trick of keeping us reading even as the main character remains thoroughly repellent for almost the first half of the book, and leading us toward a satisf ying denouement.

YOUR SHORT GAME SOLUTION I think it might improve my short game if I moved to a Hawaiian island and practiced for three years. Failing that, I’m hoping James Sieckmann can help with “Your Short Game Solution: Mastering the Finesse Game From 120 Yards and In” (Gotham Books, $27.95), which he wrote with the help of David DeNunzio, Golf Magazine’s instruction editor. Sieckmann writes fairly hilariously

about his own failures tr ying to make it on tour — any tour — but explains how his own defects led him to the short game discoveries that he now teaches to scores of PGA Tour and LPGA players, as well as out of his academy at the Shadow R idge Countr y Club in Omaha, Nebraska. The only problem is that the approach, which he terms the Finesse Wedge, pretty much overturns the apple cart of all previous wedge play instruction. Gone is the miniature version of your full swing, gone is keeping your hands ahead of the clubhead, gone is keeping the clubhead square, or your head unmoving.

This all sounds a little disconcerting, but then so is my short game, and while there’s still so much snow on the ground that it will be a while before I can actually try much of what Sieckmann is suggesting here, it sure looks good on paper and in the video clips he lists that readers can peruse on the web.

The material is presented here in ample and clear detail, well-illustrated with useful photos showing some of Sieckmann’s clients,

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The goods like Tom Pernice Jr., Ben Crane and Charlie Wi, with the somewhat daunting suggestion that it will actually require practice: “The typical finesse wedge training program is neither complicated nor physically demanding,” he writes. “I’ve said nothing about it ‘being easy.’ ”

SAND AND GOLF One not insignificant reason I love links golf is that I can often leave my wedge in the bag, and just use the putter even when well off the green. George Waters covers all the other reasons in “Sand and Golf: How Terrain Shapes the Game” (Goff Books, $40). The book has actually been out for awhile — it won the 2013 Golf Architecture Book of the Year award from GolfClubAtlas.com — but just came across my desk, luckily enough. We’re talking coffee table book here, with pages that are a foot wide to accommodate all the luscious course photos on every spread. Waters is a golf course architect based out of San Francisco, as well as an accomplished writer and photographer as evidenced here. He worked for Tom Doak for years and Doak contributes a Foreword. The text ranges over the evolution of a sandy course (though not all sandy courses are necessarily links), its native plants, the general features. Waters discusses how architects consider the wind in their routing plans, inherent strategies that arise and how playable the rough should be. Entire chapters are devoted to bunkers, approach and recovery areas, and greens. But the photography is the real star here, with many of the usual suspects in their green or sandy glory — the Old Course, North Berwick, Sand Hills, Royal Dornoch, Royal County Down, National Golf Links, Shinnecock, Pacific Dunes, Rosapenna and Pinehurst No. 2. It’s all very arousing and therefore frustrating when contemplating a still wintry vista out one’s windows. But it builds up a nice head of steam for spring, and all that fine golf to be played. And, yeah, all that wedge practice, too. Tom Bedell tends to read more in the wintertime, when not searching for signs of melting snow. 18 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

The robust Jericho Hill by dylan morgan

Every great golf course has a story about a legend playing on the course. This story begins with a company that wants to become just that legend. Crowned Heads was established by Jon Huber and Mike Conder in 2011 with a dream to supply quality cigars to consumers across the globe. Crowned Heads’ most recent line of cigars is the Jericho Hill. This premium blend is well on its way to becoming legendary and it has some help from “The Man in Black” -- Johnny Cash. The Jericho Hill was inspired by Johnny’s rendition of “Cocaine Blues” found on his 1968 live album, “At Folsom Prison.” The song is a story of a man, Willy Lee, who goes down a shadowy path brought on by cocaine and whiskey. Willy was apprehended in Juarez, Mexico, where he was brought to justice by the sheriff of Jericho Hill. Jericho Hill is hand rolled by My Father

Cigars in Estelí, Nicaragua. The cigar has a dark San Andreas wrapper leaf which tips its hat to Juarez where Willy was captured. Jericho Hill comes in five sizes -- .44s, LBV, OBS, and the Willy Lee -- all influenced from the music off the album. At pre-light the cigar has a nice clean draw with great flavor. Following light up, you will notice the even slow burn, and distinct notes of leather, pepper, and spice. During the smoke you will have a peppery ash with a nice amount of white smoke. The Jericho Hill has a very robust and bold full flavor that the novice smoker will find enjoyable and the aficionado will appreciate. Hats off to Crowned Head!

Proudly serving Oklahoma with a fine selection of cigars and related products. Stop on by our current location and share a smoke with us!

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New faces of GPS Watches, bands, phone apps Pre-loaded with more than 30,000 international golf courses, the Approach S4 is useful all over the world, and updates can GPS manufacturers are producing be downloaded regularly. With the touch products for leisure activities at nearly the of a button, you can see the layout of the same pace they took over the automobile next green from anywhere on the course, navigation market. Handheld devices for even if the green is not visible. The high golfers that began as simple distance-toresolution screen makes viewing simple, hole GPS devices are now loaded with and iPhone users can send emails, texts, options like voice assistance, timers, blindshot assistance, scoring, and a host of other and other push notifications directly to the watch, meaning you never need lose your possibilities, including the ability to wear phone on the course again. Approximately some as a watch. The prices range from less than $100 to several hundred, but most $300. Many smaller GPS devices come devices do not have annual or lifetime fees equipped with clips, making it possible to attached. As with many gadgets, the more wear them as a watch, clip them on your you are willing to spend, the larger the belt or bag, or carry them in your pocket. suite of options. The smaller devices tend to have For those who don’t know, less functionality, but there are GPS devices use global notable exceptions. positioning satellite technolOne of those exceptions ogy to locate your distance is the aforementioned from a particular hole and Golf Buddy Voice GPS. usually provide distances to The clip-on device comes the front, middle and back of pre-loaded with 33,000 a green as well as diagrams international courses, and and more info. This conhas storage for 40,000. trasts with hand held laser The course manager allows distance devices which can easy addition or subtraction of be used to measure a precise courses. The rechargeable unit distance to a pin. has amazing functionality, and Which is for you? Pat Mcat a price that’s well under $200, it Crate, director of golf for the Bushnell NeoX is one of the best price-to-quality Tulsa County courses LaForratios available. The voice assistune Park and South Lakes, said tance that speaks distance to hole is a plus there are two definite trends. for people who have vision issues or for “All the young, competitive golfers who days when the sun’s glare makes viewing play in tournaments are buying lasers, a screen more difficult. The device comes with Bushnell being the leader,” McCrate pre-loaded with a range of languages, said. “But GPS has a huge following as and several other can be downloaded to well,” customize the Golf Buddy. McCrate sells GPS products from BushFor those who still prefer a hand held nell, Golf Buddy and Garmin. Hand-held device, look at Garmin’s Approach G8, GPS devices are rapidly being replaced by an updated and expanded version watches, with many seniors preferring the of the incredibly popular and Golf Buddy Voice, a clip that goes on the versatile G6. While the G7 cerbrim of your golf cap and, when pressed, tainly improved on the G6, tells you the distances. the newest iteration adds GPS watches are now widely available, and many have the same number of opGolf Buddy Voice tions as the larger, handheld devices. Garmin is one of the best-known names in GPS technology, and its Approach S4 Golf GPS Watch is an excellent place to start if you don’t want a handheld device. by greg horton

20 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

Garmin’s Approach S4 Golf GPS Watch wifi capability in the same sleek, compact design that made the G6 so popular. The Approach G8 allows you to target any point on the course by means of its touch screen. Distances to front, center, and back of green are standard, and the pre-loaded database includes more than 30,000 international courses. The information includes slope-adjusted distances and club suggestions. Like their golf watch, the G8 also allows push notifications, emails, and texts from your iPhone. Approximately $400. Finally, golf GPS apps for iPhone and Android devices are becoming very common, and the sheer number available makes it necessary to do substantial research before committing to a specific app. There are many of the standard 99cent apps out there, and the Hole 19 GPS Rangefinder is even a decent selection with limited functionality at the very low cost of free. However, to get even comparable functionality with the stand-alone devices, it is worth shelling out $30. GolfLogix is still the number one downloaded golf GPS app on the Apple App Store, and at $19.99 per year, it is a solid selection. It comes with aerial views of each hole, distance to green and distance to hazards. Scorecard functionality is very easy to use, and the app also tracks personal stats. Also worth considering is the Golfshot: Golf GPS at 29.99. That is a onetime fee, not an annual fee.

2015 Golf Pass is BIGGER AND BETTER! Visit scspgagolfpass.com to order yours today!

Tour Edge more than Exotics by ed travis

Since its beginning, Tour Edge Golf has been a different kind of club company . . . perhaps even a bit under the radar as far as golf consumers are concerned. In addition to being based in a city not usually associated with the golf industry, namely Batavia, Ill., Tour Edge is unlike most every other major manufacturer in that it doesn’t spend millions on marketing and TV advertising. Tour Edge doesn’t even pay tour professionals to play its clubs. It is a good example of the old pro’s adage, “Let your clubs do the talking.” It’s an open secret on the men’s and ladies tours that Tour Edge clubs, especially fairways and hybrids, are out there under head covers sporting the name of other brands. And the reason should be obvious. Some of the best players think Tour Edge clubs will help them win. David Glod, Tour Edge founder, president and lead club designer, is not afraid to push the envelope, be it making utility clubs

back in the 90s that were the first true long iron substitutes to pioneering the use of exotic materials and manufacturing techniques. All the time doing it with prices most often a good deal less than comparable clubs from other manufacturers. In 2004, Glod saw the need for a new club line that would offer golfers a true jump in performance by making use of more expensive materials and manufacturing techniques, things that didn’t really fit in with Tour Edge’s then current models. Appropriately the new line was tagged “Exotics” allowing Tour Edge to become pioneers with techniques such as combobrazening of clubheads, a process which eliminates conventional welding and allows clubhead weight to be shifted for better trajectory and more distance. For 2015, Tour Edge again exhibits its success in meeting the ongoing goal of making the best products and selling them at the best prices. In the game-improvement category, Tour Edge’s new family named Hot Launch is

aimed at price conscious consumers who want Tour Edge all the bells and Hot Launch whistles. Fairway metals ($120) and hybrids ($100) have stainless steel clubheads with the benefit of a variable thickness face design with the hybrids even having a forged face. They can be described as forgiving, easy to hit and easy on the pocketbook. The irons have an enlarged undercut cavity with a toe-

www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 21


Tour Edge Hot Launch Iron-Wood

weighting bias by taking Tour Edge Hot weight out Launch Iron of the hosel. Priced at $400 for a set of 4- through attack wedge there’s also a nice side benefit. The Hot Launch line has the newest version of Tour Edge’s Iron-wood (a name unique to them but now almost a generic) which fit

22 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

very neatly into the bag as substitutes for either irons or hybrids. After we conducted extensive on the course testing of the Ironwood ($80) our opinion is it should be considered a candidate for inclusion in anyone’s bag. But that’s not the best part of the Hot Launch story. How about a titanium clubhead adjustable driver for $200? This 460cc lead dog of the line even has a draw version without the adjustable hosel for $150 which qualifies as an out-and-out bargain. Tour Edge with the Hot Launch line is challenging the old thinking about club pricing and performance. Hot Launch offers performance at a distinctly lower cost. After more than 25 rounds and range testing, still in my bag is

Tour Edge Exotics E8 Beta Fairway metal another good example of what Glod and his team are producing. Namely, the Exotics E8 Beta fairway metal. A series of tweaks from last year’s model gives the E8 Beta ($300) the distinction of being the longest fairway metal in robotic testing conducted by an independent laboratory, beating out seven clubs of similar loft from other major manufacturers, one by an astonishing 37 yards. Pushing the envelope again is the Tour version of the E8 fairway ($350 or $400 depending on shaft). Besides boasting an adjustable hosel, it is made with a process unique to any golf club marketed in the U.S. The steel cup face is bonded to the body using a robot controlled laser beam which means extreme accuracy compared with conventional techniques. If Tour Edge Golf isn’t on your radar. it should be.


For more details or to sign up call 918-542-7676




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WWW.PEORIARIDGE.COM 10301 S 600 ROAD MIAMI, OK 74354 Peoria Ridge Golf Course looks forward to expanding its relationship with Buffalo Run Casino. Guests of the casino will benefit from a variety of special promotions including special daily fee pricing, and access to stay and play packages which include lodging, golf, dining and gambling.



www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 23

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News from around the state Sponsored by

Oklahoma Tulsa Toll Fr

School of golf Section makes SNAG in schools a priority by ken macleod

If you can climb out of a crib, the local soccer club has a program for you. By the time someone has developed the hand-eye coordination and patience to even begin the process of learning golf, they might have eight or nine “seasons” of indoor and outdoor soccer under their belt, though still in early grade school. What chance does golf have? Is it any wonder that youth soccer numbers keep growing while golf has undergone a thorough industry self-examination in response to a drop in numbers of existing golfers and worries about where the next generation is coming from. One way to help ensure that more folks will turn to golf when their days of running around and kicking a ball are numbered, is exposure at an early age. Waiting for the kids to come to the golf course is not as effective as reaching them at their schools during gym class. Both the PGA South Central Section and

the Oklahoma Golf Association have established foundations that are helping courses, schools and youth sports providers such as the YMCA purchase sets of SNAG (Start New at Golf) equipment. With its Velcro tennis type balls, targets and oversize plastic clubs, SNAG turns golf into a safe game indoors or outdoors. Michael Boyd, the director of golf at The Club at Indian Springs, coordinated a teaching day last fall at Cedar Ridge Elementary School in the Union Public Schools district. The day was attended by PGA South Central Section Executive Director Brian Davis, John Flores with SNAG, other section professionals and Rachel Lewelling, the PE instructor. The team set up all the SNAG stations and the hundreds of kids who went through during the course of the day seemed to have a wonderful time. Lewelling said they’ve been asking since when they will get another chance. “The response was amazing,” Boyd said. “Every kid had fun. The looks on their faces


Pro Johnathan Beaver works with a student. were priceless.” That led to a teaching summit when all

Special public event at Club at Indian Springs The Club at Indian Springs is doing its part to help the Snag A School effort by donating all proceeds from a new open-tothe-public event it is debuting this spring. Hole It On the River will take place May 30 at the Broken Arrow club. Anyone interested in playing the course as a potential future member or just supporting Director of Golf Michael Boyd’s efforts to bring SNAG to all of the elementary schools in the Union School District, can sign up at www.indianspringsclub.com, beginning in May. The course will be accepting tee times and charging the public just $25 for a full 18 holes plus cart on the River Course, site of numerous OGA, WOGA and high school championships. Tee times for foursomes will be taken from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. After 2 p.m., a Family Five event will 24 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

begin, in which families can play five holes with options to use oversize cups. The event will start with entertainment on the driving range including a trick shot artist, followed by a shotgun start for five holes and capped by pizza from Russo’s CoalFired Italian Kitchen. Cost for the family event is $10 per adult and $5 per child with a maximum cost of $25 per family. “The purpose of this event is to reach out to the community, to help grow the game and to showcase our club’s unique ability to meet the needs of the modern golfers,” Boyd said. “We’re partnering with the PGA South Central Section Foundation for a project which is near and dear to my heart, which is the SNAG in Schools program.”

Spencer Blackwell, marketing director at the club, said Indian Springs wants to show off the many improvements it has made in recent years under new ownership and leadership, but also just wants to be a good member of the local golf community. “We all realize we have to help grow the game, and I think our club with the two courses and the options for the 15-inch cups and other programs, is uniquely positioned to do that,” Blackwell said. Hole sponsorships are available for the event. Food trucks will be on hand and bracelets purchased for $20 will allow access to meals. Sponsor and food funds will also go the section foundation. For more information on playing or contributing, call the pro shop at 918-455-9515.

ONLINE: Get the latest news on Oklahoma golf at


schools in the Union district alone. One SNAG set could easily be shared by five schools or so if they rotated their golf sessions. Cost of a full set is close to $3,000. Union would need at least four sets to make sure golf was taught to every kid in the district. Two PGA sections – New Jersey and the Midwest Section, which includes northern Kansas, Missouri and a small part of Illinois – have been working successMichael Boyd teaches Tia Wages the grip and swing. fully on getting SNAG in schools. Flores said New Jersey estimates the elementary PE teachers in the Union district gathered at the UMAC indoor arena it has exposed more than 200,000 children to golf and the Midwest Section more than for a training session with Boyd, Flores, 175,000 youngsters. Davis and other section pros. The teachers “Reaching those kids at school is the all picked up the rudiments quickly and said biggest potential for getting new golfers,” they felt they could easily add a SNAG sesFlores said. “They get exposure to the game, sion to the curriculum. see how much fun it is. Every section should Now the hard part. be embracing SNAG a School, which is our There are more than 20 elementary

discount program for getting the equipment into the schools.” At this point, the section foundation has more requests for SNAG units than it can fulfill. It ran a fundraiser at Gaillardia last fall that helped put SNAG in five Oklahoma City-area YMCAs and the classes, taught by students at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Professional Golf Management program, have proven hugely popular. The Oklahoma Golf Association has a great program for helping the courses purchase their own SNAG units for growing the game at the golf course and has awarded 15 sets to courses already. But getting golf taught to all Oklahoma elementary kids would require a lot more teaching and volunteering by professionals and some interested persons or company to write a sizeable check. “The ultimate goal is to get these elementary school kids to a golf course,” Davis said. “There’s a huge gap around the age of 7 of the kids playing golf versus other sports.” The Section program for now will lean on the individual professionals in various

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Chip shots towns to request help from the foundation in purchasing SNAG and on their guidance in the best location for the set, whether that is a school, YMCA or other youth venue. “Our way of thinking is to let the professionals do what works in their community,” Davis said. Boyd will be looking to raise funds to help Union purchase sets and the wealthier school districts may be able to contribute as well. With schools looking for fun and safe indoor activities, it is up to the PGA, OGA and other stewards of the game to be looking toward creating future golfers for the long-term sustainability of golf and their organizations. The section raises some money for its foundation through the sales of its PGA Golf Pass (www.scspgagolfpass.com) but also is actively seeking individual and corporate donations. “A car dealer, a business, an individual who has an interest in the future of the game, we will talk with anyone,” Davis said.

PGA Junior Golf League growing The PGA Junior Golf League, in which

26 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

teams from a public or private course compete in a team format, is growing rapidly in the PGA South Central Section which includes Oklahoma, expanding from 12 teams in 2014 to close to 50 in 2015. The format has eight players on each side with four subs who can be put in after three holes. Davis said the team concept is a huge draw and so is playing “road games’ at places like Southern Hills or other exclusive clubs. The PGA of America purchased the league from its founders and is promoting it nationally. Go to www.pgajuniorleague.com for more information or to form a team at your course.

First Tee of Tulsa expands To better service some of its south and west Tulsa participants, The First Tee of Tulsa will open a satellite branch at Page Belcher Golf Course in west Tulsa in July. It will serve up to 50 children initially. Janice Gibson, executive director of The First Tee of Tulsa, said classes would be held on the patio and utilize the bowling green area and the driving range.

“We just want the ability to reach even more kids in the Tulsa area,” said Gibson, who already teaches Rachel Lewelling becomes close to a target while teaching PE 1,200 chilteachers how to use SNAG. dren annually at The First Tee of Tulsa’s north Tulsa clubhouse and course at Mohawk Park. The First Tee has also adopted 10 schools in which Gibson and staff go in and train elementary teachers on how to add golf to their curriculum and buy each school a set of SNAG (Start New At Golf) equipment. Several of those schools are close to Page Belcher. A registration date is not set yet for the satellite but for more information call 918-591-4168 or email Gibson at jgibson@ thefirstteetulsa.org.

2015 Golf Pass is BIGGER AND BETTER! Visit scspgagolfpass.com to order yours today!

Cameron begins work on golf center LAWTON – A groundbreaking ceremony was held in late March for a new golf center at Cameron University. Named the Terry Bell Golf Center, the center will boast indoor bays and video teaching technology for use by the Cameron men’s and women’s golf teams. The center is located on the athletic department’s driving range on the east side of Cameron House. The Terry K. Bell Charitable Trust donated $250,000 for the facility. “The idea for a golf center for Cameron athletes originated in the 1970s; however, funding issues always prevented it from being more than an idea,” said Cameron President John McArthur. “With this tremendous gift from the Terry K. Bell Charitable Trust, we can now bring that idea to fruition. The Terry Bell Golf Center will be instrumental in growing Cameron’s already successful men’s and women’s golf programs and will also serve as a fitting tribute to Terry Bell, who supported Cameron athletics throughout his lifetime.”

McArthur was joined at the ceremony by Mike Mayhall, Richard Allen and Janice Bell, trustees of the Terry K. Bell Charitable Trust, as well as Cameron golfer Alexis Thompson and men’s golf coach Jerry Hrnciar. The target completion date for the facility is January 2016. Mayhall shared Artist rendering of the new Terry Ball Golf Center that it was the Bell’s driving range and technology that will give desire to make a golfers the ability to scientifically analyze positive impact on Cameron University’s athletic programs. Bell established the trust golf swings and body movement. Most shortly before his death in 2012. The dona- importantly, the facility will be a place tion to the Cameron University Foundation for Aggie golfers to practice year-round. When completed, the center will be the for the golf center was the first gift granted only golf-specific complex in the Lone State by the trust. Conference and one of the few in NCAA The Terry Bell Golf Center will be an Division II. indoor facility with bays heading into the

www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 27

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At left, the spacious pro shop in the new clubhouse at Lincoln Park. Right, stairs lead to the terrace on the second floor.

New Lincoln Park clubhouse is "wonderful" While there was still some work ongoing outside at press time, the folks at Lincoln Park Golf Course in Oklahoma City were more than happy to have just moved into their new $9 million clubhouse, boasting more than 15,000 square feet on the main floor, an upstairs terrace and a cart barn

28 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

underneath. “It’s wonderful,” said Director of Golf Steve Carson. “It’s even better than we expected. The quality of the construction is just great. The finish work, the level of comfort for the staff and golfers alike. It’s just a very nice, upscale facility and much

nicer than anything we’ve ever had.” After being in a temporary building since June of 2013, Carson and his staff were more than glad when the move was made March 20. The new building includes a banquet room, snack bar, restrooms, pro shop and office space.

2015 Golf Pass is BIGGER AND BETTER! Visit scspgagolfpass.com to order yours today!

Summer golf camps abound Looking for a golf camp this summer? This list is not comprehensive – check with your public course for their offerings – but it has every camp we could find out about in the off season. An updated version will be on our website all summer at www. golfoklahoma.org. College Camps University of Oklahoma Sooner Golf Camps

June 8-12 Tiny Tees Camp, ages 6-9, 9 a.m. to noon Cost: $190 June 15-19 Junior Players Day Camp, ages 10-18, 9 .m. to 5 p.m. Lunch and snacks provided Cost: $600 June 15-19 Junior Players Overnight Camp, ages 10-18 Lodging, all meals and snacks provided Cost: $975

Cost: $1,100

About: OSU’s program is a true summer-camp style event. All golfers stay in dorms camp-style, and full-time counselors are always present to guarantee the safety of the campers.Students can choose to participate in both sessions for $2,200. Registration and information at CowboyGolfCamp.com. Oral Roberts University Golf Camp One day camps: June 9, 23, July 7, 14, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Two-day camps: June 16-17, June 30-July 1, July 21-22, July 28-29, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost: One-day camps, $79; Two-day camps, $135 Contact: www.oruathletics.com University of Tulsa Hurricane Golf Camps June 15-18 Intermediates, 19-and-under, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost: $750 June 23-25: Beginners Camp, ages 6-10, 9 a.m. to noon or noon to 3 p.m. Cost $225 About: Camps are co-ed and registration is online at TulsaHurricaneGolfCamp.com.

About: OU has three different camps, and their coed programs are open to young people ages 6-18. Details, including registration, are available at SoonerGolfCamp.com. Oklahoma State University Cowboy Golf Camp Session 1 Session 2 June 6-10 June 10-14

Cost: $1,100

Golf course summer camps Battle Creek Golf Club Summer Camp Week 1: Chip and Putt June 1-4 and June 15-18 Monday - Thursday 10:00-12:00 Week 2: Range and Course June 8-11 and June 22-25

Monday - Thursday 10:00-12:00 About: LPGA pro Amanda Fisher heads the program, which is designed for all skill level in ages 5-16 years. Fisher’s camps are broken up into two phases: chip and putt in week one, followed by range and course in week two. Beginners are absolutely welcome. Call the club for details about registration and pricing, 918-557-8762. Duncan Golf & Tennis Club Summer Camp Dates: June 8-12, July 27-31 Ages: 6-10 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., 11-18 10:30 a.m. to $11:30 a.m. Cost: $100 ages 6-10, $150 ages 11-18 Contact: 580-255-7706 GOLF, Inc. Junior Golf summer program Participating courses and contact numbers are: Lake Hefner (405) 843-1565 Earlywine (405) 691-1727 Lincoln (405) 424-1421 Trosper (405) 677-8874 Stewart (405) 424-4353 11 and under (student has to have finished third grade) 9:00 a.m. 12-13 years of age 10:00 a.m. 14-15 years of age 11:00 a.m. 16-17 years of age 12:00 p.m. Instructional clinics are an hour per age group. About: The Greater Oklahoma Links Federation (GOLF, Inc.) is a non-profit organization formed to promote amateur golf. It works closely with municipal courses. Sign-up is May 30, and the program runs on Mondays in June and July for play days and tournaments. Free instructional clinics will be offered June 1-4 at area courses.

See GOLF CAMPS page 55


FOR MORE INFO OR TO ENROLL YOUR CHILD, CALL 405-269-6293, VISIT OKSTATE.COM OR COWBOYGOLFCAMP.COM Cowboy Golf Camp is open to any and all entrants, limited only by number, age, grade level and/or gender.

www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 29

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Everyone can play! National tournament format in new Patriot Golf Championship Watson, Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar and many more. The cost to play is $21, same as The Patriot Golf Championship just exthe 21-gun salute paid fallen war panded its reach by basically the nation. heroes. All the pros will designate The former Patriot Cup pro-am featurone of their rounds in May as their ing PGA Tour and Champions Tour golfers along with military veterans will still Patriot round, but the round will be held as in the past on Memorial Day at not be revealed until a live broadThe Patriot Golf Club in Owasso. Leading cast on Fox Sports One from The Patriot on Memorial Day, tentativeup to the event will be The Patriot Golf Championship, in which golfers through- ly from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. CDT. Anyone whose score is better out the U.S., or anywhere, can log in to than their designated professional www.patriotgolfchampionship to join will receive a commemorative Pathe cause of the Folds of Honor. triot Golf Championship Bag Tag. Here’s how it works. From May 1 to This format provides an easy May 25, golfers can register their most recent net round on the website and choose way for golfers across the nation to make a donation to The Folds of which of several participating PGA Tour Honor, which provides educational golfers they want to compete against. scholarships to families of U.S. Already pledging to participate with servicemen killed or wounded in Patriot rounds are Rickie Fowler, Bubba by ken mac leod

Dan Rooney, David Fehrety and the Budweiser Clydesdales make for a great event.

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Chip shots the line of duty. It raises the profile of the event and the fund-raising possibilities exponentially. The new event was to be formally announced at a press conference on April 7 at The Masters. Drew Russell, a vice president of Intersport, which will help organize and promote the event nationally, said the hope is that it becomes one of the world’s largest golf tournaments. “It’s a huge opportunity for the Folds of Honor, as now every golfer can contribute in a significant way,” Russell said. “We will promote it through various publications and do a lot of social marketing on Facebook and Twitter and be communicating with golf courses all around the country.” For Oklahomans who wish to attend the May 25 event at The Patriot, tickets are $25 and will go on sale May 1 at area Quik Trip stores. Look for many of the pros who have supported the Patriot Cup in the past to be in attendance. Early commitments include Corey Pavin, Tom Lehman, Morgan Hoffmann, and Gary Woodland, as well as Larry The Cable Guy and Craig T. Nelson. Other participants will be announced throughout

32 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

April and May. Opening ceremonies will be on the range at 10 a.m. followed by a shotgun start at 10:30. The Budweiser Clydesdales will be in attendance and food and drink will be available on the course. The foundation and golf tournament

were the inspirations of Major Dan Rooney, retired fighter pilot and PGA professional. Get more information prior to the event at www.golfoklahoma.org where you can also subscribe for our timely newsletters which will detail all the participants as they are announced.

Big 12 Championship at Southern Hills by ken mac leod

The 2015 Big 12 Golf Championship will be held April 27-29 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, hosted by Oklahoma State University. The event is open to the public at no charge. The nine conference teams that compete in golf (West Virginia is starting a team) will play 36 holes the first day and 18 holes on days two and three. Texas is the defending champion, having won in 2014 at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas. Oklahoma State and Oklahoma will both have high hopes of unseating the Longhorns at Southern Hills. OSU has won nine titles since the Big 12 was formed in 1997 and previous to that won

36 of 39 Big Eight titles. OU won its only Big 12 title the last time the event was held at Southern Hills CC in 2006. Odds are that several Oklahomans will play a key role. Brendon Jelley of Jenks has been starting in several events for Max McGreevy OSU this spring, while OU starters include Max McGreevy of Edmond and Charlie Saxon of Tulsa.


M�e golf �an you can shake a 9-iron at. When it comes to championship public golf, there’s no better destination than Alabama, where we’re proud to claim three of America’s 50 Toughest Courses as selected by Golf Digest. For starters, there are the 468 holes along the world-renowned Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Stretching from the mountains in the north to the Gulf Coast in the south, these 26 courses will test your golfing skills as well as your intestinal fortitude. Then there are the many other impressive courses scattered across the state, designed by the likes of Arnold Palmer and Jerry Pate. Each with its own set of challenges, each with its own set of rewards. And each along an epic road trip to the state of Alabama.

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www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 33

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TopGolf plans June opening, Flying Tee to land in Tulsa by ken mac leod

FlyingTee, a $22-million, three-story golf and family entertainment complex, was announced this spring as the centerpiece of the Creek Nation’s remake of Riverwalk Crossing in Jenks, and as a complement to the planned Margaritaville Casino Resort at the nearby River Spirit Casino complex. Flying Tee is the brainchild of RW Restaurant Development, a subsidiary of Oklahoma City-based Origin, LLC. Managing Partner John Vollbrecht said his company will be announcing specifics about the technology to be used in the new venture’s golf games this spring. Unlike competitor TopGolf, FlyingTee will not utilize computer chips in golf balls, but will use scanning technology similar

to Track Man to analyze shots for a variety of games and contests. Edmond-based professional golfers Scott Verplank, Bob Tway and Gil John Vollbrecht, managing partner of RW Restaurant Development, Morgan are invesannounces plans for the FlyingTee entertainment complex in Jenks tors and advisers in downtown Tulsa. Once completed, projecthe project. Morgan tions are that it will employ 110-to-150 said that the technology in FlyingTee’s golf games will appeal to both the serious persons. Muscogee Creek Nation Principal golfer and those out for a night of family Chief George Tiger said the Creeks were fun. thrilled to announce the Flying Tee and The Flying Tee will be a 53,000-square that it would serve as the anchor tenant foot facility built on the site of the movie for Riverwalk Crossing when the Flyingtheater complex, which was demolished Tee opens in early 2016. The project is a recently. The range tower will eventually financial partnership between the Creeks face north on the Arkansas River towards

Book your 2015 event now!

South Lakes 9253 S. Elwood Jenks, America

918-746-3760 www.SouthLakesGolf.com 34 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

5501 S. Yale Ave., Tulsa, Okla.



2015 Golf Pass is BIGGER AND BETTER! Visit scspgagolfpass.com to order yours today! and RW Restaurant Development, which hopes to take the concept to other markets as well. Vollbrecht said the comparisons with TopGolf are obvious, but that his project is significantly different. “People see that it’s a three-story range and automatically think TopGolf, but in terms of the technology it’s going to be completely different. It will be similar in that it attracts non-traditional golfers. Golf is a struggling industry and a lot of people don’t have six hours or $100 to go play 18 holes. Anytime you can build something like this to make it more of an entertainment, that is a benefit.” The bottom floor of the entertainment complex will house a sports bar that Tiger said he hopes will become the venue of choice for Tulsans to go watch a game by their favorite team. The second floor will offer rotisserie dishes, craft cocktails, signature wines and local beers, with corporate meeting rooms and a rooftop bar on the top level.

Oklahoma City TopGolf facility hires Director of Operations Late June remains the projected opening

date for the TopGolf facility in Oklahoma City. TopGolf announced that Jonathan Buckley, a PGA Class A member who was previously the operations manager at TopGolf in Scottsdale, Ariz., has been hired as the director of operations in Oklahoma City. Buckley said that due to the nature of TopGolf, in which 65 to 70 percent of the participants would not classify themselves as regular golfers, the possibilities A new TopGolf facility will open in June in OKC. to convert a percentage of those opportunity for the game.” to golfers and to sell instruction Buckley said he will employ a director are boundless. of instruction and an assistant, both of Buckley previously worked at more trathem PGA of America members, who will ditional golf jobs in the Houston area and said coming to work every day at TopGolf interact with the TopGolf patrons, offering quick lessons, group lessons as well is enlightening. as more detailed instruction. Swings can “Every day you get to go to work and be captured on GoPro cameras and put on have a great time and it’s just fun,” he pads or phones using Ubersense, a video said. “It’s a different atmosphere. Just the analysis and sports coaching app. amount of people that it introduces the For more information on the Oklahoma game to who otherwise would never have played is great. To look down the tee lines City site, including early membership offers, go to http://topgolf.com/us/oklaand see all these people swinging a club homa-city who are really not golfers, it’s just a great

www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 35

estled in the heart of the Missouri Ozark Mountains, Big Cedar Lodge is the perfect place to stay and play. This 800-acre premier wilderness resort offers lodges, private cabins, a world-class spa, a 100-slip marina, and numerous unique dining venues. Located just minutes from Big Cedar Lodge are two extraordinary property extensions. Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge are both home to the PGA CHAMPIONS TOUR event, Bass Pro Shops Legends at Big Cedar. Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops, incorporated the captivating history and beauty of the Ozarks into the design of each of these properties. The Top of the Rock experience begins with a breath taking ride through a 2.5 mile nature trail and drive-thru cave. Once at the top, guests will be surrounded by spectacular views of Table Rock Lake, an Arnold Palmer

36 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

designed driving range, Tom Watson putting green, and Jack Nicklaus signature par-3 golf course. After a round of golf, guests can enjoy one of four magnificent dining venues for food and drinks with an Ozark’s flare. Buffalo Ridge, designed by Johnny Morris and Tom Fazio, is an 18-hole course that allows golfers to see the Ozarks through the eyes of early settlers. Native prairie grasses frame the course and American Bison roam the ridge above. After the completion of play on these pristine grounds, guests can relax in the charming comfort of the Buffalo Ridge Clubhouse.


www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 37

First Class announced for Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame Coe, Morgan, Holder, Maxwell, Dickson and Spiller to be honored by ken macleod


ix legendary figures in Oklahoma golf will comprise the first class in the newly formed Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame. Included are one of senior golf’s most successful competitors in Gil Morgan, alltime top amateurs in Charlie Coe, most decorated golf coaches in Mike Holder, a man with a brilliant career as an amateur, professional and golf administrator in Bob Dickson and one of the world’s most revered golf architects in Perry “Duke” Maxwell. The sixth member of the inaugural class is not a household name but should be, according to golf historians who know his true impact as a civil rights pioneer. Bill Spiller of Tishomingo, through his courage, tenacity and deep sense of justice, did more than any other man to end the Caucasian only status on the PGA Tour. The class will be inducted on Oct. 25 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Ticket information will be available closer to the event at www.oklahomagolfhof.org. A fundraising golf tournament for the new Hall of Fame will be held June 3 at Oak Tree National in Edmond. “Our selection committee looked at dozens of viable candidates who have had a tremendous impact on golf both in Oklahoma and beyond,” said Everett Dobson, chairman of the Hall of Fame Board. “We will have no shortage of excellent candidates for years to come, but we felt these six epitomize the depth and variety of contributions that give Oklahoma such a proud golf heritage and will make this Hall of Fame one of the nation’s best.” 38 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

2015 Inductees Charlie Coe (1923-2001) Ardmore native Charles Robert “Charlie” Coe stands alongside Bobby Jones as one of the great amateur golfers in U.S. history. He won Charlie Coe the U.S. Amateur in 1949 and 1958 and was runner-up to Jack Nicklaus in a historic battle in 1959. Coe, a three-time Big Seven Conference champion at Oklahoma, also won the 1950 Western Amateur, was runnerup in the 1951 British Amateur to Dick Chapman, won the Trans-Mississippi Championship four times and played on six Walker Cup teams. He was a playing captain in 1959 and non-playing captain in 1957. Coe made 19 appearances in The Masters at Augusta National and holds numerous amateur records including most cuts made (15), top-24 finishes (9), top-10 finishes (3), eagles (6), rounds played (67) and most times low amateur (6). In 1961, he rallied from six shots down in the final round to finish one shot behind Gary Player. The 1964 winner of the Bob Jones Award for distinguished service given by the USGA, he graced the cover of Sports Illustrated on Sept. 14, 1959. He remained an amateur his entire life while running a successful oil business in Oklahoma City.

Bob Dickson McAlester native Robert B. Dickson won both the U.S. Amateur and British Amateur in 1967, the first man to do so since Lawson Little in 1934 and 1935. The U.S. Amateur triumph Bob Dickson was particularly satisfying, as in 1965 he had suffered a four-shot penalty for having a 15th club in his bag during a one-shot loss to Bob Murphy at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. Dickson learned the game from his father Ben Dickson, the professional, greenskeeper and manager of McAlester Country Club. By high school, Bob was good enough to win the Class 2A state championship three times for Muskogee High School. A two-time All-American at Oklahoma State in 1965 and 1966, he also won the Oklahoma State Amateur in 1965 and 1966 and the Oklahoma Open in 1966 and 1971. Dickson began a 10-year career on the PGA Tour in 1968, winning twice before being hired by the PGA as Director of Marketing for the Tournament Players Club in 1979. He was also a rules official on the Senior PGA Tour before resuming his playing career on the senior circuit at age 50 in 1994. He won the 1998 Cadillac NFL Golf Classic in a playoff with Jim Colbert and Larry Nelson. Dickson was a member of the 1967 Walker Cup team and won the Bob Jones Award for distinguished sportsmanship in 1968.



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www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 39

OKLAHOMA GOLF HALL OF FAME Mike Holder The current Oklahoma State athletic director, Mike Holder set a standard that will likely never be challenged during his 32 seasons as head coach of the Cowboy golf team. Mike Holder Taking over for Labron Harris Sr. in 1973, Holder coached the Cowboys to eight national titles and 24 conference championships. He coached 101 All-America selections, 20 conference individual medalists and five individual national champions. Every Holder squad made it to the NCAA Championship and made the cut. Though born in Odessa, Texas, Holder attended high school in Ardmore, where he lettered in golf for three years and was conference medalist in 1966. He won the Oklahoma Amateur Championship in 1968 and during his career at OSU he was the Big Eight Conference medalist in 1970, third-team All-America in 1969 and 1970 and honorable mention All-America in 1968. In addition to his brilliant coaching, Holder proved to be a masterful fundraiser and single-handedly led the effort to raise funds for and build Karsten Creek Golf Course, a highly-ranked Tom Fazio design that serves as the home base for the men’s and women’s golf teams.

Perry Maxwell (1879-1952) The genius of Perry “Duke” Maxwell was his ability to divine the natural ebb and flow of any particular site and, using primitive earth-moving equipPerry Maxwell ment, let his course routings take every advantage of what Mother Nature provided. Without Maxwell’s handiwork, Oklahoma would be bereft of many of its greatest golf course treasures, including Southern Hills, consistently ranked among the top25 courses in the United States, and site of three U.S. Opens and four PGA Championships. The pleasure of playing Maxwell’s designs is not limited to the pros and 40 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

Southern Hills members. From his earliest work at Dornick Hills in Ardmore to such great courses as Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, Twin Hills CC in Oklahoma City, Hillcrest CC in Bartlesville, Oakwood CC in Enid, Muskogee CC, Oak Hills CC in Ada, Ponca City CC and many public courses as well, the former Ardmore banker left an indelible legacy on our state. He is immensely respected elsewhere as well. Two of his greatest works, Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, Kansas, with nine holes added later by his son Press Maxwell, and Crystal Downs, along the shores of Lake Michigan, a collaboration with famed Scottish architect Alister McKenzie, are consistently ranked even higher than Southern Hills.

Gil Morgan Gil Morgan could be in the Hall of Fame of humble. It’s hard to imagine a nicer, more unassuming superstar than the Doctor of Optometry from Wewoka via East Central State ColGil Morgan lege. The long-time member and resident of Oak Tree National, Morgan has enjoyed one of the most incredible “second chance” careers of all time. A seven-time winner and consistent performer on the PGA Tour from 1977-90, Morgan’s consistent ball striking and unflappable demeanor proved a magical elixir when he moved to the Champions Tour. Morgan has won 25 Champions Tour events, more than any golfers except Hale Irwin and Lee Trevino. He won three senior majors and pocketed more than $20 million. In his first two full seasons on the Champions Tour (1997 and 1998), Morgan won 12 events and had 23 top-three and 37 top-10 finishes in 50 starts. He continued to win at least one event annually through 2007. Among his 40 professional wins, Morgan twice won the Oklahoma Open.

Bill Spiller (1913-1988) Tishomingo native Bill Spiller fought valiantly for equal access on the PGA Tour for African-American golfers and, though he never really got to enjoy the fruits of his victory, his efforts were crucial in paving the way for Charlie Sifford and others to finally integrate the tour.

“Bill Spiller is a hero, but unappreciated,” said national golf writer Al Barkow, who wrote the definitive story on Spiller’s integration efforts for Golf World in 2008. “Charlie Sifford gets a lot of the credit for breaking the racial barrier, but Bill Spiller paved the way.” Spiller moved to Tulsa at age 9 and experienced the sting of racism firsthand at his father’s store. He eventually moved to Los Angeles and took up golf around age 30. He started competing and winning blacks-only amateur Bill Spiller golf tournaments during the 1940s. After being denied entry in the 1948 Richmond (California) Open by the PGA of America, Spiller spent many years challenging the segregation policy of the PGA of America and its Caucasian-only policies. Spiller sued. In 1952, the sponsors of the new San Diego Open invited Spiller, unaware of the “Caucasians only” clause. This time he was assisted by fellow invitee and former heavyweight champion Joe Louis. Both men were excluded by Horton Smith, president of the PGA of America. Louis took his story to popular newspaper columnist Walter Winchell. The story quickly gained national attention and again, Spiller threatened to sue. Once again, Smith promised to change the rules. This time the PGA of America announced blacks could play, if invited. Some sponsors began inviting blacks, however the segregation clause remained. In 1960, Spiller’s cause came to the attention of California attorney general (and future California Supreme Court justice) Stanley Mosk, who told the PGA of America it would not be allowed to use public courses. At the time, most tournaments were held on public courses. When the PGA of America replied that it would restrict itself to private courses, Mosk promised to stop that as well. Furthermore, he began contacting state attorneys general around the country. Spiller finally won his cause in 1961, but he was well past his prime by then. Every African American who has played on the Tour since owes Spiller a debt of gratitude.



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Golf Club | River Club | Social Club | Spa & Athletic Club | Tennis & Swim Club | Rod & Gun Club | Equestrian Club www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 41

Janzen eager for turn Will join Nicklaus, Watson, Trevino and more at Legends

Tom Watson lets the sand fly at Top of the Rock. by kary booher

BRANSON, Mo. – To Lee Janzen, winner of two U.S. Opens and who was name-dropped in the movie “Tin Cup,” the upcoming Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf is perfect.

42 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

However, that’s not simply because it’s a par-3 course, suitable for his game. No, think playing partners. “You have extra bragging rights,” Janzen said. “Guys will talk more trash with a playing partner. It’s more fun.” Indeed, the second annual Legends of

Lee Trevino set for return.

Golf at Big Cedar Lodge could be yet another smash hit in the Missouri Ozarks, both for the golfers and fans. Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson and many other greats are expected to return, with Janzen among the new faces. Golfers who have combined

what excites all of us.” to win at least 65 major championships, The Big Cedar Legends of Golf, as including 17 Masters titles, are expected. expected, only raised the bar. On No. 9, The event is set for April 24-25 both for instance, competitors will find at the picturesque, par-3 Top of 200 blue spruce trees lining the the Rock, designed by Nicklaus, left fairway. overlooking Table Rock Lake; It certainly piques the interest and the nearby 18-hole Buffalo of Janzen, who won U.S. Open in Ridge Golf Course, designed by 1993 and 1998. He’s never been Tom Fazio. a big swinger as many of the The storyline a year ago cenyounger, modern-day golfers. tered on the tournament’s quick Janzen recently won his first turnaround. Bass Pro Shops Champions Tour event, the ACE founder Johnny Morris had Group Classic, his first individual rescued the tournament after Lee Janzen tournament victory in more than its original sponsor, Liberty Mutual, stepped aside, leaving organizers 16 years and 413 starts. His last win? The 1998 U.S. Open when be held off Payne maybe five months to prepare. Stewart five years after doing the same. This year, preparations are on a stillJanzen also played at Buffalo Ridge tight, 10-month deadline, and greats such more than 10 years ago – it was Branson as Andy North – who will partner with Creek then – when he dropped off his son Watson, as he did a year ago – wonders at a nearby church camp. what’s in store. A two-time U.S. Open Janzen, 50, will partner with Rocco champion himself, North can’t wait. Mediate. “It must have been (No.) 16 or 17, and “We bring out the best in each other,” there was a lake in front of it and hillJanzen said. “I haven’t thought if it would side behind it. The hillside was all dirt,” North recalled of his practice round. “The be an advantage or not. But I have had some success on par-3s.” next day there was all sod and trees. I North, 65, began fine-tuning in early was like, ‘What hole are we on?’ That’s March. He concurs with Janzen in the what makes it a fantastic event. That’s

sense that the Legends of Golf isn’t an afterthought for all the participants. “People say, ‘Your expectations can’t be very high.’ Baloney,” North said. “The reason guys get to that stage is because, within everybody, is that thirst to compete. I don’t think that goes away.”

Fan experiences A competitive spirit also defines Morris and the Legends of Golf organizers. Fans can expect: • Ticket prices to remain unchanged. A Gold Combo ticket for both Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge is $100 each. A weekend pass is $225 but there is limited availability. Special pricing for military and free youth admission also are available. Buffalo Ridge tickets are $35 each for the first two days, or $10 less if purchased before April 2. Final round is limited availability. • Parking improvements: There will be no shuttles this year between golf courses, a major improvement. At Buffalo Ridge, new parking will be right off No. 1. For Top of the Rock, a new 25-acre lot about 100 yards past the Highway 86

See LEGENDS page 45

www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 43


UCO prof Neil Metz Paper calculates choking Anyone who has been watching the PGA Tour this year knows that third-round leaders have usually failed to win. Neil Metz Choke city? It’s intuitive that the pressure mounts as the thought of a $1-million payday nears, but how much of a role does the money play versus the prestige of an event, the putting skills of the contestant involved, how much money he has already won and a host of other factors? Neil Metz, an assistant professor of economics in the College of Business at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, recently co-authored an awardwinning research paper titled, “The Impact of Pressure on Performance: Evidence From the PGA Tour. “ The study utilized a huge database of PGA Tour statistics to analyze the choking factor in golf. Johnny Miller should keep a copy at hand. Metz, a graduate of Casady High School in Oklahoma City, is a skilled golfer himself, winner of the 2012 club championship at The Greens Country Club, and a huge fan of the sport. He and co-author Daniel Hickman were named the winners of the 2014 ShotLink® Intelligence Prize, a competition developed jointly by the PGA TOUR® and official technology partner CDW that challenges academics to find the best new application of ShotLink statistics. They presented their winning research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference (SSAC) on Feb. 27. Anyone wishing to read the study can do so here:

http://www.pgatour.com/ content/dam/pgatour/docs/ pdf/2015/02/23/Final.pdf What led to the study? We learned that the PGA Tour had the data program and there was another economist who had written a great paper about loss aversion. You know how you make more putts for par than birdie from the same distance. They talk about that as loss aversion. Having read that paper and knowing about the data program, the idea came from watching golf and always hearing the commentators say on the 18th hole, “Well that putt just cost so and so a lot of money.” I thought maybe this is something we can try to put a dollar amount on and figure out. What conclusions were you able to draw after factoring in all the variables? The striking thing is how pros tend to underperform on putts in the 5-to-10-foot range on the final hole. These are putts that you feel they should make but still are quite difficult, even for a pro. There is about a 50-50 chance of a pro making an 8-footer under normal circumstances. What we found was for every $25,000 that is added to the putt, you se a roughly 2 percent drop in the percentage of putts being made from 5-to-10 feet. Of course, there are a lot of observations and variables. People make a lot more putts that have a $1,000 value compared to no value than they do of a putt for $200,000 from the same distance. So did you figure out who the best clutch putters are with the money on the line? No, but that is something

44 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

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Branson golf to feature Crenshaw-Coore design The rest of the nation and most of the world may be in a recession when it comes to golf course building, but it is boom times in Branson. Thanks to the vision, enthusiasm and resources of Bass Pro owner Johnny Morris, the announcement of a new course designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore was made at Media Day for the upcoming Bass Pro Legends of Golf event. The press conference was held on the site of the former Murder Rock course, the back nine of which is part of the land being used for what will be Buffalo Ridge. The new course will eventually work its way into the rotation of the tournament, which currently uses the Buffalo Meadows Course and Top of the Rock. One look around from the panoramic Ozark hill shows just how active Morris is. Below renovation on several holes is hurrying to a conclusion on the Buffalo Meadows Course (formerly Branson Creek) in time for this year’s event. On one side of the clubhouse work has begun on a new nine-hole family friendly course designed by Gary Player. The property for the Crenshaw-Coore course consists of what used to be the back nine of Murder Rock as well as pristine ridges and valleys purchased by Morris that were not part of the previous course. Left unsaid is that Morris has plenty of land left over for another course and the whispers have already begun.

Without getting too far ahead, when the new Buffalo Ridge course opens likely in 2017, Morris will have at least four courses, including the incredible nine-hole Top of the Rock, and the future Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw to design Branson course. of Branson as a world class golf gave Morris the answer he was looking for. destination will rest largely in his hands. “We can do it and it can be really, re“Quality has always paid off for us in the long run,” Morris told Golf Oklahoma. ally special,” Coore said. “Johnny had the greatest line. He said ‘I understand “I visited Ben and Bill’s courses at Bandon Trails, Pinehurst, Streamsong and they are the thinking about, do we need another course? But building another course would all of such excellence that they are doing be so much fun!’ well. Our hope is that these courses will “He has been so good. His passion for complement each other and create more this state and the land around here, we critical mass. “I got to go to Pinehurst last summer and wanted so badly to tell him yes. But we wanted to make absolutely sure. And the saw the No. 2 course that they reworked. They have nine courses there, and in visit- more we’re here, the more we walk the property, the more we think this is pretty ing with other people that own multiple courses, I think it will work. And part of it darn good.” Crenshaw and Coore have agreed on is not economics, part of it is passion. For the long term, it’s going to be enduring and routing of about 15 holes. Construction won’t begin until they have completed the very special and unique and it will pay off new Trinity Forest course in Dallas, which in the long run. will be the new site of the Byron Nelson “This area is so beautiful and half the Championship. Crenshaw and Coore, population of the U.S. lives within a day’s known for their unique use of a site’s natudrive of here. We’re in now, so we’ll see ral features, have designed 10 of the top how it goes.” 100 modern courses as rated by Golfweek Coore and Crenwshaw said they began Magazine, including No. 1 Sand Hills in talking with Morris more than two years Mullen, Neb. ago, and both cautioned him many times “The terrain has numerous hills and not to build unless he was sure the market sweeps,” Crenshaw said. “We envision a was there. Morris’ enthusiasm for the diversity of holes. We’ll have slopes going project won them over. this way, slopes going that way. Hopefully After the two walked the land with Morris for many days on several trips, they some very interesting holes.”

METZ continued from page 44

LEGENDS continued from page 43

we’re going to figure out in the future, who is clutch and who chokes more down the stretch. Everybody loves lists and that’s something I would be interested in knowing as well.

roundabout will allow fans to shuttle right across the highway. • A mobile app for androids and iPhones: It will provide course maps, pairings, live scoring and weather alerts. • A call-in line for live updates and Twitter handle: That number is 888-3474426, and Twitter is @bassprolegends. • An Ask Me Program, in which 25 trained information specialists will be moving throughout both golf courses and parking lots. They’ll wear caddie bibs with Bass Pro True Timber print and the Bass Pro Big Cedars logo. • Stunning upgrades at the museum. • Improvements on several holes. At Buffalo Ridge, No. 2 now includes a new cave and rock feature. No. 3 was completely redone. No. 4 has new tee boxes

by ken macleod

What kind of reaction have you received in addition to the ShotLink award? At the PGA Tour level, golf hasn’t been studied as much in terms of data analytics as a sport like basketball, where they break down every action an individual can take from any spot on the floor and see what results are obtained, whether he shoots, passes, drives, who he passes to, etc. This study helps bring a lot more awareness to some of the things we can do with the data the PGA Tour has that hasn’t been done but will be in the future.

and a water feature. No. 15 features new water features, too. “It’s a fair price for what you’re going to get to see on the golf course,” said Kirk Elmquist, tournament director. “The value you’re getting for the money – from visiting the facility and you get to see the Legends of Golf – we definitely want to make it special. We have to be sensitive to the pocketbook in the times we live in.” Weather a factor? Weather obviously could play a role, given uncertainty of late-April weather in the Ozarks. For instance, the Springfield area got a dusting of snow on May 3, 2013. This winter appeared about average before snowstorms carpeted the Ozarks through most of February. www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 45

by ken macleod


o how does a young, handsome PGA Tour golfer start this season with a victory and four other top-10 finishes, top the Fed-Ex Cup standings for months and do it as quietly as Oklahoman Robert Streb, the former hockey player who helped launch one of the all-time high school dynasties? Streb has always had a knack for quietly going about his business. Oklahoma Golf Association Executive Director Mark Felder, a huge Streb fan, said when he first met him as a junior playing in OGA events, he thought he had a great future as an accountant. The calm and studious exterior notwithstanding, one thing those close to Streb note is that there is a fire to excel burning inside. Streb is not just playing golf as a means to an end, he loves the game. Not the mechanics of the swing or the lifestyle. He loves to play golf. “He’s always enjoyed it, even when he was real little,” said his father David Streb, a civil engineer, New York native and former Virginia Tech golfer who imparted his love for his two favorite sports to his son. “Whether playing with my friends or his friends, hanging out on the chipping green and practicing, he always just really enjoyed the game.” “As a junior, he didn’t stand out that much except he had a real passion for the game and wanted to compete,” concurs Tim Norris, Streb’s Kansas State coach who offered him a scholarship after he led Edmond North to the first of what is now 10 consecutive high school state titles. He was not offered by Oklahoma State or Oklahoma. Norris saw a young man who played as much hockey as golf, using a 10-finger grip and no glove. Norris won the Greater Hartford Open and had 10 other top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour using the 10-finger grip and no glove. He had found a kindred spirit. Streb rewarded Norris by making the NCAA Tournament as a freshman and eventually becoming an honorable mention All-American. “Robert was quiet and reserved, not the kind of guy to try to pump up his teammates,” Norris said. “He just loved to play. If we had practice, he was there two hours early. If we didn’t have practice, it was all the more golf for him. He wasn’t overly concerned with mechanics or video. He didn’t spend a lot of time on the range. He wanted to play golf.” That passion for the game has helped fuel Streb’s steady rise to one of the PGA Tour’s bright young stars despite some exasperating detours. After several years on the mini-tours, including victories in the Oklahoma Open in 2009 and 2011, Streb earned status for the 2012 Web.Com Tour. In his one year on the developmental tour, Streb had 15 top-25 finishes in 24 events, including a victory in the Mylan Classic. Already he was 46 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

Photo by Bobby Haven

JUNIOR GOLF HIGHLIGHTS 1996 Edmond City Jr. Tournament first place (age 9) 1997 OGA State Championship first place (age 10) 1998 OGA State Championship first place (age 11) 1997-2003 PGA South Central Section multiple wins 2002-2005 ENHS Golf Team - played in every tournament 2003 Oklahoma Jr. Golf Tour Championship first place 2003 Future Collegians World Tour, Norman, second place 2004 ENHS 7 top 5 finishes including 3 wins 2004 All Edmond High School Player of the Year 2004 American Jr. Golf Assoc (AJGA), Edmond, first place 2004 US Junior Amateur, Olympic Club, made match play 2004 AJGA Junior All American 2005 ENHS 12 top 5 finishes (all events) including 5 wins 2005 All Edmond High School Player of the Year 2005 All Oklahoma City High School Player of the Year 2005 All State High School Tournament T1 2005 Jim Thorpe Award High School Player of the Year showing the ability to raise his game to the level of his competition. In 2013, his first full season on the PGA Tour, he needed one more birdie in the final round of the Wyndham Championship to finish in the top 125 and be fully exempt for the 2014 season. Nothing would fall. His final birdie attempt, from 10 feet on the 18th hole, stayed quarter-inch on the top side of the hole. Instead of keeping his card, it was back to conditional status along with everyone else who finished outside the top 125. “That was pretty deflating,” Streb said. “I had been going hard and was kind of tired and didn’t hit it well (he finished 37th at 3-under). But the time off ended up being a good thing. I was able to take a look at my stats, figure out what I was doing well and what I wasn’t, and figure out how to score better.” Streb came back in 2014 with the limited opportunities facing those not fully exempt. A tie for second at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans in April moved him off the bubble. He played solidly from there, missing just three cuts the rest of the season. Yet again there was a cruel end. In the Fed-Ex Cup playoffs, Streb fired a final-round 68 to finish the Deutsche Bank Championship in a tie for ninth, which he expected would move him into the top 70 and the third round of the playoffs. So sure were the PGA Tour officials that Streb would be moving on that his post round interview consisted of nothing but congratulations. A sample: Q. First time ever in the FedExCup playoffs for you. And now you’ve advanced to the BMW Championship, the third leg here. What does that give you as far as confidence as you move on? ROBERT STREB: It’s pretty exciting. I have no idea how well I have to play next week to go any farther. It’s nice. I missed the cut the first week. I was kind of sweating it out to see if I played this week. And things worked out pretty well for me. Q. You came here as I mentioned 97th, did you have the flight booked to Denver, were you preparing to go there? ROBERT STREB: Yeah, but it was on Southwest. I can use it as a credit later. Alas, a flurry of late birdies by other contestants bumped Streb to 71st and out of the playoffs. He learned it as he was driving to the airport. www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 47

Maggie runs to congratulate Robert on his first career PGA Tour victory.

Photo by Bobby Haven

did not match his early-season form. Yet it’s a long season and career ahead and as he’s proven many times, setbacks are temporary. “Robert doesn’t let anything derail him,” Norris said. “A bad round, a bad break, nothing really knocks him off the track. Look at his first Tour win (at the McGladrey Classic in October). His ball got lost in a bush on the first hole and he made double bogey. That’s just typical Robert.” Streb’s start to 2015 raised the ceiling on what is possible for the Chickasha native who got his start by tagging along with his father to the driving range at Willow Creek Country Club. Any time not spent on the course was spent skating. Streb’s junior hockey team boasted future OU and NFL quarterback Sam Bradford, while a year behind him was Matt Donovan, who became the first native Oklahoman to earn a start in the NHL when he made the New York Islanders roster in 2012. The Streb family moved to Edmond when Robert was 6 and he soon became immersed in the highly-regarded junior program at Oak Tree Country Club while playing competitively in the PGA South Central Section junior circuit run by Walter Hopper. Streb went to Edmond North along with other talented players, but the Huskies couldn’t break through against then powerhouse Jenks until his senior year, when he was joined by a hugely talented sophomore, Kevin Tway. The Huskies won the state Focused and determined from an early age. Did he let that bother his start to the wraparound 2014-15 season? Obviously not. After finishing tied for 10th at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Streb returned to Kansas City where he and wife Maggie, whom he met at Kansas State, have settled to be close to her family while he is on the tour. He was there for the birth of his first child, daughter Catherine Joye. In the whirlwind of early parenting days that followed that joyous event, Streb’s play

48 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

championship that year and haven’t lost since, a streak that now covers 10 years. The elder Streb gives much credit to long-time PGA professional Bob Tway, who was around the program quite a bit to watch Kevin, with helping Robert realize his potential. “Bob was very kind to Robert and was able to share some stuff with him that most people don’t have an opportunity to learn,” David Streb said. Norris, who retired from coaching in 2013 and now works in the athletic office, believed in Streb from the outset. “His swing doesn’t jump out at you, but he believed in his swing. Length was not a problem,” Norris said. “Skipping ahead to now, he still believes in his swing and now he owns his swing. He uses the 10-finger grip and no golf glove, which I can relate to because that’s exactly how I played.” Streb was upset by Colton Staggs in the Robert Streb has twice won the Oklahoma Open.

championship match of the 2009 Oklahoma Golf Association State Amateur, but turned around and won the Oklahoma Open, his first professional event, two months later. As mentioned, Streb impressed Felder from the outset. “He has always been so mature, so respectful and so far beyond his years,” Felder said. “Besides being a great golfer, he’s a great young man. When we first met him, his game wasn’t anything special, he was just solid and smart in everything he did. But his game continued to elevate and now he is playing and beating the best players in the world.” “I think Robert’s consistency and calm demeanor has really helped him at this professional level,” David Streb said. “But also his wife has just been a great influence on him. She’s just one of the nicest, most positive people you could ever meet. When he walks off the course, he’s able to leave the round out there.” Even on the course, Streb is able to focus on the task without getting consumed. His father said during the times he has caddied, including some PGA Tour events, Robert is likely to be discussing hockey scores or the latest on the Oklahoma City Thunder rather than stressing on the next shot.

Streb, front row third from right, and his hockey mates. Streb is also still a fan of golfers he grew up admiring. He has a circle of friends including Luke Guthrie and Nick Thompson, but admits to being somewhat awed the first time he played with Tiger Woods (Honda Classic, 2013) or Bubba Watson. “It’s pretty entertaining to watch Bubba hit it,” Streb said. “Playing with Tiger at the Honda was pretty cool. He wasn’t playing his best, but he still had several shots that I can’t hit. “I still feel like there are a lot of guys have a lot more talent than me. I was playing

with Jimmy Walker in Hawaii and he was just hitting everything long and straight and making a bunch of putts. I just have to remind myself to stick to what you do and not worry about what others are doing. “I’d just like to keep improving. I’d like to be playing out here a long time.” If Streb continues his career trajectory, the under-the-radar part will be out the window soon. It may be that handling fame and fortune will be his next challenge. No one seems more grounded or better equipped for that eventuality.

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www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 49

Hays: Streb makes job easy by ken macleod

Happy Gilmore made a nice transition from hockey to golf champion and Robert Streb has done the same. Don’t look for the studious Streb to be duking it out with Bob Barker anytime soon, but the controlled aggession and coordination that helped him have an outstanding junior hockey career have translated well to golf. Tosh Hays, a teaching professional based at Coffee Creek in Edmond and also the golf coach at Oklahoma Christian School, has worked with Streb since he was a sophomore at Edmond North. “Robert has always had fantastic hands and from an early age developed a swing he could repeat,” Hays said. “He is a real natural feel player and doesn’t want to get overly mechanical. Maybe that’s why we clicked so well. He doesn’t need a lot of help.” Hays said Streb came to him because he had taught Zac Reynolds, a talented golfer who had preceded Streb at Edmond North and went on to play at Oklahoma State. The 10-finger grip is one where, except for the thumb of the left hand, the fingers

Streb’s rise from promising junior player in Edmond to PGA Tour winner has made Hays proud, but not surprised. “I don’t know if I’ve worked with a comdo not overlap or interlock. A number of petitive player who loves to play as much successful players have utilized it on the as Robert does,” Hays said. “He just loves to PGA Tour and Hays never tried to get Streb play and loves to comto change to a more pete. He comes out to conventional grip. our high school practice “He was comfortable and plays a round with with it and I saw no reathe guys, then they go son to change and I’m have a chipping contest. glad we didn’t,” Hays I don’t know how many said. “He creates a lot of PGA Tour winners his power because he’s would spend that kind got such great hands. of time around a high There’s some uniqueschool team. ness to his swing but it “People think this has has changed very little. been a straight-up rise I have videos going back for him but he’s had to to high school and it overcome some adverlooks very similar.” sity. At each level, he Hays stays alert for has responded and his a few telltale signs that example is something I can knock Streb’s swing off a notch. “He fights Instructor Tosh Hays and star pupil. try to teach the kids on my team. what I call the curse “He’s a phenomenal young man and I’m of a good player, he drops it too far inside proud to be his instructor and honored to and moves the ball too much right to left be his friend,” Hays said. “I know it sounds at times,” Hays said. “Sometimes when he corny, but that’s absolutely the way I feel.” takes it back the clubface is a little hooded.”

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50 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

Renovations under way at former Cushing Country Club.

New name, new outlook for Cushing course by ken macleod

Renovation efforts are in full swing at Cushing Country Club, one of the state’s history-laden courses with nine holes designed by Perry Maxwell and nine added by PGA professional and former Oklahoma State golf coach Labron Harris. The club was recently purchased by David Hough, also owner of Hough Oilfield Service in Cushing. Hough hired Calumet Golf Group, a new golf management and services firm led by Peter Vitali, president of the PGA South Central Section, to oversee and coordinate restoration of both the course and crumbling clubhouse. The club will be the renamed the Buffalo Rock Golf & Gun Club to reflect the casual atmosphere as it transitions to a semi-private club that will also eventually include skeet shooting and archery. Hough hopes to capitalize on the large number of oil and gas industry workers who are often staying in the nation’s oil transport center but not there long enough to put down permanent roots. “We’ve got a lot of guys who would love to play golf or have a place to go to get a great steak, but they are not going to join a country club,” Hough said. “This will be a great place for them, as well as families and regional golfers. We want it to be welcoming for everyone.” Both the golf course and club house had fallen into disrepair and ill-conceived and temporary fixes limited by strapped budgets were not working. Vitali said seven greens are being regressed with Dominant bent grass and significant repairs and additions are underway for the aging irrigation system. Cracked cart paths are being fixed and chemical and fertilizer applications being made to address weed issues and turfgrass health. “The course has great bones,” Vitali said. “It’s got a lot of doglegs with majestic trees, a lot of topographical change and vistas where you can look out for miles. There’s only one fairway where homes are visible. It’s got some of the characteristics of an Oakwood (CC in Enid) or a Dornick Hills (CC in Ardmore, both designed by Maxwell). But it is in very bad shape.” The 13,000-square foot clubhouse is undergoing a massive renovation that will add vaulted ceilings, a new roof and all new kitchen fixtures. Hough hopes the restaurant becomes a focal point for the community. The course and clubhouse are currently closed but hope to reopen by Memorial Day. Course notes: The huge renovation of the Oaks Country Club in Tulsa should be completed this spring with the course reopening in mid May. Story to follow in June-July issue of Golf Oklahoma.


WWW.EHSRG.COM/UPPER-CRUS T www.golfoklahoma.org ••••••



Austin Eckroat

Tyson Reeder

Preston Crawford

Photos by Rip Stell

High school field overflowing with prospects by scott wright

KINGFISHER — Mason Overstreet wasn’t some sort of Tiger Woods-type toddler golf prodigy, but from the first time he swung a club, it was clear that his natural talent was pretty advanced for a 3-year-old. With a set of clubs his father, Todd Overstreet, had cut off for Mason’s older brother, Mason was lofting shots into the air with consistency while other preschoolers were still trying to figure out which hand they should use for writing. “He just picked up that set and started playing,” Todd said. “We lived in a trailer house then, and by the time he was 3- or 4-years old, he could hit it in the air the length of that trailer house. “I was just a weekend golfer, but once he started hitting the ball, he fell in love with it right away.” Now a junior at Kingfisher High School, Mason is one of the top junior golfers in the state, verbally committed to Arkansas and preparing for a season in which he hopes to compete for the Class 3A individual and team state championships. 52 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

His mid-iron game and distance off the tee Golf Tour’s primary stops are in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas, which are his most impressive qualities, but he’s meant a three- or four-hour drive for the a well-rounded player. Overstreets, so that Mason could compete However, it has taken more than the naturally gifted swing Mason was blessed against players of similar talent. “Those trips got old after a while,” Mawith to get him to this point. When Mason was six, his family moved son said. “I enjoyed them, spending time with my family and that kind of stuff. For to Laverne, a small community north of Woodward near the Oklahoma Panhandle. weekend tournaments, we would have It’s a high school of less than 150 students, to leave at 5 a.m. on Saturday and we wouldn’t get home until late Sunday night, and not very many golfers. so it was tough sometimes.” But the Overstreet family moved into a home near the local 9-hole golf course, which Mason essentially turned into his personal backyard. “I got hooked on golf early, but when we moved to Laverne is when it really started for me,” Mason said. “I was over there every chance I got. The course was pretty nice and I had it to myself a lot.” Once Mason became ready for junior events on the summer and fall circuit, weekends turned into family trips. For instance, the Oklahoma Junior Mason Overstreet

All those hours in the car were well worth it. Mason won the first OJGT event he ever participated in, the summer after his eighth-grade year, in the summer of 2012. He shot 71-75 to win the Battle for Broken Arrow. In 23 OJGT events, he has won seven times and never finished worse than 13th with a 69.8 stroke average over 48 rounds. Last year, he won five of the seven he entered, including the Red River Team Challenge against some top Texas players. At the Kickingbird Fall Challenge in Edmond, his rounds of 66-62 set the 36-hole OJGT record. The 62 matched Kickingbird’s course record. Last year, he also won the Oklahoma Golf Association Junior Stroke Play Championship, and has won the annual Texas/ Oklahoma Junior Championship the last two years. It was on those family trips for summer and fall competitions that Arkansas noticed Mason. He will be the second elite golfer the Razorbacks have plucked from Oklahoma in a five-year span, joining 2012 Edmond Memorial graduate Taylor Moore. It only took one trip to the Fayetteville

Holland back and better after removal of tumor significant surgery near the brain. “About a month after the EDMOND — As Sam surgery, just walking down Holland walked the the block was a struggle,” Holfairways of Duncan Golf land said. and Tennis Club in May Two years later, Holland is of 2013, he couldn’t have fully recovered. His golf game been more excited to watch returned, too. In fact, it has his Oklahoma Christian surpassed the levels he exSchool teammates competpected it to reach, even before ing in the Class 3A state he learned about the tumor. golf tournament. “I played basketball my At the same time, the sophomore year, and I’m not high school sophomore the biggest guy, so I realized knew he might never play Sam Holland basketball probably wasn’t my golf again. At the very least, he knew he probably wouldn’t return to the thing,” Holland said. “I had decided that I competitive level he was beginning to reach. wanted to try to be super-committed to golf, and after the surgery, I was really worried A month earlier, an MRI had revealed that I wouldn’t get back to where I was. a tennis ball-sized tumor near Holland’s “Now, I’ve gotten better than I ever brain stem. Severe headaches, neck pain thought I was going to be, even before I and dizziness that had bothered him for found out about it.” weeks were finally explained, and surgery to remove the mass was successful. But the See HOLLAND page 55 future is hard to predict following such a by scott wright

www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 53

campus for the Overstreets to know they had something good at Arkansas. “Arkansas has the best facilities in the country, I believe,” Todd said. “We visited OU and Texas Tech. I’ve been to Karsten Creek to see what OSU has. I don’t think you can beat what Arkansas has anywhere. And they were the first ones to come after Mason, so we built those relationships over the last two years. We’re all comfortable with the coaches, and Fayetteville is a great place.” Of course, Mason still has some work left to do on the high school stage as his junior season approaches. He won the Class 2A state championship by eight strokes as a freshman at Laverne, and nearly pulled off an impressive repeat last spring. He came in second to Hobart’s Brad Dalke, who is ranked No. 4 nationally among junior golfers on the AJGA Polo Golf Rankings. This year, Overstreet becomes an immediate favorite in 3A following the move to Kingfisher, where his father took a job as the high school principal. With Dalke no longer competing for Hobart, the 2A crown is up for grabs as well. Dalke moved to Edmond and is attending a small Christian school, where he

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has been able to accelerate his academic progress and graduate a year early. He was classified as a sophomore last year, but is on track to graduate in time to enroll at Oklahoma this fall. He will be focusing on national events this spring and summer in preparation for college golf. Dalke leads a strong in-state signing class by OU coach Ryan Hybl, who also brought in Norman North’s Thomas Johnson and Weatherford’s Quade Cummins. Cummins will try to win his second 4A title, and Johnson has finished either second or third at the 6A state tournament the last two years. Oklahoma State’s only in-state signee in the 2015 class is Edmond North’s Tyson Reeder. He and sophomore Austin Eckroat, who has verbally committed to OSU, will try to lead the Huskies to their 11th consecutive Class 6A team championship. Eckroat made a surprising run to win the individual title as a freshman last year as well. With players like Johnson, Tulsa signee Preston Crawford of Jenks and others, the 6A field should be incredibly competitive when the state tournament hits Karsten Creek in Stillwater on May 11-12. “Last year, I was an underdog coming in

Thomas Johnson as a freshman,” Eckroat said. “This year, I’ll be viewed more as a favorite, so it’ll be different. But we’re really focused on that 11th title. We graduated three really good players, and we want to keep the tradition going.”



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54 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

w w w. s w i n g f i t t u l s a . c o m


Holland, continued from 53 Holland had never considered college golf a possibility, but now, as one of OCS’ top players, he’s beginning to see that it could be in his future. Holland constantly points to the support he got from his family and friends over the past two years as the driving force to get him through the surgery and the recovery. “They were all there with me through the whole thing,” he said. “I knew God had me in his hands and I knew he would take care of me.” Tosh Hays, Holland’s coach at OCS, won’t be surprised by anything Holland accomplishes with the rest of his life, on the golf course or off it. “I’ve never seen anybody face those type of obstacles with that good of an attitude,” Hays said. “It was a miracle and he has been an unbelievable testimony to hundreds of people. Golf is the smallest part of the whole thing. He’s such a good kid, and when you meet him you can tell this guy is gonna be successful at something.”

Golf Camps, continued from 29 The Club at Indian Springs Summer Camps Dates: June 9-12, July 14-17 Ages: Three levels, Beginners 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.; Intermediate 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Advanced 9:30 a.m. to 11: a.m. Cost: Non-members $100 for beginners, $125 other levels Contact: 918-455-9515 Jim Young Golf Summer Camps Site: River Oaks Golf Club, Edmond Dates: June and July Ages, 5-7, 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., 8-12, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. About: PGA professional Jim Young and his staff will instruct golfers in ages 5-12 on basic techniques, Contact Jim Young for registration details and information, 405-6308183. Jimmie Austin University of Oklahoma Golf Camps Dates: June 8-10, June 22-24, July 13-15 and July 27-29 Ages: 5-9, 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.; 10-12, 10:30 a.m. to noon, 13-18, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Cost: $150 per student Contact: Sebastien Courtois, 405325-6716. More info at www.ougolfclub.com

golf program on Wednesdays during the summer at Ponca City Country Club. Ages are 5 years old and up. Contact Roethlisberger for program details, 580-762-4413. Shangri-La Golf Camp June 15-18, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. All ages welcome Cost: $250 for non members Information: 918-257-4204 South Lakes Golf Course Junior Golf summer program Lil’ Hooks June 17-Aug 5 (Wednesday mornings only), 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. or 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Ages: 5-11 Cost: $125 for all 8 classes Summer Camp (4 sessions available) Ages 5-17 Dates: June 15-16, 18-19; June 29-30 and July 2-3; July 20-23 and Aug. 3-7 Information: 918-746-3760 Jenks Junior Camps Session 1- June 1-3, 5 Grades: 3-6, 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. Session 2- June 8-11 Grades: K-2, 8 a.m. -10 a.m. Session 3- June 8-11 Grades: 7-12, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. About: For more details and to enroll online, visit: www.jenksps.org

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Dates: June 8-11, June 22-25, July 1316 and July 27-30 Times: 9 a.m. to Noon Open to boys and girls Information: 918-496-6200 For Girls: USGA/LPGA Clinics Dates: May 29, 30, 31, June 27, July 25, Aug. 22 Times: 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Information: 918-496-6200

When: June 3, 10, 17, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Ages 8-17 Cost: $60 About: PGA professional Dennis Bowman teaches the basics of golf, including grip, stance, posture, and how to swing the club Call (918) 8253056 for information and enrollment.

Lit’l Links Jr. Golf Camps Site: Lit’l Links Golf Course, Broken Arrow Dates: June through mid-July, 9 a.m. to noon Cost: $149 per week About: Sign-ups will begin in May. For more information, call Nick at (918) 481-3673. Ponca City Country Club Junior Golf Program PGA professional Eddie Roethlisberger will be conducting a junior

Nike Golf Camp at SilverHorn June 8-12 and July 6-10 Half Day Camp, Ages 7-13, 9 a.m. to noon Full Day Camp, ages 9-15, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. About: Call 1-800-NIKE-CAMP (6453226) for information and enrollment. Westwood Golf Westwood Park Golf Course in Norman offers free junior clinics on June 10 and 11 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. both days. Instruction will focus on putting and driving range. Call (405) 2929700 for more information.

www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 55


Rhein Gibson by murray evans

Best-known for his world-record 55 at River Oaks Golf Club in Oklahoma City in May 2012, Rhein Gibson is working his way up the professional golf ladder. Gibson, a 29-year-old native of Australia who attended Oklahoma Christian University, earned a spot in its Athletic Hall of Fame and now lives in Edmond. After making the cut at last year’s British Open and playing in a threesome with Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth at Royal Liverpool, Gibson finished fourth at Q School last December to earn a spot on this year’s Web.com Tour. Six of that tour’s first seven events are outside the U.S., in countries including Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Chile and Mexico. Gibson spoke with Golf Oklahoma both before and after that one early U.S. stop, the Chitimacha Louisiana Open in Broussard, La. He entered the tournament at No. 53 on the tour’s money list but then took a three-shot lead into the final nine holes before a couple of late bogeys derailed him and he finished tied for second, shooting all the way up to No. 13 on the money list. The top 25 finishers at season’s end will receive PGA Tour cards, along with the top 25 finishers from the Web. com Tour’s four season-ending playoff events.

ama, correct? Panama, then Bogota, Colombia. Then we had three weeks off, then we went back to Colombia, Brazil and Chile. We go back to Mexico in about four weeks and then we’re done with South America. You finished tied for sixth in Panama. Did playing well in the first tournament take a little pressure off during this long stretch away from home? We played those two events and then I came home for three weeks, and then this is my fourth week on the road. This has been a long stretch. But definitely, the first event kind of helped as far as putting me in a good position on the money list and taking a little bit of pressure off and also giving me the confidence to know that I belong out there.

I guess your passport is getIt had to be both gratifying ting a lot of stamps. and frustrating to come so close It already had a lot, but they’re definitely accumulating. in Louisiana? “Yeah, I had that one in the What are your initial thoughts palm of my hand. I had a couple of playing on the Tour? Is it of good opportunities late, but I just couldn’t get the putts to what you expected? fall. It would have been very I think so. I played well the nice to win. first event and have kind of struggled since, but it’s pretty You had a lead on Sunday on much what I expected. I had a Web.com event. Not bad for a played a few times already out rookie. on this tour, so I kind of knew I had a three-shot lead at the what to expect. turn. But I made bogeys at 13 You’ve played every tournament so far. You started in Pan- See GIBSON page 58 56 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org


Michael Hearne by ken mac leod

When you think of dominant collegiate golfers in Oklahoma, you automatically start to run down the lists of All-Americans at Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, not to mention the great players to come out of Tulsa, Oral Roberts, Oklahoma City, UCO, Oklahoma Christian and elsewhere. In 2014, Michael Hearne of unheralded Southern Nazarene University had a year to match some of the best performances in state history. He won six tournaments, was named a Division II All-American and was Player of the Year in the Great American Conference. Unfortunately, Hearne was unable to continue his run in the postseason, as SNU was transferring from NAIA to NCAA Division II status and ineligible for the national championship. Hearne is from Wales and came to Oklahoma sight unseen. Because he had been out of high school for two years working to help his ailing father, he was ineligible his first year. How did you wind up in Oklahoma at SNU? I was recruited by former SNU coach Steve Hulsey. I didn’t come on a visit, but came straight out, only to find that I was ineligible, which was a bit annoying.

Oklahomans are known for being unbothered by windy conditions and I imagine you fit right in there. I grew up playing links golf from the time I was six, so playing in the wind and rain is no bother. I think I have an advantage over most of the people we play. What Oklahoma courses have become your favorites? We got to play Oak Tree National recently and it was really good fun. Just a great place to test your skills. Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club and Twin Hills are two other great courses that we’ve been able to play.

Six tournament wins as a junior is an incredible accomplishment. What are you working on this year and what are your goals? Regionals are in Chicago at So Wales to central Okla- Cog Hill the week of graduation and hopefully we can homa, any culture shock? make it there as a team. IndiI got off the plane in the vidually I would like to make middle of August and it was it all the way to nationals and 110 degrees. That was a bit give it a run. My putting this of a shock. But the people year has not gone as well as welcomed me really warmly. it did my junior season, but I I’ve really had a great time think my ball striking is better with my teammates, coach and other people at the school. and more consistent. I’m not a long hitter by the Hopefully I can stay on after school and play professionally. standards over here, but I can I’d like to see if anyone wants get it out there. Accuracy definitely is a help. Right now I’m to take the opportunity to back me.

See HEARNE page 59

www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 57

GIBSON, continued from 56

How do you plan for all of this travel, logistically and financially? “Logistically, we’re pretty fortunate. and 14, where I had a ball stick in the lip of a bunker. I did have the lowest score out The tour takes pretty good care of us as far as shuttles and hotels. Obviously, we of the last three or four groups, but Kelly have to foot the bill, but a lot of the players (Kraft, who shot a final round of 6-under just travel together and room with each 65 while finishing an hour earlier) took advantage of the better conditions earlier in other just to help cut costs. But, yeah, all of the money comes out of my pocket. It’s the day. somewhat of a risk – more or less a gamble. How do you handle the costs of all this You’re just basically backing yourself to travel? You aren’t making PGA Tour money hope your game is good enough and make money at the end of the day.” and you have to pay for everything. “I’ve probably broken even with the What’s your opinion on playing so many money I’ve made this year, with what I’ve had to spent traveling and whatnot. It’s not events outside the U.S. this early in the season? the glamorous life the PGA Tour puts out “The first events are important. You kind there. We’re only playing for 10 percent of of set yourself up for the year. It’s just what the money they’re playing for each week. … I caught the redeye last night from Chile. the tour has had to do, I guess. I’m not 100 percent sure why, but I think they’re just A 10-hour flight, landed at Houston at 6 in exploring new markets. The economy in the morning and then drove three-and-aAmerica hasn’t been that great, so they’ve half hours over here to Lafayette and then straight to the course for some practice. It’s kind of had to look elsewhere, and South America has somewhat been a good fit, so definitely a full-time gig.” that’s where they’re shooting us off to.” It’s better than the alternative, though. Any push from the players to have more “Absolutely! Like I said, it’s the only way to get to the PGA Tour, so that’s why we’re events in the U.S.? “I don’t really know the politics of the all out here.”

whole deal. Five, six years ago, there used to be 33, 34 events, basically all in America. It would be nice to get back to those days, but I just don’t think the sponsorship dollars are out there right now. There’s only so much to go around and there’s so many sports. I don’t think a secondary tour to the PGA Tour is very attractive to some of these companies anymore. There are still a few Web.com Tour events in this part of the country. “You still have Wichita. You have Kansas City. You have Springfield, but we lost Fort Smith. We lost Omaha. We lost Midland this year. The Web.com Tour, they try to go to smaller markets, more community-based markets, just for a community kind of atmosphere, a community event. Some of these smaller towns are struggling. It’s sad, because some of these events were some of the longest that have been around on tour.” Your Q School finish helps eliminate some of that reshuffle pressure, correct? “I have 12 events guaranteed. That was from my top-10 finish at Q School. And then with the money I’ve made so far this year, I pretty much should be good for the

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rest of the year. I still have another seven events to make some more money, but I should be fine for the rest of the year. … I’m definitely in a better position than other guys. I know I have 12 events. Other guys may only have four. It gets pretty stressful for the guys who, say, miss a couple of cuts and then the pressure is on them. I’m pretty fortunate with my finish at Q School in regards to my playing opportunities for the year.” What does your schedule look like for the next few months? “I’ll go to Mexico. At this point, I’ll go straight from Mexico to China for an event, and then back to America for basically the rest of the Web schedule. I’m fully committed to the Web. That’s my priority, and then I still have my playing status in Asia and Australia, so I’ll pick and choose those events. But like I said, my main focus is the Web. The Volvo China Open is the week after Mexico. That’s a $3 million purse, so that’s a big event. That’s kind of why I’m going over there for that. I’ll try and play the big ones, the ones with the big purses, just to try to get ahead, because I’d like to keep my status on those tours as well.”

HEARNE, continued from 57 just working on my short game, trying to get it all to click.”

Last two events finished second by a shot. I really want to get that win in my senior year and would be just as happy if it came at nationals.

You played for your country last summer in the European Team Championship and the World Amateur Team Championship. What were those experiences like? We won the European Team Championship for Wales, which was really cool. Then we played in the World Amateur Team Championship and in the World Team Championship, where I got to meet Lee Westwood, Jamie Donaldson and Stephen Gallagher. It was great to test myself against players of that caliber. You haven’t won yet in your senior year?

Michael Hearne won six tournaments his junior year at SNU.


Mohawk Park gets a kick start, Advantage Card returns One of Oklahoma’s most historic public golf courses is also now one of its most versatile. Whether you swing with your arms or your legs, Mohawk Park has a game for you. Foot Golf, the exciting new golf/soccer combo game, has been set up on nine holes on the Pecan Valley course, the same nine used by the wildly popular First Tee of Tulsa program. Meanwhile, 27 other great holes of golf await all levels of golfers on the Woodbine Course and the second nine of Pecan Valley. Now with fully mature Champion Bermuda greens, Mohawk Park offers golfers a traditional golf experience on winding terrain lined by massive trees and interspersed with streams with no encroaching housing, only the wild animals you may hear calling from the nearby Tulsa Zoo. The best way to enjoy the courses at both Mohawk Park and the classic Olde Page and Stone Creek layouts at Page

Belcher on Tulsa’s west side is through Best value in town still valid the return of the popular Advantage Tulsa golfers, you can still order your Card program. players cards for 2014 and experience The card is $ 59 and just $ 39 for setremendous savings and a great weekly niors age 55 and above. With the card, value. For more information, call 918you’ll enjoy special rates on weekdays 446-1529 or go to www.tulsagolf.org. and weekends, as well as rewards points for each round leading to free green fees and other special offers. This offer includes a free round of golf with cart the day you sign up. Non seniors also receive a range card and special weekday pricing. The card is valid at Stone Creek For more complete details on the program or to have your and Olde Page at Page questions answered, check out the website at www.tulsagolf.org Belcher and Pecan Valley and Woodbine or call 918-446-1529 for Page Belcher or 918-425-6871 for Park at Mohawk Park. Mohawk Park. www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 59


Ease back into golf season

Sean Riley SwingFit

Ryan Smith SwingFit

It’s that time of year again when there’s warmer weather, growing greens, and a strong desire to get back on the golf course. Maybe you had a banner 2014 and hope to pick up where you left off. Or perhaps you are looking for a fresh start this year. Either way, it is important to make good decisions when getting back into the game after the winter. Follow these three rules and you will likely avoid injury, improve your score, and enjoy the game more this year. Schedule a Session With Your Golf Instructor This one is obvious, but so many of us go to the range or course first to see what the state of our game is. We start tinkering, trying something we learned on TV, or change equipment. In golf, as in business and life, it is always better to have a plan. Spend the money and have a session with your golf instructor. Discuss what your goals are for the coming year, review changes made to your swing last year, and let your pro take a look at you and your game. Your teacher will help you decide what steps you need to take for the upcoming year to improve your game. Often what you think you need, like a new driver, is often something completely different, like short-game lessons. And by all means, if you don’t have a golf instructor, get one. It is the best money you will ever spend to improve your game. Be Reasonable With Your Practice Your brain says you are 18. Your body



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says otherwise. The most common mistake we see with golfers (particularly men) is an aggressive return to golf schedule. Hitting 100 or more balls multiple days per week. Lots of time bent over the putter on the practice green. Playing multiple rounds and often walking since the weather is cooler. Let’s be real. You aren’t a teenager anymore. Your body likely doesn’t respond to activity like it used to. Winter months of working, sitting and relaxing lead to a body that needs some time to get acclimated to the golf swing. Ease your way back into the game. Limit your practice sessions to no more than three sessions of 45 minutes per week for the first several weeks. See how your body responds. Does your back get tight? Are your muscles sore? Do you feel tired after practicing? If so, don’t increase your golf schedule until your body gets into golf shape. Once you get back on the course, take it easy the first several rounds. Avoid a pressure-playing group, take an extra club, and ride if you have not been exercising. Double Your Warm-up Time We find most golfers do not take the time to prepare their body for golf. We step up on the practice range, putting green or first tee and start swinging. Sooner or later this is going to catch up with you in the form of injury. Golf is a sport that requires significant body control and coordination. It also puts a large amount of stress on your spine, shoulders, hips and knees. As a result, it is important that you prepare by warming up your body. We recommend during the season for players to spend at least five full minutes taking their body through several specific movements to prepare their neuromuscular system for the sport of golf. At the start of the season double this to 10 minutes for the first month. Your warm-up on the range should be dynamic, total body, golf specific, and range appropriate. At a minimum we recommend the following three drills from



Jason Glass at TPI to prepare your body for practice and playing: 1. Leg Swings - Linear and Sideways a. Stand on your right leg and place your driver in your left hand. Use the driver as a balance aid. b. From this position, engage your core and swing your left leg back and forth 10 times. c. Then swing your left leg side-to-side keeping your toes pointed to the sky 10 times. d. Switch your driver into your right hand and perform the same with your right leg. 2. Separation Swings a. Hold your driver out in front of you, parallel to the ground. Keep a light grip pressure. b. Stabilize your hips and turn your upper body side to side. You should feel a stretch through your abdomen while keeping your lower body still. c. Perform 10 times each direction. 3. Load and Fire a. This drill builds on separation swings and gets your body ready to fire through the ball. b. Turn to the right away from the ball by keeping your lower body stable and then fire your whole body through and finish on your left side. c. Make sure and perform 10 times both directions. This helps symmetry in your body. SwingFit specializes in golf specific fitness, performance, and training services for golfers of all ages. Founded by Titleist Performance Institute Certified Medical Professionals, Ryan Smith, PT and Sean Riley, DC, SwingFit gives players access to the same proprietary testing and training systems used by the best players in the world. The SwingFit system identifies the least amount of physical changes required in your body to produce the greatest results in your golf swing. The result is better practice with your swing coach and more enjoyment on the course. To schedule your SwingFit Golf Assessment and receive a comprehensive physical training program designed to unlock your full potential, contact SwingFit at (918) 743-3737 or visit us on the web at www.swingfittulsa.com.




Case study: Mercy Golf Academy gets results by bradley schultz

In the interest of showing Golf Oklahoma readers the benefits of the new Mercy Golf Academy in Oklahoma City, we took on the multiple physical and related swing issues of Golf Oklahoma COO A.G. Meyers, a former collegiate football player approaching 60 who has his share of nagging and lingering stiff and sore muscles and joints. Meyers, an avid and lifelong golfer and member at Oak Tree National, came to us suffering from back and shoulder pain. His goals were to play more frequently, enjoy his play without limitations, and improve his performance. History: Meyers reported his rounds were becoming less frequent and less enjoyable due to stiffness and soreness, especially at his low back and R gluteal region. This had been a on/off event for the past several years, generally aggravated during

Brad Schultz works on Meyers’ shoulder. play, especially on the back nine After a two-hour evaluation and assessment that included a mechanical and diagnostic screen, TPI assessment, golf swing analysis, and strengthening home program, A.G. had several joints considered restricted and/or weak that would limit a full and pain-free golf swing. Among these joints, the low back, hips, and torso rotation were all limited. In particular, the low back had a moderate loss of motion and remained stiff and sore during movement. As a physical therapist, I quickly classified the

low back pain, prompting him to perform prone press ups daily, and provided him leg/ core and back strengthening exercises. Of note, I also detected a L shoulder impingement that did not necessarily affect his golf swing, but in fact disturbed other Meyers’ back issues were resolved quickly with treatment. daily activities. This received on day one. A great asset for us at too was addressed with the golf academy is having the Mercy physpecific shoulder movements and stretches to resolve a chronic shoulder pain. He was sicians and physical therapists right there at the I-35 Mercy Wellness Center. These given a home program specifically for this services are available for those in need of shoulder dysfunction. formal consult and treatment if progressive Specific to the golf swing, basic fundapain and dysfunction limits the goals of the mentals are consistent with all golfers. To client. improve his performance, I wanted AG’s If you would like to see how the Mercy power to come from his legs, specifically Golf Academy can help you, call 405-757using ground reaction forces to generate club head speed and accuracy. On day 3390. one, before instruction, his average Bradley Schultz, PT, Cert. MDT club head speed with his driver was Mercy Golf Academy & Mercy Sports Per87.8 mph and ball speed was 130 mph. formance After instruction on sequencing, his average club head speed increased to 91.6 mph and ball speed of 135.4 mph. Translation, more power and more efficient ball striking. From this point, heavy attention over the next two visits was directed at leg strength, sequencing, and proper transfer of weight. “Athletic golf swing” was our theme. Over the three visits AG and I had, his back pain resolved quickly as I expected. His program was designed for him specifically, including back exercises, golf skills training (not swing instruction), balance and coordination, and general strength and conditioning. In fact, golf instruction is interlaced during the skills training portion. At the Mercy Sports Performance Center, which houses the Golf Academy, ample room, incredible environment, and one-on-one direction of skilled clinicians are the hallmark of Mercy’s success. His shoulder issue will generally take longer but should resolve with consistent, conservative care. This was address and re-emphasized with the home program he Whipping the swing back into shape. www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 61


Getting golf fit at any age Golfers young and old are tr ying to get in better shape this spring, a fact amply evident if you stop by the Tulsa Golf Fitness class at conducted by fitness guru Clint Howard at his Tulsa Fitness Systems gym near the JonesR iverside A irport in west Tulsa. Dozens of young golfers are runn ing, jumping, stretching and doing a variet y of drills and exercises designed to improve their strength, balance, f lexibilit y and overall fitness, all of which are beneficial in golf. Helping with the class of young golfers is professional Maggie Roller, who also teaches at nearby South lakes Golf Course in Jenks. Howard, a Titleist Performance Institute Level 3 fitness professional, holds a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and has been doing golf specific workouts for years. He works with PGA Tour professional Bo Van Pelt as well as the Ok lahoma State Un iversit y golf team and is the strength and condition ing coach for the Jenks High School boys and girls golf team. Many other notable collegiate and amateur golfers visit his fitness center for either class or individual golf-specific workouts. For more information, visit tulsafitnesssystems.com or call Howard at 918-296-7418.

Clint Howard runs a fast-paced active class for kids.

Kate Bollenbach takes a leap. In the back are Blake Bollenbach and Riley Beeler.

From left, Blake Bollenbach, Elliott Miller and Luke Nowlin pull hard. Kate Bollenbach, center and Jenni Roller work on balance. 62 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org


Hybrid chip shot comes in handy by jim young

We play a lot winter golf at River Oaks, especially when we get those 60 degree days in January and February. Unfortunately the dormant Bermuda grass in the winter can make chipping difficult. I’d like to suggest an alternative. When the ball is on the fairway cut of grass around the green, putt the ball with a hybrid or fairway wood. It gets the ball airborne just a little to run over the taller fairway grass and fringe and won’t get stuck as easily as the same shot hit with a putter. The sole of the club slides along the turf so there isn’t the danger of hitting it fat or thin as there would be chipping the ball. Grip down to the bottom of the grip, holding it as you would a putter. Stand close to the ball, getting the club more vertical. From there, just swing the club as you would your putter. To control your speed, imagine the fairway grass and fringe between you and the green is just putting green and you are making a swing as you would with your

putter from that distance. This will take away the urge to hit the shot extra hard and run it by the hole. Practice the shot a few times. You will find out it’s easy to do and pretty low stress. 10 in a row drill: To practice your short putting, find a relatively straight putt and measure off the length of your driver. Drop your car keys, cell phone or wallet next to the spot and tell yourself you won’t head home until you have made 10 in a row. It sounds simple enough, but you will find a little pressure comes into play at around the eighth putt. If you get to eight or nine in a row and miss, the anxiety mounts the next time around. This is a great drill for developing routine, alignment and confidence. If 10 in a row becomes too easy, raise the number. If a straight putt becomes too simple, put 10 golf balls in a circle around the hole at driver distance and try it from there. Posture check To get into good posture, imagine you are standing in front of a third floor window. Open the window and lean out so

Use a putting grip on hybrid chip shots. you can look straight down to the sidewalk. In order to do this without falling out the window, you’ll have to tilt from the hips and let your rear end move behind you to support your weight. Let your arms hang down from your shoulders and flex your knees slightly so your weight is over the middle of your feet, not on your heels or toes. Now bring your hands together, palms facing. You’ve just gotten into good posture that will help you swing and won’t hurt your back! Jim Young is a PGA Teaching Professional at River Oaks Country Club in Edmond.

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Taking a new look at Zoysia Durable turf, always lauded for its playability, is touted as game changer at GIS demonstration by steve habel

SAN ANTONIO – The never-ending battle faced by golf course operators, managers and superintendents to reduce course maintenance costs, maintain top-shelf playing conditions and use less water was at the forefront of many of the discussions during the Golf Industry Show on Feb. 23-26 in San Antonio. One of the most compelling and eagerly anticipated seminars/demonstrations was on the zoysia family of grasses as a game changer for golf and the way courses will be designed, renovated, maintained and managed in the future. The event was attended by 255 registered participants from 25 states and 20 countries, including those from both cold- (Scotland, Sweden, South Korea and Japan) and warm-weather (Israel, Bali, Jamaica, Thailand and Mexico) climates. The Team Zoysia demonstration was held in two locales: at Bladerunner Farms, a zoysiagrass research center 45 miles south of San Antonio, and at The Golf Club of Texas, one of the country’s largest renovation projects and the first golf course of its kind to boast Zoysia on every surface, including the putting surfaces. Zoysia has long been hailed as one of the most desired turf playing surfaces for golf because of the perfect lies the thick blades produce. But the grass has been mostly limited to use on fairways, roughs and tees. Now, as tested and improved fine-textured zoysiagrass varieties are released into the marketplace, the turf may be planted and successfully managed on golf course greens. A handful of top courses in Oklahoma use the turf on fairways and roughs, including The Patriot Golf Club in Owasso, Karsten Creek Golf Course in Stillwater and parts of Oak Tree Coun64 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

try Club in Edmond. Page Belcher Golf Course in Tulsa is the only municipal course in the state to boast zoysia fairways. Emerald Falls in Broken Arrow, currently closed for conversion to a resort, had zoysia fairways and roughs. Most courses in Oklahoma have some variety of Bermuda grass on fairways. Advantages to using Bermuda are it costs less to sprig or sod, it spreads more rapidly and therefore can heal itself quicker when damaged, and has similar drought and heat tolerance. Zoysia has proven to be more resistant to winter kill, stays green a bit longer in the fall, greens up quicker than Bermuda in the spring and provides a better dormant playing surface. What impact the new findings will have in Oklahoma is debatable. No new courses are currently under development in the state and changing out fairway surfaces remains cost prohibitive for most cash-strapped facilities. One of the few courses that could afford to convert if it so desired is Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. Superintendent K.D. Davis, whose previous job was at Cordillera Ranch near San Antonio, a highly-regarded course with zoysia fairways and rough, said today’s zoysia grasses provide a superior playing surface. His only concern would be the recovery time in high traffic areas. Davis is considering using zoysia on the new first tee at Southern Hills that

Karsten Creek

presented by is pushed back close to the clubhouse and receives considerable shade. He said if Southern Hills ever did decide to try it on its fairways, it would be at least 10 years down the road when the next green renovation comes around. Three of the biggest projects in the world of golf today are grassing with zoysia: • The Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro: Growing in now for the 2016 Olympics and grassed with Zeon Zoysia, this course celebrates golf’s return to the global games after a more than 100-year absence. • Bluejack National: Tiger Woods’ first golf course design in the United States, under construction now north of Houston, is grassed with Zeon and L1F Zoysia. • Trinity Forest: Designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, under construction now near Dallas, is grassed with L1F Zoysia. Doug Petersan, a retired Certified Golf Course Superintendent formerly in charge of the course at the Coore-Crenshaw-designed Austin Golf Club, said Zeon Zoysia helped reduced his labor cost, fertilizer costs, allowed for water reduction and still provides a superior playing surface. “There is not a surface around that competes with zoysia for playability,” Petersan said. “The water and fertilizer inputs are probably 50 percent of the other accepted turfgrasses people are using. “Another huge difference, and this will become far more important, is chemical costs. Zoysia requires very little chemical control for fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. If it’s grown properly, the turf creates such a dense surface the weeds cannot infest it. It probably plays better in winter dormancy than in summer. If you want it green in the winter, paint it.”


Develop feel for chip and pitch shots by jerry cozby

In every full swing we make as a golfer (except putting), the left side of your body moves out of the way so that the right side can swing through (for a right-handed player). One of the things that moves the left side out of the way is clubhead speed. There is not a lot of clubhead speed when we hit chip-and-pitch shots. So if there is not a lot of clubhead speed when hitting short shots and clubhead speed moves the left side out of the way, you are going to have to adjust for this at the address position. When chipping and pitching the ball, adjust your stance so that the stance and hips are open to the target. This will put you in a position so that the left side is already out of the way and you do not have to swing it out of the way with speed. You will be amazed how much feel you can develop with the left hip and left foot out of the way. If you try and hit these shots with a square stance (clubface to target and

stance and hips running parallel to clubface), you will probably hit one of two shots: (1) fat and short; (2) long – because you created to much clubhead speed to move the left side out of the way. 1 The fat-andshort shot is a result of not creating enough clubhead speed to move the left side out of the way. Address Position for chipping and pitching: Chipping – (1) open stance; (2) place ball back in stance off back foot; (3) even though stance is open, put 60 percent of weight on left side.



Pitching – Same address position as chipping with the ball placed in middle of stance so that hands are even with ball (not in front of ball). With a lot of practice, this should help you develop better feel for the short shots. Jerry Cozby, PGA Pro Emeritus – Hillcrest C.C. – Bartlesville, Oklahoma

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SCHEDULES & RESULTS: More at www.golfoklahoma.org COLLEGE MEN UCO BRONCHO INVITATIONAL At Gaillardia CC, Okla. City (par-72) March 23-24 Team scores: 1, Central Oklahoma 286-310 – 596; 2, Central Missouri 291-310 – 601; 3, Missouri Southern State 294-311 – 605, 4, Southwestern State 297-310 – 607; 5 (tie) Southern Nazarene 305-304 – 609 and Arkansas Tech 299-310 – 609; 7, Okla. Christian 307-306 – 613; 8 (tie), Washburn 301-316 – 617 and Henderson State 302-315 – 617; 10, Missouri Western State 312-306 – 618; 11, Northeastern State 298-324 – 622; 12, Harding 308-320 – 628; 13, Southeastern State 306-327 – 633; 14, Fort Hays State 317-319 – 636; 15, Southwest Baptist 322-338 – 660; 16, Lincoln 330-341 – 671. Individual leaders: 1, Stefan Idstam (Southwestern) 66-77 – 143; 2 (tie), Griffin Pierce (Oklahoma-ind.) 73-72 – 145 and Russ Purser (UCO) 68-77 – 145; 4 (tie), Michael Hearne (SNU) 73-74 – 147, Ron McHenry (Washburn) 73-74 – 147, Dylan Wonnacott (FHS) 74-73 – 147 and Cy Moritz (CM) 72-75 – 147; 8 (tie), Marc Johnson (NSU) 740-74 – 148 and Zach James (Southeastern) 71-77 – 148; 10 (tie), Stratton Nolen (Okla. St.-ind.) 73-76 – 149, Alex Mahlik (AT) 71-78—149, Austin Smith (AT) 69-80 – 149, Zac Schaefer (Okla. Chr.) 77-72 – 149 and Taylor Lansford (MSS) 71-78 – 149. WOMEN DIFFEE FORD LINCOLN INVITATIONAL At Kickingbird GC, Edmond (par-70) March 9-10 Team scores: 1, Central Oklahoma 305-293 – 598; 2, Okla. Christian 306-297 – 603; 3, Okla. City 304-306 – 610; 4, Arkansas Tech 316-301 – 617; 5, Henderson State 320-312 – 632; 6, Rogers State 324-314 – 638; 7, Southwestern State 324-316 – 640 ; 8, Redlands 327-322 – 649; 9, Okla. Baptist 346-325 – 671; 10, Central Missouri

66 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

344-332 – 676; 11, Northwest Missouri 347-347 – 694; 12, Southern Nazarene 350-347 – 697; 13, Northwestern State 365-347 – 712; 14, Southwest Baptist 409-380 – 789. Individual leaders: 1, Anna Arrese Cortadellas (Okla. Chr.) 75-68 – 143; 2 (tie), Claudia Chemin (Okla. City-ind) 76-72 – 148 and Marla Souvannasing (UCO) 75-73 – 148; Lindsey Bensch (UCO) 77-72 – 149, Audrey Meisch (Okla. Chr.) 75-74 – 149 and Ally Harris (HS) 71-78 – 149; 7 (tie), Emily Folsom (SW Okla.) 75-75 –150, Bethany Darrough (UCO) 78-72 -- 150 and Emma Allen (Okla. City) 75-75 – 150; 10, Daniela Martinez (UCO) 75-76 – 151; 11, Anna Mikish (Okla. City) 76-=76 – 152; 12 (tie), India Matthews (Okla. Chr.) 77-76 – 153 and Rebecka Surtevall (AT) 80-73 – 153; 14 (tie), Kailey Campbell (Okla. City) 74-80 – 154, Ana-Laura Gomez (SW Okla.) 81-73 – 154 and Taylor Kline (AT) 81-73 – 154. OKLA. JUNIOR GOLF TOUR OGT MIDWEST CITY At John Conrad GC, Midwest City (par-72) March 14-15 Boys 1 (tie), Austin Eckroat 70-69 – 139 and Fisher Vollendorf 70-69 – 139; 3 (tie), Dalton Daniel 75-67 – 142 and McCain Schellhardt 72-70 – 142; 5 (tie), Laken Hinton 77-67 –144 and Matthew Braley 74-70 – 144; 7 (tie), Lane Wallace 71-74 – 145 and Dustin Hasley 73-72 – 145; 9, Cody Burrows 7472 – 146; 10, Ryan Trousdale 77-72 – 149; 11 (tie), Andrew McDonald 74-76 – 150 and Said Powers 79-71 – 150. Girls 1, Yujeong Son 74-69 – 143; 2, Grace Shin 7575 – 150; 3, ShaeBug Scarberry 76-75 – 151; 4, Kathryn Goodwin 77-76 – 153; 5, Heidi Stafford 77-78 – 155; 6, Melissa Eldredge 80-77 – 157; 7, Ashton Nemecek 83-78 – 161; 8, Lauren Barnes 77-86 – 163; 9 (tie), Taylor Towers 84-80 – 164 and Natalie Gough 81-83 – 164; 11, Ashlea Mahan

85-86 – 171; 12, Olivia Schmidt 93-84 – 177. OGT LINCOLN PARK EAST SPRING CLASSIC At Lincoln Park GC (East), Okla. City (par-70) March 7-8 Boys 14-18 1, Lane Wallace 70-67 – 137; 2 (tie), Logan McAllister 72-70 –142 and Carson Seals 69-73 – 142; 4, Dustin Hasley 72-71 – 143; 5, Andrew McDonald 69-75 – 144; 6, Nick O’Donnell 74-72 – 146; 7 (tie), Dalton Daniel 75-73 – 148 and Christian McAllister 73-75 – 148; 9, Matthew Braley 74-76 150; 10, Avery Acosta 74-77 – 151; 11, Jun Kim 77-76 – 153. Girls 14-18 1, Brinn Fariss 77-77 – 154; 2 (tie), ShaeBug Scarberry 81-74 – 155 and FGrace Shin 76-79 – 155; 4, Elizabeth Freeman 76-82 – 158; 5 (tie), JoBi Ty Heath 82-78 – 160 and Taylor Towers 81-79 – 160; 7, Heidi Stafford 84-83 – 167; 8 (tie), Alyssa Wilson 89-79 – 168 and Ashton Nemecek 86-82 – 168; 10 (tie), Peighton Walker 84-85 – 169 and Lauren Barnes 82-87 – 169. SCHEDULES Oklahoma Golf Association May 19-20: Four-Ball Championship, Oak Tree CC East, Edmond June 1-4: Junior Boys and Girls Championship, Kickingbird Golf Course, Edmond June 15-18: Senior State Amateur, Hillcrest Country Club, Bartlesville June 29-30: Mid-Amateur Championship, The Club at Indian Springs, Broken Arrow July 13-14: Senior Stroke Play Championship, Quail Creek Golf & Country Club, Oklahoma City July 20-22: State Amateur Championship, Oak Tree National, Edmond Aug. 3-5: Stroke Play Championship, Chickasaw

Mpion tt

Pointe, Kingston Aug. 21-23: Oklahoma Open, Oak Tree Country Club East Course, Edmond Sept. 15: State Club Championship, Oaks CC, Tulsa

National Events in Oklahoma July 18-25: U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, Tulsa CC May 25: The Patriot Golf Championship, The Patriot GC, Owasso

Oklahoma Golf Association Pro Series June 29-30: No. 1, The Club at Indian Springs, Broken Arrow July 13-14: No. 2, Quail Creek G & CC, Oklahoma City Aug. 3-4: No. 3, Chickasaw Pointe GC, Kingston

USGA Qualifiers May 12: U.S. Open, Oak Tree National, Edmond June 22: Boys and Girls Amateur, Karsten Creek GC, Stillwater July 6: U.S. Amateur and Mid-Amateur, Golf Club of Oklahoma, Broken Arrow Aug. 26: Men’s Four-Ball, Pleasant Valley CC, Little Rock Aug. 31: Men and Women Senior Amateur, Jimmie Austin OU GC, Norman Oct. 14: Women’s Four-Ball, Cedar Ridge CC, Broken Arrow

Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association May 18-19: WOGA Cup, Hillcrest CC, Bartlesville June 16-17: WOGA Stroke Play/Mid Am Championship, Golf Club of Oklahoma, Broken Arrow July 13: WOGA Fundraiser benefitting WOGA Junior Programs, Southern Hills CC, Tulsa July 14-15: WOGA Girls’ Junior Championship, Southern Hills CC, Tulsa July 26: Once in a Lifetime, WOGA Centennial Celebration Gala Celebrating 100 Years, Oklahoma City G & CC July 26-29: Women’s Oklahoma State Amateur Championship, Oklahoma City G & CC Aug. 2-4: Fore State Championship, Shadow Valley Country Club, Rogers, Arkansas Aug. 25-26: WOGA Partnership, Shangri-La GC, Monkey Island Sept.10-12: USGA State Team Championship, Dalhousie GC, Cape Girardeau, Missouri Sept. 21-22: WOGA Senior State Championship, Shawnee CC, Shawnee

Oklahoma Senior Golf Association May 4-5: West Medal Play, The Greens CC, Oklahoma City July 20-21: Two-Man Four-Ball, Oakwood CC, Enid Sept. 14-15: East Medal Play, Ponca City CC, Ponca City Oct. 19-20: Fall Outing, GC at WinStar, Thackerville Oklahoma Junior Golf Tour April 11-12: Lake Hefner Spring Championship, Lake Hefner GC (South), Oklahoma City April 18-19: Bailey Ranch Spring Challenge, Bailey Ranch GC, Owasso May 24-25: Junior Cup Matches, Shawnee CC,

Shawnee July 6-7: Norman Pediatric Associates Kickoff Classic and Big I qualifier, Jimmie Austin OU GC, Norman Aug. 15-16: Bailey Ranch Bash, Bailey Ranch GC, Owasso Aug. 22-23: Battle Creek Fall Roundup, Battle Creek GC, Broken Arrow Aug. 29-30: Jo’s Famous Pizza Kickingbird Fall Challenge, Kickingbird GC, Edmond Sept. 6-7: John Conrad Labor Day Challenge, John Conrad GC, Midwest City Sept. 12-13: Battle for Bixby, White Hawks GC, Bixby Sept. 19-20: Lake Hefner Shootout, Lake Hefner (North), Oklahoma City Sept. 26-27: Indian Springs Junior Open, Club at Indian Springs, Broken Arrow Oct. 3-4: Jimmy’s Egg Lincoln Park Junior Classic, Lincoln Park GC, Oklahoma City Oct. 10-11: Heritage Hills Fall Roundup, Heritage Hills GC, Claremore Oct. 17-18: Tour Championship, Farifax GC, Edmond Oct. 31-Nov. 1: Red River Team Challenge, Dornick Hills G&CC, Ardmore Golf INC (Oklahoma City) May 16-17: Two-Man Scramble, Lake Hefner GC June 6-7: City Amateur, Trosper Park GC and Lincoln Park GC July 18: Club Championship, Earlywine GC July 25-26: Club Championship, Lake Hefner GC Aug. 1-2: Club Championship, Lincoln Park GC

2014 ChaMpion Adam Scott

May 18-24 CPIAC15_GolfOklahoma_7.375x4.875.indd 1

Colonial Country Club • Fort Worth, Texas CrownePlazaInvitational.com 3/12/15 2:40:50 PM

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SCHEDULES & RESULTS Aug. 8-9: Club Championship, Trosper Park GC Tulsa Golf Association April 18-19: Two-Man Challenge, South Lakes GC May 16-17: Spring Four-Ball Match Play and Seniors, LaFortune Park GC May 30-31: Stroke Play, Battle Creek GC June 23: Par-3 Two-Man Challenge, LaFortune Park GC July 25-26: Four-Ball Stroke Play and Seniors, Forest Ridge GC Aug. 8-9: Two-Man Challenge II (Scramble and Shamble Best Ball), LaFortune Park GC South Central PGA Players Tour June 22-23: Stillwater CC, Stillwater July 6-7: Oak Tree CC, Edmond July 13-14; Fayetteville (Arkansas) CC July 20-21: Club at Indian Springs, Broken Arrow July 27-28: Terradyne CC, Andover, Kansas Aug 8-9: The Oakley Cup, Shangri-La GC, Monkey Island South Central PGA Junior Tour June 1: Battle Creek Junior, Battle Creek GC, Broken Arrow June 2: Pryor Junior, Pryor Creek, Pryor June 3: Lakeside Junior, Lakeside GC, Stillwater June 4: LaFortune Parent-Child, LaFortune Park GC (par-3), Tulsa June 5: James E. Stewart Junior, James E. Stewart GC, Oklahoma City

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June 8: Broken Arrow Junior, Broken Arrow G&AC, Broken Arrow June 9: Westwood Junior, Westwood Park GC, Norman June 10: Bailey Ranch Junior, Bailey Ranch GC, Owasso June 11: Clary Fields Junior, Clary Fields GC, Sapulpa June 12: Lew Wentz Junior, Lew Wentz Memorial GC, Ponca City June 15: Meadowlake Junior, Meadowlake GC, Enid June 15-16: Junior PGA Section Championship, Shawnee CC, Shawnee June 17: Perry Junior, Perry GC, Perry June 18: Bill Nicklas Junior, Kickingbird GC, Edmond June 23: George Phillips Junior, South Lakes GC, Jenks June 24: Deer Run Junior, Deer Run GC, Little Rock Air Force Base GC, Little Rock June 25: Trosper Junior, Trosper Park GC, Oklahoma City June 26: Riverside Junior, Riverside GC, Clinton June 29: Cimarron Trails Junior, Cimarron Trails GC, Perkins June 30: Fairfax Junior, Fairfax GC, Edmond July 1: Adams Junior, Adams GC, Bartlesville July 2: John Conrad Junior, John Conrad GC, Midwest City July 6: Jay Myers Junior, MeadowBrook CC, Tulsa July 6: Reflection Ridge Junior, Reflection Ridge, Wichita

July 7: LaFortune Junior, LaFortune Park GC, Tulsa July 8: L.W. Clapp Junior, L.W. Clapp GC, Wichita July 9: Lake Hefner Junior, Lake Hefner GC (North), Oklahoma City July 10: Owasso Junior, Owasso G & AC, Owasso July 13: Trails Junior, The Trails GC, Norman July 14: Canyons at Blackjack Ridge Junior, Canyons at Blackjack Ridge GC, Sand Springs July 14-15: Hoedebeck Junior, Duncan G&T Club, Duncan July 16: Lincoln Park Junior, Lincoln Park GC (East), Oklahoma City July 17: Auburn Hills Junior, Auburn Hills Municipal GC, Wichita July 21: Bella Vista Junior, Bella Vista Village CC, Bella Vista, Arkansas July 22: Lake Murray Junior, Lake Murray Restort, Ardmore July 25: South Lakes Parent-Child, South Lakes GC, Jenks July 28: Surrey Hills Junior, Lakeview GC, Ardmore Aug. 3-4: Walter Hopper Championship, Quail Creek G & CC, Oklahoma City U.S. Kids Golf Tour (Tulsa) April 12: LaFortune Park GC April 19: Heritage Hills GC, Claremore April 26: Bailey Ranch GC, Owasso May 3: Tour Championship, Bailey Ranch GC, Owasso

June 22-28, 2015


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There are only a handful of resorts in the United States that are as rich in golf history as The Broadmoor. This summer, experience three iconic courses by three great designers: Donald Ross, Robert Trent Jones Sr and Nicklaus Design. Play the East Course that has been home to the US Amateur, US Women and Senior Opens. Discover the West Course with fairways and greens designed by both Ross and Trent Jones. Experience the Mountain Course, one of Nicklaus Design’s most breathtaking achievements; links with a link to history since Jack Nicklaus won his first major championship on the East Course in 1959. Add your name to our rich heritage in Five Star style.

Five Star Golf Getaway includes: • Classic guest room • $60 breakfast credit per night of the package (available for use in Ristorante del

Lago, Golf Club, Lake Terrace Dining Room or inroom dining) • • •

Club storage and range balls Personal locker Greens fee and cart rental (one 18-hole

round per person on the package)

• Stay two or more nights and be our guest as we host you on the Mountain Course • 25% discount on suite upgrade

Rates start at $460 per person per night* based on double occupancy

Visit broadmoor.com or call 844.602.5037 for reservations

Named #1 Golf Resort in North America by Golf Magazine.

70 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

*Package available May 1, 2015 – October 31, 2015, prices are per person based on double occupancy and do not include applicable taxes, fees or parking and are based on availability. Not applicable to groups.

No sport requires more mental focus than golf. Most golfers practice and play for a lifetime and still confess to not having mastered the game. Your mental focus in finding the best new truck and best deal can be made easier when you shop the dealer who has made his outstanding reputation by having the most loyal customers in the business.

“Where it’s comfortable to buy a truck” Exit 153 & I-35 Guthrie, OK 10 minutes north of Edmond (877) 475-6622 www.vanceautogroup.com

Visit our other stores: Perry, OK (877) 423-8825 • www.vancechevrolet.com Miami, OK (888) 690-4618 • www.vanceford.com (877) 693-4981 • www.vancechryslerdodgejeepram.com www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 71

Available in limited quantities.

72© 2015 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org The Macallan Distillers Limited, The Macallan® Scotch Whisky, 43% Alc./Vol. Imported by Edrington Americas, New York, NY. Demonstrate your discernment, enjoy responsibly.

Profile for Golf Oklahoma Magazine

2015 Golf Oklahoma April | May  

2015 Golf Oklahoma April | May