2022 Golf Oklahoma Aug/Sept

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Golf & Fishing Trails Golf & Music Trails Golf & Culinary Trails Golf & Craft Beer Trails There is no limit on golf trails in Louisiana. Golf & Distillery Trails Get swinging in more ways than one in a place where you can get away from it all while getting a little closer to what brings you joy. Come one, come y’all – Come feed your soul in Louisiana. Visit LouisianaGolfTrails.com and plan your custom “golf & more” getaway today. ©2022 Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism

4 GOLF OKLAHOMA • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2022 WWW.GOLFOKLAHOMA.ORG TABLE OF SPECIALCONTENTS30thANNIVERSARY EDITION AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2022 VOLUME 12 ISSUE 4 On the cover South Central Golf and Golf Oklahoma celebrate 30 years of publications! Cover design by Chris Swafford. 66 67 20 44 26 28 15 The Goods 12 Books link the past and future of golf 14 Ed Travis looks back at the 90s, when everything changed in golf equipment 15 Chip Shots; The Compliance Solutions Championship, a new Korn Ferry Tour event, comes to Oklahoma for at least a five-year run 20Features The first year, what were the big stories in 1993 24 Enjoying the job is key to 30 years of running a golf magazine in Oklahoma 26 1994-2002, The Oak Tree Gang, new courses popping up everywhere, the PGA Championship and U.S. Open come to Southern Hills as well as two Tour Championships 44 The Second Decade: Oklahoma completes a course building spree and begins to weather the downturn, junior golf takes off. 66Competition Featured are the OGA State Amateur, WOGA State Amateur, OGA MidAmateur, OGA Senior Stroke Play Championship, South Central Section Professional Championship and WOGA Junior Girls Championship. 62Destinations Great food, good times and fun golf make any Louisiana trip special Departments6 Letter from the Publisher 10 OGA ED Mark Felde r 42 Instruction: Pat McTigue 62

Mossy Oak Golf Course | West Point, Mississippi Mississippi is famous for the blues. But our greensare pretty spectacular, too. #WanderMS If you’re looking for challenging play and beautiful scenery, you’ll find both in abundance in Mississippi. Our state boasts true destination courses designed by Nicklaus, Palmer, Fazio, and other luminaries, with a number of stunning courses located at our casino resorts. Learn more at VisitMississippi.org/Golf.

6 GOLF OKLAHOMA • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2022 WWW.GOLFOKLAHOMA.ORG Golf Oklahoma Offices Southern Hills Plaza 6218 S. Lewis Ave., Ste. 102 Tulsa, OK 74136 Oklahoma918-280-0787City Office 405-640-9996 Publisher Ken ken@golfoklahoma.orgMacLeod COO/Marketing Director A.G. agm@golfoklahoma.orgMeyers Reporter Sam sam@golfoklahoma.orgHumphreys Art & Technology Director Chris Subscriptionschris@golfoklahoma.orgSwaffordtoGolfOklahoma are $20 for one year (five issues) or $35 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 TeachingYoungProfessional, River Oaks CC 405-630-8183 Ryan DirectorRodyof Instruction Southern Hills Country DirectorPatrrody@southernhilscc.orgClubMcTigueofInstruction,Meadowbrook CC pmtigue277@gmail.com Maggie DirectorRollerofInstruction, Cedar Ridge CC maggie.roller@sbcglobal.net, 918-261-1441 Oklahoma Golf Association 2800 Coltrane Place, Suite 2 Edmond, OK 73034 405-848-0042 Executive Director Mark mfelder@okgolf.orgFelder Director of Handicapping and Course Rating Jay jdoudican@okgolf.orgDoudican Director of Junior Golf Morri morose@okgolf.orgRose Director of Rules Bob bphelps@okgolf.orgPhelps Copyright 2022 by Golf Oklahoma Magazine. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or otherwise re produced without written permission from Golf Oklahoma. Golf Oklahoma is published by South Central Golf, Inc. THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE OKLAHOMA GOLF ASSOCIATION Volume 12, Number 4 LIKE US! FOLLOW GOLFOKLAHOMAMAGAZINEFACEBOOK.COM/US!@GOLFOKMAGAZINE


Golf/Golf Okla

I started this venture after working as a reporter and editor in newspapers for 12 years and had no clue how to run a small business. The editorial was one thing, it was sales, marketing, accounting, taxes, etc., that were daunting. But I did have the help of some great people, including the two whom I approached for a mod est startup loan: Tulsa businessman and great amateur golfer Jim Hays and former Tulsa Tribune editor Jenk Jones Jr. The best news is they were both willing to be paid back slowly, without interest, as they both thought this might be a valu able effort for the state. Watching the action with Dave Bryan. See PUBLISHER on page 8

FROM THE PUBLISHER KEN M AC LEOD Thanks for three decades Aug/Sept ISSue 2022

Looking back through 30 years South Central homa to pick out some highlights for a timeline proved to be a bigger task than I had imagined. We decided to save the last 10 years for the next issue. I hope readers will enjoy look ing back at events that helped shape where we are as a remarkable golf state today as much as we enjoyed covering them in the first place and looking back at them now. Although the magazine started off covering Okla homa, Arkansas and southern Kansas, the geographic boundaries of the South Central Section of the PGA of America, for the purpose of this we concentrated on our Oklahoma coverage. And though golf travel has al ways been a big focus of the magazine, we didn’t recap any of that here. Nor in struction, rules, book reviews or many of the other features that make up the full magazine. I tried to pull just a few tidbits from the 30 or so stories that might be in a typical issue but ones that had mean ing going forward and might help some of our younger readers see how the golf landscape has changed dramatically over those three decades. I started looking back beginning with the first issue and, of course, soon became hopelessly bogged down as I started reread ing most of the issues, remembering much that I had forgotten and marveling again how good many of the freelancers were and are who have contributed so much to the magazine over these three decades. When we started in 1993 we were on tabloid newsprint. Of course, there was no website, social media or even email. There also weren’t any newsletters or cell phones. AOL showed up in 1995. We had some early Macs for layout and graphics and to scan the news wires, but also de pended on fax machines and the USPS. So everything has changed except our deter mination to provide our readers with qual ity journalism covering this amazing game. I wasn’t one of those who wor ried that we would run out of content, I was just concerned that we would have the time to even touch on the wealth of stories out there. Golf is like no other sport. You can go to the PGA Merchan dise Show in Florida and see literally miles of products, services and gadgets, all the equipment and apparel that you could imagine, and that doesn’t even begin to touch on what is truly interesting about the game. Each course is unique and they change dramatically daily with the weather and setup. The men and women (and boys and girls) who play, teach and grow and set up the venues are where my interest lies, whether it is here in a casual round, covering a major championship at Southern Hills, an OGA championship or enjoying a trip to Scotland or Ireland.


I’ve been blessed that some really tal ented individuals have worked with me over the years and I thank each one of them, including my current right hand man, the amazing Chris Swafford. All he does is lay out and design each print and digital is sue, build ads for cli ents, build and man age the websites for Golf Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame, put together our weekly newsletters, handle much of our social media and do the invoicing, freeing me up to do whatever it is I do around here.

A.G. Meyers Chris Swafford


It’s been hard to say goodbye to so many who have been so instrumental in Oklaho ma golf and great friends and supporters of the magazine, folks like Bill Barrett, Roy Ox ford, Jerry Cozby, Buddy Phillips and many more. The legacy continues, however, and pros like Cary Cozby (and the entire Cozby clan) and Tracy Phillips have meant more to me and our efforts here than they’ll ever know. And I can’t thank enough the people who I know will pick up the phone anytime day or night for advice or counsel like Pat McCrate, Randy Heckenkemper, Maggie Roller, Pat McTigue and others. Last but not least, I want to thank each and every sponsor and advertiser who has made this possible. Many of you have stuck with us through good and bad times in the economy and you need that support to stay in business for 30 years. I know many of you have stayed with us because you be lieve in the product and think it serves a valuable purpose for the state and the game as much as for any direct return on your ad. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that trust and Lookinginvestment.ahead,we’re excited about con tinuing serve our readers in whatever form that takes. When we started this we scarcely imagined we would be running a daily news site (www.golfoklahomaorg), as well as all the social media and newsletters that go with that, along with a radio shows and giv ing a platform to a podcast. We’re looking forward to positioning Golf Oklahoma for the next generation of journalists to carry the mission forward. There will always be plenty of great golf stories to cover.

The late Stephen Hillman and his son Derek did much the same before him and Vicki Tramel did the same with our University of Tulsa publication the Hurricane Tracker. And then the amazing writers and pho tographers who contribute regularly to the magazine and website, guys like John Rohde, Tom Bedell, Barry Lewis, Ed Tra vis, Murray Evans, Sam Humphreys (also 73rd Hole Podcast), Art Stricklin, Tony Dear, Scott Wright, Rip Stell, Bill Powell, Mike Klemme and many more. In the golf community we’ve been very blessed to work with such an amazing group of supportive pros, architects, su perintendents, OGA, PGA and WOGA administrators and the pro and amateur golfers whom we’ve enjoyed writing about for 30 years. Mark Felder with the OGA deserves special mention for being the catalyst of the switch from SCG to Golf Okla homa and teaming us up with A.G. Meyers, who has helped immensely with sales and business savvy. And then Everett Dobson, Tom Jones, Nick Sidorakis and the rest of the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame board who have been tremendous allies.

Publisher cont. from page 6

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The next week the OGA held its State Amateur Championship at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, another ex cellent venue in superb condition run by decorated professional Tim Fleming and hisAfterstaff.six rounds in scorching heat, we were delighted to welcome Davis, the 2010 OGA Junior champion, back to the winner’s circle. Ian played professionally from the time he left Oklahoma State in 2014 until 2020 and regained his amateur status last November. He outlasted Jacob

Speaking of junior golf, we were very grateful to receive a $10,000 donation from the Talor Gooch Foundation to help sponsor the fall series on the Oklahoma Junior Golf Tour. The $10,000 will add $1,000 to elevate each of the seven fall events and $3,000 toward the seasonending Red River Classic at Dornick Hills against top players from north Texas. The foundation raised over $300,000 at a pro-am at Tulsa Country Club the Monday after the PGA Championship to kick off fundraising and has already donated to several great charities in the Oklahoma City area. We thank Talor for Gooch,this.foundation director Kelsey Cline and OJGT direc tor Morri Rose were among the honored guests as John Conrad reopened in late July in Midwest City. We’re looking forward to see ing the improvements there during the OJGT John Conrad Labor Day Challenge.TheOklahoma Open is scheduled Aug. 25-27 on the East Course at Oak Tree Country Club and as usual should be a great mix of top young profession als and amateurs putting on a great dis play. The defending champion is Zach James, who won by two shots last year over Sam Stevens.

It was the 24th OGA victory for the timeless wonder and he dedi cated the victory to his son, Matt, who died earlier this year of brain cancer.Hughett, Harley Abrams and Aus tin Schmidt each shot 5-under for the 36 holes, excellent playing on a course that was set up to test the state’s best.

Prentice of Edmond 1-up in a well-played final, but both golfers showed their best stuff in reaching the final.


During a two-week stretch, Ian Davis and Mike Hughett put some emphatic exclamation points on two of our top Hughettevents.made a birdie putt on the first playoff hole to win the OGA Mid-Am ateur Championship at Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville, one of our favorite courses in the state and run superbly by professional John Hron and his staff.

Ian Davis

Mike Hughett

Davis, Hughett, Gooch in OGA spotlight

Talor Gooch

Riley’s research into Oliver’s career is impressive. He perhaps leans on individual round scores and tournament winnings to somewhat numbing detail. And while he repeatedly tells us how popular Oliver was among fans and his fellow players, he doesn’t show quite enough detail about the on-courseNonetheless,antics.it’s a good and poignant effort in resurrecting an overly neglected player, where in his hometown they re christened the Wilmington Golf Club in 1983 as the Ed Oliver Golf Club.

gan, Snead, Nelson, Locke, Palmer, that’s saying something. Born in Wilmington, Del., in 1915, Oli ver succumbed to lung cancer in 1961 at age 46. John Riley, who grew up with Oliver’s children, tells the story in his “How He Played the Game: Ed “Porky” Oliver and Golf’s Greatest Generation” (Riley Publica tions,Oliver$30.00).was rarely called “Ed.” “Porky” was only one of several nicknames he cart ed around -- ”Snowball,” “Snobie,” “Chops,” “Old Chops” and “Chopsy” among others.

Links to the Past and Future

whiff of entitlement occasionally wafts by, a tinge of self-congratulation. But anyone who has been fortunate enough to play any of the Keiser-involved courses knows he is surely entitled to the congratulations. What began at the Dunes Club has spread its ripples world-wide, altering the nature of modern golf course architecture in the process.Modern may not be the prop er term, since Keiser has all along been de voted to linksstyle golf, and the team of ar chitects he has employed can mostly be as signed to minimalisttheschool—thelikesofDavidMcLayKidd,TomDoak,Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, Rod Whitman. The book will be catnip for golf archi tecture junkies. Keiser devotes an entire chapter to Doak, but all of the designers have their say, as sizable portions of the text are oral histories about the creation of theThecourses.book is rich in detail, fun to read and the photos are gorgeous. The only problem is the uncontrollable itch it cre ates to get back out and play some of the courses.

The by tom bedell T he Nature of the Game: Links Golf at Bandon Dunes and Far Beyond (Knopf, $40) Mikeby Keiser with Stephen Good win, is a handsome volume recounting Keiser’s second occupational life as a golf des tination developer. His first was as a head part ner in Recycled Paper Greet ings, a (mainly) greeting card company that gave Keiser the wherewithal to indulge his growing obsession with linksstyleThoughgolf.

ARNIE AND JACK Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus will nev er be overly neglected. But can we ever read too much about them? Charlie Mechem’s Charlie Mechem



The porkchops reference certainly related to his well-publicized appetite — though only 5-foot-9, Oliver often ballooned up to 240 pounds, and Riley has fun relating how badly sportswriters of the day referred to hisOliveravoirdupois.wassomething of a hard-luck case on the course, too, consistently blow ing tournament leads in the closing holes, usually due to a balky putter. His brides maid credentials included finishing second to Hogan in the 1946 PGA Championship, second to Julius Boros in the 1952 U.S. Open and second to Hogan again in the 1953 Masters.

If little remembered today, Ed Oliver was a significant presence on the PGA Tour before and after World War II. He was a star of the era, if more due to his outsized personality than from any sustained success. Credited with eight official Tour wins, a member of three Ryder Cup teams, Oliver best ed the best of his day from time to time, and when the best included the likes of Ho

As one of the first pros drafted into the army during the war, he lost close to four full years of his prime playing time. And in one of his worst breaks, after finishing in a tie at the 1940 U.S. Open, he was dis qualified with two other players who, over weather concerns, started their final round early. Despite pleas on his behalf from Gene Sarazen and Lawson Little, who had finished with the same score as Oliver, he was eliminated from the playoff.


Bandon Dunes was the course and resort that implantedreallyKeiser in just about every golfer’s noggin, he actually started out with a ninehole course in New Buf falo, Mich., called the Dunes Club, an out right homage to Pine Valley. The book goes into all this history in ingratiating de tail, goes on to re capitulate the now 20-plus year history of Bandon Dunes, and then takes in what might be called the rest of the Keiser empire: Barnbougle Dunes in Tasmania, the Cabot Courses in Newfoundland (and the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia), and the expanding Sand Valley Resort in Wisconsin, now largely run by Keiser’s sons, Michael andWell,Chris.sure, the book can be viewed as one big advertisement for Keiser’s properties.

After his LPGA term ended, Mechem was asked by Palmer to be a personal as sistant, and he served as such, without pay, for more than a decade. Consequently the book has a bit more Arnie material, but there are ample anec dotes here about both. Nicklaus provides a foreword, as does Doc Giffin, another longtime Palmer adviser. There’s nothing too new, deep or re vealing here about ei ther icon. It’s a bit hagi ographic, and Mechem is hardly a great prose stylist. But the many photos are great, and I’ll ask again, can we ever read too much about Nicklaus and Palmer?

Tom Bedell has played many Keiser courses, has the same birthday as Jack Nicklaus, and once went 18 holes with Arnie. Charlie Mechem

“Arnie and Jack: Stories of My Long Friend ship With Two Remarkable Men” (Mission Point Press, $26.95) comes at the pair from the unique vantage point he had, serving as an adviser to both men.Mechem was the commissioner of the LPGA from 1990-95, but prior to that he was the head of the Taft Broad casting Company, which is where his association with Nicklaus began, commissioning Jack to build a course near Cin cinnati and later helping with the video ver sion of his book, “Golf My Way.”

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The Big Bertha launched Callaway Golf into the number one position as the largest golf equipment company with sales by the end of the 1990s surpassing $700 million. The driver also had some other interesting design features including a bore-through shaft tagged the S2H2 hosel (short straight hollow hosel) which removed mass from the heel area. This helped the Big Bertha produce much straighter drives plus less tendency to slice; a major advantage for most recreational players whose shot pattern was the distance-eating left to Withinright. a few years Cal laway went even further in troducing the Great Big Ber tha War Bird with a clubhead of titanium, a metal used in aerospace applications, which not only weighs less but is stronger than steel. The War Bird clubhead size increased to 250cc making it even more forgiving and marked the path way to the creation of today’s long hitting drivers. In 1999 Callaway’s titani um drivers and woods generated $262 million in revenue and dominated the market.

EQUIPMENT A Decade of Change—the 1990s

So even though it was thirty years ago there were significant improvements in equipment. The Callaway Big Bertha, Ping’s Zing 2 irons and the Titleist Professional ball are all markers on the road to today’s sophis ticated golf clubs and balls.

In our sport a young Californian named Tiger Woods captured the world’s atten tion as he won 15 times on the PGA Tour in the last four years of the decade includ ing two major cham and we will never forget the tragedy of Payne Stew art that became burned into our memories.The90s also were a preamble to the “golfer-friendly” equipment we have today as companies applied creative thinking to the clubs and balls they were making.

Finally, everyone knows golf changed dra matically in 2000 when Titleist introduced the solid core, multi-layer, urethane cover Pro V1, but back in 1994 Titleist had already come out with the Professional. A top per forming ball that set the stage for the Pro V1.

Graphite shafts had been around for years and in the 90s their technology improved to the point using one with a titanium-headed driver such as the War Bird was almost magic. Graphite shafts could be longer than the old ones of steel tubing and still be much lighter and when mated with titanium heads even golfers with average swings could produce a lot more clubhead speed. Pro fessionals of course ben efited but strugglingtheincreasesandforgivenessthedistancereallytypicalweektohit tee 200 yards with a persimmon-headed driver. Irons were also being rapidly improved so average players to hit them effectively. In the early 1980s Karsten Solheim’s Ping Golf developed the Ping Eye 2 iron named for the circular dot in the cavity back which some said looked like an eye. They almost instant ly became a best-selling model, but Solheim wasn’t satisfied and in 1991 came out with the Ping Zing iron followed three years later by the Ping Zing 2. Presumably because you can’t have too much of a good thing, Ping’s Zing 2 irons had an even larger cavity back than the Eye 2s. Many said they were ugly, characterizing the look as a “nice-piece-of-plumbing” and re fused to play them but lots of others seeing the results were sold. The Zing 2 design meant they had the largest amount of weight around the head’s margins of any iron and coupled with an en larged toe area did make them strange look ing. However, those who put them in their bags more than liked the crisp feel and high trajectory that helped the ball stop on the greens. As an Eye 2 successor the Zing 2 did not have as much impact on the club busi ness but did show the way designers could continue to improve the playing experience of this maddening game.

Callaway’s Big Bertha driver was intro duced in 1991 with a head of 190cc consid ered at the time to be huge. By way of com parison, today’s 3-woods are only slightly smaller and the standard for driver heads in 2022 is 460cc. The Big Bertha was cast from stainless steel and gave the average golfer more yardage but, more importantly it was much easier to hit. Being hollow there was more weight towards the perimeter and the metal face was thin and responsive, features which tended to preserve ball speed when impacts were not exactly in the center of the face. More ball speed, more distance; a simple equation.

14 GOLF OKLAHOMA • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2022 WWW.GOLFOKLAHOMA.ORG by ed travis Aah, the 1990s. Bill Clinton was president, the World Wide Web had just started its explosive growth, and we all were worried the Y2K bug would freeze computers at the begin ning of the new millennium.

Just as today, drivers were a hot topic. In the 1980s the switch had begun from driver heads of wood, traditionally persimmon or layered maple, to the first practical all-metal headed diver TaylorMade Golf’s Pittsburgh Persimmon. It was a real step forward and could boast a hollow stainless-steel head and steel shaft that produced more distance than the wooden drivers which had been in use for over 400 years. As the decade of the 90s dawned though, Callaway Golf had their own ideas about metal driver heads and de cided naming one after a World War I Ger man howitzer would catch golfers’ attention.

The Professional, like the Titleist Tour Balata, which at the time was very popular with better players, had a wound construc tion with a liquid center but added some thing new. Rather than balata the cover was made of cast urethane. Until then, balata had been the cover of choice for premium balls over the Surlyn plastic used for balls played The Professional was a breakthrough in ball construction and performance.

The urethane cover (Titleist labelled it “Elastomer”) provided almost the same spin characteristics as the premium balata cover, especially for the sional less expensive. The Professional also carried farther than other wound balls giv ing more distance off the tee particularly for long hitters with their higher swing speeds.

WWW.GOLFOKLAHOMA.ORG by ken m ac leod T here were smiles all around as the Korn Ferry Tour officially announced the new Compliance Solutions Championship for a five-year run at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Course Tuesday, with the first event coming up June 22-25, University2023.of Oklahoma golf coach Ryan Hybl raved about what the event will mean for his program and the course on which the Sooners practice daily. Okla homa Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell talked about what the event will mean for the area and the state’s standing as a bas tion of golf and business.

Title sponsor Mark Lammert, CEO of Compliance Solutions and an Oral Rob erts University graduate, is excited about the golf and the potential to expand his Florida-based accounting, tax and busi ness advisory services in his former state. The tournament will have a purse of $1 million for 2023.

State welcomes Korn Ferry Tour

Left to right, Compliance Solutions CEO Mark Lammert, Autism Oklahoma founder Melinda Laufenburger, Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell, Autism Oklahoma board member Mike Panos, Oklahoma golf coach Ryan Hybl, former Sooner player Jona than Brightwell, Korn Ferry Tour President Alex Baldwin, Jimmie Austin General Manager and PGA Professional Tyler Woodward and Anera Sports founder and CEO Rob Addington.

AustinginTourasgrown.muchKornofandinlegiateofquestionablyCowboysSoonersOklahomaandOSUareuntwothetopfivecolprogramsthecountryareapipelinetalentfortheFerryTour,ofithomeForexample,theKornFerryplayoffsbethisweek,Eckroatfrom Edmond and OSU and Quade Cummins from OU and Weather


ford will both be seeking PGA Tour cards for 2023, as will former OSU star Sam Stevens from Wichita. They were among the players ranked 26 through 75 on the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour points list who will compete against the players ranked 126 through 200 on the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings for 25 PGA Tour cards in the three-event series.

The tournament’s official charity will be Autism Oklahoma and board member Mike Panas and founder and executive di rector Melina Laufferburger were both on hand to showcase the noble work of that entity.With the huge number of players with Oklahoma ties typically vying for their PGA Tour cards on the Korn Ferry Tour and the extremely high level of play, it would seem an event ripe for Oklaho mans to embrace and quickly establish as one of the highlights of the Korn Ferry Tour schedule.

CHIP SHOTS News around

“The Compli ance OutsidebestthatofofwillBaldwin.PresidentKorningbest156iblewillChampionshipSolutionsbeanincredshowcaseofoftheworld’sup-and-complayers,”saidFerryTourAlex“Youseeadepthtalentandlevelcompetitionisamongtheintheworld.theropes we’ll see this community and the entire Sooner state rally around this champion the state

Sponsored by


Max McGreevy advaned from Korn Ferry Tour to earn his PGA Tour card.

16 GOLF OKLAHOMA • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2022 WWW.GOLFOKLAHOMA.ORG ship in order to generate significant chari table and economic impact for the com munity.”“I’mvery proud to stand up here and tell you how big of a deal this is,” Pinnell said. “The PGA Championship just had over $158 million in economic impact not just for Northeast Oklahoma but the entire state. What I’m looking forward to with this relationship and partnership is dem onstrating that Oklahoma brand.”

Austin Eckroat (Edmond, OSU), Quade Cummins (Edmond, OU), Jonathan Brightwell (Edmond, OU), Charlie Saxon (Tulsa, OU), Sam Stephens (OSU), Garett Reband (OU), Grant Hirschman (OU), Kevin Dougherty (OSU), Tag Ridings (grew up Tulsa), Kris Ventura (OSU) and Gibson, a native of Australia who stayed here after his collegiate career at Oklaho maTylerChristian.Woodward, PGA general manager and director of club operations at Jimmie Austin.“This is exciting for the state and for the city,” said Tyler Woodward, PGA general manager and director of club operations at Jimmie Austin. “This couldn’t happen at a better time and the dates will be great for us, as it happens soon after the NCAA Championship and with the PGA Univer sity players just out on tour. Our goal is to bring championship golf to the state. We’ve done it on a collegiate level and now the professional level.”

Compliance Solutions Championship


Tyler Woodward Tripp Davis

A typical week on the Korn Ferry Tour finds 10 or more players with strong Okla homa ties in the field. For instance, this week at the Utah Championship will be

“I have eight current guys on the Korn Ferry Tour and for them to be able to come home and play in their back yard will be truly special,” Hybl said. “This is truly a special day for all of us and I can’t thank everyone enough who has made this a re ality for all of us.”

Former University of Oklahoma stand out Max McGreevy, who earned his first PGA TOUR card with a No. 14 finish on the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour Regular Sea son Points List, is excited about the Korn Ferry Tour coming to The Sooner State and his alma mater. “It’s amazing. I know we’ve been vying for a Korn Ferry Tour event at Jimmie Aus tin for a long time now,” said McGreevy, who grew up in Edmond, Oklahoma and won the 2017 and 2019 Oklahoma Opens. “I know [Sooners coach [Ryan] Hybl is very excited about this. I’ve talked to some of the grounds crew, and they’re su per thrilled. It’s a golf state; I think you saw that at Southern Hills a little bit, and I think you’ll see it at Jimmie Austin, as well.”“This will be great for the state and the guys out there on tour,” said Rhein Gibson of Edmond, who has gone back and forth between the Korn Ferry and PGA Tours since 2015. “We have so many guys from OU and OSU out there that to be able to play closer to home and for the state fans will be a really good event.”

“I can’t think of any golf course in the Oklahoma City area that would be bet ter,” said architect Tripp Davis, who per formed the major renovation on Jimmie Austin. “We can stretch it to 7,500 yards if we need to. It will be a good test. The

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Situated on what was once called the Navy Air Technical Training Center, the facility served as an annex to the Norman Naval Air Station located north of town at what is now Max Westheimer Airport.

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The rich heritage of the grounds of the Jimmie Austin Golf Club at The Universi ty of Oklahoma dates to the early 1940s, when the land was home to a U.S. Navy recreational facility.

In 1949, in coordination with the Navy and with the leadership of University of Oklahoma President George Lynn Cross, construction began on the University of Oklahoma Golf Course. At that time, famous golf course architect and native Oklahoman Perry Maxwell was commis sioned to build the project, and the course opened for play in January 1951. In 1996, thanks to the generous con tributions from University of Oklahoma supporters, especially that of namesake Jimmie Austin, an extensive renovation of the course was completed. Worldrenowned course architect Robert Cupp was chosen for the redesign, which re mained true to features envisioned by Maxwell some 50 years earlier. Working with Tripp Davis, golf course architect and member of the Sooners’ 1989 nation al title-winning team, the club completed major renovations to the course, infra structure, and facilities in 2017.

main thing is we can set it up in a lot of ways to really make it a good test.” OU coach Ryan Hybl was not immedi ately available but OSU coach Alan Brat ton said it would be a great venue and the state will support a Korn Ferry Tour event strongly.“Thatwil be great,” Bratton said. “The state of Oklahoma has proven to really turn out for tournaments, whether that be an amateur event or any of the majors that we’ve held here. I expect it to be get fantastic support.”

“We just did a renovation my senior year of college, so unfortunately, I missed out on it, but it’s in really good shape,” added McGreevy. “They always take great care of the course and facilities. I know if we have regionals or any tourna ments, people are just excited to play it and have a lot of fun. It’s tricky, but you can get after it if you get it going. You can get some Oklahoma winds rolling in there in the summertime, though. We’ll see, hopefully it won’t be too hot, but it will be a lot of fun.”

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the course hosted the 1997 Oklahoma State Amateur, the 1998 and 2010 Big 12 Women’s Championships, and most notably the 2009 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. The course hosted the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship and NCAA Region al Championships in 2012, 2018, 2022 (men’s) and 2013, 2019 (women’s) and is already scheduled to host NCAA Region al Championships in 2023 and 2025.

In recognition of this excellence,


Here are a few of the things we didn’t have when we started what was then called South Central Golf 30 years ago. Cell Phones. Internet. Web sites. Email. Social media. Money. The money we would borrow. The others came along in rapid succession and we’re still in a constant battle to keepOurpace.first year we produced eight color tabloid issues which were deliv ered to courses throughout Arkansas, southern Kansas and Oklahoma. That was the extent of our communication with readers unless they picked up the phone and called us, or wrote us a let ter or sent a fax. Today we have five issues of the print and digital magazine, a website updat ed numerous times daily, a newsletter which reaches some 34,000 golfers and sizeable followings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We have a radio show and our friends in Oklahoma City have a ter rific podcast which we promote. Readers can call, email, comment on the website or social media instantaneously. Better yet, they can share what we write with their friends, giving us a much wider audience between all the venus combined than we ever could have hoped for in the old world. The one thing we have tried to do from the start is provide solid journalism and hope that would be respected and of inter est to enough people to make this venture succeed. Looking back at the first year, what strikes me is how many highly tal ented journalists across the state and re gion contributed right from the start; Mike Sowell, John Rohde, Mac Bentley, Clay Henry, Jenk Jones Jr., Dan O’Kane, Mal El liott, Jim Misunas, Beck Cross and others gave us an all-star lineup of writing talent We thought it would be interesting to look back at that first year and summa rize each of the eight issues. Many of the people we met then are still newsmakers in and caretakers of the game today and have played a huge role in keeping us going for all this time.


Our first cover was the iconic shot of Bob Tway leaping for joy in the bunker after hol ing out at Inverness to win the 1986 PGA Championship. We chose this because he was getting set to go back to Inverness for the 1993 PGA Championship and the 1994 PGA Championship was coming to Southern Hills. Mac Bentley, golf writer for The Okla homan, interviewed Tway for the story. In my first column I tried to explain my vision for South Central Golf. One line stands out looking back. “I guess it takes a little love and blind faith to plunge ahead with project like this when other efforts have failed.” I guess Cool stories: We had a story about the development of Karsten Creek in Stillwa ter, along with a sidebar about Tom Jones leaving the Golf Club of Oklahoma to rejoin his old coach Mike Holder and be the face of Karsten Creek, which at that time was still unnamed.


And those who made it happen

We celebrate 30


Stephen Hillman Mike Sowell Mac BentleyJohn Rohde Dan O'Kane Mal Elliott Clay Henry Jim Misunas Jenk Jones Jr. Mike Klemme by ken mac leod 13-year-old Prammanasudh.Stacy

Players: Two then young Oklahoma pros, Jeff McMillian and Darryl Court, kept diaries for us as both had qualified for the U.S. Open that year at Baltus rol. Jenk Jones wrote a history of ma jor championships at Southern Hills in advance of the 1994 PGA Champi onship. Tim Graves ended Joe Nick’s five-match winning streak in OGA events and captured the OGA Stroke Play Championship. Matt Gogel, originally from Tulsa, won his sec ond consecutive Kansas Amateur. Stacy Prammanasudh, at 13, won the WOGA Junior Championship at Indian Springs by three shots over Angie Hopkins of Still water. The story mentioned how Stacy and father Louie, her cad die and swing instructor, dis agreed strenuous ly at times over club selection. The final graph. “Judging by Sta cy’s sweet swing and pure short game, the two will be disagree ing their way into the winner’s circle for a long time to come.” Nailed that one.

grownonlyhashomaOklagolfbysCozofimpacttheoninfrom there. I still miss Jer ry and his 7 a.m. phone calls.

Players: Glen Day, Robin Freeman and Rocky Walcher advance through PGA Tour qualifying school and recount the adventure with John Rohde.


ORU great Joey Rassett, age 35, also made it, though it was a short-lived career. A 5-foot9, 130-poun Union high school senior Michael Boyd is profiled. Boyd, who would go on to be an All-American at Tulsa and make it on the PGA Tour, told us he hit up to 700 golf balls a day, but “was learning to practice more efficiently.”

Players: George Glenn, age 50, wins his first Section Senior Championship. Professional Melissa McNamara discusses the search for her old swing. Soon after the interview, she won the JC Penney Classic, teaming with PGA Tour pro Mike Springer, leading to a $120,000 pay day after making less than $30,000 during the full LPGA season.


Features: Mac Bentley delves into the amateur lega cy of Charlie Coe in an exten sive interview with the great one. Jenk Jones Jr. visits former Tulsa golfer Hank Haney at his ranch in McKinney, Texas, where Holley and Tracy Phil lips were assistant teaching pros.

The Cover: Page Belcher assistant pro Brian Silcott is overwhelmed by a ton of teaching aids, videos, books and other assorted golf gadgets, every one of which will take five strokes off your game until your average score is about 54.

Players: The late Mark Hayes wins the Oklahoma Open by a shot over John Free man of Broken Arrow.


The Cover: Arnold Palmer after announcing the 1994 PGA Champi onship at Southern Hills would be his last. Cool story: The re search by Wilma Buckner and Eleanor Kee of Cof feyville, Kan., that the nine-hole Hillcrest Golf Course there was de signed and built by Perry Maxwell, not George Bell as had been common in many records.

Features: The Tulsa World’s Dan O’Kane visits with CBS producer Frank Chirkinian. Ar kansas State Golf Association Executive Direc tor Jay Fox takes John Daly to task, Ping sales man Leon Faucett is profiled, John Rohde of the Oklahoman graces our pages for the first time with a review of the 1993 performance of the Oak Tree Gang. His lead summed it up nicely.

Cool story; Former Tulsa Tribune sports editor Mike Sowell examines the meaning of golf, picking the brains of Princess Anne, William Wordsworth, Westbrook Pegler, James Weston, Max Beerbohm, Woodrow Wilson, Harper Lee and many others.“Playing the game, I have learned the meaning of humility,” said Abba Eban. “It has given me an understanding of the futility of hu man effort.”

Arnold Palmer besieged at the 1994 PGA Championship in Tulsa.

Courses: What was then called Spunky Creek Country Club in Catoosa begins cleanup of the massive devastation caused by a sprawling tornado in April thatholes.”played.nadocourse.treeshundredsmostandandrestaurantthedestroyedproshop,cartbarnmangledoftheofonthe“Thetorcame..anditall18

George Glenn HeckenkemperRandy

Features: Bill Glasson enumerating his many injuries to Clay Hen ry. A college preview featuring a very young looking Alan Bratton and Chris Tidland at Oklahoma State. A story on the gov ernment auction of Oak Tree Na tional by Mac Bentley. An in terview of PGA Tour commis sioner Deane Beman look ing forward to the 1995 and 1996shipsChampionTouratSouthern Hills.


“David Edwards and Gil Morgan continued to be among the elite. Bob Tway and Willlie Wood rediscovered their talents. Doug Tewell re mained consistent. Mark Hayes remained busy. Scott Verplank remained injured. And Andy Dil lard remained in limbo."

Cool story: Dan O’Kane pro files the Cozby family, parents Jerry and Karole and sons Chance, 18, Craig 22 and Cary, 25. The

The Cover: Young golf archi tect Randy Heckenkemper of Tulsa is profiled, the beginning of a great friendship for this writer and architect. Randy had already completed Forest Ridge in Broken Arrow and South Lakes in Jenks as well as Silver Horn in Edmond and was await ing the opening of White Hawk in Bixby when this article was written. White Hawk and SilverHorn were part of the movement toward upscale daily fee courses, they later became victims of the golf course con traction. White Hawk in particular was a very good course but own ership brought in a national golf course management firm to run it and that usually spells disaster for the course and its customers, as the firms constantly cut corners on maintenance, customer service and everything they can think of to cash flow and send a guaran tee back to corporate headquar ters and the ownership group. Still the way Bixby is growing now one wonders if a municipal course could be a success.

Courses: Jenk Jones Jr. visited Roman Nose state park golf course in Watonga and came away impressed with the wild and wooly of the then nine-hole layout in the Gypsum Hills.

PLAYERS AND PROS: Steve Ball pens the first of his columns promoting custom fitting, which he is still promoting today. He was one of the pioneers of this effort to stop buying clubs off the rack and make sure the lie, loft and shaft were correct for your swing.

The Cover: A Mike Klemme photo of the new Karsten Creek graces the cover shortly before the course opened for play. Inside are more Klemme photos and a sto ry on the course and how it became named for Karsten Solheim, Ping founder. The

How’scussions.policymajorwithconsultwouldTomtorthattheGolf,oftheaincludedstorynoteonboardCowboyInc.,groupDirecofGolfJonesondisthis for a powerhouse lineup. Boone Pickens, Bob Tway, Sherman Smith, Jim Hays, Odell Walker, Ken Greiner, Jerry Hedges and Roger Brown.

Cool story: Stillwater Country Club members Jimmy Schatz and Warren Dunn, both in their 80s and successful players in the state since the 1920s, take the readers on a tour of what golf was like going back 60 years.

ISSUE 6, MAY, 1994 ISSUE 7, JUNE, 1994 Tag Ridings

John Daly Duffy Martin


Walter Hop per, who man aged the PGA South


Players: Patrick Lee won the Perry Maxwell Invita tional at Dornick Hills, at that time a prestigious collegiate event in the state. Michael Boyd of Union and Stacy Rambin of Jenks were among the high school champions that spring. Tag Ridings of Tulsa led Arkansas through the NCAA Central Regional at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club with a sixth-place finish.

Courses: In addition to Karsten Creek, we profile the newly opened Quail Ridge in Winfield, Kan., and the Tour 18 in Hum ble, Texas. We have a story on Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw renovating the Arling ton Course in Hot Springs Village.

John Daly came to Okla homa City for an appear ance at an A Chance To Change clin ic. He waslast)bertostrugglingwasstayso(itdidn’tandhecandidabout it. Daly may not have been a great role model in a lot of ways, but one thing he did great through out this career is play fast. He complained about Nick Faldo and others who waited forever hit their next shot. Maybe watch ing players like himself take forever to hit a shot is one reason Faldo is re tiring.

The Cover: Defending champ Paul Az inger came to Southern Hills for media day for the 1994 PGA Championship. Bald, scared and defiant all at once, Zinger delivered one of the most brutally honest and heartfelt press conferences I’ve ever attended.Atage 33, he had been diagnosed the previous fall with cancer and had been un dergoing radiation and chemotherapy. He discussed throwing up every 20 minutes for nine hours after his first chemothera py. The terror of waiting to hear whether the cancer had spread. And the peace he gained when he gave his life to God and said it’s in your hands now. He concluded with “I’m telling you, if you’ve got your health, you’ve got it all. I took it for granted. I’ll never take it for granted again.”

Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein was in Tulsa to promote the new Portable Launch Mon itor, at that time regarded as the greatest club fitting tool that had ever been con structed.Wealso


had a story on the LaFortune Park pro shop being named one of the top 100 by Golf Digest. We spoke with Jerry Jones’ top assistant Pat McCrate, now the longtime director of golf at both LaFor tune Park and South Lakes. Another great friendship forged that is still going strong 30 years later. And the pro shop is still one of the best in the state. 1994 The Cover: The new Parformance School of Golf at Hot Springs Village was profiled.Cool stories: A feature by Jim Staf ford on character Duffy Martin and his growing golf empire in Guthrie. A feature by Dan O’Kane on Nick Price looking ahead to the 1994 Championship.PGA Good choice there. Price came to South ern Hills and dominated. We visited Oklahoma State’s turfgrass research center with Dr. Mike Kenna of the USGA and tried to keep up with the tech speak between he and Dr. James Taliaferro of OSU. That same re search goes on today and is still making a impact on golf courses across the country.

Cool stories: Mac Bentley in terviewed Ernie Vossler about his latest ventures and efforts to rebuild the Landmark brand after the government destroyed the original company that built Oak Tree National, Oak Tree Country Club and so many great resorts in Palm Springs and elsewhere.

Cover: Bailey Ranch Golf Course in Owasso, which opened the previous Au gust, was the subject of our cover story. It was the latest addition in a rapidly chang ing golf landscape in Oklahoma that saw dozens of courses added across the state between 1987 and the early 2000s.

Nick went on one of his patented birdie barrages, finished nine un der for 36 holes and clipped Graves 1 up. All that did was cause Tim to work even harder for the next 12 months, until he de feated Nick 4 and 3 in the 1994 event. He did lose in the semifinals to eventual cham pion Lance Combrink.

Warren Lehr, now city manager of Owasso, was the head professional when the course opened and he raved about the design. People forget that when the front nine opened it was carved out of prairie grasses of a former cattle ranch owned by Larkin Bailey. It lost much of that character when the housing moved in, but the back nine still retains some of the wildness that made it great. So here we are 30 years later and Lehr sup ports the course through his role as city manager. Long-time professional Corey Burd is deeply tied into the community as not only the pro but the Owas so high school boys golf coach and in other ways. I think I first met Corey on the basketball court at the downtown YMCA and another long friendship began. He’s done a wonderful job out there as did Warren. Cool stories: We spent a couple of pag es detailing the exploits of Tim and Todd Graves. Todd was already a proponent of the Natural Golf Swing, which the broth ers still teach at their schools in Edmond and Florida. Tim, having finally conquered Joe Nick in both the OGA Stroke Play and Match Play championships, was about to join Todd in the professional ranks.

Bailey Ranch and Battle Creek in Broken Arrow were both municipal courses designed on the up scale daily fee model by Bland Pittman of Pittman, Poe & Associates. The plan was for the respective cities to own the courses but private devel opers sold the real estate lin ing the fairways of each.

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“I think all he thinks about is beating Joe,” Todd said at the time. “Winning the stroke play helped, but that match play loss ate at him.”

For those who wonder about the Nick ref erence, Joe Nick was then the dominant play er in awhatterbyhadmond,verHornAmateurtheamateurOklahomagolf.In1993StateatSilinEdGravesNickburiedfiveholesaf18holesinwasthen36-holefinale.

“In my mind, I beat Joe last year,” Tim said. “It didn’t end up that way – Joe took the tro phy home – but I beat him. I couldn’t play better golf. If I shoot that well and lose, than I just can’t win.” But he did, eventually. Todd Graves, right, shows the Natural Swing to Jim Sorenson.

ISSUE 8, JULY 1994

Like any course, both have had rough years as the market has changed and play has fluctuated, but both Owasso and Bro ken Arrow have largely supported the courses including subsidies and capital in vestments as needed and thus they are still today two of the finer and busier public courses in the state. And as both Owasso and Broken Arrow have grown, they have helped tremendously with the quality of life issues that appeal to new residents.


What a job! Chatting with all-time greats like Gil Morgan.

“At the time, I thought Ken was ahead of his time,” said Hays, who’s now the presi dent and chief executive officer of ExoStat Medical Inc. “In small business, about one of 15 is ever commercially successful. What he’s done in a tough, competitive business is literally phenomenal. He calls me his funding partner, but I wrote a check to him because I believed in him. … It wasn’t easy. You have to have the connections and an inside track to deal with these (golf) pros. But Ken had the talent to pull that off. He is just a really special man.”

But what he’s accom plished at Golf Oklaho ma – which is celebrat ing its 30th anniversary with this issue – needs to be praised, so that’s what is going to be done with this piece, whether MacLeod likes it or not (and this writer can guarantee that it’s the latter).“We need to put Ken up on a pedestal,” said Mark Felder, the Okla homa Golf Association’s longtime executive di rector. “You can’t glow enough about him.”

Jones had similar concerns: “I didn’t know if Ken could find enough material to last six months. But a combination of rou tine but kansasmanot1993,lishedGolf,Souththenpackage."hassuchAndzinemakesandinriesandingturesinformation,essentialfeaoninterestpersonalitiesexotics(stoaboutcoursesotherstatesevenabroad)themagaarichblend.KenbeinganiceguyhelpedselltheThemagazine,knownasCentralfirstpubinAugustcoveringgolfjustinOklahobutalsoinArandKansas.

This from Pat Mc Crate, the director of golf at LaFortune Park Golf Course in Tulsa: “Ken does such a wonderful job telling our story. He couldn’t have picked a more correct career.” Added Maggie Roller, the director of instruction at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Broken Arrow: “He puts his heart and soul into it. He is just for Oklahoma golf. His magazine is one of the best things we have.”

24 GOLF OKLAHOMA • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2022 WWW.GOLFOKLAHOMA.ORG by murray evans Ken MacLeod didn’t want this to be written. He’s much more comfort able writing and reporting on those involved in Oklahoma golf than in being the subject of one of those stories.

Advocate for Oklahoma Golf

A casual conversation between MacLeod and Felder in 2011 changed the publica tion’s“Kenfocus.had been doing the South Central (magazine) forever and he was having a hard time selling ads,” Felder said. “I said, ‘Why don’t you and A.G. (Meyers) come to my office and let’s talk about just doing an Oklahoma magazine. You can do all the OGA stuff.’ That was where Golf Oklaho maMeyers,started.”a respected businesman who was the former vice president of the Lazy E Arena, general manager at Oak Tree Na tional and Chairman of the 2006 Senior PGA Championship, came on as chief operations officer. The magazine’s title switched to Golf Oklahoma with the AprilMay issue in 2011, with Bo Van Pelt on the cover. If there ever was any question about whether the state of Oklahoma could pro duce enough golf news to make possible such a focused magazine and website, that has been answered in the affirmative many times over. In fact, the magazine doubled

“Ken is part-author, part-architect, part-superintendent, part-rules official, part-tournament director,” said one of his writing contemporaries, John Rohde, who covered golf for years for The Oklaho man and now contributes as a freelance writer for MacLeod’s magazine. “He exam ines every nook and cranny of the South Central Section and uses Golf Oklahoma as hisGolfrangefinder."Oklahoma – the official publication of the OGA – has been voted as one of the nation’s top regional golf magazines for a majority of the years since its inception. It’s delivered in bulk to every Oklahoma golf course, has over 5,000 home subscribers and over 34,000 Oklahoma golfers receive its weekly newsletter updates. The accom panying website, www.golfoklahoma.org, has more than 186,000 unique visitors per year. There’s also social media channels on Facebook, Twittter and Instagram, a radio show and a podcast featuring well-known Oklahoma broadcaster Sam Humphreys. Through the years, Golf Oklahoma pro duced the Hurricane Tracker (a University of Tulsa fan magazine) from 1996 to 2001, had a graphics and pre-press production side business for 15 years and sold, pro duced and managed about 35 golf expos in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Little Rock and Springdale, Ark. Simply put, Golf Oklahoma is a success story as it celebrates covering the sport in our state for 30 years. But there was no guarantee in 1992, when MacLeod, an Ohio transplant who then was a sports reporter for the Tulsa Tribune (the city’s evening newspaper), developed the idea for a publication that would cover golf in the PGA’s South Central Region. To start the magazine, MacLeod borrowed money from two men, longtime Tribune editor Jenk Jones Jr. and Jim Hays, then a local en ergy businessman in Tulsa and one of the state’s finest amateur golfers.

“What he does and how he does it, he’s the only one doing it,” Felder said. “He’s our only vehicle for Okla homa golf. He’s so unobtrusive. He just shows up, does his job and keeps winning awards, year after year. I have been so proud to work with him all of these years. I just wanted the story about all Ken does to be told.”


In addition to its coverage, the com pany was hired in 2014 to help promote and run the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame and works closely with founder Everett Dobson,current board chairman Tom Jones and the rest of the board. The Hall of Fame presents two annual $5,000 scholarships and the annual Everett Dob son Award, which provides $5,000 to help a collegiate golfer embark on a career after graduating from a university. The 2019 re cipient was Elizabeth Freeman, a former Oklahoma Christian University player who earlier this year graduated from the Oklahoma City University Law School, with plans to serve as a legal advocate for children.“Iamso thankful for the Everett Dob son Award,” Freeman said. “The money I received through the award helped ease the burden of paying for casebooks and other materials during my time in law school. It really made a difference for me.”

Editor's note: Murray got the lead right, it was only at the insistence of OGA Executive Direc tor Mark Felder that we are running this. That said, it's really nice and I appreicate it Mark and Murray, wish my parents would have had a chance to read it – Ken MacLeod

When J.P. Roller had to give a speech at PGA National Resort in Florida after win ning an award, MacLeod stayed up into the wee hours helping to edit that speech – which was presented in front of, among others, Jack Nicklaus. Maggie Roller said the speech was a hit. “I really love Ken,” Maggie Roller said. “I really respect him and his quality of work. He’s been a wonderful advocate for golf.” MacLeod is a champion of the club pros who often toil without much recognition at Oklahoma courses, but who play such a key role at the grassroots level of the sport. Walk into the pro shop at almost any course in Oklahoma and drop MacLeod’s name and you’ll be treated exceptionally well.“Idon’t think there’s any bigger fan of the PGA pro in Oklahoma, and no bigger fan of amateur or junior golf in Oklahoma, than Ken,” McCrate said. “He genuinely loves it and is absorbed with it from top to bottom. He is just knowledgeable about so much, like course design, and he’s on top of PGA and international golf stuff, too.”

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WWW.GOLFOKLAHOMA.ORG in size when it narrowed its editorial and advertising focus to promoting and cover ing golf in Oklahoma. There’s a lot of state pride in Oklahoma golf, while the South Central Section is an arbitrary geographic area used by the PGA of America. Golf Oklahoma covers every level of the sport from competition at all levels (ju niors, collegians, professionals) to course construction and renovation, equipment, travel, golf literature, instruction and the job of the unsung heroes, the golf course superintendents. There’s re ally not a part of Oklahoma golf that the publication doesn’t touch, and mostly in real time thanks to MacLeod, a group of freelance cor respondents and the many talents of production manager Chris Swafford. “Ken is willing to cover anything or go anywhere,” said Roller, who first met MacLeod during her playing ca reer at TU in the 1980s and whose children, J.P. and Jenni, have received much cover age during the past few years as they’ve excelled in junior golf. “He’s a really good interviewer and a good listener and that makes him a good reporter and a good writer. He’s a golf fan, because he loves to play. He has such a passion for it – that’s why he’s so good at it. He just wants to get good golf stories.”

Stories like Freeman’s show the farreaching impact and success of MacLeod’s work and warm the heart of Hays, one of the men who provided MacLeod the start up funds in 1992. Hays acknowledges the success of Golf Oklahoma is beyond what he ever could have expected. “It took him a number of years to get it really rolling,” Hays said. “He struggled fi nancially early. But he was going to make it work. Now, the only issue that I can see with Ken’s empire is Ken is not going to be hereBut,forever.”fortunately for golf fans, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

• Andy Crabtree, a 17-year-old from Bixby, wins the OGA Junior. Crabtree is now the men’s golf coach at Okla homa City University.

• In one of the many stories pre viewing the 1994 PGA Championship at Southern Hills, we lamented the lack of young faces on the PGA Tour. Tom Lehman, breaking through in his early 30s to be one of the top players, seemed the new model. The average age of players making it through Qualifying School that year was 30. We wrote that we hoped Phil Mick elson and Tiger Woods could help change that dynamic. They certainly did that! And now the top 10 in the World Golf Rankings are mostly under 30. Times have changed dramatically.

• Four members of Golf Club (now Oak led by furniture Mathis and including oilmen Art Swanson, Ran Ricks and Walter Duncan, purchased the club from the Resolution Trust Corpo ration.

etteville, Ark., his second course af ter Lost Springs Country Club in Rogers, Ark. Lind sey would go on to build numerous courses to supple ment Oklahoma,complexesapartmentinin cluding one each in Broken Arrow, Owasso, Bixby, Stillwater, Moore and Norman.

• Our Kansas correspon dent Mal Elliott looked back over his long career covering golf in Kansas and Oklaho ma and noted the most re markable family he had covered was the Stevens clan of Wichita, with 32 state and city championships. That legacy goes on today with former OSU golfer Sam Stevens on the Korn Ferry Tour working his way to the PGA Tour.

Sheila Dills


• David Edwards won the Oklahoma Open, outdueling Chris Tidland and Rocky Walcher down the stretch. Pat McTigue, now at ClubGolfatProtralPGAingedgedCountryMeadowbrookClub,TimFlemtowintheSouthCenSectionClubChampionshipOklahomaCity&Countrywithrounds of 67-68. Joe Nick, then the state’s domi nant amateur along with Tim Graves, won the OGA Stroke Play Championship at The Greens in Oklahoma City by a stroke over Roger Brown of Arkansas City and Doug Ramey of Seminole. Sheila Dills of Tulsa won her second WOGA State Amateur. Dills went on to lead WOGA as president before a stint in the state legislature where among her final accomplishments were writing bills to start an Oklahoma Golf Trail and celebrate an annual Oklahoma Day of Golf.

• Arnold Palmer concluded his run in the PGA Championship, the major he never won, with a 20-foot par putt on the hole Friday, sending the crowd into • The local contingent left Southern Hills mar veling at Price’s 11-under total and frustrated by their own play. Glen Day did the best, tying for 15th at 1-over. Bill Glasson tied for 19th, Gil Morgan 44th and Andrew Magee 47th. Bob Tway missed the cut.

• Tim Fleming, then an assistant at Okla homa City Golf & Country Club, wins the South Central Section Match Play Championship at Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville. He is still winning them today, having just won his eighth title at Quail Creek Golf & Country Club in late June. A remarkable run of consistently great play for the former Oklahoma State All-American.


In this issue we look back at 20 years of golf in Oklahoma, with the most recent decade to be reviewed in our October Issue. Hope you have fun reminiscing or learning about these events for the first time.

September-October 1994 Amid our coverage of Nick Price’s runaway victory in the 1994 PGA Championship were these nuggets:

• Greg Norman, frustrated with the condi tions of the bent grass greens in August, ad vised Southern Hills to put in Bermuda greens. Greg is still full of advice today.



• Lake Hefner North reopens after a com plete renovation by architect Randy Heck enkemper and quickly becomes one of the top destinations for public golf in the state.

• Tim Johnson, now the general manag er at The Golf Club of Oklahoma, became the new head pro at Indian Hills Country Club and Resort in Fairfield Bay, Ark.

• We profile OSU ex Brian Watts after he won five tournaments and $1.4 million on the Japanese Tour in •1994.Our col lege andOklahomaLeeatchaelland,ChrisBrattonseniorsturespreviewspringfeaOSUAlanandTidMiBoydTulsa,JeffwithTagRid

• A $5-million renovation of the Jimmie Austin University of Oklahoma Course was announced, including a redesign by Bob Cupp and, for the first time, an irri gation system. Next year The Jimmie will begin a five-year run of holding a Korn Ferry Tour event, bringing top level professional golf to the state on a consis tent basis.

ings at Arkansas. Tag is still playing pro fessionally, Bratton is the OSU coach, Tidland the head professional at Still water Country Club, and Boyd now in pri vate business after a long career as a PGA professional.Alan Bratton OSU golfer Chris Tidland and Mike Holder.

aAnda.m.throughingorKarstendonatingers,askedeverythingdoingheofothwhethertoCreekpushhimself6:30workouts.ofdoinggoodjobof hiding a soft and compassionate side. For as cold and flinty as he can seem at times, Holder can also be charming and the he can change from one to the next at a moment’s no tice. One quote from Jones in the story captured that. “He doesn’t see the val ue in chitchat,” said Jones, now the general manager and COO at Oak Tree National who was then running Karsten Creek. “He’s not the type to stand around and talk about the weather. Instead, he’ll just stand there.”

• Our favorite story of that issue, a profile on OSU coach Mike Holder through the eyes of his former players, included stories of wrestling matches with Tom Jones and others, trading elbows with Bob Tway on the basketball court and other tactics that would be unusual today, to say the least. But many of his players credited him with


• Oklahoma City area golf professionals come together to raise money for the vic tims of the bombing of the federal building in Oklaho ma City. Dennis McKnight, an assistant at Earlywine Park, led the effort which raised over $46,000 for the relief effort.

• Cary Cozby takes a job as an assistant at Southern Hills Country Club, leaving Oak Tree National.

“He was tough,” Holder said. “He never made anyone do anything. He just set a good example. He was always out there practicing, working on his game. He was a great coach, but I know he most loved to compete.”

• More than 20 PGA Tour players, includ ing Scott Simpson, Hal Sutton, Doug Tewell, David Edwards and Billy Mayfair, agree to play in the final edition of Fore Tulsa!, an annual fundraiser run by the Junior League of Tulsa. Since it’s inception in 1963 it had raised more than $1.7 million and partici pating players had included Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Billy Casper, Lee Trevino, Byron Nelson, Tom Watson, Ray Floyd, Tom Weiskopf, Tom Kite, John ny Miller, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Tommy Bolt, Fred Couples, Payne Stewart, Ken Venturi and just about every other big name profes sional of the 1960s through the 1980s.


• OSU’s Alan Bratton won the NCAA Central regional just ahead of Craig Cozby of •Oklahoma.Wecaught up with Tom Fazio, in town for a reno vation at The Golf Club of Oklahoma that would close the course for nine months. Of any similarities between The Golf Club and Karsten Creek, Fazio said: “If there’s a recognizable style, it’s because the sites are similar. If you look at the pro file, both have a water-retention lake, both have rolling terrain with dense tree cover, both have a substantial amount of land without housing projects on either piece.”

• Our cover story details the unique friend ship between Alan Bratton and Chris Tid land not long after they took down Tiger Woods and Stanford and got ready to embark on their future golf careers.

• Harbour Town Golf Links is rechristened Oak Tree Town after Bob Tway wins there, join ing Doug Tewell and David Edwards as Oak Tree Gang members to have won on Hilton Head Island.

• Among the high school champs that spring were Frank Genzer of Jenks, Josh Whitehead of Midwest City Carl Albert, Matt Morgan of Cushing, Scott Sheperd of Stigler and Cody Freeman of Arnett. For the girls, 15-year-old Enid freshman Stacy Pram manasudh upended two-time state champi on Stacy Rambin, a junior at Jenks. 1995 SEPTEMBER 1995 U.C. Ferguson and Mark Felder

• In the not-much-has-changed depart ment, we wrote a feature on OSU’s Kevin Wentworth and OU’s Jeff Lee, two surethings coming out of college who had yet to break through on the mini-tours and become PGA Tour stars. Neither ever did and it remains a brutally tough game today no matter your collegiate accom plishment.

• Jim Hays, who helped us start this magazine with a timely loan, wins the firstever event on the Ozark Pro fessional Golf Tour. At age 49, Hays was pre paring for a run at the Champi ons Tour.

• Tulsa coach Bill Brogden and Oral Rob erts athletic director Mike Carter win the OGA FourBall, shooting rounds of 65-66 at Dornick Hills in Ardmore. Both are now retired but still active in promoting golf through out the state.

• In our feature on the NCAA Central Re gional, junior Dan Rooney shot a final round 70 for Kansas. Rooney, of course, went on to found The Folds of Honor Foundation.

• Tripp Da vis is profiled as his new firm Tripp Davis & As sociates takes off, with renovationwithBobandRomanacontractimpendingantodonewnineatNosetohelpCupphisofJimmie Austin. He was already also doing lots of renovation work around the country, which continues to be the case today.

The tournament ended because pros were now asking $30,000 to $40,000 in ap pearance fees and the Junior League was un able to raise enough on top of the field costs to make it worthwhile.


• Another unique group of golfers band together to help OKC bombing victims, this one including Ar nold Palmer, Lee Tre vino, Dave Stockton, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Scott Verplank and many others, repre senting 396 tour victo ries, including 194 on the PGA Tour and 202 on the Champions Tour. The event, called the Heartland of America Pro-Am, will help rebuild a childcare center in downtown Oklahoma City.

Labron Harris, who built the OSU golf dynasty, died Aug. 14 at the age of 86 in Sun City, Ariz. Harris coached 27 AllAmericans, won 24 conference titles and one NCAA Champion shipHis(1963).successor, Mike Holder, remembered him as being tough as old horsehide. At 58, Harris whipped Holder easily in a wrestling match.

Labron Harris

Tripp Davis Arnold Palmer

• The big feature that issue was on the program run by Steve Carson at Lincoln Park to help Douglass High School field a team and to help build minority golf partici pation at Lincoln Park. He kept up those ef forts until retirement in 2021.

• Our cover sto ry was on ShangriLa, then under the auspices of Club Corp., which com pleted a $1-mil lion renovation. Rick Reed, who recently retired from The Oaks CC, was then the head professional and Mar shall Smith taught there. That was one of Shangri La’s heydays in its his tory of peaks and valleys, but nothing to match the splendor of today.

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2022 • GOLF OKLAHOMA 29WWW.GOLFOKLAHOMA.ORG 5501 S. Yale Avenue, Tulsa, 918-496-6200Oklahoma www.LaFortuneParkGolf.com South Lakes 9253 S. Elwood • Jenks, America 918-746-3760 www.SouthLakesGolf.com

OverPatriottofirstsort.Shangri-LaaTheconstructionunderisBattlefield,newpar-3atReItwillbethenewcourseopensinceThein2010.40courses have closed in Oklahoma since the end of the golf boom, including of those men tioned above: River Bend, The Woods and The Traditions. Right now there is a good chance for the remaining courses to be suc cessful, but anyone opening a new course will hopefully consider whether it is truly needed and its impact on everyone else in the market.

Rick Reed

Lights on April 7-Oct. 31


Greg Norman was on the cover, hav ing led the money list that year with $1,567,359. Apparently judging by the events of the day, it wasn’t enough.

Much unlike today, when far more courses close than open, here were the courses we detailed as under con struction at the outset of 1996. Battle Creek in Broken Arrow, River Bend in Chickasha, Flint Hills in Wichita, Stuttgart (Ark.) Country Club, Chickasha Point in Kingston, nine holes at Roman Nose State Park in Wa

OCTOBER 1995 JANUARY 1996 MARCH 1996 tonga, nine holes at Langley State Park near Grand Lake, The Woods in Coweta, Greystone Golf & Country Club in Cabot, Ark., Lin Lar Golf Course in Muskogee, Eagle Crest in Alma, Ark., Diamante Country Club in Hot Springs Village, Springdale (Ark.) Country Club, The Tra ditions in Edmond (where Dan Rooney got his start as a professional) and Beulah Land Plantation in Hot Springs (one that never came to fruition). In Oklahoma now, the only course

• A few stories of inter est. D.W. Kang, who built Gleneagles Golf Course in Broken Arrow, told us stories about growing up in Seoul, South“YouKorea.fight all the time,” Kang said. “When you fight, you break your nose, break your teeth. No big deal. We don’t go to the doctor that much. The police come, but they just tell you not to fight.”

• The cover story was on Todd Graves and his new promo tion of The Natural Golf Swing, the single plane swing used by Moe Nor man of Canada to win hundreds of events. He and brother Tim are still teach ing the single-plane swing today at their bases in Florida and Edmond and at camps and clinics around the country. They will soon be moving back onto the grounds of the former Coffee Creek Golf Course in Edmond.

Dax Johnston of Central Oklahoma won the individu al title in the NCAA Division II National Championship. Tim Graves wrapped up the rivalry with Joe Nick that had dominated OGA golf for years by making a birdie putt on the 18th hole as he and Greg Engelbert won the OGA mondinachampstheprofessionalFlemingGaryoverChampionshipFour-BallNickandCowan.turnedaftertournament.HighSchoolincludedstunningupsetGirls5AasEdSantaFe’s

• Competition notes: OSU made it 50 consecutive years of NCAA Championship berths, but finished eighth as Tiger Woods won the in dividual crown and Arizona State the team title.

Dax Johnston

JULY 1996

• Course update: We detailed


Wendy Martin defeated defending cham pion Stacy Prammanasudh of Enid by a shot and two-time champ Stacy Rambin of Jenks by two shots. Boys champions included Charleton Dechert of Enid, Billy Lowry of Ada, Kyle Cofer of Poteau, Tim Cochran of Atoka and Nick Hughes of Hennessey.

Kang, a grand master in Taekwon do, achieved Class A status as a PGA pro fessional. He saw his Gleneagles course close, but Kang moved on to purchase Clary Fields in Sapulpa. That course closed as well, proving maybe that running a golf course wasn’t as much his thing as run ning Taekwondo centers. Now Kang can be found playing frequently with friends at Page Belcher in west Tulsa. And you should still avoid a fight.

30 YEARS APRIL 1996 MAY JUNE19961996

Joe Nick watches as Tim Graves putts for birdie to win the OGA Four-Ball title. Warren Spahn and Mickey Mantle were regulars at Shangri-La.

• The USGA had mostwithchampionshipsuitcussedand2001TulsawouldannouncedrecentlyitcometofortheU.S.Openwedisthepurofthemajorthosecloselyinvolved, including members Larry Houchin and Randy Olmstead, as well as general manager Nick Sidorakis and superintendent Bob Randquist. Also playing big roles in landing what is still the last U.S. Open to be held at the course were W.K. (Bill) Warren Jr. Otis Winters, John Gaberino and Bob Berry.

Corp.velopmentOPUBCOpresidentGaylordscionofson-in-lawClaybeingCountryofbeginningstheGaillardiaClubbuiltbyBennett,publishingEdwardandofDeArthurHills was the original archi tect, Landscapes Unlimited did the con struction and a grandiose French Normandy style clubhouse was part of the plan. The course put in 419 Bermuda fairways, a hy brid Bermuda which looked great proved to be troublesome anytime there was a severe winter. It has all been replaced now and Gaillardia today is as well-conditioned as any course in the state. Also, the city of Owasso dismissed the golf management firm of Golf Resources Inc., and decided to run Bailey Ranch itself, turn ing it over to head professional Warren Lehr. That worked out for both, as Lehr is now city manager and Bailey Ranch is renovated and one of the top public courses in the state.

Nick Sidorakis

• Our cover story was on Jake Engel, who abused his body to play over 10,075 holes of golf in 1996, setting what was then the recognized re cord by Golf Digest for most holes played in a single year, most of it at Lincoln Park in Oklahoma City. Alas, it didn’t last long and the record now is 14,626 holes by Chris Adams at a course in Hawaii. Still it was a massive effort by Engel, who was only averaging 19.6 holes per day when we ran the story but stepped it up to nearly 30 a day the rest of the year in order to break the zineber.IthePavindebut.angloss.fromWerecord.switchedtabloidtoItwasnotimpressiveCoreywasoncover,whycan’trememThemagawas24pages with five pages or so of ads.



• David Edwards won the rain-short ened Okla homa Open after shooting a record 14-un der in the first two rounds. He would have been paired in the final round with Bob Tway and Tulsa ama teur Tag Rid ings.•Sheila Dills, 29, earned a three-peat in the WOGA State Amateur Champion ship with a 5 and 4 vic tory over Megan Benn of Norman. Dills cried on the shoulder of now late husband and cad die Joey Dills before ad dressing the media. “He’s the greatest caddie and husband,” she said. “He knows how to read greens and he knows my game. It gave us two good minds out there.”

Joe Nick David Edwards

• Our cover story detailed the renovation of Jimmie Austin by Bob Cupp. No one seemed truly pleased with the course until Tripp Da vis did one-shotheldthepubliconepositioned2016-17renovationanotherinthathasitasofthetopcoursesinstate.•JoeNickonforavictory over Mike Hughett to win the OGA Stroke Play Championship, his ninth OGA title in the past eight years. Nick had nearly missed his tee time in the first round after being up with his wife Dee Dee, who was admitted to a hospital suffering from dehy dration while seven months preg nant. He arrived at Lake Hefner North minutes before his tee time and two hours later was 5-under through 12 holes. He wore out, but hung on to win his fourth OGA Stroke Play Championship in his past five attempts.

He also won the OGA Match Play in 1989, 1992 and 1993 and the Mid-Am in 1992. It was all about to go wrong, however.


• Eagle Crest in Musk ogee added nine holes. That was ambitious. The entire course is now closed.•U.C. Ferguson was inducted into the Okla homa Sports Hall of Fame, in an excellent profile on his life and legacy by John Rohde.

In 1993 U.C. Ferguson receives plaque from OKC Golf Commission chairman Leroy Richardson.

Course construction re mained the hot topic as Gail lardia in OKC prepared to open. A Randy Heckenkem per design near Fayetteville called Stonebridge Meadows wasOnefeatured.Maggie Kelt (now Roller) wrote her first in struction piece for the mag azine. Her most recent one was in our June-July issue this summer. Maggie con tinues to do everything in her power to promote golf in Oklahoma.


Lin Lar, now called Cobblestone Creek after several ownership changes, is now the only public course open in Muskogee. It was just coming online in the spring of 1997.



JUNE-JULY 1998 Our cover story was on the world class golf photogra phy of Mike Klemme of Enid. Okla homa State signed Charles Howell and Boyd Summer hays, the recruitshighest-rankedtwoMikeHolder had inked in the same JANUARY 1997 We produced both a regular issue of South Central Golf and a special preview issue for the 1996 Tour Championship at Southern Hills. For that issue, I se lected a photo of Tom Lehman for the cover and the current Brit ish Open champion backed me up by shooting 12-under to winForeasily.ourregular issue of SCG, we had a course rendering of Chickasha Point on the cover, Randy Heckenkemper’s new creation at Lake Texoma. Also under construction at that time in addition to those mentioned in the June 1996 up date was the begin ning of construction of Patricia Island, a Tripp Davis design on Grand Lake. Also announced was the building of Golden Eagle Golf Course (currently Winter Creek) in Blanchard. There’s a course that has had its ups and downs over the years, but the design by Rocky Roque more was always solid and entertaining. Also in that issue we learned about Pheasant Run, an 18-hole public course in Enid that is still operating today. And Deer Run in Broken Ar row completed its first full year and owner Wayne Koppage imme diately started building a second 18. That land eventually became Em erald Falls, which also closed. Koppage went on to buy Eagle Creek in Muskogee, which be came another victim of the big golf contraction of 2015-18.

Bob Phelps

Perry Maxwell

This issue was dedicated to 37-yearold Tom Lehman and his remark able eventtheernshipChampioninperformance12-undertheTouratSouthHills,lasthugeattheclub until the 2001 U.S. Open. Tulsa fans also got their first glimpse of Ti ger Woods, who would rather quickly end Lehman’s short run as the No. 1 golfer in the world. But Lehman, when he was putting well, was really tough, as he showed that summer in running away with the British Open and finished second in the U.S. Open. 1996 Oklahoma City came in for high praise in this issue for the work done at Lake Hefner North, Trosper Park and Earlywine with Lincoln Park up next. Lake Hefner North accounted for 70,000 of the 130,000 rounds played in 1997 at Lake Hefner. Those num bers are stunning. Today 30,000 is regarded as a successful year. In other course news, Jerry Slack was hired to design a new nine holes at Hillcrest Golf Course in Cof feyville, where the original nine was de signed by Perry Max well. And Slack was also commissioned to add nine holes at Cof feyville Country Club to the nine designed by George Bell. Bob Phelps, now the head rules offi cial for the OGA, was hired as the head professional for new course Crimson Creek in El Reno, which opened in July. It was designed by P.B. Dye, son of PeteMeadowbrookDye. Country Club in Tulsa reopened after a renovation of all of its greens. It still has some of the best greens in the state. On the course, Stacy Pram manasudh won her third state champion ship for Enid. Tim Fleming knocked off Bob Ralston for his second SCS Match Play Champion ship title. Winning boys titles were Kyle Willman of Edmond North in 5A, Clint Colbert of Guthrie in 4A, Marty McCau ley of Cushing in 3A, and Blake Martin of Stigler in 2A. McCauley is now the head coach of the Oklahoma City University women’s golf team.


Competition notes: Brian McGreevy edged Billy Lowry of Ada 3 and 1 to win the OGA State Amateur Championship at Twin Hills Country Club. McGreevy is the father of current PGA Tour golfer Max McGreevy. Brad Golden of Oklahoma City won the OGA Stroke Play Championship at Kickingbird by one shot over Kelsey Cline and Jay Morgan.


soninNamara,coachhonorcludestheinTUSevenCountryalsopionship,ChambothatTulsaClub.formerplayersarethefieldandeventinaspecialforTulsaDaleMcnowher25thseaandhaving led her team to 74 victories and four national championships.

An LPGA Pro-Am featuring 26 top players is scheduled at Tulsa Country Club to help raise funds for the University of Tulsa to host the 1998 Bama Fall Preview and the 1999 NCAA

MikeRandquistHolderand Trip Kuehne.

Dale McNamara


Bob Randquist, 48, announced he was leaving his post as superintendent at Southern Hills Country Club to work at Boca Rio Golf Club in Boca Raton, Fla. Randquist is now the chief operating of ficer for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America in Lawrence, Kan. The Landmark name became promi nent again in golf circles. Jerry Barton formed Landmark National and devel oped courses including South Padre Island Golf Club and The Oaks Golf Club near Biloxi, Miss. Joe Walser and Ernie Vossler, Barton’s partners in the original Landmark Land Company, began developing new courses under the banner Landmark Golf. Barton hired for mer Landmark key players such as Joel Gann and Chris Cole and installed former Oak Tree pro Brent Goodger as director of golf at South Padre. Dan O’Kane wrote a terrific feature on Hank Kuehne, his difficul ties with drinking and the effect it had on his brother Trip and the OSU program before Mike Holder helped him transfer to SMU. Ernie Vossler and Joe Walser Bob


Stacy Prammanasudh Jeff McMillian Patty McGraw Andrew Magee

The golf course total con tinued to bloom in 1999. Scheduled to open that spring are the Owasso Golf & Ath letic Club and Broken Arrow Golf & Athletic Club.

“We’re like the Wal-Mart of golf,” said Lindsey Con struction marketing director Kevin Rogerson. “We provide a great product at a reasonable price. We target families who wouldn’t be able to afford an expensive country club and public course golfers who want a country club atmo sphere.”Also under construc tion that spring was Wolf Mountain in Poteau. A great setting if never a great course, Wolf Moun tain still has maybe the best view of any course in theAndystate.


McCormick purchases River Oaks Country Club and plans a major renovation including rerouting many of the holes to go in the opposite direction of their current layout.

Patricia Island is reviewed, while it’s noted that Randy Heckenkemper is designing a nine-hole course to be called The Coves on Grand Lake, while Bland Pittman has a nine-hole addition to Idabel Country Club open and is designing Peoria Ridge in Miami. 1999


THE TOP 10 OVERALL: 1, tie between Charlie Coe and Nancy Lopez. 3, Gil Morgan, 4, Susie Maxwell Berning, 5, Bob Tway, 6, Scott Verplank, 7, Bob Dickson, 8, Kelly Robbins, 9, Orville Moody, 10, Dale Douglass. Competition notes: Randy Robinson of Edmond won the OGA State Amateur while Billy Brown of Stillwater took the OGA Stroke Play Champion ship. Bonnie Hanlin won her second consecutive WOGA State Ama teur with a 2 and 1 victory over eight-time champion Patty Coatney.

The cover story detailed why Forest Ridge, under the commitment of owner Joe Robson, remained the gold standard of “upscale daily fee” courses for the state. One thing we did not delve into much was how upset Robson was when the city of Broken Arrow decided to get into the pub lic golf business with the advent of Battle Creek. But the two have coexisted over the years despite some down times for golf and been successful.


A F5 tornado that destroyed much of Moore destroyed all structures and trees at the nine-hole Lake side Golf Course in Moore, but miracu lously missed doing heavy damage to other courses that were near its path of destruction.Former Sooner great Andrew Ma gee called for the firing of OU golf coach Gregg Grost after the Sooners went four years without winning. Doug Martin, who captained the Sooners national cham pionship in 1989, also expressed his concern about the direction the pro gram was headed, while current Ping rep and for mer player Rick Bell said he sup ported“He’sGrost. fin ished,” Magee told John Rohde. “He’s got no chance of becoming a nation al began his OU career in 1986, was let go in 2000. He eventually became the chief executive officer for the Golf Coaches Association of America and in 2000 became the golf coach for Norman HighCompetitionSchool. notes: Jim Woodward, coming back from the PGA Tour, knocked off Tim Fleming in the finals of the Section Match Play Championship. Woodward also wrote his first instruction piece for the magazine in that issue, detailing why he switched from a draw to a fade.

Andy McCormick


Tracy Phillips


Broken Arrow is actually quite a re markable city for golf, with The Golf Club of Oklahoma, Cedar Ridge, The Club at Indian Springs and the Broken Arrow Golf & Athletic Club on the private side and Forest Ridge, Battle Creek and Lit’l Links on the public side. Emerald Falls was an upscale daily fee not far from Forest Ridge that closed. As the millennium wound down, we named an Oklahoma All-Century Golf Team. The list included the top high school, collegiate and professional players for men and women and then an overall top 10. For the men, Tracy Phillips and Jeff Mc Millian were 1-2 in high schools, Charlie Coe and Scott Verplank 1-2 in college, and Gil Morgan and Bob Tway 1-2 for pros. For the women it was Stacy Prammana sudh and Patty McGraw 1-2 as prep golfers, Me lissa McNamara and Kathy Baker 1-2 in college, and Nancy Lopez and Susie Berning 1-2 as professionals.


The legendary U.C. Ferguson passed away on Sept. 26, 1999, at the age of 85. His impact was remembered by John Rohde talk ing with Mark Hayes, Jim Wood ward and others.

• Also opening that summer was Sugar Creek Canyon in Hinton, a Mark Hayes de sign in which the back nine descended into Red Rock Canyon and featured some spec tacular holes. It was a project of the Hinton Economic Development Authority. It sur vived the Great Recession but closed in 2015.

• Chickasaw Pointe, designed by Randy Heckenkemper, opened on the shores of Lake Texoma as the crown jewel in the Oklahoma State Park Golf Course system. We wondered in the article if the state would take better care of it than it had its other properties. After years of turmoil and legal challenges between the State Tourism Department, the Commissioners of Land Office and Pointe Vista Development, there is finally progress being made toward de veloping the area as a destination for both home ownership and as a resort destination. Meanwhile the course remains one of the best public venues in the state.

• Tripp Davis gets to work on a design of Clary Fields, which turned out to be a highly entertaining and scenic course built by United Golf in Sapulpa. Another victim of the golf course boom and bust cycle, Clary Fields closed in October of 2015. Owner D.W. Kang said at the time that the course did fewer than 10,000 rounds in 2014 and never really recovered from the recession of 2007-08.

• We reviewed Peoria Ridge, scheduled for a mid-November opening in Miami. De signed by Bland Pittman, the course hired superintendent Milton Hale, a smart move as he is still there today and has maintained a high standard for this entertaining and challenging course through the years.


• Branson Creek, a spectacular Tom Fazio layout in Branson, Mo., opened its first nine holes. Fazio told a meeting of the Branson Creek Golf Course LLC that it was possibly the best golf course that’s ever been built, quite a statement. As it turned out, Branson Creek was spectacular and despite the lack of a clubhouse it helped Branson stay a le gitimate golf destination until Johnny Mor ris got going and built the Big Cedar empire which now includes Top of the Rock, Moun tain Top, Payne’s Valley and Ozarks Nation al. He bought Branson Creek, renamed it Buffalo Ridge Springs and had Fazio back for a restoration. It remains spectacular today.

• Also, a $2.8-million renovation was com pleted at Lincoln Park West including all new greens, and a new course called Val ley View was an nounced in north west Arkansas (it later closed).

Chickasaw Pointe


The legendary U.C. Ferguson passed away on Sept. 26, 1999, at the age of 85. His impact was remembered by John Rohde talking with Mark Hayes, Jim Woodward and others.

• Branson Creek, a spectacular Tom Fazio layout in Branson, Mo., opened its first nine holes. Fazio told a meeting of the Branson Creek Golf Course LLC that it was possibly the best golf course that’s ever been built, quite a statement. As it turned out, Branson Creek was spectacular and despite the lack of a clubhouse it helped Branson stay a legitimate golf destination un til Johnny Morris got going and built the Big Cedar empire which now includes Top of the Rock, Mountain Top, Payne’s Val ley and Ozarks Na tional. He bought Branson Creek, renamed it Buffalo Ridge Springs and had Fazio back for a restoration. It re mains spectacular today.


Sugar Creek Canyon


• Also, a $2.8-million renovation was completed at Lincoln Park West including all new greens, and a new course called Valley View was announced in northwest Arkansas (it later closed).

• Tripp Davis gets to work on a design of Clary Fields, which turned out to be a highly entertaining and scenic course built by United Golf in Sapulpa. Another vic tim of the golf course boom and bust cycle, Clary Fields closed in October of 2015. Owner D.W. Kang said at the time that the course did few er than 10,000 rounds in 2014 and never really recovered from the reces sion of 2007-08.

• We reviewed Peoria Ridge, scheduled for a mid-November opening in Miami. De signed by Bland Pittman, the course hired su perintendent Milton Hale, a smart move as he is still there today and has maintained a high standard for this entertaining and chal lenging course through the years.

• Chickasaw Pointe, designed by Randy Heckenkemper, opened on the shores of Lake Texoma as the crown jewel in the Oklahoma State Park Golf Course system. We wondered in the article if the state would take better care of it than it had its other properties. After years of turmoil and legal challenges between the State Tourism De partment, the Commissioners of Land Of fice and Pointe Vista Development, there is finally progress being made toward develop ing the area as a destination for both home ownership and as a resort destination. Mean while the course remains one of the best public venues in the state.

• Also opening that summer was Sugar Creek Canyon in Hinton, a Mark Hayes de sign in which the back nine descended into Red Rock Canyon and featured some spec tacular holes. It was a project of the Hinton Economic Development Authority. It sur vived the Great Recession but closed in 2015.

• The USGA’s Judy Bell was instrumen tal in bringing the world’s best golfers to her favorite course, Prairie Dunes, as a con tract was announced that the 2002 U.S. Women’s Open would be held there.

• The USGA’s Judy Bell was instrumental in bringing the world’s best golfers to her fa vorite course, Prairie Dunes, as a contract was announced that the 2002 U.S. Women’s Open would be held there.

Ann Pitts Turner Tripp Davis

The fallout from the resignation of Rick Nuckolls as director of golf for Oklahoma Tourism continued as six of the head pro fessionals in the state park system re signed or were fired. In just a few months, the state went from nearly passing a bill that would have made the system more stable than it had ever been to all- out chaos.

• Vanderbilt coach Jim Ragan was named to suc ceed Gregg Grost as golf coach at OU. Amy Weeks was named the new women’s coach at OSU, while Mike McGraw became associ ate head coach of the OSU men’s and women’s teams.

• South Central Golf visited Tripp Da vis’ delightful design The Tribute in north Texas with near-replica holes from St. An drews, Royal Troon, Prestwick, Muirfield, Turnberry and Carnoustie, Moray Golf Club and Machrihanish.

• Tim Thelan of Pasadena, Texas, won the 33rd PGA Club Pro Championship at Oak Tree National, winning a playoff af ter shooting 1-over for 72 holes.

• Old Kinder hook at Lake of the Ozarks opens, giving the region another excel lent destination. It has proven to be among the most popular courses in the resort region for 22 years now.

• Charles Howell won the individual ti tle and Oklahoma State its ninth team title in the NCAA Championship at Grand Na tional in Opelika, Ala., one of the courses on the Robert Trent Jones Trail. Howell shot a record 23-under (67-66-63-69) and went bogey free over the final 50 holes.

A bill to create an au thority to run the state parks golf courses fails when a senator adds $6 million to build a new Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course in his district.

• Plans are announced for Big Sugar Golf Club in Pea Ridge, Ark. To be de

• Kansas golf pro Rick Nuckolls was demoted and ultimately resigned his post leading the state parks golf courses as the state promoted agronomist Tommy Grisham to Nickolls’ former post.•Jeff Combe, head pro at Tulsa Country Club, completed a grand slam of South Central Section majors by winning the SCS Club Pro Championship at Oakwood Country Club in Enid, defeating defending cham pion Pat McTigue in a playoff. Jim Woodward, then head pro at Quail Creek Country Club, defeated Mark Fuller 5 and 4 to win the section match play championship at The Golf Club of Oklahoma. Mike Hughett and Gary Cowan shared the OGA Stroke Play Champi onship when rain washed out the final round at Indian Springs Country Club in Broken Arrow.

• Tiger Woods comes to Oklahoma City for a clin ic at the James E. Stewart Golf Course.

• A new event on the LPGA Tour, the Williams Championship, is announced for a three-year run at Tulsa Country Club, starting in 2001.


• The relentless building of golf cours es throughout the state begins to take its toll. LaFortune Park rounds dropped some 25,000 rounds annually from 1989 to 1999. The addition of 216 holes to the greater Tulsa golf market hurt play at Page Belcher particularly. Superintendent Gary Burr complained in the article that his staff had dropped to 13 full-time and four part-time employees and his budget cut four years consecutively. That may have seemed bad then, but it’s more than double what the cur rent Page Belcher superin tendent tries to make do with. Burr grassed in eight bunkers at Stone Creek to lower maintenance costs thatSteveyear.Colvard and Brad Gidley, two members of a committee that met regularly with the Tulsa Park Board, said the city needed to step up or risk having the courses de grade beyond the point of return. Sound familiar?“It’saquality of life issue,” Colvard said. “You can’t put an elephant in a zoo and not feed it. If golf is worth the city’s effort, then it has to be treated like every other city entity such as the zoo and the river parks and the picnic areas and the swim ming pools. We have to subsidize it. Not eternally, but you have to put the money back in and bring the quality back up.”


• Colbert Hills, designed by Jim Colbert, opens in Manhattan, Kan., to be the home course for Kansas State. “We have 14 holes designed by God and we did the other four.” Colbert said.

• Isabella opens in Hot Springs Vil lage. Designed by Tom Clark, who also designed most of the now nine courses in the village and earlier that year had opened Big Creek Golf & Country Club in Mountain Home, Isabella gave Hot Springs Village a brand new bold er, wider look. Combined later with Granada, it helped turn the village into one of the top and most affordable golf destinations in the southwest.

• Ann Pitts retired as women’s golf coach at Oklahoma State af ter 24 years, 57 team victo ries and 21 national champi onship appearances. She also won a sexual discrimination case against her employer in 1994 and wasn’t afraid to ruffle feathers when needed. She went on to help found the Oklahoma Women’s Golf Hall of Fame and is now retired and living close to Shangri-La Resort. “I enjoyed working for the advance ment of women’s sports and women’s golf,” Pitts said. “I wanted to do all that I could to make things better for the female athletes because I cared about it. I wanted to be a part of it and do what I could.”

• Much like Angus Valley Farm, another ambitious golf project is announced that will never come to fruition. The Gauntlet was to be a Jack Nicklaus designed course in the Osage Hills northwest of Tulsa. It was contingent on selling lots in advance and though many com mitments were made the developers appar ently didn’t have enough to pull it off.

Competition notes: Tripp Davis can still play as well as design courses. He won the OGA State Amateur at Quail Creek Country Club with a 5 and 3 victory over Kelsey Cline of Yukon. Mike Hughett of Owasso won the OGA Mid-Amateur in a playoff with Rick Ruffin. Hughett won the OGA Mid-Amateur this summer, 22 years later, in a playoff with Harley Abrams and Austin Schmidt.

• Courses are still being built as fast a developers can finance them. Randy Heck ekemper completes work on Stonebridge in Verdigris, later called Scissortail. The property was mediocre for golf although the course was fun enough, but it didn’t draw strong enough play from Verdigris and Claremore and Tulsa was already oversaturated. It closed in 2016. Tripp Davis does a largescale restoration of Musk ogee Golf Club, including rebuilding all 18 greens. Meanwhile, Mark Hayes was outlining a plan to re build all 18 greens at Twin Hills along with renovations at Stillwater CC, Oakwood CC in Enid and Earlywine in Oklahoma City. Plans are announced for Meadowbrook Golf Club, which would later become Rose Creek, an Arthur Hills layout North Oklahoma City.

APRIL-MAY 2001 The U.S. Open at Southern Hills is the headliner, but also coming to Oklahoma this year are the NCAA Central Re gional May 17-19 at Karsten Creek, the Williams LPGA Championship Sept. 3-9 at Tulsa Country Club and the PGA Senior Tour Champion ship Oct. 25-28 at Gaillardia. The state begins to be regard ed as one of the better host sites for tournaments.


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signed by Jerry Slack, it’s a wonderful site but woefully underfunded during construction, a battle superintendent Steve Wilcoxen fought to overcome until he retired.

John Bizik shot a final-round 64 to win the Oklahoma Open by a shot over Barry Conser. A 72-page pre view of the 2001 U.S. Open at Southern Hills, featuring guess who on the cover. 2001 U.S. OPEN SPECIAL ISSUE


• A group of concerned citizens, in conjunction with new Park Board member Dale McNamara and Park Board chairman Walt Helmerich, works to create a non-profit corpora tion to oversee Tulsa’s public courses. Golfers have complained that the bunkers are routinely left unattended, green collars and roughs are weed in fested and the bent grass greens are damaged by heat stress.

Where one great course leads to another

• Our subhead on our sto ry on the 101st U.S. Open won by Retief Goosen was “USGA may make rapid re turn after Southern Hills, Tulsa stand tall in 10st U.S.ThatOpen.”was the Open won by Retief Goos en in a playoff over Mark Brooks and fea tured missed short putts on 18 by Goosen, Brooks and Stewart Cink. Well we blew that headline. The USGA did come back in 2009 for the U.S. Ama teur but has never rewarded Southern Hills with another U.S. Open. Now there is talk about the U.S. Open returning after the success ful 2022 soonpionshipPGAforbeadviceernshipChampionPGAatSouthHills.MywouldtosignupanotherChamasaspossible,butdon’twait.

OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2001 Scott Verplank’s Ryder Cup debut was postponed as the Ryder Cup was moved to the following September after the terrorist at tack on 9-11.

• Mike Hughett won the OGA State Amateur Cham pionship with a 3 and 2 vic tory over Adam Wing of Broken Arrow. In the morning semi final, Hughett birdied 17 and 18 at Tulsa Country Club to force ex tra holes against Stephen Rist, then won on the 23rd hole. He one-putt ed eight of the last 10 greens in a 3 and 2 victory over Derek Freeman in the quar terfinals.


Mal Elliott wrote a great piece on Oklahoma Golf Hall of Famer Pattie Blanton, who won championships from 1931 to 1956 and apparently enjoyed herself while doing it. She won four Oklahoma amateurs, four in Kansas, two in Colorado and also won the TransMiss and the Mexican Amateur.

Jerry Jones

JUNE-JULY 2001 Oklahoma golf was rocked in May with the passing of longtime former OGA Direc tor Bill Barrett on May 8 at age 79 and amateur golf leg end Charlie Coe on May 17 at age 77. Len Casteel, head profes sional at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, said Coe’s ability was on a level with Jack Nicklaus and Ar nold Palmer, but his dedication to the game was not the same. He was a businessman who preferred to remain an amateur and spend more time with his family. He won two U.S. Amateurs, finished second at The Masters, captained the Walker Cup and America’s Cup teams more than once and won both the Western Amateur and TransMississippi titles. Barrett was a retired druggist when he took over the OGA and began recruiting a team of dedicated volunteers and running tournaments ex pertly. He was kind as they come but no-nonsense when he needed to be. His 11-year run at the erseyesOGAelevatedhelmtheintheofgolfinstate and beyond.

• Jerry Jones retired as director of golf at LaFortune Park and South Lakes after 40 years in the business. He wisely turned his company over to his top assistant Pat Mc Crate, who is still running both courses and developing golfers of the future today.

Competition notes: Future U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover won The Oklahoma Open. Craig Walker edged Tim Fleming and Jim Woodward to win the SCS Championship at Texarkana Country Club.

BlantonMikeHughett Jim Woodward

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2001 Annika Sorenstam, Karrie Webb and Se Ri Pak are among the LPGA stars to com mit to the first Williams LPGAtournamentonship.ChampiThehadclosetiestoTUandhonoredDaleandMelissaMcNamara.Allindicationsatthattimewerethatthetournament would be in for a long run at TCC with Williams as sponsor.

Bill Barrett

Remember we would not have had any major until 2030 if not for the actions of the former president.

Jim Woodward won the Section Club Pro Championship in dominant fashion, shooting consecutive rounds of 66 at Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville to win by eight shots over Mike Hammond. Mike McQuain of Shawnee Country Club edged Pat McTigue of Tulsa 2 and 1 in the Section Match Play Championship at Golf Club of Oklahoma.


• In advance of the U.S. Women’s Open at Prairie Dunes, our Kansas correspondent Mal Elliott released a book on Prairie Dunes, where he delved into whether son Press Maxwell’s contributions to the second nine were what father Perry intended.


2002APRIL-MAY A good his torical issue, we looked back to Babe atWomen’sinZaharias’Didriksonwinthe1950U.S.OpenRollingHillsin Wichita to preview the 2002 event at Prai rie Dunes in Hutchinson, Kan. We also re viewed the two to be held in Oklahoma, including Donna Caponi winning in 1970 at Muskogee Golf Club and Jan Stephenson in 1983 at Cedar Ridge CC. South Central Golf announced its first website. Times were changing fast. Major renovations were announced for Tulsa courses LaFortune Park and Stone Creek, both to get new greens designed by RandySilveradoHeckenkemper.GolfCouse in Durant actually opened in 2001 but we first wrote about the new course in this issue. Also opening was Nashoba Valley Golf Course in the Kiamichi Mountains in southeast Oklahoma. Both have since vanished from the Oklahoma golf landscape.


Cobblestone Creek, a nine-hole par-3 course designed by Tripp Davis, opened in Norman. Also in Norman Westwood Park launched a major renovation and The Trails closed in on reopening its front nine greens after a rebuild. In Tulsa, it was announced that Tee Town Golf Ranch would reopen in a new loca tion after losing the original location to the building of the Creek Turnpike. The new location on 30 acres in Broken Arrow broke ground with plans to be operational by the spring of 2023, operated by Tracy Phillips, Holley Hair and JasonRichardHair. Bu chanan moved from Jimmie Aus tin to be the new head professional at Belmar Golf Club, which planned a May 5 opening. We went to Arkansas to visit Jack Fleck, then 80, who jumped over his fence to greet us and regale us with tales of his U.S. Open victory 47 years earlier over Ben Ho gan at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. Fleck was publishing a memoir about his life, with much of it devoted to that fa mous upset. We profiled Sean “The Beast” Fister after his second world long drive title. He later became a good friend and a fixture at our golf expos in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

Jack Fleck JUNE-JULY 2002 The PGA of America announced it would return to Southern Hills for the 2007 PGA Championship.•Gleneagles Golf Course in Broken Arrow was plowed under to devote additional land to housing.•We featured Stacy Prammana sudh as she got ready to embark on her LPGA career after one of the fin est junior and colle giate careers by any Oklahoman.


Problem is, most people thought they would rather go to the dentist than play The Blessings. It was softened considerably over time and membership slowly grew, partic ularly after it became the home of the Ar kansas Razorbacks. It has hosted numerous elite college events, including the NCAA Championship in 2019. But it remains as chal lenging as it is beautiful. Tyson got his wish.

• We looked back at the U.S. Women’s Open at Prairie Dunes, what a great event and a won derful champion in Juli Inkster, who at age 42 held off Annika Soren stam down the stretch. It was 22 years after Inkster won the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Prairie Dunes.

• John Rohde writes that the Oak Tree Gang has basically dwindled to four, with Scott Verplank, Doug Tewell, Bob Tway and GilCompetition:Morgan. Mitch Cohlmia, at age 17, won the OGA State Club.MuskogeeclosingonshipPlaytheRickatthenTed1withChampionshipAmateura3andvictoryoverNeville,acollegianPennState.BellwonOGAStrokeChampiwitha68atGolfEricMuel


• Jay Upchurch looked back at the revelry of the Burneyville events hosted by Opie and Waco Turner from 1961-64.

ler won the OGA Senior Match Play and Stroke Play titles. Waco and Opie Turner (seated) pass out the cash in Burneyville.

Jenk Jones Jr. took our readers on a geo graphical tour of Oklahoma courses, from Woodward to Guthrie, Pawhuska, Guy mon, Broken Bow and ending in Lone Wolf.

The Blessings, Jones Jr. de livered. The course was rated 155, the high est USGA slope allowed, from every tee box when it “We’reopened.goingto make this a true examina tion of the best players’ games,” Tyson said. “They’ll have to use all 14 clubs in a round. They’ll have to think on every shot. It will be a shot maker’s course and a thinker’s course.”

Holley Hair becomes the new head coach at Tulsa, replacing Melissa McNamara who resigned to take the post at Arizona State. Courses: John Tyson pushed architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. into design ing one of the hardest courses ever seen in America for his pri vate club in Johnson not far from the Tyson Foods headquarters in Fayetteville.Laterrenamed

• It’s amazing looking back how many projects that were announced never took off. In this is sue we did a big story on Cross Timbers Resort at Skiatook Lake, that was to include a Randy Hecken kemper golf course. Not a spoonful of dirt was ever moved and one wonders if the planners were just angling for access to lots or had any intent to build a golf course.

The Fore-State Golf Expo an nounced it would be held Feb. 2123 at the Clear Channel building in Tulsa. That was the first of more than 30 golf expos our company put on in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Springdale, Ark., Little Rock and even one in Omaha, Neb. They were a lot of work, but a lot of fun. When we signed a contract to help the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame in 2014, that was basically it for hav ing the time and energy for golf expos. And that decision was cemented when I lost my partner Stephen Hillman to a liver illness a few years back. But what memories! Due to tough economic times, Williams announced it was looking for partners to help sponsor its LPGA event in Tulsa. The company was in the midst of dramatic lay offs and selling off major components. An nika Sorenstam shot 11-under to win the second championship at TCC.

• Mark Hayes did a redesign of the greens at Oak Tree National, lessening the sever ity of the slopes. The changes were not popular with some members who wanted Dye’s original contours restored when Tripp Davis did another redesign much later. This year the greens are being con verted from bent grass to Bermuda. Depend ing on the firmness and time of year, they could be all anyone can handle when they reopen this fall.•

• Tim and Todd Graves conclude their search for an Oklahoma home base by opening the Graves Natural Golf School next to the driving range at Coffee Creek Golf Course in Edmond. It was there until Coffee Creek closed upon which they moved to Rose Creek. But the brothers may eventu ally move it back to Cof fee Creek even though there are no plans to reopen the golf course itself.

• Tulsa junior Chris Noel won the Okla homa Open by a shot over Jason Wood and Mitch McQuain. Jim Woodward won the Section Championship by four shots over Tim Fleming at Wichita Country Club. Mark Hayes worked on many courses in Oklahoma.

• A new project that is still with us is announced as Rick and Barbara Braught discuss plans for The Territory just west of Duncan. It was their dream to bring world class golf to south western Oklahoma, they did it and every one who plays The Territory to this day owes them a debt of gratitude, because it was from the heart and still only barely makes sense economically.

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One of the most curious projects in Oklahoma history gets underway when Dee Greninger leaves Gaillar dia and announces he has been hired to design Indian Ridge Country Club in Blanchard. More on this to come.

Randy Heckenkemper ranks The Terri tory with his finest work and that senti ment seems to be pretty much universal around the state.

PatCheers,McTigue, PGA Professional Meadowbrook Country Club have taught me this


The sweet swing of Mike Hughett.


riesearlierlessonstothetionspooralwaysball.waytheywhengroundavoidtuallythatgolfers,ing.improvesceptsingUnderstandfirst.swingconfirstgreatlylearnWithmanyIfindtheyareactryingtohittingthebecausetheydo,arehittingbehindtheThatnearlysignalswristposithroughstrike.I’vealsogoneshortgamewayinasewithpeople than in the past. Pitch shots require large ly the same motion as full swing and low point is even more critical in short game. I routinely see improvement not only in short game after a lesson, but low and be hold golfers are striking the ball better in fullAfterswing.low point control, it’s all about managing tension and tempo. That’s a teaser.

Are you at a low point?


arcbottomdoaningWe’reofseemlowwhenballasfaceingerspoint.facedownstrikingPropercontrol.ballcomestopath,andlowMostgolfhaveadecentunderstandofthepath/relationshipitpertainstoflight,butitcomestopoint,manyunawaretheconcept.swingtheclubonarc,sowherewewanttheofthattobe?Well, it would be helpful if that low point is underneath or slightly forward of the ball. A golfer’s ability to create a consistent low point is the most essential skill to develop in golf.


As I started stressing this more and more in lessons, I began to see improve ment in mechanics without directly ad dressing mechanics. What I started with is a conversation about the concept of low point and what is necessary to achieve it consistently. The most essential element of consistent low point is forward shaft lean, and that’s also the only way to hit the ball on the sweet spot. So, what’s the most essential element of forward shaft lean? Proper wrist posi tions!! If, they were able to create proper low point, then I knew the wrists had to be in better positions, and video bore that out. This discovery has changed the way I teach. Mind you it’s not 100 percent effective with all clients, but in the ma jority of cases I’ve seen ball striking improve faster than when I taught mechan ics


he reality is that you can’t do anything for three decades without re fining and redefining what one believes. My views on teach ing have certainly changed dramatically over that time, and especially within the last couple years. There are two things that came out of owning three indoor instruction facilities: Near crippling debt, and an exceptional understand ing of swing mechanics and dynamics.

Indoors, with motion measurement and launch monitors is a great place to learn mechan ics, but in my opinion not very good for estab lishing proper ballHittingstriking. off mats leads to a false sense of se curity, and leads to poor low point

Author: Dr. Brett Braly is a board-certified fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in spinal surgery. Dr. Braly is a leading advocate for minimally invasive techniques in spine surgery. Dr. Braly is named in the top “20 under 40” best spine surgeons by the North American Spine Society.

2. Prepare yourself for your game. 2 to 3 hours before you play by drinking 17 to 20 ounces of water. Then, about 20 to 30 minutes before your game, drink 8 ounces of water.¹

8. Dress for the occasion. In warm weather, wear breathable clothes. Choose lighter shades that do not absorb the heat from the sun.

1. https://familydoctor.org/athletes-the-importance-of-good-hydration/

The way you prepare your body before your game could be the difference between a par and birdie. This summer, take hydration seriously to improve your game.

Here are some tips to help you stay hydrated to be at the top of your game:

5. For a more intense game, consider a sports drink. Electrolytes from sports drinks can help you to stay hydrated. However, choose your drink wisely to avoid added sugar.¹

9. Follow up. No more than half an hour after your game, drink 8 ounces of water. Stay healthy with proper hydration to make the most of your game. Prepare your body with fluids before you play, and watch out for signs of dehydration.

Golf is a sport that requires your full mental and physical attention. It is common for people to be dehydrated without even knowing it. This affects not only your ability to think, but also your ability to perform physical activities. Staying hydrated is crucial to being able to play your best, especially in the hot summer temperatures.

3. Keep hydrating during your game. Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during the activity.¹

6. Monitor your body as you play. Watch for signs of dehydration such as cramping, fatigue, nausea, and loss of coordination.

1. Do not wait until you are thirsty. If you find yourself feeling thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

7. Eat certain foods for hydration. Fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, cucumbers, and strawberries are great snacks for staying hydrated before and during a game.

4. Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake as this can potentially dehydrate you.


Elsewhere,Keepplanned.reading.the amaz ing Alotian Club began to take shape near Little Rock, Rose Creek, a Tom Fazio design being built with unlim ited expense by Stephens.WarrenDanSnider,oncean OU assistant and a wellrespected teacher, was named to run the•place.John Rohde took a stab at the paradox that is Mike Holder in try ing to determine how someone can be so direct and blunt and also such a charmer when it comes to fund raising. 2003 2003

Cherokee Hills in its current form begins to take shape. The course, previously Roll ing Hills, then Spunky Creek, then Indian Hills, had been rolled over by threeeventuallywouldofbuildinglandsignificantgiventhentornados,haduptothewhat become the Hard Rock Casino. But with the help of the Cherokees pur chasing 55 new acres of wooded land, archi tect Tripp Davis was able to keep the course at 18 holes, when origi nally plans were to con solidate it to nine. And so the course that began in 1924 as a Perry Max well design survived, with as much Maxwell intact as Davis could manage.

New holes at Cherokee Hills by ken mac leod

Rose Creek opened to solid reviews in Oklahoma City, owned by The Melrose Company and managed at the time by Troon Golf. Cody Lack, who was running a different Troon facility in Prescott, Ariz., returned to his home state to be the head

“The whole intent was to use as much of the existing course as we cold to keep the feel of Maxwell in there,” Davis said. “The real ge nius of Maxwell’s courses was in the routings.”

Our cover story was on the golf develop ments ongoing in Blanchard. Winter Creek opened for play and remains open today after several ownership and management changes.Indian Ridge in Blanchard was plowing ahead. Dee Gren inger was the architect, Land scapes Unlimited the course builder, Paul Kruger the course owner providing the funds. Lots were be ing sold, an equestrian center, fitness center and 30,000 square foot club house

John atthirdout.liamsgiantstrappedfinanciallyTulsaevent2003sponsorsteppedHammonsQ.intotheLPGAinafteroilWilpulledTheeventTulsaCountry Club was popular with the players, as 92 of the top 100 on the LPGA Tour had committed to play in the event. Stacy Prammanasudh of Enid, currently tearing up the Future’s Tour, re ceived a sponsor’s exemption.

he second decade. Due to the nature of covering 2.5 states, we had evolved to where much of our coverage was travel and destination related that would appeal to readers throughout Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas. We’re not going to recap all the travel adventures here but just try to concentrate on what we covered in and around Oklahoma. The pace of course construction remained brisk in 2003. As you will see, it would eventu ally go just as fast the other direction.




Mike Holder


awaywasKlemmepherphotograveteranthisBlanchard,coursedianonotherlishedprofessional.WepubanstorytheInRidgeintimegolfMikeblownbywhat he saw as nine holes were basically complete and the others far along. Stay tuned. Karrie Webb ran away with the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic at Tulsa Country Club. The tournament soon af ter announced that it would move to Ce dar Ridge for the 2024 event. Cedar Ridge Director of Golf Buddy Phillips hoped the move would showcase one of the state’s top courses, which had been overlooked recently in the national golf rankings. Our cover story for this issue was a photographic trip around the world with Enid’s Mike Klemme, showing us some of the exotic courses he had shot from Kenya to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and beyond. What a remarkable career!


• Stan Ball was recognized for his work at Jimmie Austin in growing the junior program from 52 players in 1997 to 192 in 2003. George Matson Saint Francis Hospital Ranked #1 in Oklahoma. Saint Francis Hospital is honored to be recognized as the #1 Hospital in Oklahoma by U.S. News & World Report, with ten high-performing areas of clinical care.

Thank you to our physicians, nurses, employees and volunteers for your continued dedication to serving patients and making the mission of Saint Francis Health System a reality. This award is a reflection of our commitment to providing excellence in patient care and dedication to our mission to extend the presence and healing ministry of Christ in all we do.

One project was stalled, how ever. Indian Ridge in Blanchard had ceased operations, lawsuits were be ing filed and neither owner Paul Kru ger nor architect Dee Greninger was answering their phones. Paul Hahn, construction superintendent for con tractor Landscapes Unlimited, said his company was sitting back and waiting to see if things would ever proceed. Work had begun on the course but roads, sewers, water lines and utilities.


Other massive projects in the section moved on. The Territory in Duncan was near completion, Granada was under way in Hot Springs Village, The Alotian was taking shape in Little Rock and Cot tonwood Hills, designed by Nick Faldo, was being built in Hutchin son, Kan. on land similar to that found at Prairie Dunes.

Although it looked like it would have been fantastic, the course was never completed and the development stalled as well.


• As the golf course boom continued to wind up, the player boom was over. Our story examining the golf economy had Golfweek’s Brad Klein calling for the closure of 500 courses nationally, a num ber that horrified some in the indus try at that time but proved to be very conservative. The PGA of rounds,theGolfintroducedAmericaPlayAmericainhopeofdrivingbutitwasbecoming slowly apparent that far too many courses had been built since the late 1980s than there was a demand for nationally and in Oklahoma.

• Dan O’Kane wrote a wonderful story on Southern Hills shop manager George Matson retiring after 55 years of service. Matson and Southern Hills GM Bill Dorman had a longrunning war of practical jokes that included goats, pigs, geese, potatoes, gas siphoning and more lunacy. One of the best jokes played on Matson was when Roy Damn Mercer (Brent Douglas of KMOD) called and threatened to whip his ass if he couldn’t bring a load of hill billies out to play that afternoon. Google it.


The First Tee Program of Oklahoma City is growing leaps and bounds, with its home base at the James E. Stewart Course and satellite programs at six other facilities. After being the head profes sional at Karsten Creek since it opened in 1994, Tom Jones resigned. He would soon wind up being the new general man ager at The Blessings, which had recently opened in northwest Arkansas.

Jones has the distinc tion of successfully representing two highly driven and ultra suc cessful men in Mike Holder at Karsten Creek and John Tyson at The Blessings and it couldn’t have been easy but he did it ex ceptionally well. Now he runs Oak Tree National in Edmond, where owner Everett Dobson is equally successful but cer tainly not as Shangri-Lamercurial.Resortwas being sold off piece meal by Highgate Holdings of Dallas. Some 100 rooms associated with the resort were demolished to make way for home sites and only 26 rooms in the main lodge remained open for booking.

PGA pro Pat McTigue, who re viewed the course for us, wrote “Don’t expect to master Cherokee Hills in a single outing. You’ll be learning the best angles to approach various pin positions for years.”

• Another big, bold and beautiful course came on board in Ar kansas with the open ing of Granada, the ninth and to this day final course at Hot Springs Village. Com bined with Isabella, it gave the Village two beautiful modern courses to go with the older crew of conquistadores.

• Cherokee Hills in Catoosa celebrated its grand opening, with the hotel and ca sino set for few months later. Tripp Davis said he was given free rein to emulate the famed Maxwell rolls as he redid the greens. The course is under 6,700 yards but plays much longer as a par-70 and still has a repu tation today for being one of the more chal lenging in the area. Warm up before you tee off, getting through the opening stretch is the key to a good round.

• Our cover story was on our first look inside the gates of the magnif icent Alotian Club near Little Rock. Warren Stephens, CEO of Stephens Inc and son of former Augusta Na tional chairman Jack Stephens paid for the stunning Tom Fazio design. No expense was spared, member ship was limited and the price of a membership was never disclosed. It was basically a matter of if you have to ask, you don’t belong here.

• Ryan Chapman was named the director of the Oklahoma State Park Golf Courses and the state began making improvements to many, including cart paths at Roman Nose, an irrigation system at Fountainhead and a new club house at Lake Murray. Today Fountain head is owned by the Creek Nation. Lake Murray got a brand new lodge in 2017 and Roman Nose is one of the crown jewels of the state park system. Chapman went to work for the group that purchased Chicka saw Pointe and has been overseeing both the marina and golf course for years. Mo mentum is now building for long awaited development of Chickasha Pointe into a destination with public and private hous ing options.

• Jay Upchurch wrote a great feature on former Sooner Todd Hamilton’s dream year capped by his July victory in the British Open. You hear to day about pros not wanting to be away from home. Ham ilton was rookiePGA38-year-oldaTourwhenhe won, having spent most of 10 years in Asia. He won 10 times around the world and four times in Japan in 2003. His former Sooner teammates such as Andrew Magee, Tripp Davis, Doug Martin, Grant Waite and Craig Perks all expressed how incredibly proud they were of Todd. “To hang in there that long on the Japanese Tour is extremely diffi cult, if only for the fact that you are play ing in a foreign land where you don’t even speak the same lan guage,” Magee said. “Todd has lit erally worked himself to the top. It’s a pretty incredible story.”

• Belmar owner Steve Bell brings on a partnership that includes Toby Keith, Barry Switzer, restaurant mogul Hal Smith and real estate investor Hunter Miller. Days later the group announces plans facility expansion and numerous improvements to the course.


• Tom Kite completes an ex tensive renovation at Gaillardia with work done on each hole and one that included remov ing some areas in which native grasses had been overrun by tall weeds. There were 13 bunkers removed, some angles changed and the par-5 18th became a tough“Aesthetically,par-4. the golf course improved immensely,” said then head pro Jim Woodward. “In terms of difficulty, well I don’t know. It’s too young to know that. But it does look a lot better.” It still does!

“The beauty, drama, excitement and va riety we have here are remarkable,” Fazio said. “On almost every hole, you stand there and say ‘How can it be any better than this?’ Until you get to the next hole.” The Alotian has hosted many significant amateur events but is mainly the preserve and enjoyed by its membership. We don’t know how many there are, but on the day we were invited by head professional Dan Snider to play we may have seen one other group on the course. Let’s just say it’s never going to get worn out.

• John Rohde gathered a group of Oak Tree pros and other nota bles to quiz them on what was wrong with the U.S. side in the Ryder Cup. This was after the nine point shellacking under the lead ership of Hal Sutton, who disastrously paired Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in two early matches.


Holder was stating what was obvious to everyone except the odds makers and tele vision announcers. Take away Tiger, who never played that well in the Ryder Cup, and Europe probably had the stronger team and should have been favored.

OSU coach Mike Holder probably said it best.“We’re good. But we better accept the fact that we’re not necessarily that much better than everybody else.”

• It was announced that Oak Tree Nation al would host the 2006 Senior PGA Cham pionship, a last chance perhaps for the Oak Tree Gang to win on home turf. The Alotian Club


Ryan Chapman Tom Kite

• We also reviewed The Ter ritory, open since late June near Duncan. Owner Rick Braught said his shared goal with architect Randy Heckenkemper was to create one of the best courses in the Southwest of the United States, not just southwest Oklahoma. They succeeded.•Southern Hills announced it would be closing to core out and redo all of its greens and also kill all fairway grass and resod with U3 Bermuda for a more dense, consistent playing surface.


AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2022 • GOLF OKLAHOMA 47WWW.GOLFOKLAHOMA.ORG G P S G o l f C a r t s P r e m i e r S e r v i c e U p s c a l e R e s t a u r a n t & B a r



germythicalsomewhat“TiEffect”meantthatcoursesthatonceaveraged50,000roundsweremakingdueon half of that and all the new courses were fighting to get over 20,000 rounds. And rev enue was down even more, as a buyer’s market set in. Courses that opened charging $75 per round in 1990 and hoping for more down the road were now charging $40 or less.

• Buddy Ham ilton, 57, the 1995 OGA state amateur champion, passed away after a battle with cancer. He was also a fourtime club champi on at The Golf Club of •Oklahoma.TheUSGA an nounced that the 2006 U.S. Senior Open would be held at Prairie Dunes, meaning both the Senior PGA (Oak Tree) and Senior Open would be in the vicinity.

• The Oklahoma Women’s Golf Hall of Fame announced its inaugural class of Susie Maxwell Ber ning, Jarita Askins, Mabel Hotz and Jack ie Riggs Hutchinson. They were inducted in a classy ceremony at the National Cow boy & Western Heri tage Museum. Berning, who won the U.S. Women’s Open three times and eight other LPGA Tour events, said she probably never would have played golf but for the insistence and tu telage of former Lincoln Park pro U.C. Ferguson.

• We took a hard look at the state of play in Oklahoma, where the course glut combined with a slow econ omy and the fizzling out of the

SusieBerningMaxwell Jackie HutchinsonRiggs

Mabel Hotz Jarita Askins

What the Na tional Golf Foun dation and other groups were learning was that the core golfers were now core spectators at soc cer games, swim meets, baseball games and other youth sports. Where once dad routinely headed to the course or club on weekends, he was now go ing to kids games year round, with 75-game baseball seasons, soccer seasons that were basically 12 months, etc. Youth sports didn’t kill golf but they changed it consid erably and it took a long time for operators to realize they had to adapt.


Jerry Cozby

“I think the Lord is telling Ben to speed up through Rory,” Oak Tree pro Willie Wood kidded. “We’re all spoken to in different ways. That’s God speaking to Ben through Rory right there.”

Ron Streck

Mike Holder


The Rodney Dangerfield line from Cad dyshack seems ap propriate here. “Well, we’re waiting.” It’s now 17 years later and there are still no hotel or resort fa cilities. The lodge is long gone and so is the original state park course. After years of delays, studies, lawsuits and more that it would take a book to explain, there is progress be ing made. Be sure to read the next issue of Golf Oklahoma for a full update.

• This writer and friend and architect Randy Heckenkemper went on a tour to see and play The Blessings and The Terri tory. After The Blessings totally destroyed us, we asked GM Tom Jones how he was faring finding members who wanted that beat down on a daily basis. He admitted that was a huge challenge, but the scenery and course conditions were spec tacular.The Territory was as good as advertised. It was fighting a water shortage issue in its ear ly years that was eventually resolved but it was then and remains one of the best courses in the state.

nerves. Bob Tway, meanwhile was flitting from tree to tree, trying to remain as unob trusive as possible.

In other words, while we’re young.

• Tracy Phillips sold his inter est in Tee Town Golf Ranch to his partners and returned to Ce dar Ridge to be the new director of instruction, where his father Buddy Phillips was the longtime head professional.


• A stacked field including Annika Sorenstam and Paula Creamer was expected for the John Q. Ham mons TouranTulsainfifthtryRidgebermidClassicHotelinSeptematCedarCounClub,theyeararowfortohostLPGAevent.

• We featured Ron Streck of Tulsa, known as The Milestone Man for having been the first golfer to play a metal wood on the PGA Tour and the first to win on all three tours when he won on the PGA Tour, Nationwide Tour and Champions Tour.


• The Commissioners of Land Office (CLO) closed a deal to pur chase the lodge, golf course and Chickasaw Pointe at Lake Texo ma, with the next step being to sell it to a developer who would bid on the land to develop public and private facilities and turn the area into a first-class resort that all Oklahomans can enjoy.

• Annika Sorenstam shot a 1-over 73 in the final round, good enough for a 1-sroke victory over 19-year-old Paula Creamer and her third victory in five years in the event, held for the second time at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Tulsa.

John Rohde wrote an en tertaining column about slow play after Rory Sabbatini left Ben Crane endlessly pondering his next shot and went right up to the 17th green dur ing the final round of the Booz Allen Classic. Crane was deeply reli gious and said he often asked the Lord for guid ance during a round.

• Kevin Tway, son of Oak Tree Gang member Bob Tway, wins the 2006 U.S. Junior at Longmeadow (Mass.) Country Club. Kevin, now a PGA Tour veteran, had former OSU All-American E.J. Pfister as his cad die, helping calm his

• Jerry Cozby, head pro at Hillcrest Country Club in Bartles ville, was informed he would be inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in Sep tember. He was named the PGA Professional of the Year in 1985.

• Mike Holder jumped into his new role as athletic director at Oklahoma State on Sept. 16,. Mike McGraw was named the new men’s golf head coach. McGraw had served seven years as an assistant to Holder before taking over the women’s program in 2004.


• The new course boom has slowed but not stopped. Sand Creek Station is announced in Newton, Kan., and turns out to be one of the better public courses in the state.


Mike McGraw

• Lance Allen moved from Clary Fields to replace Sam Meredith as the head pro fessional at Forest Ridge, where he re mained a fixture until owner Joe Robson hired Troon Management in 2021. Allen is now running Twin Hills Golf & Country Club in Joplin.

His Stone Creek design at Page Belcher in Tulsa was voted runnerup in the Best New Public Course category by Golf Di gest in 1987.

• Much of the issue was devoted to pre viewing the Senior PGA Championship coming up shortly at Oak Tree National. Owner Don Mathis had made sure the course was in excellent condition, includ ing overseeding the fairways with rye grass rather than taking a chance of a late greenup for the Bermuda. The PGA of America sold all 18 corporate chalets it had to offer well in advance. Now all that remained was for the Oak Tree Gang to sharpen its spurs on the home course.•The Women’s Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame announced its second class and it was an illustrious one. Dale McNamara, Patty Coatney, Dena Dills Nowotny, Patti Blanton and Carol Collins. Between Mc Namara with seven and Coatney with a re cord nine, those two alone won 16 WOGA State Amateur Championships. Collins, a rules expert who could crush a drive, won the Oakwood Club Championship 23 times. Blanton won eight state titles, four in Oklahoma and four in Kansas.

• The legendary Joe Walser was the guest of honor at a reunion of Landmark folks dur ing the Senior PGA Championship at Oak Tree National, which was won by Jay Haas.

• Holley Hair resigned after four years as the women’s golf coach at Tulsa to work full time at Tee Town Golf Ranch.•The pro posal from Gagne Development to build a $350 million resort at Lake Texoma fell apart. Back to the drawing board.

• The state announced that a Con necticut-based firm Gagne Development had purchased 750 acres of land from the Commissioners of Land Office for $14.5 million. The firm announced that it would be building a new 120-room lodge, a smaller ho tel, cabins, condos and lakeside housing.Well,none of that ever hap pened. Keep reading.


August-September 2006

Holley Hair

Dale McNamara Patty Coatney

• WinStar Golf Course opened in Thackerville to be an amenity for WinStar Casino. Designed mostly by Steve Wolfard of D.A. Weibring’s Golf Resource firm, it was the first 18 of what eventually became a 36-hole facility with a world class practice center. The genial Mike Hammond was hired to be the first head professional.

Our course spotlight was on 41-year-whereinowlakeMeadEnid,

• The Greens Coun try Club was pur chased by a group led by David Box of Box Entertainment.•Oklahoma State redshirt freshman Jon athan Moore won the individual crown and helped lead the Cowboys to the team title at the NCAA Championship.

Also passing away that winter was Don Sechrest, who designed or rede signed many significant courses in Okla homa, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri.

APRIL-MAY 2006 • Architect Floyd Farley, a 2021 inductee into the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame, passed away in Sedona, Ariz., at the age of 98. He had a huge impact on golf in Oklahoma, with some of his more notable layouts being Quail Creek Country Club in Oklahoma City, Kickingbird Golf Course in Edmond, LaFortune Park Golf Course in Tulsa, Ad ams Golf Course in Bartlesville and the Pe can Valley course at Mohawk Park in Tulsa, among dozens of others.



old former Tulsa golfer Darryl Court was named head professional and set out to make some improvements and pay off some debt. On his first Beat The Pro Day, Court posted a tidy 64, leading many course regulars to wonder whom the heck they had hired.

• Also opening that summer was Stonebridge Golf Course in Catoosa. Designed by Randy Heckenkemper, it was a fun course that opened at a bad time in the local golf market, considering nearly 300 holes had been added in the Tulsa area since 1990.

• Dave Bryan, head pro at Southern Hills Country Club, predicts Tiger Woods will win the 2007 PGA Championship at Southern Hills. No shock there, except Bryan had said prior to the 2001 U.S. Open that Woods didn’t have the patience to play and win at Southern Hills.

• Jim Woodward resigned his post as head pro at Gaillar dia Country Club to make a run at PGA Senior Tour qualifying school. Jim Kane also attempted to earn a card.



nitely one of the toughest weeks,” Stacy P said. “I do put pressure on myself. Ev eryone is expecting you to play great and it’s tough.”

Dennis Bowman

A proposal by owner Peter Boylan to rebrand Shangri-La as The Peninsula and invest in a major re build was waiting on a proposal for tax credits before the Oklahoma Legislature. The law makers were also be ing asked to help with the Pointe Vista Resort project at the opposite end of the state at Lake Texoma. Having strong resorts at both places was considered a key to the state success as a tourist destination. As you will see, 15 years later we are halfway there.

• Cristie Kerr shot a 10-birdie, no bogey 61 in the second round of the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic at Ce dar Ridge, helping her blunt Annika Soren stam’s bid for a third consecutive title. That round also led to an emergency meet ing between infuriated Cedar Ridge offi cials and the LPGA Tour set-up crew. Ce dar Ridge was not then and never has been about scores of 61 and the short setup with pins in the middle of greens led to a mem

• We featured the father-son superin tendent duo of Mike Woo ten at Cedar Ridge and Jared Wooten at Stillwater Country Club. Mike has since retired but Jared is still going strong in Still water and each year seems to make even greater strides at a course that has weathered about every thing Mother Nature can conjure.•Adevastating ice storm destroyed or damaged most of the trees at some of the state’s northeast courses over the winter, including Chero kee Grove, Pryor Creek and and McAlester CC.

ber backlash. Comments were publicly gra cious but privately the LPGA and Octagon, the tournament managers, were informed to allow Cedar Ridge to be Cedar Ridge go ing forward. No one threatened to shoot anything near a 61 in the remaining years of the event. It was also an nounced that Sem Group would take over as title sponsor for John Q Hammons and that a new LPGA event would also be gin in Northwest Ar kansas in 2007 spon sored by WalMart.



“I think he has now acquired the patience and the thought process to win here,” Bry an said. “His concentration, along with his strength, ability and work ethic are unsur passed.”

• We examine the unusual golf situation in Blanchard, which many investors apparently pegged as the new Edmond. Three major projects involving housing had begun but only one – Winter Creek – was still open. The other two, Indian Ridge and Four Lakes, were in various stages of semi-development as we went to press. Indian Ridge, after basically having nine holes ready to play, had shut the gates. For this story, those refusing to comment included own er Paul Kruger, architect Dee Greninger, Blanchard City Manager Bill Edwards and Blanchard Mayor Tom Sacchieri. In hind sight, we’re sure all were hopeful the is sues would be resolved and project would go forward, but it just didn’t happen and na ture eventually swal lowed up what had beenDownbuilt. the road, Four Lakes was once an unassuming ninehole public course serving the town, but it was shut down for a rebuild into an 18-hole upscale daily fee. Owners hired respected section pro Richard Buchanan, lots were sold and an opening seemed im minent. It too never happened. Winter Creek, meanwhile, fell into re ceivership with a bank for many years as it searched for the right buthousingcertainbank,groupondNowitgroupownershiptomakeasuccess.onitssecownershipsincethewe’renothowtheisgoingitremainsa very entertaining golf course.

• Dennis Bowman, head professional and superintendent at Pryor Creek Golf Course, signed a lease/pur chase agreement to buy Cobblestone Creek GC in Muskogee.

• The Links at Stillwater expanded to 18 holes, making Stillwater’s golf mar ket even more overbuilt with five 18-hole courses in Lakeside, Stillwater Country Club, Karsten Creek and Cimarron Trails in •Perkins.Stacy Prammanasudh, one of the greatest golfers ever to come up through the state junior ranks, grac es the cover. The SemGroup inShePfulalwaysgustpionshipthegetthehasChampionshipmovedtospringtoawayfromPGAChaminAuandwe’rehopethatStacywillcontend.wascomingtotheevent having won the Fields Open in Hawaii and fin ishing third at the Master Card Classic. She had also taken her first golf lessons, seeing Bill Harmon. “Playing at home is defi

Russ Myers gets Southern Hills ready for PGA.

Jared Wooten, left and his father Mike, being a great superintendent runs in the family.


JUNE-JULY 2007 • Our man in Texas Art Stricklin was on the scene as an emotional Scott Verplank wins the Bryon Nelson Invi tational, fulfilling a childhood dream and honoring Nel son, whom he deep ly •respected.Wecheck in with Michael Boyd in the midst of his rookie year on the PGA Tour.

Muscles bulging everywhere, Woods leaves his driver in the bag and carves up Southern Hills to win the PGA Championship over Woody Austin and Ernie Els. It was his 13th major championship.

• Mi Hyn Kim, all 5-feet-1 of her, won the SemGroup Cham pionship at Cedar Ridge at 3-under par (the Cristie Kerr effect!) Kim then donated $100,000 to a relief fund for victims of an F5 tornado that had wiped out Greens burg, Kan.


Woods.TigerMyfavoritestoryfrombothissuescombinedremainsthepiecebymyformerTulsaTribunesportseditorMike Sowell in which he conjures up a field worthy of Tiger’s attention. In this match play event, he details Tiger’s victories over Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander The Great, Julius Caesar, Bobby Fischer and Thomas Edison before reaching the finals against Franklin Delanor Roosevelt. The FDR Slam – winning the 1932 election over Herbert Hoover, 1936 over Alf Landon and 1940 over Wendell Wilkie, then leading the U.S. to the “championship” of World War II – was deemed just great enough to edge Woods for the title.

Just like our 2001 U.S. Open preview, the 64-page PGA Championship was a lot about Southern Hills but even more about one El drick


Scott Verplank after winning the Byron Nelson.

• Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor proposes closing 27 of the city’s 72 holes – nine at Page Belcher and 18 at Mohawk Park – to save on the subsidies the city was out laying for maintenance. After a backlash from golfers, it was decided to put togeth er a task force and keep the courses open throughCourseOctober.operator George Glenn said rounds at the two 36-hole facilities had fallen from a high of 160,000 to under 100,000. He advocated for the two courses to be run and man aged by Tulsa County, which operates LaFortune Park and South Lakes in Jenks. What eventually happened was the city put the courses out for bid and Bil ly Casper Golf was hired. The company was successful in eliminating most of the subsidies the city was paying on the maintenance side but not in reversing the decline in conditions as the city took an out-of-sight, out-ofmind mindset for the next 10 years.

“You could go from day light to dark out there,” rued regular Tom Linihan, superintendent of Adair Schools. “There weren’t any PGA pros out there. Nobody took themselves so seriously that you couldn’t just go out there and have a good time.”

Adieu to Osage Creek in Adair, one of the first to close.

• Jimmie Tramel writes an adieu to Adair, when Osage Creek, a pleasant country course where the dress code was please wear them, shut its doors that summer. The regulars shuttled off to Pryor Creek or Grand Cherokee in Langley, and some just quit.

• A renovation by Hekenkemper and Jones Plan of the Bristow Country Club has the members excited. Perry Maxwell did the routing in 1923 but sand greens were installed, so the designer and builder could cut loose without worrying about destroying any of Maxwell’s handiwork.

• Our first story on The Patriot in Owasso after a conversation at the PGA Championship with Rob ert Trent Jones II. Jones is brimming over with ex citement about the Owas so site.

• Carl Higgins, nephew of long-time Tulsa pro and instructor Jack Higgins, helps clear a new nine holes at Okmul gee Country Club, which had been a nine-hole course since opening in 1920. The course was later purchased by the Creek Nation and all 18 holes were closed.

• Oklahoma City University won the men’s and women’s NAIA titles, It was the sixth in seven years for the men coached by Kyle Blaser and third consecutive for the women coached by Sara Mobley.


Developers Pete Kourtis, David Charney and Greg Simmons are teaming up with Folds of Honor Foundation founder Dan Rooney to create the course and foundation headquarters and what would become the Stone Canyon devel opment.•Cedar Ridge opens the Buddy Phillips Training Center, run by the legend ary pro’s son Tracy Phillips.

• Warren Lehr returned from a stint at Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Course near Albuquerque to take over the park department and oversee Bai ley Ranch Golf Course in Owas so. Lehr is now the city manager and has supported Bailey Ranch ever since his return.

• A company owned by Lynn Blevins pur chased Stonebridge Golf Course in Verdigris from Spirit Bank, changed the name to Scissortail and immediately began making plans to improve the course which had been on a starvation main tenance diet while in receivership.

• Mal Elliiott, our Kansas corre spondent since we started the mag azine, was inducted into the Kansas Golf Hall of Fame. One of his favorite stories was when he was sports editor of the Tulsa Tribune in 1961, he was looking to hire a golf writer. Wally Wallis, veteran golf writer for The Oklahoman, told him not to bother.

• Cedar Ridge lost 166 trees to a December 10 ice storm and then contracted to have another damaged trees trimmed or removed pri or to that spring’s Sem Group LPGA Champion ship. What that meant to the competitors is most ly thicker rough where the light would reach.

The next Oklahoma State superstar Rickie Fowler was lighting up the NCAA.

APRIL-MAY, 2008 Our cover story was on Alsie Hyden, longtime PGA profes sional at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City and named the first man to be inducted into the Women’s Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame for a lifetime of treating women golfers with respect and dignity.

• Billy Casper visited Mohawk Park for a putting clinic and to host a tournament. The company that bears his name, Billy Casper Golf, was selected to be the man agement company by the city of Tulsa for its courses Page Belcher and Mohawk Park.

Joining Hyden in that class were long-time OSU women’s coach Ann Pitts Turner, four time WOGA state amateur winner and seven-time finalist Linda Melton Morse and three-time state amateur winner and three-time LPGA Tour winner Betsy Cullen.

• Businessmen Ed Evans and Everett Dob son purchased Oak Tree Golf Club from Don Mathis and announced a series of planned improvements, including bringing original architect Pete Dye back for a thorough review. General manager A.G. Meyers reported that the USGA had been in for a visit, a call that started the process of the club host ing the U.S. Senior Open in 2014.


• John Rohde profiled the next OSU phenom, freshman Rickie Fowler of California. In the fall he had finished as team medalist in his first six events and won in his second.

Krehbiel, who had written a book on the club history, wrote a fascinating sum mary of the many notable events at the club. The OGA was formed at TCC. The first Oklahoma Open and first State Amateur were held on the A.W. Tillinghast design. Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Patty Berg, Joanne Carner and Nancy Lo pez are jus a few of the greats that played there.

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2008 Our cover story was a fun one, on the guitar hero PGA pros in the sec tion includ ing CountryMuskogeeedithSamfeeofSmelserPark,ofGallowayMarkTrosperScottCofCreek,MerofClub and Andy Schaben of Wild Horse Canyon. We hired Galloway to play at many of our golf expos and he is still an in demand musician in clubs around Oklahoma City.

JUNE-JULY 2008 •


“Rickie has very, very big thoughts and very big dreams,” said OSU coach Mike McGraw. “He just thinks he can do a lot of things and I’m not going to limit him.”

• The Tulsa LPGA event was seeking a new title sponsor after SemGroup filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after losing about $2.4 billion in hedging on oil futures over the past two years. It did not find one and the LPGA continued with the event in northwest Arkansas, which is still going strong today.

• Both rounds and revenue were up sig nificantly at the City of Tulsa courses in the first year of management under Billy Casper Golf. A bigger plus from the view point of the City of Tulsa was that it no longer had to subsidize the maintenance budget which it had been doing up to $1 million annually. Turf grass conditions


• Paula Creamer won the Sem Group Championship at Cedar Ridge, winning a two-hole playoff against 47-year-old fan favorite Juli Inkster, one of the classiest players in LPGA history.

• Tulsa Country Club became one of the first courses in Oklahoma to celebrate its centennial and Tulsa World writer Randy

“Don’t hire anyone,” Wallis said. “The golf beat is the best beat on the paper and you ought to cover it yourself.”

On the cover, key players at The Patriot in Owasso, architect Robert Trent Jones II, developer David Charney, Bill Kubly of Landscapes Unlimited and Dan Rooney of the Folds of Honor Founda tion. Hopes at that time were for a July 2009 opening, but no one was anticipating the challeng es Mother Nature would hurl their way.

Mal did, and we agree.

• Murder Rock Golf Course opened in Branson. The course was actually designed by Chris Cole and Jeff Potts of Landmark Develop ment, but John Daly was paid to have his name associated with it and his first “PR” appearance is still legendary. He pulled his RV into the parking lot, got out in jeans shoe less and shirtless and with cigarette dangling from his mouth conducted interviews and played with local me dia. Google it. Murder Rock was actually an entertain ing and fun course. The land was later pur chased by Johnny Morris and part of it is now part of Ozark National and the rest part of Tiger Woods’ Payne’s Valley.

• David Bryan, son of long-time Southern Hills professional Dave Bryan, was named the first head professional at The Patriot in Owasso. His first task was to lure Southern Hills assistant superintendent Jeremy Dob son to be the new superintendent. Dobson did a magnificent job until tragically losing his life in an auto accident in 2021.


backtheisshipownerA12offorvateanddailyupscalebeingbetweenanfeeapriclubmostthenextyears.newgrouptakingcourseprivate this spring.

• Rose Creek in Edmond was purchased by Tour 18 out of Houston with the obliga tory announcement about course improve ments and an increased maintenance bud get. The course would go on to alternate

Tommy Bolt Head professional, the late Mark Fuller, was in the cart barn when the tornado passed by. “You could see the ceiling tiles raise up and your ears were popping,” he said. “It was probably no more than 50 yards away.”

• A large package in this issue previewed the 2009 U.S. Amateur coming up at South ern Hills Country Club, with a look back at Scott Verplank’s victory in the 1984 Ama teur at Oak Tree Golf Club.

2009DECEMBEROCTOBER• ByeongHun An won the U.S. Ama teur at South ern Hills. Com bined with the U.S. Public Links earlier that summer at Jimmie Austin in Norman and the announce ment that the 2014 U.S. Senior Open would be at Oak Tree, all that remained was for the USGA to announce that the U.S. Open would be returning at some point to Southern Hills.


“I learned more from Jerry in two years than I have before or since,” Johnson said. “He’s meant everything to my career.”

• Oklahoma State golfers Rickie Fowler, Peter Uihlein and Morgan Hoffman went a combined 10-0-1 to lead the U.S. side to a 16.5 to 9.5 rout in the Walker Cup.

• Across the street at Oak Tree Coun try Club, greens were expanded back to their original size during a spring renova tion. The course also was cleaning up from a Feb. 11 tornado that destroyed homes around the course and 70 mph straight-line winds in March that did extensive damage to trees. were solid for the most part.

• Tommy Bolt, winner of the 1958 U.S. Open at Southern Hills and a native of Haworth, Okla., passed away at age 92. mostlyTommy“Terrible”wasamedia creation, as Arkansas State Golf Associa tion Executive Director Jay Fox wrote: “Tommy Bolt was one of the nicest guys you would ever meet. . . Since the media dubbed him with this reputation, Bolt liked to have fun with it. He said in Golf Digest that the driver goes the shortest distance when you throw it. The putter goes the farthest, followed by the sandBoltwedge.”wasinduced into the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame posthumously in 2016.

JUNE-JULY 2009 On the cover, we wrote about Branson reaching a new level as a golf destination with the opening of the Payne Stewart Golf Club. Little did we know what was to come.

• Tripp Davis and good friend Justin Leon ard teamed up to design Old American in north Texas, set for a May opening.

• A third nine holes is planned at Winstar Casino and Resort in Thackerville, along with a new hotel tower with 400 rooms.

• We featured the nine-hole Buffalo Hills Golf Course in Pawhuska, one of Perry Maxwell’s earliest routings. Unfortunately it closed later that year, only to be reopened for a short time in 2014. One wonders if it could make it now with the golf boom that began in 2020 plus the revival of Pawhuska led by the Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond.


APRIL-MAY 2009 A renovation of Oak Tree National to add bite to its bark neared conclusion, with head pro youtheyround.fourbyscoreseebereragethattimatingKimmelSteveestheavmemwouldhissoarthreeorshotsa“Ithinkwanttocry,”Gil Morgan said. “The objective was to separate at a major championship level those who are play ing well from those who are scraping it around,” said architect Tripp Davis, who worked on the renovation along with input from players like Scott Verplank and Bob Tway.The club also added a new high-tech teaching center at the back of the driving range. E.J. Pfister and Jim Woodward would both teach from it.

• Golf certainly did not escape the reces sion of 2007-08 triggered by the collapse of the housing market. Many courses that were built only to sell houses were the first to go and the long march to balance sup ply and demand was just beginning. Public courses were starting to see increased num bers as members fled country clubs, not wanting to be tied to a monthly payment when times were so uncertain. We looked at the latest trends with several experts.

• In the OGA State Amateur at The Terri tory, Colton Staggs defeated Robert Streb in the finals 4 and 2. Staggs was red hot in the finals, playing what OGA Executive Direc tor Mark Felder called one of the best rounds he’s witnessed.

• We were honored to chronicle Jerry Cozby’s 41-year career at Hillcrest Coun try Club with jerry and wife Karole on our cover. Right up to the day he re tired, Jerry was “still working like he was 20 and broke,” said eldest son Cary, now the worksionalsbeassistantsJerrySouthernprofessionalheadatHills.sent15ontoheadprofesandhisethicandstraight shooting rubbed off on all. Just in Tulsa now Cary is at Southern Hills, former assistant Dave Bryan runs Ce dar Ridge and former assistant Tim Johnson is GM at The Golf Club of Oklahoma.

Discover Payne’s Valley by Tiger Woods and TGR Design, recently voted America’s Best New Public Course. golfbigcedar.com

City in 2012, a feat later matched by Al exander Hughes at South Lakes in Jenks in 2020.•Bo Van Pelt, now 35, was on a seasonlong birdie binge on the PGA Tour. Through late July he had made 292 to lead the tour and had pocketed over $2 million in 20 starts.



• Some courses were still recovering from one of the worst winters for turf damage in Oklahoma history. Scissor tail in Verdigris lost over 60 percent of its fairways while courses throughout the state were forced to spend a good portion of their summer sodding affected areas that did not regrow.


itstoTomhadnouncedClubCountrynal.•TulsaanithiredHochrenovateclub house and Rees Jones to restore the golf course, bringing back more flavor of the original A.W. Tillinghast design.

• Mark Felder is named the new executive director of the Okla homa Golf Association, replacing Steve Eckroat. Felder had been the tournament director since 2002. Morri Rose is added to the OGA staff to run the Oklahoma Junior Golf Tour.

JUNE-JULY 2010 After overcoming many chal lenges, including monsoons that washed newly sodded fairways into canyons and destroyed bridges, The Patriot in Owasso opened to rave reviews. The course was designed technically by Robert Trent Jones II but his staff member Jay Blasi was the one who did the heavy lifting. The design was the opposite of what Jones’s legendary father Robert Trent jones Sr. would have come up with, as it worked to help the golfer with banks and slopes that kept a ball that was a bit off line in play.

• A feature on Mike McGraw found him seemingly on top of the world in Stillwater, with Mike Holder saying that “he has got the golf program to achieve at a level that has never been seen by a golf program.”

With Rickie Fowler, Peter Uihlein, Kevin Tway and Morgan Hoffmann moving through, the Cowboys were incredibly talented but found winning the match play portion of the NCAA Champi onship to be a hurdle. McGraw was fired by Holder three years later. He is now the head coach at •Baylor.PatGrant, Janice Gibson, Beth Stone and Joan Blumen thal comprise the 2010 class of the Oklahoma Women’s Golf Hall of Fame. Gibson, who played nine years on the LPGA Tour, is the director of the First Tee of Tulsa head quartered at Mohawk Park, where she has made a positive impact on the lives of thou sands of young people, golfers and non-golfers alike. She is a treasure.

Mark Felder

It could still be plenty penal as it wound its way from the valleys through the canyons to wooded uplands. Jones II called it a symphony that reached a crescendo on the 18th hole, with the second shot needing to carry a deep canyon. The Patriot also marked the end of the new course boom in Oklahoma. Since it opened in 2010 only a new nine at Winstar Resort has been added, while more than 40 courses statewide have closed.

• New clubhouses open at La Fortune Park in Tulsa, Oakwood Country Club in Enid and Lake Murray Golf Course in Ardmore. As the new course wave settles and begins to re verse, courses begin investing in improve ments to their facilities in a competitive market.•Inthat vein, Forest Ridge in Tulsa be gins a renovation of all of its green com plexes and bunkers.


• Longtime Kansas corre spondent Mal Elliott passed away at age 80. Mal was a huge help to the magazine, writing a column in nearly every issue since our debut in 1993. A long-time newspa perman in Kansas and Okla homa, he had a vast store of knowledge and loved to talk and write about golf. He wrote four books on golf in hisDuringretirement.his days as sports editor of the Wichita Eagle, he had a profound effect on columnist Bob Lutz. “Mal was obstinate, there’s just no way around it,” Lutz wrote. “There’s no one who went into a debate with Mal and came out a winner, even if that per son was right. There was right and there was Mal. As time went on it be came a charming feature, the way a pit bull can be charming.”•Jeremy Calli son of Claremore shot a 56 at Bro ken Arrow Golf & Athletic Club, surely the low round shot in Oklahoma or maybe anywhere until Rhein Gibson did him one better by shooting 55 at River Oaks in Oklahoma

• Meadowbrook Country Club lost its par-5 first hole to a street widening project, but fortunately had plenty of room to build a new starting hole just to the south of the origi


Janice Gibson The Patriot Bo Van Pelt

torian Del Lemon wrote a great fea ture on eccentric oilman Waco Turner bringing the world’s best golfers to tiny Burneyville, population 85 or less for the Waco Turner Open. He per suaded Byron Nelson to come one year by giving him a horse. PGA Tour rookie Jack Nicklaus came and tied for third in 1962, five weeks before winning the U.S. Open at Oakmont for his first professional victory. Be tween vaudeville acts, bowls of fresh seafood on ice, plenty of booze, late night card game and prize money doled out in fistfuls, sounds like all had a rollicking good time.

• After a one-two punch of severe winter kill followed by broiling temperatures that melted its greens, Boiling Springs in Wood ward closed until fur ther notice while it began a search for a new course operator.

• The Patriot in Owasso debuted at No. 48 on the Golfweek Top 100 Mod ern Course List (1960 and later.)•Oklahoma golf his

• Forest Ridge in Broken Arrow re opened with the new Tyee bent grass on its greens.•Many Oklahoma courses are converting to Bermuda greens, including Firelake in Shawnee (2008), Western Hills Resort, Page Belcher, Mohawk Park, Chicka saw Pointe in Kingston and Winstar Golf Course in Thackerville. Since that time dozens more have converted including this summer Oak Tree National in Ed mond.•Wally Uihlein, chairman and CEO of Acushnet, came to Tulsa to watch son Peter play for OSU at the Ping/Golfweek Preview at Karsten Creek, giving us a chance to catch up with him on the state of the industry. He was not optimistic at that time about golf in the U.S., say ing restrictions on equipment companies combined with the damage done to the game in 2007-08 had made holding on to the number of golfers remaining crucial for the next few years until the industry could being to rebound.

By this year we are averaging more than 600 stories about golf in Oklahoma on the website the vast majority of which are not du plicated in the magazine as we work to make the two sources complement instead of compete with each other. The full magazine is also sent out in digital form to all of our email subscrib ers each month and available to read at the website as well.

• Paul Ridings re tired after 23 years as the head pro at South Lakes in Jenks. He joked that golf cours es have “gone soft” ingclosby three days a year. His son Tag Ridings is still on the professional tours today and Paul is his biggest fan. Ridings worked for two stalwart professionals in Jerry Jones and later Pat McCrate and South Lakes was one of the state’s busi est public facilities every year of his tenure.


Craig Humphreys made his 24th consecutive trip to Augusta National. Charlie Coe, right, joins Waco and Opie Turner for celebration.

Abraham Ancer, a transfer from Odessa Junior College, has the Sooners back in the Top 25. Peter Uihlein



• Brad Dalke, a 5-foot-8, 170-pound 12-year-old from Ho bart, gives a non-binding verbal commitment to the University of •Oklahoma.DanRooney of the Folds of Honor gave an emotional speech to the 2010 Ryder Cup team prior to the matches at Celtic Manor Resort in Newport Wales, then spent the week inside the ropes as gust of the U.S. team. Europe eked out a 14.5 to 13.5 win to retain the Cup.•The Patriot proved far tougher than ad vertised for its first OGA event, as golfers average 85.86 shots and six-hour rounds in the OGA Mid-Amateur. Mike Alsup won at age 54 by shooting rounds of 73-69.


• An extensive Q&A with former Oklahoma State golfer and Tulsa resident Bo Van Pelt by Jimmie Tramel is our cover story as we tran sition from South Cen tral Golf to Golf Okla homa. At this point our focus is on the state, but also transitioning to even more features and stories of a time less nature as most of our tournament and breaking news cov erage is now a daily staple at ourfoklahoma.orgwww.golandonsocialmediachannels.

Rees Jones at Tulsa Country Club


Section of the PGA of America (Oklahoma, Arkansas, southern Kansas.) He remains in that position today.

• In a Q&A with Chris Tid land, then offcomebackfinalmembersaskCountryproandprofessionalplayinggolfnowtheheadatStillwaterClub,wewhathereaboutthehourofOSU”stoknockStanfordand Tiger Woods in a playoff at the Scarlet Course at Ohio State.



Mike McGraw said after. “But in golf you lose a lot and in life you lose a lot, you just deal with it and hopefully you learn a good lesson about yourself.”

• Cameron Mey

“I remember it like it was yesterday,” Tidland said.the“Alllittle details, what we ate, the movies we went to, how great Coach Holder was that week in keeping us all loose and focused. It was very special for Alan (Bratton) and I. We were about to become the first class to go through and not win a national championship. Then Alan birdies the last three holes of regulation and the playoff hole. To birdie the last four holes of your college career, that’s pretty amazing to see your best friend do that.”


ers defeated Mead owbrook member Nick Lees on his home course 2 up to win the OGA State

Brian Davis Chris Tidland

• Despite excellent play from freshman Talor Gooch, the favored Cowboys lost the NCAA Champi onship at Karsten Creek with a line up that featured Kevin Tway, Mor gan Hoffman and Peter Uihlein. Led by Patrick Reed, Augusta State knocked them off in the semi finals and went on to win its sec ond it”muchsoItorywithchampionshipconsecutiveafinalsvicoverGeorgia.“Ilikewinning.don’tlikelosing,that’sprettythegistofOSUcoach

JUNE-JULY 2011 Ageless wonder Gil Morgan graced our second cover in a profile by John Rohde. At this point, Morgan, now 64, had re cently shot his age in a tournament in March. He had accumulated 25 Champions Tour victories to go with his seven PGA Tour wins and over $50 million in combined career earnings and his swing remained a thing of beauty. And he remained one of the nicest, most humble guys you could meet.•Clay Henry penned a nice profile on Marshall Smith, still teaching daily at Peoria Ridge in Miami at the age of 85. Smith had a simple philosophy and was able to help so many without deep swing analysis. “I tell my stu dents to lay their head back on the pillow and stay there” Smith said. “You keep your head back, you keep your weight back. It’s like all of the sports. The head weights a lot. It gets down or forward, every thing is ruined. The swing doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t re quire great ef fort. You just have to keep the weight back. I don’t want any dancing. The right foot might come up at the end, but it’s not forced up.”

• Oklahoma Christian won the NAIA national title as Oscar Stark was medalist at TPC Deere Run in Silva, Ill. Marshall Smith on the range at Peoria Ridge which is dedicated to him.

summer Hughett won his 25th OGA champi onship, winning the Mid-Am at the age of 63. Not that brief Mike!

Gil Morgan

Cameron Meyers

• Mike Hughett won his 14th OGA championship with a vic tory in the Senior State Amateur at Gaillardia. After which he remarked that the victory was very important to him be cause “once you hit the senior division, your window of op portunity is very brief and I’m glad I was able to pull this oneThisout.”

JUNE-JULY 2012 Rhein Gibson shoots a 55 at River Oaks in Oklahoma City and is besieged by reporters across the globe, including many from his na tive Australia. This spring the round of 16-under that included 12 birdies and two eagles was recreated, sort of, by Rick Reilly in his new book So Help Me Golf, Why We Love the Game. Reilly went to River Oaks to try to see how many mulligans he would need to shoot 55. He was joined by Gibson and Ryan Mun son, who was also on hand the day the 55 was shot. Reilly man aged to do it with “just” 59 mulligans.

The Oklahoma Women’s Golf Hall of Fame inducts legendary Lincoln Park professional U.C. Fergu son of Lincoln Park, it’s second male inductee, along with Lee Ann Hammack Fairlie, Jeannie Thompson Rogers and Lucy Beeler.Ferguson was instrumental in helping get Susie Maxwell Bern ing get started but she wasn’t the onlyFairlieone.has been and remains a stalwart in competitive golf in Oklahoma for decades and is still winning titles to day. Beeler, who had nine career aces at this writing, won the State Amateur in 1967. Rogers was the most enigmatic, hav ing won the TransMiss and three consecutive WOGA Juniors by age 17, then giving up the game entirely for three years. She came back to win the 1965 State Amateur after a thrill ing semifinal match against Dale Fleming (McNamara), win ning with a birdie on the first extra hole. She pretty much quit again until deciding to play in 1968, where she reached the finals again only to lose this time to McNamara.


On how his wife Juanita caught his eye.“Here come these two young dollies. I thought, ‘That bru nette is Cedar98.inmotion.’andgotcan-made,Americanbutshe’sSwissmovementsthebackfield’sinDuffypassedawayAprilof2015atageThecoursesatValleyremain, as does the nine-foot statue of Duffy • A story looks back at the dynasty that almost was, as Bill Brogden assembled a team that should have won the 1981 NCAA Championship with Bill Glasson, Joey Ras sett, Jim Kane and Bryan Norton. Stanford won the title by two shots. The internal dynamics on that team were fascinating, with every player chal lenging the others each day to get better.

“Every day Joey challenged Bill and ev ery day he beat him,” Brogden said. “It’s just part of what made Billy work harder.”


“Glasson came in that second year and said let’s just beat the hell out of every body,” Kane said. Duffy Martin relaxes on the patio at Cedar Valley, part of his Guthrie golf empire.

• David Bryan replaced legend ary Buddy Phillips as the new head professional at Ce dar Ridge Country Club. Phillips re tired after 40 years at Cedar Ridge, having taken the job

APRIL-MAY 2012 • Shangri-La opens the Legends Nine, which used to be the back nine of the Blue Course. Membership has grown from 84 to over 640 since Eddy Clark took ownership and began to pour money into improve ments. And Clark was just getting started. A spectacular new par-3 course called The Battlefield is set to open next spring, meaning he’s been building con tinually for 12 years. It now has to be regard ed as one of the finest resorts in the nation.


Rhein Gibson

Oklahoma golf legends U.C. Ferguson with Susie Maxwell Berning.

• Our cover story is a great profile by John Rohde on Duffy Martin, builder and owner of his golf empire in Guthrie. Martin, now 95 is still sharp, funny and full of wit. He works out 45 minutes ev ery morning and night and starts every morn ing oatmealwithandraisons.AfewMartingems:–“Peoplewouldrath er hit ‘em than hunt ‘em. Life’s too short to hunt for golf balls.” – “Anybody can get married. Staying married, that’s the hard part.” – You don’t stop playing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop playing.”

– It seems like I’ve been a hustlin’ and a scufflin’ all my life, and I like that.”

• A successful Play Golf America Day was held at LaFortune Park, reflecting the PGA of America’s recognition that it had to become more active every where at growing the game. It almost makes you sick to hear the ex pression Growing The Game used by various tours for the enrich ment of players. Grass roots efforts like this are what have always grown the game, not how much money a professional is paid.

• In a week’s time, former TU golfer Stephen Carney won the OGA State Amateur at Southern Hills Country Club then won a qualifier for the U.S. Amateur at Cedar Ridge by shooting rounds of 69-67. He did all this walking in 100-degree weather.

as the club’s second head professional in 1972. Bryan came over from The Patriot, where Chris Jarrett was promoted to general manager and head professional.

• We took a look at the innovative new junior pro grams, including free golf, being instituted by Michael Henderson at Lakeside Golf Course in Stillwater.

David Bryan Joe Walser Jr. with architect Pete Dye, left. Toby Keith

And as we have learned, so much more to come.

• Our celebrity profile this month is a long Q&A with Associated Press writer Doug Ferguson. He dishes on his relation ship with Tiger, the second best player on the planet (Rory), the best interview (Geoff Ogilvy), the funniest (Paul Goy dos) and whether the U.S. Open will ever return to Southern Hills (unlikely.)

“Joe was an industry giant and we were blessed to have him as part of our lives,” said Hugh Edgmon, who ran Oak Tree proper ties in Edmond for Walser and Vossler.


“Joe and Pat were family. He was a sec ond father to me.”

• Toby Keith tells us why he de cided to buy Belmar Golf Club, the improvements he’s made and about “The last thing I really wanted to do was own a golf course,” Keith said. “But this is very close to my house and it would take an hour or more to go play Oak Tree or Gail lardia. I just kind of saved it. They were heading to be coming a strictly $30 daily-fee course and it wasn’t in the best of shape. It was heading to a bad situation. The previous own ers had swallowed the dog and choked on the tail. We’ve made a lot of improvements.”

Our cover story is on the massive changes ongoing at Shan gri-La. Two nines are open, a third is under construc tion, the new clubhouse and restaurant is spec tacular, a new hotel and conference center has been announced as well as im provements to the marina.

• Willie Wood ended a victory drought of over 16 years by winning the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open on the Champions Tour, securing his playing privileges for the next few ofwhelming.andtaneousinstanworld,aroundfriendsandtheTree,tionseasons.ThereacatOakacrosstourfromthewasover“It’sonethemore

• Our cover story de tailed commitmentthe of owner Rick Braught, pro Tim Johnson and su perintendent Brad Babek to overcoming the chal lenges inherent in starting and funding a world class golf course like The Terri tory in a part of the state un used to that level of course.

• A preview of the college season finds Oklahoma and Oklahoma State on dif ferent trajectories. The Sooners are start ing to gain traction under Ryan Hybl and have qualified for two consecutive NCAA Championships. The Cowboys did the unthinkable in the spring and had their streak of 65 consecutive NCAA appear ances snapped.

Legendary Cedar Ridge Country Club head professional Buddy Phillips inspired many who worked for him.

• We go back in time with “The Godfather” as Cedar Ridge’s Buddy Phil lips reflects on his 40-year career. Phillips was a sartorial splendor in his day, figuring he could be his own best advertisement for the new shirt or pant line. Many other section pros who have worked for him, such as Rick Reed at The Oaks and Rob Yanovitch at ShangriLa, are eager to sing his praises.•A new $1.7 mil lion clubhouse for the First Tee of Oklahoma City opens at James E. Stewart Golf Course. The facility includes a 5,100 square-foot learn ing center, a three-hole course, a short-game area and a 12,000 square-foot putting green.


popular victories in all my years on tour,” said fellow Oak Tree mem ber Bob Tway. It was a triumphant return for Wood, who has overcome the death of his first wife Holly to cancer in 1989, two divorces, shoulder surgery and more.

On the flip side, Carney is also known as the man who returned the beautiful OGA championship trophy in need of repair af ter allowing it to fall down a flight of steps.



• Oak Tree and Land mark co-founder Joe Walser Jr. passed away at age 79 in Dallas. Walser, Ernie Vossler and financier Jerry Barton had teamed up to form Unique Golf Concepts in 1971. They teamed with ar chitect Pete Dye to develop not only Oak Tree Golf Club and Oak Tree Coun try Club, but many of the na tion’s top golf resorts in Palm Springs and elsewhere. The Oak Tree logo was ubiq uitous on the PGA Tour and was a sign of quality to golf fans across the country.

• The back nine of Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville reopened after an extensive renovation by architect Tripp Davis.

by vic williams As another heartland summer slides toward autumn, it’s high time to fall in love with Louisiana golf again. And if you’ve somehow never had the pleasure of following up a round on the Bayou with the best food in America, tossing in some sweet-sounding jazz, Cajun or Zydeco music and washing it all down with a local craft brew or cocktail, your neighbors to the southeast have a deal for you.

On the south side of town, near Tulane University, is the only course in America where you can take a streetcar to the first tee. The par-62 Golf Course at Audubon Park crams a lot of action into 4,200 yards and, as with a well-known “old” Scotland muni, you’ll see a few folks just out for a walk, sans clubs. Finally we’ve got TPC Louisiana — just a few minutes’ drive from downtown, and

Fairways are generous and beauti fully framed with old-growth oaks, and as with most Louisiana lay outs, water comes into play often.


Within an easy drive of the city’s com pact core are three must-plays, starting with Bayou Oaks at City Park’s South Course, which reopened in 2017 with a new routing, bunkers and greens.

The Freench Quarter, a good place to start your journey.


The 18th hole at the TPC Lousiana, host to the PGA Tour's Zurich Classic

What used to be known spe cifically as the Audubon Golf Trail — named after the self-taught ornithologist whose love for and drawings of America’s birds led to a lasting naturalist movement — has deepened and broadened into a “Louisiana Golf Trails” buffet of experiences that, quite frankly, can’t be found anywhere else. These trails keeps Louisiana’s original 17 Audubon courses throughout the state in play along with many others. Plug in what ever theme appeals at the moment — food, craft beer, distilleries, mu sic, gaming, fishing, or a spicy gumbo of all those ingredients — and build an adventure of just the right flavor, timbre, region, lodg ing taste, or budget.

The course is an across-the-board favorite, welcoming everyone from weekend hackers to celebri ties such as Super Bowl-winning coach Sean Payton, and anchors the nation’s largest city park along side an arts museum and children’s museum. A shorter North Course reopened in 2008 after Katrina laid it low for a few years.

It all must and should start in New Or leans. Take a full day and drive there or hop a quick 90-minute flight to its shiny new Louis Armstrong International Airport. Within minutes you can be on the tee box or strolling the narrow, raucous French Quarter boulevards, or getting in “golf shape” with a Sazerac in one hand and a po’ boy in the other.

TPC’s clubhouse is spacious but not over wrought. There’s a big grillroom and great views of the course, especially the lovely par-3 No. 9. Where to stay during your Big Easy foray? How about French Quarter favorites such as Hotel Monteleone with its famed Carousel Bar, or perhaps a Canal Street or financial district high-rise or a funky spot down in the Lower Garden District? If you want to sleep in the shadow of towering American history, how about the Higgins Hotel? It’s the official National WWII Museum lodging partner, walking distance from the Caesars Super Dome, the Quarter and waterfront and an easy drive from the courses men tioned above. The food at Higgins is first-rate — Café Normandie’s on the ground floor for a meal bordering on truly upscale, and Rosie’s on the Roof on the top floor for casual bites and sips on the patio. Louisiana sunsets are free.

WWW.GOLFOKLAHOMA.ORG host to the annual Zurich Classic PGA Tour showcase. Pete Dye outdid himself here, creating a stirring and scenic test out of flat, swampy land. The Dye touches are in full evidence. You’ve got the tiny bunkers, the tricky mound ing, the sweeping and nottoo-large greens, the surpris ing shot angles. The routing lulls you into a “let’s rack up the birdies” mindset over the opening holes before ratchet ing up the challenge, however quietly, hole by hole until you realize that a few bogeys were in the cards all along.


The 14th hole at Bayou Oaks in the heart of New Orleans

Holes 17 and 18 are a stirring final pair – a classic green-on-a-cliff, par-3 with railroad tie buttresses and water up the left side; and a par 5-finisher with stick-shaped bunkers separating grass from water on the right and a well-bunkered layup zone left.

The WWII Museum itself has since grown into one of the most impressive, well-cu rated and designed historic showcases – or museums of any kind – in the United States. Every exhibit elicits emotions that you didn’t realize you had. Its latest addition is “Beyond All Boundaries,” a 45-minute “4D” movie experience narrated by Tom Hanks, and construction is underway on a new “Peace Pavilion” and an exhibit dedicated to theIfHolocaust.you’veincluded spirits — the drink able kind — in your Trail plan, hit the Saz erac House Museum on Canal Street, a free showcase for the city’s fasci nating cocktail culture from the old rum distillery days, through the speakeasies of Prohibition, to today’s craft cocktail renaissance. There’s a working distillery onsite, stations for sampling famed cocktails such as the rye-based Sazerac and bourbon-based Teresa, virtual bartenders and a retail area selling every brand of spirits in the house. And don’t forget that New Or leans offers several craft brew eries, too, as do several other Louisiana towns. About an hour up I-10 from New Orleans is Baton Rouge, the nation’s tallest state capitol building, more fine food and music venues and another bunch of sol id courses, with well-known Abita Brewing Co. in nearby Hammond. Then head west into Cajun Country for more of the state’s distinctive cuisine and music, with golf at popular courses such as The Wetlands. At Don’s Custom Meats in Scott you can sup on boudin (pork sausage with rice and spices), cracklins (deep-fried pork or chicken skins), spicy fried chicken or pork chops or a locally sourced burger. From there it’s south to Lake Charles and its several Trail-tested tracks plus two out standing layouts right next to each other — Contraband Bayou at L’Auberge Casino Resort and the Golden Nugget’s beautifully maintained design. Not far north from there, in what the locals still dub “No Man’s Land,” is Allen Parish (check out the fun visitors The Sazerac distillery, a fascinating stop in New Orleans

including a strong par-5 finisher – a split-fairway affair with, again, lots of water and several ap proachTeamoptions.around at Koasati Pines with a stay in either of Coushatta’s two luxury tow ers, save a few bucks for a stint on a poker, blackjack or craps table, pass the time on a bank of slots with a local brew in hand and top it off with a meal in one of the prop erty’s eateries (the clubhouse grill serves a mean burger and winning wings, as well).


Take time to see the National World War II Museum.

The resort itself is a solid Best Western showcase, with rooms overlooking the course and lake, a pool, hiking trails and, you guessed it, great food. Sense a themeActuallyhere?we’ve just sampled a few tasty notes of what’s in store along all Louisiana Golf Trails. It’ll take several trips to com pose the entire jazzy, jumping tune in your par-seeking heart and fun-seeking soul — while adding your own voice, palate and swing to the final yet ever-changing mix. For sample itineraries, visit www.louisi anagolftrails.com Vic Williams is former editor and publisher of Fairways & Greens, Golf Getaways and Golf Tips magazines. He lives in Reno, Nevada.

The tribal golf streak continues at Para gon Casino Resort in the Central Louisiana town of Marksville, whose on-property course, Tamahka Trails, earned top marks for a 2020 renovation of the original Steve Smyers design to better fit the flowing, lighton-the-gentle-rolling-land design. A few tee shots are semi-blind, fairways are wide but pinched in the right places and greens offer subtle, challenging breaks. Tough enough to host a U.S. Open qualifier, Tamahka is flatout fun from the proper tees. Love to drop a line for bass or crappie while dropping putts for birdie? Louisiana offers award-winning waters like 75-milelong Toledo Bend Reservoir on the Texas border. Slate a visit for late 2022 or early 2023, when Cypress Bend Re sort – located at about the lake’s halfway point near the town of Many – reopens its “new” golf course, which already boasted the state’s hilliest layout and some of its best views. The plan calls for six all-new holes while others will get new greens, im proved driving lanes, better drainage and bunkering, new cart paths and other upgrades.

64 GOLF OKLAHOMA • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2022 WWW.GOLFOKLAHOMA.ORG center) and the town of Kind er – home to Koasati Pines, the longest course in the state and a fine addition to the Coushatta Tribe’s sualgreen.anpar-5instreamsstandscopiousroutingmostplextwo-hotel-and-casinoimpressivecomnextdoor.KoasatiPinesmakestheofitsflatsitewithathatwindsaroundponds,throughoftalltreesandacrossthatcomeintoplayuniqueways.Theopeningisamysterywrappedinenigmawithahalf-hiddenThencomemoreviandstrategicchallenges

The Koasati Pines course at the Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder.

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Tim Rogers


Michael Hughett


M ike Gotcher of Broken Ar row drained a 25-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to edge defending champion Mike Hughett of Owasso by a shot in the Okla homa Golf Association Senior Stroke Play Championship at Meadowbrook Country Club in Gotcher,Tulsa.the former PGA club profes sional who has been one of the state’s top amateurs for the better part of the last de cade, let out a roar and fist pump when the putt dropped. He probably should have won in regulation, but three-putted the 18th hole for a double bogey that dropped him into a tie with Hughett at 1-over 143 after both shot even-par 71 in the second round.Gotcher and Hughett started the final round tied with Todd Rafffensperger of Broken Arrow and were never separated by more than two shots. Gotcher came into the final hole 2-under for the round and Hughett was 1-under. Hughett made bogey and Gotcher had the double after missing a 10-foot par putt and a second shortBothputt.set aside their 18th hole difficulties as the playoff began and made two-putt pars on the first hole. Hughett, who was gunning for his record 25th OGA title, caught a tree on the tight par-4 second with his drive and the ball bounced back ward some 50 yards. Gotcher also clipped a tree with his tee shot but caromed into the fairway. He hit a wedge to 25 feet and rolled that into the center to win his first OGADefendingtitle.

Champion Tim Rogers of Broken Arrow came on strong on the back nine to claim his second consecutive Su per Senior title for those 60 and over. He shot the only under-par score in that divi sion with a 1-under 70 to finish at 2-over, a comfortable six shots ahead of Bruce Maddux of Ponca City (73-77).

Frank Billings of Tulsa and Arthur Ben nett of Tulsa tied for third at 151.


Bruce Maddux

Morgan Palermo

Natalie Gough

K ate Strickland shot a 3-under 69 to finish at 4-under and win the Oklahoma Golf Association Stroke Play Championship at Meadow brook Country Club. Strickland, who will be a freshman at Oral Roberts University and hails from Lincoln, Neb., finished three shots ahead of fast-closing Morgan Palermo, a sophomore at Oklahoma City University who shot the tournament’s low round of 66 after open ing with a Palermo’s77.66 and Strickland’s 69 were both lower than any round achieved by the OGA Seniors and Super Seniors play ing the same course, albeit from a slightly longerStricklanddistance.credited solid putting for the victory, while Palermo said she calmed her nerves after the shaky first round in shoot ing the lowest round of her competitive ca reer. With Meadowbrook’s tight tree-lined fairways, both rounds were exceptional.

Kate Strickland

Third place went to her OCU team mate, the long-hitting Reagan Chaney of Ardmore, who shot 76-72 to finish at 4-over. Natalie Gough of Bixby and OCU took fourth at 10-over while Josie Patterson of Chandler and Oklahoma Baptist was fifth at 11-over.


The 2023 PGA Professional Championship will be April 30May 3 at Twin Warriors Golf Club at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa and Santa Ana Golf Club, If they finish in the top 20 there they will play in the 2023 PGA Championship May 18-21 at Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, New York.

ustin Peters brought an appetite for competition with him when he became the new general manager and head PGA professional at The Territory Golf & Country Club in Duncan last May. He has competed in all six section events that have been held since he arrived, fin ishing in the top four in the first five. And Tuesday he introduced himself clearly to his fellow section professionals by win ning the South Central PGA Professional Championship at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Course in Norman.

Peters, originally from Iowa, has been working in Califor nia for the past 12 years before taking the job at The Territory. He has made his way through the national event to the PGA Championship in the past, qualifying for the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straights won by Jason Day. “I didn’t do very well, but I had fun,” said Peters, 35. “It does make me want to get back there and give it another effort.”


Peters wins Section Professional, leads four into nationals Strickland wins OGA Women's Stroke Play Championship


Peters shot a second-round of 3-under 69 to finish at 7-under, one shot better than Tracy Phillips of Cedar Ridge Country Club in Broken Arrow (68-70) and Chris Tidland of Stillwater Country Club (71-67). Those three will advance to the PGA Professional Championship along with Tucker Roderick of The Golf Club of Oklahoma, who won a four-hole playoff with Trent Rommann of Crestview Country Club in Wichita for the fourth and final spot.

Austin Peters of The Territory won the South Central Section Professional Championship at Jimmie Austin

“He played really well,” Hudelson said. “I’ve never seen a guy make that many 8-foot par saves. He didn’t miss any.”


Davis, are state champs

Ian Davis, Oklahoma def. Austin Schmidt, Tulsa 2 and 1 FINALS Davis def. Prentice 1 up

playsubduesemifinalsmorningWednesdayinthetoSchmidtSchmidtdidn’tcollegiategolfafterhighschoolatBish op Kelley, prefer ring dirt bikes to digging it out of the dirt. But he is up for lost time and shown he is one top players, making off a week earlier Mid-Amateur after a 66 and then reaching all the time I took off ing it now,” Schmidt said. “It was a really good match, I had a couple of putts that almost went in that could have got me over the hump. But Ian playedPrentice,great.”who won the Class 6A state championship while at Edmond Memorial in 2015 and played collegiately at Southern Nazarene, worked for two years as a club fitter at Club Champion in Oklahoma City and now sells medical supplies. His semifinal 3 and 2 victory over Kyle Hudelson of Oklahoma City took just 2 hours and 9 minutes, as the two raced around matching great shots. Prentice nearly holed out from 63 yards right and below the green on the eighth hole, leaving himself a tap-in birdie that put him 2 up. He birdied the 10th hole and won the par3 11th with a par to go 4 up, then made a series of par saves down the stretch.

Scarberry solid in all areas, repeats as WOGA State Am champ


“Well, you know I have to work now,” he said with a chuckle after holding on to edge Prentice in the final. Now 30, his next goal is to qualify for and hopefully win the USGA Mid-Amateur Championship. The qualifier is in August at Dornick Hills in Ardmore. Davis, who had not played in an event of any stature since the 2020 Oklahoma Open, was not the only one who may have been a bit rusty coming in. Prentice, 25, spent most of the past three years recover ing fully from a knee injury suffered in a motorcycle accident in 2020. And his semi final opponent, Austin Schmidt of Tulsa, has only recently fallen in love with golf again after spending his early 20s racing motocross.Coming off of being a professional, Da had to ignore all those who were telling him that he was the odds-on favorite to win this event, one he never reached the final in while competing through His final three matches were all wars. He had to come from two holes behind with two holes to play Tuesday after noon to edge Mike Hearn of Yukon in 20 holes. Then he needed six bird ies

Ian Davis


Both contestants in the Women’s Oklaho ma Golf Association State Amateur cham pionship match July 21 at lush Gaillardia Country Club were striping the ball off ev ery tee box, attacking flags and demonstrat ing a masterly touch around the greens. There was just one club separating Shaebug Scarberry of Tuttle and Lilly Whitley of Edmond in end and that was the putter. Scarberry’s was red hot and Whitely’s stone cold. Scarberry not only made three birdies but several clutch par saves as she defended her title in the state’s top event for wom en amateurs, winning 5 and 3. It was a closer match, however, than the final score mightWhitley,indicate.who transferred this summer to Missouri State in Springfield after spending her freshman year at Kansas State, has developed her game considerably since her junior days and was eager to prove it. Her ball striking was excellent all week but the put ter let her down in the final match after being one of her best clubs up to the final.

Note: Complete results of all the following events and many more are at www.golfokla homa.org. by ken Ian Davis of Oklahoma City capped a triumphant return to the amateur golf ranks with a 1- up victory over Ja cob Prentice of Edmond the final match of the ma Golf Associa ateur atWednesdayChampiOklahomatryClub.Daviswasa youngster brimming with promise and big dreams when he won the OGA Junior Championship in 2010 with a week of brilliant play at Kickingbird Golf Course in Edmond. He went on to a success ful collegiate career at Oklahoma State, then turned professional in 2014. In his first event, he won the Colorado Open by five shots. For the next six years, Davis traveled the world, enjoying the adventure, but learn ing just how difficult the road to the PGA Tour can be. Davis and former OU and current Korn Ferry Tour golfer Michael Gellerman took off to Canada one year in an old beater car with a few dollars between them to play the Mackenzie Tour. Gellerman served as his cad die Wednesday, as he is currently nursing a rib injury. By 2020, Davis conceded that it was time to get a fulltime job outside of golf and applied for his amateur status back. He received it in November 2021, but this was the first event he has entered.




Jacob Prentice, Edmond, def. Kyle Hudelson, Oklahoma City 3 and 2


She jumped out to an early lead when Scarberry made her lone bogey of the match on the second hole while Whitley had a short conced ed birdie. Scarberry evened the match with a birdie on the par-3 fourth hole, then followed with an 8-foot birdie on the par-5 sixth, a 10-foot par save on the seventh when it looked like Whitley would even the match, then a 6-foot birdie putt on the eighth hole gave her a 2-up lead at the turn. The match was decided on holes 10-12. Whitley stuffed her approach shots inside 10 feet on both the par-4 10th and par-4 11th, but missed both birdie putts. She then missed a short par putt on the par-4 12th. Instead of being even or 1 down, she was 3 Pressingdown.after that, she lost the par-5 14th and the par-3 15th . And there was no let up from the defending champion. Scareberry saved par again with an 8-footer on 10, then made solid pars the rest of the way. “She was flag hunting at the start and it made me a little nervous,” said Scarberry, a fifth-year senior at Troy this fall. “She’s a good golfer. But I made that birdie on 4 and that settled me down. Then the birdie on 6, the par save on 7 and the birdie on 8 was a really good stretch forWhitleyme.” said, “I feel like I’ve always had crazy potential and always been right on that bubble. I haven’t peaked yet by a long shot. I’m getting better every day, every month. I’m a late bloomer. A lot of girls in junior golf got a lot more publicity than me, but I wanted to show that I’m a force to be reckoned with out here.

“Today, the birdie looks were not fall ing. And Shae was playing really, really well. You have to make a birdie to beat her and I respect that.”



Emotional win for Hughett in OGA Mid-Amateur  BARTLESVILLE – In 23 previous victories in Oklahoma Golf Association champion ships, Mike Hughett’s normal reaction was to offer an almost sheepish smile, shake hands and congratulate his opponent. The 24th was dramatically different. Rolling in a 12-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a three-man playoff in the OGA Mid-Amateur Championship on July 19 at Hillcrest Country Club, Hughett launched into a Tigeresque fist pump, then shortly after burst into tears.

“My putter was really hot the rest of the week,” she said. “But today I think I was setting up a little closed and missing ev erything to the right. Plus I was tense as well. I haven’t been in too many scenarios like this and it was fun to be in the arena. I worked hard all week to make it to the finals and it was rewarding to get there. But I also badly wanted to win it.”

“This one was for Matt,” he said of his 36-year-old son Matt Hughett, who passed away May 21 after suffering two years with brain cancer. “I could feel him up there watching me and pulling for me. I had no doubt I was going to make that putt,Thenone.”victory was especially meaningful not only because he had dedicated the tourna ment to his son, but to show the 63-year-old Hughett he could still compete against many of the top amateurs in the state – many de cades younger – in an event he first won in 2000, also in a playoff with Rick Ruffin with a similar length birdie putt on the first play off hole. He also won the Mid-Amateur for

Roller wins WOGA Junior at Stillwater CC Jenni Roller didn’t play her best in a pair of national events – missing the cut at the U.S. Girls Junior Championship and the Ju nior PGA Championship. She’ll look to im prove on the national stage as she enters the University of Tulsa this fall. Around the state, however, Roller was nearly unbeatable. She won the Class 3A state champion ship, the Junior Masters at Southern Hills, the OGA Junior stroke play and match play titles and then earned her first victory in the older division of the WOGA Junior Girls Champi onship in July at Stillwater Country Club. A 100-yard eagle was the highlight of her

Cavitt, Burneyville 77-77-154 Olivia Coit, Edmond 78-76-154 Jenni Roller


Roller, Jenks 70-73-143



those 25 and older in 2007 and 2008. Hughett nearly won the event in regu lation but his birdie putt on the par-5 18th grazed the cup after he suffered his lone bogey on 17. His final-round of 4-un der 68 moved him to 5-under and in a tie with Austin Schmidt of Tulsa, who shot the tournament’s low-round of 6-under 66 Tuesday, and Harley Abrams of Tulsa, who eagled the 18th to shoot 68 and also finish at 5-under overall. In the playoff, Abrams missed a long birdie effort, then Schmidt missed from about 14 feet below the hole. Hughett, whose drive on the par-4 first had headed right only to hit a tree and bounce into the middle of the fairway, hit his second about 18 feet above the hole and spun it back for the 12-footer which went right in the heart of for the win.



Gregston, Duncan 76-74-150 Lucy Darr, Stillwater 76-74-150

Blonien, Altus 75-72-147

918.832.5544 www.jonesplan.com Mike Hughett OKLAHOMA GOLF ASSOCIATION  MID-AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP  JULY 18-19, 2022  HILLCREST COUNTRY CLUB  FINAL RESULTS Michael Hughett, Owasso – 71-68–139 (won Harleyplayoff) Abrams, Tulsa – 71-68–139  Austin Schmidt, Tulsa – 73-66–139  Austin Hannah, Tulsa – 69-71–140  Peter Vitali, Oklahoma City – 71-69–140  Daniel Langley, Shawnee – 69-72–141 WOMEN’S OKLAHOMA GOLF ASSOCIATION 72ND WOGA GIRLS’ JUNIOR STATE CHAMPIONSHIP STILLWATER COUNTRY CLUB, STILLWATER JULY 12-13, 2022 FINAL CHAMPIONSHIPRESULTSFLIGHT

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