2022 Golf Oklahoma Aug/Sept

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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

Features 20 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.

26 28

15 62

Competition 66 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.


Destinations 62 Great food, good times and fun golf make any Louisiana trip special

Departments 6 Letter from the Publisher Felde 10 OGA ED Mark Felder 42 Instruction: Pat McTigue

67 On the cover

South Central Golf and Golf Oklahoma celebrate 30 years of publications! Cover design by Chris Swafford.




Mississippi is famous for the blues. But our greens are pretty spectacular, too. 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. #WanderMS

Mossy Oak Golf Course | West Point, Mississippi


Thanks for three decades


ooking back through 30 years of and to scan the news wires, but also deSouth Central Golf/Golf Okla- pended on fax machines and the USPS. So homa to pick out some highlights everything has changed except our deterfor a timeline proved to be a bigger task mination to provide our readers with qualthan I had imagined. We decided to save ity journalism covering this amazing game. I wasn’t one of the last 10 years those who worfor the next issue. ried that we I hope readers would run out will enjoy lookof content, I was ing back at events just concerned that helped shape that we would where we are have the time to as a remarkable even touch on golf state today the wealth of as much as we stories out there. enjoyed covering Golf is like no them in the first other sport. You place and looking can go to the back at them now. PGA MerchanAlthough the dise Show in magazine started Florida and see off covering OklaWatching the action with Dave Bryan. literally miles homa, Arkansas and southern Kansas, the geographic of products, services and gadgets, all the boundaries of the South Central Section equipment and apparel that you could of the PGA of America, for the purpose imagine, and that doesn’t even begin to of this we concentrated on our Oklahoma touch on what is truly interesting about coverage. And though golf travel has al- the game. Each course is unique and ways been a big focus of the magazine, they change dramatically daily with the we didn’t recap any of that here. Nor in- weather and setup. The men and women struction, rules, book reviews or many of (and boys and girls) who play, teach and the other features that make up the full grow and set up the venues are where my magazine. I tried to pull just a few tidbits interest lies, whether it is here in a casual from the 30 or so stories that might be in round, covering a major championship at a typical issue but ones that had mean- Southern Hills, an OGA championship or ing going forward and might help some enjoying a trip to Scotland or Ireland. I started this venture after working as a of our younger readers see how the golf landscape has changed dramatically over reporter and editor in newspapers for 12 years and had no clue how to run a small those three decades. I started looking back beginning with business. The editorial was one thing, it the first issue and, of course, soon became was sales, marketing, accounting, taxes, hopelessly bogged down as I started reread- etc., that were daunting. But I did have ing most of the issues, remembering much the help of some great people, including that I had forgotten and marveling again the two whom I approached for a modhow good many of the freelancers were and est startup loan: Tulsa businessman and are who have contributed so much to the great amateur golfer Jim Hays and former Tulsa Tribune editor Jenk Jones Jr. The magazine over these three decades. When we started in 1993 we were on best news is they were both willing to tabloid newsprint. Of course, there was be paid back slowly, without interest, as no website, social media or even email. they both thought this might be a valuThere also weren’t any newsletters or cell able effort for the state. phones. AOL showed up in 1995. We had some early Macs for layout and graphics See PUBLISHER on page 8 6



Golf Oklahoma Offices Southern Hills Plaza 6218 S. Lewis Ave., Ste. 102 Tulsa, OK 74136 918-280-0787



Oklahoma City Office 405-640-9996 Publisher Ken MacLeod ken@golfoklahoma.org


COO/Marketing Director A.G. Meyers agm@golfoklahoma.org Reporter Sam Humphreys sam@golfoklahoma.org Art & Technology Director Chris Swafford chris@golfoklahoma.org Subscriptions to Golf Oklahoma 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 Young Teaching Professional, River Oaks CC 405-630-8183 Ryan Rody Director of Instruction Southern Hills Country Club rrody@southernhilscc.org Pat McTigue Director of Instruction, Meadowbrook CC pmtigue277@gmail.com Maggie Roller Director of Instruction, 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 Felder mfelder@okgolf.org Director of Handicapping and Course Rating Jay Doudican jdoudican@okgolf.org Director of Junior Golf Morri Rose morose@okgolf.org Director of Rules Bob Phelps bphelps@okgolf.org Copyright 2022 by Golf Oklahoma Magazine. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from Golf Oklahoma. Golf Oklahoma is published by South Central Golf, Inc.





Publisher cont. from page 6 I’ve been blessed that some really talented 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 layout and design each print and digital issue, build ads for clients, build and manage the websites for Golf Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame, put together our weekly newsletters, handle A.G. Meyers much of our social media and do the invoicing, freeing me up to do whatever it is I do around here. 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 photographers who contribute regularly to the magazine and website, guys like John Rohde, Tom Bedell, Barry Lewis, Ed Travis, 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, superintendents, 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 Oklahoma and teaming Chris Swafford 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. It’s been hard to say goodbye to so many who have been so instrumental in Oklahoma golf and great friends and supporters of the magazine, folks like Bill Barrett, Roy Oxford, 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 believe 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 investment. Looking ahead, we’re excited about continuing 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 giving 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.




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Davis, Hughett, Gooch in OGA spotlight During a two-week stretch, were delighted to welcome Davis, the events and $3,000 toward the seasonIan Davis and Mike Hughett put some 2010 OGA Junior champion, back to the ending Red River Classic at Dornick Hills emphatic exclamation points on two of winner’s circle. Ian played professionally against top players from north Texas. The foundation raised over $300,000 from the time he left Oklahoma State in our top events. Hughett made a birdie putt on the first 2014 until 2020 and regained his amateur at a pro-am at Tulsa Country Club the playoff hole to win the OGA Mid-Am- status last November. He outlasted Jacob Monday after the PGA Championship to kick off fundraising and has already ateur Championship at Hillcrest donated to several great charities in Country Club in Bartlesville, one of the Oklahoma City area. We thank our favorite courses in the state and Talor for this. run superbly by professional John Gooch, foundation director Hron and his staff. Kelsey Cline and OJGT direcIt was the 24th OGA victory for tor Morri Rose were among the the timeless wonder and he dedihonored guests as John Conrad cated the victory to his son, Matt, reopened in late July in Midwest who died earlier this year of brain City. We’re looking forward to seecancer. ing the improvements there during Hughett, Harley Abrams and AusIan Davis Mike Hughett Talor Gooch the OJGT John Conrad Labor Day tin Schmidt each shot 5-under for the 36 holes, excellent playing on a course Prentice of Edmond 1-up in a well-played Challenge. The Oklahoma Open is scheduled final, but both golfers showed their best that was set up to test the state’s best. Aug. 25-27 on the East Course at Oak The next week the OGA held its State stuff in reaching the final. Speaking of junior golf, we were very Tree Country Club and as usual should Amateur Championship at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, another ex- grateful to receive a $10,000 donation be a great mix of top young professioncellent venue in superb condition run by from the Talor Gooch Foundation to help als and amateurs putting on a great disdecorated professional Tim Fleming and sponsor the fall series on the Oklahoma play. The defending champion is Zach Junior Golf Tour. The $10,000 will add James, who won by two shots last year his staff. After six rounds in scorching heat, we $1,000 to elevate each of the seven fall over Sam Stevens.









Links to the Past and Future by tom bedell


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 proper term, since Keiser has all along been devoted to linksstyle golf, and the team of architects he has employed can mostly be assigned to the minimalist school — the likes of David McLay Kidd, Tom Doak, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, Rod Whitman. The book will be catnip for golf architecture 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 the courses. The book is rich in detail, fun to read and the photos are gorgeous. The only problem is the uncontrollable itch it creates to get back out and play some of the courses.

gan, Snead, Nelson, Locke, Palmer, that’s saying something. Born in Wilmington, Del., in 1915, Oliver 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 Publications, $30.00). Oliver was rarely called “Ed.” “Porky” was only one of several nicknames he carted around -- ”Snowball,” “Snobie,” “Chops,” “Old Chops” and “Chopsy” among others. 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 his avoirdupois. Oliver was something of a hard-luck case on the course, too, consistently blowing tournament leads in the closing holes, usually due to a balky putter. His bridesmaid 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. 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 disqualified 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. 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-course antics. Nonetheless, it’s a good and poignant effort in resurrecting an overly neglected player, where in his hometown they rechristened the Wilmington Golf Club in 1983 as the Ed Oliver Golf Club.

he Nature of the Game: Links Golf at Bandon Dunes and Far Beyond (Knopf, $40) by M i k e Keiser with Stephen Goodwin, is a handsome volume recounting Keiser’s second occupational life as a golf destination developer. His first was as a head partner in Recycled Paper Greetings, a (mainly) greeting card company that gave Keiser the wherewithal to indulge his growing obsession with linksstyle golf. Though Bandon Dunes was the course and resort that really implanted Keiser in just about every golfer’s noggin, he actually started out with a ninehole course in New Buffalo, Mich., called the Charlie Mechem Dunes Club, an outright homage to Pine Valley. The book goes into all this history in ingratiating detail, goes on to recapitulate the now 20-plus year history HOW HE PLAYED of Bandon Dunes, THE GAME and then takes in If little remembered what might be called today, Ed Oliver was a the rest of the Keiser significant presence on empire: Barnbougle the PGA Tour before and Dunes in Tasmania, after World War II. He the Cabot Courses in was a star of the era, if Newfoundland (and more due to his outsized the Caribbean island personality than from of Saint Lucia), and the any sustained success. expanding Sand Valley Credited with eight Resort in Wisconsin, official Tour wins, a now largely run by member of three Ryder ARNIE AND JACK Keiser’s sons, Michael Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus will nevCup teams, Oliver bestand Chris. Well, sure, the book can be viewed as one ed the best of his day from time to time, er be overly neglected. But can we ever read big advertisement for Keiser’s properties. A and when the best included the likes of Ho- too much about them? Charlie Mechem’s 12



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“Arnie and Jack: Stories of My Long Friendship 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 Broadcasting Company, which is where his association with Nicklaus began, commissioning Jack to Charlie Mechem build a course near Cincinnati and later helping with the video version of his book, “Golf My Way.” After his LPGA term ended, Mechem was asked by Palmer to be a personal assistant, 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 anecdotes here about both. Nicklaus provides a foreword, as does Doc Giffin, another longtime Palmer adviser. There’s nothing too new, deep or revealing here about either icon. It’s a bit hagiographic, 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. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

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A Decade of Change—the 1990s by ed travis


ah, 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 beginning of the new millennium. In our sport a young Californian named Tiger Woods captured the world’s attention as he won 15 times on the PGA Tour in the last four years of the decade including two major championships and we will never forget the tragedy of Payne Stewart that became burned into our memories. The 90s 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. 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 decided naming one after a World War I German howitzer would catch golfers’ attention. Callaway’s Big Bertha driver was introduced in 1991 with a head of 190cc considered at the time to be huge. By way of comparison, 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. 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 14

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 right. Within a few years Callaway went even further introducing the Great Big Bertha 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 pathway to the creation of today’s long hitting drivers. In 1999 Callaway’s titanium drivers and woods generated $262 million in revenue and dominated the market. 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. Professionals of course benefited but the forgiveness and distance increases really helped the typical weekend golfer struggling to hit tee shots more than 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 instantly 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 enlarged toe area did make them strange looking. 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 business but did show the way designers could continue to improve the playing experience of this maddening game. Finally, everyone knows golf changed dramatically 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 performing ball that set the stage for the Pro V1. The Professional, like the Titleist Tour Balata, which at the time was very popular with better players, had a wound construction with a liquid center but added something 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 by average golfers. 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 shorter, scoring shots around the green but with an important difference. It lasted longer a n d didn’t cut as easily as balata so players could get more holes from them, in effect making the Professional less expensive. The Professional also carried farther than other wound balls giving more distance off the tee particularly for long hitters with their higher swing speeds. 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 sophisticated golf clubs and balls. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG


News around the state Sponsored by

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 Jonathan Brightwell, Korn Ferry Tour President Alex Baldwin, Jimmie Austin General Manager and PGA Professional Tyler Woodward and Anera Sports founder and CEO Rob Addington.

State welcomes Korn Ferry Tour by ken mac leod


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, 2023. University 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. Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell talked about what the event will mean for the area and the state’s standing as a bastion of golf and business. Title sponsor Mark Lammert, CEO of Compliance Solutions and an Oral Roberts University graduate, is excited about the golf and the potential to expand his Florida-based accounting, tax and business advisory services in his former state. The tournament will have a purse of $1 million for 2023. The tournament’s official charity will be Autism Oklahoma and board member Mike Panas and founder and executive director Melina Laufferburger were both on W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

hand to showcase the noble work of that ford will both be seeking PGA Tour cards for 2023, as will former OSU star Sam entity. With the huge number of players with Stevens from Wichita. They were among Oklahoma ties typically vying for their the players ranked 26 through 75 on the PGA Tour cards on the Korn Ferry Tour 2022 Korn Ferry Tour points list who will and the extremely high level of play, it compete against the players ranked 126 would seem an event ripe for Oklaho- through 200 on the PGA Tour’s FedEx mans to embrace and quickly establish Cup standings for 25 PGA Tour cards in as one of the highlights of the Korn Ferry the three-event series. “The CompliTour schedule. ance Solutions The Oklahoma Championsh ip Sooners and OSU will be an incredCowboys are unible showcase of questionably two 156 of the world’s of the top five colbest up-and-comlegiate programs ing players,” said in the country Korn Ferry Tour and are a pipeline President Alex of talent for the Baldwin. “You Korn Ferry Tour, will see a depth much of it homeof talent and level grown. of competition For example, that is among the as the Korn Ferry Max McGreevy advaned from Korn Ferry best in the world. Tour playoffs beTour to earn his PGA Tour card. Outside the ropes gin this week, Austin Eckroat from Edmond and OSU and we’ll see this community and the entire Quade Cummins from OU and Weather- Sooner state rally around this championAUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2022 • GOLF OKL AHOMA



Compliance Solutions Championship

ship in order to generate significant charitable and economic impact for the community.” “I’m very 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 demonstrating that Oklahoma brand.” “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 reality for all of us.” Former University of Oklahoma standout Max McGreevy, who earned his first PGA TOUR card with a No. 14 finish on the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season 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 Austin 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 super 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

Tyler Woodward

Tripp Davis

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


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 Oklahoma Christian. Tyler 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 University 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.” “I can’t think of any golf course in the Oklahoma City area that would be better,” said architect Tripp Davis, who performed 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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Compliance Solutions Championship

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 immediately available but OSU coach Alan Bratton said it would be a great venue and the state will support a Korn Ferry Tour event strongly. “That wil 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.” The rich heritage of the grounds of the Jimmie Austin Golf Club at The University of Oklahoma dates to the early 1940s, when the land was home to a U.S. Navy recreational facility. 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. 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 contributions 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 remained true to features envisioned by Maxwell some 50 years earlier. Working with Tripp Davis, golf course architect and member of the Sooners’ 1989 national title-winning team, the club completed major renovations to the course, infrastructure, and facilities in 2017. “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 tournaments, 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.” In recognition of this excellence,

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 Regional Championships in 2012, 2018, 2022 (men’s) and 2013, 2019 (women’s) and is already scheduled to host NCAA Regional Championships in 2023 and 2025. Compliance Solutions, which is celebrating its 20-year anniversary this year after being founded by Lammert in 2002, is headquartered in Longwood, Florida. For more information on Compliance Solutions, please visit: www.csilongwood. com. For more information on the tournament, please visit: https://compliancesolutionschampionship.com/.

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he Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame Classic, a fundraiser to support the 501 C3 organization’s scholarship and Everett Dobson Award programs, will be held Monday Oct, 24 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, site of the 2022 PGA Championship and seven other major championships. Sign up now for this amazing event which will include great tee gifts, prizes, breakfast and lunch and many special guests, including members of the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame and rofessionals from around the state. Entry fee is $4,000 per team of four amateurs and bring your own professional, or $5,000 for a team of five amateurs. Other levels of sponsorship are available as follows: Scholarship Sponsor - $10,000 for one year Scholarship sponsors help sponsor the two $5,000 scholarships the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame presents to high school golfers annually as well as the $5,000 Everett Dobson Award. Hole Sponsor - $1,000. Includes signage for your company on a particular hole and in the pre-tournament media. Visit www.oklahomagolfhof.org for entry forms and more information. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG



8 7 7. 6 11 . 0 11 2 | H S B R E S O R T . C O M





We celebrate 30 And those who made it happen Stephen Hillman Mike Sowell

John Rohde

Dan O'Kane

Mac Bentley

Mal Elliott

Clay Henry

by ken macleod


ere 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 keep pace. Our first year we produced eight color tabloid issues which were delivered 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 letter or sent a fax. Today we have five issues of the print and digital magazine, a website updated 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 terrific 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 interest to enough people to make this venture succeed. Looking back at the first year, what strikes me is how many highly talented journalists across the state and region contributed right from the start; Mike Sowell, John Rohde, Mac Bentley, Clay Henry, Jenk Jones Jr., Dan O’Kane, Mal Elliott, Jim Misunas, Beck Cross and others gave us an all-star lineup of writing talent 20

from the jump. We thought it would be interesting to look back at that first year and summarize 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. FIRST ISSUE, AUGUST, 1993 Our first cover was the iconic shot of Bob Tway leaping for joy in the bunker after holing 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 Oklahoman, 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


Jim Misunas

Jenk Jones Jr. Mike Klemme

with project like this when other efforts have failed.” I guess Cool stories: We had a story about the development of Karsten Creek in Stillwater, 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. 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 Baltusrol. Jenk Jones wrote a history of major championships at Southern Hills in advance of the 1994 PGA Championship. 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 second consecutive Kansas Amateur. Stacy Prammanasudh, at 13, won the WOGA Junior Championship at Indian Springs by three shots over Angie Hopkins of Stillwater. The story mentioned how Stacy and father Louie, her caddie and swing instructor, disagreed strenuously at times over club selection. The final graph. “Judging by Stacy’s sweet swing and pure short game, the two 13-year-old Stacy will be disagreePrammanasudh. ing their way into the winner’s circle for a long time to come.” Nailed that one. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

ISSUE 2, OCT-NOV. 1993 The Cover: Arnold Palmer after announcing the 1994 PGA Championship at Southern Hills would be his last. Cool story: The research by Wilma Buckner and Eleanor Kee of Coffeyville, Kan., that the nine-hole Hillcrest Golf Course there was designed and built by Perry Maxwell, not George Bell as had been common in many records. Features: Bill Glasson enumerating his many injuries to Clay Henry. A college preview featuring a very young

looking Alan Bratton and Chris cleanup of the massive devastation caused by Tidland at Oklahoma State. A a sprawling tornado in April that destroyed the pro shop, story on the govrestaurant ernment auction and cart barn of Oak Tree Naand mangled tional by Mac most of the Bentley. An inhundreds of terview of PGA trees on the Tour commiscourse. sioner Deane “The torBeman looknado came ing forward to . . . and it the 1995 and Arnold Palmer besieged at the 1994 played all 18 1996 Tour PGA Championship in Tulsa. holes.” ChampionPlayers: The late Mark Hayes wins the ships at Southern Hills. Courses: What was then called Spunky Oklahoma Open by a shot over John FreeCreek Country Club in Catoosa begins man of Broken Arrow.

ISSUE 3, DEC.-JAN. 1993-94


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. 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 human effort.” Features: The Tulsa World’s Dan O’Kane visits with CBS producer Frank Chirkinian. Arkansas State Golf Association Executive Director Jay Fox takes John Daly to task, Ping salesman Leon Faucett is profiled, John Rohde of the Oklahoman graces our pages for the first time George Glenn with a review of the 1993 performance of the Oak Tree Gang. His lead summed it up nicely. “David Edwards and Gil Morgan continued to be among the elite. Bob Tway and Willlie Wood rediscovered their talents. Doug Tewell remained consistent. Mark Hayes remained busy. Scott Verplank remained injured. And Andy Dillard remained in limbo." Doug Tewell 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 payMelissa day after making less than $30,000 during the McNamara full LPGA season.

The Cover: Young golf archi- i m p a c t tect Randy Heckenkemper of of the Tulsa is profiled, the beginning C o z of a great friendship for this bys on writer and architect. Randy had golf in already completed Forest Ridge O k l a in Broken Arrow and South h o m a Lakes in Jenks as well as Silver- h a s Horn in Edmond and was await- o n l y ing the opening of White Hawk grown from there. I still miss Jerry and his 7 a.m. phone calls. in Bixby when this article was Features: Mac Bentley written. White Hawk and delves into the amateur legaSilverHorn were part of the cy of Charlie Coe in an extenmovement toward upscale sive interview with the great daily fee courses, they one. Jenk Jones Jr. visits later became victims former Tulsa golfer Hank of the golf course conHaney at his ranch in traction. White Hawk McKinney, Texas, where in particular was a very Holley and Tracy Philgood course but ownRandy lips were assistant ership brought in a national golf course Heckenkemper teaching pros. Players: Glen Day, Robin management firm to run it and that usually spells disaster for the Freeman and Rocky Walcher course and its customers, as the advance through PGA Tour firms constantly cut corners on qualifying school and recount maintenance, customer service the adventure with John Rohde. and everything they can think of ORU great Joey Rassett, age to cash flow and send a guaran- 35, also made it, though it was tee back to corporate headquar- a short-lived career. A 5-footters and the ownership group. 9, 130-poun Union high school Still the way Bixby is growing senior Michael Boyd is profiled. now one wonders if a municipal Boyd, who would go on to be an All-American at Tulsa and make course could be a success. Cool story: Dan O’Kane pro- it on the PGA Tour, told us he files the Cozby family, parents hit up to 700 golf balls a day, but Jerry and Karole and sons Chance, “was learning to practice more 18, Craig 22 and Cary, 25. The efficiently.”





ISSUE 6, MAY, 1994

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 story on the course and how it became named for Karsten Solheim, Ping founder. The story included a note on the board of Cowboy Golf, Inc., the group that Director of Golf Tom Jones w o u l d consult with on m a j o r policy discussion s. How’s this 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. Courses: In addition to Karsten Creek, we profile the newly opened Quail Ridge in Winfield, Kan., and the Tour 18 in Humble, Texas. We have a story on Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw renovating the Arlington Course in Hot Springs Village.

The Cover: The new Parformance School of Golf at Hot Springs Village was profiled. Cool stories: A feature by Jim Stafford 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 PGA Duffy Martin Championship. Good choice there. Price came to Southern Hills and dominated. We visited Oklahoma John Daly 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 research goes on today and is still making a impact on golf courses across the country.

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. Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein was in Tulsa to promote the new Portable Launch Monitor, at that time regarded as the greatest club fitting tool that had ever been constructed. We also 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 LaFortune 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. 22

John Daly came to Oklahoma City for an appearance at an A Chance To Change clinic. He was struggling to stay sober (it didn’t last) and he was candid about it. Daly may not have been a great role model in a lot of ways, but one thing he did great throughout this career is play fast. He complained about Nick Faldo and others who waited forever t o hit their next shot. Maybe watching players like himself take forever to hit a shot is one reason Faldo is retiring.

ISSUE 7, JUNE, 1994 Walter HopThe Cover: Defending champ Paul Azinger came to Southern Hills for media per, who manday for the 1994 PGA Championship. aged the PGA Bald, scared and defiant all at once, Zinger South Central Judelivered one of the most brutally honest Section and heartfelt press conferences I’ve ever nior Tour for many years, attended. At age 33, he had been diagnosed the discussed his previous fall with cancer and had been un- love of the and dergoing radiation and chemotherapy. He game discussed throwing up every 20 minutes teaching with for nine hours after his first chemothera- Dan O’Kane. Courses: Jenk Jones Jr. visited Roman py. The terror of waiting to hear whether Nose state park golf course the cancer had spread. And in Watonga and came away the peace he gained when he impressed with the wild and gave his life to God and said wooly of the then nine-hole it’s in your hands now. layout in the Gypsum Hills. He concluded with “I’m Players: Patrick Lee won telling you, if you’ve got your the Perry Maxwell Invitahealth, you’ve got it all. I took tional at Dornick Hills, at that it for granted. I’ll never take it time a prestigious collegiate for granted again.” event in the state. Michael Cool stories: Mac Bentley inBoyd of Union and Stacy terviewed Ernie Vossler about Rambin of Jenks were among his latest ventures and efforts the high school champions to rebuild the Landmark brand that spring. Tag Ridings of after the government destroyed Tulsa led Arkansas through the original company that built Tag Ridings the NCAA Central Regional Oak Tree National, Oak Tree Country Club and so many great resorts in at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club with a sixth-place finish. Palm Springs and elsewhere.



ISSUE 8, JULY 1994 Cover: Bailey Ranch Golf Course in opened and he raved about the design. People Owasso, which opened the previous Au- forget that when the front nine opened it was gust, was the subject of our cover story. It carved out of prairie grasses of a former cattle was the latest addition in a rapidly chang- ranch owned by Larkin Bailey. It lost much ing golf landscape in Oklahoma that saw of that character when the housing moved dozens of courses added across the state in, but the back nine still retains some of the wildness that made it great. between 1987 and the early 2000s. So here we are 30 years later and Lehr supBailey Ranch and Battle Creek in Broken ports the course through Arrow were both municipal his role as city manager. courses designed on the upLong-time professional scale daily fee model by Bland Corey Burd is deeply tied Pittman of Pittman, Poe & into the community as not Associates. The plan was for only the pro but the Owasthe respective cities to own so high school boys golf the courses but private develTodd Graves, right, shows the coach and in other ways. opers sold the real estate linNatural Swing to Jim Sorenson. I think I first met Corey on ing the fairways of each. Like any course, both have had rough the basketball court at the downtown YMCA years as the market has changed and play and another long friendship began. He’s done a has fluctuated, but both Owasso and Bro- wonderful job out there as did Warren. Cool stories: We spent a couple of pagken Arrow have largely supported the courses including subsidies and capital in- es detailing the exploits of Tim and Todd vestments as needed and thus they are still Graves. Todd was already a proponent of today two of the finer and busier public the Natural Golf Swing, which the brothcourses in the state. And as both Owasso ers still teach at their schools in Edmond and Broken Arrow have grown, they have and Florida. Tim, having finally conquered helped tremendously with the quality of Joe Nick in both the OGA Stroke Play and Match Play championships, was about to life issues that appeal to new residents. Warren Lehr, now city manager of Owasso, join Todd in the professional ranks. For those who wonder about the Nick refwas the head professional when the course

erence, Joe Nick was then the dominant player in Oklahoma amateur golf. In the 1993 State Amateur at SilverHorn in Edmond, Graves had Nick buried by five holes after 18 holes in what was then a 36-hole finale. Nick went on one of his patented birdie barrages, finished nine under 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 defeated Nick 4 and 3 in the 1994 event. He did lose in the semifinals to eventual champion Lance Combrink. “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.” “In my mind, I beat Joe last year,” Tim said. “It didn’t end up that way – Joe took the trophy 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.


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Advocate for Oklahoma Golf its weekly newsletter updates. The accom- is literally phenomenal. He calls me his panying website, www.golfoklahoma.org, funding partner, but I wrote a check to him by murray evans has more than 186,000 unique visitors per because I believed in him. … It wasn’t easy. en MacLeod year. There’s also social media channels on You have to have the connections and an didn’t want this Facebook, Twittter and Instagram, a radio inside track to deal with these (golf) pros. to be written. show and a podcast featuring well-known But Ken had the talent to pull that off. He is just a really special man.” He’s much more comfort- Oklahoma broadcaster Sam Humphreys. Jones had similar concerns: “I didn’t Through the years, Golf Oklahoma proable writing and reporting on those involved in Oklahoma golf than duced the Hurricane Tracker (a University know if Ken could find enough material to in being the subject of one of those stories. of Tulsa fan magazine) from 1996 to 2001, last six months. But a combination of routine but essential But what he’s accominformation, feaplished at Golf Oklahotures on interestma – which is celebrating personalities ing its 30th anniversary and exotics (stowith this issue – needs ries about courses to be praised, so that’s in other states what is going to be done and even abroad) with this piece, whether makes the magaMacLeod likes it or not zine a rich blend. (and this writer can And Ken being guarantee that it’s the such a nice guy latter). has helped sell the “We need to put Ken package." up on a pedestal,” said The magazine, Mark Felder, the Oklathen known as homa Golf Association’s South Central longtime executive diGolf, first pubrector. “You can’t glow lished in August enough about him.” 1993, covering golf This from Pat Mcnot just in OklahoCrate, the director of ma but also in Argolf at LaFortune What a job! Chatting with all-time greats like Gil Morgan. kansas and Kansas. Park Golf Course in Tulsa: “Ken does such a wonderful job had a graphics and pre-press production A casual conversation between MacLeod telling our story. He couldn’t have picked a side business for 15 years and sold, pro- and Felder in 2011 changed the publicamore correct career.” Added Maggie Roller, duced and managed about 35 golf expos tion’s focus. “Ken had been doing the South Central the director of instruction at Cedar Ridge in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Little Rock and (magazine) forever and he was having a Country Club in Broken Arrow: “He puts Springdale, Ark. Simply put, Golf Oklahoma is a success hard time selling ads,” Felder said. “I said, his heart and soul into it. He is just for Oklahoma golf. His magazine is one of the story as it celebrates covering the sport ‘Why don’t you and A.G. (Meyers) come in our state for 30 years. But there was to my office and let’s talk about just doing best things we have.” “Ken is part-author, part-architect, no guarantee in 1992, when MacLeod, an an Oklahoma magazine. You can do all the part-superintendent, part-rules official, Ohio transplant who then was a sports OGA stuff.’ That was where Golf Oklahopart-tournament director,” said one of his reporter for the Tulsa Tribune (the city’s ma started.” Meyers, a respected businesman who writing contemporaries, John Rohde, who evening newspaper), developed the idea covered golf for years for The Oklaho- for a publication that would cover golf in was the former vice president of the Lazy man and now contributes as a freelance the PGA’s South Central Region. To start E Arena, general manager at Oak Tree Nawriter for MacLeod’s magazine. “He exam- the magazine, MacLeod borrowed money tional and Chairman of the 2006 Senior ines every nook and cranny of the South from two men, longtime Tribune editor PGA Championship, came on as chief Central Section and uses Golf Oklahoma as Jenk Jones Jr. and Jim Hays, then a local en- operations officer. The magazine’s title ergy businessman in Tulsa and one of the switched to Golf Oklahoma with the Aprilhis rangefinder." May issue in 2011, with Bo Van Pelt on the Golf Oklahoma – the official publication state’s finest amateur golfers. “At the time, I thought Ken was ahead of cover. If there ever was any question about of the OGA – has been voted as one of the nation’s top regional golf magazines for a his time,” said Hays, who’s now the presi- whether the state of Oklahoma could promajority of the years since its inception. It’s dent and chief executive officer of ExoStat duce enough golf news to make possible delivered in bulk to every Oklahoma golf Medical Inc. “In small business, about one such a focused magazine and website, that course, has over 5,000 home subscribers of 15 is ever commercially successful. What has been answered in the affirmative many and over 34,000 Oklahoma golfers receive he’s done in a tough, competitive business times over. In fact, the magazine doubled





in size when it narrowed its editorial and Dobson,current board chairman Tom reaching impact and success of MacLeod’s advertising focus to promoting and cover- Jones and the rest of the board. The Hall work and warm the heart of Hays, one of ing golf in Oklahoma. There’s a lot of state of Fame presents two annual $5,000 the men who provided MacLeod the startpride in Oklahoma golf, while the South scholarships and the annual Everett Dob- up funds in 1992. Hays acknowledges the Central Section is an arbitrary geographic son Award, which provides $5,000 to help success of Golf Oklahoma is beyond what a collegiate golfer embark on a career after he ever could have expected. area used by the PGA of America. “It took him a number of years to get it Golf Oklahoma covers every level of the graduating from a university. The 2019 resport from competition at all levels (ju- cipient was Elizabeth Freeman, a former really rolling,” Hays said. “He struggled finiors, collegians, professionals) to course Oklahoma Christian University player nancially early. But he was going to make construction and renovation, equipment, who earlier this year graduated from the it work. Now, the only issue that I can see travel, golf literature, instruction and the Oklahoma City University Law School, with Ken’s empire is Ken is not going to be here forever.” job of the unsung heroes, the golf But, fortunately for golf fans, it’s course superintendents. There’s renot going anywhere anytime soon. ally not a part of Oklahoma golf “What he does and how he does that the publication doesn’t touch, it, he’s the only one doing it,” Felder and mostly in real time thanks to said. “He’s our only vehicle for OklaMacLeod, a group of freelance corhoma golf. He’s so unobtrusive. He respondents and the many talents of just shows up, does his job and keeps production manager Chris Swafford. winning awards, year after year. “Ken is willing to cover anything Pat McCrate Jim Hays Maggie Roller I have been so proud to work with or go anywhere,” said Roller, who first met MacLeod during her playing ca- with plans to serve as a legal advocate for him all of these years. I just wanted the story about all Ken does to be told.” reer at TU in the 1980s and whose children, children. “I am so thankful for the Everett DobJ.P. and Jenni, have received much coverEditor's note: Murray got the lead right, it was age during the past few years as they’ve son Award,” Freeman said. “The money excelled in junior golf. “He’s a really good I received through the award helped ease only at the insistence of OGA Executive Direcinterviewer and a good listener and that the burden of paying for casebooks and tor Mark Felder that we are running this. That makes him a good reporter and a good other materials during my time in law said, it's really nice and I appreicate it Mark writer. He’s a golf fan, because he loves to school. It really made a difference for me.” and Murray, wish my parents would have had Stories like Freeman’s show the far- a chance to read it – Ken MacLeod 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.” When J.P. Roller had to give a speech at PGA National Resort in Florida after winning 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. “I don’t think there’s any bigger fan of FAST. the PGA pro in Oklahoma, and no bigger RELIABLE. fan of amateur or junior golf in Oklahoma, than Ken,” McCrate said. “He genuinely LOCAL. loves it and is absorbed with it from top to bottom. He is just knowledgeable about so • High-Speed Internet much, like course design, and he’s on top of • VOIP Phone Systems PGA and international golf stuff, too.” • 24/7 Local Support In addition to its coverage, the company was hired in 2014 to help promote dobson.net | 855.5.DOBSON and run the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame and works closely with founder Everett






1994-2002 Let's build a course a day! 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. August 1994, 1994 PGA Championship Preview Issue • Tim Fleming, then an assistant at Oklahoma 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. • Andy Crabtree, a 17-year-old from Bixby, wins the OGA Junior. Crabtree is now the men’s golf coach at Oklahoma City University. • In one of the many stories previewing 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 Mickelson 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.

ration. Signature Properties purchased the 36hole Oak Tree Country Club and facilities for $20 million. • Lyndy Lindsey builds a par-3 course at an apartment complex in Fay-

etteville, Ark., his second course after Lost Springs Country Club in Rogers, Ark. Lindsey would go on to build numerous courses to supplement apartment complexes in Oklahoma, including one each in Broken Arrow, Owasso, Bixby, Stillwater, Moore and Norman. • Arnold Palmer concluded his run in the PGA Championship, the major he never won, with a 20-foot par putt on the 18th hole Friday, sending the crowd into delirium. • The local contingent left Southern Hills marveling at Price’s 11-under total and frustrated by their own play. Glen Day did the best, tying September-October 1994 Tim for 15th at 1-over. Bill Amid our coverage of Nick Fleming Glasson tied for 19th, Price’s runaway victory in the Gil Morgan 44th and 1994 PGA Championship Andrew Magee 47th. Bob were these nuggets: Tway missed the cut. • Four members of Oak Tree • Our Kansas corresponGolf Club (now Oak Tree National) dent Mal Elliott looked back led by furniture magnate Don over his long career covering Mathis and including oilmen Art Swanson, golf in Kansas and OklahoRan Ricks and Walter Duncan, purchased ma and noted the most rethe club from the Resolution Trust Corpo26


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. • Greg Norman, frustrated with the conditions of the bent grass greens in August, advised Southern Hills to put in Bermuda greens. Greg is still full of advice today. • David Edwards won the Oklahoma Open, outdueling Chris Tidland and Rocky Walcher down the stretch. Pat McTigue, now at Meadowbrook Country Club, edged Tim Fleming to win the PGA South Central Section Club Pro Championship at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Sheila Dills Club with rounds of 67-68. Joe Nick, then the state’s dominant 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. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG


MARCH 1995

with doing • Lake Hefner North reopens after a comeverything he plete renovation by architect Randy Heckasked of othenkemper and quickly becomes one of the ers, whether top destinations for public golf in the state. donating to • Tim Johnson, now the general managKarsten Creek er at The Golf Club of Oklahoma, became or pushthe new head pro at Indian Hills Country ing himself Club and Resort in Fairfield Bay, Ark. through 6:30 • A $5-million renovation of the Jimmie a.m. workouts. Austin University of Oklahoma Course And of doing was announced, including a redesign by a good job of Bob Cupp and, for the first time, an irrigation system. Next year The Jimmie will hiding a soft and compassionate side. For as cold and flinty as he can seem at begin a five-year run of holding a Korn Ferry Tour event, bringing top level professional times, Holder can also be charming and the he can change from one to golf to the state on a consisthe next at a moment’s notent basis. tice. One quote from Jones • Our favorite story of that in the story captured that. issue, a profile on OSU coach “He doesn’t see the valMike Holder through the ue in chitchat,” said Jones, eyes of his former players, now the general manager included stories of wrestling and COO at Oak Tree matches with Tom Jones and National who was then others, trading elbows with running Karsten Creek. Bob Tway on the basketball “He’s not the type to stand court and other tactics that around and talk about the would be unusual today, to say the least. But many OSU golfer Chris Tidland weather. Instead, he’ll just stand there.” of his players credited him and Mike Holder.

• We profile OSU ex Brian Watts after he won five tournaments and $1.4 million on the Japanese Tour in 1994. • Our college spring preview features OSU seniors Alan Bratton and Chris Tidland, Michael Boyd at Tulsa, Jeff Lee with Ok lahoma and Tag Ridings at Arkansas. Tag is still playing professionally, Bratton is the OSU coach, Tidland the head professional at Stillwater Country Club, and Boyd now in private business after a long career as a PGA Alan Bratton professional. Member FDIC

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JUNE 1995

• Cary Cozby takes a job as an assistant at Southern Hills Country Club, leaving Oak Tree National. • Tripp Davis is profiled as his new firm Tripp Davis & Associates takes off, with an impending contract to do a new nine at Roman Nose and to help Bob Cupp with his renovation of Jimmie Austin. He was already also doing lots of renovation work around the country, which continues to be the case today. • Jim Hays, who helped us start this magazine with a timely loan, wins the firstever event on the Ozark Professional Golf Tour. At age 49, Hays was preparing for a run Tripp Davis at the Champions Tour. • More than 20 PGA Tour players, including 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 participating players had included Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Billy Casper, Lee Trevino, Byron Nelson, Tom Watson, Ray Floyd, Tom Weiskopf, Tom Kite, Johnny Miller, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Tommy Bolt, Fred Couples, Payne Stewart, Ken Venturi and just about every other big name professional of the 1960s through the 1980s. The tournament ended because pros were now asking $30,000 to $40,000 in appearance fees and the Junior League was unable to raise enough on top of the field costs to make it worthwhile. • 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 participation at Lincoln Park. He kept up those efforts until retirement in 2021.

• OSU’s Alan Bratton won • Oklahoma City area golf the NCAA Central regional professionals come together just ahead of Craig Cozby to raise money for the vicof Oklahoma. tims of the bombing of the • We caught up with Tom federal building in OklahoFazio, in town for a renoma City. Dennis McKnight, vation at The Golf Club of an assistant at Earlywine Oklahoma that would close Park, led the effort which the course for nine months. raised over $46,000 for the Of any similarities between relief effort. The Golf Club and Karsten • Harbour Town Golf Creek, Fazio said: Links is rechristened Oak “If there’s a recognizable style, it’s because Tree Town after Bob Tway wins there, joining Doug Tewell and David Edwards as Oak the sites are similar. If you look at the proTree Gang members to have won on Hilton file, both have a water-retention lake, both have rolling terrain with Head Island. dense tree cover, both • Tulsa coach Bill have a substantial amount Brogden and Oral Robof land without housing erts athletic director Mike projects on either piece.” Carter win the OGA Four• Among the high Ball, shooting rounds of school champs that spring 65-66 at Dornick Hills in were Frank Genzer of Ardmore. Both are now Jenks, Josh Whitehead of retired but still active in promoting golf through- U.C. Ferguson and Mark Felder Midwest City Carl Albert, Matt Morgan of Cushing, Scott Sheperd of out the state. • In our feature on the NCAA Central Re- Stigler and Cody Freeman of Arnett. For the gional, junior Dan Rooney shot a final round girls, 15-year-old Enid freshman Stacy Pram70 for Kansas. Rooney, of course, went on manasudh upended two-time state champito found The Folds of Honor Foundation. on Stacy Rambin, a junior at Jenks.


JULY 1995


• Our cover story details the unique friendship between Alan Bratton and Chris Tidland not long after they took down Tiger Woods and Stanford and got ready to embark on their future golf careers. • Another unique group of golfers band together to help OKC bombing victims, this one including Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Dave Stockton, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Scott Verplank and many others, representing 396 tour victoArnold Palmer 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 Championship (1963). His successor, Mike Holder, remembered him as being tough Labron Harris as old horsehide. At 58, Harris whipped Holder easily in a wrestling match. “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.” • In the not-much-has-changed department, 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 accomplishment.



OCTOBER 1995 Editor’s note: To preview the 1995 Tour Championship at Southern Hills, we switched from a tabloid format to a glossy magazine format. Greg Norman was on the cover, having led the money list that year with $1,567,359. Apparently judging by the events of the day, it wasn’t enough.

JANUARY 1996 Much unlike today, when far more courses close than open, here were the courses we detailed as under construction 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-

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 Traditions 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 under construction is The Battlefield, a new par-3 at Shangri-La Resort. It will be the first new course to open since The Patriot in 2010. Over 40 courses have closed in Oklahoma since the end of the golf boom, including of those mentioned above: River Bend, The Woods and

The Traditions. Right now there is a good chance for the remaining courses to be successful, but anyone opening a new course will hopefully consider whether it is truly needed and its impact on everyone else in the market.

MARCH 1996 • Our cover story was on ShangriLa, then under the auspices of Club Corp., which completed a $1-million renovation. Rick Reed, who recently retired from The Oaks

Rick Reed

CC, was then the head professional and Marshall Smith taught there. That was one of Shangri La’s heydays in its history of peaks and valleys, but nothing to match the splendor of today.

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30 YEARS APRIL 1996 • 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 record 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 record.

MAY 1996 We switched from tabloid to gloss. It was not an impressive debut. Corey Pavin was on the cover, why I can’t remember. The magazine was 24 pages with five pages or so of ads.

JUNE 1996 • A few stories of interest. D.W. Kang, who built Gleneagles Golf Course in Broken Arrow, told us stories about growing up in Seoul, South Korea. “You 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.” Kang, a grand master in Taekwondo, achieved Class A status as a PGA professional. 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 running 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

• Course update: We detailed the beginnings of Gaillardia Country Club being built by Clay Bennett, son-in-law of publishing scion Edward Gaylord and Joe Nick watches as Tim president of Graves putts for birdie to OPUBCO De- win the OGA Four-Ball v e l o p m e n t title. Corp. Arthur Hills was the original architect, Landscapes Unlimited did the construction and a grandiose French Normandy style clubhouse was part of the plan. The course put in 419 Bermuda fairways, a hybrid 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, turning 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. • Competition notes: OSU made it 50 consecutive years of NCAA Championship berths, but finished eighth as Tiger Woods won the individual crown and Arizona State the team title. Dax Johnston of Central Oklahoma won the individual 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 Four-Ball Championship over Nick and Gary Cowan. Fleming turned professional after the tournament. High School champs included a stunning upset in Girls 5A as EdDax Johnston mond Santa Fe’s


Wendy Martin defeated defending champion 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.

JULY 1996 • The USGA had recently announced it would come to Tulsa for the 2001 U.S. Open and we discussed the pursuit of the major cha mpion sh ip with those most closely involved, including members Larry Houchin and Randy Olmstead, as well as general manager Nick Sidorakis and superintendent Bob Randquist. Also

Warren Spahn and Mickey Mantle were regulars at Shangri-La. 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. • The cover story was on Todd Graves and his new promotion of The Natural Golf Swing, the single plane swing used by Moe Norman of Canada to Nick Sidorakis win hundreds of events. He and brother Tim are still teaching 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. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

AUGUST 1996 • Eagle Crest in Muskogee added nine holes. That was ambitious. The entire course is now closed. • U.C. Ferguson was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, in an excellent profile on his life and legacy by John Rohde. • Our cover story detailed the renovation of Jimmie Austin by Bob Cupp. No one seemed truly pleased with the course until Tripp Davis did another renovation in 2016-17 that has positioned it as one of the top public courses in the state. • Joe Nick held on for a Joe Nick one-shot victory over Mike Hughett to win the OGA Stroke Play Championship, his ninth OGA title in


SEPTEMBER 1996 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 dehydration while seven months pregnant. 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.

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

• David Edwards won the rain-shortened Oklahoma Open after shooting a record 14-under in the first two rounds. He would have been paired in the final round with Bob Tway and Tulsa amateur Tag Ridings. • Sheila Dills, 29, earned a three-peat in the WOGA State Amateur Championship with a 5 and 4 victory over Megan Benn of Norman. Dills cried on the shoulder of now late husband and caddie Joey Dills before addressing the media. “He’s the greatest David Edwards caddie and husband,” she said. “He knows how to read greens and he knows my game. It gave us two good minds out there.”



30 YEARS OCTOBER 1996 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 selected a photo of Tom Lehman for the cover and the current British Open champion backed me up by shooting 12-under to win easily. For our regular 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

NOVEMBER 1996 This issue was dedicated to 37-yearold Tom Lehman and his remarkable 12-under performance in the Tour Championship at Southern Hills, the last huge event at the club until the 2001 U.S. Open. Tulsa fans also got their first glimpse of Tiger 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.

JANUARY 1997 Our cover story was on the world class golf photography of Mike Klemme of Enid. Oklahoma State signed Charles Howell and Boyd Summerhays, the two highest-ranked recruits Mike Holder had inked in the same 32

those mentioned in the June 1996 update was the beginning 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 Roquemore 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 Arrow completed its first full year and owner Wayne Koppage immediately started building a second 18. That land eventually became Emerald Falls, which also closed. Koppage went on to buy Eagle Creek in Muskogee, which became another victim of the big golf contraction of 2015-18. 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.

APRIL-MAY 1998 Course construction remained the hot topic as Gaillardia in OKC prepared to open. A Randy Heckenkemper design near Fayetteville called Stonebridge Meadows was featured. One Maggie Kelt (now

Roller) wrote her first instruction piece for the magazine. Her most recent one was in our June-July issue this summer. Maggie continues to do everything in her power to promote golf in Oklahoma.

JUNE-JULY 1998 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 numbers 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 Coffeyville, where the original nine was designed by Perry Maxwell. And Slack was also commissioned to add nine holes at Coffeyville Country Club Bob Phelps to the nine designed by George Bell. Bob Phelps, now the head rules official 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 Pete Dye. Meadowbrook 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 Prammanasudh won her third state championship for Enid. Tim Fleming knocked off Bob Ralston for his second SCS Match Play Championship title. Winning boys titles were Kyle Willman of Edmond North in 5A, Clint Colbert of Guthrie in 4A, Marty McCauley of Cushing in 3A, Perry Maxwell and Blake Martin of Stigler in 2A. McCauley is now the head coach of the Oklahoma City University women’s golf team. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 1998 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 Championship, both also at Tulsa Country Club. Seven former TU players are in the field and the event includes a special honor for Tulsa coach Dale McNamara, now Dale McNamara in her 25th season and having led her team to 74 victories and four national championships. 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.


OCTOBER-DECEMBER 1998 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 officer for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America in Lawrence, Kan. The Landmark name became prominent again in golf circles. Jerry Barton Bob Randquist formed Landmark National and developed 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 former 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 difficulties with drinking and the effect it had on his brother Trip and the OSU program before Mike Holder helped Ernie Vossler and Joe Walser Mike Holder and Trip Kuehne. him transfer to SMU.



30 YEARS APRIL-MAY 1999 The golf course total continued to bloom in 1999. Scheduled to open that spring are the Owasso Golf & Athletic Club and Broken Arrow Golf & Athletic Club. “We’re like the Wal-Mart of golf,” said Lindsey Construction 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 atmosphere.” Also under construction that spring was Wolf Mountain in Poteau. A great setting if never a great course, Wolf Mountain still has maybe the best view of any course in the state. Andy 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 Andy McCormick 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.



A F5 tornado that destroyed much of Moore destroyed all structures and trees at the nine-hole Lakeside Golf Course in Moore, but miraculously missed doing heavy damage to other courses that were near its path of destruction. Former Sooner Andrew Magee great Andrew Magee 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 championship in 1989, also expressed his concern about the direction the program was headed, while current Ping rep and former player Rick Bell said he supported Grost. “He’s finished,” Magee told John Rohde. “He’s got no chance of becoming a national contender.” Grost, who 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 High School. Competition 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.

The cover story detailed why Forest Gil Morgan and Ridge, under the commitment of owner Bob Tway 1-2 Joe Robson, remained the gold standard for pros. For the of “upscale daily fee” courses for the state. women it was One thing we did not delve into much was Stacy Prammanahow upset Robson was when the city of sudh and Patty Broken Arrow decided to get into the pub- McGraw 1-2 as lic golf business with the advent of Battle prep golfers, MeCreek. But the two have coexisted over the lissa McNamara years despite some down times for golf and Kathy Baker 1-2 in college, and been successful. Broken Arrow is actually quite a re- and Nancy Lopez and Susie Berning 1-2 as markable city for golf, with The Golf Club professionals. of Oklahoma, Cedar Ridge, The Club at Indian Springs and the Broken Arrow Golf THE TOP 10 OVERALL: 1, tie between Charlie Coe and Nancy & Athletic Club on the private side and Forest Ridge, Battle Creek and Lit’l Links Lopez. 3, Gil Morgan, 4, Susie Maxwell Berning, 5, Bob Tway, 6, Scott on the public side. Emerald Falls Verplank, 7, Bob Dickson, was an upscale daily fee not far 8, Kelly Robbins, 9, Orville from Forest Ridge that closed. Moody, 10, Dale Douglass. As the millennium wound Competition notes: Randy down, we named an Oklahoma Robinson of Edmond won the All-Century Golf Team. The list OGA State Amateur while Billy included the top high school, Brown of Stillwater took the collegiate and professional OGA Stroke Play Championplayers for men and women and Tracy Phillips ship. Bonnie Hanlin won her then an overall top 10. For the men, Tracy Phillips and Jeff Mc- second consecutive WOGA State AmaMillian were 1-2 in high schools, Charlie teur with a 2 and 1 victory over eight-time Coe and Scott Verplank 1-2 in college, and champion Patty Coatney.


Stacy Prammanasudh


Jeff McMillian


OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 1999 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. • 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 developing 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. • Also opening that summer was Sugar Creek Canyon in Hinton, a Mark Hayes design in which the back nine descended into Red Rock Canyon and featured some spectacular holes. It was a project of the Hinton Economic Development Authority. It survived the Great Recession but closed in 2015. • 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 until Johnny Mor-

Chickasaw Pointe ris got going and built the Big Cedar empire which now includes Top of the Rock, Mountain Top, Payne’s Valley and Ozarks National. He bought Branson Creek, renamed it Buffalo Ridge Springs and had Fazio back for a restoration. It remains spectacular today. • 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. Designed 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. • 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). • The USGA’s Judy Bell was instrumental in bringing the world’s best golfers to her favorite course, Prairie Dunes, as a contract was announced that the 2002 U.S. Women’s Open would be held there.

APRIL-MAY 2000 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. • 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 developing 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. • Also opening that summer was Sugar Creek Canyon in Hinton, a Mark Hayes design in which the back nine descended into Red Rock Canyon and featured some spectacular holes. It was a project of the Hinton Economic Development Authority. It survived the Great Recession but closed in 2015. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

• Branson Creek, a by United Golf in Sapulpa. Another victim spectacular Tom Fazio of the golf course boom and bust cycle, layout in Branson, Clary Fields closed in October of 2015. Mo., opened its first Owner D.W. Kang said at the time that nine holes. Fazio told a the course did fewer than 10,000 rounds in meeting of the Branson 2014 and never really recovered from the Creek Golf Course LLC recession of 2007-08. • We reviewed Peoria Ridge, scheduled that it was possibly the best golf course that’s for a mid-November opening in Miami. Deever been built, quite a signed by Bland Pittman, the course hired sustatement. As it turned perintendent Milton Hale, a smart move as out, Branson Creek was spectacular he is still there today and has maintained a and despite the lack of a clubhouse it helped high standard for this entertaining and chalBranson stay a legitimate golf destination un- lenging course through the years. • Also, a $2.8-million renovation was comtil Johnny Morris got going and built the Big Cedar empire which now includes Top of the pleted at Lincoln Park West including all new greens, and a new Rock, Mountain course called ValTop, Payne’s Valley View was anley and Ozarks Nanounced in northtional. He bought west Arkansas (it Branson Creek, later closed). renamed it Buffalo • The USGA’s Ridge Springs and Judy Bell was had Fazio back for Sugar Creek Canyon instrumental in a restoration. It rebringing the world’s best golfers to her famains spectacular today. • Tripp Davis gets to work on a design vorite course, Prairie Dunes, as a contract of Clary Fields, which turned out to be a was announced that the 2002 U.S. Women’s highly entertaining and scenic course built Open would be held there. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2022 • GOLF OKL AHOMA


30 YEARS JUNE-JULY 2000 • A bill to create an authority 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. • Tiger Woods comes to Oklahoma City for a clinic at the James E. Stewart Golf Course. • The relentless building of golf courses 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 current Page Belcher superintendent tries to make do with. Burr grassed in eight bunkers at Stone Creek to lower maintenance costs that year. Steve 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 degrade beyond the point of return. Sound familiar? “It’s a quality 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

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2000 named to suc• Isabella opens in Hot Springs Vilceed Gregg lage. Designed by Tom Clark, who also Grost as golf designed most of the now nine courses coach at OU. in the village and earlier that year had Amy Weeks was opened Big Creek Golf & Country named the new Club in Mountain Home, Isabella gave women’s coach Hot Springs Village a brand new boldat OSU, while er, wider look. Combined later with Mike McGraw Granada, it helped turn the village into became associone of the top and most affordable golf ate head coach of destinations in the southwest. • Tim Thelan of Pasadena, Texas, won the OSU men’s and women’s teams. • Kansas golf pro Rick Nuckolls was the 33rd PGA Club Pro Championship at Oak Tree National, winning a playoff af- demoted and ultimately resigned his post leading the state parks golf courses as ter shooting 1-over for 72 holes. • Ann Pitts retired as women’s golf the state promoted agronomist Tommy Grisham to Nickolls’ former coach at Oklahoma State afpost. ter 24 years, 57 team victo• Jeff Combe, head pro at ries and 21 national champiTulsa Country Club, completed onship appearances. She also a grand slam of South Central won a sexual discrimination Section majors by winning the case against her employer SCS Club Pro Championship in 1994 and wasn’t afraid to at Oakwood Country Club in ruffle feathers when needed. Enid, defeating defending chamShe went on to help found pion Pat McTigue in a playoff. the Oklahoma Women’s Jim Woodward, then head pro Golf Hall of Fame and is now at Quail Creek Country Club, retired and living close to Ann Pitts Turner defeated Mark Fuller 5 and 4 to Shangri-La Resort. “I enjoyed working for the advance- win the section match play championship ment of women’s sports and women’s at The Golf Club of Oklahoma. Mike Hughett and Gary Cowan golf,” Pitts said. “I wanted to do all that I could to make things better for the female shared the OGA Stroke Play Champiathletes because I cared about it. I wanted onship when rain washed out the final round at Indian Springs Country Club in to be a part of it and do what I could.” • Vanderbilt coach Jim Ragan was Broken Arrow. 36


city entity such as the zoo and the river parks and the picnic areas and the swimming pools. We have to subsidize it. Not eternally, but you have to put the money back in and bring the quality back up.” • A new event on the LPGA Tour, the Williams Championship, is announced for a three-year run at Tulsa Country Club, starting in 2001. • 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. • Charles Howell won the individual title and Oklahoma State its ninth team title in the NCAA Championship at Grand National 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.

OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2000 The fallout from the resignation of Rick Nuckolls as director of golf for Oklahoma Tourism continued as six of the head professionals in the state park system resigned 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. • South Central Golf visited Tripp Davis’ delightful design The Tribute in north Texas with near-replica holes from St. Andrews, Royal Troon, Prestwick, Muirfield, Turnberry and Carnoustie, Moray Golf Club and Machrihanish. • Old Kinderhook at Lake of the Ozarks opens, giving the region another excellent destination. It has proven to be among the most popular courses in the resort region Tripp Davis for 22 years now. • Plans are announced for Big Sugar Golf Club in Pea Ridge, Ark. To be deW W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

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. • 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 corporation to oversee Tulsa’s public courses. Golfers have complained that the bunkers are routinely left unattended, green collars and roughs are weed infested and the bent grass greens are damaged by heat stress. 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. John Bizik shot a final-round 64 to win the Oklahoma Open by a shot over Barry Conser.

APRIL-MAY 2001 The U.S. Open at Southern Hills is the headliner, but also coming to Oklahoma this year are the NCAA Central Regional May 17-19 at Karsten Creek, the Williams LPGA Championship Sept. 3-9 at Tulsa Country Club and the PGA Senior Tour Championship Oct. 25-28 at Gaillardia. The state begins to be regarded as one of the better host sites for tournaments. • 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 commitments were made the developers apparently didn’t have enough to pull it off. • Courses are still being built as fast a developers can finance them. Randy Heckekemper 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 Muskogee Golf Club, including rebuilding all 18 greens. Meanwhile, Mark Hayes was outlining a plan to rebuild 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.

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30 YEARS took over the OGA and began recruiting a team of dedicated volunteers and running tournaments expertly. He was kind as they come but no-nonsense when he needed to be. His 11-year run at the helm elevated the OGA in the eyes of golfers in state

JUNE-JULY 2001 Oklahoma golf was rocked in May with the passing of longtime former OGA Director Bill Barrett on May 8 at age 79 and amateur golf legend Charlie Coe on May 17 at age 77. Len Casteel, head professional at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, said Coe’s ability was on a level with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold 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

and beyond. • Our subhead on our story on the 101st U.S. Open won by Retief Goosen was “USGA may make rapid return after Southern Hills, Tulsa stand tall in 10st U.S. Open.” That was the Open won by Retief Goosen in a playoff over Mark Brooks and fea-

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2001 Annika Sorenstam, Karrie Webb and Se Ri Pak are among the LPGA stars to commit to the first Williams LPGA Championship. The tournament had close ties to TU and honored Dale and Melissa McNamara. All indications at that time were that the tourn a me n t would be in for a long run at TCC with Williams as sponsor. • 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 McCrate, who is still running both courses and developing golfers of the future today. • Mike Hughett won the OGA State Amateur Championship with a 3 and 2 victory over Adam Wing of Broken Arrow. In the morning semifinal, Hughett birdied 17 and 18 at Tulsa Country Club to force extra holes against Jerry Jones Stephen Rist, then won on the 23rd hole. He one-putted eight of the last 10 greens in a 3 and 2 victory over Derek Freeman in the quarterfinals.

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. Amateur but has never rewarded Southern Hills with another U.S. Open. Now there is talk about the U.S. Open returning after the successful 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills. My advice would be to sign up for another PGA Championship as soon as possible, but Bill Barrett don’t wait. 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 Hughett

Jim Woodward

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.

OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2001 Scott Verplank’s Ryder Cup debut was postponed as the Ryder Cup was moved to the following September after the terrorist attack on 9-11. 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. 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. Pattie Blanton 38



APRIL-MAY 2002 A good historical issue, we looked back to Babe Didrikson Zaharias’ win in the 1950 U.S. Women’s Open at Rolling Hills in Wichita to preview the 2002 event at Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, Kan. We also reviewed 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 Randy Heckenkemper. Silverado Golf Couse 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 location 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 Jason Hair. Richard Buchanan moved from Jimmie Austin to be the new head professional Jack Fleck 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 Hogan 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. 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 Prammanasudh as she got ready to embark on her LPGA career after one of the finest junior and collegiate careers by any Oklahoman. • 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.



30 YEARS AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2002 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 designing one of the hardest courses ever seen in America for his private club in Johnson not far from the Tyson Foods headquarters in Fayetteville. Later renamed The Blessings, Jones Jr. delivered. The course was rated 155, the highest USGA slope allowed, from every tee box when it opened. “We’re going to make this a true examination 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.” 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, particularly after it became the home of the Arkansas Razorbacks. It has hosted numerous elite college events, including the NCAA


• Jenk Jones Jr. took our readers on a geoChampionship in 2019. But it remains as chal- graphical tour of Oklahoma courses, from lenging as it is beautiful. Woodward to Guthrie, Pawhuska, Guymon, Broken Bow and ending in Lone Wolf. Tyson got his wish. • Jay Upchurch looked back at the revelry • It’s amazing looking back how many projects of the Burneyville events hosted by Opie that were announced and Waco Turner from 1961-64. • John Rohde writes that the Oak Tree never took off. In this issue we did a big story on Gang has basically dwindled to four, with Cross Timbers Resort at Scott Verplank, Doug Tewell, Bob Tway and Skiatook Lake, that was to Gil Morgan. Competition: Mitch Cohlmia, at age 17, include a Randy Heckenwon the OGA kemper golf course. Not a State Amateur spoonful of dirt was ever Championship moved and one wonders with a 3 and if the planners were just 1 victory over angling for access to lots Ted Neville, or had any intent to build then a collegian a golf course. at Penn State. • We looked back at Rick Bell won the U.S. Women’s Open the OGA Stroke at Prairie Dunes, what a Play Champigreat event and a wononship with a derful champion in Juli closing 68 at Inkster, who at age 42 held off Annika Soren- Waco and Opie Turner (seated) pass out Muskogee Golf Club. Eric Muelstam down the stretch. the cash in Burneyville. It was 22 years after Inkster won the U.S. ler won the OGA Senior Match Play and Stroke Play titles. Women’s Amateur at Prairie Dunes.



OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2002 The Fore-State Golf Expo announced 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 having 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 layoffs and selling off major components. Annika 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 severity 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

Randy Heckenkemper ranks The Terrilater. This year the greens are being con- tory with his finest work and that sentiverted from bent grass ment seems to be pretty much universal to Bermuda. Depend- around the state. • Tim and Todd Graves conclude their ing on the firmness and time of year, they search for an Oklahoma home base by could be all anyone opening the Graves Natural Golf School can handle when they next to the driving range at Coffee Creek Golf Course reopen this in Edmond. fall. It was there • One of until Coffee the most Creek closed curious projects in Oklahoma upon which history gets underway when they moved Dee Greninger leaves Gaillarto Rose dia and announces he has been Creek. But hired to design Indian Ridge the brothers Country Club in Blanchard. may eventuMore on this to come. ally move it • A new project that is still back to Cofwith us is announced as Rick fee Creek and Barbara Braught discuss Mark Hayes worked on many even though plans for The Territory just courses in Oklahoma. there are no west of Duncan. It was their dream to bring world class golf to southwestern Oklahoma, they did it and everyone 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.

plans to reopen the golf course itself. • Tulsa junior Chris Noel won the Oklahoma 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.

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THIRTY YEARS OF LESSONS have taught me this

Are you at a low point?


he reality is that you can’t do anything for three decades without refining and redefining what one believes. My views on teaching have certainly PAT M CTIGUE 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


the ball on the sweet spot. So, what’s the most essential element of forward shaft lean? Proper wrist positions!! If, they were able to create proper debt, and an exceptional understand- low point, then I knew the wrists had to be ing of swing mechanics and dynamics. in better positions, and video bore that out. This discovery has changed the way Indoors, with motion measurement and I teach. Mind launch monitors you it’s not 100 is a great place percent effective to learn mechanwith all clients, ics, but in my but in the maopinion not very jority of cases good for estabI’ve seen ball lishing proper striking improve ball striking. faster than when Hitting off I taught mechanmats leads to a ics first. false sense of seUnderst a ndcurity, and leads ing swing conto poor low cepts first greatly point control. improves learnProper ball ing. With many striking comes golfers, I find down to path, that they are acface and low tually trying to point. Most golfavoid hitting the ers have a decent ground because understandwhen they do, ing of the path / they are hitting face relationship way behind the as it pertains to ball. That nearly ball flight, but always signals when it comes to poor wrist posilow point, many tions through seem unaware the strike. of the concept. I’ve also gone We’re swingto short game ing the club on lessons way an arc, so where earlier in a sedo we want the The sweet swing of Mike Hughett. ries with people bottom of that arc to be? Well, it would be helpful if than in the past. Pitch shots require largethat low point is underneath or slightly ly the same motion as full swing and low forward of the ball. A golfer’s ability to point is even more critical in short game. create a consistent low point is the most I routinely see improvement not only in short game after a lesson, but low and beessential skill to develop in golf. As I started stressing this more and hold golfers are striking the ball better in more in lessons, I began to see improve- full swing. After low point control, it’s all about ment in mechanics without directly addressing mechanics. What I started with managing tension and tempo. That’s a is a conversation about the concept of low teaser. point and what is necessary to achieve it Cheers, consistently. The most essential element Pat McTigue, PGA Professional of consistent low point is forward shaft Meadowbrook Country Club lean, and that’s also the only way to hit



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. 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. Here are some tips to help you stay hydrated to be at the top of your game: 1. Do not wait until you are thirsty. If you find yourself feeling thirsty, you are already dehydrated. 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 3. Keep hydrating during your game. Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during the activity.¹ 4. Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake as this can potentially dehydrate you. 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 6. Monitor your body as you play. Watch for signs of dehydration such as cramping, fatigue, nausea, and loss of coordination. 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. 8. Dress for the occasion. In warm weather, wear breathable clothes. Choose lighter shades that do not absorb the heat from the sun. 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. 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. 1. https://familydoctor.org/athletes-the-importance-of-good-hydration/





2003-2012 Oklahoma golf boom peaks, Tiger tales, more . . . T

by ken macleod

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 eventually go just as fast the other direction.

APRIL-MAY 2003 Cherokee Hills in its current form begins to take shape. The course, previously Rolling Hills, then Spunky Creek, then Indian Hills, had been rolled over by three tornados, then had given up significant land to the building of what w o u l d New holes at Cherokee Hills eventually become the Hard Rock Casino. But with the help of the Cherokees purchasing 55 new acres of wooded land, architect Tripp Davis was able to keep the course


John Q. Hammons stepped in to sponsor the 2003 LPGA event in Tulsa after financially strapped oil giant Williams pulled out. The third event at Tulsa Country 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, received a sponsor’s exemption.

OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2003 at 18 holes, when originally plans were to consolidate it to nine. And so the course that began in 1924 as a Perry Maxwell design survived, with as much Maxwell intact as Davis could manage. “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 genius of Maxwell’s courses was in the routings.”

JUNE-JULY 2003 Our cover story was on the golf developments ongoing in Blanchard. Winter Creek opened for play and remains open today after several ownership and management changes. Mike Holder Indian Ridge in Blanchard was plowing ahead. Dee Greninger was the architect, Landscapes Unlimited the course builder, Paul Kruger the course owner providing the funds. Lots were being sold, an equestrian center, fitness center and 30,000 square foot clubhouse planned. Keep reading. Elsewhere, the amazing Alotian Club began to


take shape near Little Rock, Rose Creek, a Tom Fazio design being built with unlimited expense by Warren Stephens. Dan Snider, once an 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 trying to determine how someone can be so direct and blunt and also such a charmer when it comes to fund raising.


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 professional. We published another story on the Indian Ridge course in Bl a n c h a rd , this time veteran golf photographer Mike Klemme was blown away by what 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 after announced that it would move to Cedar 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! W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

APRIL-MAY 2004 Other massive projects in the section The First Tee Program of Oklahoma City is growing leaps and bounds, with its home base moved on. The Territory in Duncan was near at the James E. Stewart Course and satellite completion, Granada was under way in Hot Springs Village, The Alotian was programs at six other facilities. taking shape in Little Rock and CotAfter being the head profestonwood Hills, designed by Nick sional at Karsten Creek since Faldo, was being built in Hutchinit opened in 1994, Tom Jones son, Kan. on land similar to that resigned. He would soon wind found at Prairie Dunes. up being the new general manOne project was stalled, howager at The Blessings, which had ever. Indian Ridge in Blanchard had recently opened in northwest ceased operations, lawsuits were beArkansas. Jones has the distincing filed and neither owner Paul Krution of successfully representing ger nor architect Dee Greninger was two highly driven and ultra sucanswering their phones. Paul Hahn, cessful men in Mike Holder at construction superintendent for conKarsten Creek and John Tyson tractor Landscapes Unlimited, said at The Blessings and it couldn’t his company was sitting back and have been easy but he did it exGeorge Matson waiting to see if things would ever ceptionally well. Now he runs Oak Tree National in Edmond, where owner proceed. Work had begun on the course but Everett Dobson is equally successful but cer- roads, sewers, water lines and utilities. Although it looked like it would have been tainly not as mercurial. Shangri-La Resort was being sold off piece- fantastic, the course was never completed and meal by Highgate Holdings of Dallas. Some the development stalled as well. • As the golf course boom continued to 100 rooms associated with the resort were demolished to make way for home sites and wind up, the player boom was over. Our story only 26 rooms in the main lodge remained examining the golf economy had Golfweek’s Brad Klein calling for the closure of 500 courses open for booking.

nationally, a number that horrified some in the industry at that time but proved to be very conservative. The PGA of America introduced Play Golf America in the hope of driving rounds, but it was becoming 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 hillbillies out to play that afternoon. Google it. • Stan Ball was recognized for his work at Jimmie Austin in growing the junior program from 52 players in 1997 to 192 in 2003.

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. 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. 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.




30 YEARS AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2004 • Tom Kite completes an extensive renovation at Gaillardia with work done on each hole and one that included removing 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 par-4. “Aesthetically, 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! • 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 today about pros not wanting to be away from home. Hamilton was a 3 8 - y e a r- o l d Tom Kite PGA Tour rookie when he 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 its grand opening, with the hotel and caDavis, Doug Martin, sino set for few months later. Tripp Davis Grant Waite and Craig said he was given free rein to emulate the Perks all expressed how famed Maxwell rolls as he redid the greens. incredibly proud they The course is under 6,700 yards but plays much longer as a par-70 and still has a repuwere of Todd. “To hang in there that tation today for being one of the more challong on the Japanese lenging in the area. Warm up before you Tour is extremely diffi- tee off, getting through the opening stretch is the key to a good round. cult, if only for PGA pro Pat McTigue, who rethe fact that viewed the course for us, wrote you are play“Don’t expect to master Cherokee ing in a foreign land where you Hills in a single outing. You’ll be don’t even speak the same lanlearning the best angles to approach guage,” Magee said. “Todd has litvarious pin positions for years.” erally worked himself to the top. • We also reviewed The TerIt’s a pretty incredible story.” ritory, open since late June near • Ryan Chapman was named Ryan Chapman Duncan. Owner Rick Braught the director of the Oklahoma State Park Golf Courses and the state began said his shared goal with architect Randy making improvements to many, including Heckenkemper was to create one of the cart paths at Roman Nose, an irrigation best courses in the Southwest of the United system at Fountainhead and a new club- States, not just southwest Oklahoma. They house at Lake Murray. Today Fountain- succeeded. • Southern Hills announced it would be head is owned by the Creek Nation. Lake Murray got a brand new lodge in 2017 and closing to core out and redo all of its greens Roman Nose is one of the crown jewels of and also kill all fairway grass and resod with the state park system. Chapman went to U3 Bermuda for a more dense, consistent work for the group that purchased Chicka- playing surface. • Belmar owner Steve Bell brings on a saw Pointe and has been overseeing both the marina and golf course for years. Mo- partnership that includes Toby Keith, Barry mentum is now building for long awaited Switzer, restaurant mogul Hal Smith and development of Chickasha Pointe into a real estate investor Hunter Miller. Days destination with public and private hous- later the group announces plans facility expansion and numerous improvements to ing options. • Cherokee Hills in Catoosa celebrated the course.

OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2004 • Our cover story was on our first look inside the gates of the magnificent Alotian Club near Little Rock. Warren Stephens, CEO of Stephens Inc and son of former Augusta National chairman Jack Stephens paid for the stunning Tom Fazio design. No expense was spared, membership 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. “The beauty, drama, excitement and variety 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. • Another big, bold and beautiful course came on board in Arkansas with the opening of Granada, the ninth and to this day final course at Hot Springs Village. Combined with Isabella, it gave the Village two beautiful modern courses to go with the older crew of conquistadores. • John Rohde gathered a group of Oak Tree pros and other notables 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 leadership of Hal Sutton, who disastrously paired Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in two early matches.



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.” Holder was stating what was obvious to everyone except the odds makers and television 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. • It was announced that Oak Tree National would host the 2006 Senior PGA Championship, a last chance perhaps for the Oak Tree Gang to win on home turf.


APRIL-MAY 2005 • Buddy Hamilton, 57, the 1995 OGA state amateur champion, passed away after a battle with cancer. He was also a fourtime club champion at The Golf Club of Oklahoma. • The USGA announced 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. JUNE-JULY 2005 • The Oklahoma Women’s Golf Hall of Fame announced its inaugural class of Susie Maxwell Berning, Jarita Askins, Mabel Hotz and Jackie Riggs Hutchinson. They were inducted in a classy ceremony at the National Cowboy & 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 tutelage of former Lincoln Park pro U.C. Ferguson. • We took a hard look at the state of play in Oklahoma, where the course Susie Maxwell glut combined Berning with a slow economy and the fizzling out of the somewhat mythical “Tiger Effect” meant that courses that once averaged 50,000 Mabel Hotz rounds were making due on half of that and all the new courses were fighting to get over 20,000 rounds. And revenue was down even more, as a

4.5 Star Ranking by Golf Digest Beautiful Clubhouse Meticulously Maintained Golf Course


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. What the National Golf Foundation and other groups were learning was that the core golfers were now core spectators at soccer games, swim meets, baseball Jackie Riggs games and other Hutchinson youth sports. Where once dad routinely headed to the course or club on weekends, he was now going to kids games year round, with 75-game baseball seasons, soccer Jarita Askins seasons that were basically 12 months, etc. Youth sports didn’t kill golf but they changed it considerably and it took a long time for operators to realize they had to adapt.

GPS Golf Carts Premier Service Upscale Restaurant & Bar



30 YEARS AUGUST-SEPTEMBER, 2005 • Jerry Cozby, head pro at Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville, was informed he would be inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in September. He was named the PGA Professional of the Year in 1985. John Rohde wrote an entertaining column about slow play after Rory Sabbatini left Ben Crane endlessly pondering his next shot and went right up to the 17th green during the final round of the Booz Allen Classic. Crane was deeply religious and said he often asked the Lord for guidance during a round. 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.” In other words, while we’re young. • A stacked field including Annika Sorenstam and Paula

Creamer was expected nerves. Bob Tway, meanwhile was flitting for the John Q. Ham- from tree to tree, trying to remain as unobtrusive as possible. mons Hotel • The new course boom has Classic in slowed but not stopped. Sand mid SeptemCreek Station is announced in ber at Cedar Newton, Kan., and turns out Ridge Counto be one of the better public try Club, the courses in the state. fifth year • This writer and friend and in a row for architect Randy Heckenkemper Tulsa to host went on a tour to see and play an LPGA Annika Sorenstam The Blessings and The TerriTour event. tory. After The Blessings totally • Tracy Phillips sold his interdestroyed us, we asked GM est in Tee Town Golf Ranch to Tom Jones how he was faring his partners and returned to Cefinding members who wanted dar Ridge to be the new director that beat down on a daily basis. of instruction, where his father He admitted that was a huge Buddy Phillips was the longchallenge, but the scenery and time head professional. course conditions were spec• Kevin Tway, son of Oak tacular. Tree Gang member Bob Tway, The Territory was as good wins the 2006 U.S. Junior at as advertised. It was fighting a Longmeadow (Mass.) Country Kevin Tway water shortage issue in its earClub. Kevin, now a PGA Tour veteran, had former OSU All-American ly years that was eventually resolved but E.J. Pfister as his cad- it was then and remains one of the best die, helping calm his courses in the state.

OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2005 • The Commissioners of Land Office (CLO) closed a deal to purchase the lodge, golf course and Chickasaw Pointe at Lake Texoma, 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. The Rodney Dangerfield line from Cad-

dyshack seems appropriate here. “Well, we’re waiting.” It’s now 17 years later and there are still no hotel or resort facilities. 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 being made. Be sure to read the next issue of Golf Oklahoma for a full update. • 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. • 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.

Ron Streck 48


• 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. Mike McGraw

Mike Holder


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, Adams Golf Course in Bartlesville and the Pecan Valley course at Mohawk Park in Tulsa, among dozens of others. Also passing away that winter was Don Sechrest, who designed or redesigned many significant courses in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri. His Stone Creek design at Page Belcher in Tulsa was voted runnerup in the Best New Public Course category by Golf Digest in 1987. • The state announced that a Connecticut-based firm Gagne Development had purchased 750 acres of land from the Commissioners of Land Office for $14.5 JUNE-JULY 2006 • Holley Hair resigned after four years as the women’s golf coach at Tulsa to work full time at Tee Town Golf Ranch. • The proposal from Gagne Development to build a $350 million resort at Lake Texoma fell apart. Back to the drawing board. • The legendary Joe Walser was the guest of honor at a reunion of Landmark folks during the Senior PGA Championship at Oak Tree National, which was won by Jay Haas. • The Greens Country Club was purchased by a group led by David Box of Box Entertainment. • Oklahoma State redshirt freshman Jonathan Moore won the Holley Hair individual crown and helped lead the Cowboys to the team title at the NCAA Championship. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

million. The firm announced that it would be building a new 120-room lodge, a smaller hotel, cabins, condos and lakeside housing. Well, none of that ever happened. Keep reading. • Our course spotlight was on Meadowlake in Enid, w h e r e 41-ye a rold former Tulsa golfer Darryl Court was named head professional and set out to make some Dale McNamara 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. • Lance Allen moved from Clary Fields to replace Sam Meredith as the head professional at Forest Ridge, where he remained a fixture until owner Joe Robson hired Troon Management in 2021. Allen is now running Twin Hills Golf & Country Club in Joplin.

• Much of the issue was devoted to previewing the Senior PGA Championship coming up shortly at Oak Tree National. Owner Don Mathis had made sure the course was in excellent condition, including 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 Patty Coatney 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 McNamara with seven and Coatney with a record 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.

August-September 2006 • 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. • 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.



30 YEARS OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2006 • 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 owner Paul Kruger, architect Dee Greninger, Blanchard City Manager Bill Edwards and Blanchard Mayor Tom Sacchieri. In hindsight, we’re sure all were hopeful the issues would be resolved and project would go forward, but it just Dennis Bowman didn’t happen and nature eventually swallowed up what had been built. Down 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 imminent. It too never happened. Winter Creek, meanwhile, fell into re-

ceivership with a bank ber backlash. Comments were publicly grafor many years as it cious but privately the LPGA and Octagon, searched for the right the tournament managers, were informed to allow Cedar Ridge ownership to be Cedar Ridge gogroup to make ing forward. No one it a success. threatened to shoot Now on its secanything near a 61 in ond ownership the remaining years group since the of the event. bank, we’re not It was also ancertain how the nounced that Semhousing is going Group would take but it remains a over as title sponsor very entertaining golf course. for John Q Hammons • Jim Woodward resigned and that a new LPGA his post as head pro at Gaillarevent would also bedia Country Club to make a run gin in Northwest Arat PGA Senior Tour qualifying kansas in 2007 sponschool. Jim Kane also attempted to Russ Myers gets Southern sored by WalMart. earn a card. Hills ready for PGA. • Dennis Bowman, • Cristie Kerr shot a 10-birdie, head professional and superintendent at no bogey 61 in the Pryor Creek Golf Course, signed a lease/pursecond round of the chase agreement to buy Cobblestone Creek John Q. Hammons GC in Muskogee. • Dave Bryan, head pro at Southern Hotel Classic at Cedar Ridge, helping her Hills Country Club, predicts Tiger Woods blunt Annika Soren- will win the 2007 PGA Championship stam’s bid for a third at Southern Hills. No shock there, except consecutive title. Bryan had said prior to the 2001 U.S. Open That round also led to that Woods didn’t have the patience to play an emergency meet- and win at Southern Hills. “I think he has now acquired the patience ing between infuriated Cedar Ridge officials and the LPGA Tour set-up crew. Ce- and the thought process to win here,” Brydar Ridge was not then and never has been an said. “His concentration, along with his about scores of 61 and the short setup with strength, ability and work ethic are unsurpins in the middle of greens led to a mem- passed.”

APRIL-MAY 2007 A proposal by owner Peter Boylan to rebrand Shangri-La as The Peninsula and invest in a major rebuild was waiting on a proposal for tax credits before the Oklahoma Legislature. The lawmakers were also being 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. • The Links at Stillwater expanded to 18 holes, making Stillwater’s golf market even more overbuilt with five 18-hole courses in Lakeside, Stillwater Country Club, Karsten Creek and Cimarron Trails

nitely one of the toughest weeks,” Stacy in Perkins. • Stacy Prammanasudh, one of the P said. “I do put pressure on myself. Evgreatest golfers ever to come up through eryone is expecting you to play great and the state junior ranks, grac- it’s tough.” • We featured the father-son superines the cover. The SemGroup tendent duo of Mike WooChampionship ten at Cedar Ridge and has moved to Jared Wooten at Stillwater the spring to Country Club. Mike has get away from since retired but Jared is the PGA Chamstill going strong in Stillpionship in Auwater and each year seems gust and we’re to make even greater always hopestrides at a course that has ful that Stacy weathered about everyP will contend. thing Mother Nature can She was coming conjure. in to the event • A devastating ice storm having won the Fields destroyed or damaged most Open in Hawaii and finof the trees at some of the ishing third at the MasterCard Classic. She had also Jared Wooten, left and his state’s northeast courses over taken her first golf lessons, father Mike, being a great the winter, including Cheroseeing Bill Harmon. superintendent runs in the kee Grove, Pryor Creek and and McAlester CC. “Playing at home is defi- family.






SEPTEMBER 17-25, 2022




30 YEARS JUNE-JULY 2007 • Our man in Texas Art Stricklin was on the scene as an emotional Scott Verplank wins the Bryon Nelson Invitational, fulfilling a childhood dream and honoring Nelson, whom he deeply respected. • We check in with Michael Boyd in the midst of his rookie year on the PGA Tour. • 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. • 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 outlaying for maintenance. After a backlash from golfers, it was decided to put together a task force and keep the courses open

5-feet-1 of her, won the SemGroup Chamthrough October. Course operator George pionship at Cedar Ridge at 3-under par Glenn said rounds at the two (the Cristie Kerr effect!) Kim then donated 36-hole facilities had fallen $100,000 to a relief fund for victims of an from a high of 160,000 to under F5 tornado that had wiped out Greens100,000. He advocated for the burg, Kan. • Oklahoma City University won the two courses to be run and managed by Tulsa County, which men’s and women’s NAIA titles, It was the operates LaFortune Park and sixth in seven years for the men coached by Kyle Blaser and third consecutive for South Lakes in Jenks. What eventually happened the women coached by Sara Mobley. was the city put the courses out for bid and Billy 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. Scott Verplank after winning the Byron Nelson. • Mi Hyn Kim, all

2007 PGA PREVIEW SPECIAL ISSUE Just like our 2001 U.S. Open preview, the 64-page PGA Championship was a lot about Southern Hills but even more about one Eldrick Tiger Woods. My fav o r i t e story from both issues combi ned remains the piece by my former Tulsa Tr ibu ne sports editor Mike 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.

Kourtis, David Charney AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2007 and Greg Simmons are Muscles bulging everywhere, teaming up with Folds Woods leaves his driver in the bag of Honor Foundation and carves up Southern Hills to founder Dan Rooney win the PGA Championship over to create the course and Woody Austin and Ernie Els. It foundation headquarters was his 13th major championship. and what would become • Warren Lehr returned from a the Stone Canyon develstint at Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Course opment. near Albuquerque to take over the • Cedar Ridge opens the park department and oversee BaiBuddy Phillips Training ley Ranch Golf Course in OwasCenter, run by the legendso. Lehr is now the city manager ary pro’s son Tracy Phillips. and has supported Bailey Ranch • Jimmie Tramel writes an adieu to Adair, ever since his return. • Carl Higgins, nephew of long-time Tulsa when Osage Creek, a pleasant country course pro and instructor Jack Higgins, helps clear a where the dress code was please wear them, shut its doors that summer. new nine holes at OkmulThe regulars shuttled off gee Country Club, which to Pryor Creek or Grand had been a nine-hole course Cherokee in Langley, and since opening in 1920. The some just quit. course was later purchased “You could go from dayby the Creek Nation and all light to dark out there,” 18 holes were closed. rued regular Tom Linihan, • Our first story on The superintendent of Adair Patriot in Owasso after a Schools. “There weren’t conversation at the PGA any PGA pros out there. Championship with RobNobody took themselves ert Trent Jones II. Jones is so seriously that you brimming over with excitement about the Owas- Adieu to Osage Creek in Adair, couldn’t just go out there and have a good time.” so site. Developers Pete one of the first to close.




APRIL-MAY, 2008 Our cover story was on Alsie Hyden, longtime PGA professional 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. 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

“Rickie has very, very big thoughts and Tour winner Betsy Cullen. • Cedar Ridge lost 166 trees very big dreams,” said OSU coach Mike to a December 10 ice storm McGraw. “He just thinks he can do a lot and then contracted to have of things and I’m not going to limit him.” another damaged trees trimmed or removed prior to that spring’s SemGroup LPGA Championship. What that meant to the competitors is mostly thicker rough where the light would reach. • 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 The next Oklahoma State superstar Rickie second. Fowler was lighting up the NCAA.

Krehbiel, who had written JUNE-JULY 2008 a book on the club history, • On the cover, key wrote a fascinating sumplayers at The Patriot in mary of the many notable Owasso, architect Robert events at the club. The OGA Trent Jones II, developer was formed at TCC. The first David Charney, Bill Kubly Oklahoma Open and first State of Landscapes Unlimited Amateur were held on the and Dan Rooney of the A.W. Tillinghast design. Gene Folds of Honor FoundaSarazen, Byron Nelson, Sam tion. Hopes at that time Snead, Ben Hogan, Patty Berg, were for a July 2009 Joanne Carner and Nancy Loopening, but no one was pez are jus a few of the greats anticipating the challengthat played there. es Mother Nature would • Businessmen Ed Evans and Everett Dobhurl their way. • A company owned by Lynn Blevins pur- son purchased Oak Tree Golf Club from Don chased Stonebridge Golf Course in Verdigris Mathis and announced a series of planned improvements, including bringing from Spirit Bank, changed the name original architect Pete Dye back for to Scissortail and immediately began a thorough review. General manager making plans to improve the course A.G. Meyers reported that the USGA which had been on a starvation mainhad been in for a visit, a call that tenance diet while in receivership. started the process of the club host• Murder Rock Golf Course ing the U.S. Senior Open in 2014. opened in Branson. The course was Mal Elliot • Paula Creamer won the Semactually designed by Chris Cole and Group Championship at Cedar Jeff Potts of Landmark DevelopRidge, winning a two-hole playoff ment, but John Daly was paid to against 47-year-old fan favorite Juli have his name associated with it Inkster, one of the classiest players and his first “PR” appearance is still in LPGA history. legendary. He pulled his RV into the • Mal Elliiott, our Kansas correparking lot, got out in jeans shoespondent since we started the magless and shirtless and with cigarette Everett azine, was inducted into the Kansas dangling from his mouth conducted Dobson Golf Hall of Fame. interviews and played with local meOne of his favorite stories was when he dia. Google it. Murder Rock was actually an entertain- was sports editor of the Tulsa Tribune in ing and fun course. The land was later pur- 1961, he was looking to hire a golf writer. chased by Johnny Morris and part of it is Wally Wallis, veteran golf writer for The now part of Ozark National and the rest part Oklahoman, told him not to bother. “Don’t hire anyone,” Wallis said. “The of Tiger Woods’ Payne’s Valley. • Tulsa Country Club became one of the golf beat is the best beat on the paper and first courses in Oklahoma to celebrate its you ought to cover it yourself.” Mal did, and we agree. centennial and Tulsa World writer Randy W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2008 Our cover story was a fun one, on the guitar hero PGA pros in the section including Mark Ga l loway of Trosper Park, Scott Smelser of Coffee Creek, Sam Meredith of Muskogee Country Club 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. • 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 management company by the city of Tulsa for its courses Page Belcher and Mohawk Park. • 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 significantly at the City of Tulsa courses in the first year of management under Billy Casper Golf. A bigger plus from the viewpoint 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



30 YEARS 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. “Terrible” Tommy was Tommy Bolt mostly a media creation, as Arkansas State Golf Association 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 sand wedge.” Bolt was induced into the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame posthumously in 2016. APRIL-MAY 2009 A renovation of Oak Tree National to add bite to its bark neared conclusion, with head pro Steve Kimmel estimating that the average member would see his score soar by three or four shots a round. “I think they want you to cry,” Gil Morgan said. “The objective was to separate at a major championship level those who are playing 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. • Across the street at Oak Tree Country Club, greens were expanded back to their original size during a spring renovation. 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. 54

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.” • 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 Dobson to be the new superintendent. Dobson did a magnificent job until tragically losing his life in an auto accident in 2021. • Golf certainly did not escape the recession 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 supply and demand was just beginning. Public courses were starting to see increased numbers 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.

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2009 • We were honored to chronicle Jerry Cozby’s 41-year career at Hillcrest Country Club with jerry and wife Karole on our cover. Right up to the day he retired, Jerry was “still working like he was 20 and broke,” said eldest son Cary, now the head professional at Southern Hills. Jerry sent 15 assistants on to be head professionals and his work ethic and straight shooting rubbed off on all. Just in Tulsa now Cary is at Southern Hills, former assistant Dave Bryan runs Cedar Ridge and former assistant Tim Johnson is GM at The Golf Club of Oklahoma. “I learned more from Jerry in two years than I have before or since,” Johnson said. “He’s meant everything to my career.” • A large package in this issue previewed JUNE-JULY 2009 On the cover, we wrote about Branson the 2009 U.S. Amateur coming up at Southreaching a new level as a golf destination ern Hills Country Club, with a look back at with the opening of the Payne Stewart Golf Scott Verplank’s victory in the 1984 AmaClub. Little did we know what was to come. teur at Oak Tree Golf Club. • In the OGA State Amateur at The Terri• Rose Creek in Edmond was purchased by Tour 18 out of Houston with the obliga- tory, Colton Staggs defeated Robert Streb in tory announcement about course improve- the finals 4 and 2. Staggs was red hot in the ments and an increased maintenance bud- finals, playing what OGA Executive Direcget. The course would go on to alternate tor Mark Felder called one of the best rounds he’s witnessed. between being an upscale OCTOBERdaily fee DECEMBER and a pri2009 vate club • Byeongfor most Hun An won of the next the U.S. Ama12 years. teur at SouthA new ern Hills. Comownerbined with ship group the U.S. Public is taking Links earlier the course that summer at back private this spring. Jimmie Austin in Norman and the announce• We featured the nine-hole Buffalo Hills ment that the 2014 U.S. Senior Open would Golf Course in Pawhuska, one of Perry be at Oak Tree, all that remained was for the Maxwell’s earliest routings. Unfortunately USGA to announce that the U.S. Open would it closed later that year, only to be reopened be returning at some point to Southern Hills. for a short time in 2014. One wonders if it • Oklahoma State golfers Rickie Fowler, could make it now with the golf boom that Peter Uihlein and Morgan Hoffman went a began in 2020 plus the revival of Pawhuska combined 10-0-1 to lead the U.S. side to a led by the Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond. 16.5 to 9.5 rout in the Walker Cup. • A third nine holes is planned at Winstar • Tripp Davis and good friend Justin LeonCasino and Resort in Thackerville, along ard teamed up to design Old American in with a new hotel tower with 400 rooms. north Texas, set for a May opening.



Discover Payne’s Valley by Tiger Woods and TGR Design, recently voted

America’s Best New Public Course. g o l f b i g c e d a r. c o m




30 YEARS APRIL-MAY 2010 (LAST YEAR FOR SOUTH CENTRAL GOLF) • Mark Felder is named the new executive director of the Oklahoma 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. • New clubhouses open at LaFortune Park in Tulsa, Oakwood Country Club in Enid and Lake Murray Golf Course in Ardmore. As the new course wave settles and begins to reverse, courses begin investing in improvements to their facilities in a competitive market. • In that vein, Forest Ridge in Tulsa begins a renovation of all of its green complexes and bunkers. • Meadowbrook Country Club lost its par-5 first hole to a street widening project, but fortunately had plenty of room to build

With Rickie Fowler, Peter Uihlein, Kevin a new starting hole Tway and Morgan Hoffmann just to the moving through, the Cowboys south of were incredibly talented but the origifound winning the match play nal. portion of the NCAA Champi•Tu l s a onship to be a hurdle. McGraw Countr y was fired by Holder three years Club anlater. He is now the head coach nounced it at Baylor. had hired • Pat Grant, Janice Gibson, Tom Hoch Beth Stone and Joan Blumento renovate Mark Felder thal comprise the 2010 class its clubof the Oklahoma Women’s house and Rees Jones to restore Golf Hall of Fame. Gibson, the golf course, bringing back who played nine years on the more flavor of the original A.W. LPGA Tour, is the director of Tillinghast design. the First Tee of Tulsa head• A feature on Mike McGraw quartered at Mohawk Park, found him seemingly on top of where she has made a positive the world in Stillwater, with impact on the lives of thouMike Holder saying that “he has sands of young people, golfers got the golf program to achieve and non-golfers alike. She is a at a level that has never been Janice Gibson treasure. seen by a golf program.”

JUNE-JULY 2010 After overcoming many challenges, 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.

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.

AUGUST-SEPT. 2010 • Longtime Kansas correspondent 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 newspaperman in Kansas and Oklahoma, he had a vast store of knowledge and loved to talk and write about golf. He wrote four books on golf in his retirement. During 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 City in 2012, a feat later matched by Alwith Mal and came out a exander Hughes at South Lakes in Jenks in winner, even if that per- 2020. • Bo Van Pelt, now 35, was on a seasonson was right. There was long birdie binge on the PGA right and there Tour. Through late July he was Mal. As time had made 292 to lead the tour went on it beand had pocketed over $2 came a charming million in 20 starts. feature, the way • Some courses were still a pit bull can be recovering from one of the charming.” worst winters for turf damage • Jeremy Calliin Oklahoma history. Scissorson of Claremore tail in Verdigris lost over 60 shot a 56 at Bropercent of its fairways while ken Arrow Golf & Athletic Club, courses throughout the state surely the low round shot in Bo Van Pelt were forced to spend a good Oklahoma or maybe anywhere until Rhein Gibson did him one better by portion of their summer sodding affected shooting 55 at River Oaks in Oklahoma areas that did not regrow.



The Patriot


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., saying restrictions on equipment companies

OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2010 • Brad Dalke, a 5-foot-8, 170-pound 12-year-old from Hobart, gives a non-binding verbal commitment to the University of Oklahoma. • Dan Rooney 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 advertised 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. • After a one-two punch of severe winter kill followed by broiling temperatures that melted its greens, Boiling Springs in Wood-

ward closed until further notice while it began a search for a new course operator. • Forest Ridge in Broken Arrow reopened 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, Chickasaw Pointe in Kingston and Winstar Golf Course in Thackerville. Since that time dozens more have converted including this summer Oak Tree National in Edmond. • Wally Uihlein, chairman and CEO of Acushnet, came to Tulsa to watch son Peter play for OSU at the Ping/Golfweek

APRIL-MAY 2011 (FIRST ISSUE OF GOLF OKLAHOMA!) • An extensive Q&A with former Oklahoma State golfer and Tulsa resident Bo Van Pelt by Jimmie Tramel is our cover story as we transition from South Central Golf to Golf Oklahoma. At this point our focus is on the state, but also transitioning to even more features and stories of a timeless nature as most of our tournament and breaking news coverage is now a daily staple at www.golfoklahoma.org and on our social media channels. By this year we are averaging more than 600 stories about golf in Oklahoma on the website

the vast majority of which are not duplicated 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 subscribers each month and available to read at the website as well. • Paul Ridings retired after 23 years as Charlie Coe, right, joins Waco and Opie the head pro at South Turner for celebration. Lakes in Jenks. He torian Del Lemon wrote a great feajoked that golf cours- ture on eccentric oilman Waco Turner es have “gone soft” bringing the world’s best golfers to tiny Burneyville, population b y 85 or less for the Waco closTurner Open. He peri n g suaded Byron Nelson to three days a year. His son come one year by giving Tag Ridings is still on the him a horse. PGA Tour professional tours today rookie Jack Nicklaus and Paul is his biggest fan. came and tied for third in Ridings worked for two 1962, five weeks before stalwart professionals in winning the U.S. Open Jerry Jones and later Pat at Oakmont for his first McCrate and South Lakes professional victory. Bewas one of the state’s busitween vaudeville acts, est public facilities every bowls of fresh seafood year of his tenure. on ice, plenty of booze, • The Patriot in Owasso late night card game and debuted at No. 48 on the Golfweek Top 100 Mod- Abraham Ancer, a transfer prize money doled out ern Course List (1960 and from Odessa Junior College, in fistfuls, sounds like has the Sooners back in the all had a rollicking good later.) time. • Oklahoma golf his- Top 25.

Craig Humphreys made his 24th consecutive trip to Augusta National. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

Peter Uihlein 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.



30 YEARS JUNE-JULY 2011 Ageless wonder Gil Morgan graced our second cover in a profile by John Rohde. At this point, Morgan, now 64, had recently 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 Gil Morgan a simple philosophy and was able to help so many without deep Gooch,

NCAA Champiswing analysis. onship at Karsten “I tell my stuCreek with a linedents to lay their up that featured head back on the Kevin Tway, Morpillow and stay gan Hoffman and there” Smith said. Peter Uihlein. Led “You keep your head by Patrick Reed, back, you keep your Augusta State weight back. It’s like knocked them all of the sports. off in the semiThe head weights finals and went a lot. It gets down on to win its secor forward, everyond consecutive thing is ruined. The championship swing doesn’t have with a finals victo be long. tory over Georgia. It doesn’t re“I like winning. quire great efI don’t like losing, fort. You just so that’s pretty have to keep Marshall Smith on the range at much the gist of the weight Peoria Ridge which is dedicated it” OSU coach back. I don’t to him. want any dancing. The Mike McGraw said after. “But in golf you right foot might come lose a lot and in life you lose a lot, you up at the end, but it’s not just deal with it and hopefully you learn a good lesson about yourself.” forced up.” • Oklahoma Christian won the NAIA • Despite excellent play from freshman Talor national title as Oscar Stark was medalist the favored Cowboys lost the at TPC Deere Run in Silva, Ill.

Mid-Am at the AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2011 age of 63. Not • Cameron Meythat brief Mike! ers defeated Mead• In a Q&A owbrook member with Chris TidNick Lees on his land, then playing home course 2 up professional golf to win the OGA and now the head State Amateur pro at Stillwater championship. Country Club, we • Brian Davis ask what he rewas named the members about the new executive final hour of OSU”s director of the Brian Davis comeback to knock South Central off Stanford and Section of the PGA of America (Oklahoma, Arkansas, southern Kansas.) He remains in that position today. Tiger Woods in a playoff at the • Mike Hughett won his 14th OGA championship with a vic- Scarlet Course at Ohio State. “I remember it like it was tory in the Senior State Amateur at Gaillardia. After which he Cameron Meyers remarked that the yesterday,” Tidland said. “All the little details, what we ate, the victory was very movies we went to, how great Coach important to him beHolder was that week in keeping us cause “once you hit all loose and focused. It was very the senior division, special for Alan (Bratton) and I. We your window of opwere about to become the first class portunity is very to go through and not win a national brief and I’m glad I championship. Then Alan birdies was able to pull this the last three holes of regulation one out.” and the playoff hole. To birdie the This summer last four holes of your college career, Hughett won his that’s pretty amazing to see your 25th OGA champiRees Jones at Tulsa Country Club Chris Tidland best friend do that.” onship, winning the 58



OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2011 • 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 every morning and night and starts every morning with oatmeal and raisons. A few M a r t i n gems: – “People would rather 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.” On how his wife Juanita caught his eye. “Here come these two young dollies. I thought, ‘That brunette is American can-made, but she’s got Swiss movements and the backfield’s in motion.’ Duffy passed away Duffy Martin relaxes on the patio at Cedar Valley, part of his in April of 2015 at age Guthrie golf empire. shots. The internal dynamics on that team 98. The courses at Cedar Valley remain, as does the nine-foot were fascinating, with every player challenging the others each day to get better. statue of Duffy “Every day Joey challenged Bill and ev• A story looks back at the dynasty that almost was, as Bill Brogden assembled a ery day he beat him,” Brogden said. “It’s team that should have won the 1981 NCAA just part of what made Billy work harder.” “Glasson came in that second year and Championship with Bill Glasson, Joey Rassett, Jim Kane and Bryan Norton. said let’s just beat the hell out of everyStanford won the title by two body,” Kane said.

Fame inducts legendary Lincoln APRIL-MAY 2012 Park professional U.C. Fergu• Shangri-La opens son of Lincoln Park, it’s second the Legends Nine, male inductee, along with Leewhich used to be the Ann Hammack Fairlie, Jeannie back nine of the Blue Thompson Rogers and Lucy Course. Membership Beeler. has grown from 84 to Ferguson was instrumental in over 640 since Eddy helping get Susie Maxwell BernClark took ownership ing get started but she wasn’t the and began to pour only one. money into improveFairlie has been and remains a ments. And Clark was just getting started. A spectacular new par-3 stalwart in competitive golf in Oklahoma course called The Battlefield is set to open for decades and is still winning titles tonext spring, meaning he’s been building con- day. Beeler, who had nine career aces at tinually for 12 years. It now has to be regard- this writing, won the State Amateur in 1967. Rogers was the most enigmatic, haved as one of the finest resorts in the nation. ing won the Trans• A successful Play Miss and three Golf America Day was consecutive WOGA held at LaFortune Park, Juniors by age 17, reflecting the PGA of then giving up the America’s recognition game entirely for that it had to become three years. more active everyShe came back to where at growing the win the 1965 State game. It almost makes Amateur after a thrillyou sick to hear the exing semifinal match pression Growing The against Dale Fleming Game used by various (McNamara), wintours for the enrichment of players. Grass- Oklahoma golf legends U.C. Ferguson ning with a birdie on the first extra hole. roots efforts like this with Susie Maxwell Berning. She pretty much quit again until deciding are what have always grown the game, not to play in 1968, where she reached the finals how much money a professional is paid. • The Oklahoma Women’s Golf Hall of again only to lose this time to McNamara. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

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 native 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 Munson, who was also on hand the day the 55 was shot. Reilly managed to do it with “just” 59 mulligans. • David Bryan replaced legendary Buddy Phillips as the new head professional at Cedar Ridge Country Club. Phillips retired after 40 years at Cedar Ridge, Rhein Gibson having taken the job



30 YEARS as the club’s second head tion’s top golf resorts in Palm Springs and professional in 1972. elsewhere. The Oak Tree logo was ubiqBryan came over from uitous on the PGA Tour and was a sign of The Patriot, where Chris quality to golf fans across the country. “Joe was an industry giant and we were Jarrett was promoted to general manager and blessed to have him as part of our lives,” said Hugh Edgmon, who ran Oak Tree properhead professional. • Oak Tree and Land- ties in Edmond for Walser and Vossler. mark co-founder Joe “Joe and Pat were family. He was a secDavid Bryan Walser Jr. passed away ond father to me.” Toby Keith • Our cover at age 79 in Dallas. Walser, Ernie Vossler story deand financier tailed the Jerry Barton had commitment of teamed up to owner Rick Braught, form Unique pro Tim Johnson and suGolf Concepts perintendent Brad Babek in 1971. They to overcoming the chalteamed with arlenges inherent in starting chitect Pete Dye and funding a world class to develop not golf course like The Terrionly Oak Tree tory in a part of the state unGolf Club and used to that level of course. Oak Tree Coun• We took a look at the try Club, but Joe Walser Jr. with architect innovative new junior promany of the na- Pete Dye, left.

grams, including free golf, being instituted by Michael Henderson at Lakeside Golf Course in Stillwater. • The back nine of Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville reopened after an extensive renovation by architect Tripp Davis. • Toby Keith tells us why he decided to buy Belmar Golf Club, the improvements he’s made and about his own game. “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 Gaillardia. I just kind of saved it. They were heading to becoming a strictly $30 daily-fee course and it wasn’t in the best of shape. It was heading to a bad situation. The previous owners had swallowed the dog and choked on the tail. We’ve made a lot of improvements.”

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 million clubhouse for the First Tee of Oklahoma City opens at James E. Stewart Golf Course. The facility includes a 5,100 square-foot learning center, a three-hole course, a short-game area and a 12,000 square-foot putting green. • 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. On the flip side, Carney is also known as the man who returned the beautiful OGA championship trophy in need of repair after allowing it to fall down a flight of steps. • Our celebrity profile this month is a long Q&A with Associated Press writer Doug Ferguson. He dishes on his relationship with Tiger, the second best player on the planet (Rory), the best interview (Geoff Ogilvy), the funniest (Paul Goydos) and whether the U.S. Open will ever return to Southern Hills (unlikely.)

OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2012 • 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 seasons. The reaction at Oak Tree, across the tour and from friends around the world, was instantaneous and overwhelming. “It’s one of the more popular victories in all my years on tour,” said fellow Oak Tree member 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. • A preview of the college season finds Oklahoma and Oklahoma State on different trajectories. The Sooners are starting 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 appearances snapped.

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2012 Our cover story is on the massive changes ongoing at Shangri-La. Two nines are open, a third is under construction, the new clubhouse and restaurant is spectacular, a new hotel and conference center has been announced as well as improvements to the marina. And as we have learned, so much more to come. • We go back in time with “The Godfather” as Cedar Ridge’s Buddy Phillips 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

Legendary Cedar Ridge Country Club head professional Buddy Phillips inspired many who worked for him. 60








Within an easy drive of the city’s comsic, gaming, fishing, or a spicy gumbo of all those ingredients — and build an adventure pact core are three must-plays, starting with s another heartland summer slides of just the right flavor, timbre, region, lodg- Bayou Oaks at City Park’s South Course, which reopened in 2017 with a toward autumn, it’s high new routing, bunkers and greens. time to fall in love with Fairways are generous and beautiLouisiana golf again. fully framed with old-growth oaks, And if you’ve somehow never and as with most Louisiana layhad the pleasure of following up outs, water comes into play often. a round on the Bayou with the The course is an across-the-board best food in America, tossing in favorite, welcoming everyone some sweet-sounding jazz, Cajun from weekend hackers to celebrior Zydeco music and washing it ties such as Super Bowl-winning all down with a local craft brew coach Sean Payton, and anchors or cocktail, your neighbors to the the nation’s largest city park alongsoutheast have a deal for you. side an arts museum and children’s What used to be known spemuseum. A shorter North Course cifically as the Audubon Golf Trail reopened in 2008 after Katrina laid — named after the self-taught The Freench Quarter, a good place to start your journey. it low for a few years. ornithologist whose love for and On the south side of town, near Tulane drawings of America’s birds led to a lasting ing taste, or budget. It all must and should start in New Or- University, is the only course in America naturalist movement — has deepened and broadened into a “Louisiana Golf Trails” leans. Take a full day and drive there or where you can take a streetcar to the first buffet of experiences that, quite frankly, hop a quick 90-minute flight to its shiny tee. The par-62 Golf Course at Audubon new Louis Armstrong International Airport. Park crams a lot of action into 4,200 yards can’t be found anywhere else. These trails keeps Louisiana’s original 17 Within minutes you can be on the tee box or and, as with a well-known “old” Scotland Audubon courses throughout the state in strolling the narrow, raucous French Quarter muni, you’ll see a few folks just out for a play along with many others. Plug in what- boulevards, or getting in “golf shape” with walk, sans clubs. Finally we’ve got TPC Louisiana — just ever theme appeals at the moment — food, a Sazerac in one hand and a po’ boy in the a few minutes’ drive from downtown, and craft beer, distilleries, mu- other.

by vic williams


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




showcase for the city’s fascihost to the annual Zurich nating cocktail culture from Classic PGA Tour showcase. the old rum distillery days, Pete Dye outdid himself here, through the speakeasies of creating a stirring and scenic Prohibition, to today’s craft test out of flat, swampy land. cocktail renaissance. There’s The Dye touches are in full a working distillery onsite, evidence. You’ve got the tiny stations for sampling famed bunkers, the tricky moundcocktails such as the rye-based ing, the sweeping and notSazerac and bourbon-based too-large greens, the surprisTeresa, virtual bartenders ing shot angles. The routing and a retail area selling every lulls you into a “let’s rack up brand of spirits in the house. the birdies” mindset over the And don’t forget that New Oropening holes before ratchetleans offers several craft brewing up the challenge, however eries, too, as do several other quietly, hole by hole until you Louisiana towns. realize that a few bogeys were The Sazerac distillery, a fascinating stop in New Orleans About an hour up I-10 from in the cards all along. Holes 17 and 18 are a stirring final pair – a and an easy drive from the courses men- New Orleans is Baton Rouge, the nation’s tallest state capitol building, more fine food classic green-on-a-cliff, par-3 with railroad tioned above. The food at Higgins is first-rate — Café and music venues and another bunch of soltie buttresses and water up the left side; and a par 5-finisher with stick-shaped bunkers Normandie’s on the ground floor for a meal id courses, with well-known Abita Brewing separating grass from water on the right and bordering on truly upscale, and Rosie’s on Co. in nearby Hammond. Then head west the Roof on the top floor for casual bites and into Cajun Country for more of the state’s a well-bunkered layup zone left. TPC’s clubhouse is spacious but not over- sips on the patio. Louisiana sunsets are free. distinctive cuisine and music, with golf The WWII Museum itself has since grown at popular courses such as The Wetlands. wrought. There’s a big grillroom and great views of the course, especially the lovely into one of the most impressive, well-cu- At Don’s Custom Meats in Scott you can rated and designed historic showcases – or sup on boudin (pork sausage with rice and par-3 No. 9. Where to stay during your Big Easy foray? museums of any kind – in the United States. spices), cracklins (deep-fried pork or chicken How about French Quarter favorites such as Every exhibit elicits emotions that you skins), spicy fried chicken or pork chops or a Hotel Monteleone with its famed Carousel didn’t realize you had. Its latest addition is locally sourced burger. From there it’s south to Lake Charles and Bar, or perhaps a Canal Street or financial “Beyond All Boundaries,” a 45-minute “4D” district high-rise or a funky spot down in movie experience narrated by Tom Hanks, its several Trail-tested tracks plus two outthe Lower Garden District? If you want to and construction is underway on a new standing layouts right next to each other sleep in the shadow of towering American “Peace Pavilion” and an exhibit dedicated to — Contraband Bayou at L’Auberge Casino Resort and the Golden Nugget’s beautifully history, how about the Higgins Hotel? It’s the Holocaust. If you’ve included spirits — the drink- maintained design. Not far north from there, the official National WWII Museum lodging partner, walking distance from the Caesars able kind — in your Trail plan, hit the Saz- in what the locals still dub “No Man’s Land,” Super Dome, the Quarter and waterfront erac House Museum on Canal Street, a free is Allen Parish (check out the fun visitors The 14th hole at Bayou Oaks in the heart of New Orleans




T R AV EL 2023, when Cypress Bend Recenter) and the town of Kindsort – located at about the lake’s er – home to Koasati Pines, halfway point near the town of the longest course in the state Many – reopens its “new” golf and a fine addition to the course, which already boasted Coushatta Tribe’s impressive the state’s hilliest layout and two-hotel-and-casino comsome of its best views. The plan plex next door. calls for six all-new holes while Koasati Pines makes the others will get new greens, immost of its flat site with a proved driving lanes, better routing that winds around drainage and bunkering, new copious ponds, through cart paths and other upgrades. stands of tall trees and across The resort itself is a solid Best streams that come into play Western showcase, with rooms in unique ways. The opening overlooking the course and lake, par-5 is a mystery wrapped in Take time to see the National World War II Museum. a pool, hiking trails and, you an enigma with a half-hidden guessed it, great food. Sense a town of Marksville, whose on-property green. Then come more visual and strategic challenges including a course, Tamahka Trails, earned top marks theme here? Actually we’ve just sampled a few tasty strong par-5 finisher – a split-fairway affair for a 2020 renovation of the original Steve with, again, lots of water and several ap- Smyers design to better fit the flowing, light- notes of what’s in store along all Louisiana on-the-gentle-rolling-land design. A few tee Golf Trails. It’ll take several trips to comproach options. Team a round at Koasati Pines with a stay shots are semi-blind, fairways are wide but pose the entire jazzy, jumping tune in your in either of Coushatta’s two luxury tow- pinched in the right places and greens offer par-seeking heart and fun-seeking soul — ers, save a few bucks for a stint on a poker, subtle, challenging breaks. Tough enough to while adding your own voice, palate and blackjack or craps table, pass the time on a host a U.S. Open qualifier, Tamahka is flat- swing to the final yet ever-changing mix. For sample itineraries, visit www.louisibank of slots with a local brew in hand and out fun from the proper tees. Love to drop a line for bass or crappie anagolftrails.com top it off with a meal in one of the property’s eateries (the clubhouse grill serves a while dropping putts for birdie? Louisiana Vic Williams is former editor and publisher of offers award-winning waters like 75-milemean burger and winning wings, as well). The tribal golf streak continues at Para- long Toledo Bend Reservoir on the Texas Fairways & Greens, Golf Getaways and Golf gon Casino Resort in the Central Louisiana border. Slate a visit for late 2022 or early Tips magazines. He lives in Reno, Nevada. The Koasati Pines course at the Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder.




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ike Gotcher of Broken Arrow drained a 25-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to edge defending champion Mike Hughett of Owasso by a shot in the Oklahoma Golf Association Senior Stroke Play Championship at Meadowbrook Country Club in Tulsa. Gotcher, the former PGA club professional who has been one of the state’s top amateurs for the better part of the last decade, 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 short putt. Both 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

Michael Hughett 66


Tim Rogers

with his drive and the ball bounced backward 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 OGA title. Defending Champion Tim Rogers of Broken Arrow came on strong on the back nine to claim his second consecutive Super Senior title for those 60 and over. He shot the only under-par score in that division 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 Bennett of Tulsa tied for third at 151.


Kate Strickland

Morgan Palermo

Natalie Gough

Strickland wins OGA Women's Stroke Play Championship


ate Strickland shot a 3-under 69 to finish at 4-under and win the Oklahoma Golf Association Stroke Play Championship at Meadowbrook 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 opening with a 77. Palermo’s 66 and Strickland’s 69 were both lower than any round achieved by the OGA Seniors and Super Seniors playing the same course, albeit from a slightly longer distance. Strickland 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 career. With Meadowbrook’s tight tree-lined fairways, both rounds were exceptional. Third place went to her OCU teammate, 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.

Peters wins Section Professional, leads four into nationals


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, finishing in the top four in the first five. And Tuesday he introduced himself clearly to his fellow section professionals by winning the South Central PGA Professional Championship at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Course in Norman. 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. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

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. Peters, originally from Iowa, has been working in California 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 Austin Peters of The Territory won the South Central there and give it another effort.” Section Professional Championship at Jimmie Austin AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2022 • GOLF OKL AHOMA



Davis, Scarberry are state champs Note: Complete results of all the following events and many more are at www.golfoklahoma.org. by ken macleod


an Davis of Oklahoma City capped a triumphant return to the amateur golf ranks with a 1- up victory over Jacob Prentice of Edmond i n the final match of the Ok lahoma Golf Association State Amateur Championship on a searing We d n e s d a y (July 27) afternoon at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club. Davis was a 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 successful 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 learning 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 caddie 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. “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 recovering fully from a knee injury suffered in a motorcycle accident in 2020. And his semifinal opponent, Austin Schmidt of Tulsa, has only recently fallen in love with golf 68

again after spending his early 20s racing motocross. Coming off of being a professional, Davis 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 throughout college. His final three matches were all wars. He had to come from two holes behind with two holes to play Tuesday afternoon to edge Mike Hearn of Yukon in 20 holes. Then he needed six birdies Wednesday morning in the semifinals to subdue Schmidt 2 and 1. Schmidt didn’t play collegiate golf after high school at Bishop Kelley, preferring dirt bikes to digging it out of Ian Davis the dirt. But he is making up for lost time and has quickly shown he is one of the state’s top players, making it to a playoff a week earlier in the OGA Mid-Amateur after a second-round 66 and then reaching the semifinals here. “I regret all the time I took off but I’m loving 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 played great.” Prentice, 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. “He played really well,” Hudelson said. “I’ve never seen a guy make that many 8-foot par saves. He didn’t miss any.” OKLAHOMA GOLF ASSOCIATION STATE AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP JULY 25-27, 2022 OKLAHOMA CITY GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB MATCH RESULTS SEMIFINALS Jacob Prentice, Edmond, def. Kyle Hudelson, Oklahoma City 3 and 2 Ian Davis, Oklahoma def. Austin Schmidt, Tulsa 2 and 1 FINALS Davis def. Prentice 1 up

Scarberry solid in all areas, repeats as WOGA State Am champ Both contestants in the Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association State Amateur championship match July 21 at lush Gaillardia Country Club were striping the ball off every tee box, attacking flags and demonstrating a masterly touch around the greens. There was just one club separating Shaebug Scarberry of Tuttle a n d Lilly Whitley of Edmond in t h e 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 women amateurs, winning 5 and 3. It was a closer match, however, than the final score might indicate. Whitley, 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 ballstriking was excellent all week but the putter let her down in the final match after being one of her Shaebug best clubs Scarberry up to the final. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

“My putter was really hot the rest of the was 3 down. Pressing after that, she lost the par-5 14th week,” she said. “But today I think I was setting up a little closed and missing ev- and the par-3 15th . And there was no let up erything to the right. Plus I was tense as from the defending champion. Scareberry well. I haven’t been in too many scenarios saved par again with an 8-footer on 10, like this and it was fun to be in the arena. then made solid pars the rest of the way. “She was flag hunting at the start and it I worked hard all week to make it to the finals and it was rewarding to get there. made me a little nervous,” said Scarberry, a fifth-year senior at Troy this fall. “She’s But I also badly wanted to win it.” She jumped out to an early lead when a good golfer. But I made that birdie on 4 and that settled Scarberry made her WOMEN’S OKLAHOMA GOLF ASSOCIATION me down. Then the lone bogey of the 104TH STATE AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP birdie on 6, the par match on the second GAILLARDIA COUNTRY CLUB, OKC JULY 18-21 save on 7 and the hole while Whitley FINAL RESULTS birdie on 8 was a had a short conced- Championship Flight really good stretch ed birdie. Scarberry ShaeBug Scarberry, Tuttle, def. Lilly Whitley, for me.” evened the match Edmond 5 and 3 Whitley said, “I with a birdie on the par-3 fourth hole, then followed with an feel like I’ve always had crazy potential 8-foot birdie on the par-5 sixth, a 10-foot and always been right on that bubble. I par save on the seventh when it looked haven’t peaked yet by a long shot. I’m like Whitley would even the match, then getting better every day, every month. a 6-foot birdie putt on the eighth hole gave I’m a late bloomer. A lot of girls in junior golf got a lot more publicity than me, but her a 2-up lead at the turn. The match was decided on holes 10-12. I wanted to show that I’m a force to be Whitley stuffed her approach shots inside reckoned with out here. “Today, the birdie looks were not fall10 feet on both the par-4 10th and par-4 11th, but missed both birdie putts. She ing. And Shae was playing really, really then missed a short par putt on the par-4 well. You have to make a birdie to beat her 12th. Instead of being even or 1 down, she and I respect that.”


Emotional win for Hughett in OGA Mid-Amateur BARTLESVILLE – In 23 previous victories in Oklahoma Golf Association championships, 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. “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, none.” The victory was especially meaningful not only because he had dedicated the tournament 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 decades 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 playoff hole. He also won the Mid-Amateur for



COM PET I T ION Roller wins WOGA Junior at Stillwater CC

those 25 and older in 2007 and 2008. Hughett nearly won the event in regulation 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-under 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.

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 Junior PGA Championship. She’ll look to improve 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 championship, 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 Championship in July at Stillwater Country Club. A 100-yard eagle was the highlight of her

OKLAHOMA GOLF ASSOCIATION MID-AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP JULY 18-19, 2022 HILLCREST COUNTRY CLUB FINAL RESULTS Michael Hughett, Owasso – 71-68–139 (won playoff) Harley 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

Mike Hughett

Jenni Roller



second round as she shot rounds of 70-73 for a four-shot victory over rapidly-improving Natalie Blonien of Altus (75-72). Following that win, Roller had the 36-hole lead at the AJGA’s Gateway First Bank Tulsa Open at the Oaks Country Club, but wound up in a tie for second with incoming Jenks freshman Lisa Herman behind eighth-grader Eliana Saga of Stevenson Ranch, Calif., who closed with a 4-under 67. Also tying for second in that event on the boys side was Grant Gudgel of Stillwater, who also announced he has verbally committed to play collegiate golf at Oklahoma State. WOMEN’S OKLAHOMA GOLF ASSOCIATION 72ND WOGA GIRLS’ JUNIOR STATE CHAMPIONSHIP STILLWATER COUNTRY CLUB, STILLWATER JULY 12-13, 2022 FINAL RESULTS CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT Jenni Roller, Jenks 70-73-143 Natalie Blonien, Altus 75-72-147 Jaiden Gregston, Duncan 76-74-150 Lucy Darr, Stillwater 76-74-150 Josey Cavitt, Burneyville 77-77-154 Olivia Coit, Edmond 78-76-154




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