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Official publication of the Oklahoma Golf Association


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TABLE OF CONTENTS JUNE /JULY 2020

Volume 10 Issue 3

21 The Goods 10

A working man’s cigar. Three golf books for your quarantine reading pleasure. And if you have decided to walk, here’s what you need.

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Chip Shots 16

Course spotlight

PGA Championship returns to Southern Hills in 2030. Goose roundups, Hall of Fame scholarships and more.

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34

Features 20 26 30 32 34

The Drive Market will reign supreme in 2020

36 38

Gary Player sits down with Golf Oklahoma

College seniors are nearly all coming back Oklahomans stranded on Korn Ferry Tour Catching up with Talor Gooch Susie Maxwell Berning: From Bogey Hills to World Golf Hall of Fame

Good guy Matt Warwick builds a golf powerhouse from scatch in Olive

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Massive restorations under way at Heritage Hills, Canyons at Blackjack Ridge

Departments 6 8 8 9 42 43 44 45

Letter from the Publisher OGA ED Mark Felder WOGA ED Susan Ferguson Rules, Bob Phelps Instruction: Maggie Roller Instruction: Ryan Rody Fitness: Clint Howard Schedules and results

On the cover The 2020 OGA Junior Boys and Girls Champions James Roller and Emily Miller. Photos by Rip Stell.

Support junior golf by contributing to the OGA Foundation Call 405-848-0042 for more information 4

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GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


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June/July 2020 FROM THE PUBLISHER KEN M AC LEOD

Making the most of a strange situation Despite losing revenue from spaced-out tee times, no tournaments, limited food and beverage operations and frequent delays caused by a shortage of carts, golf courses throughout Oklahoma did booming business in May. Those that remained open in April were completely swamped if they were near the shutdown areas of Tulsa and Oklahoma City. A lot of the play was circumstantial. Beyond hiking, cycling or running, there were almost no other outdoor sports taking place. No youth soccer games to attend, no NBA or golf on television to watch. No casinos open to go spend all your disposable income. A lot of folks were stuck home and going stir crazy. Golf was bound to benefit in that situation, as long as the courses were open and golfers trusted that precautions were in place. Numbers? Tulsa County courses LaFortune Park and South Lakes were up a total of 4,084 rounds over May 2019. Bailey Ranch in Owasso was up 737 rounds in May after killing it in April. The May number was the second highest since 2015. Lincoln Park in Oklahoma City, closed throughout April, registered 8,807 rounds in May at its 36-hole facility, an increase of 1,729 rounds over 2019. Forest Ridge in Broken Arrow was up 700 rounds. Kickingbird in Edmond was up 726 rounds. Country clubs also reported some staggering increases in play as members who found themselves suddenly working from home wanted out. Some folks began to play so often they actually began to wear down physically as the month went along. Decreased tournament revenue, limited

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merchandise and huge losses in food and beverage mean even the fantastic numbers of rounds won’t cure all financial ills or make up for the time closed. The key will be keeping the numbers up as tournaments resume, merchandise sales pick up and banquets, weddings and other functions are again held at the facilities. Let’s look at what’s transpired from an optimistic perspective. Golf is one of the best lifelong pursuits you can enjoy and if you’re reading this, you probably know many of its magical secrets and are already hooked. So many had drifted away due to time constraints and the length of time it takes to play. Suddenly there were few constraints and the amount of time it took to play was reduced by the single-rider cart situation. Voila! The game was much more enjoyable for those who came back and for those starting out. Keeping them is a matter of each course doing what it can to make the golfers feel welcome and important, helping them navigate the tee-time systems, lesson plans, green-fee structures and baffling array of equipment and merchandise and helping them appreciate the unique setting, challenges and skills involved in the game. As Oklahoma gets back to work and a new normal sets in, the staggering numbers recorded in April and May are likely to subside, but golf will be a great option for outdoor social distancing for as long as the Covid-19 lasts. There are many better reasons to play golf, but let’s take the opportunities where we find them and make the most of them.

Volume 10, Number 3 Golf Oklahoma Offices Southern Hills Plaza 6218 S. Lewis Ave., Ste. 200 Tulsa, OK 74136 918-280-0787

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FACEBOOK.COM/ GOLFOKLAHOMAMAGAZINE

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

FOLLOW US! @GOLFOKMAGAZINE

COO/Marketing Director A.G. Meyers agm@golfoklahoma.org Art & Technology Director Chris Swafford chris@golfoklahoma.org Subscriptions to Golf Oklahoma are $15 for one year (five issues) or $25 for two years (10 issues). Call 918-280-0787 or go to www.golfoklahoma.org. Contributing photographers Rip Stell, Bill Powell Golf Oklahoma PGA Instructional Staff Jim Woodward Teaching Professional, Oak Tree National jwoodwardgolf@sbcglobal.net, 405-3482004 Jim Young Teaching Professional, River Oaks CC 405-630-8183 Tracy Phillips Director of Instruction, FlyingTee vt4u@yahoo.com, 918-352-1089 Maggie Roller Director of Instruction, Cedar Ridge CC maggie.roller@sbcglobal.net, 918-261-1441 Jerry Cozby PGA Professional jerrycozby@aol.com, 918-914-1784 Kyley Tetley, PGA Professional The Golf Studio 918-232-6564 Oklahoma Golf Association 2800 Coltrane Place, Suite 2 Edmond, OK 73034 405-848-0042 Executive Director Mark Felder mfelder@okgolf.org Director of Handicapping and Course Rating Jay Doudican jdoudican@okgolf.org Director of Junior Golf Morri Rose morose@okgolf.org Copyright 2020 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.


MARK FELDER

OGA Executive Director

FROM THE OGA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

OGA season back in full swing in June With the USGA cancel- Korn Ferry Tour, nearly all the 2020 se- girls junior championships, both mid-aming its junior events, the AJGA niors are returning to their college teams, ateur championships and both senior ammodifying its schedule and of course the which means players such as OU seniors ateurs as well as the senior open events. shutdown of the high school and college Quade Cummins and Thomas Johnson It will hold the U.S. Men’s and Women’s seasons, the OGA calendar of events for and many more who would have been Amateur Championships and the U.S. the summer of 2020 has become must- turning professional are remaining ama- Open Championships for men and women, all without qualifying, so all USGA play golf for a host of competitors, even teurs for another year. qualifiers scheduled in Oklamore so than normal. homa for 2020 are canceled. Our first Oklahoma Junior We will have to wait and Golf Tour event of the spring see who will represent the was held at Shawnee Counstate in the U.S. Amateur try Club on May 17-18 and Championships, but if the the field filled up in less than fields are the normal size of 24 hours. Spots in the OGA 312 there will be many. The Junior Championship held top two Oklahoma playJune 1-4 at Kickingbird were ers right now in the World at a premium and the same Amateur Golf Rankings are should hold true of the OGA Austin Eckroat of Edmond at State Amateur on July 21-23 19 and Cummins of Weatherat The Patriot and the OGA ford at No. 26 – both could be Stroke Play Championship on a threat to win the event. June 22-24 at The Territory. The Senior State Amateur The OGA added a one-day will be the first event up for us junior tournament June 30 at after the junior and it is at June the Jimmie Austin University 17-19 at Belmar Golf Club in of Oklahoma Golf Course. Jordan Wilson and Maddi Kamas won the OJGT Spring Fling Norman, where owner Toby The 2020 OGA Junior Stroke at Shawnee Country Club. Keith can’t even get a tee time, Play Championship also filled At this point all of the remaining events it’s been so busy this spring. Mike Hughett up in a flash. The State Amateur will have qualifiers on the OGA calendar are expected to be will be after his 23rd OGA championship, July 6 and July 9. It’s best to go to the OGA played as scheduled. The OGA Four-Ball but the defending champion is Blake Gibson website now and sign up because the pool Championship, originally slated for May of Yukon. Golf remains a great avenue for enjoyof available amateurs is deeper than ever. 18-19 at The Golf Club of Oklahoma, will With the NCAA granting another year of be assigned a new date soon, check the ing competition and competition in a safe environment. Keep playing and we’ll see eligibility to collegiate seniors and with calendar on the website for updates. The USGA has canceled the boys and you this summer. there being no qualifying this year for the

SUSAN FERGUSON

President WOGA

WOMEN’S OKLAHOMA GOLF ASSOCIATION

Cedar Ridge fundraiser coming up The 102nd Women’s State Amateur Championship will be held as scheduled July 20-23 at the beautiful Tom Faziodesigned Golf Club of Oklahoma in Broken Arrow. WOGA is looking forward to having a great field eager for competition. Entries open June 1 and qualifying is July 20 with match play beginning July 21. The defending champion is Sydney Youngblood, who defeated ShaeBug Scarberry in a dramatic final match. All COVID-19 precautions issued by the CDC will be used. Please visit the website at woga.golfgenius.com for all tournament information and updates. WOGA has announced Sara Armstrong of Crossings Christian High School in 8

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Oklahoma City and Krislyn Andrews of Muldrow as its 2020 scholarship recipients. Both will receive $1,000 for higher education. Armstrong, who placed in the top 10 in Class 2A in her sophomore and junior years, will play collegiate golf at Southern Nazarene. Andrews is also an experienced golfer in WOGA and South Central Section events and a longtime volunteer with the First Tee of Fort Smith, Ark. She plans to attend the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith and major in biology. Our major focus over the next few weeks will be on the WOGA Girls Junior Championship July 14-15 at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Broken Arrow. Maddi Kamas is the

2019 champion. Ages 8-18 are eligible for competition in flights for 8-11, 12-18 and championship. Championship flight contestants must have a verifiable handicap of 10.0 or less. Online entries can be made at www.woga. golfgenius.com. Entries close on July 6. The WOGA Fundraiser will be July 13 at Cedar Ridge. It is a four-person scramble with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start and is open to all men, women and junior golfers. The field is limited to the first 22 teams and the cost is $600 per foursome including prizes, breakfast and lunch at Cedar Ridge. Go to www.woga.golfgenius.com to enter. Thanks to all for your support of these great events and our association. GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


BOB PHELPS

OGA Rules Director

FROM THE OGA RULES DIRECTOR

What happens when my ball moves? One of the more common occurrences seen during a televised round of golf that almost always results in the player calling for assistance from a rules official is when the player’s ball at rest moves to a new location. Does the player get a penalty? Does the player play the ball from its new location? To answer these questions, you must first determine a couple of key facts. First, did the ball even move? Under the “Modernized” Rules of Golf, the standard for determining that a ball moved is that it must be “Known or Virtually Certain” that the ball moved. In other words, it must be “Known” (100% sure) or “Virtually Certain” (95% sure) that the ball moved. Furthermore, Rule 20.2c limits the use of video evidence by applying the “Naked Eye” standard. If video evidence reveals a fact that could not reasonably have been seen with the “Naked Eye,” that video evidence cannot be used. This does not mean that a person actually saw the ball move, it means that the “Naked Eye” would be capable of detecting the movement if looking. Granted, applying the “Naked Eye” standard to everyday play is very rarely possible, but is much more likely

GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020

at the televised level of competition. So, to determine that a ball has indeed moved, it must by “Known or Virtually Certain” and detectable to the “Naked Eye.” Second, what caused the ball to move? Rule 9.2b recognizes only four causes for a ball to move. Either the Player, an Opponent, an Outside Influence, or Natural Forces can cause a ball to move. And once again you will apply the “Known or Virtually” standard in deciding if a Player, Opponent, or Outside Influence caused the ball to move. If it is not “Known or Virtually Certain” that one of these was the cause, the ball is treated as having been moved by Natural Forces. Now that we have determined the ball moved and the cause of the movement, what happens to the ball? If the movement of the ball was caused by an Outside Influence, the ball is always replaced. If the movement of the ball was caused by the Player or Opponent, the ball is almost always replaced. If the ball was moved by Natural Forces, the ball is almost always played from its new location. Note the word almost in both situations. One of the challenges in learning the rules is recognizing the many exceptions. Fortunate-

ly, in this case the exceptions are rare or intuitive. Refer to Rule 9.2, 9.3, and 9.4 to review these easy to remember exceptions. The question of whether a penalty applies to a Player or Opponent depends on the actions taking place that caused the movement. If a Player deliberately lifts, touches or causes his or her ball to move, the Player gets one Penalty Stroke. However, Rule 9.4b exempts the player from penalty when the player accidentally causes his or her ball to move while searching, in applying the rules and when the ball was on the Putting Green. An Opponent is never penalized for accidentally causing another player’s ball to move. An Opponent is usually penalized for deliberately causing another player’s ball to move except in three easy to remember situations listed under Rule 9.5b; 1) the Opponent is allowed to lift the Player’s ball, 2) marking and lifting the Player’s ball on the Putting Green by mistake, and 3) accidentally causing the Player’s ball to move under the same exceptions given to the Player under Rule 9.4b. The next time your ball at rest is moved, follow these simple guidelines to determine where the ball is played from and whether a penalty is applied.

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Cart shortage? Go for a walk by ed travis

D

last year, and it was legitimately hot this year. My theory has not held true the first four days, but weather was also a factor. I also noticed it wasn’t our typical crowd, with a lot of people that I would not call regular patrons. No supporting evidence of more walkers right now.” Steve Carson, General Manager at the two Lincoln Park Golf Course layouts (Oklahoma City), told us that social distancing was evident among players immediately before the required shutdown. He added their policy going forward is to rent carts to singles with no increase in price. Warm weather the first days he reopened tipped the scales towards riding, but the number of walking rounds remained strong. Both said sales and rentals of pushcarts had been brisk and in anticipation of future demand they were replenishing inventory plus getting additional lightweight carry bags in stock. If due to social distancing concerns and even the desire to get more exercise will walking become more normal? It is a reasonable possibility and so with an eye towards price and quality here are some of our favorite equipment for walking rounds, starting with pushcarts.

ebating the relative merits of walking versus riding isn’t new, but one thing is sure -- an electric cart does make golf a different game. Not better necessarily, but different and though no firm figures are available, a reasonable estimate is two out of three rounds in the United States use a cart. Part of the justification is that riding improves the pace of play but as we all know, often the only thing slower than four guys in two carts is a 12-year-old heading to his piano lesson. The biggest reason carts are so prevalent and required at many courses is the revenue they generate, which leads to most clubs doing away with caddies. Cart rental fees are a much-needed income source for facilities battling for customers in markets that are usually oversupplied with courses and typically have a competitive downward pressure on greens fees. As Oklahomans first became aware of the COVID-19 virus dangers and before many of the state’s courses were closed in response, walking seemed to be on the rise, which only makes sense from a “social Bag Boy Nitron distancing” standAuto-Open point. So, will Bag Boy Opening the Nitron is a the number of Nitron breeze due to a piston filled walkers grow, Auto-Open with nitrogen. Priced at $260 and the number of riders decrease since the t h e weight of 16.75 pounds and folded need for social distancing likely will not size of 19 x 13.5 x 22 inches makes it easy end at least until fall? And will golf’s new to lift in and out of the trunk. The handle normal be walking rather than riding due has the control for the brake and the conto continuing concerns about transmitting sole has holders for a beverage, cell phone and extra balls plus a place for a other diseases besides COVID-19? Patrick McCrate, Director of Golf at scorecard. LaFortune Park Golf Course (Tulsa) and South Lakes Golf Course (Jenks), said that Clicgear prior to the March 30 closing the number of Model 3.5 Plus A three-wheeler that walking rounds had been on the increase. After his courses had been reopened for has been around for a while, about a week we asked again and his reply but is still popular because was, “With all single-rider carts the appear- of its design. Made from aluance was that everyone was riding, and no- aircraft grade it body was walking. However, doing a four- minum, 19 day comparison versus the same stretch in weighs May of last year showed 61% riding this pounds and Clicgear folds down to year and 48% rode last year.” Model 3.5 Plus He added, “However it was cool and wet a convenient 13 GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020

x 15 x 24 inches, which means it fits into any car trunk. The bag straps, umbrella holder and brake are all i m proved and the storage area is larger. Priced at $239.

Sun Mountain Pathfinder 3

Sun Mountain Pathfinder 3 This well-built pushcart folds in two easy steps to just 29 x 17 x 13 inches and at 16 pounds is one of the lightest on the market. The adjustable brackets hold any size bag, even a large staff bag and the accessory console on the handle puts cell phone, scorecard, balls and other items, including the brake, in easy reach. $230. If not using a pushcart, a carry bag with a stand is a must. Ping Hoofer The Hoofer has a lot of features packed in its 5.5 pounds, i nc lud i n g a double strap system that converts easily to single strap. This fiveway top model has 11 pockets —two for valuables, a magnetic top access slip pocket, a magnetic rangefinder pocket plus apparel pocket with fullSun length zipMountain per. Seven H2NO Lite color comtions are each priced at $245.

Ping Hoofer

bina-

Sun Mountain H2NO Lite Retailing for $300 this 14-slot 10.5” diameter top bag is made the same way as the company’s rainwear so it is waterproof when the rain hood is in place. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

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GOODS even the most walking the four-plus Six pockets include a aggressive miles in 18 holes you hydration sleeve, a swings. An need comfortable lined one for Ortholite foot bed reshoes. valuables Cuater MoneyMaker Titleist tains its cushioning for the plus a fulllife of the shoe. Cuater MoneyMaker length Players 4 TravisMathew’s entries this apparel Plus SQAIRZ spring into the shoe market pocket These shoes look different with i nclude the MoneyMaker, which and all a square toe that acts as an aid sells for $160 and is waterproof have wato align your feet to the inter resistant zippers. It has a with a lightweight midsole and TPU tended line of the shot. spikeless bottom. Comfort is dual strap and two stand legs. SQAIRZ ($200) are waprovided with a molded dual terproof made of synthetic density sock liner and an enTitleist Players 4 Plus leather and the forefoot and Lightweight (4.3 pounds) and priced at gineered knit upper prosole are wider for stability $225 with more storage than its previous vides lots of ventilaand balance. The heel has model, it has four full-length dividers and tion. a stabilizer construction a larger low-profile top cuff. The seven Sqairz and the sole has six cleats pockets include one waterproofed for valu- FootJoy Tour X plus molded lugs. Inspired by touring ables, a full-length apparel pocket professionals, the Tour X ($200) and a removable ball shoes offer the combination of being pocket. Features inSign up for our enewsletter waterproof with breathabiliclude a convertible at golfoklahoma.org ty. The unique PowerStrap dual strap and highfor the chance to win tickets, in the shoe’s upper gives grade aluminum rounds and other prizes support, which along legs. as well as keep up with with the special outsole, Don’t forget, it all the breaking news means lots of stability for seems obvious but FootJoy Tour X

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BOOKSHELF

Seek and you may find

events and claimed to model his golf swing mechanics after Ruth’s baseball swing. One of the more intriguing episodes of discovery, but of danger. It’s there that ath- the book is how Mike Hebron, the 1991 letes are trading their genius for the ideas PGA National Teacher of the Year and a by tom bedell of others and losing the intuition that made Golfing Machine advothem great….” The Intuition banner in the he title may be a bit dramatic, book is initially carried by Michael “Golf’s Holy Murphy, he of Shivas Irons fame War: The Battle for as embodied in his semi-mystical the Soul of a Game novels “Golf in the Kingdom” and in an Age of Science” “The Kingdom of Shivas Irons.” (Avid Reader Press, The genesis of the Scientific bloc is the dense $28), and there’s writ “The no clear victor “Golf is an awkward set of bodily Golfing by the time you Machine,” turn the last page. contortions designed to produce a – Tommy Armour which an But Brett Cyrgalis graceful result.” e l e c t r ic a l does entertainingly lead readers through the two camps engineer named Homer Kelley selfof an endless skirmish, how best to learn a published in 1969. Kelley was, to useful golf swing, through art or technol- put it mildly, obsessed with the golf swing, and his ogy. Or call it feel versus scibook analyzed ence. it in such miC y r g a croscopic, penlis normally etrating detail holds down that it was his fort as a nearly impenNew York Post etrable, except spor tswriter, to disciples. concentratAnd there were ing on golf many. and hockey. From what Cyr- cate, transformed into more esoteric waThanks to galis calls these ters once he questioned the very nature of COVID-19, he basic texts the how humans learn. won’t be doBut then there are any number of intrigustreams flow forth. ing any book He tells Murphy’s ing episodes in the book, bound to engage tours in the and Kelley’s sto- anyone who has even taken a golf lesson, is near future, ries in compelbut thanks to ling anecdotal “In golf, and in life, it’s the follow Brandel Chamnarratives that blee the whole bespeak a lot of through that makes the difference.” notion of golf – Peter Darbo shoe leather reteaching’s efsearch, while ficacy has been a bountiful bibli- pondering golf lessons or is fearful of golf playing out hotly ography suggests lessons. Which takes in pretty much the on social media plenty of second- whole of the golfing population. cyberpages for Whatever approach one takes to golf, ary sources. months. An index there always seems to be something emiAnd Chammight have helped, since a lot of names nently quotable about the game, if most ofblee contributed a blurb for the book that manages to throw pop up along the way, from any number of ten of a joking nature. Some 350 such onegolfers and golf liners and aphorisms are collected in “The fuel on the fire: instructors to Golfer’s Book of Wit & Wisdom” (Hather“There is intel“Golf is the most fun you can have William James, leigh Press, $12.50). I’ve sprinkled a few of lectual power in Freud, Babe Ruth them in this column. solitude, and yet without taking your clothes off.” The quotes were collected by Gerd PGA Tour prac- – Chi Chi Rodriguez — and more importantly, his de Ley, a Belgian writer who has comtice facilities are crowded with theorists, pseudo-scientists teammate Sam Byrd, who after his base- piled similar books on non-golf subjects. and teachers, making [them] not a place of ball career went on to win six PGA Tour I learned this from the publisher, since de

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GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


Some things we like to do before and after the round Ley’s name appears nowhere on or in the book. There’s no real editing hand at work, either, to explain any time frame or furnish any context for the quotes, or to certify if there really is such a person as the muchquoted Sandy Parr. Beryl Deranged seems like another suspicious contributor. Okay, scholarship is not the idea here. A Father’s Day stocking stuffer, so to speak, comes closer to the point, and as such it will do. At 137 pages, that might be as much gentle ribtickling as one cares for. But I do note that I have the perfectly named “The Gigantic Book of Golf Quotations” on my shelf, edited by Jim Apfelbaum and put out by Skyhorse Publishing back in 2007. At 788 pages (including index!) it would seem to be the definitive work in the genre, and at last glance still available via the wonderful world of online commerce. I’ve played golf on three continents with Jeff Wallach and consider him a good friend. So I’m relieved he has spared me the embarrassment of not reviewing his first novel out of a sense of decency. I vaguely recall hearing years ago — back in his active golf writing days — that he was working on a novel, and I’m happy to report he has indeed followed through splendidly. To be honest, “Mr. Wizard” (Open Books, $17.95) is not strictly speaking a golf novel. The first range ball isn’t struck until page 116 of a 200-page book, when Spencer Elliot begins spraying them like a garden hose. But at least he’s spraying them in Ireland, and ample golf and Guinness proceed from there. But what brings Spencer and Phillip Elliot, two middle-aged Jewish brothers from New York City, to Ireland? Thereby hangs the tale, which launches with the death of their mother, Jenny. Up to that point the brothers believed that the father they never knew, Jack Elliot, had died in combat in Vietnam. Jenny had been sliding into dementia, GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020

and right before her death she floats a few cryptic remarks that suggest Phillip is half-Irish, and there’s something to do with a golf pro from Ballydraiocht, Ireland (which, unlike the other locales in the book, doesn’t actually exist). That propels him into taking a DNA test, which tells him he is, indeed, about half-Ashkenazi Jew and half-Irish. Spencer winds up taking the test as well, which tells him that while the boys had the same mother, he had a different father. His is of Spanish descent.

Mr. Wizard refers to a card trick Jenny played on the boys when young, one of many instances of misdirection she foists upon them to teach them critical thinking. And their critical thinking is put to its greatest test once the genealogical search is on. If the journeys never make it to Spain, there’s always Ireland. The real pleasure in the book comes from the distinct characters Wallach has fashioned for each brother — Phillip the more rigid critical thinker, Spencer the wise-cracking rebel who supplies most of the book’s good humor — who despite their differences and the sudden realization of less consanguinity then they’d previously imagined, are nonetheless devoted to each other. The quest for their real fathers’ identities becomes the driver of the plot, but the heart of the book is discovering what their mother was attempting to do for them. There are twists aplenty, a little romance, a few rounds of golf and a poignant epilogue. All in all, well played. Tom Bedell continues his endless search for a good swing and believes, like Hogan, “The only thing a golfer needs is more daylight.”

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PGA Championship returns in 2030 by ken macleod

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he excitement of landing a record fifth PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club may have been tempered a bit for those who worked on it by the 2030 date, but the enthusiasm of golfers throughout Tulsa and Oklahoma at the news was galvanizing. “People were openly enthusiastic that we got it and proud to have it,” said Southern Hills General Manager Nick Sidorakis. “I think many people forgot that it was announced back in 2017 and we were just waiting on the date. We obviously wanted an earlier date, but be that as it may, we can now look forward to hosting it and having a great championship.” Southern Hills, which recently completed an $11-million renovation of the championship course and practice facilities, led by architect Gil Hanse, will first show off its improvements next May when it hosts the 2021 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. The two events were both announced in 2017, but the date of the PGA Championship was listed as between 2023 and 2030. For the past two years, the only dates not filled in that time frame were 2025 and 2030. The speculation was strong that Quail Hollow in Charlotte, N.C., would be awarded the 2025 date and that was confirmed just a few days after the PGA of America made its announcement on May 16

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about Tulsa out here in the heartland, a 12 about Southern Hills. The 2030 date leaves a nine-year gap city of modest size, getting ready to host its between the two PGA of America events, fifth PGA Championship and eighth major but Southern Hills will stay active in the championship,” Sidorakis said. “It’s been interim. The club will host the Trans-Miss cool to see the reaction of members and Championship in 2023 and will consider people I know. There’s a lot of excitement.” “Few American golf venues match the rescheduling the Big 12 Championship that legacy and record of excelwas to be held in April. It is also lence of Southern Hills Counin discussions with the USGA try Club,” said then-PGA of about potentially hosting one America President Paul Levy of its amateur championships in 2017. “Some of our sport’s in the 2024-25 time frame. The greatest names have walked last USGA event at Southern these fairways and etched Hills was the 2009 U.S. Amatheir name in major champiteur Championship. onship history. The PGA of The 2030 event will be the America is proud to once again fifth PGA Championship to go connect with Southern Hills, with three U.S. Opens at Southits membership and the great ern Hills., a record matched by sports fans of Oklahoma. We few clubs throughout the counNick Sidorakis try. It began with the 1958 U.S. Southern Hills GM are confident Southern Hills will continue to attract respecOpen, won by Tommy Bolt, through Tiger Woods’ PGA Championship tive world-class fields for both the PGA triumph in 2007, when he captured the Wa- Championship and the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.” namaker Trophy for the fourth time. Before the coronavirus outbreak, Tulsa Southern Hills hosted the 1970 PGA Championship (won by Dave Stockton), seemed more than ready for a return to 1977 U.S. Open (Hubert Green), 1982 PGA championship golf at Southern Hills. ReChampionship (Raymond Floyd), 1994 cord corporate sales had already been rePGA Championship (Nick Price) and 2001 corded for the Senior PGA. Those interU.S. Open (Retief Goosen). It also hosted ested in volunteering or purchasing early the Tour Championship in 1995 (Billy tickets should go to www.srpga.com. The Mayfair) and 1996 (Tom Lehman) as well advance window to purchase tickets and volunteer begins July 1 and all sales will be as a host of other USGA championships. “It’s pretty amazing when you think open to the public Aug. 6. GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


CHIP SHOTS

JUNE/JULY

Roller, Miller prevail in OGA Junior by ken macleod

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ournament golf in Oklahoma returned to full swing in June, and the sterling field in the Oklahoma Golf Association Junior Boys and Girls Championship hosted by Taylor Moore showed just how much everyone had missed it. In their final opportunities, JP Roller and Emily Miller erased years of frustration in that event with victories Roller accomplished his goal by going through two of the top juniors in the state. He defeated Jordan Wilson of Edmond 1 up in the semifinals after Wilson missed a final chance to tie when his 20-footer for birdie slid by on the 18th hole. Then he took down the tournament’s hottest player, Andrew Goodman of Norman, 4 and 2 in the championship match. Miller, a member of two state championship teams at Edmond North and headed to the University of Central Oklahoma this MAB-AP-Ad-Half-Page-Bleed.pdf 1 fall, is such a popular figure in junior golf circles that even her opponent in the finals, Maddi Kamas of Kingfisher, could not stay disappointed for long.

“She’s just an amazing person, one I re- Brian Soerensen. Her game has advanced ally look up to,” Kamas said after her 2 and greatly in the past year and she was steady as a rock throughout 1 defeat in the finals the four rounds of marked the first time match play. In addiin four tournaments tion to the work on (including the OGA her swing, she has Junior Stroke Play she benefitted from work won Tuesday) this with a mental coach spring that she did and wears a bracelet not come out on top. with a reminder to be “I couldn’t be happier “Present, Confident for her.” and In Control.” Miller had earlier She was all those defeated Jenni Rollthings and more, reer, younger sister of sulting in a victory James, in the semishe called “a dream finals, eliminating come true.” the chance of a first After surviving brother-sister chamWilson, Roller was pionship combo. Karewarded with a mas advanced with a match against Good1 up victory over Raman, who had finchel Nelke11:11 of Pocolo. 3/19/19 AM ished ahead of him Kickingbird is the previous year in Miller’s home course JP Roller and Emily Miller hefted the regionals, Class 3A and she works with hardware at the 2020 OGA Junior state championship head professional Championship.

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CHIP SHOTS

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and this spring at the Oak Tree Junior Classic and earlier this week in the stroke play portion. Goodman was more than 20-under par in rolling through his first matches then ousting defending champion Jaxon Dowell of Edmond 2 and 1 in the semifi-

Andrew Goodman won the stroke play portion and reached match play finals.

nals. Goodman birdied three of the first eight to go 3 up in the morning match, but Dowell responded with an eagle on the par-5 ninth and birdies on holes 10 and 13 to square the match. Goodman responded with birdies on 15, 16 and 17, the last from about 30 feet, to storm into the finals. In this match, however, it was Roller who made the big shots, starting with an eagle Semifinal opponents Raychel Nelke and Maddi from a bunker in front of the Kamas share a laugh. second green to grab an early lead. Goodman bogeyed the par-4 fourth Then Roller ended the match by stuffing his to go two down but got that back quickly, tee shot on the 170-yard 16th within 5 feet. “I played well and stayed steady in both walking in a birdie on the par-4 fifth. Roller recovered his 2-up lead before the turn matches,” said Roller, bound for Texas Tech however, stuffing a 7-iron from 187 yards in the fall. Roller had lost in the first round of match play a year ago to Eric Schuessler to 6 feet for an eagle on the ninth. “That was huge to regain the momentum of Stillwater, who also eliminated Goodthere,” said Roller, who was 26-under par for man in the second round. Ryder Cowan of Edmond won the boys the four days of competition. “I had a second shot in the morning that was just a bit shorter 14-15 age group with a 2 up victory over and tried to hit 8-iron and was short, so I just Bryant Polhill of Edmond. Cowan defeated Parker Smith of Sand Springs 3 and 2 in the hit the 7 and made a good swing.” Goodman drove left into trouble and bo- semifinals while Polhill advanced with a 3 geyed the par-4 10th to fall three down. He and 2 victory over Sam Morris of Tulsa. Korn Ferry Tour golfer Taylor Moore of did win the par-5 12th with a birdie, but gave it back when his tee shot flew over Edmond again hosted the event, providing the par-3 14th. Roller held him at bay with sponsor money for tee gifts and other upa nice up-and-down for birdie on the par- grades and putting on a clinic for the play5 15th where Goodman also made birdie. ers on Sunday evening.

Golf Club upgrades teaching center

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he Golf Club of Oklahoma was one of the first courses in the state to introduce a high-tech indoor learning center as an amenity to its membership. Former teaching professional Jim Soerensen was what they call an early adapter of technology and the center was a marvel of its kind when it opened in the 1990s. Unfortunately much of the same technology – beta tapes and digital print outs of swing positions – was still in the building, if not in use, when the club decided to do a serious upgrade this spring, not only of the technology but to every aspect of the four bay building on the north end of the driving range at the Broken Arrow club. The newly refurbished building now has Foresight Launch Monitors in all four bays. Head pro Greg Bray and his assistants also have one bay devoted to club and putter fittings but any of the bays are ideal for les18

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sons, self analysis or inclement weather practice. The furniture and other amenities have all been upgraded as well. In addition to the improvements to the teaching center, the club has been seeing a vast improvement on the grounds in its second year under superintendent Devin O’Neal. A tour with Tim Johnson, the general manager, revealed a course that has made huge strides Renovated teaching center at Golf Club of Oklahoma. in the few years since management passed from an expired lease with we’re definitely heading in the right direction. American Golf into local control under the Devin has done a great job with turf condiguidance of Johnson and owner Elby Beal. tions and it’s only going to get better. The “We still have a long ways to go and a lot members are saying these are the best the of improvements to make,” Johnson said. “But greens have been out here in many years.” GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


Roller, Cox to receive Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame scholarships

It’s goose roundup and relocation time for the folks at Predator Impact.

These guys will get your geese O

nce an endangered species, Canada Geese now are an all-too familiar site on golf courses throughout Oklahoma. They graze on grass and seemingly poop it out as fast as they take it in. A few of them are one thing, when the populations start soaring into the hundreds on a particular course they can become a definite nuisance. That’s where Predator Impact comes in. It is an Oklahoma company that specializes in rounding up and removing the Canada Goose population and releasing them on sites designated by the Oklahoma Wildlife Department. The geese are rounded up during June or July when molting so they can’t fly and the goslings are also too young to fly. Owner Mark Runnels said he has removed as many as 360 geese from one course in Broken Arrow while removing at least some geese from 15 courses in the state thus far. They are moved to destinations at least 100

miles away and when they regrow their feathers they tend to make the new location their home. “We get a lot of mileage out of the fact that we never kill a goose,” Runnels said. “People appreciate that. They don’t want them on their golf course but they don’t want them to be killed either.” Some Canada Goose migrate and there is a hunting season for them now that the numbers have been restored. The ones typically found on courses are called resident geese and do not migrate or even often leave the course premises. Runnels said his company typically tries to force all the geese into the end of a pond, then using kayaks or lasers, get them to leave in a certain spot where they are then herded like sheep into a small corral and then loaded into pens on a truck for transport. For more information, go to www.predatorimpact.com

The COVID-19 Pandemic has forced some major schedule changes, with some events canceled or postponed and others added. • The Real Okie Classic on the All-Pro Tour has been rescheduled for Aug. 1114 at Muskogee Country Club. It will now be the tour’s final event of the year. The tour’s second Oklahoma event, The Supreme Lending Classic, remains June 17-20 at The Club at Indian Springs in Broken Arrow. Both events are open to the public to watch young professionals including many top former collegiate players from Oklahoma.

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• The Oklahoma Junior Golf Tour has added a special new event – Oklahoma Junior Masters. It is a one-day invitational event June 15 with the top 36 boys, 12 girls and 12 OJGT alumni playing one round at Southern Hills Country Club. • The Gateway First Bank Tulsa Junior hosted by Bo Van Pelt on the AJGA Tour remains Aug. 4-6 at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Broken Arrow, with the junior pro-am on Aug. 3. Anyone interested in playing in the Junior-Amateur please

The Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame scholarship recipients for 2020 are Gentry Cox of Duncan and James Roller of Tulsa. Both will receive a $5,000 scholarship for the 2020-21 academic year. Cox, boasting a 4.0 grade point average, will be a pre-med student at the University of Oklahoma this fall. The four-year letterwinner helped lead Duncan to state championships as a freshman and sophomore. She is a James Roller member of the OU President’s Leadership Council, and the Oklahoma and National Honor Society. Roller, the current OGA Junior champion, will attend and Gentry Cox play golf for Texas Tech University. He helped lead Regent High School to the Class 2A state championship in 2018 and Class 3A state championship in 2019. He won four times on the Oklahoma Junior Golf Tour, had three top-10s and a victory in AJGA events and was awarded the AJGA Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award in 2019. He also raised $18,000 for College Golf Fellowship as part of the Leadership Links program on the AJGA Tour. The two will be honored at the 2020 Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame Fall Classic of which details are still to be announced.

email tournament organizer Maggie Roller at maggie.roller@sbcglobal.net. All high school and collegiate events were cancelled. The USGA eliminated all of its local qualifiers and cancelled all of its 2020 events except the men’s and women’s U.S. Opens and men’s and women’s U.S. Amateurs and those events will be held without qualifying. The schedules for South Central PGA events for juniors and professionals were revised. Check www.southcentralpga. bluegolf.com for all revisions. Be sure to check the sites for the OGA, WOGA, TGA and Golf Inc for revisions as well.

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COVID-19 IMPACT

Close to home

by ken macleod

Many great nearby golf destinations await those looking to limit distance until travel uncertainty fades

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hen Shangri-La Resort on Grand Lake reopened its hotel in late May, it was already booked for the Fourth of July weekend and was looking solid throughout the summer. There was nary a room to be found at Oklahoma State Park resorts for the Memorial Day weekend and the summer is looking to be exceptionally busy. Yes, travel and tourism have been hit exceptionally hard nationally and locally by the COVID-19 pandemic. One thing seems clear, however. When golfers feel safe, they still have a strong desire for golf adventure. It may start out with in-state or neighboring state drive markets but will eventually expand back to regional and national destinations. We talked with golf and travel experts in many states where Oklahomans love to golf, including Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Arizona. Each was at a different level of reopening in late May and expecting, as is the case here, for strong local play and drive markets to carry the day for the summer of 2020. As Oklahomans, we are fortunate to have great destinations both in-state and in our neighbors in Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Kansas and New Mexico. Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Matt

Pinnell has been pushing hard for Oklahoma Tourism and wants to see golf take a prominent role. He was exploring an Oklahoma Golf Trail prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and will look at it again as this subsides. In the midst of the state reopening, Pinnell and the tourism department have rolled out a new slogan, #OKHEREWEGO, designed to encourage Oklahomans to explore the diverse topography, ecosystems and opportunities of their home state this summer, and the state park courses alone reflect that. “There’s plenty of space to social distance but still see America and we have it all right here,” Pinnell said. “If we can take advantage of this opportunity by getting Oklahomans to for the first time really look at what we have available right here, we’ll wow them.” From a golf perspective, that includes state park courses in the canyons (Roman Nose), and lakes, including Cedar Creek at Beaver’s Bend Lake in the woods of southeastern Oklahoma, Arrowhead on the shores of Lake Eufaula, Lake Murray, Fort Cobb near Fort Cobb Lake in southwestern Oklahoma, Sequoyah GC on the shores of Fort Gibson near Tahlequah and Grand Cherokee just below the Pensacola Dam on Grand Lake.

Chickasaw Pointe near Lake Texoma is another idyllic course within a short drive for most Oklahomans. Shangri-La Resort has been packing in the golfers since courses in Tulsa and Oklahoma City were closed in April and it hasn’t slowed much since they reopened. Another resort destination, Cherokee Hills at the Hard Rock Casino, was closed while the casino was retrofitted to deal with the virus, but reopned in June to heavy play. The situation is similar at the 36-hole WinStar Resort in Thackerville. Many golfers have also been making their way into Missouri, where both Branson and Lake of the Ozarks are expecting drive markets to sustain play in 2020. All courses. lodges and dining have reopened in Branson. At the Big Cedar collection of courses, plans are still for the Tiger Woods designed Payne’s Valley to fully open in late summer, although golfers can play 13 holes now. Matt McQueary, who works on both golf sales and marketing for the Big Cedar courses, said by late May all the courses, hotels, restaurants and restaurants had reopened using limited seating and precau-

See HOME on page 22

At Shangri-Resort in Afton, the course has had record play and room bookings are solid. 20

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GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


Paako Ridge: New owners, big plans by dan vukelich

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wo New York City businessmen who bought Paako Ridge Golf Club, a top-ranked 27-hole facility outside of Albuquerque, N.M., two years ago are taking the club semi-private. The owners, Tony Alvarez II and Bryan Marsal, are selling annual memberships, including out-of-state and corporate memberships. They plan to build on-site lodging to boost play by golf tourists. They also have raised the course’s greens fees. In its bid to attract “bucket list” golf tourists, Paako is taking a page out of Mike Keiser’s playbook for Oregon’s Bandon Dunes and the Sand Valley Resort in Wisconsin. The vision for Paako is to transform the 27-hole facility into an exclusive golf destination with high-end lodging, fine dining, and plenty of non-golf activities for families. On March 1, Paako’s rate for an 18-hole round was raised to $160 for play through May 15, and to $200 for most of the rest of the year, up from a peak rate of $135 in 2018. Paako is ranked No. 50 in Golf Digest’s list of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses.” It has been on the list for 20 years, making the course a must-play for avid golf tourists who seek to play as many top-100 U.S. courses as they can. Paako’s layout through a hilly pinon, juniper and Ponderosa pine forest 6,600 feet above sea level has been hailed by critics. Players often see no other golf holes beyond the hole they’re playing. General Manager Pat Fogarty said maintaining the course’s spot in Golf Digest’s top-100 list required a new business model – one that doesn’t rely on local daily-fee golfers and that increased revenue to fund upgrades to Paako’s service and course conditioning. To that end, Paako plans to build a 62room central lodge and 18 cottages that will address the course’s lack of nearby accommodations that hindered its ability to attract out-of-state players. “We want Paako to become a boutique golf destination with world-class service,” Fogarty said. “We’re targeting people who love golf, traveling, a great climate and other things to do besides golf.” GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020

Beautiful Paako Ridge is building a 62-room lodge. Paako will offer concierge services, transportation to and from the airport and shopping, and form partnerships with Albuquerque and Santa Fe hotels. It expects to arrange reciprocity with The Club at Las Campanas near Santa Fe and its two highly ranked Jack Nicklaus designs. Non-golfers will find access to horseback riding, mountain-biking, hiking and river kayaking. “We’re trying to up the overall experi-

ence, not just from the golf standpoint, but also as a destination,” Fogarty said. In the two years since the course changed hands, the owners have remodeled and expanded the clubhouse, invested in new carts, and upgraded the irrigation system. They’ve also made upgrades to the course itself that include re-grassing of fairways and greens with disease-resis-

See PAAKO on page 23

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COVID 19 IMPACT HOME, cont. from page 20 tions and bookings were strong. At Lake of the Ozarks, courses, restaurants and hotels are open and Steve Walker, who handles promotions for the area, said the area was slowly building steam for the summer. “People have to feel comfortable no matter what destination they’re visiting,” Walker said. “We’re taking all the precautions at the hotels and courses. We have a lot of outdoor seating areas and condos where you can be on a deck or patio. And of course, golf lends itself to social distancing.” The area drew national attention over Memorial Day weekend for large pool parties in which social distancing was non-existent. That crowd and the golf experience at the lake are not to be confused. For those who prefer to head south, Horseshoe Bay near Austin reopened to guests on May 29 and was already booking rounds for its 54-hole resort, which also includes lots of outdoor seating around its sports bar and throughout the grounds. Pam Shaheen, a golf travel specialist who

Old Kinderhook Golf Course in Camdenton, Missouri. “Without being overly dramatic, without a vaccine, I think the majority of golf travelers over 60 are going to be very cautious. A lot of the things people enjoy about golf trips – stopping at a bar or restaurant, drinking beer and playing cards – you’re just not going to want to do yet.” Things have been especially difficult for markets where the golf and casino ties are

Top of the Rock and the other Big Cedar courses make for an easy morning’s drive. works with Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and other destinations, said many traditional golf travelers are men over 60 and she expects them to be extremely cautious in making long trips, particularly anything involving air travel or multiple-day drives. “It’s going to be a lot of local play and shorter drives for this year,” Shaheen said. 22

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strong, such as Las Vegas or Mesquite, Nev. Casinos needed massive retrofitting to be safe, and also the peak season took place while the country was shut down. Cody Law, whose company promotes the Mesquite area and its combination of high desert and mountain courses, said casinos were given the green light to reopen June 4,

but the 2020 spring season had essentially been wiped out and all hopes were now turned toward the fall. He estimated half of his play was from local drive markets but the half that travels in from greater distances had him concerned. “Drive markets are what destinations should focus on for the short term, and we don’t know how long that is,” said Kevin Frisch, who represents destinations in Michigan, Texas and elsewhere. “I don’t know how many people are going to fly right now.” Despite the difficulties many resorts will face as golfers stay close to home this year, the game itself has an opportunity to grow. It was one of the few sports open during the shutdown and courses in Oklahoma were seeing play at levels seldom seen since at least the early 1990s. “Golf is in a unique position to grow,” Frisch said. “If the heads of the five families (PGA of America, PGA Tour, USGA, R&A, LPGA) came together and put out some PSAs right now, golf is in a place to really take advantage of this opportunity to attract a lot of new or lapsed golfers.” Getting on the road again, playing magnificent courses, eating great food and having fun with a group of friends is what golf travel is all about. Golfers must be smart and cautious about enjoying that travel for the time being, with an eye out for the beauty to be found close to home. GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


PAAKO, cont. from page 20 tant bluegrass and bent grass. They also dropped the hyphen from the course’s original name, Paa-Ko Ridge. Paako’s annual play since its 2000 debut varied between 21,000 and 30,000 rounds. Going forward, Fogarty expects the course will do no more than 15,000 rounds a year that will be evenly split between members and golf tourists. Tee times will be spaced 15 minutes apart to enhance the golf experience, he said. Alvarez and Marsal, both avid golfers, are the principals of Alvarez & Marsal, a 4,000-employee consulting firm with 55 offices worldwide. The firm offers consulting services and specializes in turning around underperforming businesses. Their only previous foray into golf was development from the ground up of Hogs Head Golf Club and a 68-room lodge and cottages near Waterville Golf Links in County Kerry, Ireland. Dan Vukelich is a former newspaper journalist who runs NewMexicoGolfNews.com. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and Golf Travel Writers of America. He lives in Albuquerque.

GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020

Where one great course leads to another

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COVID-19 IMPACT

They’re back! What the return of the seniors means to college golf Particularly with Reband and Cummins, two players who have been major contributors for multiple NORMAN — The financial burden of the COV- seasons, returning to OU was their best option, beID-19 pandemic is hammering away at the golf in- cause the financial impact of the pandemic has hit dustry like players on the driving range taking aim at the lower level of professional golf hard, too. The Korn Ferry Tour has canceled its the ball picker. qualifying school for this year. Shots are coming from every angle, “There’s really nowhere for these guys and college golf programs are taking their to go play,” Hybl said. “There’s gonna be a lumps. logjam of players. The finances aren’t goThe NCAA took care of its players by ing to be there for guys to turn pro from granting every Division I athlete in any a sponsorship aspect. People are trying to spring sport an additional year of eligibilhold onto employees right now, rather ity to account for the lost season of 2020. than worrying about giving college kids At the Division II level, all seniors were money to go play pro golf. given an extra year to make up for what Ryan Hybl “It’s a difficult time for these guys to be was lost. in for these guys looking at professional And that’s a good thing. golf.” Yet as a blessing often does, this one At the University of Central Oklahocomes with a bit of a curse to the budgets ma, men’s coach Josh Fosdick has three of many college golf programs. seniors (Peyton Knell, Joe Lemieux and But let’s focus on the blessings first. Blake Murray), all of whom have chosen At Oklahoma, Ryan Hybl was set to to remain for 2021. lose four seniors, but all four — Garett Re“I’m happy they have an opportunity band, Quade Cummins, Thomas Johnson and Riley Casey — have elected to remain Whitney Hocutt to close out their careers on their own terms,” Fosdick said. “Being another year with the program for another year. older and having dealt with the harsh re“It’s a huge opportunity for these guys ality of having this year yanked from unand for us,” Hybl said. “All four of those der them, I’m hoping that is an energizer, guys play an important role for us in difknowing this really is the end and we’ve ferent ways. Having four seniors around got to come back ready to play. who understand our program is valuable. “I’m excited. The competition for all the “For Garett and Quade, our platform programs should be ratcheted up.” that we have at a place like OU is strong, UCO was just outside the top 25 in the and they have an opportunity to really Josh Fosdick season’s final Division II rankings. put themselves up on a pedestal at our At Rogers State, the women’s program was off to a place. We’re gonna be trying to figure out how to get these guys to become the best players in college golf strong start, already with two team victories, one in the fall and one in the spring. Third-year coach Whitnext year, so it’s a huge opportunity.” by scott wright

Blake Murray, UCO 26

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Joe Lemieux, UCO

Peyton Knell, UCO

Quade Cummins, OU

Garett Reband, OU

Thomas Johnson, OU

Riley Casey, OU GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


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COVID-19 IMPACT ney Hocutt was set to lose seniors Mariana Flores and Sydney Murray, but both will be back. “We’d had some great success this year,” said Hocutt, whose team was ranked fourth in the NCAA Division II Central Region’s final rankings. “Mariana and Sydney have carried the team really well. They are two great young ladies who demonstrate it well, in golf, academically, in the weight room. In all aspects, they are great leaders. “Being what I would consider a young program competing at the NCAA Division II level, having two seniors return and give us that seniority is crucial to our success.” On the negative side of the NCAA’s decision to grant players extra eligibility, coaches have been handed a financial puzzle. Already dealing with the challenge of spreading 4.5 scholarships among a full roster of players, some teams will be adding as many new players as they were expecting to lose. The NCAA is lifting the scholarship limit for the next school year, but not beyond that. And for Division I programs, where all players were granted an additional year, the challenge will perpetuate itself. “We went from having 10 guys to having

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Mariana-Flores, RSU 14 guys next year,” Hybl said. “Our administration has been great about honoring the scholarships of our seniors who want to come back. “The interesting part is going to happen the next three years after this, when the scholarship limit returns. That’s where it’s gonna get interesting for programs. And it’s not just me with golf. It’s softball and tennis and the other spring sports. You’ve got to try to manage staying under your schol-

Sydney Murray, RSU arship limit potentially with bigger rosters than what you’ve been planning on.” The Division II coaches won’t have to deal with the continual rollover of their scholarship issue for the next few years, but in most cases, just piecing together the financial puzzle of 2021 will be difficult enough. Most coaches believe that honoring scholarships is the most important aspect of the budget, so that could mean cuts in

GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


other areas, like equipment or travel. Hocutt adjusted her recruiting strategy after the pandemic hit. She had signed one player, and was looking for one more, but rather than stretch it, she decided to end her recruiting. “This has impacted my recruiting strategy, for sure, even going forward in 2021,” Hocutt said. “I’ve got to make sure that I can honor the scholarships that I need to honor. I’ve got to be strategic in how I’m recruiting. There may be a girl that I would give a hefty scholarship to, but I’ve got to give her maybe a little bit less, based on honoring the girls that are already on our team and plan on continuing their education with us. “Our athletic director did a great job of coming out and saying we’d honor the scholarships for the seniors who want to come back, and we’ll do what we can to find the money and keep them at Rogers State.” At UCO, Fosdick was already recruiting a large incoming class, which could ultimately include four players. “It’s an economic impact on the university and our program’s scholarship budget,” he said. “I had scholarships already offered and committed to for the incoming class. So there’s a little bit of anxiety of finding the funding. Is the school going to help? Are we going to fund-raise those dollars? What’s manageable, and what isn’t? “It’s multi-layered, and it’s a challenge at every layer. I’ve been telling all my players that their scholarships are intact. If we suffer any cuts, it’s not going to come from scholarships.” All college golf programs rely heavily on donors, and those donors, in many cases, are facing financial difficulties amid the pandemic. Fosdick sees an opportunity for each side to help the other. “Every program survives because of donors, whether they’re helping you with your travel budget or equipment or even scholarship dollars,” he said. “We as a program need to be of service to our donors. This is the opportunity for us to give back to them “We can say to them, ‘You’ve given to us. Can we come volunteer at your restaurant and deliver food, or help at your business, or volunteer more at the golf course? How can we help get you back on your feet and volunteer our time to help you?’ All those weird things that maybe you haven’t had to think about before, it’s an opportunity for our programs to think outside the box and give a little bit back to the donor, and let them know we value them as part of our program.” GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020

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TOU R U PDAT E

Korn Ferry limbo Oklahomans will have limited opportunity to advance this year by john rohde

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orced to wait 13 frightfully agonizing weeks for a tee time, touring pros will return to their plush places of employment the second week in June. With the world halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, golf will be among one of the first pro sports able to return. On June 11-14, the PGA Tour resumes at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, while the Korn Ferry Tour rekindles with the Korn Ferry Challenge at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Multiple Korn Ferry Tour players with Oklahoma ties reside together in the Dallas area. In fact, former University of Oklahoma players Max McGreevy, Grant Hirschman and Charlie Saxon – plus former University of Texas golfer Scottie Scheffler and two other tour players – share the same roof in Dallas. “Yeah, it’s a total frat house,” Saxon said with a chuckle. “It sounds kind of crazy to have six guys living in it, but when our schedules are normal like they’re supposed to be, there’s never more than three or four guys at the house at one time so it works out OK.”

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Max McGreevy The house setting has been considerably different with the coronavirus, however. “We just end up sitting around the house a lot,” Hirschman said. “We go play golf and we go back to the house and just kind of hang out and stare at each other and wait for the next thing to do. It’s just been a little different. We aren’t really used to sitting around or being in the same spot for too long.” Taylor Moore, who played high school golf at Edmond Memorial and collegiately at Arkansas, also resides in the Dallas area and is roommates with former Oklahoma State golfer Kevin Dougherty. “It’s just a little bit easier travel for us, plus no state income tax, which is nice,” Moore said. “But we’re also close enough to home to go see Mom and Dad when we need it, which is cool.” Korn Ferry Tour players received an email in early May of the decision to implement a one-time combined wraparound season for 2020-21. Moore said he held off making his personal schedule until that email arrived. “It’s nice to start booking flights, get stuff organized and get ready to go out there again,” he said.

(For the second straight year, Moore will sponsor the OGA Boys & Girls State Amateur, to be held June 1-4 at Kickingbird Golf Club in Edmond. On May 31, Taylor and Kickingbird Director of Golf Brian Soerensen will host a clinic.) The revised Korn Ferry schedule will bridge the 2020 and 2021 seasons and conclude with 25 PGA Tour cards awarded at the 2021 WinCo Foods Portland Open, with an additional 25 Tour cards awarded at the conclusion of the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals. Because of the revamped schedule, the Korn Ferry Tour will have no graduating class in 2020. However, a performance benefit was established for the top 10 on the Korn Ferry Tour points list at the conclusion of the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour Championship. Those players will be granted access into PGA Tour events for the 2020-21 season. Hirschman, Moore and Saxon have mixed emotions concerning the wraparound format. Hirschman: “I think it makes the most sense. I mean, no matter what, there’s going to be a category of guys who really feel like they’re kind of getting screwed over in GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


Taylor Moore a sense. I mean, no matter what (tour officials) do, it’s going to make someone mad. They probably made the best decision with what they were given. It’s tough. You don’t really know, because we can start back up and then all of a sudden get halted again (by another COVID-19 outbreak). It’s hard to tell, so I think doing the carryover season definitely is the safest play.” Moore: “I think it’s ultimately what they had to do with no (PGA Tour) Q School and things of that nature. It stinks for me being on the Korn Ferry. Unless I win three times, I’m not going to be able to get out on (the PGA) Tour until the end of 2020-21. It’s slightly frustrating there, but I understand why they have to do it. I think they did the best they could given the situation and what’s going on across the world.” Saxon: “It’s been an impossible situation for everybody and I think they’ve done as good of a job as they can possibly do. They’ve been pretty transparent with the players and I think they’ve done a really great job of adding events onto the back end of the year in order to get some more playing opportunities for us. Hopefully, it all ends up working out and we’re able to get some consistency here pretty soon.” The remainder of the 2020 Korn Ferry season will consist of 17 events in an 18week span. At least the first four events will be closed to the general public while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be closely monitored. GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020

Grant Hirschman “It’s definitely going to be a little odd not having anybody out there,” said Hirschman, who is No. 25 on this year’s regular-season points list. The OU threesome said they plan to play 13 or 14 of the remaining 17 events this year. “There shouldn’t be a sense of urgency,” Saxon said, “but I think it’s going to be pretty easy for guys to walk right into it and overplay themselves early because they’re chomping at the bit because they haven’t played in a while. It’s a 50-event season (2020-21) now, so there’s no reason to kill yourself early. Just make it a solid schedule that’s going to allow you to peak at the right time and kind of stick with that and don’t play yourself into the ground.” Hirschman plays out of Dallas Athletic Club, Saxon out of Trinity Forest (the new site of the PGA Tour’s AT&T Byron Nelson) and Moore plays out of Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, just north of Dallas. Although their driving ranges were closed temporarily because of the coronavirus, each course was made available to the touring pros. “We didn’t have a driving range for a while, but we were able to utilize the short- game facility, get on the golf course and play walking only,” Moore said. Training workouts were done at home, however. “We’ve got a gym in our garage, so we’ve been doing a lot of work there,” said Sax-

Charlie Saxon on, who also used hunting and fishing as a distraction. “It’s spring turkey season, so I’ve gotten out a few times for that, fishing and whatnot. I’ve been back in Oklahoma a little bit. Obviously, we’d like to be on the road traveling, playing some golf, but it’s been fun to do some other things that we don’t normally get to do this time of year.” Moore, who was sidelined 3½ months with a collapsed right lung last season, has taken advantage of the opportunity to rest. “I’d maybe play once or twice a week, let my body heal and rest as well from all the travel,” Moore said. “I’m definitely anxious to get back out there, but also just as excited to get back to preparing.” Unlike team sports that are staged in confined arenas or stadiums, golf has the advantage of being an individual sport played outdoors, allowing open spaces required for social distancing to help combat the coronavirus. “We definitely have been very fortunate (as golfers),” Saxon said. “I feel in the grand scheme of things, my day-to-day schedule honestly hasn’t changed that much. I’m still going to the golf course, still working out in the garage, doing all that. Except for my form of making money, things really haven’t changed that much in terms of how I go about my job when I’m back home. So that’s been nice, because I know that’s certainly not the same for a lot of people.” W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

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PROFESSIONAL Q&A

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Gooch eager to resume play Anything in particular you’ve worked PGA Tour pro Talor Gooch of Midwest City was on a roll when the season was on during the break, either with Steve called to a halt. He already has five top Ball or on your own? We didn’t work on anything in particu25 finishes in 13 events and is eager to get lar but whenever I play in wind a lot, like back going. I have the past couple months during this How have you been spending the down spring time, we have to be really aware of time? Are you playing and practicing my trajectory. My tendency is to start hitmuch at Oak Tree National? Or did you ting the ball too low and getting too steep spend most of it in Midwest City? I’ve been out at Oak Tree National and Gailardia about everyday golfing with friends and other pros and having some good money games. Any activities you’ve picked up or new favorite shows you’ve binged watched? I bought a house last summer so my activities have mainly been finishing up projects around the house. Favorite shows have been “Billions,” “ We s t w o r l d ,” and “Power.” When the PGA Tour resumes with no crowds and the social distancing rules at Colonial, what are you expecting? Will it be a tough adjustment for you? It’ll be an adjustment for sure, but will be fun because we’ll all feel like we’re playing junior golf tournaments again. How disappointing was it to have to stop, as well as you were playing well, having made every cut and two top-13 finishes in your last three events? Where do you judge your game is right now in relation to the competition and do you expect to win on the PGA Tour soon? It was frustrating for sure, but considering all the chaos in this world I’m just thankful to be in the position I’m in and excited to get back out on the road because it’s tough for me to really see where my game is until I get back into competitive golf.  32

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country safely and get the world back on track like things were prior to this chaos. Golf has played a unique role in the pandemic as one of the few sports that has inherent social distancing and one of the few activities that remained open besides a walk in the park. Do you sense more people are playing and do you think this could be good for the game in some ways? I feel golf courses have been as busy as ever, I know a lot of people here recently who would’ve lost their minds without having golf as an outlet during these crazy times. So of course I think this is great for the growth of the game. As a sports fan, what events have you most missed being able to watch? I miss all sports! Thunder basketball without a doubt the thing I miss the most, though. What’s something about Talor Gooch you learned during the shutdown? I’m newly married, about eight months now, so there’s been more learning about marriage than anything! Haha

With three of the four majors looming ahead, what do you think about the way the schedule is shaping up? The Masters in November. We all talk weekly about the possibiliwhich then causes some poor mechanics. ties that lie ahead for the schedule and I So we have to stay on top of that. think it’ll be a fun switch up to see the COVID-19 cases are relatively minor Masters and U.S. Open in the fall. in Oklahoma compared to most states, What did you think about the Fowlerbut are you worried about contracting the virus once you get out on the road again? Wolff match? Had to be good for OSU’s Of course there is some concern, but I national attention. Always love to see Cowboys getting know the tour is going to do a great job of giving us a clean environment and I think that much attention and another remindwe can be a beacon of light for the rest of er to the world who the greatest golf the country to see that we can reopen this school is. GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


August 24-30, 2020 • NWACHAMPIONSHIP.com

GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020

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WORLD GOLF HALL OF FAME

Maxwell's journey: From Bogey Hills and Lincoln Park to World Golf Hall of Fame State and then became a name in the golf world as director of golf properties for Marou won’t find it listed anywhere riott, went so far as to register the course now, but long vanished Bogey Hills with the National Golf Foundation and open Golf Course played a crucial role in an account with Munsingwear to secure launching Susie Maxwell Berning on a path uniforms for his high school team. One day, that has led her to the doorstep of the World Roger was in the pro shop when a salesman for another company Golf Hall of Fame. asked Ferguson for Most know directions to Bogey the story of how Hills. Roger tried to young Susie Maxslink out of the shop. well came to be Susie’s favorite tutored by legendpractice area was ary Lincoln Park on the Lincoln Park Golf Course head grounds on a hill professional U.C. overlooking a creek. Ferguson. She Retrieving her own owned two horses balls she had saved on her family’s up, she would endrented property lessly practice, trying near Lincoln Park, to keep from having and riding and carto wade in the creek ing for them was for errant shots. She her passion. One also chipped and got loose and deputted on what she cided to roam the called “the slowest course. Mounted green in the world.” on her other horse, Perhaps practicing she gave chase and so much on rough the two managed conditions toughto churn up several ened her of the greens in the for a caprocess. Susie Berning won the 1973 U.S. Women’s reer that After the grounds Open at CCR in Rochester. included crew threatened to call the police and Ferguson severely three U.S. Open Championships scolded her, Susie begged to be allowed to and four majors overall among her caddie, like her brothers Roger and Bill, to 11 victories on the LPGA Tour. She will join another golfer with work off her debt. Ferguson had a different idea. He volunteered to give her lessons three U.S. Open titles – one Tiger if she would take up the game. So Lincoln Woods – when the class is inductPark became her home away from home as ed at a yet to be determined time in 2021. Also in the four-person she played and practiced continuously. Bogey Hills was the creation of her enter- class are architect Marion Hollins prising older brother Roger, who was a cad- and former PGA Tour commisdie and devoted player at Lincoln Park as sioner Tim Finchem. “I’m extremely honored,” Maxwell. Roger created a rough five-hole course around their house. One hole required a well Berning, 78, said. “Frankly I shot over the house, another over the barn. never thought it would happen to It was a great place to practice your accu- me. To be in the Hall with Mickey (Wright), racy, creativity and control, as well as have Judy (Rankin) and Patty (Sheehan), all great friends, is quite an honor.” a great time with friends. It was another Patty who, along with FerRoger, who went on to play at Oklahoma by ken macleod

Y

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Susie Berning with her 1968 U.S. Open trophy, her first of three.

guson, inspired Susie to make golf a career. Soon after Ferguson showed her the fundamentals he called her to a clinic Patty Berg was giving at the course. “Watching her made me think that hey, there’s really something to this game,” Maxwell Berning said. Her hard work paid off quickly as she won three consecutive high school titles before going off to play on the men’s team at Oklahoma City University. Now recognized as the top NAIA women’s program with eight national championships since 2005,

there was no women’s team at that time. Coach Abe Lemons, better known for his wit and basketball playing and coaching, listed her as S. or Sam Maxwell when going GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


to tournaments. “Abe was great, a wonderful sense of humor,” Maxwell Berning said. “He would drive the van to the tournaments and we would have a great time. The boys would be surprised when they found out S. Maxwell was a girl, but they were mostly all right with it.” After college she received an invitation from then-Southern Hills professional Doug Smith to come up and practice at the famous course. A member put her up in an apartment and her game really began to blossom. She won the Oklahoma Women’s Amateur Championship in 1963 and entered her first LPGA event – the Muskogee Civitan Open in 1964, finishing eighth and collecting a much-needed $450. She came back in 1965 and won the tournament for her first tour victory and also that year won the Women’s Western Open, then considered an LPGA major championship. She won twice in 1967 and broke through with her first U.S. Open Championship in

GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020

1968, shooting 5-over to defeat Wright by three shots at Moselem Springs Golf Club in Fleetwood, Pa. She thrived on tight, difficult courses where par was a good standard, winning the Open again in 1972 at Winged Foot and 1973 at Rochester CC. She said she won a total of $16,000 for those three Open victories. “I didn’t make a lot of birdies, but on the tougher Susie Maxwell shares a smile with Arnold Palmer. courses I made a lot of pars,” she said. “At number of greens so I would have to chip it Winged Foot, I don’t think close and just be a grinder.” Like her mentor Ferguson, Maxwell I missed a fairway in four rounds. And I was a good putter, particu- Berning has been teaching the game for larly on fast greens and especially when the the past 19 years at The Reserve in Palm Springs, where she was recently made an putt was for par. “Jim Flick and I talked a lot about why that honorary member. She stayed on the LPGA was. He said you don’t try as hard when it’s Tour at least semi-regularly through 1993 for birdie. The way I see it, you’re supposed though she took time to raise daughters to make par and maybe that’s why I concen- Cindy and Robin. She played her final trated more on those. I didn’t hit a record LPGA event in 1996.

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PROFESSIONAL Q&A

JUNE/JULY

t h g i n BlaclkroK am s

THE

st il

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olf legend Gary Player has won 168 professional tournaments, all over the world, flown 2 million miles from his native home in South Africa to golf courses around the world, but at age 85, still remains as passionate and committed to the game as ever. Player, who lives in South Florida while in the United States, and has a large ranch at his home in South Africa, still plays golf or is involved in golf projects almost every day of his busy life. Never one for retirement, Player still participates in celebrity matches with fellow legends Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Lee Trevino. He takes part in the opening tee shot before the first round of the Masters Tournament each year with Nicklaus and plays in the Wednesday Par-3 competition. He’s also actively involved in golf course architecture, including the 12-hole Mountain Top short course at Big Cedar Lodge outside of Branson, Mo. Player’s honors are many, including induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974, with his nine major golf championship victories, becoming the youngest player at the time ever to achieve the career grand slam. In 2000, he was named South African Sportsman of the Century, the first golfer ever to be featured on the country’s postage stamp and this March became only the fourth golfer ever to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for meritorious service to the United States. Married for 63 years, his Player Foundation has raised more $60 million for underprivileged children in South Africa and all around the world. A longtime physical fitness advocate, Player said he still does 1,000 sit-ups daily and in 2013 became the oldest athlete ever to pose nude in the ESPN Body Issue as a way to inspire others of all ages to remain fit and trim. But in his eight-plus centuries of golf, he has never lost his zeal for life, for golf, and for other people. In an exclusive interview with Golf Oklahoma contributor Art Stricklin, Player talked about the game of golf now and when he played, his love for America, his 36

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humble beginnings, golf architecture work in Branson, the November Masters and how he spent the last seven weeks in Philadelphia.

Gary, thanks for doing this. I know most people know you’re originally from South Africa and have lived in America for a long time, but there’s a crazy story about how you wound up in Philadelphia for the last several weeks.. Thank you. I had come to Philadelphia to see my grandson before he went off to a mission trip overseas and to be with a family. Then this horrible pandemic struck and we were stuck, locked down and couldn’t move. I’ve never gone seven weeks in my life without golf, never. But it was nice being with the family, nine of us, so we are counting our blessings. To get ready for the return of tournament golf, TV is showing these challenge matches with Phil and Tiger and Rickey and Rory in events for charity. Who was the best in money matches when you played on the tour? Lee Trevino, he was the master of that. Gary Player confers with Jack Nicklaus at Jim Colbert and Raymond Floyd were re- the Legends of Golf at Top of the Rock near ally good, too. It didn’t matter if it was Branson, where both have designed courses. for $20, they were going to take it. We that freedom is not just luck, it requires didn’t play for a lot of money back then because we didn’t have a lot of money. I hard work and sacrifice. Did that come from your background won $13,000 the first time I won the PGA. My grandson had to google it because he growing up in South Africa? Yes it did. My mother died when I was didn’t believe me, but it’s true. This spring, you became the fourth golf- 8 years old, my father worked in the gold er ever awarded the Presidential Medal mines in South Africa. I had to go 1 ½ of Freedom in a White House ceremony. hours to school every day and then when I What did that mean to you after growing came home, take care of myself. But I was never bitter. Life is 10% what happens to up in South Africa? I cannot tell you how much I appreciated you and 90% how you react to it. When you first came to America in the this and how proud I was to receive that. I think I have always appreciated this coun- 1960s, from South Africa, your country was still in the grip of apartheid. Was that try more than some people who live here. a tough time for you? Why is that? Certainly it was because people gave me Because I know what it’s like to have to work for human rights and freedom as a such a hard time for that. I was the first small boy. My brother went to fight in the golfer to invite (black golfers) Charlie Sifwar. Young people today don’t understand ford and Lee Elder to come play in South GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


Professional Q & A Sponsored by Africa. I wore a pair of one leg black and one leg white pants at the British Open as a silent protest. My goal was to be a spoke of the wheel of ending apartheid, that’s all I wanted to do. Where were you treated unfairly? When I played in the PGA in Dayton, Ohio in 1969, protesters threw phone books in my backswing and threw ice on the tee, they threatened and cursed me and I still lost by only one shot to Raymond Floyd. I’ll go to my grave thinking I should have had 10 major titles instead of nine if that hasn’t happened. Apartheid is part of the history of my country and was very tough. Since retiring from professional golf competitions, you have designed more than 400 courses worldwide, but the course you did at Big Cedar Lodge outside Branson, Mountain Top, is very unique, a 12-hole short course. How did that come about? When I first came to Big Cedar and met Johnny Morris, he is quite a man. He loves the outdoors like I do. I believe golf courses are a gift from nature. I wanted to build a short course at Big Cedar which as a 12hole walking family course. I wanted you to be able to play 3-6-9-12 holes, have fun and get back to your day. Where you pleased with the way it

GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020

turned out? Very pleased. I think it can be a model for other courses around the country who want a quick, fun experience. I think Jack Nicklaus is doing some courses like that as well. One of golf’s enduring debates is how players of another era would fare in your era or how you would fare in theirs. How would today’s great young players do in the era of the 1950s and ‘60s? When I flew to South Africa and back it took me 40 hours, with multiple stops to get home and back to America. One time I was playing in the Colonial golf tournament in Fort Worth and then the Houston Open and I took a Greyhound bus. A bus to get from Fort Worth to Houston. Let’s see today’s players do that. They are young and talented, sure, but we had a wide variety of players win 50 different majors. It was more spread out back then. Who was the best player you played against? Ben Hogan was the best player I ever saw. I never saw anyone hit the ball the way he did. If he hadn’t gotten hurt, he would have been the best ever. Anybody on the current tour remind you of that? Rory (McIlroy) is the closet to that now. But you look at Tiger or other players at the

British Open, they finish at 6 p.m., get on the jet at 7 p.m., and are at home by 11 p.m. with the time change. That’s just one trip to get home. I will give Tiger credit for winning the Masters last year, though. I’m the first to say I never thought he would win another major. Ever. That, along with Ben Hogan, are the two greatest comebacks in golf. You’ve played in 52 Masters Tournaments, more than any man in history, what are your thoughts on a November Masters this year? The course will play differently. Probably bermuda fairways, colder weather and the course will play longer. That’s the examination the players will be faced with. One of the great Gary Player stories is that you once took your Masters green jacket home to South Africa and Augusta National tried to reclaim it. Is that true? I didn’t know it was against the rules, so I took it home and (Chairman) Clifford Roberts called me and said, ‘Gary, you shouldn’t have taken the jacket, you must return it.’ So I replied in a bit of jest, ‘If you want it, you’ll have to come to South Africa to get.’ Hopefully he saw the humor in that.” Thanks, Gary for the time and stories.

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HIGH SCHOOL

JUNE/JULY

A heart of gold

Warwick has a similar outlook when it comes to dealing with Olive’s challenges. He says there’s no reason a place like Olive can’t be successful at golf. “We don’t have to be one of the biggest schools in the state to have a competitive program that has fun,” he said. “It’s more like, hey, we’re kind of the underdog, we’re always the underdog and we’re decent at this. We’ve got a pretty good program. The by patrick prince It all starts with Warwick, who feels at more success we have the more those kids home at a high school with about 100 stu- want to continue to get better.” Warwick, a 50-year-old husband and falive High School is an unlikely dents. He’s passionate and energetic. He has place to have a successful golf a deep love of golf and possesses an encour- ther of two boys, keeps himself immersed aging coaching style that gets results from in golf. A Tulsa resident, he’s an avid volunprogram. But that’s exactly what coach Matt War- his players, many of whom don’t begin golf teer at local tournaments, works part-time at the pro shop wick is building at The Links in in the unincorpoBixby, offers golf rated rural comlessons and runs munity in central high school tourCreek County. naments. Olive doesn’t “He’s one of have a golf course the most giving near its school. guys I’ve ever The practice area known,” said consists of a 100Maggie Roller, yard field with a the boys golf pin in the middle, coach at Regent resembling a pasPrep in Tulsa ture more than and the director any type of golf of instruction area. During the at Cedar Ridge fall, it’s shared Country Club. with the footRoller is inball team. Most volved in a of the golf team number of golf plays with donattournaments in ed clubs, or ones that Warwick The Olive golf team shown after winning the 2019 Class 2A Academic State Championship. the Tulsa area – with a perfect 4.0 GPA. From left to right: London Shriver, Holly Hanks, Madison Laffoon, she’s head of the builds or even Matt Warwick, Madison Beall, Laney Carter and Chloe Henshaw. Shriver graduated in local chapter of picks up at garage 2019 and Beall graduated this past year. The others have two years left. the LPGA/USGA sales. Girls Golf program and is the host chair of When the team wants to practice at an until joining his team. “I wanted to give up one tournament,” the Gateway First Bank Tulsa Junior, the actual course, players load up in a van and travel 25 minutes east to the Sapulpa City said No. 1 girls player Holly Hanks. “I was AJGA tournament that will be at Cedar playing really bad and he came over and Ridge on Aug. 3-6 – and Warwick is one of Golf Course. But despite the challenges, Class 2A Olive talked to me for a few minutes and (I got) her most-trusted volunteers. Last spring, when Roller was in charge of all my confidence back. He just told me it’s is building a golf tradition. In Warwick’s six years, the Olive girls just one tournament and it’s not the end of the volunteers at the Big 12 Women’s Golf have qualified for state three times. They the world if I hit one bad shot. He always Championships at the Golf Club of Oklahad their sights on four state appearances in tells us to focus on the next stroke. The bad homa, Warwick was there to help. He was a row before the 2020 spring season was lost shot does not matter. What matters is what there again a month later when Roller hosted the Class 3A state tournament at Aqua you do next.” due to the COVID-19 crisis. In a game that can test anyone’s patience, Canyon Golf Course in Guthrie. “The kids work hard. They buy in to “Whatever I ask him to do, he does,” what I teach them. I think that’s about it,” Warwick has a way of putting things in the Roller said. “Always. Now, I haven’t asked said Warwick, who started the golf program proper perspective. “Golf is a summation of life,” he said. him to come mow my yard, but I bet he at Olive and also coaches the boys team. “I think most of it is that they just want to be “Nothing is ever going to work out perfect. would.” In true fashion, Warwick responded: good at something. You give them a little Sometimes they just work out or someencouragement and they start seeing some times they don’t. Deal with what you have “Yeah, I probably would.” The seeds for Warwick’s passion for golf success. … I don’t know that it’s anything and manage your misses. That’s kind of my and teaching were planted by his parents. whole philosophy.” more than that.”

Olive coach gives back, from coaching to volunteer efforts

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GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


Around age 11 or 12, Warwick, a left-hander, was introduced to golf by his dad. His interest grew a few months later when his dad bought a left-handed 7-iron from a pawn shop. Then for high school graduation, he received a new set of clubs and began hitting better shots. His interest soared. His mother was a longtime high school and college teacher who had a passion for not only teaching but also helping kids in trouble. She died a few years ago. “My dad and I are still finding out things that she did for kids that we didn’t know anything about,” Warwick said. Warwick previously taught and coached at Bixby and Wagoner and before that he was an electrical engineer for 15 years. “It was a lot of fun, I got to see the world, it was great,” he said. “But, there are times when you just need to do something more.” Warwick left Bixby for Olive because he wanted to teach at the high school level. He taught at the middle school level at Bixby. The fact that he would be starting the Olive program from the ground up was an added motivation. Plus, Olive reminds him of his hometown of Ochelata, located just south of Bartlesville. “I’m a small-town guy,” he said.

Holly Hanks (front), Josie Heston (back left) and other Olive golfers work on their game at the roughed in practice area near Olive High School. When he interviewed for the position at Olive, he was told he could start a program if he could fund it. Each year in March, Warwick hosts a tournament in Sapulpa that provides the funds for the season. His program has also received a grant from the Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association and Warwick wrote a thoughtful letter to the

www.LaFortuneParkGolf.com 5501 S. Yale Ave., Tulsa, Okla.

association to express his appreciation. Warwick also wrote Jenni Roller, Maggie’s daughter, a congratulatory note when she won the Class 2A state title as a freshman in 2019. It was a simple yet thoughtful gesture that further illustrates Warwick’s joy at seeing kids, even those not on his team, succeed in golf. “He’s just a great people person,” Maggie Roller said. Warwick, who teaches English, stresses academics as much as athletics. In 2019, the Olive girls were 2A academic state champs with a 4.0 team GPA, believed to be the first state title won at Olive. Warwick said the girls would have repeated as academic state champs this year. With Warwick at the helm, the Olive girls will likely continue to compete for state berths in the coming years. “With hard work, dedication, focus and good coaching you can go anywhere and that’s what Matt’s done at Olive,” Maggie Roller said. “I mean, they’re hitting off pastures and he’s such a good coach. I think he instills in those girls that you don’t have to be at Southern Hills; you just have to work hard. “He just makes them believe they can do it.”

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COURSE UPDATE

JUNE/JULY

Claremore, Sand Springs not standing pat with public courses by ken macleod

Above, crews work on new greens and bunkers at The Canyons at Blackjack Ridge in Sand Springs.

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wo popular northeast Oklahoma layouts are looking to take a step up the conditioning ladder when they reopen after current renovation projects. Heritage Hills Golf Course in Claremore and The Canyons at Blackjack Ridge in Sand Springs are both closed for most of this summer to install new ultradwarf Bermuda greens among other improvements. Successful installations will do much for each facility, as both offer scenic and creative layouts that too often have been marred by poor conditions of their bent grass greens. Here’s a look at each project.

out there,” said Conor Cummings, design associate with Heckenkemper Golf. The old greens have been ripped out and the new Champion greens will be seeded in early June with a planned reopening in August. Wadsworth Construction is the

general contractor and the two are also working with Canyons superintendent Nick Neal and his crew. Greens have been expanded back to their original sizes with some new slopes and flourishes. The surrounds will be sprigged

THE CANYONS AT BLACKJACK RIDGE Work at the Canyons at Blackjack Ridge has been ongoing this spring despite the shutdown of most businesses. “It’s been full-tilt boogie 40

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New Champion ultradwarf Bermuda greens are now growing in at The Canyons. GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


These aerial shots show work by JonesPlan beginning on the bunkers and greens at the scenic Heritage Hills in Claremore with Tahoma Bermuda, developed at Oklahoma State, and much tree trimming has occurred around the greens to allow sufficient sunlight for the new greens, which also has opened up some new vistas of downtown Tulsa from the course. The course is completely rebuilding its clubhouse at the same time and both projects should be complete in August.

dead so we went and sprayed out the entire nine to get ready for the work. I did buy a green from The Woods (which recently closed) to patch the bad areas on the front nine until it’s ready to close.” Justin Jones, owner of Jones Plan, said all the greens will be sprigged by mid-July and should reopen in September. As in Sand Springs, this project will include select tree

trimming and removal to allow sufficient sunlight and airflow to reach the greens to keep them healthy. “We really lost the greens about two years ago when we had some irrigation issues and they never recovered,” Forbes said. “This will be great for everyone who enjoys playing here.”

HERITAGE HILLS As golfers became fed up with the conditions of the greens at Heritage Hills, play dropped to the point where closing the course was under serious consideration. Fortunately, the city of Claremore and Rogers County combined to give the trust that actually owns the course some funding to make the needed capital improvements. The wooded, rolling layout offers plenty of fun, testing golf when maintained in good condition. The government entities combined to put up $480,000, sufficient to expand the greens by some 35,000 square feet back to their original dimensions, replace the bent grass with Tif-Eagle ultradwarf Bermuda, and rebuild all the bunkers including using Better Billy Bunker liners. The work is being performed by Jones Plan contractors of Tulsa with Russell Huff serving as point man on the project. Andy Forbes, the director of golf at Heritage Hills, said the project will be performed in phases, with the back nine closing first and the front nine a few weeks after. “Everybody is super excited about the project,” Forbes said. “The greens here are over 40 years old and have needed to be replaced for quite a while. I had four greens on the back nine that were essentially GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020

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I NST RUC T ION

Time spent putting will pay off

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hile teaching at Cedar Ridge, I occasionally take inventory of my lesson requests. More often than not, I am asked for swing rather than putting help. Last year, 85 percent Maggie Roller of my students asked for swing instruction while only 15 percent asked for putting and short-game help. Is this because most golfers in Tulsa average 27-28 putts per round? I beg to differ. The reality is most courses have large amounts of players hitting full shots sometimes for hours at a time, and hardly anyone putting. Did you know putting equates for about 40 percent of your score? Why would anyone looking to improve, neglect it? Improving your putting is one of the quickest ways to lowering your handicap and I recommend you work on your putting 40-50 percent of the time you practice. Since speed and line are the two main parts of putting, here are some great tips and drills: Use gate drills with tees. There is nothing better than gate drills to work on proper line, centeredness of contact, alignment, and speed. Place one tee on either side of the putting head, which creates a “gate.” Either you hit the tee, or you ingrain a straight-back, straight-

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through stroke that forces you to hit the ball in the center of the putter face. Set up another gate with two tees, 3 feet in front of your ball. This teaches you to read the putt properly, as well as maintain a straight putterhead through impact as well. The gate midway through the putt is one of the best self teaching aids you can do on your own. If the gate is set properly, the only way to make the putt is to roll the ball through the center of the gate. Using this gate drill immediately helps the player adjust the stroke properly keeping a straightback, straightthrough fluid putting motion. You can do this on any length putt, but start with 10 feet and under. Gates can be 4.5, 3.5 and 2.5 inches apart. Next, practice your speed. If you have a fairly large practice green, putt extremely long putts, cross country, across the entire length of the green, 60-80 feet. I attend the Masters every year and Bubba Watson (two-time Masters champion) does this drill before each round, putting several putts across the length

of the top putting green at Augusta. This gives the player an extremely good feel for speed and then when you have that 25-footer on the course that day, it looks makeable. Play nine holes on the practice green, a minimum 30-35 feet. The goal is to score an 18, leaving short second putts that I call “no pressure putts” (anything inside of 3 feet). Keep track of your score in a notebook each time you play this game. I recently did these speed drills at Shangri-La before my round and had 27 putts that day. Lastly, keep track of your putts per round along with your greens hit, fairways hit, and up-and-downs. Putting is such an important stat. Amateurs three-putt six times more often than PGA and LPGA Tour players. Work on line and speed with these drills and watch your three-putting and scores drop. Maggie Roller Director of Instruction Cedar Ridge Country Club maggie.roller@sbc-global.net

GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


I NST RUC T ION

It's as easy as one, two, three

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here are a lot of great players that swing the club very, very differently out there. But there IS something that they ALL do the same. Their downswing sequence, and it Ryan Rody is as easy as 1, 2, 3… After you turn your back to the target (lead arm parallel to the ground) you should feel your weight towards your trail heel. Now let’s get you the impact you have always dreamed of. 1) Smash the bug under the ball of your left foot a. This is the GLIDE or lateral force As you complete the top of the swing your weight should shift from your trail heel towards the front of your lead foot. Smashing the bug! This gets your weight forward. Allowing you to create pressure into the ground and make ball first contact. 2) TWIST THE BUG TOWARDS THE TARGET a. This is the SPIN or the rotational force This is the rotation part of your downswing allowing your hips and torso to start to open up towards the target. Feel your lead arm against your torso and club head behind your hands. Your pressure should now be shifted towards the middle of your left foot. 3) PUSH TO YOUR FINISH a. This is LAUNCH or vertical force Stick your finish by “posting up” into your lead leg. It should be straight with the ball of your foot slightly in the air. You have transferred the force you created into the ground into the ball. You are balanced and you achieved ball first contact through proper sequencing. Now you also do something exactly the same as those great players.

HIT IT SOLID EVERY TIME 1

2

3

Ryan Rody, PGA Director of Instruction Southern Hills Country Club Photos courtesy – OU Men’s Golf

of

Quade

GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020

Cummins

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GOL F FI TN E SS

Golf season is here . . . Should you be working out?

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uarantine is over, courses Clint Howard Golf Fitness Systems are open, the weather is nice -golf season is in full effect. If you follow the PGA Tour at all, you see that the workout regimens are a big part of the success of these guys and it’s very obvious. Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, and pretty much all of the top players in today’s game are strong, fit, athletic, hit it long, and work out hard and religiously. It has become part of what you must do to be successful. With golf season in “full swing,” you don’t want to neglect your golf fitness program. It’s probably more important now than during the offseason. You want to keep your body strong and balanced through the playing season. The golf swing creates imbalances in our body which can cause misalignments and potent ially lead to pain and/or injury. These can also cause poor swing mechanics, loss of distance and poor performance.  These reasons are why PGA golfers spend a lot of money to have their fitness trainers at tournament sites and work with them during off weeks. Even though you aren’t playing golf as a career for millions of dollars, in-season golf fitness is still important to anyone who takes golf seriously, wants to improve and cares about overall health and fitness. You truly need to stick with a custom-

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ized exercise program during the summer and throughout golf season. Don’t shelve it just because you’re playing golf. Yes, you might not have as much time with the addition of playing a few rounds each week, but stick with it and modify it a bit if you feel the need.   For example, if you feel the strengthtraining component sometimes make you sore or more fatigued, go a little lighter with the workout and/or don’t do heavy strength training the day or two before you play. Corrective exercises, mobility/ stretching, warm-up drills and core work on the other hand, should be emphasized and remain consistent. Plan ahead. If you’re a weekend golfer, you could do your harder/heavier strength training and higher-intensity workouts early in the week and taper off as the week goes on. Obviously, the goal is to feel fresh and ready to go when you tee it up. Maintaining your strength should be the main goal of any exercise program. If you don’t use it, you lose it. In-season training is also a great time to work on swing speed training. Using lighter weights, light bands, light medicine/dynamax balls, plyometrics/ballistics, superspeed clubs and other light implements during the season allows you to train speed and train your nervous system to learn to fire faster. And training your Type-II fast-twitch explosive muscle fibers will help you develop more power and speed, which will increase your power and driving distance.

Just always be aware of signs and symptoms of overtraining. Some of these include: fatigue/lack of energy, restless sleep, constant soreness and muscle/joint pain. The key is listening to your body and gauge your frequency, duration and intensity accordingly. It’s always a good idea to consult with your certified golf fitness trainer as to the best plan for you.  If you’re not working out and doing a golf fitness program, it’s a great time to get started. I know some people are reluctant to start a workout program in the middle of the playing season for fear of messing up their swing.  Along with your workouts, get lessons with your local teaching professional and this shouldn’t be an issue.    I recommend consulting with a golf fitness professional to work with and/or to design a program specific to your needs and goals. You always want to make sure you’re doing everything safely and effectively with proper form and technique. Now go make it happen and unleash your swing.  Clint Howard is the Owner/Director of Golf Fitness Systems and is recognized as one of the only 2X Top 50 Golf Fitness Professionals in the country by Golf Digest. PGA Tour pros, Oklahoma State Men’s and Women’s golf, University of Tulsa golf, and many other collegiate and high school golfers, world long drive champions, and golfers of all levels go to Clint and Golf Fitness Systems to improve their body, and their game. To learn more, go to www.GolfFitnessSystems. com or call 918-296-7418.

GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


SCH E DU L E S & R E SU LTS : More at w w w.gol fok la homa.org OKLAHOMA GOLF ASSOCIATION JUNIOR BOYS & GIRLS CHAMPIONSHIP HOSTED BY TAYLOR MOORE AT KICKINGBIRD GC, EDMOND (PAR-70) JUNE 1-4 BOYS MATCH PLAY 16-18 FIRST ROUND 14-15 BOYS Ryder Cowan, Edmond def. Parker Payne, Norman 2 and 1 Kolby Legg, Bristow def. Tripp Schuessler, Stillwater 3 and 2 Rhett Hughes, Edmond def. Daniel Littlefield, Perkins 4 and 2 Parker Sands, Edmond def. Jesse Tandoy, Broken Arrow 2 and 1 Bryant Polhill, Edmond def. Will Casey, Edmond 3 and 2 Bo Burton, Edmond def. Hunter Baumann, Edmond 2 and 1 Evan Weaver, Adair def. Will Hennessee, Tulsa 3 and 2 Sam Morris, Tulsa def. Grant Gudgel, Stillwater 4 and 3 16-18 BOYS Andrew Goodman, Norman def. Brett Wilcoxen, Tulsa 7 and 6 Matthew Smith, Oklahoma City def. Charlie Jackson, Norman 19 holes Jaxon Dowell, Edmond def. Bo Robbins, Guthrie 3 and 2 Tres Hill, Elk City def. William Sides, Tulsa 3 and 2 James Roller, Jenks def. Shane Herlihy, Edmond 3 and 2 Benjamin Stoller, Owasso def. Craig Sanders, Edmond 3 and 2 Jake Hopper, Norman def. Drew Mabrey, Tulsa 19 holes Jordan Wilson, Edmond def. Ryan Bell, Norman 1 up GIRLS Maddi Kamas, Kingfisher def. Jenna Triplett, Edmond 7 and 6 Meghan Charles, Sand Springs def. Logan Allen, Perkins 5 and 4 Reagan Chaney, Ardmore def. Jaiden Gregston, Duncan 2 and 1 Raychel Nelke, Pocola def. Beans Factor, Ada 6 and 4 Emily Miller, Edmond def. Aiden Coffelt, Edmond 7 and 6 Gracie Doke, Tulsa def. Krislyn Andrews, Muldrow 7 and 6 Jenni Roller, Jenks def. Lindyn Ross, Ardmore 4 and 2 Brooklyn Benn, Edmond def. Sarah Sherrard, Moore 7 and 6 QUARTERFINALS 14-15 BOYS Ryder Cowan, Edmond def. Kolby Legg, Bristow 7 and 6 Parker Sands, Edmond def. Rhett Hughes, Edmond 2 and 1 Bryant Polhill, Edmond def. Bo Burton, Edmond 7 and 6 Sam Morris, Tulsa def. Evan Weaver, Adair 1 up 16-18 Boys Andrew Goodman, Norman def. Matthew Smith, Oklahoma City 6 and 5 Jaxon Dowell, Edmond def. Tres Hill, Elk City 2 and 1

GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020

SEMI-FINALS 14-15 BOYS Ryder Cowan, Edmond def. Parker Sands, Edmond 3 and 2 Bryant Polhill, Edmond def. Sam Morris, Tulsa 3 and 2 16-18 BOYS Andrew Goodman, Norman def. Jaxon Dowell, Edmond 2 and 1 James Roller, Jenks def. Jordan Wilson, Edmond 1 up GIRLS Maddi Kamas , Kingfisher def. Raychel Nelke, Pocola 1 up Emily Miller, Edmond def. Jenni Roller, Jenks 4 and 2 FINALS 14-15 BOYS Ryder Cowan, Edmond def. Bryant Polhill, Edmond 2 up 16-18 Boys James Roller, Jenks, def. Andrew Goodman, Norman 4 and 2 GIRLS Emily Miller, Edmond, def. Maddi Kamas, Kingfisher 2 and 1 STROKE PLAY BOYS 1, Andrew Goodman 65-66 – 131; 2 (tie), Jaxon Dowell 65-67 – 132, Drew Mabrey 65-67 – 132 and JP Roller 66-66 – 132; 5, William Sides 6667 – 133; 6, Jordan Wilson 67-68 – 135; 7, Benjamin Stoller 68-68 – 136; 8 (tie), Charlie Jackson 67-70 – 137 and Matthew Smith 70-67 – 137; 10, Craig Sanders 70-68 – 138; 11 (tie), Ryan Bell 70-69 – 139, Ryder Cowan 67-72 – 139 and Tres Hill 70-69 – 139; 14 (tie), Jake Hopper 6872 – 140 and Bo Robbins 69-71 – 140; 16 (tie), Brodey Claborn 71-70 – 141, Shane Herlihy 6873 – 141, Eric Scheussler 67-74 – 141 and Brett Wilcoxen 69-72 – 141; 20 (tie), Logan Brooks 69-73 – 142 and Joseph Lewis 74-68 – 142; 21 (tie), Carson Blaser 70-73 – 143, Evan Kelley 73-70 – 143, Brooksie Levonitis 70-73 – 143 and Luke Morgan 76-67 – 143; 25, Jax Brewer 70-74 – 144; 26 (tie), Bryant Polhill 70-75 – 145, Dominic Stevens 70-75 – 145 and Ross Taylor 70-75 – 145; 29 (tie), Alex Bloxham 71-75 – 146, Braden Collier 76-70 – 146 and Will Hennessee 73-73 – 146; 32 (tie), Walker Fuzzell 71-76 – 147, James Parsons 71-76 – 147 and Buddy Wehrli 71-76 – 147; 35 (tie), Rhett Hughes 70-78 – 148, Jacoby Riggs 74-74 – 148, Jeremy Tandoy 7375 – 148 and Tate Trotter 74-74 – 148; 39 (tie), Kaden Armstrong 73-76 – 149, Trey Dallas 76-73 – 149, Jack Hope 72-77 – 149, Sutton McMillan 72-77 – 149 and Parker Sands 76-73 – 149. GIRLS STROKE PLAY 1, Maddi Kamas 71-69 – 140; 2, Emily Miller 73-70 – 143; 3, Jenni Roller 71-72 – 143; 4 (tie), Reagan Chaney 73-71 – 144 and Raychel Nelke 71-73 – 144; 6, Brooklyn Benn 70-76 – 146; 7, Gracie Doke 77-78 – 155; 8, Meghan Charles 74-85 – 159; 9, Logan Allen 78-82 – 160; 10 (tie), Krislyn Andrews 83-78 – 161 and Sarah Sherrard 82-79 – 161; 12, Beans Factor 82-80 – 162. OAK TREE JUNIOR CLASSIC AT OAK TREE GC, EDMOND (PAR-70) MAY 25-26 1, Jordan Wilson 64-71 – 135; 2, Drew Goodman 66-70 – 136; 3, Jaxon Dowell 70-70 – 140; 4 (tie), William Falleur 75-66 – 141, Shane Herlihy 70-71 – 141 and Benjamin Stoller 69-72 – 141; 7, Bryant Polhill 73-71 – 144; 8 (tie), Eric Schuessler 75-71 – 146 and Ryder Cowan 72-74 – 146; 10, Rhett Hughes 76-71 – 147; 11 (tie), Wil-

liam Sides 72-77 – 149 and Brayden Strickland 75-74 – 149 and JP Roller 74-75 – 149; 14 (tie), Blake Miller 77-73 – 150, Matthew Smith 75-75 – 150 and Craig Sanders 77-73 – 150; 17 (tie), Evan Kelley 72-79 – 151, Drew Mabrey 74-77 – 151 and Austin Dolan 76-75 – 151; 20 (tie), Dylan Teeter 78-74 – 152 and Ross Taylor 78-74 – 152; 22 (tie), Hayden Hall 79-74 – 153, Kolby Legg 73-80 – 153 and Tres Hill 74-79 – 153; 25 (tie), Matthew Barlow 77-77 – 154, Bren Thionnet 76-78 – 154 and Jaxon Kinzer 76-78 – 154; 28 (tie), CJ Phillips 76-80 – 156, Carson Blaser 80-76 – 156, Dominic Stevens 76-80 – 156 and Mason Bannister 81-75 – 156; 32 (tie), Grant Benjamin 7978 – 157, Carson Wright 79-78 – 157 and Josiah Crews 76-81 – 157; 35 (tie), Luke Woods 77-81 – 158, Ben Campbell 78-80 –158, Kyle McLaughlin 81-77 – 158, Brett Wilcoxen 79-79 – 158, London Stover 78-80 – 158, Sutton McMillan 81-77 – 158, Kolby Matthews 80-78 – 158, Walker Fuzzell 7979 – 158 and Luke Morgan 76-82 – 158. OKLAHOMA JUNIOR GOLF TOUR SPRING SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP AT SHAWNEE CC (PAR-72) MAY 18-19 BOYS 1, Jordan Wilson 68-71 – 139 (won playoff); 2, Bosten Benn 67-72 – 139; 3, Ryder Cowan 66-74 – 140; 4, Jake Hopper 69-72 – 141; 5 (tie), Gus Fritz 69-73 – 142 and Drew Mabrey 69-73 – 142; 7, Michael Senn 74-69 – 143; 8, William Hennessee 71-73 – 144; 9 (tie), Tres Hill 72-73 – 145 and Luke Morgan 77-68 – 145; 11 (tie), Shane Herlihy 73-73 – 146 and Matthew Smith 72-74 – 146; 13, Benjamin Stoller 77-70 – 147; 14 (tie), Alex Bloxham 74-74 – 148, Andrew Fakult 72-76 – 148 and Phisher Phillips 73-75 – 148; 17 (tie), Kaden Armstrong 75-74 – 149, Evan Kelley 75-74 – 149 and Kameron Shaw 74-75 – 149; 20 (tie), Kolby Legg 77-73 – 150, Bryant Polhill 77-73 – 150, Parker Sands 75-75 – 150 and Dominic Stevens 72-78 – 150; 24, Travis Poole 73-78 – 151; 25 (tie), Gatlin Goad 74-78 – 152 and Rhett Hughes 78-74 – 152; 27 (tie), Ryan Bell 73-80 – 153, Jax Brewer 76-77 – 153, Adam Kasitz 72-81 – 153, Wyatt Provence 75-78 – 153 and Evan Weaver 75-78 – 153; 32, Jesse Rouse 74-80 – 154; 33 (tie), Bo Gentry 84-71 – 155 and Tripp Schuessler 79-76 – 155; 35, Asher Whitaker 78-78 – 156; 36 (tie), Jordan Butler 77-80 – 157, Grant Gudgel 79-78 – 157 and Bo Robbins 76-81 – 157; 39 (tie), Jace Black 79-79 – 158 and Kyle Kasitz 80-78 – 158. GIRLS 1, Maddi Kamas 72-73 – 145; 2, Emily Miller 7571 – 146; 3 (tie), Brooklyn Benn 75-75 – 150 and Reagan Chaney 79-71 – 150; 5, Kate Tilma 74-79 – 153; 6, Olivia Coit 74-82 – 156; 7, Beans Factor 80-81 – 161; 8, Jaiden Gregston 82-82 – 164; 9, Meg Tilma 82-84 – 166; 10, Carrie Hutchings 83-87 – 170; 11, Meghan Charles 85-87 – 172; 12, Morgan Landes 93-87 – 180. TULSA GOLF ASSOCIATION SENIOR STROKE PLAY AT LAFORTUNE PARK GC (PAR-72) MAY 26-27 Low Gross: 1, Mike Hughett 69-65 – 134; 2, Jerry Nick 74-70 – 144; 3, Scott Whitaker 76-72 – 148. Low Net: 1, Lee Inman 65-71 – 136; 2, Roger Atkisson 76-68 – 144; 3, Rick Wrona 68-76 – 144. 50-69: Low Gross – 1, Richard Townley 76-79 – 155; 2, Chris Benge 81-76 – 157. Low Net – 1, Levi Maples 71-71 – 142; 2, Matt Warwick 72-70 – 142. 70-over: Low Gross – 1, Richard Hunt 75-69 – 144; 2, Joe Tuttle 81-75 – 156. Low Net – 1, Ed Cohlmia 69-69 – 138; 2, Merlin Kilbury 72-66 – 138.

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GOLF OKL AHOMA • JUNE/JULY 2020


Find Your Sweet Spot. Work on your “long game” with a great plan for the future. Live the life you’ve always known. Be inspired. Oklahoma Methodist Manor promotes an active, vibrant lifestyle built around choices. Here you will find the most exciting, joyful and fulfilling experiences you can imagine. Whatever your interests, hobbies or goals, the opportunity to start living them is at OMM. It’s a good feeling to know that you are living the retirement lifestyle you have earned in a place you love. At OMM you’ll find resources and personalized activities to enhance health and wellness, including the Spann Wellness Center, with state-of-the-art fitness equipment with choices of classes and one-on-one training. CALL US AT 918.574.2590 TO SCHEDULE A PERSONAL TOUR 4130 E. 31ST STREET | SUITE C | TULSA, OK 74135 | WWW.OMMTULSA.ORG


A BLEND OF FIVE BOURBONS CREATED WITH OVER 100 YEARS OF WHISKY BLENDING EXPERIENCE. Don’t be a damn fool. Measure & enjoy responsibly. ©2020 Fistful of Bourbon, 45% Alc./Vol. William Grant & Sons, Inc. New York, NY.

Profile for Golf Oklahoma Magazine

2020 Golf Oklahoma June | July  

2020 Golf Oklahoma June | July  

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