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Contents OC TOBER/NOVEMBER 2016 Vol. 6 Issue 5
w w w.g o lfo k l ah oma .org
How long is too long to make it on the PGA Tour? Tough question indeed.
Destinations: Ozark playland in Branson and Trinity Forest opens Oct. 15 in Dallas
Bermuda conversions at White Hawk, Winter Creek
42 44 46
Cedar Ridge upgrades bunkers, green complexs
Tulsa women’s coach Emilee Klein-Gille looks to restore a grand tradition
Minnesota proud! Ryder Cup guest column by Greg Wires
Road warrior Marcus Lemon
Cover story: Brad Dalke overcame spring slump with sensational summer
Departments 10 12 12 13 14 16 22 24 56 57 61
Letter from the publisher OGA Executive Director Mark Felder WOGA Executive Director Sheila Dills The Rules by Gene Mortensen USGA by David Thompson
The Goods, Book reviews, new scotch, cigars, branded gear Equipment: Major retailers struggling Chip Shots: Dave Wilber retires, legal battle at Golf Club, Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2016 inducted On The Links with Anya Instruction Schedules and results
On the cover University of Oklahoma sophomore Brad Dalke finished as runnerup in the U.S. Amateur and then competed for the U.S. in the World Amateur Championships.
Support junior golf by contributing to the OGA Foundation Call 405-848-0042 for more information 6 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
October / November 2016 letter from the publisher
Farewell to The King Watching and reading as the flood of left the PGA Tour and become the head Arnold Palmer tributes hit the air, Internet professional at Quail Creek Country and print over the past few weeks, it’s re- Club. Vossler was already taking winter vacations to the Palm Springs, California, markable the common threads. How a man of Arnie’s position and de- area, a habit that turned out to be very mand found the time and decency to be profitable in coming years when he and Joe Walser turned the so accommodating to so Valley upside down with many was a gift to us all their developments at and a testament to his LaQuinta, Mission Hills greatness as a person. and PGA West. Like seemingly everyOn this day back in one in the game, I’ve got the mid-1960s, Vossler my own memories of his lined up a foursome that generosity. Just prior to included Palmer, whom the 1988 PGA Chamhe knew from their Tour pionship at Oak Tree days together. Palmer National in Edmond, he was already becoming a gave me nearly 30 onelegend in the Coachella on-one minutes while Valley, where he won the he was having lunch in PGA Tour event six times the clubhouse. I was just (The Thunderbird Classtarting out with the sic in 1959, then the Palm Tulsa Tribune that year Springs Golf Classic in and snagging that inter1960 and 1962, later the view didn’t at all hurt in Bob Hope Desert Classic my desire to become the in 1968, 1971 and 1973). paper’s golf writer. Some After nine holes with 28 years later, I’m still The King, Mathis was writing about golf and already walking on air still grateful. when Palmer asked if Palmer touched the a fifth could join their lives of many Oklahogroup for the back nine. mans throughout his It was, of course, Bob efforts here to win the major championships Arnold Palmer signs autographs Hope, who along with held at Southern Hills at the 1994 PGA Championship Palmer helped turn the Coachella Valley into the Country Club and Oak at Southern Hills CC. golf mecca it is today. Tree National. He was “Arnold was as nice as he could be,” in contention for the 1970 PGA Championship won by Dave Stockton, finishing Mathis recalled. “He was just a good guy. two shots back. His final effort to win Always nice to everybody and would sign the event run by the PGA of America, of autographs until the last guy was gone.” Mathis eventually joined Palmer’s Trawhich his father was a proud member his entire career, came in 1994. He missed the dition Golf Club and, when Palmer decidcut, but got a loving sendoff from the fans ed to lend his name to a restaurant in the Valley, became one of the initial investors at Southern Hills. One Oklahoman who has never forgot- and still is a part-owner today of Arnold ten his first chance encounter with Arnold Palmer’s Restaurant in La Quinta. Mathis said he doesn’t know if the famPalmer is Don Mathis, former owner of Oak Tree National and long-time head of ily will want to continue the restaurant with the Palmer name. Seems like a good the Mathis Brothers Furniture empire. Before Oak Tree, before Landmark place to get together and celebrate his legLand Company, Mathis was a young golf acy for decades to come. enthusiast and friend of Oklahoma golf – Ken MacLeod professional Ernie Vossler, who had just 10 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
Volume 6, Number 5 Golf Oklahoma Offices Southern Hills Plaza 6218 S. Lewis Ave., Ste. 200 Tulsa, OK 74136 918-280-0787 Oklahoma City Office 405-640-9996 Publisher Ken MacLeod firstname.lastname@example.org COO/Marketing Director A.G. Meyers email@example.com Art & Technology Director Chris Swafford firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com, 405-348-2004 Jim Young Teaching Professional, River Oaks CC 405-630-8183 Pat McTigue Manager, GolfTec Tulsa firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Ball Owner, Ball Golf Center, Oklahoma City www.ballgolf.com, 405-842-2626 Tracy Phillips Director of Instruction, Buddy Phillips Learning Center at Cedar Ridge email@example.com, 918-352-1089 Jerry Cozby PGA Professional firstname.lastname@example.org, 918-914-1784 Michael Boyd, PGA Professional Indian Springs Country Club 918-455-9515 Oklahoma Golf Association 2800 Coltrane Place, Suite 2 Edmond, OK 73034 405-848-0042 Executive Director Mark Felder email@example.com Director of Handicapping and Course Rating Jay Doudican firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Junior Golf Morri Rose email@example.com Copyright 2016 by Golf Oklahoma Magazine. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from Golf Oklahoma. Golf Oklahoma is published by South Central Golf, Inc.
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From the Executive Director
Hughett, Cummins lead champions parade In Oklahoma and na- golf in winning the title for the second tionally, it was an out- consecutive year. Wright won his second standing year for the OGA title of the year by defeatiing LawOklahoma Golf Asso- rence Field of Tulsa in the finals of the Seciation and its championship and Mark champions. Felder M i k e OGA Executive Hughett Director continued to add to his record OGA championship haul with his 18th and 19th OGA titles. Hughett teamed with Kirk Wright of Oklahoma City to win the Senior Spring Four-Ball, then won the Senior Stroke Play Championship as well at The Club at Indian Springs. Hughett went on to qualify for the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship Quade Cummins ShaeBug Scarberry at Old Warson, where both he and Michael Alsup made it through stroke nior State Amateur Championship at The play and into match play. Great job by Golf Club of Edmond. Bob Sine won the Super Senior Stroke Play at The Club at Inboth! The highlight of the OGA season is the dian Springs. The Oklahoma Open Championship, the State Amateur Championship, this year held at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club Quade Cummins of Weatherford and the University of Oklahoma put on quite a show this year, with powerful driving, accurate irons and solid putting. He ran into a game competitor in the finals in Tate Williamson of Broken Arrow and Northeastern Oak Tree National, one State University, but finally prevailed with of the most difficult and a birdie on the 18th hole. We wish both of storied golf courses in the them well in their collegiate seasons ahead. state, region and nation, Our junior stroke play champions this has graciously agreed to year were Logan McAllister of Oklahoma be the site of the 2017 City and Kaitlin Milligan of Norman, both Women’s Oklahoma Golf Sheila Dills of whom will be playing their collegiate Association State Amateur President golf for the University of Oklahoma. The Championship. WOGA match play championships were won by The 99th WOGA State Lane Wallace of Yukon and ShaeBug Scar- Amateur Championship will be held July berry of Purcell. That quartet will be heard 24-27. Yujeong Son of Norman is the threefrom for many years at the collegiate level. time defending champion and we’re sure Jacob Bishop of Edmond and Wichita an excellent field will be on hand to chalState is our 2016 OGA Stroke Play Champi- lenge her at Oak Tree. The quality depth of on, having shot rounds of 67-66-67 at Oak the field has led to a reconsideration of the Tree Country Club to edge Cody Burrows 16-team field for match play and you may by three shots. It was an excellent display see an expansion. of shot-making by Bishop. The rest of the WOGA calendar for The Mid-Amateur Championship was 2017 is set as well. The Stroke Play and won by Austin Hannah at The Oaks Coun- Mid-Amateur Championships will be held try Club in Tulsa. Hannah had one disas- June 19-20 at historic Muskogee Golf Club, trous hole but otherwise played sterling designed by Perry Maxwell and with a re-
one professional event on our calendar, was won by former Cleveland State golfer Michael Balcar, just starting his professional career. If the way he played Oak Tree East is any indication, we’ll be hearing more about Balcar one day. Also, congratulations to all the Oklahomans who qualified for USGA championships, with a particular nod to Brad Dalke for his runnerup finish in the U.S. Amateur Championship. Quite an Mike Hughett achievement. Thanks to all who participated in all of our events and we look forward to seeing you back in 2017. Go to www.okgolf. org for any questions or more information about the OGA.
Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association
WOGA announces 2017 schedule
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cently renovated clubhouse. The WOGA Junior State Championship will be June 28-29 at Oak Tree Country Club, another Pete Dye creation that will test our talented young ladies from around the state. Also on the schedule, the WOGA Cup will be May 22-23 at The Territory in Duncan, the WOGA Partnership will be Aug. 14-15 at Shangri-La Resort on Monkey Island at Grand Lake, while the WOGA Senior and Fore State Championship schedules are to be determined. We want to encourage all golfers throughout the state to go to our website at www.woga.us for more information and to support your state organization. Your support is crucial in helping us provide a great experience for our competitors and in helping us grow the game with programs such as the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf, grants for underfunded high school girls golf teams and scholarships which WOGA actively supports.
Oklahoma Golf Association News
Defining amateur status and how to lose it The USGA is a strong advocate for Amateurs. Fifteen of the USGA’s 18 national championships are restricted to Amateurs. Gene Mortensen An “Amateur Golfer” OGA Rules is one who is focused Director on the game’s challenges and inherent rewards, rather than any financial gain. In keeping with this support, the USGA has published guidelines to maintain one’s Amateur status. There is no quicker way to lose that status than playing in an event that awards cash prizes to the winners. When you play for money, you are no longer an Amateur. This is true without regard to any amounts. An Amateur may compete in such event if he first waives his right to accept all prize money. If it is a team event, the Amateur’s team members must agree to the waiver, too.
When prize money is offered for a hole-inone made during the event, the Amateur is not required to waive his right to accept it. A hole-in-one contest at a driving range and putting contests are another matter and the restrictions apply. An Amateur may play in an event that awards merchandise prizes to the winners so long as the total prizes do not exceed $750 in retail value in any one competition. Symbolic prizes such as trophies and medals are not included in the restriction. There is a restriction on gambling and that is when the amount wagered is deemed excessive. When a group of four play a $2 Nassau, there is not prohibi-
tion in that all the funds come from the participants who know each other and it would be considered reasonable. When the amount involved is excessive, so it becomes the focus of the round, the amateur is actually playing for money. There is no definition of what might be “excessive” in that it depends on the players. The Gang at Augusta National might play for a little more than the Gang at Tulsa Country Club, and that’s acceptable. In the event Amateur status is lost, an application to the USGA for reinstatement is required and the process is monitored by the Oklahoma Golf Association. The waiting period is usually one year. Contact the OGA with any questions.
www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 13
United States Golf Association News
Why you should be a USGA member Many people think of the USGA only with reference to Championships that it conducts and Rules of Golf. If you don’t particiDavid Thompson pate in USGA chamUSGA Regional Affairs Committee pionships, you may think that the USGA does not impact you. Let’s take a look at ways the organization benefits you. Let’s start with something very basic. Most players today cannot recall playing when the handicap system was not around. However, it has only been active in its present form since 1967. In 1987, the USGA put into effect nationwide a course rating and slope system that allows players that typically play at one course to be able to compete with equitable handicaps with players from another course. Research is also a huge activity within the USGA and has many aspects. It could be dealing with equipment, turf grass,
14 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
putting green construction techniques, water conservation or how to improve pace of play. All of these activities indirectly affect you and are supported by the membership fees from those of us that love this game and recognize what the game provides to us. Looking to the next generation, the USGA has been a longtime proponent of leveraging technology for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. The USGA supports a traveling “Learning Science Through Golf” exhibit featuring technology designed to convey STEM principles: Turf and Water Retention (Science); The Flight of a Golf Ball (Technology); Motion and its Effect on the Distance a Golf Ball Will Travel (Engineering); and Determining the Volume of a Golf Club (Math). Educating and informing golfers has long been at the forefront of how the USGA serves golf. Empowered by technology, the USGA is holding itself to an even higher standard so that it can lead
into the future all who play, and love, this great game. The USGA has long advocated water conservation in particular to the ways that golf courses use this precious resource. If you watched the last couple of U.S. Open championships, you undoubtedly noticed that the golf courses used were as much more brown than the green color that we demand of our own superintendents. However, through the USGA, superintendents have research available to them to meet their members’ demands and minimize water consumption for conservation and cost savings. These are not all of the things that the USGA does, but I contend that if you play golf, you are affected by the USGA and encourage you to be a member. For as little as $10 per year, your membership will help provide yourself and future generations a continued joy of the game we love. Plus, you receive a really cool U.S. Open cap. Go online to www.USGA.org to become a member.
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Some things we like to do before and after the round
The Bookshelf A Time For Tales by tom bedell
It may be a function of growing older, or simply wading into the wrong streams of literature, that I find myself these days rarely refreshed by one of life’s great pleasures: reading a book that makes you laugh out loud. The Overlook Press has come to the rescue in splendid fashion, by putting two of P.G. Wodehouse’s collections of golf stories into a boxed set, simply called “Golf” and charging a mere $ 37.50 for it. If calculated at even a nickel per guffaw, this is still the bargain of the century. Or last century, which is when Wodehouse (1881-1975) labored on his many comic works. Perhaps best known for his various tales of the buffoonish Bertie Wooster, who has to rely on his sagacious butler Jeeves to extricate him from endless entanglements, Wodehouse was a fairly prodigious scribbler. Along with any number of plays, musical comedies and film scripts, he produced close to 100 books — novels and
short story collections — and Overlook, along with Everyman’s Library of London, started in 2000 to republish every one of them. That work is now complete, 99 handsome volumes in the Collector’s Wodehouse in all (with spot-on jacket art by Andrzej Klimowski), for roughly $1,200 for those after the entire set. (In a felicity that Wodehouse would surely have appreciated, the Overlook Press is located in New York City on Wooster Street.) There are other golf tales scattered throughout the larger collection, but the two volumes here include 19 stories, many of them narrated by that Sage of the veranda, the Oldest Member, who has seen it all and intends to tell some hapless member wandering by every word of it. The readers are the richer for it. Wodehouse’s clear love for the game, and his understanding of it in human terms, combine with his intricacies of plot and felicities of language to produce sublime little comedies of golf obsession, thwarted romances, dubious wagers, all a pure joy to read while everything somehow works out just dandy in the end.
When he permanently moved to the United States from Great Britain after World War II, Wodehouse (18) set up shop on eastern Long Island, where he was known to frequently work on his handicap at the National Golf Links. Though he lived longer in the U.S. than the U.K., his stories are invariably set in a benign English universe that bespeaks of a simpler time, and all his characters have to overcome are those difficulties in love and an untoward hitch in one’s downswing. Readers should have no difficulties at all, and are highly likely to laugh aloud.
In the Rough
I read David Hueber’s book, “In the Rough: The Business Game In the second volume, “The Heart of a of Golf” (TCU Press, Goof,” originally published in 1926 (and $ 32.50) after luxuriatthen in the United States as “Divots”), ing in the Wodehouse Wodehouse complained in a preface that works, which is surely some critics of his first, “The Clicking David Hueber unfair to Mr. Hueber. of Cuthbert” (1922, in the U.S. as “Golf But other than declaring that this volWithout Tears”) didn’t seem to know much about golf: “... one actually stated ume is not the bargain of any century in cold print that he didn’t know what a (pricey even for a paperback with flaps), I’ll tip my cap to Hueber for being able niblick was.” Wodehouse went on to suggest that to spin some decent tales too, with the only golfing peers should be allowed to distinctive difference that his are nonreview the books, and that they should fiction. Hueber grew up in the golf business, append their handicaps in brackets so the sting of the critiques, “will be sensi- his father a club pro in Indiana. He bly diminished by the figures (36) at the started out as a caddie, if an indifferent one, more eager to play than loop. And bottom of the paragraph.”
Heart of a Goof
16 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
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he played well enough to earn a college golf scholarship, if not well enough to make it on tour. But the stories that Hueber relates grew out of the business side of golf, as he went to work in marketing for the PGA Tour in the Deane Beman days, before moving on to the National Golf Foundation as president and CEO. He segued into the president and CEO position of the Ben Hogan Company when it was owned by Cosmo World, the Japanese company which, for a time, owned Pebble Beach. So there are a lot of fascinating backstage stories here with historical insight, obviously following Hueber’s working
timeline. There are closeups of Beman (who contributes a foreword); the men behind the equipment names — Karsten Solheim (Ping), Ely Callaway Jr., Gary Adams (TaylorMade), Tom Crow (Cobra); Mark McCormack; Jack Nicklaus and, most particularly, Hogan — including the famous Secret. The book begins with a poignant scene of Hueber and Hogan getting quietly smashed at the Shady Oaks Country Club in the fall of 1992, shortly after the sale of the Ben Hogan Golf Company. Hueber’s respect and admiration for the golfing legend runs throughout the book and the feelings must have run both ways, as Hueber served as a pallbearer at Hogan’s funeral in 1997. If not exactly a tell-all book, Hueber
is fairly clear-eyed and self-deprecating when he needs to be. It was while under his leadership that the NGF came up with its now infamous Build-a-Coursea-Day from 1990 to 2000 strategy, which seemed like a good idea at the time, and for a time, was. But when, in his 60s, Hueber went back to school to earn a PhD in sustainable golf course development, his research actually revealed that those courses — many too hard to play and too costly to maintain — actually contributed to the decline in golfers and rounds played. Hueber comes clean: “In retrospect, we were wrong... that demand for the game is supply driven... [but] I can assure you the road to our current situation was paved with good intentions.” There are plenty of good stories in this account, and if they don’t have you laughing out loud, settle for a few broad grins and nods of recognition. Tom Bedell’s golf swing is a many-splendored thing, and he remains a sucker for good story (16.2)
www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 17
Highlands Scotch Whisky by greg horton
Scotch Whisky—that’s their spelling—is variously considered one of life’s great pleasures and one of its undrinkable realities. That it is equally loved and despised by fans of whiskey indicates that there is something going on with the product that makes it unpleasant to people who typically love the spirit. That something is often peat. Essentially, peat is decayed vegetation that has formed layers over the centuries. The peat bogs as they are called have been sources of energy, notably heat energy in the form of fire, for millennia. The peat is burned to heat the stills that make some Scotches, but not all. When malted grains are dried in peat smoke, those vegetal, smoky, medicinal
odors in the peat are infused into the grain. The result is a Scotch that smells and tastes like smoke, earth, iodine and other flavors that many whiskey drinkers find unpleasant. Not all Scotch distillers use peat, though, so their whisky will not possess those “unpleasant” aromatics or flavors. The Dalmore is one of the most prestigious brands in the world of Scotch Whisky. It is now available in Oklahoma, and whiskey or whisky lovers can choose between five different designations, including Cigar Malt and King Alexander, the latter having the most complex wood portrait of the line. As of
now, the 12-, 15- and 18- are also available. What makes this Highlands Scotch different is the wood portrait or barrel treatment. Brands like The Macallan are aged in a single cask until bottling, but all Dalmores see more than one cask. In the case of King Alexander, six separate oak casks are used, including madeira, sherry, port and bourbon. The simplest portrait is the 12-year, and it is aged in bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks. This sort of treatment imparts layers of flavor and complexity into the Scotch, and because The Dalmore is not peated, none of the smoky, iodine, “wet dog” smells or flavors are present. The line is widely available in nicer liquor and wine shops around the state, and if you live close to Oklahoma City or Tulsa, you can buy a pour at Broad-
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way 10 or WSKY in OKC, or at Kilkenny’s in Tulsa. In package stores, the line ranges from approximately $65 per bottle for the 12-year to $250 for the King Alexander. Another unpeated Scotch is Auchentoshan from the Lowlands. This one stands out because of the triple distilling process, the only Scotch to get this level of distillation. The beauty of peated Scotch is that the strong flavors can hide an abundance of flaws. Take away the peat, and the flaws stand out. The distillers at Auchentoshan triple distill to remove more impurities, thereby leaving a cleaner whisky with brighter notes. The line is available in packages stores around the state and tends to run from $45 to $75 a bottle depending on style. The region of Islay is best known for its peated Scotches, so Bruichladdich stands out both for its unpeated process and the beautiful blue bottle—a complete break with tradition. The Bruichladdich is the only unpeated Scotch made on Islay. It’s floral, complex and slightly sweet. It runs about $55, but you can taste it at Ludivine in Oklahoma City if you want to test it before you commit to a whole bottle.
Las Calaveras 2016 offers great change of pace by laramie navrath
Fall is finally here with her cooler temperatures, shorter days and a gentle if not steady breeze. With the dog days of summer behind you the course starts to change color, the greens get firm and the shadows seem to play tricks with your short game. It’s times like these that a change of pace from your daily cigar may be needed. No, it’s not what you’re thinking. I am not going to the extreme with the whole “pumpkin spice” cigar motif! I am talking about the Las Calaveras 2016. Las Calaveras from Crowned Heads is in its third year of production. This year’s blend comes in three sizes, LC46/corona, LC50/robusto and LC54/robusto extra. The cigar heralds a rugged, dark, oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and is comprised of Nicaraguan fillers and binder. Upon first inspection of the cigar there is thick visible veins and semi salty notes on the wrapper during the dry draw. At light up the smoke is rich, complex, and somewhat warmer smoke than expect-
ed. Great for those cooler rounds in the morning or evening. The Las Calaveras begins with rich cocoa aroma and reserved spices of white pepper. There is a nice mild sweetness with subtle strength that grows as the thick gray ash grows. The construction is great with a nice crisp even burn. As the cigar develops more spices of white pepper, salty butter, earth and hints of lemongrass. The finish has just a hint of toasted pecan shells with a slight smoky notes and the continuation of white pepper becoming the prominent taste, especially on the retro hale all while still enjoy the salty wrapper. The Las Calaveras 2016 is a great way to bring on the fall and to cap the last round of the day.
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www.ztcigars.com (800) 340-3007 www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 19
What they’re buying
Branded gear abounds by ed travis
Diving deep into the world of collegiate branding can take you to lists of products you know you’ll never need. Need a medical kit with the University of Oklahoma logo? You can order it at CollegeMedicalSupplies.com. How about an Oklahoma State University stemless wine glass? Fansedge.com has it for you. You can also find a garden flag or flower pot with an emblazoned Thunder logo at the NBA store. They have a whole category called “Lawn and Garden Accessories.” Clearly, we love our teams and alma maters, but it’s equally true branding can go too far. Nonetheless, you can find a ton of NCAA and NBA branded merchandise in local golf shops and online, or the shops can order them for you. They can seri-
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ously find nearly anything you’re looking for, either for your game essentials, accessories, outwear and clothing, or even to add flare to your cart. The most obvious merchandise for the golfer to brand is clothing, but that is so widely available, you can’t help but run into it. Golf balls are probably next, and here the selections are pretty straightforward in terms of cost. NCAA branding costs much less to license than major league sports, so a dozen OU balls will cost you $34.99, but a three-pack of Thunder golf balls is $10.99 ($43.96 per dozen). The balls tend to be private label manufacturing, which means legitimate golf manufacturers are making the equipment. Club headcovers are more consistently priced, with an NBA branded set of three going for $29.99 and an Oklahoma
State Set of three for $24.95. Hybrid covers are much easier to find for college equipment than for NBA, and the college brands even have covers for graphite heads (about $8 each) as well as 3-packs numbered with the specific driver. (That will cost you an extra $15, though.) Although not as noticeable in terms of showing off your loyalty, the divot repair tool is safe from pro inflation. The Soon-
ers tool is under $15 typically, while the corresponding Thunder tool will run you $13 and includes a branded ball marker. Oddly enough, logo golf towels are more expensive for college brands ($15.99) than for NBA ($10.99). For NBA gear, you’ll need to turn to a place like Dick’s Sporting Goods to find golf bags. They also have MLB and NFL if you’re a fan, assuming you are one of the eight people left in America who still watch baseball. The bags run about $200. The college bags come in a wide range, including stand and golf cart, and run the spectrum from about $140 up to $250. As for your ride, you can find plenty of local places that will customize a golf cart for you with your favorite college team. NBA licensing doesn’t seem to allow for golf carts, but the NCAA has no problem with it. Just check applicable licensing with a legitimate auto customizers. The Sooner Sports shop has a ton of accessories, too, including branded steering wheel cover, tire covers, valve stems, magnets, keychains, etc. Basically, you can brand everything you use, wear, ride, or drink from on the course.
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ceived a lot of attention by having Woods, Rory McIlroy and Michelle Wie on staff, it didn’t translate into sales of drivers and irons. A reasonable estimate is that Nike leaving the club business will have little to no effect on the rest of the industry other than said retail golf sales will continue to be chal- the opportunity for the larger companies to sign former Nike staffers. For the biggest lenging for the foreseeable future. names, contracts will be readily available, but due to budget considerations most may So what's happening? Well, all this didn’t just pop up out of not receive as lucrative compensation. Lessnowhere. Analysts have been concerned er known Nike staffers will have a harder for some time that the industry would face time finding a deal with a club company and difficulties because of the economy’s slow getting as much money as Nike was paying. Woods and McIlroy will continue to wear growth after the last recession and that the the company’s shoes and number of golfers has apparel. Woods said he been steadily declining. is looking for a new club Though the sales of hard contract. McIlroy, aside goods are increasing, the from switching to a rate of growth is very Scotty Cameron putter, small. is staying with his Nikes As in every industry, for now and revealed when the size of the he received a three-year market is stagnant or supply of RZN Tour only slowly growing, Platinum golf balls from something’s got to give. Nike. In the golf club business, The basic problem is Nike believed it couldn’t that the United States is make money with clubs almost half of the worldand pulled out, drawwide golf equipment ing attention from Wall market (Golf DataTech Street to Main Street. The well-known brand Nike was unable to capitalize on World Golf Report 2015 – 41 percent of $8.7 bilCleveland Golf has been Tiger Woods celebrity. lion worldwide) and the cut back by parent Srixon to the role of selling just wedges and put- number of golfers continues to decrease. ters rather than a full line of clubs. Srixon is According to the National Golf Foundation, there were 24.7 million who played golf at promoting more of the Srixon brand. The Adams Golf division of TaylorMade- least once in 2015, down over 1 million in adidas Golf has all but disappeared from five years. A poster-child for retailers could be Golfconsumers’ consciousness due to essentially no marketing. Fila and its partners decided it smith, the largest golf specialty retailer was time to get out of golf by selling Acush- which is fighting to survive in Chapter 11 net with its Titleist and FootJoy brands to bankruptcy with $200 million in debt while selling off stores in Canada, closing some the public. Nike was unable to capitalize on Tiger U.S. locations and sharply discounting older Woods using its clubs starting back in 2002 inventory. Dick’s continues to open locations (36 for the simple reason it never could bring to market a category-defining club. At- forecast for this year) with a total of 649 tempts to do so, such as in 2007 with the plus 72 Golf Galaxy stores at this writing. totally unique square-shaped clubhead SQ The Pittsburgh-based retailer, in addition SUMO2, were unsuccessful because the to purchasing the Sports Authority name average weekend golfer didn’t believe they (according to Bloomberg News for $15 milworked better than other drivers with a lion), could also open stores in former Sports stronger market presence. Golf division Authority locations. Though less floor space at Dick’s is being sales never topped $800 million, but hard goods were not reported separately from devoted to golf, the segment is profitable soft goods so the size of its club business and “not a drag on earnings,” according to may well have been small. While Nike re- Stack.
Good and bad news for retailers by ed travis
There’s been a round of disturbing news recently for the golf club industry. Nike has opted to keep doing what it does so well, sell shoes and apparel, and exit the club business. Acushnet is being turned into a publically traded company with all the uncertainty that brings. Adidas is looking for someone to buy its club divisions TaylorMade Golf and Adams Golf. Sports Authority devoted significant floor space to golf but is in the process of closing all their stores because they couldn’t refinance their debt and are liquidating. Golfsmith is undergoing a financial reorganization shedding the Golf Town stores in Canada and voluntarily filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Dick’s Sporting Goods says, “Every season starts at Dick’s,” but CEO Edward Stack
22 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
Another golf retailer with plans to expand is PGA Tour Superstore, which is headquartered in Roswell, Georgia, and plans to add to its 27 locations this year. There’s no doubt the club business is cyclical and when sales contract, retail and manufacturing consolidation can be expected, which is what is happening now with the possibility of more changes to come. However, it’s not all negative. There are potentially positive signs such as the National Golf Foundation reporting that for the first time in four years that the number of rounds went up during the first part of 2016. The logic is, the more rounds being played, the more equipment that will be purchased. Further good news comes from publically traded Callaway Golf, which reports sales for the second quarter were up 6.5 percent and from Taylormade-adidas Golf, which showed a 24-percent increase in club and ball sales. Even relatively small players in the business, such as Wilson Golf, have shown gains. The Chicago Tribune reported Wilson has made money for the past three years accompanied by sales in the U.S. growing by 11 percent each year for the last six.
Equipment companies also have stepped up efforts to sell directly to consumers with most having some kind of fitting app and club personalization on their web sites. Parsons Xtreme Golf, better known as PXG, has made a splash with clubs well past the outer edge of the pricing envelope (a driver is $700) and says sales are brisk in spite of the requirement each club must be custom fit. One indication of PXG’s strategy is the recent introduction of a game-improvement category iron, and though still at the same price as the earlier released betterplayer irons ($350 each) they are targeted to average players rather than professionals. The requirement for custom fitting may not be a drawback because that part of the golf business is booming. Fittings done in the big box stores are up, but the standout growth has been in the aggressive standalone chains that do nothing but fittings. The stand-alones such as The Club Fix with seven U.S. locations, Cool Clubs (11), Club Champion Golf (15) and GolfTEC (200 worldwide with 80 inside Golfsmith stores) have master fitters and offer thousands of combinations of clubheads, shafts and grips. The expansion in this part of the business
has been extraordinary and Club Champion CEO Joe Lee said, “We have been leading a growing niche in the golf retail space. This year sales have grown by more than 75 percent and we expect to have opened nine new stores within a 12-month period by January 2017.” GolfTEC reported the last 12 months as the most successful in its history with sales of merchandise including clubs sold from customer fittings up 13 percent.. The golf equipment market is changing with some companies gaining and some losing. The effect on the remaining large club makers by Nike’s withdrawal from selling clubs will not be pronounced and it’s unlikely, barring a breakthrough technology, any one company will be dominant. Retailers will adapt to market conditions with custom fitting playing a larger and larger role, a huge benefit for average golfers because it is more likely they will tee it up with clubs that actually help them play better. The major players will continue to be Acushnet, Callaway Golf, Ping and TaylorMade Golf with growth shown by some of the smaller companies such as Bridgestone Golf, Mizuno and Tour Edge Golf.
www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 23
News from around the state Sponsored by
"The biggest heart in golf" in 1979 for The Trails Golf Club in Norman on a career that eventually took him to beave Wilber has been a fixture at coming CEO of the PGA of America, WilHeritage Hills longer than the ber took over as head professional. Now 62, Wilber is retiring this fall afgolf course itself. Hired by Jim Awtrey in May of 1977, ter 39 years of faithful service at one of two months before the course opened, Oklahoma’s true treasures in the public Wilber has been greeting customers there golf realm. He was single and 22 when he in Claremore ever since. When Awtrey left started, now he and his wife Judy have raised a family and he has a 4-year-old grandson who keeps him smiling. Wilber has been a vital part of the Claremore community, announcing hundreds of high school and Rogers State University games on radio and public address, running a basketball league for kids for 20 years, helping every charity that asks in any fashion he can and often exceeding what his business instincts would warrant. His replacement, Andy Forbes, is of solid Oklahoma professional stock. He is the son of longtime Lakeside Golf Course professional Fred Forbes and he is coming to Claremore after working his way up from first assistant to head professional at Normandy Shores Golf Club in Miami, Florida, from 2003-16. Forbes won’t be catering to Lawrence Taylor, Alonzo Mourning, Ray Allen and some movie and television stars that would frequent Normandy Shores, but he’ll have big shoes to fill. Forbes, who has three sons ages 4, 7 and 9, wanted his kids to experience the Oklahoma upbringing that he treasures. He called his father when he learned of the pending opening at Heritage Hills, and Fred Dave Wilber retiring after 40 years at Hillcrest GC.
by ken macleod
24 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
told him it was a great course and he should apply right away. “I played the course and thought it was one of the best courses I’ve played in a long time,” Andy Forbes said. “It’s a shot shapers course. You can’t spray it left or right. The bent grass greens are amazing.” Wilber is admittedly going to find it hard to let go. Forbes is going to modernize the tee time system and bring some email marketing into play and do some other things differently than the way Wilber was accustomed. Yet he hopes to keep the personal touch that made Wilber popular with so many. “The thing I’m most proud of is I never lost sight that this was a community golf course, built by the community and for the community,” Wilber said. “If we could use it as a catalyst for fund raising for worthy charities or helping people out, we did. That probably needs to be reduced somewhat.” “Dave has the biggest heart in the golf business,” said Eddie Saxon, a former Wilber assistant who now sells the Wilber family cars in his role as a manager at Jackie Cooper Nissan. “A lot of people didn’t know all the things he did behind the scenes, the money that came out of his own pocket to keep kids employed or to help a charity. He was also a straight shooter. If a kid came in the pro shop with his hat on backwards, he’d tell them to go back outside, get it straightened out and come back in again.” Heritage Hills, designed by Don Sechrest, falls under the auspices of a trust formed by the Rogers Country Public Facilities Authority, but also has close ties to Rogers State. While its ownership is complex, one thing it has never been able to do consistently is appeal to either the city or county for capital improvement funds. Keeping the course profitable and well maintained was easier when it was one of six or so public courses in the Tulsa area, tougher when a flood of course opened in the 1990s. “The problem is all the guys that used to come out and volunteer to help keep the course up are now gone and we’re asking their grandkids for help,” Wilber said. “We
ONLINE: Get the latest news on Oklahoma golf at
could use a sugar daddy. But it’s still a community golf course.” Once he exits Heritage Hills this fall, Wilber is facing at least two knee surgeries, but he looks forward to continuing to announce games and expects to find other ways to keep active. “My wife has done a better job of saving money than I have, but we’ll be all right,” Wilber said. “Still I don’t know about being retired. I still think there’s a lot of ways I can contribute.”
Dobson facility dedicated at SW A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled Nov. 15 for the Everett Dobson Training Facility at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. The 3,000-square foot facility includes a player’s lounge, indoor putting green, indoor and outdoor hitting area with hitting bays, nets, Flight Scote technology and 65-inch display monitor, outdoor bent grass green and driving range as well as coaches’ offices, bathrooms and storage. The center opened for team use in the
poration, has been a staunch supporter of his alma mater. He recently established Southwestern’s first endowed chair with the SWOSU Foundation. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education matched his gift of $250,000 to establish the chair in the School of Business for a total endowment of $500,000. Dobson was a four-year golf letterman at SWOSU where he played for the late Otis Delaporte. Dobson was a three-time All-Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference selection and two-time All-District Nine The Everett Dobson Training Facility at honoree. He was a member of the 1980 SWOSU. SWOSU golf team that won the NAIA spring of 2016. It is named after former District Nine championship title and was golfer and alum Everett Dobson, whose Southwestern’s first squad to qualify for generous contributions helped fund the the NAIA national tourney. Dobson was state-of-the-art facility. Dobson, a well- inducted into Southwestern’s Athletic known Oklahoma City businessman and Hall of Fame in 1996. philanthropist, is co-owner of Oak Tree National, a past president of the Oklaho- 1976 national champions honored ma Golf Association and also founder of at Cowboy Pro-Am the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame. The 40th anniversary of one of the greatDobson, chairman and chief executive est golf teams in Oklahoma State’s proud officer of Dobson Communications Cor- history, the 1976 national champions, was
www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 25
Left: The 1976 OSU NCAA Championship team, from left Lindy Miller, Tom Jones, Britt Harrison, Jaime Gonzalez and David Edward with coach Mike Holder kneeling. As they are today, Harrison, Miller, Jones and Edwards at the recent Cowboy Pro-Am. Meanwhile, the Lakeside Golf Course in celebrated at the 2017 Cowboy Pro-Am at Golf Club of Edmond Karsten Creek on Sept. 30. Improvements were not long in coming to Stillwater which Henderson has managed for Four of the five starters from the team the Golf Club of Edmond after new owner the past five years sent out an RFP for management proposals due by the end of Octothat won the first of coach Mike Holder’s Michael Henderson took over in August. eight national champions were on hand Henderson immediately set forth on a ren- ber. Henderson’s group will likely be one of for the pro-am ovation and update the bidders there. and to attend the of the clubhouse. home football “We kept the The Woods victory Oct. 1 charm, but updated The Woods Golf Course in Coweta comover Texas. everything,” said pleted a major upgrade with the addition Tom Jones, Henderson, who of five holes designed by Bland Pittman David Edwards, purchased the for- and built by JonesPlan along with superinBritt Harrison mer Fairfax Golf tendent Jackey Yocham and his staff. The and Lindy Miller Club and renamed it new holes have been incorporated as holes were on hand for the Golf Club of Ed- 9-13 and Yocham said the plan is for addithe festivities, mond. “We moved tional upgrades going forward as a adjacent while fifth starter walls and changed housing development continues to gather Jamie Gonzalez the entry way. It’s steam. Renovated dining at The Golf Club of Edmond. could not attend. got a much nicer feel The five additional holes opened in late Jones, Miller and Gonzalez were four- to it.” July. time All-Americas and Edwards and HarHenderson said the balls on the driving “They are much better golf holes than rison were three-time All-America play- range have been changed to Titlist NXT the ones they replaced,” Yocham said. ers. In Jones’ four years the Cowboys range balls and new carts with GPS will be ar- “They are more of a links style, bigger, finished fifth, first, second and second. riving in the spring. He said 20 new members wider and the greens are much better.” “It was a really nice event,” said Jones, have joined in the past New hole at The Woods in Coweta. the president and chief operating officer month and daily play is of Oak Tree National in Edmond. “Hold- growing. er said some nice things about how we “The reaction to the were the catalysts and the ones who got changeover has been it started at OSU for him. There were a greatly positive,” Henlot of other former players in town like derson said. “We’re reMorgan Hoffmann, and they all were at ally looking to enhance the game Saturday. It was a lot of fun to that country club for a catch up.” day feeling here.” 26 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
ROAD TRIP No. 18
More golf than you can shake a 9-iron at. When it comes to championship golf, there’s no better destination than Alabama. Come play where the PGA TOUR professionals compete and see why Golf Digest editors picked two of Alabama’s golf resorts among their favorites. For starters there are the 468 holes along the world-renowned Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Stretching from the mountains in the north to the Gulf Coast in the south, America’s original golf trail opened 25 years ago and recently completed a massive renovation of its 26 courses. Then there are the many other impressive courses scattered across the state, designed by the likes of Arnold Palmer and Jerry Pate. Each with its own set of challenges, each with its own rewards. Plan an epic road trip to great golf courses across the state of Alabama.
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Golf Club owners sue American Golf The Golf Club of Oklahoma designed by golf architect Tom Fazio.
by ken macleod
ith Golf Club LLC majority owner Elby Beal’s lawsuit against American Golf seemingly headed for a courtroom battle, many questions loom regarding the uncertain future of one of Oklahoma’s iconic courses
Golf Course Construction
Projects Golf Recent Course Construction Recent Projects Golf Course Construction Golf Course Construction Cedar Ridge Country Club Pinnacle Country Club
BrokenRecent Arrow •Projects Creek Bank shaping Improvements Rogers, AR • Bunker • #17 Fairway Renovation • Bunker Renovations The Woods Golf Club Recent Projects Golf Club ofProjects Oklahoma Coweta •Recent 5-hole new construction Recent The OK Path The Patriot Patriot Golf Golf Club Club •• Owasso, Owasso, OK •• Cart Cart Projects Path Improvements Improvements Cedar Country Club •• Broken Arrow, Cart Cedar Ridge Ridge Country Club Brokencourse Arrow, OK OK •• repairs/renovations Cart Path Path Improvements Improvements Broken Arrow, OK • Misc. The Blessings Golf Club Cedar Ridge Country Club • Broken Arrow, OK Cart Path Cedar Country Arrow, OK• and • Cart PathImprovements Improvements Silverhorn Club •• Edmond, OK Creek Crossing Repairs Gabion Wall Silverhorn Golf Golf Club Ridge Edmond, OK ••Club Creek• Broken Crossing Repairs and Gabion Wall The Patriot Club Owasso, OK •• Cart Improvements TheFayetteville, Patriot Golf Golf Club ••AR Owasso, OKVillage Cart Path Path Improvements Bella Vista • Driving Range Tee The Patriot Golf • Owasso, OK Cart Improvements Patriot GolfClub Club Owasso, OK• Irrigation • CartPath Path Improvements Cedar Course •• Broken Bow, •• 18 Installation Cedar Creek Creek Golf Golf The Course Broken Bow, •OK OK 18 Hole Hole Irrigation Installation Silverhorn Golf Club •• Edmond, •• Creek Crossing Repairs and Bella AR • OK Green Silverhorn GolfVista, Club Edmond, OK Creek surrounds Crossing Repairsshaping and Gabion Gabion Wall Wall Wichita Country Club Silverhorn Golf • Edmond, OKHole • Creek Crossing Repairs and Silverhorn GolfClub Club • Edmond, • Creek Crossing Repairs andGabion GabionWall Wall Forest Club Arrow, OK Bunker and Renovation Forest Ridge Ridge Golf Golf Club •• Broken Broken OK •• 18 18OK Hole Bunker and Green Green Renovation Wichita, •Arrow, Grading/sodding Surrounds Eagle Creek Golf Club Cedar Golf Course •• Broken Bow, •• 18 Hole Irrigation Installation Cedar Creek CreekKS Golf Course Broken Bow, OK OK 18Green Hole Irrigation Installation Cedar Creek Golf Course • Broken Bow, OK • 18 Hole Irrigation Installation Cedar Creek Golf•• Course • Broken Bow, OK • of 183 Irrigation Installation Bailey Golf Club Owasso, OK Resurfacing Greens Bailey Ranch Ranch Golf Club Owasso, OK••• Tee Resurfacing of 3Hole Greens Joplin, MO renovations Southern Hills Country Club Forest Forest Ridge Ridge Golf Golf Club Club •• Broken Broken Arrow, Arrow, OK OK •• 18 18 Hole Hole Bunker Bunker and and Green Green Renovation Renovation Forest Ridge Golf • Broken Arrow, OK Bunker and Forest Ridge Golf Club • Broken Arrow, OK• 18 •Flume 18Hole Hole Bunker andGreen GreenRenovation Renovation The Club at Lakes •• Frisco, TX •• Cart Path Improvements The Golf Golf Club at Frisco Frisco Lakes Frisco, TX Cart Path Improvements Tulsa •Club Wet well/Intake Installation Pinnacle Country Club Bailey Bailey Ranch Ranch Golf Golf Club Club •• Owasso, Owasso, OK OK •• Resurfacing Resurfacing of of 3 3 Greens Greens Bailey Ranch Golf Club • Owasso, OK • Resurfacing ofof3 3Greens Bailey Ranch Golf Club • Owasso, OK • Resurfacing Greens Eastern Hills Country Club • Garland, TX • Cart Path Improvements Cedar Ridge Country Club Rogers, AR • Bunker shaping Eastern Hills Country Club • Garland, TX • Cart Path Improvements The Golf Club at Frisco Lakes • Frisco, TX • Cart Path Improvements The Golf Club at Frisco Lakes • Frisco, TX • Cart Path Improvements The atatFrisco TX Broken Arrow • Lakes Creek Bank TheGolf GolfClub Club Frisco Lakes• Frisco, • Frisco, TX• Cart •Improvements CartPath PathImprovements Improvements The Woods Golf Club Eastern •• Garland, Eastern Hills Hills Country Country Club Garland, TX TX •• Cart Cart Path Path Improvements Improvements •Country #17• Club Fairway Renovation Eastern Hills Club TX • Cart Coweta 5-hole new construction Eastern Hills Country Club• Garland, • Garland, TX • CartPath PathImprovements Improvements Cedar Cedar Ridge Ridge Country Country Club Club •• Broken Broken Arrow, Arrow, OK OK •• Cart Cart Path Path Improvements Improvements
Gaillardia Golf & Country Club The Blessings Golf Club
Contact Us Us Oklahoma CityAR • Bunker Improvements Fayetteville, •Contact Driving Range Tee JONESPLAN JONESPLAN Firelake2328 Golf Course Wichita Country Club Us Contact Us E. 13th Contact Street 2328 E. 13th Street
Contact Us Contact UsSurrounds OK 74104 Shawnee • CartTulsa, Path Wichita, KS • Grading/sodding Green Tulsa, OK Improvements 74104 JONESPLAN JONESPLAN tt 918.832.5544 918.832.5544 JONESPLAN 2328 E. • Irrigation Improvements JONESPLAN Builder Member 2328 E. 13th 13th Street Street firstname.lastname@example.org Southern Hills Country Club Builder Member email@example.com 2328 Street Tulsa, 74104 2328E.OK E.13th 13th Street Tulsa, OK 74104 Thewell/Intake Patriot Golf Club Tulsa, OK 74104 Tulsa • Wet Flume Installation, tt Tulsa, 918.832.5544 OK 74104 918.832.5544 t 918.832.5544 Builder firstname.lastname@example.org t 918.832.5544 Builder Member Member email@example.com Owasso • Cart Path Improvements Cart Path Improvements Builder firstname.lastname@example.org BuilderMember Member email@example.com
TulsaGolf Country Club Club Gaillardia & Country
Cart Paths Oklahoma Tulsa City • •Bunker Improvements
Southern Hills Country Firelake Golf CourseClub
Tulsa • Cart Path Improvements Shawnee • Cart Path Improvements Battle Creek Golf Club • Irrigation Improvements BrokenThe ArrowPatriot • Cart Path GolfImprovements Club • Bunker Renovation Owasso • Cart Path Improvements
Hardscrabble Country Country Club Hardscrabble Club
Fort Smith, Smith, AR AR •• Tee Tee Improvements Fort Improvements
Karsten Creek Golf Club
Stillwater • Practice Green Construction
Contact Us 2328 P.O. Box E. 13th 4845St.••Tulsa, Tulsa,OK OK74159 74104 t 918.832.5544; 918.832.7721 fax
28 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
and clubs. The 20-year lease the golf management firm American Golf signed with Beal, an Oklahoma City businessman, and his partners back in 1997 expires at the end of 2016. Golf Club LLC filed suit against American Golf on Aug. 8, asking for $5 million to cover repairs it deemed would be necessary for American Golf to return the club in the condition in which it inherited it, as set forth in the lease. Golf Club LLC asked for $3.1 million in repairs for the clubhouse and $1.2 million to repair four cottages. Estimates were provided by Maccini Construction of Oklahoma City, which said that the clubhouse roof was not replaced to architectural specifications and that repairs were needed to the air systems and that the cottage doors and windows should be replaced. Neither Beal nor American Golf would comment on the record for this story, citing the lawsuit. American Golf filed a response to the suit on Sept. 30 in federal court in Oklahoma City, denying most of the claims and asking the court for a dismissal of a portion of the suit. Both sides have asked for a jury trial. Beal did release a statement saying that the ownership group planned a multimillion dollar renovation of the Golf Club, details of which would be announced in 2017. One of the questions submitted by Golf Oklahoma which he declined to answer was whether the renovation was contingent on receiving funds from American Golf either through the lawsuit on in an out-of-court settlement.
Following is the statement in part: “Elby Beal, managing partner of Golf Club LLC, said the ownership group anticipates that it will assume operations of the club on Jan. 1, 2017, upon the expiration of its lease with American Golf Corp. Beal said a multi-million dollar restoration and renovation project is planned at the club in early 2017, which will include the golf course, clubhouse, cottages and related facilities. “We’re excited about the opportunity to restore The Golf Club of Oklahoma to the stature it enjoyed when we acquired it, as one of the finest private golf clubs in the country,” Beal said. “Our first commitment is to our members – to present a first-class product on the course and in the clubhouse. We’re confident the coming changes will deliver on that promise.” The Golf Club of Oklahoma was designed by renowned golf architect Tom Fazio at the behest of Tulsa businessman John Williams and opened in 1983. It was originally a second home for many members of Southern Hills and other Tulsa-area private clubs who wanted a more relaxed, remote atmosphere in which to play or conduct business. Southwestern Bell purchased the course from a membership group in 1986 and sold it to Golf Club LLC in 1997. An elaborate 27,000-square foot clubhouse designed by William Zmistowski was added in 1989. The addition of such a large clubhouse was a game changer in that it made a large, active membership necessary for financial success, whereas the original concept was for a limited membership
exclusive club with very high initiation fees. The club has been subject over the years to the fluctuations of the oil and energy markets and to the ups and downs of the golf business itself. Eyebrows were raised when the new ownership signed a lease with American Golf, which had made its reputation managing public courses. However, at that time the company had an active and growing private club division and planned to market The Golf Club as a flagship property that would help it land other private courses to manage. The lease was what is called in the industry a full operational lease and not a management contract, meaning American Golf was to pay the ownership group an annual payment plus pay all the bills including personnel, supplies, maintenance and repair costs. To make a profit, it would need to pay all the bills, pay Beal’s group and then pay itself. The arrangement worked early on, when membership levels were more than 400 and the annual payment to the owners was smaller, as terms called for it to increase as the lease went on. “When I was there, it was a good atmosphere,” said Jim Hess, who was the regional director for American Golf’s private club division at the time and now is general manager and owner of The Trails in Norman. “Everything was working and we were paying what the market demanded, putting good people in there.” Hess hired general manager Bob Philbrick, now at Quail Creek Country Club in Oklahoma City, who also attested that the club was able to meet its obligations to the ownership group and provide a beautiful site for golf and social activities as long as membership remained strong. As the club was still the second course for many members, it was always susceptible to membership drops during economic downturns. In order to build membership back, specials were run that brought in members at little or no initiation, creating some tension with those who had paid large sums in earlier years. In order to succeed financially while making the annual lease payments, the club conducted numerous membership drives, aggressively sought-out Monday charity and corporate events, and kept careful watch on the number of employees and their pay. Since Philbrick and former head professional Craig Walker left, both the head professional and general manager positions have changed at least three times in the past five years. Maintenance issues, particularly the frequency with which the course was experiencing summertime problems with its bent grass greens, became a problem in the past five years, seemingly rectified when the club hired former Cedar Ridge superintendent Dave Camuso in 2015. Head professional Kirt Mowery and general manager Jamie Levine have also been on board since 2015 or earlier and hope to be guiding the club in the future, though they are both American Golf employees at present. What form the Golf Club management will take in the future regardless of the lawsuit will be of interest. Given that membership rolls have dropped to as low as 230 by August according to the lawsuit and lower since according to sources, membership will have to be rebuilt. It’s unlikely any company would guarantee ownership a profit each year and take all the risk itself as American Golf did back in 1997. If not, will Beal and his group seek to sell or will they want to take a more active role in club affairs and put up capital improvement funds if none are forthcoming from the lawsuit? Longtime observers of the club, recognizing the truly unique qualities of the course, including many who believe it is one of Fazio’s best works, hope a framework emerges that is workable for ownership and management and has the membership as its priority.
AMERICAN CUISINE B R A N D E D
W I T H
W W W. R E D R O C K C A N Y O N G R I L L . C O M
Luminaries inducted into Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame
Susan Harris, granddaughter of Labron Harris Sr., along with Doug Tewell, who spoke for Harris, W.K. Warren Jr., Tommy Bolt Jr., Jerry Cozby and Nancy Lopez at the 2016 Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame induction at Southern Hills Country Club. parents for the first time. ricane Warning siren in the second half. Also going into the Oklahoma Golf Hall Lopez praised her former coach Dale McNamara, who was seated at Lopez table of Fame were Jerry Cozby, the late Labron ancy Lopez vowed to keep in along with current TU coach Emilee Klein- Harris Sr., the late Tommy Bolt and W.K. closer contact with her former Gille during her induction speech Sunday Warren Jr. and the late W.K. Warren Sr. University of Tulsa roots after an evening, saying she provided just the right Speaking for Bolt was long-time friend emotional weekend that included her induc- amount of discipline and motherly love to Dick Bily, while accepting for Harris was tion into the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame help ease the transition from being away his former player Doug Tewell of Edmond. Nick Sidorakis, chairman of the Oklafrom her home in Roswell, N.M., and her Sept. 18 at Southern Hills Country Club. homa Golf Hall of Fame Lopez certainly enjoyed board, awarded the Evher trip back to Tulsa, erett Dobson Award to where she won the AIAW former Oklahoma State National Championship golfer Jordan Niebrugge. in 1975 and finished secAlso recognized were ond in 1976. She played scholarship winners Darounds at The Patriot, vid Trimble and Hadley where she is a national Walters. member, and at Southern A fund-raising golf Hills. She gave a pep talk tournament associated and then did an extensive with the event was held question and answer sesMonday morning at sion at The First Tee of Southern Hills. Funds Tulsa on Saturday mornraised by the Oklahoma ing. She attended the TU Golf Hall of Fame pay home football game Satfor the induction dinner urday afternoon, where as well as scholarships she took part in the coin Jeanetta Dobson, Bob Berry, Diane Berry and Oklahoma Golf Hall of and awards for Oklahoma toss and sounded the Hur- Fame founder Everett Dobson. by ken macleod
30 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
high school and collegiate golfers. The dinner was cohosted by Dean Blevins of News Nine in Oklahoma City and John Holcomb of the News on Six in Tulsa. Each inductee or their representative watched a video highlight of their career narrated by Jim Nantz of CBS Sports and produced by Geronimo TV of Tulsa. Those videos are available for viewing on the Hall of Fame site at www.oklahomagolfhof.org. Despite having conclud- 2016 Scholarship recipients Hadley Walters and Chairman Nicholas S. Sidorakis with Dobson ed her career decades be- David Trimble. Award winner Jordan Niebrugge. fore the First Tee students During the Q&A session, there were he and his father’s inclusion in the Oklawere born, Lopez had their rapt attention during her Saturday morning chat. She told many insightful questions, but also much homa Golf Hall of Fame, as did Cozby, them stories of the relationship between curiosity about Lopez’ travels and where the 41-year head professional at Hillcrest her and her father Domingo and how cru- she has played. “Have you ever played golf Country Club in Bartlesville. For more on cial his support was to her success. She in Egypt?” “Have you been to Arkansas?” all the HOF inductees, please visit www. shared the importance of never giving up, “Have you played golf in Iowa?” Those oklahomagolfhof.org. Details of the 2017 event will be anbeing able to overcome adversity and win- were just a few of her geographical queries. W.K. Warren Jr. said he was touched by nounced this fall. ning or losing with grace.
www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 31
Experience the ultimate golf getaway at Big Cedar Lodge. Located in the Missouri Ozark
Mountains, this premier wilderness resort offers a variety of stay and play packages. Enjoy unique restaurants, unparalleled accommodations, world-class attractions and two golf courses that are home to the PGA TOUR Champions event, the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf. Top of the Rock Golf Course is a 9-hole course designed by Jack Nicklaus, with a stunning Arnold Palmer driving range and Tom Watson’s Himalayan inspired putting green. Top of the Rock is the only par-3 course to be used in an official PGA TOUR event. In the words of PGA TOUR Commissioner, Tim Finchem, “If there was ever a par-3 course worthy of PGA TOUR tournament play, Top of the Rock is it!”
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Buffalo Ridge Springs is an 18-hole course that has been named the #1 Public Golf Course in Missouri by GOLF Magazine. It embraces the regionâ€™s history in its design with native prairie grasses lining the course and free-ranging buffalo roaming the ridge above. Play these extraordinary courses and enjoy all that Big Cedar has to offer with one of many stay and play experiences available. Call or visit the website today to start planning your getaway.
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Deciding how far to pursue the PGA Tour dream?
“It’s tough when you finish 13th and you barely break even for the week. But that’s the mini-tours. You’ve got to play well.” Creel, Loar and Sparks were all in the top 20 on the Adams Tour money list heading into the circuit’s final event of the year. Money was the reason Creel stopped playing in Canada. Expenses ate up too much of his winnings. Of course, Canada offers another draw to pull players north. Because it is affiliated with the PGA and Web.com tours, the top
Creel calls Edmond home now, and is engaged to be married. Spending the sumunter Haas vividly recalls the mer traversing the Great White North was too much time away from home. The last feeling. And he craves it again. “It’s a drug,” the former Univer- two years, he has sity of Oklahoma golfer said. “The adrena- primarily played line, the opportunity. The thrill of walk- the Adams Tour, ing down the 18th fairway and having a a mini-tour with chance to win a golf tournament. There’s events in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, not a whole lot more exciting than that.” That’s why Haas, who turns 40 in De- Missouri and Louicember, is still grinding on mini-tours and siana. Creel and sevplaying Monday qualifying events to try to win a spot in a PGA Tour or Web.com eral players with Oklahoma ties tournament. “Part of it is not having another trade or have had signifiskill that you could go find another job real cant success on the easily,” said Haas, a four-time winner on Adams Tour. Creel the Web.com Tour. “Sometimes you ques- won the Buffalo tion yourself. Do you need to try to get Run Casino Clasout and do something different? Are you sic in June. OklaDillon Rust has pursued his dream in the U.S. and Canada. burned out? You have to keep evaluating homa City-grown Hunter Sparks, who graduated from Put- 20 on the Canadian order of merit at the where you’re at.” Josh Creel is on the other side of the ca- nam City High School, finished third at the end of the season either earn conditional status on the Web.com Tour or at least a reer spectrum. The 26-year-old who played same event. On Sept. 2, pass through one or two stages of qualifyOklahoma State ing school. Recent Arkansas graduate Taylor Moore product Ed Loar won the Bay Oaks of Edmond finished third on Canada’s monOpen in Houston. ey list and earned his Web.com Tour card Creel and Put- with $78,736 in earnings. Talor Gooch, the nam City North Midwest City Carl Albert and Oklahoma graduate Logan State product, was 15th. And Edmond SanMcCracken tied ta Fe/UCO grad Dillon Rust was 17th. Players who finish 6th-10th on the order for 13th. Sparks and Chris Wor- of merit get to bypass the first two stages rell, who came of Web.com Q-school, and the rest of the through Enid players in the top 20 get to skip the first High and the Uni- round of the three-stage process set to beversity of Tulsa, gin in November. “That’s the reason we all go up there to were both in the play,” said Rust, now in his third full seatop 25. Creel’s victory son as a pro. “We’re playing for those spots paid $25,000, but in the top 20 or the top 5.” Some players stay in Canada for the in the next five tournaments, he majority of the season, which lasts a little never finished more than four months and includes 12 higher than 13th, tournaments with some off weeks in beHunter Haas yearns to regain his PGA Tour card. and never had tween. Others, like Rust and Moore, travel at the University of Central Oklahoma a paycheck bigger than $1,675. He also back and forth for events while still living in Oklahoma. spent two years playing professionally on missed one cut, meaning no payday. “For me, the biggest challenge is beThat’s when the mini-tour grind feels a the Mackenzie Tour, also known as PGA ing away from my wife,” said Rust, who little rougher. Tour Canada. “The payouts are top-heavy,” Creel said. earned just less than $33,000 on the CaOriginally from Cheyenne, Wyoming, by scott wright
34 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
nadian tour. “We’re fortunate that she gets to travel with me sometimes. She came up to three tournaments this year. But being away from her for weeks at a time is very difficult.” With new talent coming in every year, it becomes tougher and tougher for players to climb the ladder toward their goal of the PGA Tour. But Rust is pleased with the progress he has made. “My main motivator is the amount of improvement I can see in my game,” he said. “What drives me is getting better, not how much money I can make. I just want to accomplish my goals of getting on the PGA Tour and winning on the PGA Tour. “I’m only going to do that through improving.” Younger players have to learn patience in pro golf, because not everyone is Jordan Spieth, winning on PGA tournaments at age 19. “Golf is one of those things where you don’t always see results immediately,” Creel said. “I’m not one to put deadlines on things. With a lot of guys it takes around seven years to get on the PGA Tour. I feel like I’m on track, and if I feel like I’m not getting better and I’m not competitive anymore, then I probably need to find something else. “I wouldn’t want to be 35 or 40 years old and playing the mini-tours still. But I’m gonna hang with it for a while.” For players who don’t have their Web. com Tour card, they’ll often sign up for Monday qualifying events, an 18-hole tournament, usually with more than 100 players in the field, vying for four spots in the big show. It’s often more stressful than playing in the actual event. “You’re traveling either Saturday or Sunday to get to an event site for a one-day event that’s not even at the course where you’ll play the tournament,” said Haas, who has played in multiple PGA and Web. com Monday qualifiers this season. “It’s like an event within an event. And if you get in, you still have to make the cut.” Haas won twice on the Web.com Tour in 2010, but had hip surgery two years later. He received a couple of sponsor’s exemptions to Web.com events this season and will get a pass to the second stage of Qschool this winter because of his career total of cuts made on the tour. Trying to make a living on the minitours, while only getting occasional opportunities on the bigger tours, can be a scary proposition. “It’s legalized gambling,” Haas said.
“You’re paying $900-$1,000 to tee it up and self-confidence isn’t all you need at this levyou’ve got to finish top 5-7 to make any el. You have to have people reminding you that you’ve been there and you can get back. money. It’s gambling in the truest sense.” “You start out as a rookie in your young If not for his previous success, Haas figures he would’ve given up chasing pay- career. Your aspirations and your goals are lofty. You always maintain lofty goals, checks by now. “It’s a very tough decision,” he said. “If I hadn’t won tournaments and hadn’t had the opportunity to win more tournaments, and I had just been an average, struggling minitour player, I would’ve quit a long time ago.” Still, particularly in the years since his hip surgery in 2012, Haas’ battle with what he described as “sustained periods of mediocrity” make the grind feel more like work and less Taylor Moore will move right to Web.com Tour in 2017. like a game sometimes. “It sucks not playing well and struggling, but what level of success have you had? having to play mini-tour circuits,” he said. You have to keep assessing it. “I’ve had successful years. I’ve won “If you’re not getting in Web.com or PGA events, it’s not always fun. You’ve got to tournaments. And I keep getting sucked have people who support you. Just having back in.”
www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 35
Golf just part of Morris' wonderland
Top of the Rock‘s dramatic sunset. by ken macleod
Come for the Hell Pig, stay for the golf. That slogan is highly unlikely to gain much traction among visitors to Johnny Morris’ ever-expanding and maturing collection of attractions based around Big Cedar Lodge near Branson, but it works for me. One of the most fascinating aspects to any trip to Big Cedar is the lifesize dioramas and skeletons of terrifying creatures that once roamed the Ozarks, now on display at the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum. Giant meat-eating pigs, huge cave bears and mastodons, giant cats and beavers make one wonder what happened not to the dinosaurs, but to all the powerful mammals that would have made life on the fairways a little more exciting and treacherous. Amazingly, the museum, which includes world class collections of Indian, western and Civil War
36 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
artifacts and represents Morris’ historical interests, is just an often overlooked side venture for many of the visitors to the area. The entrance is below ground in between the two main restaurants at Top of the Rock and despite having a friendly cave bear to show you the way, many folks can’t pull themselves off the decks at Osage Restaurant with its spectacular views overlooking Table Rock Lake. A recent trip to the area confirmed that Morris, founder and owner of Bass Pro Shops among other ventures, hasn’t stepped off the gas when it comes to developing this area of his beloved Ozarks and doesn’t intend to for quite some time to come. Let’s start with the golf. The Jack Nicklaus designed Top of the Rock may be the
Cave Interior Falls
best par-3 course in the country, but it may soon have a rival just a few miles back north in the 12-hole Gary Player Course, which is set to open in the spring of 2017. “It will rival what we have at Top of the Rock,” Smith said. “It’s going to be a worldclass short course with some unbelievable holes.” The Buffalo Ridge Springs Course, complete with buffalo in adjoining pastures, has seen significant change and improvement since Morris purchased the former Branson Creek. Caves and rock formations have been opened up to viewing, the blind tee shot on the third hole has been redone into a viewable downhill dogleg left par-4 and conditions on the course are immaculate. The highly-anticipated Ben Crenshaw-
Top of the Rock
Water Crossing n yo n a C d oo w og D
seum - He Bill Coore designed ll Pig as yet unnamed second course, which occupies much of the ground of the former Murder Rock Course and ridge land to the north and east of the former Murder Rock clubhouse, is tentatively scheduled for a 2018 opening. Crenshaw told Golf Oklahoma this summer that it is coming along beautifully. Visitors to Top of the Rock can not only enjoy the golf, restaurants and practice facilities, but they should take the Lost Canyon Cave & Nature Trail, expanded greatly with new attractions this year and more to come. The giant sinkhole created when part of the Himalayas putting course collapsed last spring is being dug out with the hope of yielding another amazing cavern and cave for visitors to explore. Nature and outdoor enthusiasts will find much more in Morris’ empire than what is available at Top of the Rock, however. Just a few minutes away is the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Academy, a state-ofthe-art gun range for skeet and clay shooting capable of hosting large corporate events and meetings. An old rodeo arena out back now serves as a stage and seating for concerts can comfortably hold up to 8,000 or so guests. Another 20-minute drive away is Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. You can hike, take fly fishing lessons or take a guided tour that includes closeup encounters with elk and bison in this beautiful wooded setting. The main building includes interactive classrooms for children, Buffalo Ridge a huge tree house, fine restaurant and a working grist mill on the Indian River where corn meal is produced, packaged and sold. Timber bridges at Dogwood Canyon were built by the Amish craftsmen Daniel Schwarz and family, the same crew who moved Arnold Palmer’s barn from Latrobe to Ridgedale and have given the clubhouses at all the facilities the same sturdy, rustic feel. There are all manner of packages available both for those staying at the world-renowned Big Cedar Lodge and for those who are not – check bigcedar.com for more information. One of the more popular golf packages combines a round at Top of the Rock with a round at Buffalo Ridge, including carts, range balls and the cave tour, for $215, caveat being both rounds must be played in the same day and it is available Sunday through Thursday.
CL ASSEN CURVE: 5860 N. CL ASSEN CURVE | EDMOND: 1205 N.W. 178TH S T. TUL S A: 9110 S. YALE AVE.
Trinity Forest Crenshaw-Coore north Texas beauty set for fall opening by art stricklin
DALLAS – While the golf course architecture industry has lagged nationally during this decade, for the second year in a row the Southwest Region has seized the spotlight with a high-profile opening which should bring more attention to golf in Texas and the Southwest. Last year, Tiger Woods opened Bluejack National outside of Houston, his first designed course in the United States. This year, it’s Trinity Forest Golf Club, located south of downtown Dallas and designed by architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, which is creating the biggest stir in the golf course industry. While Bluejack National was strictly private to members and their guests, Trinity Forest, a par-72 links style layout with few trees, but majestic views of downtown Dallas and the Trinity River, is more of a hybrid. Sitting on reclaimed land owned by the City of Dallas, the course will be open to some charity tournaments, along with the First Tee of Dallas, the SMU men’s and women’s golf programs and a new practice facility, the Altus Performance Institute headed by Jordan Spieth teaching guru, Cameron McCormick, along with some memberships. “It’s all about golf, total golf, when you get here,” said head golf professional Richie Hare. “When you get here, it’s all about immersing yourself in golf. How much can you play? Do you have time for 18 holes, 9 or maybe go over to the 9-hole, par-3 golf course.” Crenshaw, who has remained based in Austin his entire golf career, has done several courses in the region, but admits Trinity Forest was one of the most interesting and challenging designs of his career. 38 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
‘The first time I walked the property I saw it had a lot more undulations than I first thought it did,” Crenshaw said. “It was very surprising, but in a good way. There was a lot to work with and a lot of challenges to introduce to players.” Another difference in Trinity Forest, and one which may be it longest lasting impact, is that it was built to host the finest professional golfers and most prestigious tournaments in the golf world. The Salesmanship Club, which organizes and operates the highly successful AT&T Byron Nelson Championship Tour event, and the PGA Tour have already announced that the Nelson tournament will be moving to Trinity Forest from its longtime home at the TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving, perhaps as soon as 2018. Title sponsor AT&T has talked about moving the Nelson to a fall FedEx Cup event and there is even talk about a golf major or US national championship on the 100-plus acres of former refuse land.
“What we want to do here is make the pros and the best players think,” said PGA Tour veteran Harrison Frazar, who is part of the three-man executive committee at the course. “Just by moving the tee markers or the flags 20 feet one way or the next we can change the entire hole. “Do you want to hit your drive to the right and give yourself a better angle onto the green or do you want to hit it to the left and cut the distance? The best holes are all about thinking.” The course requires plenty of thinking with a long par-4 opening hole which requires a precise drive to get your round off to a good start. The second hole is a long par-5, but one of the toughest on the front nine to avoid the bunkers which line the fairway. The first par-3 comes on the third hole which has already been aced twice by a member of the SMU team and head coach Jason Enloe in pre-opening practice play. “We want to kick your teeth in a little to start, then give you a brief lull in the middle
Trinity Forest will be the site of the AT&T Championship, perhaps by 2018.
and then bring it home with some tough and memorable holes,” Frazar said. Indeed, the final three holes are the key to wreck or reward any round at the new course. The 16th is a long par-4 with thick brush and the Trinity River all along the left side. The par-3 17th may turn out to be a devilish signature hole playing around 120130 yards with a steep bunker and the river directly behind the green. The 18th is a par-5 with the river and trees all along the left side. The course will have a full caddy program and is easy to walk. It will play 7,400 yards from the back tees and is a par-72 for members and guests and a par-71 for pros and college tournaments with the second hole becoming a very long par 4. The practice range, the SMU building and the McCormick Altus Academy are on the other side of the bridge behind the 18th hole. It’s old school golf and most holes are less than 50 feet apart from each other, but with designs of prestigious tournaments on a Texas sized scale. There are many ways to access Trinity Forest in the months and years to come, but golfers who come here for the first time will realize it’s golf as North Texas residents and visitors have never seen previously.
LEVELS OF PLAY FOR ANY GOLFER
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www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 39
OKLAHOMA COURSE SPOTLIGHT
White Hawk, Winter Creek convert to Bermuda greens by ken macleod
Two Oklahoma courses were set to reopen in early to mid October after converting their greens from bent grass to a new version of version of Champion ultradwarf Bermudagrass. Both White Hawk Golf Coure in Bixby and Winter Creek Golf Course in Blanchard installed Champion G12, a new cultivar of Champion Ultradwarf Bermuda that was also this summer installed at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, site of an annual PGA Tour event and the 2017 PGA Championship. Winter Creek, which is also doing some renovation to holes 1 and 15 and making
Winter Creek conversion. other improvements during the down time, had some setbacks during grow-in, including a fungus and cutworm problem that infected five of the 18 greens and caused some resprigging. Director of Golf Jarold Lundy said that
all 18 greens were to be reopened by mid October. White Hawk remained open on temporary greens throughout the process. By early October all 18 greens were close to being knit in enough to withstand traffic. White Hawk was also doing select limb and tree removal to ensure all the Bermuda greens would receive adequate sunlight to thrive. Mike Brown, project manager for Champion Turf Farms, said the G12 The sixth green at White Hawk was sprigged in was a cultivar discovered on a ChamAugust, 41 days later it was grown in fully. pion green in 2012 and put through extensive trials before reaching commercial sta- an uphill green. That hole will be shortened tus. It is a stronger, denser variety requiring by 32 yards and made more playable. “It’s still going to be tough,” Lundy said, more verticutting but less top seeding. Morris said he expects it to be more competitive “but not impossible. It was one of the worst with common Bermuda and other grasses golf holes around and now it will be much, much better.” that try to encroach on the greens. Winter Creek will also be reworking some Carl Collins, regional agronomist for American Golf which manages White Hawk, tee boxes and target greens on the range, conand has overseen conversion to Champion verting its practice putting green and creating greens at nearly 30 American Golf managed a new members-only chipping green behind facilities, including SilverHorn Golf Club in the driving range. Play at Winter Creek had improved draOklahoma City, said the stretch of wooded holes from 11 to 15 would require the most matically this year before the deteriorating bent grass greens forced the owner Legacy thinning of foliage. Lundy said Winter Creek would also do Bank to make a decision on repair or replace. some selective pruning, but is also using the Lundy expects the bank will recoup its indown time to do major reconstruction of the vestment in short order through increased opening hole and the notorious 15th, a par-4 with a forced layup and a long second shot to See White Hawk page 42
Jimmie Austin OU adds unique short course by john rohde
In the spring of 2010, roughly 10 months after he was hired as the Oklahoma men’s golf coach, Ryan Hybl suffered the harsh realities of recruiting. “We lost two recruits I thought we should have had,” Hybl recalled, “and I believed it was because our facilities weren’t up to speed.” Those two potential Sooners were Ian Davis, who wound up signing with Oklahoma State, and Taylor Moore, who ended up at Arkansas. “I’m pretty sure Taylor was in the mix, but (signing) Ian should have happened,” Hybl said. Davis currently is on the Web.com Tour 40 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
while Moore finished No. 3 in this year’s Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit on PGA Tour Canada. After failing to hook two big fishes, Hybl approached OU athletic director Joe Castiglione. “I said, ‘Joe, we’ve got a legit problem. We’ve got to make some changes,’ ” Hybl explained. And Hybl had no interest in changing addresses. “There was some thought to building a (new OU) course 20 miles away in Blanchard,” Hybl said. “I didn’t want to do that because the best sell we have compared to everybody else is we’re on campus. I told Joe we’ve got a great golf course we continue to make improvements on, but we’ve just got to do something different and unique.”
Castiglione listened, funds were raised and on Sept. 16 an official groundbreaking ceremony marked the construction of a new short-course practice facility that will be named in honor of primary donor and OU alumnus Jerry Ransom, who donated $2.75 million toward the project. “We’ve tried to figure out what we can do to help our players and give them the resources to improve, and the addition of this short course is absolutely going to make that happen,” Castiglione said at the annual Sooner Open tent party. “It’s obviously a game-changer for our (men’s and women’s) programs. No doubt about it.” The 11-acre Ransom Short Course will
See jimmie austin page 42
OKLAHOMA COURSE SPOTLIGHT
Bunker project brightens look at Cedar Ridge by ken macleod
In its first major renovation since new greens were installed in 1994, Cedar Ridge Country Club in Broken Arrow is getting a strategic nip and tuck. Led by architect Tripp Davis of Norman working closely with the Tulsa-based construction firm JonesPlan and superintendent Mike Wooten and his crew, Cedar Ridge now boasts all new fairway bunkers and green complexes. While the greens themselves have not been touched, all the greenside bunkers and surrounding chipping and pitching areas have been reworked and resodded. Bunkers are still stately, but lowered considerably. All include new drainage, the Better Billy Bunker linings and bright white sand. The course will emerge from the renovation with 16 fewer bunkers overall, but the
Jimmie Austin cont. from page 40 have a layout similar to a par-3 course. Four holes will be surrounded by multiple bunkers with each green will be built to varying forms. “This is validating us as a program, in my opinion,” Hybl said. Ransom graduated from OU in 1966 and played Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club as a student. As a long-time supporter of the program, Ransom was attending the Sooner Open a few years ago when he spoke with Hybl about the possibility of adding a short course. “I was enthused,” Ransom said. “I had been wanting to do something for the university for a long time. I just feel like it’s the right thing to do. Everybody I’ve talked to at the university… has been wonderful. It’s just confirmed what I’m doing is right.” The short-course project coincides with continued improvements to the OU course and will help insure the Sooners have one of the nation’s premier collegiate golf facilities. “People from all over the country are going to want to come here,” OU senior player Max McGreevy said. “It’s a down-to-earth place that maybe some people haven’t been able to experience before. The atmosphere here is just so good. It’s hard to not like it.” 42 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
All new bunkers and green surrounds at Cedar Ridge Country Club. many remaining will be more strategically placed to challenge the overwhelming power of today’s longest hitters while actually making it a slightly easier course for average golfer hitting drives of 220 to 240 yards. Although the Joe Finger design has long been noted as a difficult course characterized by testing uphill par-4s with limited roll, the ever-widening gap between the long drivers and the average golfer has made it a challenge for architects like Davis at not just Cedar Ridge but every course looking to update and
The 7,000-square-foot Charlie Coe Center, located at the south end of the driving range, is a state-of-the-art practice facility that was built as part of the course’s $5-million renovation project in 1996. Bob Cupp redesigned Perry and Press Maxwell’s original layout while Tripp Davis, a member of the Sooners’ 1989 NCAA championship team, developed the practice complex in conjunction with Cupp and former OU coach Gregg Grost. Through Davis, several improvements have been made to the Coe Center and are expected to continue in the future. “We have to maintain it and keep it fresh,” Hybl said. Davis also designed the Ransom Short Course, with some collaboration from Hybl. Castiglione said the short course is scheduled to be completed within a year. “It’s incredible,” OU women’s golf coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell said of the project. “To have an opportunity to have a facility on campus like this is huge.” Hannah Wood, a junior on the women’s team, said the short course “is a huge step for our program, especially because we’re going to be given so many different opportunities to learn different shots. It’s just going to be great.”
upgrade. Up through the 1970s, longer drivers might hit it 20 or 30 yards past their playing partners. Now that distance can easily be 80-100 yards as many top amateurs routinely drive the ball more than 300 yards. What that meant at Cedar Ridge is the longer hitters were routinely flying the ball over fairway bunkers that the medium hitters landed in with regularity. His solution is to push the fairway bunkers out into the 270-
See CEDAR RIDGE page 54
White Hawk cont. from page 40 play and decreased water and man hour costs once the new greens are installed. White Hawk is hoping for a similar result. The course had battled late summer issues with the bent grass greens frequently and expects much better playing conditions for the members. “This will be a huge part of creating a successful product year round,” Collins said. “It will give the golfers at White Hawk conditions equal to other upper echelon courses. And the nice thing about working with Champion is they are invested in the success of the greens and always available to consult. They give us a resource we really rely on.” Other courses in the Tulsa area that have converted from bent grass greens to Bermuda include all 36 holes at Page Belcher, 36 holes at Mohawk Park, 18 holes on the Lakes Course at The Club at Indian Springs and the West Nine at Southern Hills Country Club. In the Oklahoma City area, Winter Creek joins SilverHorn, Coffee Creek and Firelake in using Bermuda greens. “We’ve very excited,” Paquette said. “This will be great for the future of the course.”
OKLAHOMA COURSE SPOTLIGHT
On the road (hole) again desire to do so when it would be just as easy to relax by the pool. Lemon acquired his love We facilitated a round of golf recently be- for the game early from attending golf camps tween Robert Krug and Marcus Lemon, two run by current Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame men whose appreciation for the game and inductee Labron Harris Sr., who was a good the courses it’s played on goes way beyond friend of his father. He grew up in Booker in the Texas panthat of us mere mortal enthusiasts. Krug, a former Dallas sportswriter, wrote handle, but his dad encouraged him to attend in the Aug.-Sept. issue about his successful Harris’ schools and Harris himself would ofquest to play more than 600 courses nation- ten stop by the family house on his winter trips to Arizona. Lemon won the Jim Hitch wide, including 135 here in Oklahoma. Memorial Award for best Lemon, a senior vice camper at Harris’ camp when president at Arvest Bank he was 16. in Tulsa and a member Harris was both a player at both The Patriot and and designer and loved all the Karsten Creek, has been game’s history, traditions and keeping meticulous notes nuances, a love he imparted on his rounds since his juto Lemon. nior days. He has played Lemon does not rate more than 100 courses in courses for either Golfweek Texas and 65 in Oklahoor Golf Digest, but he would ma as part of the 400 and be a prime candidate to join counting he has played either team. worldwide. “I’m looking for an impresLemon maintains a sion, how I feel from playing spreadsheet that lists not the course,” he said. “I look only every course he has at the layout and see what played, but concludes with appeals. I like courses that a top-75 listing that reflects are really entertaining and his thoughts on design, no two holes are alike. I’m layout, the ambiance and Lemon tees off at Trump interested by the way the the particular experience International Golf Links in routings fit into the land and of the round. Balmedie, Scotland. it’s always amazing how the The current leader? Spyglass Hill at Pebble Beach, followed by Pebble good architects come up with things that you Beach itself and Trump International in Bal- could never even think of.” Lemon’s top 25 reflects his love for travel media, Scotland, which he has just ahead of and for links golf. Only three (the Patriot at the Old Course at St. Andrews. To play 400 different golf courses, and No. 10, Southern Hills at No. 12 and Karsten just as many are public facilities as private, Creek at 20) are in Oklahoma, while six are in requires the time, means and most of all a Scotland. He also likes domestic links efforts by ken macleod
Comprehensive Personal Top 25 Ranking 1. Spyglass Hill GC - Pebble Beach, CA 2. Pebble Beach GC - Pebble Beach, CA 3. Trump Int’l Golf Links - Balmedie, Scotland 4. St. Andrews Links (Old Course) - Fife, Scotland 5. SilverLeaf GC - Scottsdale, AZ 6. Chambers Bay GC - University Place, WA 7. Pacific Dunes GC - Bandon, OR 8. Carnoustie Golf Links - Angus, Scotland 9. Dismal River Club, Red (Doak) Course - Mullen, NE 10. Patriot GC - Owasso, OK 11. Whistling Straits GC (Straits) - Haven, WI 12. Royal Dornoch GC - Dornoch, Scotland 44 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
such as Chambers Bay (6), Pacific Dunes (7), Dismal River (8) and Bandon Trails (24). He hasn’t played Pine Valley, CyDismal River Club, Jack press Point, Nicklaus course in Mullen, Augusta NaNebraska. tional or some of the other annual contenders for best course, but his list is a purely enjoyable subjective reflection of the great experiences he’s had playing the game he’s loved since childhood. Lemon and a group of friends, most of them very low handicap golfers, have taken a trip each of the last 16 years to add another group of iconic or off-the-beaten path experiences to their bucket lists. He was very impressed with a recent round at the Tom Fazio-designed Flint Hills National in Andover, Kansas, which is currently No. 18 on his list. Yet with the Patriot and Karsten Creek as his home bases, he sometimes wonders why he goes anywhere else. He is one of only seven original members remaining at Karsten Creek, which opened in 1994. “Every time we go over to Karsten and stay in one of those cabins, we wonder why we go anywhere else,” Lemon said. “It’s just a great golf experience.” Note: Lemon’s appreciation for golf is shared by his cousin Del Lemon, a former Austin-based sportswriter who wrote The Story of Golf in Oklahoma and is a member of the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame selection committee.
13. Southern Hills Country Club - Tulsa, OK 14. The Stone Canyon Club - Oro Valley, AZ 15. TPC Sawgrass (Stadium Course) - Ponte Vedra, FL 16. Kingsbarns Golf Links - Saint Andrews, Scotland 17. Princeville GC (Prince Course) - Lihue (Kauai), HI 18. Flint Hills National GC - Andover, KS 19. Whistling Straits GC (Irish) - Haven, WI 20. Karsten Creek GC - Stillwater, OK 21. The Prairie Club (Dunes Course) - Valentine, NE 22. Spanish Oaks GC - Bee Cave, TX 23. Bandon Trails GC - Bandon, OR 24. Cruden Bay GC, Aberdeen, Scotland 25. Wynn GC - Las Vegas, NV
This is bucket list Golf
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Dalke at best in big events B
by john rohde
rad Dalke was struggling. Perhaps at no time since he began playing competitive golf had those four words ever been strung together when discussing this boy wonder. Though the word “prodigy” often is overused, perhaps not with Dalke.
• In 2011, Dalke won the AJGA Thunderbird Invitational at age 13, becoming the youngest player ever to win the event. • In 2013, his AJGA victories included the Ping Invitational and the CB&I Invitational. • In 2014, he was a member of the USA Junior Ryder Cup team. • In 2015, Dalke won the Junior PGA Championship and with it an exemption to play in the 2016 Valero Texas Open last April in San Antonio. • He was a five-time AJGA First-Team All-American. • He played in the AJGA Wyndham Cup five times, breaking a record previously owned by Tiger Woods. • Perhaps his most memorable accomplishment came at age 12, when he accepted an offer from University of Oklahoma coach Ryan Hybl to play golf with the Sooners. Dalke’s collegiate career began well enough in the fall of 2015. In his second-ever start with the Sooners, the freshman tied for sixth. In his fifth start, he placed second at the Ka’anapali Classic Collegiate Invitational, which earned him Big 12 Golfer of the Month for November. However, when the spring schedule arrived, Dalke was struggling. In a span of seven straight tournaments, which concluded with an 81 the NCAA Stillwater Regional’s final round, Dalke could do no better than a tie for 15th. His finalround stroke average had ballooned to 76.6. In the middle of the summer, Dalke began hitting the ball better and also switched to a claw putting grip. Confidence and fearlessness soon followed. “I got technical for a while there and it just ate up my mind almost when I was over the ball with so many swing thoughts,” Dalke said. “Finally, I just let them all go. It took me a little while to trust. What I do now is I get over the ball and I just stare at the ball the entire time. It so much easier. Brad Dalke watches his second shot on the 22nd hole during final round of match play at the 2016 U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016. Photo courtesy USGA/John Mummert. 46 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
You don’t clutter your mind. I wasn’t making any putts, so I started messing around with my grip a little bit. Once I did that, I started making a lot more putts and that’s when I played really well down the stretch of the summer.” Dalke’s crowning achievement came at the 116th U.S. Amateur Championship (Aug. 15-21) at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan., although he fell one step short of the crown, finishing as runner-up to Australia’s Curtis Luck. “I played really good golf the whole week,” Dalke said. “I just picked the wrong time (for) a bad stretch of holes. He played great, too. It’s not like I gave it away. I played well all week. I can’t be disappointed with myself. It’s a tough field.” The 36-hole final between Dalke and Luck was all square through the first 18. Dalke birdied the first hole of the second round to go 1-up, but proceeded to lose eight straight holes to fall 7-down. Luck had an eagle, two birdies and five pars during that stretch. With much of the gallery estimated at 8,000 urging on the American, Dalke won two straight to pull within 5-down, but got no closer and lost
6 and 4. Though he lost, Dalke still was a winner. By advancing to the U.S. Amateur finals, Luck and Dalke secured invitations to next year’s Masters at Augusta National and the U.S. Open at Erin (Wis.) Hills. With those perks already in pocket, might there have been even more pressure in the semifinal than in the final? “I definitely lost a lot more sleep the night before the semifinal match,” Dalke said with a chuckle. “Everything was on the line in that semifinal match, it felt like. I went to the tournament to win, so I still wanted to get the job done. The U.S. Amateur is probably about the best secondplace finish you can get with everything you get from it.” In the crowd was the Dalke family along with Hybl, who also was a childhood prodigy in junior golf. Despite being saddled with unfavorable tee times the first two rounds, Hybl was tied for fifth at the Oklahoma Open at Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond. He forfeited a potential $10,000 payday when he withdrew after Saturday’s round, flew to Michigan and arrived at 2 a.m. Sunday to watch Dalke in the U.S. Amateur final.
Dalke plays his second shot on the sixth hole during final round of match play at the 2016 U.S. Amateur. Photo courtesy USGA/Jeff Haynes.
www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 47
OKLAHOMA SPOTLIGHT ship; his mother, Kay, played “Coach Hybl is awesome,” golf for the Sooners; his grandfaDalke said. “He’s a great ther, Ken, played basketball and coach. I think he’s the best baseball at OU. coach in the country, by far. “I already knew about him,” Obviously, he’s a great player Hybl said of a pre-teen Dalke. “I himself. He truly is a great had already watched him, probguy, a good man. It meant a ably three or four times. You’ve lot to me for him to do somegot to remember, in our sport thing like that, but that’s just things happen kind of early. I the way he is. He thinks of us knew Brad was going to be a as his sons. He has 11 sons on good player. Did I think he was his team right now. He treats going to be as great as he was as us like it.” a junior golfer? Probably not. I Soon after his runner-up was able to recruit on the front finish, Dalke was selected end of him getting here. Usually for the World Amateur Team you recruit on the back end after Championships (Sept. 21someone’s left (the program).” 24) in Cancun, Mexico. He There was pressure on Hybl teamed with Stanford’s Mav- Brad Dalke and coach Ryan Hybl confer during the match play erick McNealy and Texas’ portion of the 2016 NCAA Men’s Golf National Championship for pulling the trigger so early on a recruit, but there was even Scottie Scheffler and tied for at the Eugene Country Club. more pressure on Dalke to prove sixth at 15-under. Dalke took team medalist honors in the 72-hole event it dissipate while waiting six years for he was worthy. (Review the top of this story for his pre-OU results.) “I would at 5-under. The Australian team, which Dalke’s arrival at OU. Dalke was 11 when he initially emailed have never done it if I didn’t believe in included Luck, posted an astonishing 19Hybl and stated he wanted to play for the family,” Hybl said of offering Dalke shot victory finishing at 38-under. Despite Dalke’s struggles midway the Sooners. The desire literally was in so early. “I knew Brad was a great guy. through his freshman season, Hybl’s con- Dalke’s blood. His father, Bill, played line- Loved him.” News of offering a scholarship to a fidence in him has never wavered. Nor did backer for OU’s 1975 national champion12-year-old recruit spread fast, not just in golf but throughout collegiate athletics. “We kind of started a not-so-good trend,” Hybl said. “It made sense for us. It was a little spark for us, to be honest. Heck, that thing (Dalke’s commitment) blew up. I remember it was on the running ticker on ESPN. Oklahoma golf hadn’t CERTIFIED GOLF been talked about in a long time, outside FITNESS PROS Sean Riley, DC of Anthony Kim. So that was a big deal. Ryan Smith, PT We didn’t do it for that. It just turned into that.” Dalke’s celebrity status climbed even "I've seen excellent improvements higher as a 17-year-old high school senior in flexibility and strength when he effortlessly took down a fit Rory in my players." McIlroy – the world’s No. 1-ranked player Jeff C. PGA Head Golf Professional at the time – in an arm-wrestling contest at a Nike-sponsored junior event. "This program has given me a With all Dalke has achieved to date, road map to golf fitness." many agree the best is yet to come. Cindy L. Futures Tour Player “Brad is definitely a proven commodity,” said OU senior teammate Max McGreevy, “but there’s still a sense with Brad that you want him to reach that full potential.” If Dalke stays all four years, it will equate to a 10-year commitment with the Sooners. “That’s the plan right now -- to stay all four years, but you never know what might happen,” Dalke said. “I love OU. I w w w. s w i n g f i t t u l s a . c o m love this place.”
STRONG SWING FAST
48 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
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M A H OG A N Y & C H A RL E ST ON ’S
Emilee Klein-Gille by patrick prince
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Emilee Klein-Gille was well aware of the University of Tulsa’s impressive women’s golf history long before the California native was named as the Hurricane’s head coach in June 2014. As a topranked player in high school, she was recruited by former TU coach Dale McNamara. Although Klein-Gille chose to attend Arizona State because it was closer to home, she was impressed with TU and the city of Tulsa, She recently sat down with Golf Oklahoma to talk about her expectations for this year’s team, her vision for TU’s future, what it was like to be play with Tiger Woods, which she did often as a junior, her 11 years on the LPGA Tour and more. When you won the British Open in 1996, you opened with 68-66 and had won the week before. What were your expectations going into the tournament? ”Every week I was trying to win. My expectations were to always win, no matter the tournament I was in. Doesn’t always happen. I was just playing really well. “So even though I only won twice that year, once the other year, I had a lot of seconds and I was top-10 a lot. I just had a real solid year.” Editor’s note: Even though the top players competed in the Weetabix British Open, it was officially adopted as a major the year after Klein-Gille won it.) Do you remember how much your winner’s check was? “$180,000. That’s nothing compared to today.” Did you buy anything big with that money? “I bought a house in Orlando. Right after the British, I moved
to Florida, no state income taxes and a great place to travel from.” What’s it like being that young making that type of money? “I think it takes out a lot of reality in how you think because all of the sudden, it’s like money seems like it’s growing on trees. I probably bought some things I shouldn’t have bought and did some things I shouldn’t have done, but it was all fun at the time. I really enjoyed it. I loved being on tour. It was a great experience … traveling all over the world, staying in great hotels, meeting people. It was a true dream.” When your dad had a heart attack in 2005, was that when you decided to leave the tour? You’d been on tour for 10 years. “I loved (being on tour) in the beginning. There was nothing better than being a 21- or 23year old and being on tour and traveling all over the world, but it got to 2005 and I wanted a family. And I said to myself, ‘If I stay on tour, I’m never gonna have a family.’ A lot of girls do, but I just knew for me it wasn’t happening. And I never got to see my family, my parents. My dad has this heart attack and I’m sitting in a hotel in Columbus, Ohio, saying, ‘What am I doing here? I never get to see them and one day I’m gonna get a phone call that my dad had a heart at-
PROFESSIONAL PROFILE tack and he’s not OK.’ So I just thought about it a lot and realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore. I still loved the game, but it just wasn’t for me to be on the road anymore.” So you go into coaching. Before Tulsa, you turned around two struggling programs at UCF and San Diego State. How did you do that? “I think my girls have a lot of trust in me because of what I’ve accomplished. They know I can help them get to the next level. And, at the time, they knew who I was, which helped a lot. At UCF, I got a couple of good recruits there that made a big difference. One great player makes a big, big difference. “At San Diego State, I had a lot of girls there with a lot of talent that just didn’t know how to practice properly. So that was an easy turnaround because I had the talent there. It was just a matter of really getting them to work properly on their game and they bought into it real quickly, which was nice and because of that, they got better fast. And I brought in a couple of girls, too.” You mentioned practicing the right way. What does that mean? “My whole philosophy around practice is very different than most coaches. We do primarily short game. I tell them when they come in here, their long game, they are going to have to practice on their own. I’m gonna use my 20 hours (practice time per week allowed by the NCAA) for the things I know we’re gonna get better at and from there, if you don’t hit the ball well, I still know you’re going to get up and down. If you’re hitting the ball well, we’re gonna play that much better. So they have to buy in to that. So I know when they do that, they’re going to practice on their own above and beyond the 20 hours the NCAA allows us to. When I got to San Diego
State, these girls were just hitting balls. They weren’t really working on their short game that much. The first thing we did was start working on lag putting and we got rid of three-putts because three-putts are the biggest detriment to college golf. I watch more three-putts in college golf. We’d go to par-3 courses and we’d just practice target shots and play par-3 all the time. Then we’d get on the course and talk about course management. We made it to regionals the first year I was there. It wasn’t more (practice) time, just focused practice.” How do you actually coach golf? Are you a swing doctor? “First of all, I am not a teacher. I don’t ever claim to be a teacher. That is the first thing I tell my girls. I think there is a big difference between a great player and a great teacher. So a lot of our players are working with Tracy Phillips (director of golf instruction at Cedar Ridge). If they have their own teacher from home, I encourage them to stay with their own teachers from home. I can see the golf swing and I can see what’s wrong, I can talk to their teachers, but I’m not gonna fix it. I don’t think I’m the right person to fix it. They need to stay with their swing teachers. And that’s very different from a lot of coaches, too, because most coaches like to get involved with the golf swing. I just work with practice, short game and course management and refining the game that way.” You were at UCF from 20052009, then San Diego State from 2009-11. Why did you leave coaching after San Diego State? “My dad had a State Farm agency (in California) and I wanted to start a family. I had just met my husband. I met him through State Farm because of my dad’s business. And we were getting pretty serious. So
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MA H O GA NY & C H AR LE S T O N’ S P ROF E SSI ON A L P ROF I L E I decided to try it. (Dad) said, ‘You’re gonna make more money.’ I did. I made more money but I hated it. I didn’t have to be in the office that much, but selling life insurance is not my favorite thing. I didn’t mind home and auto insurance. That was not a big deal because people need that. But trying to convince somebody that they need life insurance is very hard. It was not my forte. At the time, we were just getting engaged and my husband got a job in Arizona, so I actually shut down the business and started a family there.” You were out of coaching for three years. How did the return to coaching come about? “Originally in Arizona, I started working for a sports management company, Lagadere. But they wanted me to travel so much and I just got pregnant with Mason and I said, ‘I just can’t be on the road that much.’ So I stopped working there and started working at Chubb Insurance, but my husband knew I hated it. It was a great job, but I just didn’t enjoy it and I was really missing golf and my friend (Tiffany Prats) calls me up who was my assistant coach at San Diego State and said, ‘Tulsa is open. Should I apply?’ And I go, ‘Sure, go for it.’ And then I call my husband up and I go, ‘What do you think of Tulsa?’ And he goes, ‘What do you mean?’ And I go, ‘The job at Tulsa just opened and they have won national championships in the past.’ I knew all the history because I had been recruited here. He goes, ‘If we move to Oklahoma, I’m divorcing you.’ I said, ‘OK, that’s fine.’ So we hung up. This was like at my lunch hour when I was working at Chubb. A couple of hours later, he texts me, ‘It’s really pretty.’ And I go, ‘What are you talking about?’ I didn’t even know what he was talking about. He says, ‘Tulsa. It’s really pretty. I think you should apply.’ I had been here a bunch because I had played in tournaments and I knew I loved the city. He just Googled it and said, ‘Let’s apply.’ I said, ‘I’m gonna apply, but you have to go with me on my interview, if I am lucky enough to get one, because I want you to make sure you really do like the city.’ I actively perused it because I knew it was a great place to work.” You’ve said you feel like you’ve taken your last job. “That was a question in my interview: Are you going to stay? I have no intentions of going anywhere. “That’s the way I looked at it. This was not a stepping stone. This was going some 52 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
place I knew I had the chance to win a national championship. They’ve done it here; there is no reason why we can’t do it again. It just takes time. It’s not something that happens overnight and especially now. You are recruiting so young now. These kids are committing so young that it’s really hard to turn it around so quickly. So instead of it being a two-to-five-year process, it’s now
Nadia Majidizadeh probably like a five-to-10-year process to really get to the low spot where you are in the top 20.” What type of example does Nadia Majidizadeh set, a senior from Union High School? “She’s a great kid. She’s awesome. It’s funny, when we got here she was kinda torn down a little bit. The coach before me and her did not get along. She didn’t want to leave Tulsa because she is really close to her family, so she was sticking it out. She was just beat down. Today, she is a confident, wonderful woman who practices hard, wants to be a leader, studies hard. She is just a really great all-around kid. I wish I had her for a couple more years.” You have three local players – Majidizadeh, Taylor Dobson and Mackenzie
Medders – on your current roster. Is local recruiting as important as international recruiting? “I think we have a lot of talent in Oklahoma and Texas, so that’s been my primary focus. We have three international girls: one from the UK, one from Sweden and one from Peru. So I do like international players. I think they bring a different part of the team chemistry because all of them play on their national teams, whether it’s a junior national or a national team. They know what team atmosphere should be like, where American players, it’s all about individual play. We don’t always know what a team should be like. So they bring a different chemistry to it. And the other unique thing here in Oklahoma and Texas is high school golf is like everything to these kids. That wasn’t what it was like when I was growing up. It was more about the individual tournaments.” What are your hopes for the team this season? “I think you are going to see some really good things out of us this year. I think there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be at regionals this year.” How involved do you want Dale McNamara to be? “I keep Dale pretty involved. She is a great resource. She’s been helping me meet people in the community, to help fundraise, different areas like that. I talk to her probably every couple of weeks. She comes out to practice and meets the girls. When we have dinners for the girls, I always invite her so she can come over and meet the team. It’s as much as she wants to be involved. If she wants to be involved more, I gladly involve her more. I think it’s important to keep her around. She’s done so much for this program. I feel like the coach who was here before didn’t want that presence, because it was almost intimidating. I’m not intimidated by Dale. I think it is good to have a person like Dale involved because she brings history and knowledge and different things that can actually help not only the team, but help me get better as a coach.” When it comes to recruiting, what is Tulsa’s best selling point? “Our history is huge. A lot of people don’t really know that we’ve won four national championships. So when I start off talking to a recruit, the first thing I do is talk to them about our history, talk to them
Reach an affluent golf demographic! In OKC call 405-640-9996. In Tulsa call 918-280-0787. about the players who have been here. It’s not just Nancy Lopez. It’s Stacy Prammanasudh. It’s Kelly Robbins. It’s Carin Koch. We’ve had so many great players here. And now, Lee-Anne Pace. So I talk to them a lot about that. We talk about the courses. I think academics are a huge sell. My past helps a lot. It’s them knowing that I’ve been there done that and they can learn from me. I think that makes a big difference. I think they know how passionate I am. It’s really fun for me to give back.” On the PGA Tour, you see a lot more weight training. Do you see that trickling down to the women’s college game? “When I was playing, I worked out with the same trainer Tiger (Woods) worked out with. I grew up with Tiger. We grew up in Los Angeles together. He’s a year younger than I am, but we played in all the same junior tournaments together. When I was in AJGA, I played practice rounds with him almost every week. “Keith Kleven was his trainer and he was my trainer. He was based out of Las Vegas. I started with Keith when I was like 15. Back then, working out was not a normal practice. Workouts are very different
today. Back then, it was more endurancebased. They didn’t think about fast-twitch muscles. It was just lots of reps, getting the endurance. “And now TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) is the golf-specific workouts and most trainers are basing their workouts around TPI. And a lot of colleges try to have someone on staff who is TPI-certified. When I got here, we did send one of the GAs to get TPIcertified. She is not here anymore, so she worked us out the first couple of years and then she left. We could have done that again, but Clint Howard here in town, he trains Bo Van Pelt. He created the program for Oklahoma State for both men’s and women’s golf and he works for TPI where he certifies others to get trained. His whole premise is around golf. It’s been great for us.” Got any interesting Tiger stories? “We used to play in father-son/fatherdaughter tournaments together every year, my dad and myself and Tiger and his dad Earl. Tiger would request us just because we didn’t bother Tiger because we knew him. “I guess my favorite Tiger story was (during a tournament they were playing
together) we get to the second hole, it’s a par-5 and I go, ‘Where do you want me to lay this up to?’ He says, ‘Just hit it down the fairway.’ I go, ‘No, seriously, where do you want me to lay this up?’ He says, ‘The 100-yard plate.’ I go, ‘OK, done.’ And I did, it was like this far (holding hands close together) from the 100-yard plate. And he goes, ‘You weren’t kidding, were you?’ We played so much together that I could come up with a lot of stories. He’s a really good guy, will do anything for his friends. I know he’s had his issues in the past, but for the people he’s close to, he would do just about anything for them. I know there were some things that shouldn’t have done that he did, but for the most part I think he’s overall a really, really good person.” Do you ever get a chance to play golf for fun? No. My kids are 2 and 3. It’s really hard to take time away from them. When they get older, I’ll want to play with them because I want to teach them golf. Hopefully, they like it. I am not going to force it on them. I just want them to enjoy it. One day I’ll start playing again, but not right now.”
www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 53
SUPERINTENDENT’S PERSPECTIVE Cedar Ridge cont. from pg. 42 yard range from the back tees, creating options for the longer players to try to go over, hit past or lay up just short of those bunkers, while shorter players will likely no longer reach the hazards. “The golf course was antiquated,” Wooten said. “It was fine for 1969, but the longer players now were just flying over all the fairway bunkers. We brought back an element of risk-reward for those guys. He’s putting a little more stress on the big hitters.” The downhill par-4 eighth hole is a good example of the changes at Cedar Ridge. The hole slopes not only downhill, but left to right. Four large oak trees were removed on the right side and the fairway extended 20 yards in that direction, but a fairway bunker placed at about 250 yards from the back tee on the left side. Now any shot hit slightly right is not automatically blocked out and longer hitters can still try to fly the bunker or pass it by on the right, but many balls hit in the 260-270 range down the left side or even middle will wind up in the bunker. “He gave you a lot of room on the right, but took it away on the left,” Wooten said. “What plays with your mind is that any ball
54 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
hit in the fairway kicks toward that bunker.” The sharp dogleg left third hole used to have a landing area of about 18 by 20 yards unless a golfer could sling it around the corner. Now, thanks to removal of a large oak and three bunkers, the landing area has doubled in size. It would appear to be an easier hole, but Wooten said that hasn’t been the case. “Everyone that used to be in the rough or a bunker would JonesPlan workers had this hole sodded by day’s end. lay up behind the pond and hit their third shot on and two-putt for bogey. an advantage out there, but there are a few Now they feel like they have to go for it be- holes where they have to consider their stratcause it’s so wide open and they dink it in egy. It’s like when you play at Colonial, the the water and make double bogey. It’s still a longer players don’t have the advantage on every hole, the accurate player also has an tough downhill second shot over water.” For the course as a whole, Davis said his advantage on some holes. “The cool thing about this course is it is objective was not to take driver out of the hands of the longer players, but to provide a pliable. You can stretch it to 7,500 yards. But depending on the wind and where the pins balance. “Except for the third hole, guys would are on greens, Mike should not have to set it hit driver on every par-4 and par-5 on the up at 7,500 for it to be a challenge to the best course,” he said. “They are still going to have players in the game.”
QUA I L CR EEK BA N K’S ON T H E L I N K S W I T H A N YA
Keeping limber in the winter Colder weather is approaching and our time to hone our golf swings on the range will be limited. But fear not, if you’re unable to find a covered range or can’t make it to Florida for a few rounds, these at-home drills will help you maintain and improve your golf swing without having to hit a golf ball. Anya Alvarez Kickingbird GC Teacher
Posture is key, and if you have poor posture you will limit your ability to make a full-turn. On the photo on left, my shoulders are hunched and I am actually trying to turn here. Part of the reason people swing with just their arms is because their posture is incorrect. On the second photo on the right, I have my shoulders pulled back and down, which enabled me to use my back and turn it towards my target. Look at any PGA and LPGA tour player and pay attention to their posture, specifically their shoulders. They’re all straight back and down.
Second Drill: Now that your posture is on its way to being tour worthy, time to work on the actual turn itself. Place the top of your head on a wall and focus on just turning your shoulders. This will help you keep your head centered in your swing, and you’ll be able to feel if your head wants to move. This will also help you feel where your limit is in your turn before your head wants to move off the ball.
Third Drill: Your upper body turn is improving now, so let’s get to work on the lower body. Get into your posture about two-four inches away from a wall. While keeping your upper body as still as possible, focus on turning your hips behind you and try to touch the wall with your posterior. If you have someone around, have them hold your shoulders so you can feel the isolation in just turning your lower body.
Fourth Drill: This drill will help you feel posted onto your left and right side in your swing, while also helping improve your balance. Post one leg on the wall, and get into your golf posture once again (remember, shoulders back!) and turn into your right leg. Switch and repeat on the other side.
Fifth Drill: Since you’ve got the upper body and lower body working better, let’s piece all of them other together. Again, the wall is going to be your friend. Stand as close to it as you can in your golf posture, and turn your body towards the wall, while keeping your head still. Again, if you have someone around, have them hold your head. Good luck, and remember, just because you may not be able to get outside as much, doesn’t mean you still can’t practice good fundamentals! Anya Alvarez is a retired LPGA player who now teaches at Kickingbird Golf Club in Edmond. For more, visit www.anyagolf.com 56 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
Points of concentration: Driving by jim young
Very often, all golfers get caught up in breaking down our swing into pieces. This is especially true when it comes to driving the ball. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to get off of the tee with distance and/or accuracy. As a result, more practice time and more swing tips are devoted to driving the golf ball than anything else. Set-up, ball position, posture, alignment are all important elements, but when you are on the golf course it’s very difficult to correct for these things and still play your round effectively. Here are a couple of suggestions to help you correct on the fly: 1. If the ball takes off and looks like it will not get into the air or is topped to the point that the ball makes a mark in the ground in front of the ball, chances are you are swinging the club into the ball very steeply. Think of the head of the club as an airplane landing. The nose of the plane is too far down when you reach the ball and the face of the club is pointing down toward the ground. Your
plane is effectively crashing. To fix this, simply concentrate on sweeping the tee out from under the ball. This will send a slightly different set of instructions from your eyes and brain to your body and with any luck it will shallow out your motion. Odds are you will not overdo it and actually knock the tee out from under the ball but instead you will sweep the club into the center of the ball, landing your plane safely. The idea is to change your point of concentration, changing your motion by Too steep. Clubface too high. just focusing on the tee. 2. If you are popping the ball up in the air the club head is reaching its low point at the to the point where you are leaving marks ball instead of past the ball as it would be in on the top of your club, chances are you are coming into the ball too steeply as well, but See DRIVING page 59
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quailcreek.bank www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 57
Improving Your Play During Fall and Winter Soon the leaves will Fall and winter is the perfect time to get the feel of the new swing and make consisbegin to change color with a trainer and start a regimen of getting tent contact. • Repeat the good. Too often I see clients and the grass in this your body to play its best golf come spring. part of the country will There are many places locally that specialize dwelling on the bad shots during change. go dormant and get a in golf performance training, such as Sean Focus on the good ones and how to repeat little thinner. Here are Ryan and the team at Swing Fit, Clint How- them more often. If you want to ski faster you are going to fall down, if you want a few tips on how to ard of Tulsa Fitness Systems, and others. Second, now is the best time to make to make an omelet you are going to break improve this fall and those necessary changes to your swing, some eggs, don’t fear the bad, rather look winter. Michael Boyd Often times we play with less tournaments coming up, you can to the good and focus on the future change. • Change it up. While practicing, go from less golf when the fall and winter comes, so make the needed changes without the fear we lose some skill in controlling our swing. of playing poorly when it counts. When I lots of rehearsals (no hitting balls), to drills, The first fundamental to good golf is con- was playing for a living I got with my in- to hitting balls with different clubs to differstructor and did most of my changes in the ent targets, and bounce around. The more tacting the ball properly. My first tip is to be mindful of where (and winter and spent the season maintaining the you get your mind to work on recalling and how) your club touches the ground. While swing. Get with your instructor and get a making the swing in different situations, the better you will be in the long this is always important, it is run. especially important when the • Ask questions. Make sure grass is thinner. During your you are on the same page warm-up or practice, place a with your instructor on what tee all the way into the ground you are doing, and why you and practice slightly brushare doing it. Ask about coming the ground at or just past mon faults and their fix. (target side of) the tee. This is • Do it every day. Hank important when hitting any Haney encourages people to shot where the ball is on the make 100 swings a day. I like ground, even chipping. I enthat plan, but make sure you courage you to even make this are making the “new” swing. a part of your routine. When • Follow up. A common playing, take one practice fault I see is that students get swing and make sure to be a lesson and wait too long to mindful of where your club come back for a check-up, esbrushes the ground, again, especially early on in a change. pecially when chipping. When they do come back, Speaking of chipping, as they have either been workthe grass gets thinner this ing on the wrong concept (see year, work on hitting lower No. 3 above) or they have shots with less loft around the overdone it. Early in the progreen, try 7- and 8-irons, hycess stay connected to your brids, even putters. Place the instructor to make sure you ball in the back half of your are following the game plan. stance, get 70-to-75 percent With all of the technology at of your weight on your front Green line represents making a divot past the tee – ideal contact. our fingertips today, I have foot, and keep the back of Red line represents hitting the ground before the tee – poor contact. my students text me quesyour lead hand firm (left hand for right-handed golfers). The advantage to game plan on how to make changes for the tions or even send swing video from their having thinner grass is the ball rolls better. better. Change can be hard any time of year. phone between lessons. If you have more questions on how you Here are a few tips on how to make the best So, get that ball rolling as soon as you can. can improve I would love to help you. The truth is the fall is the best time to transition. • Make slow exaggerated rehearsals. Check out www.michaelboydgolf.com or advance and grow your game the most. Changing your body and swing can be diffi- While doing this, be mindful of how your call me at 918-645-0986. We have a new incult for some during the season, it is hard to body is moving, what it feels like to move door learning center at The Club at Indian commit to a change when you are playing the club the way you are supposed to, and Springs, so even if it’s snowing we can get weekly and in tournaments often. My last pay attention to the path of the club head to work on making you better. two tips are for those of you who are seri- and the position (open, square, closed) of Michael Boyd, PGA the club face. ous about improvement. Director of Instruction • Get your instructor to give you drills. First, if you want to truly play your best, The Club at Indian Springs you need to be in good physical golf shape. Hit balls with those drills until you engrain 58 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
Driving cont. from pg. 57 scenario 1. If this is the case, try to concentrate on sweeping the larger, top part of the tee out from under the ball. As before, this should help shallow your motion and help you get the club head swinging up into the ball instead of down under it. 3. If you are hitting the ball off of the bottom of the club, catching the top of the ball or just having the ball come out low as a result, you should also concentrate on knocking the top part of the tee out from under the ball. If that is still not enough, change your point of concentration to knocking the whole tee out from under the ball instead. One of the two should help you reset your angle of attack. These changes in your point of concentration can help you drive the ball better during the round, particularly if you are struggling. They can also be effective tools in practice after and between rounds to help make the change last. A couple of suggestions for your practice: 1. Experiment with tee height – How high you tee the ball can change the sig-
nal your brain is sending to your body, altering your angle of attack. A good rule of thumb is to start with half of the ball sitting above the crown of the driver and move the tee up and down until you find what works best for you. 2. Spray the face – Get a can of Dr. Scholl’s Odor-X or the generic equivalent and spray it on the face of your driver. This will show you exactly where you are hitting the ball on the face of your driver. That will help you discover which of the three points of concentration fits best for you. And don’t worry, you can wipe the spray right off and it will not hurt the finish of your driver. Best of luck and as always let me know how I can help you lower your scores. Jim Young PGA Teaching Professional River Oaks Golf Club Edmond, OK www.jimyounggolf.com Facebook: Jim Young Golf Twitter: @jpygolf YouTube: Jim Young Golf 405-630-8183
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www.golfoklahoma.org •••••• 59
Ryder Cup one for the ages
When Arnold Palmer died on the eve of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club near Minneapolis, the atmosphere changed from eager anticipation to a sort of melancholy jitteriness. How would the week
play out? Mr. Palmer had special ties to Minnesota. He competed in Minnesota’s 3M Championship on the Champions Tour far longer than he played in any other event. He participated in the Greats of Golf Challenge within that event as late as 2015 when his health was in early decline, always drawing the biggest galleries. Fittingly for the locals, the last golf course design to have his name on it will open in Lake Elmo, Minnesota as The Royal Golf Club in 2017, with The King and The Queen nines. He was here in August to unveil the plans, and his team will do the design on nine of the holes while Annika Sorenstam will build the other side. As Arnie would undoubtedly have wanted, the matches would of course go on, and ultimately go down in the books as one of the most spectacular competitions in the history of golf. Throughout the week people came to believe that perhaps the timing of Arnold Palmer’s anticipated death was ‘meant to be’, even serendipitous. It’s now well known that the USA team, headed by Davis Love III, ended a run of European victories with a remarkable 17-11 win. Minnesotans took tremendous pride in getting golf’s most prestigious team event. When Hazeltine was built and opened in 1962, its mission statement was to have a course capable of holding major championships. The club was a bit embarrassed when its first men’s major was met with less than enthusiastic praise. Competitor Dave Hill, who was runner up to Tony Jacklin, said, “Hazeltine really did lack only 80 acres of corn and a few cows...” While the truth is that it was too early for the course to hold a major in 1970, the membership went to work on improvements and changes to the Robert Trent Jones layout and eventually were rewarded with the 1991 U.S. Open, an epic 18-hole playoff won by legendary Payne Stewart. The PGA of America fol60 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org
lowed with its championship in 2002 and 2009 and then its ultimate blessing, the 2016 Ryder Cup. So, how was it on the grounds of Hazeltine? Fans started pouring into the 350 acres as early as the weekend prior to play, with the mega-store sized merchandise tent open to the public. Each subsequent day brought more spectators, with at least 25,000 for practice and exhibition rounds Tuesday-Thursday. By Sunday, the crowds surrounding every hole, most notably the par-five-16th were more akin to what you find in a football stadium than on a golf course. That hole plays as the 7th for members, but Hazeltine was rerouted for The Ryder Cup for just the type of drama that played out. You could hear the roars on the other side of the course when eagle or birdie was made there. With 50,000 fans wanting to see parts of just 12 matches, at times they were 40 deep adjacent to greens. It helped that there were enough large video boards, strategically placed across the course so that fans were able to follow play. Radio headsets sold for $15 and you could listen in on the broadcasts of NBC, Golf Channel, Sky Sports or Sirius XM for play-by-play as well. If you ever get the chance to attend one of these, make that investment. Fans from both sides of the pond participated in cheering and jeering and most of it was light-hearted and fun. Some of it was spontaneous, some seemed well-planned. Regrettably, on Saturday a tiny minority of over-served spectators went over the proverbial line and were removed from the grounds. While it seemed to this observer that some of the media overstated the verbal abuses, there was no doubt that some went too far with their taunts and most Minnesotans were embarrassed by it. We are after all, ‘Minnesota Nice’. The PGA of America and Hazeltine members issued a No-Tolerance policy on fan behavior prior to Sunday’s matches and it seemed to have eliminated any issue. American fans gave the Europeans, especially Rory McIlroy,
a welcoming cheer and words of encouragement when they entered the practice range Sunday morning. With Rory in the first-out match against Patrick Reed, fans cheered when a hole went their way, but it was respectful pride for team and the two of them went from green to tee with arms around each other at least once following matched birdies. Following the moment of silence at the aforementioned opening ceremonies, the jumbotron featured a moving rendition of native-son Prince’s famous Purple Rain. As the week wore on and word spread of a “Red Out Sunday”, the purple state became a sea of red, the matches wrapped up with Patrick Reed gaining the first A merican point in a monumental match with Rory, an 18-birdie match between Phil M ickelson and Sergio Garcia, and l a st-n a med c apt a i n’s pick Ryan Moore securing the Cup for USA. The opening ceremonies began with a moment of silence for Phil Mickelson The King of Golf. A spontaneous chant of “Ar-nold Pal-mer” (clap, clap - clap, clap, clap), Team USA pitching in from the dais with the boisterous crowd, helped bring the event to a close. This was one for the ages. Minnesota is proud. Greg Wires is the publisher of Golf Minnesota and shared the Ryder Cup week with Golf Oklahoma readers on Facebook and Twitter as well.
SCHEDULES & RESULTS: More at www.golfoklahoma.org COLLEGE MEN MSSU MEN’S FALL INVITATIONAL At Shangri-La CC, Monkey Island (par-72) Sept. 26-27 Team scores: 1, Central Oklahoma 294-277-289 – 860; 2, Okla. Christian 277-299-293 – 869; 3, Lindenwood 289-293-288 – 870; 4, Southern Nazarene 293-291-293 – 877; 5, Missouri Southern State 298-288-295 – 881; 6, Hutchinson CC 298-295-295 – 888; 7, Minnesota State 304-304299 – 907; 8, SW Baptist 304-295-309 – 908; 9, Rogers State 305-299-307 – 911; 10, ConcordiaSt. Paul 308-298-312 – 918; 11, Sioux Falls 304309-308 – 921; 12, Fort Hays State 326-317-320 – 963. Individual leaders: 1, Alberto Ruiz (UCO) 71-69-69 – 209; 2, Alejandro Valenzuela (Okla. Chr.) 6674-72 – 212; 3, Yenie Van Doren (Lindenwood) 73-=70-70 – 213; 4 (tie), Cody Troutman (UCO) 73-68-73 – 214, Zac Schaefer (Okla. Chr.) 6675-73 – 214 and Taylor Lansford (MSS) 71-71-72 – 214; 7 (tie), Eli Armstrong (UCO) 74-70-72 – 216 and Connor Neil (MSS) 73-68-75 – 216; 9, Hagan Barmasse (RSU) 69-75-73 – 217; 10 (tie), Dylan Igo (SNU) 77-72-69 – 218 and Koke EdoMaeso (Lindenwood) 72-73-73 – 218. OBU FALL INVITTIONAL At Shawnee GC (par-71) Sept. 26-27 Team scores: 1, Southern Arkansas 301-285 – 586; 2, Murray State 298-289 – 587; 3, Okla. Baptist 294-296 – 590; 4, Cameron 295-301 – 596; 5, Seminole 3210-313 -- 634; 6, Northwestern State 328-315 – 643; 7, Southwestern Christian 336-332 – 668. Individual leaders: 1, Kyle Gordon (SAU) 67-70 – 137; 2, Alistair Snowdon (MS) 69-73 – 142; 3, Kyle Perdew (OBU) 72-71 – 143; 4 (tie), Kyle Hill (Okla. Chr.) 73-72 – 145 and Hudson Hoover (OBU) 6976 – 145; 6, Noah Hasse (Cameron) 70-76 – 146; 7 (tie), Luke Garner (OBU) 76-72 – 148, Daniel Nielsen (Cameron) 75-73 – 148 and Dalton Johnson (SAU) 74-74 – 148. NSU CLASSIC At Muskogee GC (par-71) Sept. 19-20 Team leaders (18 teams): 1, Arkansas Tech 277277-284 – 838; 2, Southwestern State 282-284274 – 840; 3, Central Oklahoma 285-290-281 – 856; 4, Central Missouri 292-278-287 – 857; 5, Lindenwood 282-280-297 – 859; 6, Northeastern State 285-284-296 – 865; 7, Henderson State 290-284-296 – 865; 8, Washburn 297-286-285 – 868; 10, Southeastern State 197-289-287 – 873; 11, Ark.-Monticello 301-283-292 – 876; 12, Southern Nazarene 295-290-297 – 882. Individual leaders: 1, Austin Smith (AT) 67-6670 – 203; 2, Stefan Idstam (SWOSU) 70-68-67 – 205; 3, Tate Williamson (NSU) 69-65-72 – 206; 4, Alex Springer (CM) 72-67-68 – 207; 5, Price Murphee (HS) 70-69-69 – 208; 6 (tie), Luke Cornett (AT) 70-68-71 – 209 and Yente Van Doren (LU) 70-68-71 – 209; 8, Garrett McDaniel (NSU) 69-72-70 – 211 and Nick Pierce (UCO) 72-69-70 – 211; 10 (tie), Joby Gray (SWOSU) 73-72-67 – 212, Kelton Schmitz (Minn. St.) 69-7172 – 212 and Koke EdoMaeso (LU) 70-68-74 – 212. Other scores: Ryan Woods (SEOSU) 73-70-70 – 213, Marques Gomez (SWUS) 69-70-75 – 214, Zach James (SEOSU) 73-70-72 – 215, Wesley Jackson (UCO) 69-77-70 – 216, Cody Troutman (UCO) 71-78-68 – 217, Eli Armstrong (UCO) 737-73 – 217,Kason Cook (SWOUS) 70-79-68 – 217, Rhett Bechtel (SNU) 72-72-73 – 217. NCCAA CENTRAL REGIONAL At GC of Edmond (par-70) Sept. 19-20 Team scores: 1, Dallas Baptist 298-294-291 – 883; 2, McMurry 304-302-291 – 897; 3, Okla. Baptist 299-311-298 – 908; 4, Central Baptist 310-305294 – 909; 5, Mid-America Christian 307-319-308 – 934; 6, Southwestern Christian 317-314-336 – 967; 7,Central Christian 327-323-320 – 970; 8, Crowley’s Ridge 332-326-335 – 993. Individual leaders: 1, Austin Harmon (CB) 6969-65 – 203; 2, Joaquin Arguelles (DB) 71-72-68 – 211; 3, Sam Sweeney (McMurry) 76-68-69 – 213;
4 (tie), Kyle Perdew (OBU) 72-76-73 – 221 and Chase Brincat (DB) 74-72-75 – 221. U.C. FERGUSON CLASSIC At Lincoln Park GC, Okla. City (par-71) Sept. 5-7 Team scores: 1, Oklahoma City 277-272-273 – 822; 2, Texas Wesleyan 282-276-274 – 832; 3, Odessa CC 275-272-286 – 833; 4, Okla. Wesleyan 285-289-280 – 854; 5, Western Texas CC 286-294-276 – 856; 6, Murray State 287-292-281 – 860; 7, Bellevue 286-285-293 – 864; 8, Hastings College 298-293-288 – 879; 9, Southwestern College 292-301-290 – 883; 10, Okla. Baptist 293-295-301 – 889; 11, The Master’s 291-303-296 – 890; 12, Central Baptist 301-304-298 – 903. Individual leaders: 1, Matthew Cheung (OCU) 68-65-65 – 198; 2, Ada Blomme (Odessa) 65-6470 – 199; 3 (tie), Jordan Flynn (WTCC) 69-6964 – 202 and Parker Beaty (Odessa_ 69-63-70 – 202; 5, Rupert Kaminski (OCU) 71-66-69 – 206; 6, Austin Harmon (CB) 67-70-70 – 207; 7 (tie), David Meyers (OCU) 71-68-69 – 208 and Rowan Lester (TW) 70-67-72 – 209. Other scores: Garrison Mendoza (OCU) 68-73-70 – 211, Kastepr Steffen (OWU) 68-71-72 – 211, Kyle Perdew (OBU) 67-71-74 – 212, Preston Waker (OWU) 72-71-79 – 212, Blake Murray (OCU) 7371-69 – 213. WOMEN BOB HURLEY AUTO ORU SHOOTOUT At MeadowBrook CC, Tulsa (par-72) Sept. 26-27 Team leaders: 1, Lamar 298-301-296 – 895; 2, Oral Roberts 306-299-303 – 908; 3, Stephen F. Austin State 307-306-299 – 912; 4, Houston Baptist 307-308-309 – 924; 5 (tie), Wichita State 313-308-304 – 925 and Sam Houston State 315-313-297 – 925; 7, Texas-El Paso 318-309300 – 907; 8, Arkansas State 311-311-306 – 928; 9, Utah Valley 313-311-306 – 930; 10, Okla. Christian 311-311-309 – 931. Individual leaders: 1, Wenny Chang (Lamar) 75-74-72 – 221 (won playoff); 2, Elodie Chaplet (Lamar) 73-75-73 – 221; 3 (tie), Kennedy Ishee (ORU) 77-71-74 – 222, Olivia Le Roux (Lamar) 73-74-75 -- 222 and June Ting (UTEP) 75-76-71 – 222; 6, Jessica White (SFA) 79-75-70 – 223; 7, Taryn Torgerson (WSIU) 74-78-72 – 224. Other scores: Kate Goodwin (Okla. Chr.) 76-7774 – 227, Beatriz Garcia (ORU) 75-74-79 – 228, Abigail Rigsby (Okla. Chr.) 80-71-78 – 229, Paty Torres (ORU) 81-75-76 – 232, Annie Lacombe (ORU) 80-79-74 – 233, Caroline Goodin (Okla. City) 78-78-77 – 233, Rebecca Hnidka (ORU) 74-79-81 – 234, Allison Sell (Okla. Chr.) 74-8480 – 238. OBU FALL INVITATIONAL At John Conrad GC, Midwest City (par-72) Sept. 26-27 Team scores: 1, Texas A&M-Commerce 299-291 – 590 (won playoff); 2, Redlands CC 299-291 – 590; 3, Cameron 309-307 – 616; 4, Okla. Baptist 314-303 – 617; 5, Southern Arkansas 320-318 – 638; 5, Southern Arkansas 320-318 – 638; 6, Southwestern Christian 325-315 – 640; 7, Northwestern State 338-323 – 661; 8, Western Texas CC 345-322 – 667; 9, Kansas Wesleyan 339-329 -- 668; 10, Seminole State CC 344-337 – 681; 11, Panhandle State 366-374 – 740. Individual leaders: 1, Marion Benzekri (Redlands) 74-70 – 144; 2, Emily Taylor (TAMC) 73-73 – 146; 3, Emily Coleman (Redlands) 73-74 – 147; 4 (tie), Caroline Christensen (Cameron) 75-73 – 148, Helle Leed (SAU) 73-75 – 148, Anya Anders (TAC) 79-69 – 148, Celeste Emeott (TAMC) 73-75 – 148 amd Makena Thomas (TAMC) 74-74 – 148. Other scores: Michelle Carr (OBU) 77-75 – 152, Bayleigh Johnson (Cameron) 80-75 – 155, Kennedy Wheeler (Cameron) 78-77 – 155, Robyn Moore (Cameron) 80-76 – 156, Kadrian Shelton 80-77 – 157. SCHOONER FALL CLASSIC At Belmar GC, Norman (par-71) Sept. 24-26 Team scores: 1, Florida State 270-279-280 – 829; 2, Alabama 275-82-284 – 841; 3, Clemson 2812856-283 – 849; 4, Oklahoma 283-285-284 – 852;
5, Kent State 292-284-282 – 858; 6 (tie), Notre Dame 283-298-290 – 871 and Louisiana State 291-288-292 – 871; 8, Texas A&M 293-298-281 – 872; 9, Iowa State 294-286-294 – 874; 10, Texas State 294-294-300 – 888; 11 Kansas 295-303-294 – 892; 12, Mississippi State 298-298-298 – 894. Individual leaders: 1, Morgane Metraux (FSU) 6867-66 – 201; 2, Alice Hewson (Clemson) 66-70-67 – 203; 3, Maddie Szeryk (Texas A&M) 72-70-63 – 205; 4, Lydia Gumm (FSU) 69-68-69 – 206; 5 (tie), Cheynne Knight (Ala.) 66-69-72 – 207 and Bianca Fabrizio (Texas A&M) 70-67-70 – 207; 7, Hannah Wood (OU) 72-68-69 – 209; 8 (tie), Kim Metraux (FSU) 65-73-72 – 210 and Kristen Gillman (Ala.) 67-73-70 – 210; 10 (tie), Emma Albrecht (ND) 69-73-69 – 211and Caroline Nistrup (LSU) 69-70-72 – 211; 12 (tie), Julienne Soo (OU) 69-70-73 – 212, Lakareber Abe (Ala.) 69-70-73 – 212, Matilda Castren (FSU) 68-71-73 – 212, Lauren Stephenson (Ala.) 73-70-69 -- 212 and Chayani Wangmahaporn (ISU) 71-69-72 – 212; 17, Valerie Tanguay (OU) 70-73-70 – 213. Other OU scores: Sydney Youngblood 67-7970 – 216, Ana Ruiz 72-74-75 – 221, Rylee Pedigo (OU) 74-79-72 – 225, Maggie Neece 78-80-79 – 237, Haley Hill 82-76-85 – 243, Karen Arimoto 87-84-84 – 255. NCCAA CENTRAL REGIUONAL At GC of Edmond (par-71) Sept. 19-20 Team scores: 1, Dallas Baptist 293-295 – 588; 2, Southwestern Christian 335-327 – 662; 3, Colorado Christian 322-341 – 663; 4, Okla. Baptist 339-334 – 673; 5, McMurry 370-378 – 748. Individual leaders: 1, Hanna Harrison (DB) 74-71 – 145; 2, Kirsten Pike (DB) 73-74 – 147. Other scores: Andi Simunek (SW Chr.) 86-74 – 160, Kayla Witt (SW Chr.) 81-81 – 162, Ashlea Mahan (SW Chr.) 82-83 – 165, Elly Baze (OBU) 88-78 – 166. NSU CLASSIC At Cherokee Springs GC, Tahlequah (par-72) Sept. 12-13 Team scores: 1, Southwestern State 309-297 – 606; 2, Northeastern State 298-309 – 607; 3, Central Oklahoma 297-316 – 613; 4, Okla. Christian 313-304 – 617; 5, Rogers State 314-306 – 620; 6, Missouri Western State 314-311 – 625; 7 (tie), Newman 324-311 – 635 and Ark.-Fort Smith 321-314 – 635; 9, Henderson State 3230316 – 639; 10, Cameron 329-317 – 646; 11, Southern Nazarene 329-328 – 657; 12, Okla. Baptist 332-329 – 661; 13, Harding 339-335 – 674; 14, Southern Arkansas 341-343 – 684; 15, Fort Hays State 343-354 – 697; 16, Northwestern State 343-355 – 698; 17, Southwest Baptist 363-362 – 725; 18, Lincoln 376-372 – 748. Individual leaders: 1, Baylee Price (NSU) 72-74 – 146; 2, Shi Qing Ong (MWS) 74-73 – 147; 3 (tie), Marla Souvannising (UCO) 72-76 – 148, Elin Wahlin (SWS) 77-71 – 148, Ebba Moberg (NSU) 71-77 -- 148 and Gloria Choi (SWS) 74-74 – 148; 7, Kate Goodwin (Okla Chr.) 77-72 149. Other scores: Mica Eastin (RSU) 78-74 – 152, Emily Folsom (SWS) 76-76 – 152, Makena Mucciaccio (UCO) 74-78 – 152, Elizabeth Freeman (Okla. Chr.) 77-77 – 154, Carolina Christiansen (Cameron) 77-78 – 155, Stirling Phillips (RSU) 7778 – 155, Abigail Rigsby (Okla. Chr.) 79-76 – 155, Mariana Flores (RSU) 79-77 – 156, Anna Pool (UCO) 7482 – 156, Hailie Wright (NSU) 76-80 – 156, Lexi Armon (NSU) 79-78 – 157, Sydney Roberts (UCO) 77-80 – 157, Jenna Eidem (SWS) 82-76 – 158. OKLAHOMA GOLF ASSOCIATION OKLAHOMA OPEN At Oak Tree CC (East), Edmond (par-70) Aug.19-21 1, Michael Balcer 70-63-65 – 198; 2 (tie), Mark Walker 70-69-64 – 203 and Robby Ormand 67-68-68 – 203; 4, Brad Gehl 68-67-69 – 204; 5 (tie), Franklin Corpening 68-69-69 – 206 and Rob Hudson 71-65-70 – 206; 7, Alex Moon 6970-68 – 207; 8 (tie), Tyler Gann 68-71-69 – 208, Austin Bowman 70-71-67 – 208, Curtis Yonke 71-71-66 – 208 and Scott Kelly 71-69-68 – 208; 12 (tie), a-Cody Burrows 70-68-71 – 209, Logan McCracken 69-71-69 – 209, Austin Jordan 72-6869 – 209 and Sarosh Adi 66-72-71 – 209; 17 (tie),
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SCHEDULES & RESULTS: More at www.golfoklahoma.org a-Mike Hearne 66-70-74 – 210 and Kevin Kring 69-69-72 – 210. MID-AMATEUR At Oaks CC (par-71, Tulsa Aug. 1-2 1, Austin Hannah 65-74 – 139; 2, Rob Laird 70-71 – 141; 3, Kacey Threet 67-76 – 143; 4 (tie), Michael Hughett 69-75 – 144, Patrick West 73-71 – 144 and Brian Birchell 74-70 – 144; 7, Joel Driver 7769 – 146, Jeff Cox 76-70 – 146 and Jeff Richter 72-74 – 146; 10 (tie), Joe Joe Birdwell 73-74 – 147, Tom Ostasik Jr. 70-77 – 147 and Dillon Jordan 75-72 – 147; 13(tie), Blake Gibson 73-76 – 149 and Ryan Grimm 72-77 – 149. WOMEN’S OKLA. GOLF ASSOCIATION SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP At Lincoln Park GC, Okla, City (par-72) Championship: 1, LeeAnn Fairlie 75-75 – 150; 2, Marna Raburn 75-77 – 152; 3, Chrissy Bagwell 83-80 – 163. A flight: 1, Ann Turner 83-80 – 163; 2, Ann Watkins 83-85 – 168; 3, Jan Scott 84-91 – 175. PARTNERSHIP TOURNAMENT At Shangri-La GC, Monkey Island Sept. 21-22 Championship: 1, Teresa DeLarzelere/Marna Raburn 141 (won playoff); 2, Jen Hays/Janet Miller 141; 3 (tie), Jan Fouke/Laurie MakesCry and Liz Sterkel/Lisa Barrowman 147; 5, Sheila Dills/Lynette Hyde 150; 6, Ann Turner/Linda Ballard 156; 7, Robin Purdie/Ann Watkins 158; 8 (tie), Letty Watt/Dawn Stork, Patti McKinnon/Gerrie Climer and Tammy Fairchild/Dana Hurley 159. A flight: 1, Patty Homsey/Chris Thomas 163; 2, Pam Bonifield/Marge Harvey 165. B flight: 1, Diane Daniels/Darla Howe 167; 2, Nancy Hammons/Sandy Nygren 168. C flight: 1, Belinda Armstrong/Angie Gau 162; 2, Lori Nichols/Margo Hamsher 170.
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TULSA GOLF ASSOCIATION PAR-3 TWO-MAN CHALLENGE At LaFortune Park GC Sept. 13 A flight: 1, Austin Hannah/Tyler Sullivan 44; 2, Donny Acree/Joe Tuttle 47; 3 (tie), Ed Cohlmia/ Mitch Cohlmia, Steve Hughes/Shawn Kitchen and Richard Hunt,/Tyler Hunt 48; 6 (tie), Lee Inman/ Terry Trimble and Jay Mayfield/Ty Mayfield 49. B flight: 1, Terry Collier/Mike Lusnak 50; 2, Gary Jarmon/Pat Trowbridge 50; 3, Jeff Cox/West Patrick 50. TWO-MAN CHALLENGE II At Olde Page GC (par-71) Aug. 6-7 A flight: 1, Don Helterbrand/Dave Wing 62; 2, Steve Hughes/Shawn Kitchen 64; 3, David Aattalia/Charlie Black 65; 5, Lee Inman 66; 5 (tie), Mike Fenner/Ken MacLeod, Ron Kise/Pat Trowbridge, Tom Lewis/Joe Tuttle and Carson Meeker/Tommy Riddle 67. B flight: 1, John Blackmon/Mike Blackmon 68; 2, Mark Hight/Ron Humphries 69. OJGT KICKINGBIRD FALL CLASSIC At Kickingbird GC, Edmond (par-70) Aug. 30 Boys 15-18 1, Blake Blaser 66-70 – 136 (won playoff); 2, Laken Hinton 68-68 – 136; 3 (tie), Colter Baca 71-66 – 137, Logan McAllister 67-70 – 137, Matthew Braley 70-67 – 137 and William McDonald 69-68 – 137; 7, Matthew Mantle 68-70 – 138; 8 (tie), Lane Wallace 71-68 – 139 and Dalton Daniel 70-69 – 139; 10, Zac Owens 73-67 – 140. Boys 12-14 1, Jason Dowell 71-68 – 139; 2, Luke Morgan 69-70 – 139; 3, Benjamin Stoller 72-70 – 142; 4, Garrett Starkey 73-70 – 143; 5, Hayden Hall 69-75 – 144. Girls 12-18 1, ShaeBug Scarberry 69-68 – 137; 2, Kaitlin Mil-
ligan 68-71 – 139; 3, Sydney Herrmann 71-74 – 145; 4, Emilie Jackson 73-73 – 146; 5, Alden Wallace 74-74 – 148; 6, Olivia Schmidt 77-72 – 149; 7, Mikaela Rindermann 75-75 - -150; 8, Chloe Black 77-74 – 151; 9 (tie), Katie Finley 80-72 – 152 and Adeline Norton 78-74 – 152. SCPGA SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP At Hillcrest CC, Bartlesville (par-71) Sept 26-27 1, Mark Fuller 70-69 – 139; 2, Jim Kane 70-70 – 140; 3, Tim Graves 72-70 – 142; 4, Tim Fleming 74-71 – 145; 5, Kyle Flinton 74-71 – 145; 6, Dennis Bowman 73-75 – 148; 7, Michael Gowens 77-72 – 149; 8, Vince Bizik 76-77 – 153; 10 (tie), George Glenn 77-77 – 154 and Rick Parish 80-74 – 154. SECTION CHAMPIONSHIP At The Territory GC, Duncan (par-72) Sept. 19-20 1, Michael Boyd 69-70 – 139; 2, Jim Young 69-72 – 141; 3, Mike Hansen 72-70 – 142; 4 (tie), Brian Soerensen 73-70 – 143 and Bruce Baxley 70-73 – 143; 6, Mark Fuller 71-74 – 145; 7 (tie), Derek Franco 74-72 – 146 and Malachi Murphy 72-74 – 146; 9 (tie), Kyley Tetley 70-77 – 147 and Jarod Lundy 73-74 – 147; 11 (tie), Jeremy Dear 74-74 – 148 and Darren Watts 71-77 – 148. GOLF CHANNEL TOUR OKLAHOMA TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP At Lincoln Park GC, Okla. City (par-71) Aug. 20-21 1, Curt Howard 71-72 – 143; 2 (tie), Devon Sauzek 73-74 – 147 and Jared Taft 76-71—147; 4, Cody Rozell 76-76 – 152. OAK TREE WEST OPEN At Oak Tree CC, Edmond (West) (par70) Aug. 14 1, Cory Montgomery 72; 2, Jared Taft 79.
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As you can see by the cover, we have a story by John Rohde on OU’s Brad Dalke (Kong), runner-up in the 2016 U.S. Amateur. That’s just one of...