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TABLE OF CONTENTS OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2017

Volume 7 Issue 5

The Goods 14

A good book, fine wine and nice cigar!

Chip Shots 20

2017 Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame class inducted, former LaFortune Park head professional Jerry Jones remembered

Oklahoma Course News 22 24 25 28 30 31

Shake up in Tulsa area golf course scene Members informed Meadowbrook CC to close White Hawk future in doubt Patriot gets clubhouse, greens at The Greens Golf Club of Oklahoma sets new course New clubhouses in OKC, Forest Ridge adds huge fitness center

Features 32 34 36

Texas courses still in recovery mode

38 40

Boom town with Jason Eslinger

28

Gooch is ready for PGA Tour rookie season Sooners, Cowboys have eyes on the ultimate prize in college golf

Mike Carter reflects on career as college golf administrator

Departments 10 12 12 12 44 44 45

20

36

Letter from the Publisher OGA ED Mark Felder WOGA ED Sheila Dills Rules, Gene Mortensen Instruction: Steve Ball Instruction: Jim Woodward Schedules and results

32

Support junior golf by contributing to the OGA Foundation Call 405-848-0042 for more information 6

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GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017


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OCT/NOV 2017

FROM THE PUBLISHER KEN M AC LEOD

City of Tulsa golf courses in need of a champion

Belcher, there are no capital improvement funds in the works for either city course. No real capital improvement dollars have been provided by the city since a 2004 project at Stone Creek. If the tone set at city hall doesn’t change, Page Belcher in particular will fall farther behind in a time when it should be looking to drastically increase its market share due to several of its competitors closing with more to come in all likelihood. There are a lot of golfers in the Tulsa area up for grabs right now. As Meadowbrook Country Club and White Hawk Golf Course possibly join Clary Fields, Cotton Creek and Okmulgee CC as courses either south or west of Tulsa to close, a well-run, well-maintained Page Belcher complex could attract many of those golfers and benefit tremendously. Down the turnpike in Oklahoma City voters just approved $25 million in bond issues for new clubhouses at Earlywine Park Golf Course and Lake Hefner Golf Course as part of more than $300 million in bonds for Oklahoma City parks. That stands in contrast to Tulsa, where Parks and Recreation Director Lucy Dolan has suffered consistent budget and staffing cuts while trying to maintain the more than 8,000 acres of 134 parks in the city of Tulsa, let alone the golf courses. For those who haven’t played at Page Belcher, it is the site of two of the state’s best routings among public courses in Olde Page and Stone Creek. Both courses are fun to play and challenging and the zoysia fairways on each are still an advantage no other course in the area can claim. Full disclosure, this writer plays there frequently and so has both an intimate knowledge of course conditions and a vested interest in improvements. There is no course improvement fund, so any areas where fescue grass dies in heat, when ponds get overrun with algae and scum, where cart paths crack and break, where storm runoff forms ruts or holes, that’s the way they stay indefinitely. Bunker liners are shot and all bunkers need to be rebuilt completely from drains up. Billy Casper is currently spending about $30,000 putting more sand in the bunkers at Page Belcher, a band aid because all the sand will wash away in short order without rebuilding the bunkers correctly. The clubhouse at Page Belcher needs

Some wise person once said if you’re standing still, you’re falling behind, because time marches forward. Standing still, unfortunately, has been what’s transpired in the City of Tulsa regarding golf of late, and it’s falling ever farther behind in a competitive market place. When the city hired Billy Casper Golf to maintain its courses 10 years ago, it also worked with the company as it came in and lifted the courses from run-down conditions, including replacing the consistently poor bent-grass greens with Champion Bermuda. By helping with some utlity costs, the city allowed BCG to pay for the new greens from its own budget. Those costs can be steep. In fiscal year 2016-17, Billy Casper paid about $365,000 for water, gas, electric, sewer, trash and fuel at Page Belcher and Mohawk Park. Billy Casper Golf now pays those costs, all maintenance crews and budgets, pro shop staff, outside staff and restaurant help as well. If you’re looking for a company to provide decent playing conditions without requiring much of a subsidy from the city, Billy Casper does a great job. However, any capital improvement funds needed to lift the courses up and keep step with their competitors are not BCG’s responsibility, and the city is looking the other way. For Mohawk Park and Page Belcher in particular to compete with courses managed by Tulsa County, Broken Arrow, Owasso and others in terms of playing conditions and services offered, changes need to happen. Tulsa County is spending $3 million this winter in voter approved money from Vision 2025 Renewal on a complete rebuild of the par-3 course at LaFortune Park. It put in a new clubhouse and pro shop there a few years back and did a masterful redesign of the championship course before that. Beyond fixing a leaky roof at Page See PUBLISHER page 13 10

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Volume 7, Number 5 Golf Oklahoma Offices Southern Hills Plaza 6218 S. Lewis Ave., Ste. 200 LIKE US! Tulsa, OK 74136 FACEBOOK.COM/ 918-280-0787 GOLFOKLAHOMAMAGAZINE Oklahoma City Office 405-640-9996 Publisher Ken MacLeod ken@golfoklahoma.org

FOLLOW US! @GOLFOKMAGAZINE

COO/Marketing Director A.G. Meyers agm@golfoklahoma.org Art & Technology Director Chris Swafford chris@golfoklahoma.org Subscriptions to Golf Oklahoma are $15 for one year (five issues) or $25 for two years (10 issues). Call 918-280-0787 or go to www.golfoklahoma.org. Contributing photographers Rip Stell, Bill Powell Golf Oklahoma PGA Instructional Staff Jim Woodward Teaching Professional, Oak Tree National jwoodwardgolf@sbcglobal.net, 405-3482004 Jim Young Teaching Professional, River Oaks CC 405-630-8183 Pat McTigue Manager, GolfTec Tulsa pmctigue@golftec.com Tracy Phillips Director of Instruction, FlyingTee vt4u@yahoo.com, 918-352-1089 Maggie Roller Director of Instruction, Cedar Ridge CC maggie.roller@sbcglobal.net, 918-261-1441 Jerry Cozby PGA Professional jerrycozby@aol.com, 918-914-1784 Michael Boyd, PGA Professional Indian Springs Country Club 918-455-9515 Oklahoma Golf Association 2800 Coltrane Place, Suite 2 Edmond, OK 73034 405-848-0042 Executive Director Mark Felder mfelder@okgolf.org Director of Handicapping and Course Rating Jay Doudican jdoudican@okgolf.org Director of Junior Golf Morri Rose morose@okgolf.org Copyright 2017 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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MARK FELDER

FROM THE OGA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

OGA Executive Director

Looking back on a banner year for OGA This year will be remembered by those of us at the Oklahoma Golf Association for several enjoyable reasons. We’ll remember Brendon Jelley winning his third OGA State Amateur Championship in the past four years, this one accomplished at magnificent Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. That’s an historic feat and we wish him the best in his senior season at Oklahoma State and beyond into his professional career. We’ll remember Max McGreevy shooting a blazing 15-under-par for two rounds in the rain-shortened Oklahoma Open. What a display of shotmaking and putting by

SHEILA DILLS

the young gun who just months earlier had helped Oklahoma to a stunning victory in the NCAA Championship. We wish him the best at qualifying school this fall as he tries to earn status on the Web.com Tour for 2018. We also want to congratulate all of our other champions as well – Brady Richardson (Stroke Play), Jon Valuck (Senior Stroke Play), Jack Steinmeyer (Super Senior), Kirk Wright (Senior State Amateur), Rob Laird (Mid-Amateur) and Junior Amateur champions Lane Wallace and Yujeong Son. Also making this summer memorable, the OGA Foundation went over $300,000 in funds it has given away to promote junior

golf or help junior golfers with travel expenses to national events and other needs. The foundation handed out $32,500 in scholarships for 2017. The 2018 calendar is coming together. The State Amateur Championship will be contested July 17-19 at The Patriot in Owasso, one of the state’s most spectacular venues. The Stroke Play Championship will be June 11-13 at Tulsa Country Club, another of the state’s finest. We appreciate all the courses that allow us to conduct our championships and show such great hospitality. Go online at www.okgolf.org for the complete schedule.

WOMEN’S OKLAHOMA GOLF ASSOCIATION

President WOGA

Great strides made, more to come The 2018 schedule for the Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association is nearing completion, highlighted by the Women’s State Amateur Championship July 23-26 at Meadowbrook Country Club and the 67th WOGA Girls’ Junior Championship June 26-27 at The Club at Indian Springs in Broken Arrow. There may be a few late changes, particularly if necessitated by the fluid situation at Meadowbrook CC with the recent announcement about its eventual closing, but the balance of the schedule is below. Also, on a personal note, I would like to say thank you to the WOGA membership and board of directors for the opportunity to lead this wonderful and historical organization the past four years. I grew up in this organization from the age of 12 and I cherish the life long friendships that I have made through WOGA. We have

GENE MORTENSEN

made great strides is recent years as an organization. Becoming a 501c3 public charity and developing programs such as our grants program for high schools, our scholarship program and our LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Chapter has helped us grow and added financial stability to the organization.

2018 WOGA SCHEDULE Date

Visit www.woga.us for more information Event Location

May 15-16

Stableford Partnership

Lincoln Park GC, OKC

June

Stroke Play / Mid-Am / Senior

TBD

June 25

Junior Girls’ Fundraiser

The Club at Indian Springs

June 26-27

68th WOGA Girls’ Junior Championship

The Club at Indian Springs

July 23-26

Women’s State Amateur Championship

Meadowbrook CC, Tulsa

July 30-Aug 1 Fore State Championship

Shangri La, Afton

Aug. 20-21

WOGA Partnership

Shangri La, Afton

Sept. 24-25

WOGA Cup

Hillcrest CC, Bartlesville

OGA Rules Director

OKLAHOMA GOLF ASSOCIATION NEWS

A rule for every situation

I am convinced that for every situation which arises on the golf course, there is a Rule you can apply to resolve all of the issues. I have been a Rules Official since 1993, and I have seen some very strange situations and I always found the Rule which was applicable and the issues were resolved. Let me tell you about two such cases and you will see what I mean. In a match the players reached the 4th tee, a short par-3. They set their bags down and 12

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My future plans include serving as past president on the WOGA Board of Directors. but also moving into a more active role finding solutions to the problems in our state such as education, our state budget and criminal justice reform. Thank you again to all of you for enriching my life and experiences.

used their yardage books to verify distances. The player who had the honor selected a seven iron and played the shot into a greenside bunker. He went to place the club back in his bag and saw that his seven iron was in his bag. Mistakenly, he had used his opponents club. As it turns out the bags were identical and both played Callaway irons. They called me over to ask what to do and I told the players to complete play of the hole. In match play there are change-of-status

penalties and this was one such case. With play of the 4th hole concluded the player who “borrowed” his opponent’s club was 2 up. With the application of the penalty which is a deduction of one hole pursuant to Rule 4-4, he was 1 up, and play continued. At a stroke play event at Kickingbird GC, a player hit a wayward drive and heard it hit a tree. He properly announced that he would play a Provisional for a possible lost ball and did so. That shot went in the same general direction. The player could see one ball in the fairway and assumed that it was GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017


his Provisional so he went directly into the wooded area where his original ball was believed to be. I called the “five minutes” when time was up and he went to play the ball in the fairway . He immediately saw that it was his original ball. Rule 27 provides that, “ . . . a ball is lost as a result of not being found or identified as his . . . within five minutes after the player . . . has begun to search . . . “ The player was not happy to find out that in this situation both balls were “lost” and he would be on his way back to the tee to start over with his fifth stroke. As I said, there is a Rule to fit every situation. If you are perplexed by a bizarre situation let the OGA know and I’ll wager that we will find the answer.

Publisher, continued from 10 to go and be replaced by a modern facility capable of hosting tournaments and other functions. This has been under consideration in recent capital improvement discussions, but not approved. If restored to competitive conditions, the greens fees need to be raised to match LaFortune Park, South Lakes, Battle Creek and Bailey Ranch. Increased revenue should go to keeping the courses in shape.

GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017

In OKC, mayor Mick Cornett was a competitive and enthusiastic golfer growing up and is a strong believer that the city courses are a component of the quality of life for the city residents. We’re looking for similar leadership to emerge in the city of Tulsa, where for some time the lone strong advocate for the game has been Dale McNamara on the Tulsa Parks Board. Tulsa has been making marvelous strides in quality of life in so many areas. The downtown revival is astonishing, with the Drillers, the Arts District, the BOK Center and Guthrie Green as well as bars, restaurants, hotels, breweries and apartments popping up everywhere. The Gathering Place is due to open next year, adding another mega attraction. Tulsa Regional Tourism recently celebrated exceeding its room night goal by 17 percent during the last fiscal year. The city’s public golf courses, once a part of that tourism mix and a draw for golfers as far away as Nebraska during the shoulder seasons, can no longer be listed as attractions when the CVB goes out to tout Tulsa to businesses or visitors. The Tulsa zoo draws about 670,000 visitors annually while the courses draw slightly more than 100,000. The zoo,

however, is subsidized at more than $5.5 million annually for operations with an additional $50 million approved in capital expenditure projects. In golf, there is nothing on the books for capital expenditures and the subsidy is minimal. It’s not just a matter of putting money in the kitty for capital improvements. The city did that when architect Randy Heckenkemper renovated Stone Creek in 2004, only to see all the improvements disappear in short order due to lax maintenance standards. Major renovations are needed on both Stone Creek and Olde Page, and that needs to be followed by making sure the operator, Billy Casper or other, is contractually obligated to maintain them and provided the means to do so. If that requires a bit of a subsidy, so be it, but attractive, wellrun courses at this point in time should take care of most of the revenue needs. Someone in a prominent position at the city needs to take a stand for golf before this opportunity slips away. It should receive its share of future capital expenditure funds and the courses should be maintained with class and dignity and be part of Tulsa’s revival and what makes Tulsa great. – Ken MacLeod

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The

GOODS

Some things we like to do before and after the round

The Bookshelf

his credit albeit always bestknown in the golf world for his “A Good Walk Spoiled.” Consider that in a 300-plus page book about the 2016 Cup the first shot of the competition doesn’t fly off the tee until page 236! (No spoiler alert necessary to say the United States wins the Cup 58 pages later.) That’s a lot of background. Yet while I’ve accused Feinstein in the past of being too prolix, a better reporter than writer, I take that back, too. He’s still a good reporter with, clearly, excellent access to the players. But the prose seems more streamlined this time out, too. It’s an effortless read, Feinstein piling on the anecdotal material. The book is cleverly arranged, too. While maintaining a rough chronology the story is nonetheless told through player portraits, particularly through those who played in both the 2014 debacle (from the U.S. standpoint in any case) and the 2016 win. After the fallout from the 2014 matches and the notorious press conference where Phil Mickelson took Captain Tom Watson to the woodshed, the 2016 tilt was pretty much deemed one the United States had to win. Mickelson was heavily invested, and he’s a major presence in the book, but so are almost all the players, captains Davis Love III and Darren Clarke, and assistant captains; Tiger Woods was one of the latter, and his role at the Cup is one of the more surprisingly sympathetic portraits here. And with the matches playing out against the then-recent death of Arnold Palmer, there’s plenty of emotion to be found in these ingratiating pages, too.

History near and far by tom bedell

Three years ago, I suggested it might be time for a timeout on books that focused on one particular tournament, as the format was getting a little tired. My position only hardened after reading the disappointing “The 1997 Masters: My Story” by Tiger Woods, reviewed in this year’s June-July issue. Well, I take it all back. Other than the head-scratching title, “The First Major,” (Doubleday, $28.95) John Feinstein’s report on last year’s goings-on at Hazeltine, aptly subtitled “The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup,” is a real pleasure from start to finish. And it has nothing to do with the fact that the United States won the Cup last year, although that surely boosted the U.S. players’ alacrity in talking to the author. I’m one of those contrarians who doesn’t really care who wins the Cup, and finds the jingoism that is often involved, from players and fans, distasteful. I also think too much is made of the whole thing, so that it threatens to become as over-hyped as the Super Bowl — which if it dried up and blew away would suit me just fine. Still, I do enjoy the golf played at the Cup, the strategies, pairings and the back-and-forth nature of the matches. When it’s all played in a spirit of good sportsmanship there’s really nothing quite like it in golf. The players will agree. But because so much is made of the biennial event, they’re also the first to admit just how nerve-wracking taking part in one can be. They admit that and plenty more here; Feinstein is a seasoned pro at this after all, now with more than two dozen books to 14

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GAME OF PRIVILEGE A more troubling tale unfolds in “Game of Privilege: An African American History of Golf” by Lane Demas (The University of North Carolina Press, $30), although not an unfamiliar one — of how African Americans had to fight and claw their way toward the simple right of playing on the golf courses of America, well before an equally drawn-out wait to break into golf’s professional ranks. While the story has been told before in books such as Pete McDaniel’s “Uneven Lies” and Calvin Sinnette’s “Forbidden Fairways,” Demas attempts to put it into a broad cultural context, from the early days of golf in the United States through its entwinement with the modern civil rights movement. It’s a heady brief, but Demas is an associate professor of history at Central Michigan University, so he knows his way around a research desk. He’s largely successful in crafting a story that is basically about how injustice moves toward righting itself, in a two steps forward one step back rhythm marked, in hindsight, by shameful iniquities. Demas charts African American participation in the game from the earliest days of golf in the United States, through the mid-20th century into the postwar civil rights movement and the Tiger Woods era, with a chapter devoted to the creation of the United Lane Demas Golfers Association, a professional organization running parallel to the PGA from 1925-75, much like the Negro Leagues in baseball. (It’s still a little staggering to believe that the PGA Tour did not rescind its Caucasianonly clause until 1961. But intriguing to learn that Pete Brown was the first African American to win on the tour, in Oklahoma, at the 1964 Waco Turner Open.) Demas is admirably thorough, though perhaps more thorough than stylish. Roving over so many setbacks and breakthroughs GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017


the reader is a bit set back by some arid stretches of dutiful prose. It’s worth the slough, however, because there are anecdotal oases throughout, when Demas inserts individual stories of those who put themselves on the line (and on the golf courses) at the risk of arrest or bodily harm. Some modern professional examples we’re familiar with — Charlie Sifford, Pete Brown, Lee Elder and Calvin Peete. But early pioneers deserve their stories to be known, too—Walter Speedy, Joe Bartholomew, Bill Spiller (born in Tishomingo), William Powell (father of Renee Powell, who would eventually compete in the LPGA) and Alfred “Tup” Holmes. It was the latter who, in Holmes v. Atlanta in 1955, lent his name to what was arguably the most important golf desegregation suit ever filed, and his determination to play is a theme that runs through the book. The title is a bit ironic, given golf’s aura of elitism, which most players know is largely bogus. But even some civil rights leaders wondered why they should pursue lawsuits challenging segregation on golf courses when there were bigger battles -- like education -- to wage. But as Demas shows,

GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017

Holmes v. Atlanta was every bit as important to our societal history, if not more so, than Brown v. Board of Education. A LIFE WELL PLAYED Demas repeats the story of Arnold Palmer’s first-round 64 at the 1955 Canadian Open. Palmer assumed he was the front-runner until he looked at the leaderboard and saw otherwise. He blurted out, “How on earth did Charlie Sifford shoot a 63?” “Same way you shot a 64, chief. Except I did you one better.” Palmer turned to find Sifford standing right there, the first time the two met. I don’t recall the story being in “A Life Well Played: My Stories” by Arnold Palmer (St. Martin’s Press, $22.99), but it’s a nice segue. I suggested in a review in the August-September 2016 issue that it might be Palmer’s last appearance in print, and so it sadly was. For those who missed it the first time

around, there’s a new commemorative edition of the volume, in a bright red cover with a new foreword written by Jack Nicklaus, a poignant few pages, indeed. Among a lifetime of memories, the Bear mentions the opening of this year’s Masters tournament, the first in 53 years without the presence of the King, other than his green jacket draped over an empty chair. After he hit his ceremonial tee shot, Nicklaus slipped on his green jacket, on which he wore, like many others that day, a button that said, “I am a member of Arnie’s Army.” Tom Bedell was once in the actual army, but he much preferred the Palmer version.

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GOODS

Can't hit a 3-iron? You can

drink it

After his enology school. degree, Dearden “I’d borrow a friend’s clubs, sneak on worked at iconic Chris Dearden has been making wine for at the third hole and play five holes,” he wineries like Wilmore than 30 years, but he’s been golfing said. “Now, I get to play in Napa when liam Hill and BeauI have time, and they have since he was a kid. lieu Vineyard, but some wonderful courses.” The Napa Valhe went back to In 2010, Dearden, who ley winemaker school (UC Berkelike many Napa winemaksaid he’s “an asley) for an MBA, ers got his enology degree piring, single-digit because at the time, from UC Davis, launched h a n d i c a p p e r, ” he thought he might his own portfolio of wines. but he has never leave the wine busiHe represents brands like achieved it. ness. Sleeping Giant, Train “Really, I’m During his MBA Wreck and Argus, but three an avid hacker,” program, he worked of the wines in the portfoDearden said. at Seguin Moreau lio are a tribute to his fa“My wife Paige Cooperage, a barvorite game: One-Iron Red and I became rel manufacturer Blend, Two-Iron Cabernet empty nesters that attracted some Sauvignon, and Three-Iron last year, and I of the finest wineZinfandel. thought I’d work makers in the Why the low irons? on my golf game, world. During that “Most people are terrible but I’ve been too Chris Dearden three-year period, with them,” Dearden said. “I busy with wine.” Dearden started sneaking onto the local know I am, so I created the series so people Dearden rediscovered his love for wine, and he also discovered he wanted the cremunicipal golf course when he was in high could ‘swing’ an iron with ease.” by greg horton

16

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GOLF OKL AHOMA • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017


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ative freedom to make wine his way, not the “house wine” style dictated by winery owners. The most unique of the three wines is the Three-Iron Zinfandel. Over against the popular, jammy style, Dearden has opted for a lean, focused Zinfandel that’s long on structure without abandoning fruit. “That vineyard isn’t good for the extracted style anyway,” Dearden said. “It’s at a very high altitude, so the grapes struggle, and the vines would be picked clean by wild turkeys if we didn’t get the berries off quickly.” That means the grapes never get overripe, which creates the leaner, less jammy style. The Two-Iron is old-vine, dry-farmed Merlot from Calistoga, blended with a little Petite Verdot and Malbec from Silverado Trail. Their neighbors are Darioush, so the fruit is top notch. Finally, the One-Iron Cabernet is from Coombsville, but that’s likely to change, as Dearden said he wants to keep the price down. For Napa fruit, that means buying where prices are cheaper year to year, so for now, the source will be a “moving target.”

H. Upmann Nicaragua by AJ Fernandez notice right away the Upmann has excellent construction, complemented by an oily Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. The dry draw is There is a first time for everything. Everyone can remember their first car, first smooth and clean with a trace of salt. At light up, the cigar has a nice, kiss, first par, first marriage, wait scratch razor sharp even burn with a very that. Anyways, you get the idea. rich aroma and nice amount of So when H. Upmann partnered earwhite smoke. The cigar starts off lier this year with AJ Fernandez to craft with notes of black pepper, roastsomething truly exceptional, a brand ed nuts and sublet citrus which new take on an age-old brand was are characteristics of the Corojo 99 established. This review was exciting binder. The strength level tinkers to write and the H.Upmann Nicaraon medium to full and pairs nicely guan, which is way more consistent with the complex flavors. than my golf game, was a pleasure to Getting into the middle third of smoke. the cigar, the pepper notes mellow The H. Upmann Nicaraguan by AJ and the strength diminishes to light Fernandez is unique in that it’s the medium. The flavors of toasted pine first H.Upmann cigar crafted and nuts bring out earthy tastes that linrolled in Nicaragua. What’s so new ger while a trace of berries and cocoa about this Upmann you might ask? float on the back of the palate. Well for starters, the turquoise color Light one up for yourself and try on the packaging and cigar band is something new. There is a first time sure to catch your eye. The blend for everything but H.Upmann Nicacomes in three sizes, robusto, toro raguan by AJ will bring you back for and churchill with a sweet spot in seconds! the $7.50-$8.50 range. You will by laramie navrath

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The

GOODS

ONLINE: Get the latest news on Oklahoma golf at golfoklahoma.org

The improvements never stop by ed travis

During mid-summer, the annual cycle for new golf clubs begins as manufacturers start to release details to the media, a process that will continue through January’s PGA Merchandise Show. Callaway Golf This past season there is Great Big Bertha Epic no question the Great Big Bertha Epic driver solidified Callaway Golf’s position as No. 1 in the club business. The Epic has been first in sales every month this year as have Callaway fairway woods, irons and hybrids, creating a very strong position in what one pundit Cleveland Launcher HB described as a “zero-sum” market. Even if that depiction is true, one obvious trend is the growth of the ultra-premium price segment exemplified by Parsons Xtreme Golf, whose custom-only clubs have prices in excess of $5,000 for a complete set. Mainstream makers have followed suit, at least to some degree. Titleist C16 Titleist has the C16 driver, which sells for $1,125. Callaway has the new Great Big Bertha Epic Star at the upper end of the usual price spectrum at $700 as is Bridgestone’s XD driver. Srixon’s XXIO9 driver came out at $650 and several other makers have drivers in the $500 range, a formerly unapproachable price territory. Irons have followed a similar upward migration pattern with sets priced in the Bridgestone XD $2,000 range being common. It’s not clear if this segment of the market will be large enough to support more than a couple of companies. However, PXG’s founder and president Bob Parsons said in an interview with Golfweek’s Dave Dusek in June, “This year is our second year. In our first year of marketing we did $38 million in sales. To me, that was incredible. This year, there is a good chance that we will crack $100 million and Srixon XXIO9 be profitable. I never expected this thing to ever be profitable.” 18

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Truth be told, not very many in titanium bars inside the clubhead (Jailbreak Technology) and the dragthe industry did either. reducing crown ridges (Speed Step Crown) just as the original Epic. So, who’s on top? However, since less weight transNo question, Callaway is on a roll having pushed the recently sold Tay- lates to more clubhead speed, The lorMade Golf off the No. 1 spot in Epic Star went on a “diet” with the the lucrative metalwoods segment 11-gram sliding sole weight being 6 last year. Callaway, under CEO Chip grams lighter than on the GBB Epic. Brewer, posted a 24 percent increase The shaft is a very-light 39 grams, in sales during the second quarter the carbon crown was shaved down and 17 percent for the half year, but to 9.7 grams and the hosel is now also a 20 percent decrease in net in- not adjustable, which saves another come -- so things weren’t completely 7 grams. All these changes come rosy. The same could be said for at a price, but for those looking to Acushnet, Titleist’s parent company, get more distance the overall club as second-quarter club sales were weight is just 286 grams -- some 25 down more than 20 percent on top less than Epic. The other members of of the previously mentioned ball the family follow the theme of the sales decline. Completing the mixed driver and have also gone on a “diet” financial news, TaylorMade, prior to resulting in significant weight reducthe change in ownership from adi- tions. Cobra’s F-Max line is targeted esdas to an investment group being official, said its sales in the first quarter pecially for moderate swing speed players who want lighter shafts, were up by double digits. TaylorMade is still the most lighter swing weights and midsize played driver on the PGA Tour with grips. Drivers come either with an the most wins this season and used offset or straight hosel and either is by stars Dustin Johnson, Rory Mc- $299. The forged titanium face is reIlroy, Jason Day, Jon Rahm and Ser- sponsive, head weighting is near the gio Garcia. Equipment companies rear and heel plus the crown alignthough, not just TaylorMade, con- ment aid is helpful. F-Max irons (7tinue to find paid endorsements by iron set $599) use an undercut cavity touring professionals do not auto- back with hard stainless steel faces matically translate into sales. Recre- in the long- to- mid-irons and softer ational players are more influenced steel in the short irons. All F-Max by several other factors with price clubs, including the fairway woods and hybrids, have anti-slice weightbeing the most often cited. However, as Sonny and Cher sang ing and slightly weaker lofts so mod50 years ago, “The Beat Goes On,” erate swing speeds will produce betand clubs continue to be introduced ter launch trajectory and carry. The four models of Mizuno’s with unique, even creative designs employing exotic hi-tech materials. new MP-18 family include the MPHere are the models Golf Oklahoma 18 player’s category iron, the MP-18 finds the most interesting and we SC with a wider sole and split cavwill continue to bring you additional ity back and the MP-18 MMC of information as it becomes available. multi-material construction with The new family of ultra-light- perimeter weighting using eight weight premium-priced clubs from grams of tungsten plus 20 grams Callaway, under the Great Big Ber- in the toe for increased MOI. The tha Epic Star name, are specifically fourth model is the MP-18 MMC for slower swing speed players, FLI-HI which comes only in a 2-iron making use of features first seen in through 6-iron, but with a design for Japan. The family includes a driver, increased forgiveness and are meant fairway woods, hybrids and irons. for use as long irons in a mixed set The Epic Star driver ($700) has the with the other MP-18 models. All are GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017


priced at $150 per club. TaylorMade has a very attractive addition to the P700 series in the P790 model which has been tagged as “a forged player’s distance iron.” The clubhead is hollow and strengthened with foam.. A set of eight P790s is $1,299. We also noted with interest TMaG’s latest entry into super game-improvement category, the M CGB model (Center of Gravity Back) priced for a set of eight with steel shafts $1,200 or $1,400 with graphite. In addition to updates for the familiar AP1, AP2, T-MB, CB and MB models, Titleist has a new iron in the 718 series, the 718 AP3, essentially a distance iron for those wanting a traditional player’s iron look. It has a hollow clubhead with an unsupported L-face insert. Long and midirons have tungsten weighting low and in the toe to help with higher ball speeds and to compensate for off-center impacts. The 718 AP2, AP3, CB, MB are $162.50 with steel shafts and $187 with graphite and 718 T-MB is $249 per club. The 718 AP1 ($125 per club) remains Titleist’s gameimprovement iron. Long irons are hollow bodied with the mid and short irons having

GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017

an undercut cavity and each makes use of an unsupported face insert. Resistance to twisting has been improved in the long and mid- irons with 58.5 grams of tungsten. Titleist also introduced the new 818 hybrids ($279) which come with two choices, the H1 and H2. The H1 has a larger, more fairway wood-size clubhead for use by players whose swings have a shallow attack angle while the smaller square-toe clubhead of the H2 works best for steeper swings Two new Exotics models from Tour Edge are causing comment. The Exotics CBX ($350) fairway wood has a thinner and stronger beta titanium cup face combobrazed to body and carbon sole weighting places head mass in a true “spin killing” design. The face is variable thickness to help preserve ball speed when impact isn’t exactly in the center and the sole design helps the CBX glide through the grass. The Exotics CBX hybrid ($250) uses these same ideas with a carbon sole unit which moves mass forward with the CG placed for less ball spin. A thin, variable thickness titanium face is combo-brazed to a heavier steel body to get the ball out of most any lie.

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OCT/NOV

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News around the state Sponsored by

2017 Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame inductees; Terry Walser accepting for brother Joe Walser, Bob Tway, Mark Hayes, Doug Tewell and Gil Morgan accepting for Ernie Vossler.

Stellar 2017 class joins Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame at OKC G&CC A heavyweight class including Bob Tway, Doug Tewell, Mark Hayes, Joe Walser Jr. and Ernie Vossler was inducted into the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame at a packed dinner Oct. 1 at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club. A list of golf royalty was on hand for the inductions, including Scott Verplank, Willie Wood, David Edwards, Gil Morgan, who spoke for Vossler, former PGA Executive Director Jim Awtrey, Roger Maxwell, many past Hall of Fame inductees and members of

Everett Dobson with 2017 Dobson Award winner Drew Posada. 20

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the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame board. Tewell and Tway gave heartfelt speeches about their lives and times as members of the Oak Tree Gang. Son Kelly Hayes spoke for Mark Hayes, while brother Terry Walser accepted for Joe Walser and Hall of Famer Gil Morgan talked abouit his mentor Vossler. Also being recognized were scholarship recipients Chloe McKinney of Durant and Dustin Cox of Duncan and Everett Dobson Award winner Drew Posada, now golf coach at Oklahoma Baptist University.

2017 Scholarship recipients Chloe McKinney and Graham Cox.

To watch the videos prepared for each inductee narrated by Jim Nantz or see clips of the acceptance speeches, go to www.oklahomagolfhof.org. The board has not set a date or location for the next class, but tentatively is looking at 2019 in Tulsa. Details to come. The Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame Classic, a fund-raiser for the Hall of Fame, was held Oct. 2 at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club. Anyone wishing to donate, information is on the website.

Past inductees were on display during the reception prior to the dinner. GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017


ONLINE: Get the latest news on Oklahoma golf at golfoklahoma.org

Jones challenged all to be better Tributes from former co-workers started family. He will always be thought of as a rolling in as word spread that long-time La- mentor and great golf professional.” Former LaFortune Park superintendent Fortune Park head professional Jerry Jones passed away Oct. 1 at age 79 after three Rick Barnett also paid tribute. “I went to work for Jerry at LaFortune years battling health issues in an assistedduring a very tough time in 1982. He was a living facility in Granbury, Texas. “Jerry was my mentor,” said Pat McCrate, man who earned my respect. We managed who was tutored by Jones from 1989 until to get crossways on occasion, but when the Jones retired in 2001 and has run the Tulsa disagreements were ironed out, the relationCounty courses successfully since. “He was ship was never adversely affected. He was a hard-nosed golf pro, but he was a fair golf a true professional, not just a golf profespro. He was an outstanding businessman in sional.” Jones was legendary for challenging every an era when many pros were giving up on the merchandising side and letting discount one he came in to contact with to do better, whether it was his staff, his students, fellow stores have the sales. “I worked hard for him, but he treated me professionals, the salesmen he came in conexceptionally well. He saw more in me than tact with, writers (this one included) and his family. I could envision for myself.” In the obituary written by daughters Kris“The best boss I ever had,” wrote former South Lakes superintendent Jeff Hawkins on ten Ferguson and Kelli Killam, they rememFacebook. “Constantly challenging me to do ber being constantly challenged growing up. “He repeated various expressions: `A better.” “Jerry gave me my first break in the golf job worth doing is worth doing well’ and business in 1989, along with Pat,” wrote to his daughters, `If you’re going to play, don’t letPMthem ever say you played like a Lance Onward_Financing_MagAd_HalfPage.pdf Allen, director of golf at Forest 1Ridge 1/27/17 12:43 Golf Club. “It’s a sad day for Oklahoma Golf girl.’ He never let us win on account of our

age, experience or gender. But we learned to compete under his guidance and beating him in checkers or gin rummy or a foot race Jerry Jones was the greatest of rewards. Regardless he was always fair and treated others as equals. Jerry’s business skills and progressive thinking will be missed as he created numerous happy memories for his family and co-workers.” Jones, who played collegiate golf at the University of Tulsa, started as an assistant professional for Charlie Weisner at LaFortune Park in 1961. His fellow assistant was Alsie Hyden, still the director of golf at Lake Hefner Golf Course in Oklahoma City. Jones eventually went to be the head professional at Surrey Hills Country Club in Yukon in 1974 before returning to LaFortune Park a year later when Weisner retired. Jones retired in 2001 and moved to Texas.

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OKLAHOMA COU R SE U PDAT E

All o k o h s up Golf scene rocked by potential closures of prominent courses

Residents near White Hawk hope a way can be found to save their course.

Tulsa could soon be closing to make way for real estate developments rocked the golf community much harder than other recent closings of periphery courses that were struggling to survive. Meadowbrook, by ken macleod in particular, is a club that has a storied hisA huge shakeup in the golf market in tory and was actually making money, just northeast Oklahoma is under way, with not enough to offset its value to developers. If and when those courses close, they long-term consequences for golfers, owners, would be the sixth and seventh courses municipalities and others in the business. The news that both White Hawk in Bixby that serve the greater Tulsa area to close and Meadowbrook Country Club in south since Cotton Creek in Glenpool started the

一漀琀愀戀氀攀 倀爀漀樀攀挀琀猀

㐀㄀㔀 匀 伀眀愀猀猀漀 吀甀氀猀愀Ⰰ 伀䬀 㜀㐀㄀㈀  㤀㄀㠀⸀㠀㌀㈀⸀㔀㔀㐀㐀 䬀愀爀猀琀攀渀 䌀爀攀攀欀 䜀漀氀昀 䌀氀甀戀          吀攀攀 刀攀渀漀瘀愀琀椀漀渀Ⰰ 䈀甀渀欀攀爀 刀攀渀漀瘀愀琀椀漀渀 ⴀ 䌀愀瀀椀氀氀愀爀礀 䌀漀渀挀爀攀琀攀  䌀攀搀愀爀 刀椀搀最攀 䌀漀甀渀琀爀礀 䌀氀甀戀        䈀甀渀欀攀爀 刀攀渀漀瘀愀琀椀漀渀 ⴀ 䈀攀琀琀攀爀 䈀椀氀氀礀 䈀甀渀欀攀爀  䔀愀最氀攀 䌀爀攀攀欀 䜀漀氀昀 䌀氀甀戀            䐀爀椀瘀攀 刀愀渀最攀 䤀爀爀椀最愀琀椀漀渀Ⰰ 吀攀攀 刀攀渀漀瘀愀琀椀漀渀 吀栀攀 圀漀漀搀猀 䜀漀氀昀 䌀氀甀戀            㔀ⴀ栀漀氀攀 一攀眀 䌀漀渀猀琀爀甀挀琀椀漀渀 䠀愀爀搀猀挀爀愀戀戀氀攀 䌀漀甀渀琀爀礀 䌀氀甀戀         吀攀攀 刀攀渀漀瘀愀琀椀漀渀 䜀愀椀氀氀愀爀搀椀愀 䜀漀氀昀 ☀ 䌀漀甀渀琀爀礀 䌀氀甀戀      ㄀㈀ᴠ 愀渀搀 ㈀㐀ᴠ 䐀爀愀椀渀愀最攀 刀攀瀀愀椀爀猀Ⰰ 䈀甀渀欀攀爀 刀攀渀漀瘀愀琀椀漀渀 䈀攀氀氀愀 嘀椀猀琀愀 嘀椀氀氀愀最攀              䜀爀攀攀渀猀 匀甀爀爀漀甀渀搀猀 匀栀愀瀀椀渀最 䈀攀氀氀愀 嘀椀猀琀愀 嘀椀氀氀愀最攀 倀椀渀渀愀挀氀攀 䌀漀甀渀琀爀礀 䌀氀甀戀           䈀甀渀欀攀爀 匀栀愀瀀椀渀最 䴀挀䄀氀攀猀琀攀爀 䌀漀甀渀琀爀礀 䌀氀甀戀         䤀爀爀椀最愀琀椀漀渀 刀攀渀漀瘀愀琀椀漀渀

䰀愀猀攀爀 䜀爀愀搀椀渀最 愀琀 䬀愀爀猀琀攀渀 䌀爀攀攀欀 倀爀愀挀琀椀挀攀 吀攀攀

眀眀眀⸀樀漀渀攀猀瀀氀愀渀⸀挀漀洀 22

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trend in 2013. Since then Olkmulgee Country Club, Clary Fields in Bixby, Scissortail in Verdigris and Emerald Falls in Broken Arrow have closed. While some courses are in peril, others are making huge commitments to their future. Be sure to read the details in this issue on the improvements to the par-3 course at LaFortune Park, a huge revamp at The Golf Club of Oklahoma, new clubhouses coming to The Patriot as well as Lake Hefner and Earlywine in Oklahoma City, new greens at The Greens and vast facility improvements at Forest Ridge in Broken Arrow. Two other facilities that will be finalizing much discussed improvement packages in the coming weeks are Southern Hills CC in Tulsa and Quail Creek CC in Oklahoma City. The chances of White Hawk surviving in Bixby hinge on whether the city wants to jump into the municipal golf business. It’s a great value for the residents but a huge commitment for the municipality, which would not only have to purchase the course from the current ownership group led by Gerald Pope, but then hire the right staff and set up the right system for making it a successful course going forward. Doing so requires a commitment from the top and there are some great examples of how to do it properly, including Oklahoma City, Tulsa County, Owasso and Broken Arrow. There is an offer on the table from a developer for White Hawk but it would require zoning changes. The city can make those changes or make a counteroffer for the course. “We’re taking a hard look at the financials,” said Bixby City Manager Jared Cottle. “Golf is important as a quality of life issue, but is it important enough for a community to invest and subsidize on an ongoing basis.

See SHAKEUP page 24 GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017


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OK L A HOM A COU R SE U PDAT E In 1954, Meadowbrook Country Club opened nine holes designed by Press Maxwell, Perry Maxwell’s son, and nine additional holes by Don Sechrest were later added. It was originally a Jewish club but opened its doors to all in the 1980s. Arcis, a Texas-based golf company that owns and manages 60 golf courses throughout the country, purchased Meadowbrook in 2014 as part of a $320 million deal with CNL Lifestyle Properties that included 48 courses. Articles at the time assigned a value of $5.38 million to Meadowbrook and sources have confirmed the buyer paid at least $1 million more than that figure. Crosson confirmed only that the deMeadowbrook Country Club in south Tulsa. velopment company “offered us an extremely attractive price. We were not looking to sell Meadowbrook, though it is a very modest earner and doesn’t have a big earnings upside as a golf course.” Due to confidentiality agreements, Crosson said he could not identify the buyer until after closing, scheduled the Meadowbrook board members to inform third week of October. Todd Hoffman, the immediate past them that the club was being sold, and by ken mac leod that Arcis would be managing the club for president of the Meadowbrook CC board, The long-rumored sale of Meadow- the new owner, a Tulsa-based real estate had purchased a “lifetime” membership from Arcis for $40,000 and planned to brook Country Club to a real estate de- developer. Part of his message was that the club play there the rest of his years. veloper was confirmed on Oct. 2 when Andy Crosson, the senior vice president would remain open for at least 12 months See MEADOWBROOK page 26 of acquisitions at Arcis Golf, met with if sufficient members remain.

Timeline uncertain for Meadowbrook

Shakeup, continued from 22 We have to look at where it fits in to the culture today and where we might be 20 years from now. When you look at what’s happened to some country clubs, you see places like Lifetime Fitness, with spas, pools and lifestyle centers, having taken their place with familieis. “We have to take a look at what the real numbers are. If it’s not economically viable, then we have to take a hard look and say, what’s the next best option? Then we’ll get somewhere.” At Meadowbrook, rumors have been flying in the Tulsa golf community all summer that the club was to be sold by owner Arcis Golf. Unfortunately for members, the club had been sold many times in the past and members had never been able to successfully purchase the club. Their offers this time were rebuffed as well. Outside owners and management groups may be sharp business operators, but their ultimate allegiance is to the bottom line, not 24

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members. Being operated by groups that had to pay themselves and an ownership group (Arcis was both owner and manager) before resources could be put into the club has always held Meadowbrook back and kept it a notch below Tulsa Country Club, The Oaks CC and other member-owned clubs on the Tulsa-area club pecking order. Sadly, the course is excellent and has seldom been in better condition. Preparing to take advantage if both White Hawk and Meadowbrook close are clubs such as The Golf Club of Oklahoma, which is making long-needed improvements, and Forest Ridge Golf Club in Broken Arrow, which is adding a variety of new amenities. One would think that with the closures of nearby competitors Clary Fields, Cotton Creek, Okmulgee and potentially White Hawk, that the city of Tulsa-owned complex at Page Belcher would be poised to benefit if it can make some needed improvements. In the mid 1980s, the Tulsa public golf course market basically consisted of 36

holes at Page Belcher, 36 holes at Mohawk Park and 27 holes at LaFortune Park with golfers spilling out from there to municipal courses in Pryor, Claremore, Sapulpa and Sand Springs. Since 1988, the following courses were built: Forest Ridge, South Lakes in Jenks, Glen Eagles in Broken Arrow (defunct in 2002) Bailey Ranch in Owasso, Battle Creek in Broken Arrow, the Broken Arrow and Owasso Golf & Athletic Clubs, White Hawk, Deer Creek which gave way to Emerald Falls, both now defunct, Cotton Creek, Scissortail, Cherokee Hills (a renovation of an older course that was private), Clary Fields and a nine-hole Links on Memorial. The most recent addition was The Patriot Golf Club in 2010. There was no corresponding surge in the number of golfers, in fact, the number of golfers in the United States has decreased in that time frame according to the National Golf Foundation, so it’s easy to see that the market became severely overbuilt and much of what is going on is a natural market correction. GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017


Future in doubt at White Hawk by ken macleod

Whether White Hawk Golf Course in Bixby remains a course beyond the expiration of a lease between the owners and American Golf on Dec. 31, 2018, is very much in doubt. Despite the misgivings of homeowners and some Bixby residents and golf enthusiasts, the odds are the ownership group led by Gerald Pope will sell the course to a group interested in real estate development led by John Pinard of Oklahoma City. Bixby city officials are examining the possibility of purchasing the course and operating

Neighbors would like White Hawk Golf Course in Bixby to remain viable. it as a municipal course and all the ramifications that go with it, including the likelihood of heavy subsidies from the general fund or the implementation of some other revenue producing measure such as a bond or an increase in sales tax. “We’re looking at all options,” said Jason Mohler, the development services director Pope told Golf Oklahoma in late September he would close the doors when the lease expires. The lease paid the ownership group

close to $400,000 annually. Pope estimated with that payment combined with course operations that White Hawk was losing close to $750,000 annually and is also in need of capital improvements. The lease was negotiated in a headier, more optimistic time for golf in which upscale daily fee courses such as White Hawk were expected to grow in terms of rounds,

See WHITE HAWK page 27

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OK L A HOM A COU R SE U PDAT E Meadowbrook, cont. from 24 “Obviously I’m very disappointed,” Hoffman said. “I’ve been told I would get my money back, but now I’ve got to look into moving to another club, paying initiations or higher dues. I had my group here, we travel together, play together, we are like family.” Unlike many U.S. courses that have closed recently, Meadowbrook CC was not losing money, with more than 360 golfing members and more than 420 overall. Arcis even invested more than $250,000 since it purchased the club in upgrading the restaurant and grill area. It just wasn’t making enough money to compete with the offer from the developer. Meadowbrook has a history of being passed around from owners and management companies. After Colbert Golf bought it in the late 1980s, Colbert Golf was purchased by Golf Enterprises, which sold the course to American Golf. It was later purchased by Goldman Sachs, then National Golf Properties, then Eagle Golf (which is now part of Arcis), then sold to CNL.

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Hoffman said the members have made various efforts to purchase the club and gain control of their own destiny in that time, but perhaps never a concerted enough effort. Crosson confirmed the members had offered to purchase the club in the past, but said in his long experience of buying and selling clubs, member offers are rarely if ever successful. “Member offers almost always have structural issues,” Crosson said. “They usually can’t demonstrate sufficient funds and in this case their amount never approached the amount that the developer group offered with surety of closure and demonstrated capability of closing.” “The members are upset and I can certainly understand that. They feel there are good reasons why it should remain open and operating. I have no comment to that, I was there to let them know what the new owners planned, and that was to keep operating in the same fashion for at least 12 months or longer if the members support the club.” As a layout, Meadowbrook is a favorite of many in the Oklahoma golf community, including Oklahoma Golf Association

executive director Mark Felder, who has brought the OGA State Amateur there in 2011 (won by Cameron Meyers) and two Senior OGA State Amateurs there (2012 and 2016, both won by Mike Hughett.). The State Amateur was first held there in 1990, won by future professional Matt Gogel. “Meadowbrook is a course that I love,” Felder said. “It’s a great piece of land with tall mature trees and rolling terrain, a little bit of water and usually great conditions. It’s a smaller takeoff of a Southern Hills. It’s got everything you could ask for.” Hughett said Meadowbrook was the first course he played when he came to Tulsa as a freshman at Oral Roberts. “This does make me sad as I felt that the course had made significant progress over the last several years and was more challenging than ever with the tightness of the fairways,” Hughett said. “I’ve had some success on that course because it doesn’t really benefit the bombers that can hit their drives 320 yards. It makes you think your way around the course and keep it in the fairway.”

GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017


White Hawk, continued from 25 revenue and net income over the next two decades. For many reasons, exactly the opposite has transpired, leaving privately-owned public courses such as White Hawk prime candidates for redevelopment as housing, a trend that has reached full steam in the United States. There were 171 golf course closings in the United States in 2016. Many of those were courses purchased by developers who see a golf course as one of the few prime available spaces in densely populated areas for additional housing. National Golf Foundation CEO and president Joe Beditz sums up the trend as “sometimes, the dirt is worth more than the grass.” That could be exactly the case at White Hawk. Pope has been trying to sell White Hawk as a golf course for a year and “we haven’t even got a humiliating offer.” He does have a potential buyer in an Oklahoma City developer who is currently in the due diligence phase. Pinard said if his group goes to the city with rezoning requests, it will offer a comprehensive land plan for the development, including walking trails and ample green space. He was part of a group that this spring purchased Coffee Creek Golf Course in Edmond for redevelopment and said mistakes were made there in not having a clear plan to present to homeowners before final purchase. Somewhat ironically, the man who designed White Hawk Golf Course has now been employed by Pinard to develop those comprehensive plans. Randy Heckenkemper of Heckenkemper Golf is working on a housing and greenspace plan to eventually present to city officials as well as a new plan for Pinard’s group to present to homeowners at Coffee Creek in Edmond. Pope, the former owner of Golf Illustrated and other publications, purchased White Hawk from Bobby Heath three years after it opened in 1994 in the middle of a golf course boom that saw nearly 5,000 courses open nationally from 1986 to 2005. There have been only 492 open since 2005 and several thousand have closed, many in the privately-owned public course category of White Hawk. If not for the American Golf contract, which paid a set amount to ownership regardless of course performance, Pope said he and his partners would have closed the doors years ago. “The business models that work right now are private clubs that can maintain memberships, resort courses and municipally-owned GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017

courses that can subsidize operations,” Pope said. “Everything else is starting to go away.” Pope said he would be willing to talk to Bixby city officials if they are serious about purchasing and operating the course. Otherwise, he advised residents that their best bet would be a developer committed to doing the project correctly and maintaining property values. In researching whether to jump into the golf courses business, Bixby officials will look for input from people such as Warren Lehr, the Champion Bermuda greens were installed in 2016. city manager of Owasso, who was “It’s pretty risky to take on a golf course,” also formerly the PGA professional at Bailey Lehr said. “I think they could create some Ranch in Owasso when it opened. Lehr said that though Bailey Ranch made value for their community, but it’s a decision money initially, it has experienced hard times you need to make really carefully. “We’ve spent $7 million over the years on as the golf market and economy fluctuated and improvement projects were needed on Bailey Ranch, but that’s like investing in one greens, bridges, bunkers, etc. The city of mile of road improvement. The golf course Owasso has subsidized the course up to $1 has been a catalyst for millions of dollars in million in some years but it is now back on new homes and taxes, it brings in visitors, we firmer footing and the debt service on the have state championship high school teams original construction of $500,000 annually that play there. So it’s been a definite boon to the quality of life in Owasso.” will be paid off in 2018.

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OKLAHOMA COURSE UPDATE

presented by

The Patriot's expansive new digs

The new clubhouse at The Patriot should be ready for a late May opening. by ken macleod

OWASSO – Another club investing heavily in its future is The Patriot Golf Club in Owasso. Instead of its serviceable but cramped opening facilities, members of The Patriot will soon be able to stretch out their legs in style, though head professional Derrick Vest will have to wait a bit longer before the expansion of his pro shop is complete. A new clubhouse featuring the same elegant if rustic look as the current clubhouse and the Folds of Honor headquarters is

being constructed and will open in May, with 24,000 square feet on the first floor hosting a 300-seat banquet facility, wine room, member dining and bar, men’s bar and grill, kitchen facilities, storage, offices and a large outdoor patio area overlooking the 18th hole. The second floor will have 8,500 square feet for future use. Once the new clubhouse opens, the current pro shop will move into a temporary trailer while the current restaurant building is rebuilt into the new pro shop and offices. The current cramped pro shop footprint will be expanded and the

site of the men’s locker room. The second phase with an undetermined time for completion includes a pool and a fitness facility. Membership and sales director Will Dierinzo, who has been working out of the cart barn along with general manager Holly Neidel and other support staff, is more than ready for the projected opening of the clubhouse next May. “The building is going to be great,” Dierinzo said. “It’s going to bring a new energy to our membership. It’s going to be very flexible and capable of hosting just about any kind of event, from large groups to weddings to private parties to members just looking to relax before or after a round.” The architect is ML Gray Partnership with Tom Hoch of Oklahoma City doing the interior design work. The construction company is Lambert Construction of Stillwater. The Patriot, one of the last courses to open in Oklahoma in 2010, has been steadily growing in membership and Dierinzo expects that trend to accelerate a bit with the new facility and with the continuing expansion of the surrounding Stone Canyon housing development, of which just a fraction of potential homesites have been developed. “We think we’ll add another 100 members by the end of 2018,” Dierinzo said.

Champion Bermuda greens at The Greens CC The Greeens Country Club in Oklahoma City recently has reopened all of its greens with the new G12 version of Champions Bermuda and the grow-in could not have gone better. “They’ve come in perfectly,” said head professional Brent Mistler. “They’re tight, firm and the golfers have been very appreciative and very complimentary.” The Greens sprigged the new putting surfaces July 15 and were able to reopen by Sept 12. A visit on Oct. 1 showed the greens were all fully grown-in with firm but receptive surfaces. Speeds will increase as they age a bit. Superintendent Andy Thibault and his staff have done an amazing job, Mistler said. The course planted a test green of Champions in 2016 and it performed well in all weather conditions, leading to the decision to convert from the bent grass greens which had struggled in the heat of summer. The percentage of Oklahoma courses that have converted to Bermuda greens is still relatively small but growing. In the Oklahoma City area, Firelake Golf Course in Shawnee was an early adopter. Most of the Oklahoma courses to switch are either farther south or The new greens at The Greens CC are firm and tight and in the northeast. being enjoyed greatly by members. 28

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COURSE UPDATE: Golf Club of Oklahoma

Johnson on mission to restore greatness As reported in recent editions of Golf Oklahoma, a 20-year lease between American Golf and owner Golf Club LLC concluded at the end of 2016. Disagreements over whether the course was returned in the condition it was acquired led to a lawsuit filed by Golf Club against American Golf which is still pending, with a trial date scheduled for May 2018 if no resolution is reached out of court. Meanwhile, managing partner Elby Beal has undertaken improvements with a vigor and one of those was hiring Johnson as his general manager. Johnson has recently managed such prestigious clubs such as The Territory in Duncan and most recently Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., site of the annual Walmart LPGA Classic. Johnson learned the art of attention to detail early in his career as an assistant professional to Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame 2016 inductee Tim Johnson looking to make host of improvements Jerry Cozby at Hillcrest Country at Golf Club of Oklahoma. Club in Bartlesville. He has jumped at the chance to make improvements over a broad range of areas, including inby ken macleod ternal and external processes, member relaim Johnson was paired with tions, physical improvements to the cluba young Ernie Els in the 1991 house, meeting rooms, locker rooms, pro Tulsa Open on the Ben Hogan shop, practice facilities and course. “There was a lot that needed to be done, Tour. Johnson’s caddie that day was former University of Tulsa basketball but Mr. Beal is very focused on returning this club to the standard everyone expects center Brian Rahilly. Two things stuck out to Johnson. One, and the golf course deserves,” Johnson said. Els was a sweet-swinging youngster with a “This far on in my career, it’s still one of bright personality and even more dazzling the best golf courses I’ve seen. So many future, a fact confirmed the next year when people tell me if they had one course to Rahilly excitedly called him and said, “Re- play, it would be this one.” The Golf Club of Oklahoma opened in member that dude we played with in Tulsa. 1983 as a remote second home for SouthHe’s leading the British Open!” Two, the Golf Club of Oklahoma, which ern Hills members, led by John Williams, hosted the event, was one of the most spec- who thought their course had become too tacular golf courses Johnson had laid eyes on. crowded. It was eventually purchased by Fast forward 26 years and Els is still com- Southwestern Bell, who sold it to Beal and petitive, but nearer to the end of a wonder- his partners. The lease was a success for ful career. Frankly, some have wondered American Golf for years when memberthe same about the Golf Club of Oklahoma ship was strong, but fluctuations in the at times, but in golf course years it’s still economy and the golf market led to interjust a tender shoot at 34. Johnson recently nal and external conditioning and maintereturned to The Golf Club as general man- nance issues that caused membership to ager and it’s his mission now to see the drop precipitously, even though the course course gets the care and nurture it needs to is now easily accessible from anywhere in blossom into middle age as a successful and Tulsa through the completion of the nearby Creek Turnpike. still stunningly beautiful course.

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Johnson’s task is to oversee the restoration of the course and grounds and welcome back old and new members who would like to experience Tom Fazio’s delightful routing set in deep woods offset by native grass framing that has been carefully restored in the past year. Among the recent improvements either made or underway: • All new irrigation control system throughout the course. The first in the state to install the latest Toro Lynx smart satellite technology. • New Turf Breeze fans installed around all greens. • Major investment in new maintenance equipment for use by superintendent Dave Camuso and his staff. • Renovation of the clubhouse and cottages including restoration of the magnificent cherry wood paneling; refinishing of the walls and ceilings; major upgrades in mechanical, lighting and A/V systems; roof and window replacement; and new carpet throughout. • New furniture for the locker rooms, dining, board and conference rooms and other areas. • Continued restoration of the native areas and water features, sodding and seeding of areas just off fairways that had been allowed to deteriorate, cart path replacement and continued work on the greens to offer firm and fast conditions once typical at the club. “There’s a lot the members can see and lot of improvements you might not see immediately but which will put us in position,” Johnson said. “A lot of projects are scheduled going forward and Dave Camuso and his staff have done an incredible job with improving the maintenance practices throughout the course.” While the club shakes off the cobwebs of years of decline, the good news is the layout remains one of the best in the nation and the setting is just as peaceful and serene as ever. For the most part, golfers still remain blissfully unaware of what is happening anywhere except on the hole they are playing. “The potential we have to return this to what it should be is very exciting and a big reason I came here,” Johnson said. “There’s been some brand dilution, no doubt. But that’s where Mr. Beal’s commitment to returning the club to where it should be is unwavering.” GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017


Forest Ridge launches new fitness complex by ken macleod

Forest Ridge Golf Club in Broken Arrow is surging ahead with an ambitious new project that will complement its golf experience with a variety of activities for golfers and their families. A new athletic and wellness complex is under construction and expected to open by Memorial Day of 2018 on the site of the former pool and tennis courts, which were recently razed. The new clubhouse will feature a stateof-the-art fitness center, an Olympic-size swimming pool with zero entry and ex-

panded play area for children, six tennis courts including the opportunity to play pickleball or pop tennis, a member lounge New pool, six tennis courts and state-of-the-art fitness center with large-screen televisions and a bistro part of Forest Ridge’s new amenity. swimming, playing tennis or just hanging for food and drinks. “We’re committed to catering to families out and watching a game.” Allen said pricing for access to the and giving them an alternative to just golf,” said Director of Golf Lance Allen. “We’re 11,000-square foot fitness and wellness commaking a big step forward with this new plex has not yet been released. For more inbuilding. While one parent is playing golf, formation, call 918-357-2282 or visit the Forthe other and the kids can working out, est Ridge website at www.forestridge.com.

Two OKC courses to enjoy new clubhouses by ken macleod

Gleaming new clubhouses of close to 16,000 square feet will be built at both Earlywine Golf Course and Lake Hefner Golf Course in Oklahoma City as part of a $130-million bond issue for the Oklahoma City Parks Department. The clubhouses are expected to use $25 million of the bond money and already have $2.25 million set aside from a 2007 bond issue for a total of $27.25 million earmarked for the two clubhouses. They are expected to be similar in size and scope, with some modifications, to the clubhouse that opened at Lincoln Park in May of 2015. Timing is uncertain, but directors of golf Dan Langford at Earlywine and Alsie Hyden at Lake Hefner are hoping for the best. “Ideally, you hope they look at the feasibility of doing both at the same time,” Langford said. “If the bonds sold in February of 2018, you would hope they could build it in 2019. At Lincoln Park, it was about a 16-17 month process from the time they shut down the old clubhouse until they opened the new one. Hopefully we can beat that time.” Both Hyden and Langford said the clubhouses were needed to replace aging structures with limited space to host tournaments, social gatherings and other events that help make clubs successful in the modern era. GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017

Also, both courses emphasize merchandise and apparel sales and the new designs will have ample room for those. “It’s the first time we have had a bond issue for golf since I’ve been here in 1966 and it’s a great step,” Hyden said. “We need to show that golf is worthwhile in the community and we’re supporting it. We hope and I expect it will increase play fairly dramatically. We need to get The new clubhouse at Lincoln Park Golf Course. and will be enhancing. These will be good for this message out to other municipalities around the country, because they’ve all of Oklahoma City. If you have a very sucbeen closing their doors as subsidies have to cessful noted golf course in your community and neighborhood, you enhance the property be paid.” Hyden said if it’s true that core golfers are values all around the area.” playing fewer rounds, his goal is to create LaFortune Park Par-3 to be rebuilt more new golfers. The par-3 course at LaFortune Park Golf “The simple attraction of the clubhouse itself will help,” he said. “You’ll have a din- Course in Tulsa is getting a $3-million face ing area that is comfortable and attractive and lift. Under the guidance of architect Randy can service small and large groups following a round. That makes a difference and creates Heckenkemper, the course will be rerouted more of events, more fundraisers, more semi- and all new green complexes will be built utilizing the TifEagle variety of ultradwarf nars.” Parts of the Lake Hefner clubhouse were Bermuda on the greens to provide a firm surbuilt in 1968 with some additions between face impervious to summer heat and not as 1990 and 1994. The Earlywine clubhouse is a susceptible to ball marks as the current bent grass greens. boxy edifice which opened in 1975. Also in the project, part of a Vision 2025 “The business model of golf has changed dramatically since 1975,” Langford said. “I believe very strongly in the product we have See Par-3, page 32 W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

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Par-3, continued from page 31 renewal package which directed $14 million to Tulsa County Parks for various projects, are new lights for both the par-3 course and the driving range at LaFortune Park. Tulsa County Parks Director Richard Bales said he hopes to start construction early in 2018 and be ready to spring the new greens and any fairways necessary by early summer with an opening in the fall of 2018 depending on growing conditions. “Randy’s design does some things to make it more exciting, reduce overall maintenance costs and also get the balls as far away from Yale Avenue and 51st Street as possible,” Bales said. “We think golfers will really enjoy it.” “What I’ve seen of the plans is pretty cool,” said Pat McCrate, director of golf at LaFortune Park. “It’s going to change the angles, there will be multiple sets of tees and some great green complexes. “The nostalgia factor on the par-3 is through the roof. There are so many people in town who learned to play golf there and played it all the time as kids and later with their kids. I think you’ll see a big increase in play once this is done.”

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Southeast Texas golf courses remain in recovery mode Hurricane Harvey took its selective toll, but there is light at the end of the tunnel by steve habel

HOUSTON – After Hurricane Harvey, it’s going to take a long time for things to be completely back to normal or for many of the southeast Texas courses to even try to duplicate the playing experiences they provided for golfers that existed before the storm and the floods it created. That, and the likelihood that a handful of golf courses might never reopen, will be the lasting impact of the hurricane on the business of golf in this area. The pictures broadcast from the Houston, Rockport, Port Aransas and Beaumont areas told much of the story as Harvey roared ashore on Aug. 25 and stayed for days, bringing with it as much as 65 inches of rain and 120-mph winds that battered this large swath of the Texas Gulf Coast.

In a four-day period, the rains and floods inundated hundreds of thousands of homes, displaced more than 30,000 people, and prompted more than 17,000 rescues. The toll included 81 fatalities, more than 185,000 homes were damaged and 9,000 completely destroyed. Thirty-three Texas counties were declared national disaster areas. At roughly 550 square miles, the greater Houston area is home to more than 200 courses, many of them built on creeks and bayous or in flood plains as low-ground amenities to their surrounding communities. Few courses, if any, escaped unscathed, but not all of the facilities were overwhelmed by the storm. But reports about Harvey’s wind and rain and water and the damage they caused only tell part of the story. Many courses, in fact, sustained only minor damage – such as felled trees, washedout bunkers and flooded greens complexes on which the water quickly receded – that can occur during the sometimes-fierce thunderstorms that can blow through the area. According to Mike Ray, executive director of the Southern Texas PGA, Harvey was highly selective in the way it dealt out its wrath as far as golf courses go, paralleling the general damages that saw one neighborhood under six feet of water and another down the street with just minor flooding or the random downed fence or tree. “When Harvey hit, it was almost 9/11ish with the media coverage, and the pictures showed the worst areas,” Ray said. “The damages were significant and severe, but not as prevalent as some might think, as far as impact to golf courses. Some courses sustained only minor impact from the storms and the flooding, but were severely affected by the fact that there just wasn’t much golf being played while the area was trying to recover.” For every situation such as the Kingwood community northeast of Houston, which remained underwater for weeks and still resembled a war zone in the final days of September, there was a course such as The Woodlands, set just down the highway on higher ground, was relatively unscathed. The Golf Club of Houston, where the PGA Tour utilizes the Tournament Course for the Houston Open, had several holes completely underwater and famously had GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017


neighborhood residents using kayaks to get in and out of the area. Top-shelf private clubs such as Champions Golf Club, a former U.S. Open, Ryder Cup and PGA Tour Championship site, had extensive flooding especially along Cypress Creek. And facilities such as River Oaks Country Club, and Lakeside Country Club, a regular site for U.S. Open qualifiers and one of the Bayou City’s best courses, were also submerged. World Golf Hall of Fame member Mark O’Meara plays out of Lakeside and was saddened by the damage there and in all of Southeast Texas. “The devastation there was really beyond belief,” said O’Meara, the 1998 Masters and U.S. Open winner. “We live in Memorial, just 10 minutes west of the city, and we’ve been fortunate our house didn’t flood. Luckily, our house is 76 feet above sea level. But all around us the houses are flooded.” Then there were the courses that literally got right back in the swing of things almost immediately. WindRose Golf Club in Spring, just north of Houston, reopened on Aug. 30, the day after it stopped raining, and was even able to mow its greens and fairways; WindRose’s players were able to take carts off the paths the next day. Wildcat Golf Club’s 36 holes, just south of NRG Stadium and the Astrodome, opened on Sept. 1 and was off the paths as well.

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Workers at The Wilderness at Lake Jackson golf club were able to save golf carts and equipment with some creative thinking before Hurricane Harvey hit Southeast Texas. The threat and eventual realization of the hurricane’s impact forced some course operators to think out of the box. Staff at The Wilderness at Lake Jackson, a KemperSports-managed facility about an hour southwest of Houston, took to extreme measures to save the facility’s golf maintenance equipment and golf carts, moving the machines to spots of higher ground around the course to escape Harvey’s floodwaters. Aerial photos from immediately after the storm showed that the crew’s actions worked as hoped, although they certainly cut it close. In one photo, floodwater had reached to the wheels of some of the lawnmowers on a small island of green surrounded by dark water. During the past month, more courses have reopened even if conditions are not as manicured as they once were. Ray was heartened that River Plantation Country Club, a 27-hole facility north of Houston in Conroe, was back welcoming play on Sept. 23 and expects more course reopenings in the coming days. “The bottom line is that some courses are already back as close as possible to normal and some may never be back to normal,” Ray said. “There’s no way to even begin to estimate the monetary damages to golf because of Harvey and the floods because one has to consider the lost revenue from rounds, the impact to the employees and management firms as well as the cost of repairs and damages.” GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017

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PROFESSIONA L ROUN DU P

Gooch rides hot streak onto PGA Tour by ken macleod

Is this the start of a new Oak Tree Gang? Talor Gooch, who went to Carl Albert High School in Midwest City before starring at Oklahoma State, is joining Kevin Tway, son of long-time Oak Tree Gang member and 2017 Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame inductee Bob Tway, as current Oak Tree National members on the PGA Tour for 2018. Still a long ways to go to match the days when eight-to-10 PGA Tour pros played out of Oak Tree, most prominently Doug Tewell, Mark Hayes, Willie Wood, David Edwards, Scott Verplank and Gil Morgan. But more may be on the way. Gooch went from hopeful to sixth on the Web.com Tour 2017 money list on the strength of a fabulous four-week run in which he finished tied for 11th, tied for 10th, second in the Price Cutter Charity Championship and then first in the News Sentinel Open, his first victory at that level. “I’m obviously super excited and ex-

Talor Gooch earned his PGA Tour card with fantastic four-week run. tremely fortunate,” Gooch said after secur- self and improving myself and my game. I ing his PGA Tour card (top 25 in earnings knew good things would come if I stayed earn cards). “For the last couple of years patient and had faith.” I’ve had a good strategy of preparing myPrior to the hot streak, Gooch had missed

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cuts in three of four events and was running on fumes. “I had driven from Raleigh to Columbus for a U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier, then to Chicago where I missed the cut,” Gooch said. “That was the end of six straight weeks of play and I was exhausted. But I played all right in Nashville the next week, then there was a week off and I was able to recharge.” Gooch joins Edmond North graduates Tway and Robert Streb on the tour for 2018 Another pro who grew up in the state,, Tag Ridings, will have conditional status after finishing 156th on the money list and then not earning a top-25 finish in the fourevent Web.com Tour Finals. Another Edmond native who hoped to earn his card in the finals was Taylor Moore, the former University of Arkansas All-American. He ranked 24th after two events in the Finals, but then missed the cut in the last two and will be back on the Web.com Tour in 2018, along with Will Kropp. Both Kropp and Moore play out of Oak Tree National as well. A host of other Oklahomans who played on the Web.com Tour this year or on other tours will be vying for full Web.com Tour

GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017

status through the three stages of qualifying going on throughout October and November, culminating with the final stage Dec. 7-10 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz. Among them are Ian Davis, Cameron Meyers, Rhein Gibson, Charlie Saxon, Dillon Rust, Hunter Sparks and Blake Trimble. Keep up with the action at www.pgatour.com, just click on the Web. com Tour under Tours. Gooch, who credited Steve Ball of Ball Golf Center for his continued work and encouragement since he was 15, told his caddy how excited he was after cashing a check for $72,900 for finishing second in the Price Cutter. It eased the financial burden many of the young pros face with travel costs, and it became less of a concern when he won the following week and made $99,000. “Still, he said those will seem like nothing when you get on the PGA Tour,” Gooch said. “I’m hoping he’s right.” Gooch got his PGA Tour career underway by making the cut and tying for 51st in the Safeway Open the first week of October in Napa, Calif. The check for that was just over $14,000, a sign of bigger and better things to come.

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Quade Cummins

Hayden Wood

Brad Dalke

Sooners, Cowboys both hope to be last team standing at Karsten by scott wright

STILLWATER — The defending national champion. The preseason No. 1 team in the Golfweek Coaches’ Poll. Both in Oklahoma. But not the same team. The state of Oklahoma will have a lot of eyes on its programs through both the fall and spring seasons of men’s college golf. Oklahoma’s unlikely run to win the NCAA title last May turned heads across the national landscape. And coaches everywhere seem to be well aware of the amount of talent preseason No. 1 Oklahoma State is putting on the course. Both teams opened their fall seasons over Labor Day weekend with immediate expectations to perform with through-the-roof goals. “That first tournament, in the college golf world, counts just as much as the Big 12 Championship does when it comes to postseason rankings and where you could get slotted moving into regionals in the spring,” OU coach Ryan Hybl said. “From that standpoint, every tournament in the fall is really important for us. We treat them that way. “Our goal is not just to get geared up for the postseason next spring, it’s to go and try to win every single golf tournament we go play in, and at least have a chance to be com36

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petitive.” The Sooners aren’t riding the wave of last year’s national title, but instead, trying to find the identity of this year’s team. “I feel like the fall is a very big time for a college golf program to gain new momentum,” Hybl said. “You have new guys shuffling in and out of the lineup more in the fall than in the spring, so it allows you to see more faces and figure out who’s gonna be the best guy for your top five heading down the stretch next spring.” While the Sooners have work to do in replacing last year’s senior anchor, Max McGreevy, Oklahoma State coach Alan Bratton faces a challenge just determining who his best five players will be. With 11 players on his roster that would be in the top five at most Division I programs, and seven players who could legitimately be OSU’s No.1, even the qualifying rounds have been intense at Karsten Creek. “The guys have done exactly what you want them to do,” Bratton said. “The scores to win our first couple of qualifiers were really good, and that’s what you want. Every kid we recruit, we talk about if they want to play the PGA Tour, you better be ready for a competitive environment. We certainly have that this year.

“We have a nice mixture of depth and experience. The guys in our program over the last few years have gotten better, so it’s nice to have that leadership at the top with some experience, mixed with very talented freshmen.” It’s particularly interesting to see how the two programs have used in-state talent in the rise to their current status. Both programs have been able to cash in on Oklahoma’s growing strength in the junior golf ranks, producing not only top-level college players, but a wealth of golfers who are prepared to compete on the national stage. Last year, McGreevy — a product of Edmond Santa Fe High School — set OU’s single-season school record for rounds in the 60s with 16. He was a gutty, grinding player who inspired his teammates. “We miss a lot not having him,” Hybl said. “Not just the production on the golf course, though obviously that’s a huge part of it. But our guys knew deep down that he had a lot of firepower in him. He was that guy who could go make four or five birdies in a row and shoot some serious rounds. “His leadership and his attitude, believing we could go win a championship last year, that permeated through the rest of the guys. We said it was our time to go show everybody we could do this, and I genuinely think GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017


COL L EGE GOL F PR EV I EW he believed that.” OU returned the bulk of last year’s roster, including Sooner-born Brad Dalke, the son of former OU linebacker Bill Dalke, among other family connections to the school. Despite living the majority of his life in Texas, while his father coached football, Brad was born in Yukon and has lived in Hobart and Edmond. His family has since settled in Norman. He returns with a core of out-of-state players in Grant Hirschman, Blaine Hale and Rylee Reinertson to help the Sooners try to follow up on last year’s monumental title run. Weatherford product Quade Cummins has emerged as a contender for the fifth spot in his sophomore season. “He’s been looking good back home,” Hybl said. “We just need him to get in the tournaments and go look the same. Hopefully, more and more experience will bode well for him. He finished tied for third at The Prestidge, Stanford’s event, last year, and I felt like things were heading in the right direction. He’s just got to get some consistency in his golf game.” The Sooners have homegrown players Thomas Johnson of Norman, Griffin Pierce of Edmond and Lane Wallace of Yukon on the roster, with the state’s top high school player, Logan McAllister, verbally committed to join

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the team next fall. OSU’s roster is similarly loaded with a mix of local and out-of-state talent. Hayden Wood and incoming freshman Austin Eckroat — two of the four Edmond North High School players on the roster — will be in the mix to be in the top five on a regular basis, along with Jenks’ Brendon Jelley. Two other Edmond North players, Nick Heinen and Tyson Reeder, finished in the top 10 at the Inverness Intercollegiate in Toledo, Ohio, competing as individuals earlier this fall. Heinen won the event, his first collegiate victory, with a two-round total of 134 (68-66). Several OSU players had strong performances competing individually over the summer, most notably, Wood’s record-setting rounds in the stroke-play portion of the U.S. Amateur. His total of 131 set the event’s 36-hole scoring record, though he was eventually eliminated from the match play bracket — by OSU teammate Kristoffer Ventura. Wood found his stroke late last year, and has been playing the best golf of his career over the last few months. “I thought I played pretty well at the national tournament,” Wood said. “I changed some strategy, course management areas of the game, and I think it’s really paid off.”

Wood and Jelley are among the veteran leaders, along with the likes of Ventura, Viktor Hovland and Zach Bauchou. Eckroat and Matt Wolff come in as highly touted freshmen who have had standout junior careers. “We’re all so close,” Jelley said. “We push each other to get better, and I think it’s healthy, good competition. “Qualifiers are like a tournament for us, with how good and how competitive everyone is. You really see how your game matches up and where you stand. Playing Karsten is obviously a great test. It’s very competitive, very intense.” Karsten Creek will host the 2018 NCAA National Championships in May, a fact the Cowboys hope to take advantage of as well. The preseason hype and attention that comes with the No. 1 ranking doesn’t carry too much pressure for the Cowboys, where national success is an expectation, in part because of the program’s 10 national titles. “It’s something you kind of expect at Oklahoma State,” Wood said. “It’s a lot worse around here if we’re not getting that hype. We’re right where we expect to be. We feel like we have the deepest team and the best team, and we expect to bring home No. 11 in May.”

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COM PET I T ION

Cowboy bomber lives for long ball by art stricklin

THACKERVILLE – While he was an Oklahoma State student and avid golfer in 2010-12, Jason Eslinger had a job working at Karsten Creek Golf Club, where he had a chance to meet, befriend and play plenty of golf with OSU golf team members Rickie Fowler, Kevin Tway and Peter Uihlein. Eslinger would wow his OSU friends with his booming long drives and would be equally Don’t try this at home. Jason Eslinger putting on a show at Stillwater CC. Photos Rip Stell wowed by their talents from the fairways and around the green, with each took a different golfing path, concluded his long festival of great travel, great money and most successful year as a Long Drivers As- great times, the lifestyle of a professional dreaming of a pro golf career. long driver is slightly less glamorous. “There is a unique sound when they sociation of America Tour member. Eslinger competed in eight LDA events “My ultimate goal is to win the World would hit an iron from the fairway onto the green and there’s a pretty unique sound Long Drive Championship and become one this year, finishing in the top-8 finishers when I would catch one off the tee,” Esling- of the 10-to-20 guys nationally who make a three times with a second-place finish as his living do this,” Eslinger said. “Until then, I’ll best stop in the Bash for Cash. He qualified er said. “I think we amazed each other.” Just five years later, their golfing dreams just be one of those guys who try to hit it for the World Long Drivers Championship at WinStar Resort in Thackerville in Septemhave come true with varying degrees of suc- 400 yards off the tee all day long.” While the whirl of the PGA Tour lifestyle ber for the third time, getting knocked out in cess. Fowler, Tway and Uihlein are all playing on the PGA Tour while Eslinger, who for the OSU threesome can seem like a year- the round of 32, while making it to the finals

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THE BEST IN CASUAL DINING Eslinger’s ball explodes during the OSU Coaches vs. Cancer Charity Golf Classic this summer at Stillwater CC. of the team event. While Fowler and friends play for and earn millions, Eslinger does 5-to-10 corporate shows and 20-to-30 charity events to make ends meet, where he will showcase his impressive driving skills for a variety of amateur golfers. Eslinger, 31, also took what he feels will be another positive step for his long-driving career, partnering at the start of the 2017 season with Jon Stephenson, WinStar Golf Academy Director of Fitting, as his personal long driving coach. “They don’t get nearly enough credit for their golfing ability,” Stephenson said. “It’s just amazing what they can do and Jason is one of the best of the best. He battled a rib injury (this year) which would have stopped many people, but he is only getting better.” The pair met when Eslinger came to WinStar to see the lavish new practice facilities, 36 holes of golf and WinStar Golf Academy. Stephenson, a former competitor in the LDA, proved to be the right fit for Eslinger. “I hit it off with Jon right off the bat,” Eslinger said. “He thinks outside of the box and wants us to get better.” When not getting ready for an upcoming competition, Eslinger said he follows an aggressive stretching and fitness workout program. While he lives in Forney, Texas, where his wife, Whitney, is a physician’s assistant, he spends plenty of time at WinStar, working out at the academy on the wide range of high-tech equipment. “There is a science to long driving like there is in anything of golf,” Stephenson said. ”I think I can get anybody to hit it 10-to-15 yards further, but Jason is a great athlete and his potential is huge. In this sport, 350 yards (driving) won’t get you anything, so we’ve got to be getting better and longer.” To achieve that goal, Eslinger will hit 100-to-200 balls daily on the range. He’s also lifting a variety of weights several times a week, focusing on flexibility, not necessarily strength, and working on a small speed bag. He will rarely, if ever, play a full 18 holes. He has worked to have an average swing speed of 145 mph and a ball speed of 213 mph with a long drive of 440 yards -- astounding for the amateur golfer, but just about average for the Long Drivers Association Tour. Eslinger is experimenting with a variety of diets, working on eating clean food heavy in protein and less fat to allow him to trim about 20 pounds from his 6-2, 260-pound figure. “I haven’t been real good with eating good food, but working with Jon, it’s only a matter of getting better and faster and leaner.” GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017

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A DM I N IST R AT I V E SPOT L IGH T

Carter: Keeping those college kids in line by patrick prince

Mike Carter’s passion for golf has provided a lifetime of memorable experiences. Despite being Oral Roberts University’s athletic director since 1994, Carter has made a point to be heavily involved in a game he’s loved since playing on sand greens at Pawhuska High School in the 1960s. He recently sat down with Golf Oklahoma Magazine to talk about what he loves about the college game, how the sport has evolved in two decades, what it’s like to play Augusta National and his close encounter with an alligator named Momma. You’ve run an NCAA golf regional for 18 years, worked the NCAA championship for 17 years. Are you done? I’ll run another regional this year and I’ll probably help with the championship because it’s at Karsten Creek. The following year it’s at The Blessings in Fayetteville. I’ll probably get through those 20 years and then we’ll see where it lands. … I love it and if they’ll put me back on the committee, I’d accept it again. That’s how much I enjoy doing it. Absolutely. I just enjoy being around the people. (Editor’s note: Beginning in 1999, Carter has served two four-year terms on the NCAA Golf Committee. He’s chaired the committee five of those years and when not a committee member, he’s helped run tournaments). Back in 1999, why did you get involved? Loved golf all my life. I’ve played golf since I was 13 and started helping run golf tournaments from junior high through high school in Pawhuska. How rewarding has this experience been for you? Fabulous. It’s rewarding for me because I love the game so much. I’ve gotten to be friends with so many of the coaches. Now, 50-to-70 percent of the kids out on tour now, I’ve known through the college golf ranks. Starting with that very first year, the threesome that I kind of followed coming in -- Charles Howell, Matt Kuchar and David Gossett, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion from Texas. … While I was chairman, the Golf Channel picked up NCAA golf. … From J.B Holmes to Rickie Fowler to Matt Kuchar, I mean, you’ve seen all these guys come through, and the coaches are such great guys. I’ve seen Oklahoma State win two na40

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tional championships. I’ve seen them have their heart broken twice with Augusta State (2010, 2011) and then watched OU win the national championship last year. In 2009, the NCAA championship format was changed to include match play to determine the team national championship. The format has provided some dramatic tournaments. How did the new format come about? The golf coaches and the schools always wanted it to be nationally televised. … For TV, (match play is) just set up perfectly. So I think that was a big push to get to the match play. As we saw that very first year, you could have cut the drama with a knife because in that match with Oklahoma State and Georgia, right out of the box, you’ve got the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country playing each other. Carter on top-ranked OSU falling to No. 2 Georgia in the first round of the match-play portion of the ’09 tournament: Had it still been stroke play, (OSU would) have another national championship. So boom, they’re out. They stick a microphone in Rickie’s (Fowler) face and said, ‘Rickie what do you think of this match play and he said, ‘I’ve never had so much fun in my life’ and at that point match play was off like a rocket. The Golf Channel recently signed an extension to carry the NCAA championship until 2029. Would they be this committed without the match-play format? No. My personal opinion is that they never would have broadcast it without this format. They seem to really do it right. They treat it like a big-time event? Absolutely. … You don’t know that this is any different than a PGA Tour stop. … They are so much fun to work with and such easy people to work with. They have us all in the truck and we go to the production meetings and they ask us questions. We can ask them questions. The first couple of years Larry Mays, who was the head coach at Georgia Southern, he was in the truck with them … Their producers and directors were having to get their head around college golf.” How has the game changed since you got

involved in the committee in ’99? They hit it so much farther. Maybe this is an obvious answer, but why is that? Is it technology, or the fact players are working out more now? It’s some of both. First of all, kids are taught today to hit it as far as they can hit and they’ll worry about hitting it straight later. Look at Justin Thomas. Are you kidding me? He’s barely on his feet at impact. He’s up on both toes swinging so hard at it. That’s part of it. The other part is the training. I mean these guys are working out, whether they look muscled up or not. … The swing coaches are probably better today than they used to be. The equipment is huge. They are probably going to have to put some limitations on the golf ball at some point. They’ve already limited the trampoline effect on the driver. The (United States Golf Association) and (Royal and Ancient Golf Club) did that. So that is pretty much capped. So the only reason (they can hit it further) is if the kid gets stronger, he hits harder or the golf ball goes farther. Is there any change in the college game you’d like to see? More televised events. More publicity for these great kids and coaches. … Just from kid to kid to kid, day in and day out, I don’t know that there is a better quality group of student athletes than golf. I’ve told the coaches this: I want to be around as long as I can because it’s an honor to serve with them because they do such a great job with the kids. How will the new proposed rule changes affect college golf? We had one of the craziest things in the world happen when I ran a regional at LSU GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017


(in 2017). (Jacksonville’s David Wicks) is standing on a green that has railroad ties and water right next to it and he pulls the ball out of his pocket to clean it or something and dropped it and the ball rolled off the green and into the water hazard. Well, he’s gotta find that ball, otherwise it is a two-stroke penalty because you can’t take the ball out of play. So he takes his shorts off. He’s down to his boxers and he’s down there diving in about six feet of water trying to find that golf ball and can’t find it. Now, that is just one of the dumbest rules on the planet. Give me a break. He didn’t do anything intentionally to make that happen. That’s like spotting the ball and the wind blowing it. Come on. Let’s use some common sense. So yeah, I am all in favor of common sense rules. (Editor’s note: This year, the USGA and R&A announced a plan to simplify and modernize the rules of golf. The plan is for the new rules to be implemented in 2019.) You’re a member at Southern Hills? It’s a really hard golf course and to think that a kid from Pawhuska that grew up on sand greens gets to play Southern Hills. That’s unbelievable. You’ve been a marshal at many of the majors at Southern Hills. What was that like? I’m chairing the marshals for the ’01 Open and the rule was for practice rounds no one would start on No. 10. … I look up and Tiger Woods and Mark O’Meara are teeing it up on 10. I’m going, ‘Oh, no.’ I run down to the 9 green and I said, ‘Fred (Ridley, president of the USGA), I got no marshals. We were told nobody would tee off on 10 and I don’t have marshals scheduled for another 30 minutes. I said, ‘What do you want me to do?’ And they look around at each other in this small huddle of four or five guys and finally he looked back at me and went (shoulder shrug). I said, ‘OK, I got it.’ The minute Tiger hit 10 tee, you would have thought there was an avalanche, there was a flood. You’ve never seen so many people come from in front of the Southern Hills clubhouse down that little path to 10 tee. … That’s when I realized that day, there’s two sets of rules: One for Tiger and one for everybody else. You’ve played Augusta National. I’ve heard that TV in no way does it justice in terms of its elevation changes and its beauty. Not even close. I played it a long time ago back in the ‘80s, and I could not believe some of the greens. They look like a double black diamond mogul hill. … Then GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017

the beauty of it. I mean, those azalea bushes and the flowers and trees, there’s nothing like it. You see it on TV and you go, ‘Wow that’s pretty.’ But you go there live and it’s like wow, wow, wow. It’s spectacular. What did you shoot there? I shot 78 the last day. The first couple of rounds it was low 80s. We played 36 and 18. It was a blast. What’s your best score at Southern Hills? Years, years and years ago, I shot 67. That’s been a long time ago. Carter on how to make a course challenging with all the long hitters in today’s game (Making courses longer) isn’t gonna do it. The only way you’re gonna do it is narrow the fairways, grow up the rough, tuck the pins and speed up the greens. Carter on the time he met a gator named “Momma” while fishing during a practice round. The Concession Club (in Bradenton, Fla.) was probably the wildest story of all. We’re catching some nice bass on the eighth green, and there’s a creek that disappears into a brush pile. I’m standing behind the green during the practice round watching play. Right over here, fish are just going crazy. So after the practice round, I

grab a rod, throw it out there and bang I’ve got about a 2 ½- to-3-pound bass and he’s jumping and going crazy and I pull him back over here and I get him back, all I see coming out of that brush is (an alligator). Water is flying everywhere and that gator’s mouth is (wide open) and he picks that fish clean off my lure and just sits there with that fish cross-wise in his jaws. He just stares at me. Now, I don’t know what to do. … I just start backing up as slow as I can and I finally get in that golf cart and man I bust it back up to the clubhouse. I go in the pro shop and I say guys here’s what happened and they say, ‘Oh, that’s my Momma. I said, ‘Momma? What do you mean Momma?’ They said, ‘Yea, she’s got four little babies that play around down there and she’s just real protective. And I said, ‘And the sign was where?’ … Momma comes out the next day and just crawls up behind the green, like she’s just gonna watch a little golf or something. Momma is an 8-footer. … For the next three days she is just over to the left of the green just kinda gliding back and forth and I’d see her and I’d just get chills. I don’t know that I have ever been as scared as I was when that happened.

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Jack Coursey enjoying the game at 93.

Bettering his age a daily occurrence for Coursey by patrick prince

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Jack Coursey doesn’t look or sound like a man who is 93 years old. He’s in good shape. His mind is sharp. This is evident by his quick wit and self-deprecating sense of humor. His handshake is firm. His golf game is impressive. Having played more than 100 rounds this year, he has failed to shoot below his age only once. Think about it – about a month-and-a half from turning 94, Coursey is making a landmark achievement in golf look routine. “I like to (shoot my age) because that means I am doing reasonably well,” Coursey said. “But, as far as getting a sense of pride, I would say no. It’s just, hey, I’m proud to be out here playing golf and if I can shoot well, that’s just a bonus.” During a recent round at Mohawk Park in Tulsa, I caught up with Coursey and his group on No. 14, the par-4, 260-yard hole of the Woodbine course. As usual, Coursey is playing with Joe Reeves, 81; Dick 42

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Bolton, 67; and Kenny Pouland, 67. They began on the back nine, so No. 14 is their fifth hole of the day. Coursey sinks a 10-foot birdie putt, which leads one of his friends to say, “He just needed an audience,” referring to my presence. “Now, he’s just showing off,” says another. “He’s just always been strong,” said Pouland, who’s been playing golf with Coursey for three years. “I wish my dad, who’s 87, had the same strength because we used to play golf together all the time, but he’s no longer physically able. (Jack) is an inspiration.” Later, on the par-3 17th, Coursey drains a 4-foot putt, for his third par of the day. “Still showing off,” Bolton says as they walk off the green. On the par-4 18th, another par. “I hope I hit it that good when I’m 93,” Reeves barks out after Coursey knocks his drive on 18 in the middle of the fairway. Coursey finishes the front nine with a 3-over 39. Coursey doesn’t have an athletic background and was in his 40s before ever touching a club. “When I was 43 years old, my wife kicked me out of the house and said, ‘Here’s a set of golf clubs, now get out of here,’” Coursey explained. His wife, Bonnie (who died 24 years ago), just wanted some space. “I was spending too much time under her feet,” Coursey said. It was in the late 1960s when Coursey began playing. He paid $50 for six lessons. After the first nine holes, Coursey’s group decides to play the back nine of Pecan Valley, the other course at Mohawk Park. The front nine of Woodbine looked a little crowded. After a double-bogey 7 on No. 10, Coursey nearly sinks a 60foot birdie putt on the par-3 11th. He taps in for par. Heading to the 12th tee, Coursey is feeling good. “If you don’t play good on a day like this, you’ve got no excuse,” he says from his cart while waiting to tee off. Coursey plays golf for exercise and companionship. His score does not consume him. He’s not even sure what his alltime best is, but he does remember shooting 75 at Battle Creek years ago. In addition to playing three times a week, Coursey also volunteers at the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma once a week. Twice a month, he plays music with Pouland at Park Edge Nursing Home. “Part of the time, we can keep them awake,” Coursey jokes. A relative newcomer to the game with just 50 years of experience. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

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I NST RUC T ION

Arm your game with mental toughness When Talor Gooch was a sophomore in high school at Midwest City, we began working on his mental game. He was ahead of most in terms of his physical game then, Steve Ball but it was easy to see he was going to be on bigger stages in the future and a strong mental game is another piece of the puzzle. And even at a young age, he really embraced all the elements of it, which is very unusual for most 15-year-olds. The mental side of golf takes on many forms and covers different aspects of a player’s game. I’ll give you examples. A few years ago we began thinking of scenarios and how he would handle them. One big one came into play and helped him recently win his first Web.com event. I posed to him, “What would you do if, at the end of a tournament, you were in position to win by being aggressive or could play a safe shot that would probably allow

you to keep in position to earn your PGA sive and executing the week before played a big part in his win. Tour card?” This was a scenario we had talked about We decided that the opportunity to win was worth the risk. Sure enough, late in for five years and he had played it through the Web.com Tour event at Springfield, he in his mind many times. We talked about faced a 228-yard shot off a downhill lie to it and how surreal it was for all of this to an island green, his second shot on a par-5. come to fruition. In a book called “Psycho-cybernetics,” He could lay up and maybe still make birdie by Dr. Maxwell or par, but the odds Maltz, the author beof winning the tourlieved and taught his nament decrease. He patients to visualize could also hit it in the positive outcomes and water, make double they would become and drop like a stone reality. I have found on the scoreboard. that to be the case True to his word, he over the years, not just went for it. The ball with skilled profeslanded just over the sionals such as Talor green. He then made Gooch, but with golfa very aggressive chip ers at all levels. Setting for eagle to possibly Talor Gooch the goal and visualizwin. It went 7 feet past, but he made the birdie coming back ing it helps a lot when the clutch moment and finished in second place alone. He went arrives in your game. For help with your mental or physical game, on to win the following week, securing his PGA Tour card for 2018. He will tell you contact Steve Ball at Ball Golf Center, 405the confidence he gained by being aggres- 842-2626.

If it's a stupid shot, don't try it After playing and teaching golf for more than 40 years, there is one conclusion that I know is 100 percent right. No matter your skill level, from PGA pro to a dead beginJim Woodward ner, your attitude or bad decisions on shots have cost you numerous strokes on more than one occasion. So if you don’t believe that, you can quit reading this article now. However, if you can be honest with yourself and admit you might have an issue in either one of these areas, then let me see if I can help. Let’s start with bad decisions, why we make them and how can we start to get better at not doing it. First, everyone makes bad decisions during a round. Some make more then others and some cause more pain then others. A great example is Jason Day at the PGA Championship this year on No. 18. He’s in the trees -- a number of players hit it right 44

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in the same place, and most found a way so much on the golf course. I loved Arnold to chip back to the fairway. Some made Palmer, just like you, but even Palmer might a bogey, some made a par, Jason made a admit he tried a few shots he shouldn’t have. So, just try to do your best not to be foolquadruple-bogey 8. He went from being two behind to basically giving himself ish on the course. Here’s a great rule to follow – if you are no chance of winning. This guy has been ranked No. 1 in the world. Yet, he to fell looking at a shot and say to yourself, “This is probably a stuvictim to trying pid shot,” do yourto be a hero. self a favor and There’s your don’t try it. answer, did you The next part – get it? Let me attitude – is easy. help you, don’t If you don’t try try to be a hero. stupid shots, then It is amazing you won’t get how so many mad at yourself, golfers think which in turn will they can hit that Jason Day keep your attitude 1-in-a-thousand shot. You know the one I’m talking about. much better. If that doesn’t work, remember you are I love this one, “All I have to do is hit it between those two trees and I’ll be on the playing a game, it’s not life or death. Have green.” And my favorite, “I made a eagle on fun, look for as many positives as you can this par- 5 one time so I always go for the and try to play as smart as you can. You can reach Jim Woodward at jwoodgreen in two.” Heroes are great in the movies, but not wardgolf@yahoo.com GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017


SCH E DU L E S & R E SU LTS : More at w w w.gol fok la homa.org COLLEGE MEN NSU CLASSIC AT CHEROKEE SPRINGS GC, TAHLEQUAH (PAR-72) SEPT. 18-19 Team leaders (17 teams): 1, Central Oklahoma 286-277-285 – 848; 2, Arkansas Tech 288-285279 – 852; 3 (tie), Central Missouri 285-295-284 – 864 and Harding 288-288-288 – 864; 5, Southeastern State 289-285-294 – 868; 6, Lindenwood 291-289-290 – 870; 7, Southwestern State 292-286-298 – 876; 8, Washburn 288-301-293 – 882; 9, Henderson State 295-289-299 – 883; 10, Missouri Western State 298-287-300 – 885; 11 (tie), Northeastern State 301-284-301 – 886, Southern Nazarene 296-295-295 – 886 and Missouri Southern 291-288-307 – 886. Individual leaders: 1, Alexander Hughes (UCO) 70-64-71 – 205; 2, Zach James (SEOSU) 6871-68 – 207; 3, Eli Armstrong (UCO) 71-7067 – 208; 4, Yente Van Doren (Lindenwood) 68-68-73 – 209; 5 (tie), Kason Kook (SWOSU) 69-70-71 – 210 and Shawn Tsai (Ark. Tech) 7169-70 – 212; 7, Wesley Jackson (UCO) 69-70-73 – 212. Other scores: Brady Likes (SNU) 71-72-72 – 215, Gregor Weck (SWOSU) 70-70-76 – 216, Bryce Newton (NSU) 72-70-75 – 217, Hunter Pennington (NSU) 74-70-74 – 218, Ondrej Melichar (SNU) 74-71-73 – 218. FALL CAVALIER CLASSIC AT SHAWNEE CC, SHAWNEE (PAR-71) SEPT. 18-19 Team scores: 1, Christian Brothers 295-296 – 591; 2, St. Gregory’s 295-302 – 597; 3, Northwestern State 293-308 – 601; 4, Seminole State CC 306-312 – 618; 5, Williams Baptist 323-315 – 638; 6, Panhandle State 329-328 – 657. Individual leaders: 1, Nathan Roy (StG) 74-70 – 144; 2, Morgan Pettigrew (StG) 70-75 – 145; 3, Ben Garvin (CBU) 74-73 – 147; 4, Cody Hixon (NWOSU) 70-78 – 148; 5 (tie), Brice Terry (Seminole) 72-77 – 149, Matias Nelson (StG) 7178 – 149 and Parker Sewell (CBU) 73-76 – 149; 8 (tie), Parker Rehorn (NWOUS) 74-77 – 151 and Jackson Singletary (CBU) 77-74 – 151. Other scores: Jake Bay (StG) 75-78 – 153, Tyler Berryhill (NWOSU) 80-74 – 154, Robbie Turner (Seminole) 77-77 – 154, William Cole Ward (NWOSU) 71-83 – 154, Grant Sikes (StG) 76-79 – 155, Rickey Hong (StG) 74-81 – 155, Mason Coulston (Seminole) 77-79 – 156, Blake Kennedy (Seminole) 77-80 – 157, Braden Ricks (StG) 7681 – 157, Keiton Hoster (NWOSU) 78-79 – 157. U.C. FERGUSON CLASSIC AT LINCOLN PARK GC, OKLA. CITY (PAR-71) SEPT. 11-12 Team scores: 1, Okla. City 276-271-273 – 820; 2, Bellevue 278-288-297 – 863; 3, Murray State 288-290-286 – 864; 4, Kansas Wesleyan 282293-290 – 865; 5, The Master’s 292-289-285 – 866; 6, Central Baptist 299-297-288 – 884; 7, Southwestern Christian 291-301-295 – 887; 8, Mid-America Christian 297-304-308 – 909; 9, Central Christian 308-301-312 – 921. Team scores: 1, Rupert Kaminski (OCU) 69-6666 – 201; 2, Alistair Snowdon (MS) 67-72-67 – 206; 3, Joshua Delo (Master’s) 70-72-65 – 207; 4, David Meyers (OCU) 73-64-71 – 208; 5, Andre Becerra (Bellevue) 65-71-73 – 209; 6 (tie), Garrison Mendoza (OCU) 70-71-69 – 210, Peri’Don Castille (OCU) 66-75-69 – 210 and Niccolo Nespolli (OCU) 71-70-69 – 210 and Troy Watson (KW) 71-69-70 – 210; 10, Coleman Houk (KW) 71-73-70 – 214. GAC PREVIEW AT LAKE HEFNER GC, OKLA. CITY (PAR-72) SEPT. 10-12 Team scores: 1, Okla. Christian 279-273-272 – 824; 2, (tie), Southeastern State 271-280-277 – 828 and Southern Nazarene 282-272-274 – 828; 4, Arkansas-Monticello 272-285-285 – 842; 5, Okla. Baptist 280-277-287 – 844; 6, Southern Arkansas 276-280-291 – 847; 7, Northwestern State 297-289-290 – 876. Individual leaders: 1, Hayden Foster (SEOSU) 64-69-65 – 198; 2, (tie), Juan Pallach (Okla, Chr.) 69-66-66 – 201 and Zach James (SEOUS) 68-65-68 – 201; 4 (tie), Garrett White (Okla. GOLF OKL AHOMA • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017

Chr.) 67-66-69 – 202 and Kade Johnson (SAU) 68-66-68 – 202; 6, Rhett Bechtel (SNU) 71-6668 – 205; 7, Brady Liles (SNU) 69-68-69 – 206; 8 (tie), Cameron Brown (Okla. Chr.) 73-68-66 – 207, Ruben Figueiredo (SEOSU)) 67-68-72 – 207 and Jacob Prentice (SNU) 69-69-69 – 207. SOUTHWESTERN CHRISTIAN AT LAKE HEFNER GC, OKLA. CITY (PAR-72) SEPT. 5-6 Team scores: 1, Kansas Wesleyan 294-283 – 577; 2, St. Gregory’s 299-282 – 581; 3, Bellevue 294288 – 582; 4, Central Baptist 301-292 – 593; 5, Seminole State 302-298 – 600; 6, Lyon 310-294 –- 604; 7, Southwestern Christian 299-309 – 608; 8, Sterling 311-299 – 610; 9, Okla. Wesleyan 33-301 – 614; 10, Central Christian 318-313 – 631; 11, Mid-America Christian 324-308 – 632. Individual leaders: 1, Ben Hadden (KW) 67-69 – 136; 2 (tie), Andre Becerra (Bellevue) 73-70 – 143, Fernando Arzate (Bellevue) 74-69 – 143 and Troy Watson (KW) 75-68 – 143; 5 (tie), Morgen Pettigrew (StG) 74-70 – 144, Jake Bay (StG) 76-68 – 144, Coleman Houk (KW) 74-70 – 144, Colton Ryan (CB) 74-70 – 144 and Juan Gomez (Bellevue) 71-73 – 144. WOMEN BOB HURLEY AUTO ORU SHOOTOUT AT MEADOWBROOK CC, TULSA (PAR-72) SEPT. 24-26 Team leaders (17 teams): 1, Lamar 309-294-293 – 896; 2, Oral Roberts 298-302-300 – 900; 3, Arkansas State 299-307-300 – 906; 4, Wichita State 310-299-302 – 911; 5, Texas-El Paso 300304-308 – 912; 6, Utah Valley 306-302-311 – 919; 7, Houston Baptist 312-306-305 – 923; 8, Okla. Christian 307-307-310 – 924; 9, LouisianaMonroe 310-308-308 – 926; 10, Northern Iowa 303-314-310 – 927; 11, Missouri State 316-311-301 – 928; 12, Incarnate Word 315-310-309 – 934. Individual leaders: 1, Verena Gimmy (MSU) 7070-74 – 214; 2, Taryn Torgerson (WSU) 74-7470 – 218; 3, Shani White (ULM) 72-73-74 – 219; 4 (tie), Kennedy Ishee (ORU) 75-71-74 – 220, Beth Ann Compton (ASU) 74-73-73 – 220 and Ava Schwienteck (Texas-Arlington) 74-72-75 – 221; 9, Abbie Anghelescu (UTEP) 72-77-73 – 222; 10 (tie), Kaley Cummings (HBU) 75-71-77 – 223 and Olivia Le Roux (Lamar) 75-71-77 – 223; 12 (tie), Abigail Rigsby (Okla. Chr.) 73-75-76 – 224 and Felecia Sauceda (Lamar) 79-75-70 – 224; 14, Rebecca Hnidka (ORU) 76-73-77 – 226. Other scores: Annie Lacombe (ORU) 78-7872 – 228, Beatriz Garcia (ORU) 73-82-77 – 232, Elizabeth Freeman (Okla. Chr.) 78-78-76 – 232, Natalie Mattison (ORU) 74-80-78 – 232, Kate Goodwin (Okla. Chr.) 84-76-73 – 233, Shaley Goad (Okla. Chr.) 73-78-86 – 237. OBU FALL INVITATIONAL AT JOHN CONRAD GC, MIDWEST CITY (PAR72) SEPT. 25-26 Team scores: 1, Cameron 300-312 – 612; 2, Okla. Baptist 307-312 – 619; 3, Western Texas CC 311314 – 625; 4, Southern Arkansas 315-312 – 627; 5, Arkansas-Monticello 322-317 – 639; 6, Northwestern State 331-343 – 674; 7, Seminole State CC 343-361 – 704; DNF – SW Christian 327-x. Individual leaders: 1 (tie), Kiana Oshiro (WTCC) 70-76 – 146 and Sadi Dewinton_Davies (WTCC) 71-75 – 146; 3, Kennedy Wheeler (Cameron) 7078 –148; 4, Iona Roska (Cameron) 73-77 – 150; 5 (tie), Michelle Carr (OBU) 76-75 – 151, Madelyn Lehr (SW Chr.) 77-74 – 151 and Helle Leed (SAU) 75-76 – 151. Other scores: Kadrian Shelton (OBU) 78-76 – 154, Sydney Bowman (OBU) 77-78 – 155, Allison Duffin (Cameron) 79-78 – 157, Elly Baze (OBU) 77-80 – 157, Kyndall Morgan (Cameron) 79-79 – 158; Shelby Phillips (OBU) 80-79 – 159. SCHOONER FALL CLASSIC AT BELMAR GC, NORMAN (PAR-71) SEPT. 23-25 Team scores: 1, Alabama 281-281-269 – 831; 2, Clemson 285-286-277 – 848; 3, Florida 284286-279 – 849; 4, Texas 290-287-274 – 851; 5, Florida State 291-285-277 – 853; 6 (tie), Oklahoma 277-295-282 – 854 and Notre Dame 294-282-278 – 854; 8 (tie), Texas A&M 278292-289 – 859 and Washington 294-285-280

– 859; 10, Miami 287-291-285 – 863; 11, Central Florida 287-294-286 – 867; 12, Baylor 290-299281 – 870; 13, Texas State 295-293-288 – 876; 14, Mississippi State 301-293-291 – 885; 15, Tulsa 306-293-291 – 890. Individual leaders: 1, Kristen Gillman (Ala.) 68-68-64 – 200; 2, Lauren Stephenson (Ala.) 69-68-66 – 203; 3, Alice Hewson (Clemson) 67-73-65 – 205; 4 (tie), Dewi Weber (Miami) 7268-67 – 207 and Ana Paula Valdes (Clemson) 68-72-67 – 207; 6 (tie), Hannah Wood (OU) 6871-70 – 209, Emilee Hoffman (Texas) 75-70-64 – 209 and Kaitlyn Papp (Texas) 71-74-64 – 209; 9 (tie), Julienne Soo (OU) 68-73-69 – 210, Mart Perez SanMartin (Fla.) 73-71-66 – 210, Maddie Szeryk (Texas A&M) 67-72-71 – 210 and Maddie Rose Hamilton (Notre Dame) 76-65-69 – 210. Other scores: Kaitlin Milligan (OU) 67-75-70 – 212, Sydney Youngblood (OU) 72-76-69 – 217, Hannah Lee (OU) 77-70-70 – 217, Anneke Strobach (TU) 82-70-69 – 220, Johanna Samuelsson (TU) 75-74-71 – 220, Ana Ruiz (OU) 74-72-74 – 220, Valerie Tanguay (OU) 70-75-76 – 221, Olivia Jackson (TU) 75-74-75 – 224, Karen Arimoto (OU) 73-74-78 – 225, Nicole Marquardt (TU) 75-78-78 – 231, Taylor Dobson (TU) 84-7576 – 235. NSU CLASSIC AT CHEROKEE SPRINGS GC, TAHLEQUAH (PAR-72) SEPT. 11-12 Team scores: 1, Southwestern State 306-308 – 614 (won playoff); 2 (tie), Henderson State 309305 – 614 and Missouri Western State 307-307 – 614; 4, Texas A&M-Commerce 305-312 – 617; 5 (tie), Northeastern State 308-311 – 619 and Okla. Christian 310-309 – 619; 7, Rogers State 313-308 – 621; 8, Southern Arkansas 318-326 – 644; 9, Harding 314-331 – 645; 10, Okla. Baptist 326-324 – 650; 11, NW Missouri 326-329 – 655; 12, Fort Hays State 330-332 – 662; 13, Arkansas-Fort Smith 338-329 – 667; 14, Southern Nazarene 341-335 – 676; 15, St. Gregory’s 342-339 – 681; 16, Lincoln 402-390 – 792; 17, SW Baptist 407389 – 796. Individual leaders: 1, Shi Qing Ong (MWS) 72-71 – 143; 2, Sumie Francois (NSU) 74-74 – 148; 3, Luisa Gartmann (HS) 75-74 – 149; 4 (tie), Abigail Rigsby (Okla. Chr.) 77-74 – 151, Jess Whiting (RSU) 77-74 – 151, Gloria Choi (SWOSU) 77-74 – 151 and Lauren Leslie (A&M) 77-74 – 151. Other scores: Elizabeth Freeman (Okla. Chr.) 79-73 – 152, Halie Wright (NSU) 74-78 – 152, Chloe Thackeray (SWOUS) 76-77 – 153, Sydney Murray (RSU) 78-76 – 154. SOUTHWESTERN CHRISTIAN AT LAKE HEFNER GC, OKLA CITY (PAR-72) SEPT. 5-6 Team scores: 1, Murray State 320-315 – 635; 2, Southwestern Christian 323-314 – 637; 3, Kansas Wesleyan 328-322 – 650; 4, Okla. Wesleyan 334-336 – 670; 5, Sterling 353-350 – 703; 6, Seminole State 362-345 – 707; 7, Central Christian 377-363 – 740. Individual leaders: 1, Andi McGill (SW Chr.) 72-75 – 147; 2, Rain Moores (MS) 78-76 – 154; 3, Kitana Hollins (MS) 79-78 – 157; 4, Tiara Diaz (KW) 81-77 – 158. OKLAHOMA GOLF ASSOCIATION OKLAHOMA OPEN AT OAK TREE CC (EAST), EDMOND (PAR-70) AUG. 24-26 (RAIN-SHORTENED) 1, Max McGreevy 61-64 – 125; 2, Cody Burrows 67-63 – 130; 3, Andrew Lister 67-64 – 131; 4 (tie), Ian Davis 66-67 – 133, Ben Hargis 70-63 – 133 and Cameron Meyers 69-64 – 133; 7, Jason Meece 67-68 – 135, Jordan Russell 66-69 – 135, Patrick Sullivan 66-69 – 135 and Charlie Holland 66=69 – 135; 11 (tie), Phillip Bryan 70-66 – 136, Jackson Ogle 68-68 – 136, Sean Romero 68-68 – 136, J.T. Taylor 66-70 – 136 and Mason Horner 67-69 – 136; 16 (tie), Matt Mabrey 70-67 – 137, Kevin Kring 71-66 – 137, Casey Fernandez 69-68 – 137 and Britt Pavelonis 65-72 – 137. WOGA WOGA CUP AT THE TERRITORY, DUNCAN SEPT, 18-19 1, Diamonds in the Rough, Indian Springs W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

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SCH E DU L E S & R E SU LTS : More at w w w.gol fok la homa.org (Teresa DeLarzelere, Debbie McClain, Laurie Campbell, Paula Culver) 10.5; 2 (tie), Belmartians, Belmar (Jen Aleman, Shari Baldridge, Kim Bell, Pam Guffey) and Sassy Sisters of Swing, Oak Tree (Susan Ferguson, Cherie Rich, Robbie Litsch, Shannon Webb) 8.5; 4, Hefner Hack Attack, Lake Hefner (Laurie Makes Cry, Christa Kelley, Kelley Thompson, Nancy Pryst) 8; 5 (tie), Oak Tree Fireballs, Oak Tree (Pam Dickinson, Tanya Griggs, Glenda Radigonda, Jayne Underwood) and Quail Creek Q-Tees, Quail Creek (Lynette Hyde, Linda Maddoux-Yates, Kelley Miles, Patsy Homsey) 7.5.

3, Jim Arnold/Dave Wing 62-63 – 125; 4, Ryan Deckard/Earl Jacks 62-64 – 126. B flight: 1, Jon Shackelford/Gentry Wyatt 6663 – 129; 2, Steve Hughes 67-65 – 132; 3, Joey Mogelnicki/Mark Mogelnicki 66-68 – 134. C flight: 1, Bryan Lunger/Larry Liunger 68-69 – 137; 2, Merlin Kilbury/Burch Williams 69-71 – 140; 3, Tom Lewis/Joe Tuttle 68-72 – 140.

TULSA GOLF ASSOCIATION PAR-3 TWO-MAN CHALLENGE AT LAFORTUNE PARK GC SEPT. 12 A flight: 1, Mitch Cohlmia/Brett Myers 45; 2, Richard Hunt/Tyler Hunt 46; 3 (tie), Austin Hannah/Tyler Sullivan, Steve Hughes/Shaw Kitchen and Brandon Strathe/Freddie Wilson 47. B flight: 1, Mike Lusnak/Bill Pocklington 49; 2, Ed Cohlmia/Terry Collier 49; 3 (tie), Jeffrey Cox/Matt Ishmael and Ryan Deckard/Earl Jacks 49. C flight: 1, Donnie Acree/Joe Tuttle 53; 2, Berry Britton/Sidney Gaston 53.

OJGT OJGT BAILEY RANCH BASH AT BAILEY RANCH, OWASSO (PAR-72) SEPT. 23-24 BOYS 15-18 1, Denver Davis 67-73 – 140; 2, Carson Griggs 71-70 – 141l 3, Peyton Burns 70-72 – 142; 4 Brett Wilcoxen 72-71 – 143; 5, Carson Tewell 72-72 – 144; 6 (tie), Trent Lutze 76-69 – 145 and Matt Ritchie 73-72 – 145; 8 (tie), Christian McAllister 73-74 – 147 and Zane Heusel 72-75 – 147; 10 (tie), Hayden Hall 76-72 – 148, Jackson Hoelker 75-73 – 148, Gabe Replogle 72-76 – 148 and Davis Woodliff 73-75 – 148; 14 (tie), Said Powers 71-79 – 150 and Noah Lopez 75-75 – 150. Boys 12-14 1, Benjamin Stoller 72-76 – 148; 2, Murphy Allard 77-78 – 155; 3, Jake Hopper 79-77 – 156; 4, Kyle Kasitz 80-79 – 159; 5, Ayden Korn 82-79 – 161, Girls 12-18 1, Taylor Towers 72-74 – 146; 2, Olivia Schmidt 75-72 – 147; 3 (tie), Faith Hopkins 79-71 – 150 and Natalie Gough 72-78 – 150; 5 (tie), Emma Shelley 75-77 – 152 and Sydney Hermann 7775 – 152; 7, Jenni Roller 77-77 – 154; 8, Raychel Nelke 76-78 – 154; 9, Faith Belmear 80-79 – 159; 10, Bailey Benton 77-83 – 160.; 11, Nina Lee 8577 – 162; 12, Rachel Eckert 84-82 – 166.

TWO-MAN CHALLENGE II AT MOHAWK PARK GC (PAR-71) AUG. 12-13 A flight: 1, Ed Cohlmia/Mitch Cohlmia 58-63 – 121; 2, Gabe Replogle/Zac Replogle 62-62 – 124;

SCPGA YAMAHA SECTION SENIOR HALL OF FAME CHAMPIONSHIP AT DIAMANTE CC, HOT SPRINGS, ARK. (PAR71)

FOUR-BALL AT SHANGRI-LA GC, MONKEY ISLAND (PAR73) AUG. 14-15 Gross: 1, Teresa DeLarzelere/Marna Raburn 67-69 – 136; 2, Jill Johnson/Janet Miller 74-75 – 149; 3, Linda Ballard/Ann Turner 78-74 – 152; 4, Robin Purdie/Ann Watkins 78-78 – 156.

SEPT 25-26 1, Darren Watts 70-74 – 144 ($1,500); 2 (tie), Mark Fuller 74-72 – 146 and Bob Ralston 7472 – 146 ($850); 4, Sam Meredith 76-74 – 150 ($500); 5 (tie), Michael Gowens 74-77 – 151, Andy Schaben 76-75 – 151 and Jeff Tucker 77-74 – 151 ($316.67); 8 (tie), Vince Bizik 7577 – 152 and Mike Stewart 77-75 – 152 ($175); 10 (tie), George Glenn 82-71 – 153, Mike Socha 75-78 – 153, Art Proctor 78-75 –153 and Rusty Wortham 73-80 – 153 ($25). YAMAHA SECTION CHAMPIONSHIP AT FOREST RIDGE GC, BROKEN ARROW (PAR-72) SEPT. 18-19 1, Michael Boyd 68-73 – 141; 2, Blake Bowman 72-71 – 143; 3 (tie), Darren Watts 68-76 – 144 and Trent Rommann 71-73 – 144; 55, Tim Fleming 73-73 – 146; 6, Steven Hausmann 74-73 – 147; 7 (tie), Kyley Tetley 75-74 – 149, Jarod Lundy 73-76 – 149 and Philip Holley 72-77 – 149; 10 (tie), J.J Belcoff 78-74 – 152 and Malachi Murphy 74-78 – 152; 12, Edward Roethlisberger 81-76 – 157; 13 (tie), Brent Wilcoxen 80-78 – 158 and Jim Young 79-79 – 158. GOLF CHANNEL TOUR OKLAHOMA TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP AT LINCOLN PARK GC, OKLA. CITY (PAR-71) AUG. 19-20 1, Stephen Carroll 72-76 – 148 (won playoff); 2, Andrew Braun 76-72 – 148; 3, Payte Owen 79-72 – 151; 4, Rocky Spry 77-76 – 153; 5, Jared Taft 78-77 – 155; 6, Devon Sauzek 84-72 – 156; 7, Goose Clark 77-82 – 159. MUSKOGEE CLASSIC AT MUSKOGEE CC (PAR-71) AUG. 6 1, Jared Taft 78; 2, Goose Clark 81; 3, Michael Foster 82; 4, Randy Collier 83.

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2017 Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame Inductees

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On Louisiana’s world-class Audubon Golf Trail, you can enjoy 15 courses, 279 holes, 365 days a year. Not to mention a location world-famous for food, music and nightlife. For great golf, among other things, visit our website. Š2017 Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism

2017 Golf Oklahoma October | November