2022 Golf Oklahoma October|November

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Official publication of the Oklahoma Golf Association

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The Goods 10

Our intrepid reviewer Tom Bedell picks the best of 12 years of The Bookshelf

12 Ed Travis chats with Oklahoma Titleist rep Joel Hounchell about the TRS drivers 14 Chip Shots; New greens at Oak Tree National, Jerry Cozby honored, Chickasha Pointe on move and Marty McCauley "resigns."


Features 20 Our 30-year anniversary celebration continues with the most recent 10 years, with an emphasis on how Oklahoma rose to prominence as a national junior golf power. 16 Art Stricklin explores the new PGA of America headquarters and resort in Frisco, Texas, and what it all will soon mean to golfers in Oklahoma.

8 42

Destinations 42 Gulf Shores is the home of many excellent courses and a great destination to combine beach, golf, great food and night time fun.

Departments 6 Letter from the Publisher Felde 8 OGA ED Mark Felder 8 WOGA ED Laurie Campbell 9 Rules Bob Phelps 46 Instruction: Maggie Roller

On the cover The PGA of America headquarters has moved to Frisco, Texas, right across the border from Oklahoma, bringing many major championships in the near future.






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A day with a legend


During the early years of covering her ale McNamara was a coaching legend long before I came to team’s exploits, Dale spoke to the meTulsa in 1987 and I didn’t have dia in mostly guarded glowing terms. long to wait to find out why. Less than a It wasn’t until later that she let us in on year later, with the University of Tulsa as what her players knew – she could be my beat at the Tulsa Tribune, the 1988 colorful, blunt, fun-loving and even a bit Hurricane women’s golf team won the naughty to a point. She told us stories of late night card games and shenanigans at NCAA national championship. Recently I had the honor of escorting the colorful Waco Turner Open in BurDale around the course at Cedar Ridge neyville back in the early 1960s. The proudest I’ve been of Dale was not Country Club as she watched her beloved TU win the Dale McNamara Invitational. during her coaching career, but later as a member of the Tulsa Park Watching the event, chatting Board. She did much to try to with the girls and seeing some help a struggling Parks Departof her former players who rement as it was targeted for budturned to spend time with get cut after budget cut. She was her was a wonderful tonic for the voice of science and reason Dale, now 86 and in a battle when fundamentalists tried to with a rare form of cancer force a creationism exhibit purthat affects her liver and other porting the earth to be 5,000 organs. She has been treated years old to be built next to the with radiation and other treatDale McNamara beautiful timeline of species dements and has regained her velopment at the Tulsa Zoo. She basically appetite and vitality of late. “I’ve always looked at life as 18 holes,” shut that nonsense down and has told me said the pioneer who started the TU pro- her work on the Park Board was some of gram and led the school to four national the most rewarding of her career. Rick Dickson, the University of Tulsa championships and five runner-up finishes. “I’ve had an amazing, wonderful life athletic director, has known Dale since he with a loving husband and two wonder- was 17 and a freshman at TU in 1974, the ful daughters. I’m on the last three holes, same year Dale started the program. She and this cancer has been tough. But I’m had to warn him to leave her girls alone getting better and not giving up. I’m going back then, then to support them when he returned in 1988 at age 32. to make it to 95.” “What a delightful human above everyMaking it a special week for Dale was the return of former players Blue thing else that she’s been,” said Dickson, Kinander and Cathy Mockett along with now in his second stint at the TU helm. the chance to hang with Maggie Roller – “She’s so fun, but has so much resolve. who played on that 1988 team along with All the things she is and has been to the Kinander – and watch Maggie’s daughter university and the city, she has been even more to me and my wife Brenda. You can Jenni, now a freshman at TU. Both Kinander and Mockett said they imagine when I came back here in 1988 regard Dale as much more than a coach, then became AD in 1990, I didn’t know indeed a second mother. Roller has been what I was doing. She was so helpful and a devoted friend and protector of Dale’s such a guiding light.” She’s been a staunch supporter of all legacy for decades. Dale founded the program in 1974 and of our endeavors with Golf Oklahoma coached it until 2000, when daughter Me- and the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame, lissa, now the coach at Auburn, replaced into which she was inducted in 2008. her. She won early and often, in the re- We can’t thank her enough for that. This cruiting battles for players such as Nancy year’s tournament that bears her name Lopez and 24 other first-team All-Ameri- was a wonderful treat for her in so many cans, and on the course, where her teams ways. We only hope she has many more to come. won 60 tournaments. 6



Golf Oklahoma Offices Southern Hills Plaza 6218 S. Lewis Ave., Ste. 102 LIKE US! Tulsa, OK 74136 FACEBOOK.COM/ 918-280-0787 GOLFOKLAHOMAMAGAZINE Oklahoma City Office 405-640-9996 Publisher Ken MacLeod ken@golfoklahoma.org


COO/Marketing Director A.G. Meyers agm@golfoklahoma.org Reporter Sam Humphreys sam@golfoklahoma.org Art & Technology Director Chris Swafford chris@golfoklahoma.org Subscriptions to Golf Oklahoma are $20 for one year (five issues) or $35 for two years (10 issues). Call 918-280-0787 or go to www.golfoklahoma.org Contributing photographers Rip Stell, Bill Powell Golf Oklahoma PGA Instructional Staff Jim Young Teaching Professional, River Oaks CC 405-630-8183 Ryan Rody Director of Instruction Southern Hills Country Club rrody@southernhilscc.org Pat McTigue Director of Instruction, Meadowbrook CC pmtigue277@gmail.com Maggie Roller Director of Instruction, Cedar Ridge CC maggie.roller@sbcglobal.net, 918-261-1441 Oklahoma Golf Association 2800 Coltrane Place, Suite 2 Edmond, OK 73034 405-848-0042 Executive Director Mark Felder mfelder@okgolf.org Director of Handicapping and Course Rating Jay Doudican jdoudican@okgolf.org Director of Junior Golf Morri Rose morose@okgolf.org Director of Rules Bob Phelps bphelps@okgolf.org Copyright 2022 by Golf Oklahoma Magazine. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from Golf Oklahoma. Golf Oklahoma is published by South Central Golf, Inc.



Thanks to all for a rewarding career A few familiar themes as I to be. Any aspirations of playing at the highwrite my final letter as Executive Director est level were dashed early when I had Jim of the Oklahoma Golf Association to Golf Woodward and Robin Freeman on my high Oklahoma readers. If you had not heard, I school team at John Marshall. Though I was a decent player, I could see am retiring at the end of there was another level the calendar year after 21 that was going to be hard years with the OGA, but to reach. will be around to help Being a club professional in any role needed for a and then the OGA Direcwhile yet. tor has given me a wonderFirst off, I want to ful life in the game. I need thank all of the OGA to thank all competitors who promy fellow vided so many thrilling Oklahoma and memorable moments PGA proin all our events over the fessionals years. I watched many of you grow from sprouts Felder announces the final pair- who have been so into PGA Tour-caliber ing at the Oklahoma Open. golfers and hundreds more into successes in great to us, allowing us to Devin Davenport use their wonderful facilities all walks of life. I’ve been touched by many of the cards for our events and making and letters you have sent and you are cer- sure we were treated in a tainly welcome for any role I’ve played in first-class manner each time. Every year of my tenure we helping you achieve what you have. It’s been so gratifying to watch you mature into played the Oklahoma Open at Oak Tree Country Club on the fine people and golfers you are today. I’ve been in the golf business for 50 years the East Course and I need Morri Rose going back to 1973 when I was hired at 15 to give a special thanks to Devin Davenport to flip burgers at Lake Hefner. I knew im- and everyone at Oak Tree. This year was mediately the golf course is where I wanted won by Texan Chandler Phillips at 15-under.


President WOGA

Let me emphasize how good 15-under is at a course like Oak Tree CC East for 54 holes. Also since our last missive we had Mike Gotcher edge Mike Hughett in the OGA Senior Stroke Play Championship at Meadowbrook Country Club in Tulsa. Mike Gotcher is a former club pro and has always been a great player. And of course Mike Hughett has been just incredible to watch throughout my tenure. I’ve given him enough plates to have his own game at the state fair. Also Tim Rogers won his second consecutive Super Senior and Kate Strickland played great golf to win the OGA Women’s Stroke Play. I want to particularly thank all the OGA volunteers and board members and the staff Jay Doudican for your support and hard work on a daily basis, including Jay Doudican, Bob Phelps and Morri Rose. What you have accomplished with the OJGT, State Junior, State Amateur and all of our events is phenomenal. Bob Phelps I’m hoping to be able to pair up with a friend or two and start playing some of these wonderful venues we have in Oklahoma. See you out there!


Looking forward to Fore State WOGA looks forward to host- and Tammy Fairchild. Louise B. Johnson the fields of these events. ing the annual Fore State competition captained the team with Pat McKamey as The event dates back to 1995 when Edell Wortz, a member of Hardscrabble CC in next year at Cedar Ridge Country Club in co-captain. Participation in this prestigious annual Fort Smith, Ark., originated the competiBroken Arrow. This year’s event was won by host Kan- event is based on points accumulated tion and donated the Wortz trophy in recsas at Canyon Farms Golf Club in Lenexa through the current and past year during ognition of the state winning the championship. on Aug. 1-2. Edell was Oklahoma, a life-long which finished supporter of second, leads women’s and with 13 titles, girls golf, and followed by hosted the Missouri with first Foureight while Olivia Coit LeeAnn Fairlie Patty Coatney State ChampiArkansas and Maddi Kamas Lilly Whitley Jaiden Gregston Kansas have three each. The 2022 WOGA team consisted of amateurs Maddi Kamas, Lilly Whitley, Jaiden Gregston and Olivia Coit; mid-amateurs LeeAnn Fairlie, Patty Coatney, Leigh Anne Fore and Jill Johnson; and masters Rebecca Davis, Teresa DeLarzelere, Connie Kelsey 8

play in WOGA championships. Exemptions for the 2023 competition are given to the winners of the 2022 State Amateur and Junior Girls’ Championships, and the 2023 Stroke Play, Mid-Am and Senior Championships. The team captain then makes selections based on points of placement in


onship in Bella Vista, Ark. It is a two-day rivalry combining four-ball, foursomes and singles matches. Each state rotates as host. The field consists of a 12-member team with four amateurs (age 39 and under), four (ages 40-59) and four masters (60 and older). W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG



OGA Rules Director

Fans cool the green, not the player Am I entitled to “line of play” relief for greenside fans? By far, the most common misunderstanding in OGA and OJGT events is players believing they are entitled to free relief from greenside fans located between the player’s ball and the flagstick. There are other items on the course too that many players believe they should get “line of play” relief from such as irrigation control boxes, restrooms, birdhouses, protective fences, etc. And in all cases the answer is no, you are not entitled to “line of play” relief. If an immovable obstruction interferes with the lie of your ball, stance, or the area of your intended swing, you are entitled to free relief. But not when an Immovable obstruction is simply between your ball and the flagstick. The rule that most players believe grants this relief is the Temporary Immovable Obstruction (TIO) local rule. This local rule must be stated on the rule sheet and requires the committee to define such


items as TIOs. The primary reason the OGA and OJGT do not define greenside fans as TIOs is because they do not meet the definition of a TIO. TIO’s are temporary structures that are temporarily added on or next to the course, usually for a particular competition. Examples include tents, grandstands, scoreboards and TV towers. Greenside fans are more permanent in nature, not brought in for a competition and are simply part of the course. Secondly, if greenside fans were defined as TIOs, players could be entitled to relief from up to 250 yards away if the fan is on a direct line to the flag. Players could use this rule to escape a bad lie when from that distance the greenside fan is really a minor obstacle. Lastly, the relief procedure for a TIO is difficult to understand and unfamiliar to most players. So, the next time you are faced with a shot with a greenside fan between your ball and the flagstick, get creative and play hard.

Revisions effective Jan. 2023 to be announced in early November With the release of the 2019 Rules of Golf, it was inevitable that situations would arise that would need clarification or would result in unintended consequences. As a result, the USGA began releasing “clarifications” each quarter to further explain the meaning and intent of the new rules. And in some cases, new Model Local Rules (MLR) were written to modify how a rule was originally written. While I have no inside knowledge of what will be revised for 2023, I expect several of these MLRs and clarifications to be incorporated into the rule itself. Among others, look for MLR D-7 which limits when a stroke made from the putting green must be replayed under exception 2 to Rule 11.1b, MLR E-12 which modifies the relief area when using back-on-theline relief, and MLR G-9 which allows for the replacement of broken or significantly damaged clubs to be written into the new rules, eliminating the need for these Local Rules.





A Dozen Years Between the Covers by tom bedell


happily made my Golf Oklahoma debut in its first issue, AprilMay 2011, with a piece on 10 books that would make up a good desert island golf library. It’s been an honor to have been in almost every issue since. I’ve written pieces on travel, beer, golf gambling, golf humor and golf movies. But mainly I’ve set up shop here at The Bookshelf, reading and reviewing many a volume about the game we all love, when it isn’t driving us crazy. I’m not sure I have the exact count, but not including the original 10, I think I’ve reviewed 120 books over the years, along with a few instructional videos and golf movies. Luckily, there haven’t been many real stinkers; there’s usually something of at least passing interest in most golf books that manage to get published. On the other hand, real gems can be fairly rare, too, books that strike me as at once compelling and exceedingly well-written. Which leaves out almost all of the instructional books. So, in the prevailing retrospective celebratory mood, I’ve combed the archives to come up with a Top 10 of the last 12 years — those books that came along that are still worth tracking down. And if they’re not still available for purchase, well, that’s what libraries are for. It wasn’t hard to find 10. It was hard to limit it to 10. So — something I would never do out on a golf course — I cheated, just a little. I’ve listed the books chronologically, noting the issue the review appears in. Bill Pennington, On Par: The Everyday Golfer’s Survival Guide (Aug.-Sept. 2012) Pennington just hung up his New York Times sports writing spikes in September. For a number of years he wrote the “On Par” column for the paper and this is a genial collection of the same. There are all sorts of intriguing observations on the game — emphasizing that it’s a game — such as the 10

statistics showing that the most effective way to play golf in terms of scoring, “is to walk with a pushcart, followed by playing with a caddie, following by taking a cart, and lastly carrying your own bag. Or the Swedish study showing that golfers outlive non-golfers by five years!” Michael Bamberger, Men in Green (June-July 2015) Veteran sportswriter Bamberger goes on a road trip to visit nine Living Legends of the game (Palmer, Nicklaus, et. al.) and nine he calls Secret Legends, including Mike Donald, who almost, but not quite, won the U.S. Open in 1990. It’s a great ride that, “...casts a compelling spell as the stories pour forth, often reflecting one upon another, the past, the nature of time, life itself. It’s an episodic journey, but it flows like a stream.” Bamberger’s subsequent The Second Life of Tiger Woods (April-May 2020) is also a great read about the GOAT in light of his remarkable 2019 Masters victory. Shane Ryan, Slaying the Tiger (Oct.-Nov. 2015) Ryan is an admirable on-the-ground researcher and storyteller, who spent a year following the PGA Tour around to deliver juicy behindthe-ropes scenes of players striving to emerge in a (not quite) post-Tiger world. And his more recent The Cup They Couldn’t Lose (June-July 2022), about the 2021 Ryder Cup, is equally worth reading. Patrick Reed may disagree; he comes off poorly in both volumes, making it a bit of a surprise he didn’t add Ryan’s name to his recent defamation suit. George Plimpton, The Bogey Man (June-July 2016) It was thoughtful of Little, Brown and Company to reissue seven of the late George Plimpton’s sports books, including this classic, about his misadventures with


the PGA Tour, circa 1968. Plimpton was the master of participatory journalism, and a felicitous prose stylist, both observant, humorous and necessarily self-deprecating. And as long as we’re talking reissues, the twovolume P.G. Wodehouse collection called Golf from Overlook Press (Oct.-Nov. 2016) is a feast of fun not to be missed. It’s 19 tales of golf and comically complicated love affairs that all seem to turn out just right. Tom Callahan, Arnie: The Life of Arnold Palmer (April-May 2017) There was a disturbance in the golf force when Arnold Palmer died in 2016. I anticipated a mini-industry of biographies of the King to follow. That there hasn’t (so far) been a flood of them may be because Tom Callahan set an almost impossibly high standard with this one. A long-time newspaper man and Golf Digest contributor, Callahan knew Palmer well. He knew every major sporting figure of his times well, which also makes his Gods at Play: An Eyewitness Account of Great Moments in American Sports (Travel Issue and Directory 2021) a terrific read. James Dodson, The Range Bucket List (April-May 2017) Ever since his 1996 best-seller, Final Rounds, Dodson has been a reliable chronicler of the emotional attachments we bring to the game in a dozen books. This volume serves as a poignant memoir that limns what it has been like for him to spend so much of his time so wedded to the game and its participants, famous and otherwise. He’s good company, for those he meets up with, and for readers. An earlier, more journalistic approach about Hogan, Snead and Nelson, American Triumvirate (June-July 2012) is also top-notch. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

Tom Coyne, A Course Called America (April-May 2021) What I call Coyne’s golfapaloozas — in which he plays tons of courses and manages through his fine prose to report on his stunts and not make us feel envious (well, not too envious) — reaches the trilogy stage with his latest. The earlier efforts, A Course Called Scotland (Aug.-Sept. 2018), and A Course Called Ireland are just as ingratiating, but the U.S. trek, playing usually more than one course in every state is, like the country, a broader effort, and more beguilingly familiar. Dottie Pepper, Lessons to a Future Champion (June-July 2021) The story of the young Dottie Pepper striking up a studentteacher relationship with the older George Pulver becomes increasingly irresistible as it goes on. Pepper relates

the saga through the actual correspondence the two shared over the years. As she grows more talented with more success, Pulver’s advice rarely wavers from basics packed with common sense, wisdom and encouragement. Time is inexorable, so the tale by necessity turns poignant. As I wrote, “You’d have to have a cold heart not to be touched by this unique view of a mentorship suffused with mutual respect and love, one that came along at just the right time: when both needed it most.” Alan Shipnuck, Phil! (April-May 2022) Before anyone had teed off in an LIV event, an excerpt from Shipnuck’s book revealed the Phil Mickelson maneuvers that eventually took him over to the LIV platform. And golf as we know it may never be the same again. Shipnuck’s subtitle: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar gives away some of the lively tone of the book, which presents plenty of Mick-

elson warts, but on the whole seems an admiring portrait. One that now leaves many of us wondering if he has simply tossed his legacy away. Rick Reilly, So Help Me Golf: Why We Love the Game (April-May 2022) Reilly’s latest is 70 short takes on the ways golf weaves its way into our psyches, using his various life roles as its structure — Kid, Teen, (Golf) Addict, Writer, Caddy, Fan, Father, Grandfather and a few others. Most are hilarious, as is Reilly’s wont, but some are poignant, such as an overall structure that has Reilly dealing with his once alcoholic and abusive father, one whom he’s only able to forgive years later during — what else? — a road trip to the Masters. And though fans of Le Grand Orange may demur, Reilly was also brilliant in his takedown of the last President, Commander in Cheat (April-May 2019). Read on!

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Titleist TSR creates a buzz by ed travis


he latest driver series from Titleist, the TSR, though it’s only been on the market for a few weeks, has created a stir amongst professionals and amateurs alike for its looks, feel and distance. The TSR (Titleist Speed Redefined) series is composed of three models the game-improvement TSR2, the TSR3 used by touring professionals and the TSR4 a smaller headed lower spin version. They all feature improved aerodynamic shaping with a crown extension or “boat tail” trailing edge that promotes higher clubhead speed. It creates a more even air flow over the clubhead on the downswing not unlike the rear spoiler on a sports car while providing a low drag location to place the rear weights


found on each TSR model. The TSR2 and TSR4 use a redesigned variable thickness face constructed in layers to give similar rebound across the entire surface which can be a help when impact isn’t in the face center. On the other hand, the TSR3 uses a different design called a Speed Ring since it is targeted for better players who usually hit close to Joel Hounchell the sweet spot every time. Titleist Sales Rep. Perhaps best of all early reports, purchasers often use the magical words, “better distance and more control.” For an additional perspecTitleist tive Golf Oklahoma talkTSR ed with Joel Hounchell the Titleist Sales Representative for Oklahoma and Kansas and he offered some insight for our readers. Can you tell our readers a little about your background in golf and your time with Titleist? I stumbled upon the game in high school, and like many people, quickly fell in love with


it. I was at the golf course all the time, so I started working there to help reduce the cost and make some extra money. Initially I picked range balls and washed carts, then moved into a couple different roles at different facilities before becoming an Assistant Golf Professional, and eventually getting hired by Titleist. My initial role with Titleist was in Customer Service before moving to our Golf Ball Fitting Van, then to Inside Sales and eventually to Field Sales. What started as part-time job to help pay for a golf membership has turned into a great career with the best company in golf. How has the new TSR line of drivers been received by your retail customers? Initial response has been excellent! We’re off to a record launch as golfers are seeing tremendous performance from TSR, and our retail partners are filling up their fitting appointments. What has been the feedback from recreational golfers who have played with the TSR? The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, TSR is doing exactly what our R&D predicted, which is helping golfers gain club


head speed, hit longer distances and improve their accuracy. We try to keep it simple and the three words we focus on for TSR are Faster, Longer, Straighter and that’s exactly what we’ve heard from golfers who have tried the product. Can you briefly describe the difference between the three TSR models, TSR2, TSR3 and TSR4? TSR2 is our “max” driver – it maximizes both distance and forgiveness. It is for the golfer who has a strike location that can vary all over the face. TSR3 is our most popular driver on Tour and is designed for a player who has a more consistent strike location. That strike won’t always be center but if they are consistently in the same general area of the face TSR3 allows us to dial in performance with moveable CG weighting. TSR4 is our ultra-low spin driver, so if you’re a player that generates over 3,000 RPMs of spin TSR4 is a great option to help you maximize your distance and control. How have the TSR series been changed from the previous TSi models? Our R&D team redesigned the shape of the TSR2 & TSR4 to significantly improve their aerodynamics, while all three drivers feature new face designs for added speed and more consistent spin numbers. Some are saying driver technology has gone about as far as it can go particularly concerning distance. Would you agree? As a tour authentic company we partner with the USGA and R&A on conformance testing, and we remain bullish that performance enhancements with drivers are still possible. Are drivers really all about distance or are there other factors golfers should consider when looking to buy a new one? At Titleist we design a driver to be played on a golf course, which means hitting it upwards of 14 times a round in different conditions and on different designed holes. Because of this, golfers should look for total performance on a driver – one that provides long distance with accuracy that is repeatable shot after shot. The best way to find that is to work with a good fitter and dial your driver to your swing. Is there any other message you would like to pass along to our readers? We really believe we have a special product with the TSR driver and fairways. If you go into a golf shop and grab one off the rack it will be very good, but if you take the time to get fit it will be great! I know there are a variety of reasons that golfers avoid fittings, but it really is a great process, and we see tremendous results that translate to more enjoyable golf and lower scores. Please check out Titleist.com for fitters in your area. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

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New greens draw raves at OTN


he reaction to the new TifEagle rating of 79.9 while the slope stayed at 155. course rating was not because of the new ultradwarf Bermuda greens at That combination is one of the highest in the greens, according to Jay Doudican, the direcOak Tree National has been over- country. The slope rating of 155 is the maxi- tor of course rating for the Oklahoma Golf mum allowed by the USGA. The course rat- Association. Rather it was more due to addiwhelmingly positive. One caveat. Those who played on open- ing of 79.9 passes another Pete Dye course, tional length from new tee boxes on holes 1, 5, 6 and 8. Still Oak Tree is just ing day when the greens were 7,463 yards from the tips. heavily watered just may be in Course ratings are deterfor a different experience when mined from a probably antithey return. quated standard of a scratch “The reaction has been awegolfer hitting an average tee shot some, everyone thinks they are 250 yards. Many of the scratch unbelievable,” said Tom Jones, or better golfers at OTN exceed the president and CEO of Oak that by 50 to 75 or more yards. Tree National. “Now, those who When the course was closed, played Saturday, well they’ve Jones asked Matthew Wolff to gotten a lot firmer since then. But hit a tee shot as hard as possible boy are they gorgeous.” from the range and it flew over Longtime member A.G. Meythe driving range net positioned ers confirmed the playing experi335 yards away at the back of ence was tremendous. One of the new TifEagle Bermuda greens at Oak Tree. the range, it was 50 feet in the “They are really, really good,” he said. “I’ve been out here for over 30 years the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island at 79.6. air and cruising when it flashed by. So much for 250 yards. Two courses in the United States have and they have never been better. They puttThe eventual firmness of the new ed true, were firm and yet held good shots.” a course rating exceeding 80. They are the Jones said that has been the refrain he’s International Club – Pines Course, which greens was not taken into account in the heard from the many professionals who plays to an 81.7 rating from its back tees of new rating. Doudican said only undulaplay out of OTN, that the greens will not 8,052 yards. And The Blessings in northwest tion and speeds are taken into account on hold shots from the rough but will from the Arkansas, where Jones used to work and site the greens. Increased firmness is not part of the 2019 NCAA Championship, has an of the equation, but it will be for those fairway. The Oklahoma Golf Association course 80.9 course rating from its back tees of 7,925 playing what is now reconfirmed as certainly one of the most difficult courses in rating team has already been out and, from yards. Both have slope ratings of 155. However the jump from 79.3 to 79.9 in the country. the back tees, assigned Oak Tree an updated

Jerry Cozby Learning Center opens A joyous gathering of members, family, drove in from Kansas City for the ceremony. friends and guests celebrated the official “Dad was all about making sure people engrand opening of the Jerry Cozby Learning joyed the game. Whether it was teaching, or Center at Hillcrest Country Club in Bartles- just making sure everyone had a good time.” “His deal was makville on Sept. 22. ing sure everyone who Giving remarks were came through the Jim Curd and David gate could put aside Kedy, two of the memtheir troubles and just bers who led the funhave fun,” Cary said. draising to build the “That’s his legacy. We beautiful two-bay center were basically raised in honor of the late Jerry by everybody who is Cozby, head professional here tonight. They alat Hillcrest for 41 years. Also speaking were The Jerry Cozby Learning Center ways embraced us and at Hillcrest CC. treated us so well. Dad head professional John Hron, Jerry’s son Cary, who is the head pro- would have loved this building.” “He was more about learning than he was fessional at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, and wife Karole. All emphasized how about teaching,” Karole said. “He taught the Jerry would have loved the teaching center, game of life. Every day.” The center has a teaching bay featuras helping members enjoy golf was a pasing Trackman and SwingCatalyst, which sion of his throughout his career. “It’s a great legacy,” said son Craig, who analyzes weight distribution and swing 14


force. A second bay with a simulator will be more for fun and inclement weather practice. The entry way is lined with pictures and memorabilia of Jerry as well as a plaque recognizing all who donated to the building. Curd said it would have easily cost over $400,000 if not for all the in-kind donations received, including land leveling, grading and sodding by member Dale Forrest, owner of United Golf, a golf construction firm. Others contributing include Dan Keleher, Gorman Construction, Randy Lawrence, golf architect Tripp Davis and Hillcrest Country Club itself. PGA teaching professional Regina Goodwin came from Tulsa to attend. She said Jerry was one of the few pros who encouraged her to go into the business when she started in the early 1990s. Hron said that some lessons have already been taught in the center but now that it’s officially open it’s about to get busy, just as Jerry would have wanted it. Jerry passed away Aug. 23, 2020. He is a member of both the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame and PGA of America Hall of Fame. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

News around the state Sponsored by

Chickasaw Pointe development to pick up pace


lowly, steadily, things are progressing on the various housing and resort components near Chickasha Pointe Golf Course on the shores of Lake Texoma near Kingston. While the owner of Pointe Vista Development is moving toward building town homes, condos and eventually a hotel and pool near the course, moving much more rapidly is a hotel and casino project owned by the Chicka- Ryan Chapman saw Nation, which also owns WinStar Resort and numerous other casinos. The Lake Texoma Casino Resort will include a 9,600-square foot casino, a 40-room hotel and 10 rental cabins. That could be a boon for Chickasaw Pointe Golf Course, which has always suffered from a lack of quality lodging nearby. The Randy Heckenkemper design is consistently rated one of the top public access courses in the state, and since the closings of Silverado and Durant Country Club in the area, it is the only golf course for miles.

PGA professional Ryan Chapman, point an earlier group failed to develop it and has man for Chickasaw Pointe, the nearby ma- held it through drawn-out environmental rina and the development, said this winter studies, lack of action due to economic reathe company hopes to be starting construc- sons and lawsuits with the state and CLO, tion on the Bridge Point area, which will mostly resolved in 2015. Lakefront holes 4 through 7 were removed include 32 town homes along the Lake Texoma shoreline and 26 condos. Where from the course in 2017 and replaced by the three holes that were removed from the holes set back from the lake in anticipation of development shoreline used beginning. to be will be 84 Once comsingle family plete, Chapman home lots. said it is expectPlans evened up to 2,000 tually are for a residents will Caribbean Bay live on the site at Hotel and pool least part-time. flanked by adFor those ditional condo looking for a towers. resort home for Ch ick asaw Artist's conception of a lakeside resort hotel, water golf, boating, Pointe was the park and marina village planned for Pointe Vista. etc., the Caribfirst truly upscale golf course built by the State of Okla- bean Bay Hotel is years away, but the casihoma and was the flagship property in the no hotel could be complete as soon as 2023. The course is on schedule to do about State Parks Golf Course system until the Commissioners of Land Office sold it and 18,000 rounds in 2022, a number it is hoped surrounding real estate to developers. Fish- will increase when there are stay-and-play er’s group purchased the land in 2005 after options in the area.

OCU coach resigns, star transfers


ittle has been clarified in the resig- tion at this time. Star freshman golfer Reagan Chaney nation of formerly ultra-successful Oklahoma City University wom- announced she was transferring to the University of Oklahoma shortly after the en’s golf coach Marty McCauley. McCauley has not coached the team “resignation.” In 10 years as Oklahoma City head since its first event of the fall, a victory in the Southwestern Christian Invitational. coach, McCauley guided the Stars to the 2013, 2014 and 2017 NAIA Members of the administrachampionships, a runner-up tion have accompanied the finish in 2021 and seven Soonteam to its final three fall er Athletic Conference chamevents, in which it registered pionships. The Stars had five two victories. top-five finishes and eight topAthletic Director Corey 10 showings in the national Bray emailed the following tournament with McCauley’s statement to Golf Oklahoma guidance. Prior to this season when asked if McCauley had OCU has 28 tournament wins resigned or been fired. in 104 events. “Marty McCauley resigned McCauley has been named his position as head women’s NAIA coach of the year three golf coach at Oklahoma City times and SAC coach of the University effective Sept. 13, Marty McCauley 2022. As the university does not share in- year six times. He has guided 35 All-Amerformation related to personnel matters, icans, three four-time All-Americans, the there will be no further comment at this 2013 NAIA individual champion, the 2013 and 2014 NAIA individual runners-up, 25 time.” McCauley told Golf Oklahoma he pre- all-conference performers, four SAC infers not to discuss what led to his resigna- dividual champions, four league playerW W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

of-the-year award winners and four SAC freshmen of the year. Prior to OCU, McCauley had spent the previous five years as men’s golf assistant coach to Greg Sands at Texas Tech. McCauley previously served as assistant coach to Kyle Blaser on OCU’s successful men’s golf program for two seasons. McCauley aided the Stars to the 2003 and 2004 NAIA national championships as well as the 2003 and 2004 Sooner Athletic Conference titles. Prior to his previous coaching stint at OCU, McCauley played at Wichita State for coach Grier Jones from 1999-2002. McCauley helped the Shockers capture a pair of Missouri Valley Conference Championships prior to his graduation. In addition, he received Missouri Valley academic allconference honors. As a player at Cushing High School, McCauley finished his career there with back-to-back Class 3A state individual championships in 1997 and 1998. McCauley was an All-State selection as a senior as well as being a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award that goes to the top senior athlete in the state.






roots, former PGA Frisco Senior Golf Director Jimmy Terry FRISCO, Texas often gave what is – Oklahoma golfers called, “the ice cream and those just interspeech,” which he ested in the latest said still holds true to weekend entertainall visitors to the PGA ment options should Frisco facility. be getting ready to be “I really believe, amazed at the early while it may be long 2023 opening on the after I’m gone, that PGA of America projyou will have someect located in Frisco, body take up the available to all less game and maybe than 60 miles from win one of our tourthe Sooner State bornaments one day, der. because they were “It’s going to be having ice cream here awesome, mate. at one of the shops, There is going to be looked outside, saw nothing like it anywhat people were where. Just unbeThe 13th hole on the Gil Hanse-designed East course at PGA Frisco. doing seemed like lievable open to the Waugh added, “I really believe this will be fun and decided to try it,” said Terry. general public,” said Northern Texas PGA “This is not a place for golf. This is a place of Executive Director Mark Harrison of the on- the American St. Andrews of golf with the site North Texas Golf Park, recently named public coming from everywhere to experi- golf. We want to set this up as a place to invite for longtime local pro Ronny Glanton and ence it. It can be the Silicon Valley of golf for non-golfers to give it a try. There will be a golfopen to the public when not being used for the innovation we are going to bring here.” themed sports bar, a coffee and ice cream spot Also included will be a 10-hole short and an ice house with hitting bays.” NTPGA programming. There is also room for 12 restaurants, “Welcome to our field of dreams,” PGA course, known as The Swing and a CEO Seth Waugh said during the recent 72,000-square foot putting green (aka The including an ice house with plenty of hard Dance Floor), large inactive simulators, golf drinks to celebrate or commiserate any PGA Headquarters grand opening. “This is a rare project which has turned games, eating places, ice house and bars and round at PGA Frisco, a coffee stand, and sports bar with a golf simulator. out better than we ever dreamed it would.” retail shops. Thousands of citizens and visitors who “This gives us a great opportunity to reThe ambitious $550-million, 600-acre campus, will bring 26 major golf championships invent our game and gain interest in all parts have no current interest in golf whatsoever, to the North Texas area starting with the PGA of the public -- those who love the game and will come for the shops, the stores, the soft Senior Championship in May 2023. It will be those who have never played it,” said former ice cream, hard drinks and coffee bars, and may actually find the outdoor activity with the first men’s major golf championship there PGA of America president Suzy Whaley. Why 10 holes on the public short course, balls and clubs is worth trying out. since the 1963 PGA Championship at Dallas “We wanted to do everything we can to from 45-to-120 yards, instead of the tradiAthletic Club, won by Jack Nicklaus. But more importantly to out-of-state visi- tional 9 or 18? Because that’s the amount pull people into the game any way possible tors, and others, it will bring plenty of public of land they had for the course designed by from the putting course to the short course, the big courses or just walking on the trails golf, of all kinds, with 36 holes of champion- Welling and it just sounded like fun. “Over the last 25 years, we’ve done a lot and viewing the players,” said Richerson. ship golf, the East Course designed by Gil A 550-room Omni Resort, one of the largHanse, and the West by Beau Welling, both to try to kill golf. We’ve made it too hard, scheduled to open to the public in March 2023. too expensive, too exclusive and taking est financial contributors to the project, will “It was very important that we make every- too long,” said Waugh. “The one thing we open in March, very much following the thing public here, that’s part of our charge as haven’t done is made it too fun. We have a open to the public theme. The resort was funded in part by Dallasan organization and an innovator of golf,” said chance to push back on that here.” While recently returned to his Austin-area based Omni CEO Robert Rowling and DalPGA of America president Jim Richerson. by art stricklin




Since Since 2010, 2010, PGA PGA Director Director of of Golf, Golf, Tim Tim Fleming, Fleming, and and his his team team at at Oklahoma Oklahoma City City Golf Golf and and Country Country Club Club have have participated participated in in HERO100 HERO100 Golf Golf Marathons. Marathons. With With the the involvement involvement of of the the club’s club’s junior junior members members and and veterans veterans and and their their families families in in the the community, community, the the OKCGCC OKCGCC provides provides life life changing changing educational educational scholarships scholarships to to the the families families of of fallen fallen or or disabled disabled service service members members through through the the game game of of golf. golf.


91% %


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CHIP SHOTS las’ Stillwater Capital, led by local developer Jonas Woods. They were responsible for the resort along with a 127,000-square foot convention center, huge ballrooms, multiple pools, private villas, dining, tennis and event lawns, all overlooking the East golf course. PGA Frisco has 26 chamipionships slated over the next two decades, beginning with the Senior PGA in 2023 on the Fields Ranch East Course. After the PGA Senior, there will be the 2025 KPMG Women’s PGA, the first women’s major championship in the area since the 1991 U.S, Women’s Open at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, and the 2026 PGA Championship, the first of three scheduled for the Hanse course. There will be a 30-acre public practice facility on site with the Frisco Independent School District, another financial contributor, having its own outdoor golfing and physical education space. While the four-story glass-enclosed headquarters facility has plenty of offices and conference rooms, the first floor is largely

composed of indoor hitting bays for Cusick and his team along with a large turf putting green and a huge sand-filled bunker in the front picture window of the facility to allow players and teachers and even staff to practice their sand game during the week.

The 10th hole on the East Course. HOW DOES IT PLAY? We were fortunate to be able to play the courses during a recent media day The Hanse designed East Course includes a drivable par 4 on both the front (No. 7) and uphill back nine (15). There is a nearly a 300yard par 3, (No. 13 from the championship

tees) along with the largest green on the course followed by the smallest, just to confuse golfers’ already confused minds. Then a bunkerless par-4 16th hole which seems simple, but is anything but! Picking the correct tee box will be crucial. For the closing act, there is the dangerous par-3 17th at 141 yards, the shortest hole on the course, followed by the par-5 18th hole with a large stream and a hard dogleg right plus a 10-foot earthen wall you’ll have to hit over to reach the final green after crossing Panther Creek for the final time. The West Course by Welling,who did Bluejack National with Tiger Woods outside of Houston, is the more playerfriendly layout with lots of wide open North Texas prairie spaces, elevated views and some truly funky greens. Welling said the two courses are not identical sisters but in the same family. “It’s more like cousins,” he said. “I wanted to be able to bring my mother out here who may not be as good as I am, but still have a good time.” Member FDIC

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The rise of a golf state

Junior stars thrust Oklahoma into spotlight by ken macleod


ompleting our look back at the past 30 years of Golf Oklahoma begun in August issue, we recognize that nearly all competition stories and much other breaking news is now covered exclusively on our website, newsletters and social media, while the magazine took on a heavier emphasis on travel, opinion, features, book reviews, instruction and other topics Yet still there was plenty of news in each issue not covered anywhere else. A sampling:

APRIL-MAY, 2013 The cover story featured junior golfers Hayden Wood, Brendon Jelley and Taylor Moore with the headline, “How Oklahoma Became A Junior Golf Powerhouse.” Moore is now on the PGA Tour while Wood and Jelley are also professional golfers and both past state amateur champions. We’ve basically spent the last 10 years writing about this top- ous other properties, passed away at his home in La Quinta, ic and it continues today. Calif., at the age of 84. This issue we covered The Patriot Cup was the closing of the Sugar becoming a big thing at Creek Canyon GC in The Patriot in Owasso, Hinton, the opening with numerous of a Golfsmith store PGA Tour, in Oklahoma PGA Tour City and Champithe wellons, singers, deserved actors and honoring of other celebRick Reed of rities taking the Oaks CC as part and we PGA South Central Taylor Moore previewed the Section Professional 2013 edition. of the Year. Profiles included Ernie Vossler, a Brendon Jelley, Taylor key member of the Moore, Jim Woodlegendary team that ward and Oklahoma founded Landmark Supreme Court JusLand Company and tice Joseph Watt, an developed Oak Tree avid golfer. National and numerRick Reed 20


JUNE-JULY, 2013 Former Oklahoma State AllAmerican Jeff McMillian has made a career out of entertaining corporate golf clients and he walks us through the details of a life he’s fashioned that has him landing at Pinehurst, Pebble Beach, Kiawah Island, Whistling Straits, etc., with regularity. And it’s work! Doug Tewell introduced an instructional DVD, “Square Blanchard reopened after a to Square,” that brings in over three-month hiatus. We profiled Bill Warren Jr. and $500,000 in sales in the first quarter of 2013, thanks to large his huge impact on Southern overseas sales in particular. It Hills and golf in general and took a close look into the seems Tewell was new greens at Shansoon the most popular gri-La Resort, which instructor in Belgium, included a Biarritz, a for which he could Redan, a Punch Bowl thank Tim Oyler, and other influences CEO of Golf Tailer, an from around the world Edmond-based combrought to life by arpany that was creatchitect Tom Clark. ing and marketing the Tom Jones One of our favorvideos online. Just another sales notch in ite venues, Hillcrest Country the belt of the man his Oak Club in Bartlesville, reopened Tree Gang counterparts already the front nine greens after a renovation referred to as by Tripp DaMonty, after vis, himself the original a huge Perry “Let’s Make Maxwell fan. A Deal” host Davis did Monty Hall. the grading Groundhimself and breaking the greens, takes place a mixture of on a new clubhouse for Ben Crenshaw and Bill Warren A-1 and 007 Lincoln Park Golf Course in bent grass, were in perfect conOklahoma City. The spectacu- dition. Also that issue we prelar clubhouse is still one of the viewed the new greens Davis best for any public venue in the designed at Battle Creek GC state and the model for upcom- in Broken Arrow, adding a bit ing clubhouses at Earlywine of a rectangular Seth Raynor touch to the remaining bunkers and Lake Hefner. Tom Jones returned to Okla- while eliminating many. Profiles that issue included homa to guide Oak Tree National as COO just as tickets Morgan Hoffmann, David Charfor the 2014 U.S. Senior Open ney and David Feherty. Edmond there went on sale. Across the North won its ninth consecustreet it was announced that tive Class 6A team title led by ClubCorp had purchased Oak Griffin Pierce, Nick Heinen, Tree Country Club from Oak Hayden Wood, Tyson Reeder Tree Partners, LLC, which had and Eli Armstrong, while Max owned it since 2004. Director McGreevy of Edmond Memoof Golf, the late Mark Fuller, rial won his second individual was a casualty of the move. crown and headed to Norman. Winter Creek Golf Course in He is now on the PGA Tour. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

AUG-SEPT, 2013

OCT-NOV, 2013

We discover that OGA Executive Director Mark Felder is also rising in the national ratings as a team roper. Nathan Hughes of Bartlesville upset Talor Gooch of Midwest City in the OGA State Amateur championship match. Kirk Wright held off Mike Hughett to win the OGA Senior State Amateur while the late James Reid won his ninth OGA title with a victory in the Senior at Oklahoma State. McGraw Stroke Play Championship. Jade was released by Mike Holder. Staggs won the Women’s State Bratton said one of his priorities Amateur Championship over would be getting players to commit to staying four years, as early Taylor Neidy. In course news, Stillwater departures by Charles Howell Country Club showed off a III, Casey Wittenberg, Hunter major clubhouse renovation, Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Peter Uiwhile Cotton Creek in Sapulpa hlein and Morgan Hoffman had made it tougher to got a brief reprieve add to the school’s after an auction collection of natrying to sell the tional championcourse in 16 parships. Courtney cels failed to yield Jones was named desired results. A to replace Bratton derecho with huras OSU’s women’s ricane force winds coach. hit Tulsa, knockWe profiled ing down 68 trees Hunter Sparks, at Cedar Ridge Keith Bailey and Country Club, Mark Felder Brandon Weeden. 24 more at Tulsa Country Club and numerous In competition, Alexis Sadeghy others around the city. TCC an- wins the WOGA Girls Junior nounced it would host the 2015 while Hayden Wood repeats in U.S. Girls Junior Championship. the OGA Junior, winning 3 and Big news was Alan Bratton 2 over Quade Cummins. being named to replace Mike McGraw as head men’s coach

Our cover story is on the she was born in Norman grew imminent retirement of Stacy up and learned to play in DalPrammanasudh, at age 34, las, you could argue that she is the third best from the LPGA female golfer in Tour. We startthe state’s hised covering tory. She won her remarkable twice, had 30 career in 1993 top-10 finishes, when she won won more than the first of five $3.5 million consecutive and played on WOGA Junior the 2007 U.S. Girls ChamSolheim Cup pionships, Team. watched her A legend in star at TU beher hometown ginning in 2000 and suddenly she was a young of Enid, Stacy P should probmother with a child who no ably start working on her Oklalonger wanted to be chasing homa Golf Hall of Fame induction speech. cuts from coast to Profiles in this coast every week. issue include Stacy P made a Nancy Lopez, brief return from clubhouse archiretirement earlier tect Tom Hoch of this summer when Oklahoma City the All Pro Tour and Kevin Tway. came to Tulsa, We also chronijust to show her cled the amazing children that mom round of 62 shot still has it. She by rising Norplayed very well man High School for someone who junior Thomas plays tennis, not Johnson in the golf. Where she Oklahoma Open. ranks among the Johnson, who had best female golfalready verbally ers ever to come Nancy Lopez committed to OU, out of Oklahoma is a good debate, but behind went on to play five years for Susie Maxwell Berning and Ryan Hybl and is now a profesBetty Jameson, who though sional golfer.

APR-MAY, 2014 Our cover story was on the unique friendship of OSU golfers Jordan Niebrugge and Wyndham Clark. Not that it really mattered, but Clark was soon to transfer to Oregon, where in 2016 he was Golfweek’s Player of the Year and is now on the PGA Tour. Sharing the cover was a preview of the 2014 NCAA Women’s Championship that May at Tulsa Country Club and the prospects that the Oklahoma Sooners, led by Chirapet Jao-Javanil, Emily Collins and Anne-Catherine Tanguay, could make a run at the heavily favored USC Trojans. Also announced in that issue, plans for a $22-million development at Emerald Falls W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

GC in Broken Arrow housing crash. For various reasons, none of it got off the to include a 140-room resort, cabins, game ground and Emerald Falls, after closing for the announced bird hunting, development, fishing ponds, never reopened. pools, a spa, Today the course tennis courts has been repurand more. posed as a park There was for residents and also much talk of redoing the Jerry Slack- Left to right, Jordan Niebrug- housing is still bege, Wyndham Clark, Alan ing slowly added. designed course by Jack Nicklaus, Bratton and Chris Tidland Profiles in this Greg Norman, Ernie Els or another name architect to help lure investment dol- issue include Edmond North product Roblars for the resort and/or to sell more lots ert Streb beginning his second season on in the real estate component which had the PGA Tour and Oak Tree National ownbeen struggling since the course was built er Everett Dobson, who that year founded in 2007, right at the outset of a nationwide the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame. OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2022 • GOLF OKL AHOMA


THE THIRD DECADE JUNE-JULY, 2014 Scott Verplank, who had recently turned 50, graced our cover as we previewed the 2014 U.S. Senior Open at Oak Tree National. Alabama, with assistant Mike McGraw helping, held off Oklahoma State in match play to win the NCAA Championship at Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, Kan. It was a crushing day for OSU seniors such as Ian Davis and Talor Gooch, both of whom had been recruited by McGraw. The OU Sooners held the lead after 36 holes but eventually faded to fourth in the NCAA

Women’s Championship at national women’s championship while Tulsa Country Club. Duke James Marchesani won the individual title held on for the victory over for the OCU men. top-ranked USC. Some young 14-year-old named Austin Eckroat surprised his college-bound Edmond North teammates and the entire field by winning the Class 6A state championship at Karsten Creek. Eckroat this fall earned his PGA Tour card for 2022-23 by finishing third in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. Edmond North, meanwhile, won its 10th consecutive state Dierks Bentley, David Feherty and Kid title, this time by 57 strokes. Oklahoma City University won the NAIA Rock at the Patriot Cup.

AUG-SEPT, 2014

OCT-NOV, 2014

and ladled the After years of conpraise on Oak struction and delays, Tree NationJohnny Morris opened al. Looking the Jack Nicklaus-deahead, Oak signed Top of the Rock Tree leaders par-3 course in BranTom Jones son, along with a cave and Everett trail, natural history Dobson said museum, the spectacuthe club was lar Osage restaurant, pleased and the Arnold Palmerlooking fordesigned driving range and a Tom Watson-designed Hi- ward to its next big event. That may turn out to be a return of the malaya putting course. U.S. Senior Open latSoon known as er this decade. the Over The Top of Jimmie Austin the Rock course, it University of Oklawas spectacular and homa Golf Course led Morris to go on announced a continto create one of the ued series of improvebest and busiest golf ments, including destinations in the bunker renovation, a country, with courses par-3 course and comby Nicklaus, Gary Yujeong Son pletion of its turf care Player, Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, Tom Fazio and Ti- research facility, one of the finest of its kind in the nation. ger Woods. We journey to Poteau to see how Top of the Rock has undergone major changes. First, much of the the members of Wolf Ridge Counputting green disappeared into a try Club were faring in their efmassive sinkhole, which Morris fort to save one of the most scenic of course started expanding and courses in Oklahoma. And then turning into a major new tourist further to see the new practice fadestination. The driving range had cilities at The Blessings, and then to be sacrificed due to its proxim- north to see a new ledge under construction at Old Kinderhook at ity to the cave. We looked back at Colin Mont- Lake of the Ozarks. Profiles that issue include Dillon gomerie’s U.S. Senior Open victory at Oak Tree National. Monty Rust, Luke Phillips and TU coach was extremely gracious in victory Emilee Klein-Gille.

Many know Oral Roberts Athletic Director Mike Carter has dealt with more than his share of tragedy, particularly losing son Scott Carter to cancer. But Carter also has a treasure trove of fun and sometimes hilarious stories related to golf and he sat down to share a bunch of those with us. We also took this issue to credit Dave Bryan for his long run and many accomplishments at Southern Hills and to welcome new head professional Cary Cozby, who turned out to be the perfect replacement. The Oaks Country Club brought in architect Bill Bergin to oversee a renovation that includes all new greens and Bergin said he was determined to add Mike Carter some touches that original architect A.W. Tillinghast would have favored. We also ventured south to look at the new holes being added at Chickasaw Pointe, which had sacrificed some of its original lakeside holes for future housing. Also in course news, Dave Bryan R iverbend in Chickasha closed 18 of its 27 holes (the other nine was not far behind), Silverado in Durant closed and Scissortail in Verdigris was scheduled to be auctioned off. The overbuilt golf course market was correcting both naBill Bergin tionally and locally.




APR-MAY, 2015 Our cover story is on the popular Robert Streb, who had a great start to the 2015 PGA Tour season, including his first PGA Tour victory. We were on hand for the grant opening of the new clubhouse at Lincoln Park and it was and is fantastic. Top Golf announced a June opening in Oklahoma City and The Flying Tee revealed its plans for a Tulsa facility. Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore announced they were building a new course for Johnny Morris to be called Ozarks National. The big news that issue was the announcement of the first class of the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame and quite a

lineup it was. Charlie Coe, Perry Maxwell, Bob Dickson, Mike Holder, Gil Morgan and Bill Spiller were to be honored in a ceremony at the National Cowboy & Charlie Coe Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on Oct. 25. Spiller may have been the least known member of the first class but his pick showed the selection committee was on its toes. The Perry Maxwell Tishomingo native and one-time Tulsan broke racial barriers in golf that paved

the way for Charlie Sifford and others who came after. He sued the PGA of America over its Caucasians only policies and finally won his case in 1961 after he was past Bob Dickson Mike Holder his prime as a player. Our profiles that issue include Rhein Gibson, Michael Hearne and UCO Gil Morgan Bill Spiller professor Neil Metz, who had written a paper calculating the odds of choking. Turns out pros gag just like we do.


AUG-SEPT, 2015

The Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association prepares to celebrate its centennial at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, where the event was first held in 1915 and we take a look back at some of the milestone events in the first 100 years. Our first in-depth Hall of Fame feature is on Perry Maxwell, the Ardmore banker who designed Southern Hills, Oklahoma City Golf & CC, Dornick Hills, Hillcrest, Oakwood, Twin Hills CC, rie Dunes in Hutchinson, Kan., Ponca City CC and many other Crystal Downs on Lake Michigan and Old Town Club in Winston Salem, N.C. Our profiles that issue include Jimmy Walker, Dave Davenport, a founding member of Quail Creek Bank and avid golfer who was an origiDave Davenport Jimmy Walker nal partner of Landmark great Oklahoma courses. Else- founder Jerry Barton, and arwhere he is most noted for Prai- chitect Tripp Davis of Norman.

Features on upcoming Hall Brendon Jelley won his second consecutive OGA State of Fame inductees Gil Morgan Amateur with a 3 and 2 vic- and Bob Dickson take up a good tory over Jeff Coffman, while portion of the book. Could you find two nicer, 14 - y e a r- o l d more accomYujeong Son plished gentlewon both the men to grace WOGA State your first class? Amateur and Dickson was a the WOGA Juthree-time high nior. She beat school chamMegan Blonien pion at Muskof Altus 5 and ogee, two-time 3 in the State A l l -A m er ic a n Amateur and at OSU, OGA won the Junior State Am champ by seven shots in 1965, winner over Kaitlin of the British Milligan and seven over Sydney Youngblood Amateur and U.S. Amateur in 1967, spent 10 years of Durant. on the PGA Tour, Mike Hughett eight years on the won his 17th OGA Champions Tour Championship and many more in with a 5 and 4 vicadministrative jobs tory over Kirk for the PGA Tour. Wright in the SeMorgan, one of nior State Amateur the original Oak at Hillcrest CounTree Gang memtry Club. Our lead bers, won seven on the story noted times on the PGA it was a good thing Tour and 25 times, the Oklahoma Golf including three maHall of Fame was Brendon Jelley jors on the Champilaunching. Hughett now is at 24 OGA wins and ons Tour. And he couldn’t have been any more humble about it. counting. Hmmm.

1915 WOGA founding members. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG



THE THIRD DECADE OCT-NOV, 2015 This issue featured the careers of Mike Holder and Charlie Coe, two ultra competitive individuals whose accomplishments were staggering. All Holder did was coach OSU to eight national championships, 10 runner-up finishes and 25 conference championships in 32 seasons. And all that was before going on to a hugely influential and successful career as the Oklahoma State athletic director. He’s not done either. Look for one more major renovation of Karsten Creek, the course he willed into existence, before long. Coe, equally as lean and lanky as Holder, also successfully combined golf and business. He remained one of the nation’s top

APR-MAY, 2016

amateurs throughout his hind the FlyingTee in Jenks, including brothcareer, which included ers John and James Vollbrecht and food and beverage specialist Ryan U.S. Amateur victories in Tawwater. The excitement 1949 and 1958. He set nuwas high at that time that merous amateur scoring they had hit on a concept records at The Masters. that would equal or exceed including nine top-24 the popularity of TopGolf. finishes. A three-time Big Seven champion at Okla- John Vollbrecht For many reasons this never quite happened, though homa, he is still known as the facility remains open one of the finest amateur and fun and has fully trangolfers in history. sitioned the original threeAlso in this issue, we visited with Jim restaurant concept to bar Ramsey at the newly renovated Arrowhead food and cold beer throughState Park Golf Course, took a look at massive renovations at Buffalo Rock in Cushing James Vollbrecht out. A new ownership and Henryetta Country Club and previewed group now leases the facility from the Creek the Long Drivers Association championship Nation and the Vollbrechts have moved on to other ventures combining technology and coming to WinStar Golf Resort. driving ranges. We also met the team be-

to a runner-up finish in the Our cover story is on 1981 NCAA Championthe attempt by former ship, finishing two shots shy University of Tulsa playof Brigham Young. ers to save the TU men’s Also in that issue, the golf team, which the unisecond class of the Oklaversity had recently axed homa Golf Hall of Fame as a cost-saving measure. was announced, including The University told Jerry Cozby, Tommy Bolt, the players they would Labron Harris Sr., along have to come up with a with W.K. Warren Sr. and $6-million endowment to bring back men’s golf and that has not W.K. Warren Jr. In our preview of the college spring seahappened in the six years since. It may have been a petty move to shat- son we took a look at the Sooners and the ter a program that could easily have been strong connection Ryan Hybl was buildturned into a money maker for the school. If ing with top in-state talent, including Max you’re essentially splitting 4.5 scholarships McGreevy, Brad Dalke, Quade Cummins, among eight or nine players, the remainder Thomas Johnson and Griffin Pierce. Hybl they are paying adds up to a considerable also had verbal commitments from Lane sum. Fund-raising tournaments could have Wallace and Logan McAllister. Looking back now, covered most of the McGreevy is on the rest of the travel and PGA Tour, Cummins coaches’ salaries. and McAllister on TU Athletic Dithe Korn Ferry Tour rector Rick Dickson while Dalke and said recently that the Johnson are also pro climate for non-revenue sports with the Tommy Bolt Nancy Lopez Jerry Cozby golfers. Wallace is finishing up his colNCAA fading is not legiate career at Oral conducive to bringing Roberts while Pierce back golf at this point. has gone into private With the program business. gone, Bill Brogden Tripp Davis reended his 47-year mained busy in state coaching career, the LaBron Harris W.K. Warren W.K. Warren Jr. with major renovalast 30 of those at TU. Then 73, he eventually went on to lend his tions of Cedar Ridge and Jimmie Austin. talents as an assistant at Oral Roberts, where We also caught up with Rhein Gibson for he coached from 1976-86, leading the Titans a Q&A on his new life on the PGA Tour. 24



In addition to playing tremendous golf, Nancy Lopez had a really good time during her two years at Tulsa, as readers of our features on Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame inductees Lopez, Jerry Cozby and Tommy Bolt found out in this issue. As for Cozby, who had recently retired after a 41-year career as head professional at Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville, we only had space to print a fraction of the testimonials that came in on the impact he had on other young professionals. In high school golf, we honored state champions, including Durant’s Sydney Youngblood, who completed a four-peat as state champion in Class 5A. Other notable winners included Yujeong Son of Norman in her one season of playing high school golf she won Class 6A by three shots over Taylor Dobson of Broken Arrow. Logan McAllister of Christian Heritage won the boys 3A crown and went on to be an All-American at OU. ShaeBug Scarberry won the girls 3A as a sophomore, she is finishing up her season this year at Troy after starting at TU. In college golf, Oklahoma City won the men’s NAIA championship; it’s 10th since 1982. OU lost in the NCAA match play quarterfinals while OSU missed out by finishing 10th in stroke play, W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

AUG-SEPT, 2016 Jerry was awarded in CC. Kirk Wright won the OGA Senior State We wrote our first feature on 1985, the first father- Amateur and Jarod Lundy claimed the PGA Traden Karch and his remarkson duo to be so hon- SCS Match Play Championship. able recovery from a near fatal Hall of Fame features in this issue includored. auto accident that robbed him In competition, ed the legacy of W.K. Warren Sr. and W.K. of his childhood memories and Quade Cummins held Warren Jr. on the building of Southern Hills, much of his speech and language and in the case of Jr., off Tate Wilskills. Traden graduated from the building of the liamson to Broken Arrow High School in West Nine and the win the OGA the spring and is to attend Roglanding of the 2001 State Amaers State University this fall. He U.S. Open. teur, while is a remarkable young man and Labron Harris, the Yujeong Son wants to give back to those who godfather of Oklasaved his life with a possible career as an won her third consecutive WOGA homa State’s golf State Am, making seven birdies in a EMT or related field. program, was reIn course news, PGA professional Michael 3 and 2 victory over Nadia Majidimembered by Doug zadeh. Alexis Henderson purchased the forTewell, Mike HoldSadeghy won mer Fairfax Golf Course in Eder, Bob Dickson and the WOGA mond and rebranded it as The other greats as the Stroke Play Golf Club of Edmond. Good title by three Traden Karch and mother first teacher-coach move. Since that time both CofManda Karch in college golf, rather shots over fee Creek and Silverhorn have than just someone to drive the bus. Holder Majidizadeh. closed. This summer KickingShaeBug Scarberry also picked up some good wrestling tips bird was closed for major renoswept the OGA Ju- that he would later use on his own players. vations, as was Oak Tree NaQuade Cummins Mike Hughett Our cover story was on the bold bunker nior Girls and the tional. If you wanted to play in golf crazy Edmond, it was a great option. WOGA Junior Girls titles, while Mike renovation project by architect Tripp DaSouthern Hills professional Cary Cozby Hughett moved up to 19 OGA plates in his vis at Jimmie Austin, which has gone on to was named the PGA of America Golf Pro- cupboard with a three-shot victory in the host numerous top events since and now fessional of the Year, the same award father OGA Senior Stroke Play at Meadowbrook will be the site of an annual Korn Ferry Tour event.

OCT-NOV, 2016

APR-MAY, 2017

The enigmatic Brad Dalke struggles mightily in the spring for OU, then nearly wins the U.S. Amateur. Emilee Klein-Gille goes in-depth on her efforts to revitalize the TU women’s program. In a story still apt today, some of Oklahoma’s young pros discuss with Scott Wright on when is the right time to admit that you are not PGA Tour material and get a job. With the increased purses on the Korn Ferry Tour, chasing a dream of professional golf has turned into more t a decade pursuit for many today and the margin between the players seems to be razor thin. Yet the cream usually rises and if you are still being described as someone with potential after your 25th birthday it’s probably time to explore other ways to make a living. White Hawk Golf Course in Bixby and Winter Creek in Blanchard reopen with Champion Bermuda greens. It would be a The sixth green at White short-lived reprieve for Hawk Golf Course. White Hawk .

Mike McGraw’s new book, “Better Than I Found It,” is reviewed. It was an honest look by one of Oklahoma’s favorite sons at how he struggled in replacing Mike Holder at Oklahoma State and the lessons he learned to become a better person and coach. We profiled T.J. Eckert as he transitioned from quarterback to aspiring golfer for UCO. Eckert is now the sports anchor for KTUL, the ABC affiliate in Tulsa, and still an enthusiastic and talented golfer. The Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame announced its 2017 class would include an Oak Tree National heavy


lineup of founders Joe Walser and Ernie Vossler along with Oak Tree Gang members Bob Tway, Doug Tewell and Mark Hayes. There will be other great classes in the future, but not one as decorated on the course as this one until some of our young prodigies play out their careers. We profile OU’s Max McGreevy as he gets set to lead the Sooners into the NCAA Championship in his senior season. Guess what? The new c lubhouse and lodge T.J. Eckert at Lake Murray State Park Golf Course is a huge improvement.




AUG-SEPT, 2017

Kyle Hudelson and Boomer! That’s the cover as Clark Collier made it to Ryan Hybl and the Sooners win the finals of the USGA the school’s first national chamFour-Ball Championpionship since 1989. Led by Max ship at Pinehurst. McGreevy, Brad Dalke, Rylee We profiled Kevin Reinerston, Blaine Hale and Grant Tway as he went on a Hirschman, the Sooners took torrid run on the PGA down defending champion OreTour and Hayden Wood gan 3-2, with Hale, McGreevy as he moved into the and Dalke winning finals matches. starting lineup for OSU. Also winning a national title Doug Tewell and Mark Hayes, childhood that spring, the Oklahoma City University women’s team, coached by Marty McCauley friends and two of Oklahoma’s great juniors, and led by Anna Mikish, Savannah Moody, were profiled, as they got ready to enter the Hall of Fame together. Melissa Eldredge, Carolina We took a look at Goodin and Kailey Campbell. five new holes added to Logan McAllister fired a 62 in The Woods in Coweta. the opening round and cruised Though JonesPlan did a to his second straight Class 3A great job on the holes, it state championship. Freshman wasn’t enough to keep the Jaxon Dowell finished second course open as the rate and led Oklahoma Christian to Johnny Morris and of closures began to peak the team title. Austin Eckroat Tiger Woods over the next few years. won the Class 6A title at Golf We took a closer look at the emergence Club of Edmond as Edmond North won its 12th title in the past 13 years. Kaitlin Milli- of Johnny Morris’ Big Cedar Golf Destigan won the girls 6A crown at Ponca City CC nation and a look back at 60 years of the without once pulling her driver from the bag. Texas-Oklahoma Junior.

ShangriLa Resort opened its new 119room hotel to rave reviews. It’s been a series of wonders there since Eddy Gibbs took control. We finished up our Hall of Fame previews with an extensive feature on Bob Tway by John Rohde and a historical piece on the impact of Joe Walser Jr. and Ernie Vossler not just on Landmark Land Co. but on Oklahoma. Those two showed just what is possible in the game with the right combination of dedication, moxie and business acumen. Firelake Golf Course in Shawnee reopened after two years of drainage work to rave reviews. The final nine holes of the Scissortail Course at WinStar Resort & Casino in

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Thackerville opened. This pleasing nine has a North Carolina feel with tree-lined fairways gently bending or sloping. Also, this writer takes his first trip to Scotland and goes on a dream links foray that begins in the Highlands at Brora and works steadily south to Royal DorBob Tway noch, Castle Stuart, Cruden Bay, Royal Aberdeen, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, St. Andrews, Gullane and North Berwick. Spectacular!

OCT-NOV, 2017 The publisher’s column was titled, “City of Tulsa Courses in Need of a Champion.” It detailed how the courses were slowly disintegrating as Tulsa refused to put any capital improvement dollars toward necessary projects. Nothing really changed until the Covid golf boom gave the city some extra money, which fortunately it allowed the golf committee to direct this spring to improvements at Stone Creek and Olde Page. The point of the column remains


however, in that the golf courses have to by, Clary Fields in Sapulpa, Cotton Creek be included in the next bond issue to effect in Sapulpa, Okmulgee CC, Emerald Falls in Broken Arrow, Scissorimprovements that are not tail in Verdigris and The coming from a Covid surge Woods in Coweta, remainor even from the current $1 ing course operators in million in ARPA funds the northeast Oklahoma were city council has offered if a poised for success if only private match is successful. something could spark The cover story detailed the public’s interest in golf the woes of other courses as again. No one would have developers purchased White ever guessed what that Hawk in Bixby and Meadwould be or the horrible owbrook Country Club in toll it would take on most Tulsa with the idea of turneverything but golf. ing both into housing develOther course news: The opments. White Hawk did close though no houses have been built amid Greens CC in OKC opened its new Chama legal battle, while Meadowbrook’s new pion Bermuda greens, Forest Ridge launched owners soon figured out there were several plans for a major new fitness, tennis and pickle ball facility, Tim huge political and physiJohnson announced agcal obstacles to turngressive new plans for ing Meadowbrook into improvements at The housing. Now MeadGolf Club of Oklahoowbrook’s membership ma, Oklahoma City anhas rebounded to where nounced it would build the course has elimiThe new clubhouse at The Patriot major new clubhouses nated the public access through tee time services that helped bring at Earlywine and Lake Hefner and The Patriot continued work on a 24,000-square foot in additional revenue. With the closings of White Hawk in Bix- clubhouse that today is the pride of the club.





We updated the situation at White Hawk One of the best covers ever in 30 Golf Course in Bixby, with new owner years of the magazine was this illustration Roger Rodich announcing plans to keep the by our own Chris Swafford of the battle course open after the disastrous years under American Golf management. expected at the NCAA ChamRodich said in that story: pionship at Karsten Creek be“We’re going to give it evtween defending champion ery chance. We’re going to Oklahoma and stacked Oklacapitalize it and improve it. If homa State, led by player-ofit doesn’t work, then we’re not the-year rivals Viktor Hovland going down with Titanic. If it and Matthew Wolff. can’t be profitable, we will then Besides previewing the move to development.” NCAA Championship, we Quail Creek Golf & Country took a look at the upcoming Club hired architect Bill Bergin, restoration of Southern Hills who had overseen a successful CC by architect Gil Hanse and renovation at The Oaks CC in the redesign of the par-3 course New owner of White at LaFortune Park by architect House Golf Course, Tulsa, to oversee the building of new Tif-Eagle Bermuda Randy Heckenkemper. Al- Roger Rodich greens, rebuilt bunkers and though the grow-in of the par-3 hasn’t been flawless, that course has been other updates. A story evaluated the impact the closing one of the most popular in the state since the Covid pandemic began. It became the of SilverHorn in Oklahoma City would have date night spot for youngsters who would on the remaining courses in Edmond and previously have been crowding into a mall, Oklahoma City. Most course operators said it would be minimal, because movie theater or bar. the discount hunters used to paying below market rates JUNE-JULY, 2018 Oklahoma State put on a dominant display with one of the best collegiate teams of all time, succeeding Oklahoma as NCAA champions with a 5-0 beat down of Alabama in the championship match. How good was that team? Reserve Sam Stevens just earned his PGA Tour card, as did Austin Eckroat. They will join Viktor Hovland on the PGA Tour, while Matthew Wolff plays LIV Golf. Kristoffer Ventura is qualified for Korn Ferry Tour while Zack Bauchou and Brendon Jelley are trying to get there. Also winning a national championship that spring were the Oklahoma City Stars, who won their 11th crown and second in three years, this one by 13 shots over Dalton State as Rupert Kaminsky tied for sixth individually. Jeff Doherty stepped down as head coach at Edmond North after winning 12 state championships and sending 25 play28

would just pursue whatever course moved to fill that gap. However with the contracting markets in both OKC and Tulsa, the incentive to offer the deep discounts that destroyed maintenance budgets was lessening. Our annual high school preview top 10 featured in order: Logan McAllister, Carson Griggs, Jared Strathe, Brock Polhill, Jaxon Dowell, James Roller, Andrew Goodman, Jordan Wilson, Matthew Braley and Grayson Wallace. All are now either pros or playing Division I collegiate golf.

ers on to Division I schools, Scarberry won her third title in Class 3A at including three on the PGA Purcell. Other winners included Faith HopTour. It was announced that kins in 6A, Nina Lee in 5A, Chloe Black in legendary former TU women’s 4A and Sydney Manning in 2A. In course news, Winter Creek completed coach Dale McNamara and her daughter Melissa Luellen renovations in Blanchard and the Ransom would be co-winners of the Short Course, designed by Tripp Davis, prestigious IBA Award, which opened at Jimmie Austin in Norman. celebrates sportsmanship and com mun it y involvement as well as athletic accomplishment. Boys high school champions that spring included Brock Polhill in 6A, Grayson Wallace in 5A, Matthew Braley in 4A, Jaxon Dowell in 3A and James Roller in 2A. Polhill has now begun a professional career, while the others play respectively for Wichita State, Grand Canyon State, Oklahoma and Texas Tech. From left, Matthew Wolff, Zach Bauchou, Viktor Hovland, Among the girls, ShaeBug Kristoffer Ventura, Austin Eckroat and Brendon Jelley.



AUG-SEPT, 2018 Oklahoma mourned the death of Mark Hayes, a legendary player, a 2017 inductee into the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame and a respected golf course architect later in his career. Also passing away in a short time frame were Gerald Barton, the financial wizard in the Landmark Land Company partnership with pros Ernie Vossler and Joe Walser Jr.; Bruce Lietzke, a 13-time PGA Tour winner who kept a house on Grand Lake and was a long-time member at Shangri-La; and Larry Flesner, for 23 years the head professional at John Conrad Golf Course in Midwest City. Larry would have loved the restoration of John Conrad that reopened this summer. In less depressing people news, longtime Titleist rep Pat Moriarty left the section to take care of the power brokers, including President Barack Obama, who plays all Titleist clubs, in Washington, D.C., He was replaced by Joel Hounchell, a Ball State grad, but more importantly a Buckeye fan (full disclosure, 1981 Ohio State grad here).

OCT-NOV, 2018

Former Oklahoma State of participation we needed from the equipAll-American Annie Young ment side to make them viable in the Internet age. The first one was held in the became the latest coach Cox Expo Center in 2003 and, denamed to try to respite a snowstorm on Sunday, was store the Tulsa very successful. Over the years we women’s program. had some wonderful speakers and The days when TU demonstrations, including regulars dominated the colSean “The Beast” Pfister, Marshall lege landscape are over Gil Hanse Smith, David Edwards, Ron Streck, but being competiJim Woodward, Bill Glasson, Trative in the American cy Phillips, Janice Gibson, Holley Athletic Conference Hair, Dan Rooney and many more. with regular appearances in an Thanks to my expoo crew of SteNCAA Regional would be a good phen and Derek Hillman, Craig start. TU has improved steadily Raguse, Pat McTigue, Vicki Tramel, since Young’s hiring and this fall Adam Bode, Whitney Miller, Loushe may have her deepest team Sean “The yet with the additions of freshmen Beast” Fister ise Schlosser and Tim Landes. I have some expo stories about each. Maggie Roller and Grace Kilcrease Ask me sometime. to a solid lineup anchored by Lilly Our cover story that issue showed Thomas. Gil Hanse working on one of the We announced the return of greens at Southern Hills. Hanse is dethe Oklahoma Golf Expo for Jan. tailed and meticulous about getting 25-26 in Tulsa. This was to be the the grade right on a green and does final one we produced, having put Mark Hayes it himself many times, though his on more than 20 expos in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Northwest Arkansas, Little crew including partner Jim Wagner are great as Rock and Lincoln, Neb. They were a lot of well. Hanse is the hottest commodity in golf work, a lot of fun and a lot of stress,. Th still course architecture for good reason and dtid a going strong in some places we masterful job at Southern Hills in restoring the were unable to get the amount original brilliance of the Perry Maxwell design.

wire-to-wire. Photographer Von In other course news, Castor captured one of Oklahoma City Golf & the best pictures ever Country Club prepared run in Golf Oklahoma for a major restoration by with his shot of The spraying out its common Club at Indian Springs’ Bermuda fairways in anPGA Jr. League team ticipation of a conversion and the sheer joy of the to Latitude 36, a Bermuda participants. selection developed by We detailed the douOklahoma State Univerble bogey by legislators sity. The $9-million renowriting the new alcohol sales regulations and how they prevented vation overseen by architect Tripp beer sales at public golf courses that depend Davis would also see the greens converted to 007 bent grass. on that revenue to make ends meet. This would be the eighth time Davis has Chi Chi Rodrihelped renovate guez visited Quail or restore a course Creek Golf & Counoriginally designed try Club in Oklaby Perry Maxwell. homa City to help “We had a search commemorate its firm and looked at reopening after exChi Chi Rodriquez tensive renovations. course architects and Quail Creek from the east coast The course had a head professional to the west coast plaque dedicated to Kye Flinton and just felt Tripp him installed on the was better suited sixth tee box, which is where Rodriguez began a run of eight consecutive birdies during Willie Wood and son for the project,” said Hayden. GM Oliver Boudin. the 1987 Silver Pages Classic, which he led W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

PGA Junior League “He has a true passion for Perry Maxwell design and helping us keep the integrity of the course.” The cover story was on the new Ozarks National course designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw opening in Branson as Johnny Morris continued to turn the Ozark town into a national golf destination. The college package in that issue included a story by John Rohde on the relationship between Willie and Hayden Wood, a feature by Scott Wright on the Burly Boys at Oklahoma, a story on Viktor Hovland’s run to the U.S. Amateur championship and a story on Casey Fernandez of McAlester winning the Oklahoma Open.



THE THIRD DECADE APR-MAY, 2019 Our incisive book reviewer Tom Bedell tackles two tough subjects in this issue, how to properly memorialize Dan Jenkins, one of the greatest sportswriters ever, and also his take on Rick Reilly’s book, “Commander In Cheat,” about the near pathological lying and cheating by the thenpresident when it came to golf and most of his other endeavors. But we should take a moment to thank Donald Trump for his decisive role in bringing the 2022 PGA Championship to Tulsa eight years ahead of schedule. This issue featured the great works being done at the First Tee of Tulsa and the First Tee of Oklahoma City. And the 2019 class for the Orville Oklahoma Golf Hall of Moody Fame was announced as Orville Moody, Jim Awtrey, Melissa McNamara Luellen, William Nichols and Bill Glasson. It was a class that won a major championship (Moody in the 1969 U.S. Open), won on the

LPGA (Luellen) and PGA Tours (Moody and Glasson), directed one of the foremost organizations in golf (Awtrey as CEO of the PGA of America) and the founder of the Oklahoma Golf Association and one of the first pros in Oklahoma (Nichols). John Rohde wrote a nice story about Sam Humphreys and his return to the team at UMKC after undergoing treatment for testicular

Jim Awtrey

Melissa Luellen

William Nichols

cancer. Sam now is the driving force behind the 73rd Hole Podcast, does a radio show and a lot of producing work for The Sports Animal in Oklahoma City and helps Golf Oklahoma with sales and stories.

Our NCAA preview story looked forward to the possibility of a Bedlam encounter at the NCAA Championship. Since OU won in 2017 and OSU in 2018 and both teams were still loaded with talent, it seemed inevitable it would happen that year or soon. Here we are Sam going into 2023 and Humphreys though both teams consistently reach match play they have yet to meet in the NCAA. We also profiled the top players for each, OU’s Quade Cummins and OSU’s Austin Eckroat, who have become fast friends. And we looked at The Blessings, near Springdale, Ark., the beautiful but unforgiving torture Bill chamber where the Glasson NCAA Championship would be decided. Our top-10 high school list is headed by William McDonald of Heritage Hall on the boys side and Taylor Towers of Rejoice Christian for the girls. Both lists are stacked with future collegiate stars.

JUNE-JULY, 2019 The Gil Hanse restoration of Southern Hills Country Club is complete and just in time for the 2021 Senior PGA Championship and the 2022 PGA Championship. Superintendent Russ Myers loves the new hydronics system to keep all the greens chilled out in the summer heat. The new greens are certainly more difficult to hold than their previous

Jaxon Dowell 30

Ben Stoller

incarnations and handicaps in Class 6A, Guthrie’s Luke Morgan in among the membership get 5A, Ada’s Max Roberts in 4A, Oklahoma set to soar. But the course Christian’s Jaxon Dowell edging Heritage Halls Drew Goodproves a man in a playoff great test in 3A and Connor in the two Boydson of Big Pasmajors and ture winning 2A. visually Sydney Herspectacular mann of Ponca as well. City won the girls Our Hall Class 6A, while of Fame features this issue include the great playing Orville Moody Melissa Luellen Blayne Barker of Durant took 5A, and coaching career of Melissa Luellen and the remarkable ball Kenzie Kirkhart of Hilldale won 4A, Reagan Chaney of Plainview took 3A and striking of James Orville Moody. Among the high school stars to win ti- freshman Jenni Roller of Regent Prep won tles that spring were Owasso’s Ben Stoller her first of three state titles in Class 2A.

Jordan Wilson


Luke Morgan Sydney Hermann Blayne Barker

Kenzie Kirkhart


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THE THIRD DECADE AUG-SEPT, 2019 CEO of the PGA of America. Due to his Oklahoma roots, Awtrey trusted Pete Dye to complete the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in time for the 1991 Ryder Cup. It was a bold and risky move and resulted in a venue that sparked a flame of interest in the Ryder Cup that has grown to a massive inferno today. We profiled The Coves Golf Course off Grand Lake and Cowboys Golf Club in Arlington. Our cover story was on our collegiate preview, with a close look at the Sooners and Cowboys men’s and women’s Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame inductee Jim Awtrey, teams. Murray Evans right, with wife Jeanne and Barbara and George Bush profiled Rhein Gibson Joey and Sheila Dills as he earned a second chance on the PGA Tour by winning on the Korn Ferry Tour. The 2019 OGA State Amateur Championship was won by Jordan Wilson of Edmond in an upset of future OSU teammate Austin Eckroat. Sydney Youngblood won the WOGA State Amateur in an exciting match with ShaeBug ScarSydney Youngblood berry. Heath Myers won the OGA Stroke Play title, Mike Hughett the SeJoin us for the Compliance Solutions Championship as the Korn Ferry nior Stroke Play, Tour makes its debut in Norman, OK June 19-25, 2023. Volunteer Blake Gibson packages include uniform, meals, tickets, golf opportunities, a chance to the OGA Senior get up close to the future stars of the PGA TOUR, and more! State Amateur, Maddi Kamas @cschampgolf Visit us online for more information. the WOGA Junior and Scarberry the WOGA Stroke Play title. Heath Myers

long-term success but much Our publisher’s colremains to be done. umn expressed the We observed the passing frustration I and many of Joey Dills, former PGA golfers in Tulsa were Tour and Brigham Young feeling with the City golfer who was a junior of Tulsa, which was golf legend growing up again leaving the city in Muskogee. Dills, who courses adrift with no was married to champion goal beyond avoiding a golfer and future state legsubsidy and seemingly islator Sheila Dills, fought indifferent to whether they remained open or not. The courses a long battle with prostate cancer. Hall of Fame profiles this issue ineventually fell into disgraceful condition before repairs finally began this spring. cluded Jim Awtrey, who rose from as Hopefully we are setting a course for assistant at Lake Hefner to be the first



JUNE 19 – 25, 2023




OCT-NOV, 2019 A feature on OGA rules officials Gene Mortensen and David Thompson proved timely, as Mortensen passed away the following year. Gene had authored our rules columns for years and he was a great benefactor to the OGA and the scourge of slow play throughout the state. As I wrote in the story, I loved to see Gene at a tournament I was covering because I knew deadlines could then be met. Amid stories on Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club and Tiger Woods' design Payne’s Valley in Branson, we ran a piece on the city of Sand Springs investing in a new clubhouse, new greens and other renovations at The CanGene Mortensen yons at Blackjack Ridge. Kudos to Sand Springs for recog n i zing that a golf course requires at tent ion to be a valuable com mu n ity asset. J o h n David Thompson Rohde detailed all the physical issues that had kept Bo Van Pelt on the sidelines for more than three years and his hope that the latest surgery, in which a rib had been removed to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome, would allow him to resume what had been a very successful PGA Tour career. Since his return, Van Pelt has had three years of mixed results culminating with not retaining his PGA Tour card following the 2022 season. We will see if he returns to the Korn Ferry Tour at age 47, W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

maybe just to stay sharp for the PGA Tour Champions ahead. A look at players from Oklahoma or who played collegiate golf here found 17 with PGA Tour status for 2019-20. That will be the peak for a while, as Charles Howell III, Peter Uihlein, Matthew Wolff, Talor Gooch and Abraham Ancer have all joined LIV Golf, while Rhein Gibson, Michael Gellerman and Morgan Hoffmann no longer have status and Hunter Mahan is mostly retired. Still there have been others to join since, including Taylor Moore, Max McGreevy, Austin Eckroat, Sam Stevens and Josh Creel, and more are in the pipeline. Having the Compliance Solutions Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour in state for the next five years will be a showcase for Oklahoma talent. Speaking of McGreevy, he won his second Oklahoma Open that August. Our Hall of Fame feature this issue profiled Bill Glasson and the many injuries and obstacles he’s overcome in his life.






Charlie Jackson, One of our better issues, Will Sides, Jake not so much because of the Hopper, Bo Roboutstanding content, but bins and Tres because we published. With Hill. Girls were advertisers pulling out and great as well with the country basically going Maddi Kamas, dark, almost none of our Jenni Roller, Rayfellow regional publishers chel Nelke, Emily went to press that spring, Miller, Brooklyn though some did digitalBenn, Reagan only issues. Chaney, Lilly With courses closing, high Andrew Goodman Raychel Nelke school and college seasons cancelled and Whitley, Olivia Coit, Sarah Sherrard As more was learned about Covid 19 the pro game in a state of flux, we did our and Kaitlyn Kennedy. and the unlikelihood of best to bring everyone outdoor transmission, the latest information, we lobbied both pubbalancing breaking licly and privately with news on the website key decision makers for with features on the courses to remain open lost seasons in print. Jaxon Luke Jordan Charlie James William using precautions. Golf We went ahead with Dowell Morgan Roller Sides Wilson Jackson soon became one of the our top-10 prep stars key outlets for an otherannual feature. It’s a wise cooped-up country phenomenal boys list, and millions discovered with Andrew Goodor rediscovered the joys man, Jaxon Dowell, Maddi Reagan Jenni Lilly Emily Olivia of the game during the Jordan Wilson, James Kamas Chaney Miller Coit Roller Whitley pandemic. Roller, Luke Morgan,

JUNE-JULY, 2020 of normalcy in terms of loath to get on a athletes competing for plane. four or five years instead It was announced of six or seven. that college athletes The PGA Tour left the would be granted Oklahomans on the Korn an extra year of eliFerry Tour in limbo with gibility to make up nowhere to advance for for the Covid year. a year, affecting players That has since resuch as Max McGreevy, sulted in freshmen Taylor Moore, Grant competing for playHirschman and Charlie ing time against Saxon. players six years older or more. We Matt Warwick Ta lor should begin to see all the Covid backlog begin to clear out in the next two Gooch sat down with years and college return to a semblance us for a Q&A, as did the Black Knight, Gary Player. We had a nice feature by Patrick Prince Talor Gooch on Olive High School coach Matt Warwick and how much he gives back to the program there. In course news, we updated the ongoing renovations of Heritage Hills in Claremore and the Canyons at Blackjack Ridge in Sand Springs. Taylor Moore Grant Hirschman Charlie Saxon

One of the first tournaments back was the OGA Junior at Kickingbird and we dedicated our cover to the winners, Emily Miller of Edmond and J.P. Roller of Jenks. The PGA of America announced that the PGA Championship would be coming to Tulsa in 2030, at the far end of the range it had indicated earlier. But stay tuned, that was about to change. Our travel section featured some great destinations within a short drive for those

Max McGreevy 34



AUG-SEPT, 2020 Under a cloud of Covid uncertainty, OSU’s Austin Eckroat and OU’s Quade Cummins returned to school, delaying plans to turn professional until the following summer. Of course, this boosted the state schools in their pursuit of a spring 2021 NCAA title. With no one graduating, OU suddenly found its roster flush with 15 collegians as coach Ryan Hybl continued to recruit and four seniors in Cummins, Garret Reband, Thomas Johnson and Riley Casey, each came back for another year. “Everyone is looking at this as a negative but this is the biggest positive you could have,” said Hybl, who had been planning on a 10-man roster. “It’s exciting that all these guys said they wanted to come back Ryan Hybl and had something to prove.” We ran a story pointing out the disconnect between all the young black golfers being touched by the First Tee programs and the very few were competing at any level in Oklahoma’s state championships or on the OJGT. The issue is that while they may enjoy the game in

Jamie Voegeli, a elementary school, there were virtu- 31-year-old member ally no junior high of Meadowbrook teams in inner-city Country Club, won schools in Tulsa the OGA State and Oklahoma City Amateur at The Paand very few high triot. Voegeli put an schools had a team. end to a long string In mostly white of high school and suburbs, there are college players winusually both a ju- ning the State Am nior high and high dating back to 2006. Tulsa coach Anschool team. The First Tee of Tulsa along with Tulsa nie Young rolled to Public Schools is trying to change that a 6 and 4 victory over Sydscenario with ney Herthe addimann of tion of junior Ponca City high teams to win the at various W O G A schools in State AmaTPS, includteur. Kyle ing Webster, Hudelson Memorial, repeated Hale, Booker as chamT Washington Golfers from Burroughs Elemenpion in the and others. tary at the First Tee of Tulsa. OGA MidPlayers: We featured Logan Allen of Perkins, who Am, while Todd had earned a college scholarship despite Raffensperger won undergoing three heart surgeries. And Pat the OGA Senior Wheeler took us on a trip back in time to Stroke Play and the day that Arnold Palmer showed up at Raychel Nelke capthe Texas-Oklahoma Junior tured the WOGA Junior. back in 1970.

OCT-NOV, 2020 It was a heavy-heart issue as two legends and also friends passed in Jerry Cozby of Hillcrest Country Club and Buddy Phillips of Cedar Ridge Country Club. I was fortunate to know both and equally so their sons who are carrying on their legacies in golf. Cary, Craig and Chance Cozby and Tracy Phillips. The online tributes to both from those they touched were hear t war m i ng to read. Profiles in this issue included Charlie Mickey Botkin Saxon on the W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

Jamie Voegeli

Kyle Hudelson

Korn Ferry Tour and longtime retail expert Mickey Botkin of Golf USA. Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose paid a visit up the road in Branson for the opening of Tiger’s Payne’s Valley Golf Course. It’s been hard to get a tee time ever since. Amazing how Tiger Woods and friends Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose at Payne’s Valley Cup.

Buddy and Tracy Phillips.

Jerry and Karole Cozby.

much foresight Johnny Morris had in securing a course from Tiger. Even though his architectural skills may not be on the level with Ben Crenshaw, Bill Coore, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio and Gary Player, his name elevated the destination to must-see, must-play status immediately upon opening.



THE THIRD DECADE 2021 DIRECTORY We haven’t included the Directory Issue in this look back most years but this one was notable for three reasons: the feature on the rem a rk able work going on at Boiling Springs Golf Course in Woodward; the story on David Jones, the suDavid Jones perintendent at Superintendent at The Club at Indian Springs

APR-MAY, 2021

The Club at In- worked together at an accelerated pace dian Springs, on to make it a near flawless championship, his quest to play meeting or exceeding goals in corporate, every course in ticket and merchandise sales. It was a Oklahoma; and boon for the course, city and state. the story on the 2022 PGA Championship being moved up from 2030 at Southern Hills in Tulsa following the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol and the subsequent second impeachment of President Donald Trump. Southern Hills and the PGA of America The 18th hole at Southern Hills Country Club.

Verplank’s career was ex- (Oklahoma), Reagan Chaney of Plainview A special preview isamined in depth by John Ro- (Oklahoma City University), Lilly Whitley sue for the 2021 Kitcheof Edmond Memorial hde in an extensive feature naid Senior PGA Cham(Missouri State), with the always frank and pionship at Southern Brooklyn Benn entertaining Oak Tree Hills had plenty of oth( Wichita National member. er news as well. State), OlWe had a staOGA Executive Diivia Coit tus report on the rector Mark Felder (A rkansas building on the used his column to State), new PGA of laud Quade Cummins E m America headand Austin Eckroat for ily Vang representing Oklahoma on the Walker quarters in Frisco, Texas. The of Catoosa, Cup team. It was also announced that first of many major champiSarah SherFelder would be inducted that year into onships, the 2023 Senior PGA rard of Christhe South Central Section Hall of Fame. Championship, is scheduled tian Heritage there next spring and the Chris Tidland gave up his Academy (Okla500-room hotel will open pro golf career homa Chrisabout then as well. and became We took a detailed Left to right, Scott Verplank, Art tian) and Jaidthe head proProctor, Floyd Farley, Danny en Gregston look at the Covid-infessional Edwards and David Edwards of Duncan. duced golf boom that at StillwaThe boys list included Andrew Goodmeant record rounds, equipment ter Country company backlogs and travel man of Christian Heritage (Oklahoma), Club, replacReagan Chaney ing delays. The upcoming years Jordan Wilson of Edmond North (OklaChuck Chris Tidland will tell how well golf is able to homa State), William Sides of Cascia Hall Coatney, who sustain and better manage the new and (Southern Methodist), Jake Hopper of retired. The 2021 Oklahoma returned golfers who flooded to the game Norman North (Oklahoma), Ben Stoller of Owasduring the Golf Hall of Fame Class so (Kansas pandemic. was announced. Scott State), RyOur anVerplank, Danny Edder Cowan nual high Jordan Wilson wards, David Edwards, of Oklahoma school preArt Proctor and architect Christian (OU view was Floyd Farley comprised Commit), again loaded an outstanding class that Dylan Teewith talent. had won 14 PGA Tour Raychel Nelke ter of Bixby The girls events and designed (OCU), Drew and run the state’s busi- list was topped by Jenni Roller Quade Cummins Austin Eckroat est golf course at Kick- of Regent Prep, now playing for TU. She Mabrey of Holland Hall and Tres Hill of William Sides ingbird in Edmond. was followed by Raychel Nelke of Pocola Elk City (OCU). 36



JUNE-JULY, 2021 Oklahoma’s Logan McAllister and his love for golf course architecture was our cover story. We expected to be writing about either OU or OSU winning the national championship, but Pepperdine took care of that, knocking off OSU in the semifinals and OU in the championship match. Andrew Goodman and Jenni Roller won the OGA Junior titles at Kickingbird. Among the high school winners were Andrew Ben Stoller of Owasso Goodman in Class 6A, Parker Payne of Noble in 5A, Tres Hill of Elk City in 4A, Drew Goodman in 3A and Dominic Stevens of Crescent in 2A. Girls winners were Haley Blevins Jenni Roller of Edmond North in

6A, Mikaela Karanja of I would get a better appreciation of all the high tech gadgetry in the Durant in 5A, game center. The state of Maddi Kamas the art indoor arcade ofof Kingfisher in fers just about everything, 4A, Brooklyn including Trackman. OutBenn of Oklaside are tennis courts, homa Chrispickleball courts, baskettian in 3A and ball, whiffle ball, sand Jenni Roller of volleyball, a fishing pond, Regent Prep in firepits and more. Did I 2A. Shangri-La owner mention bars with huge I took my son to the opening Eddy Gibbs televisions! of The Anchor at Shangri-La so

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THE THIRD DECADE AUG-SEPT, 2021 Golf pros Steve Carson of Lincoln Park and Alsie Hyden of Lake Hefner graced the cover. The accomplishments in promoting public golf of those two would take a larger magazine than this to list. Both are now retired and should be thanked profusely by every golfer at their course, their city and throughout the state. We took a look at how NIL (Name, Image and Likeness) deals may affect collegiate golfers. It seems throughout collegiate sports that NIL has turned into a way just to funnel money to football and basketball players and you see very little if any actual name, image and Tom Doak on site likeness being used at Dornick Hills to peddle products.


We went to Dornick Hills in Ardmore to meet Tom Doak and get a handle on his restoration project for which he graciously donated his time. Our Hall of Fame profiles in this issue were on David Edwards and Floyd Farley, two very interesting and accomplished men. Edwards was one of the hardest working players ever at Oklahoma State, while Farley designed courses that have hosted more rounds of public golf in Oklahoma than probably any other five architects combined. Sam Humphreys went to WinStar to check out the incredible golf academy which is open to the public. Trackman, SAM putting labs, all the custom fitting Floyd Farley equipment one could want. It’s definitely worth checking out on your next visit to one of the nation’s best


golf and gambling resorts. We took a look around the state at the

David Edwards with Jack Nicklaus after winning The Memorial. massive devastation to turf grass caused by one of the worst winter storms in state history. Even covers couldn’t protect many Bermuda greens from losing turf. The Canyons at Blackjack Ridge, which had just opened with new greens, was forced to resprig and six of the new greens at Heritage Hills in Claremore had to be replanted. Quail Creek G&CC in Oklahoma City resprigged 10 new Bermuda greens. South-





THE THIRD DECADE ern Hills sodded acres of fairway just prior to the 2021 Senior PGA, while Gaillardia in Oklahoma City used the damage o its fairways to opt for a Michael Hughett sets near-complete a record with 23 OGA r e p l a c e m e n t victories. with the new Tahoma Bermuda developed by OSU. Tres Hill of Elk City won the OGA State Amateur at Cedar Ridge CC in Broken Arrow, while ShaeBug Scarberry took home the WOGA State Amateur at The Territory Golf & Country Club in Duncan, ShaeBug Scarberry defeating 59-year-old Janet Miller 4 and 3 in the final. Scarberry backed up her championship this summer, winning at Gaillardia.


OCT-NOV, 2021 Austin Quinten of the First Tee of Tulsa and student Anthony Taylor prepare for the Special Olympics National Championships. Taylor, who is legally blind as well as a special needs student, is quite a competitor and the two eventually placed third this spring at the championships in Florida. We looked back at the great career of longtime Oaks CC head professional Rick Reed as he got set to retire, making way for Derrick Vest to move over from The Patriot. Our cover story was on the hopes of three OklahoDanny Edwards ma-based PGA Tour rookies in Josh Creel, Max McGreevy and Taylor Moore. Two of the three – McGreevy and Moore – played well


enough in 2021-22 to keep their cards, while Creel will have to return to the Korn Ferry Tour. The Hall of Fame feature this issue was on Danny Edwards and his unique life as both a champion golfer and race car driver, as well as ow n er of one of the nation’s top grip companies. Zach James won the Oklahoma Open when he overcame Sam Stevens with a four-shot swing on the par-3 13th hole. James made a long birdie while Stevens made a triple bogey, going from three shots behind to a shot ahead. Rick Reed


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Gulf Shores: Unwind with Great golf, grub and sand in your toes

The 18th Hole at Kiva Dunes, located in Gulf Shores, Ala.

by ken macleod


hether a family trip divided between white sand beaches, golf, deep sea or shore fishing, sunset cruises, great seafood and a lively nightlife, or a full-on golf trip with buds, it’s hard to beat Gulf Shores, Ala., as a great destination for Oklahomans. Whether you stay in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or the quieter Fort Morgan area, it’s a short drive to all the courses, restaurants and attractions. Getting there is an easy jaunt over from airports in Mobile, Ala., or Pensacola, Fla. Hopefully di-

rect flights from Dallas to Gulf Shores are coming soon. Driving there is also not a bad way to go, as you can wind through Memphis, Lafayette and New Orleans, making a cultural and culinary excursion adventure out of the trip. On a recent trip we ensconced in The Lodge at Gulf State Park, a Hilton Hotel and one of the best state park facilities we’ve visited in all of our travels. Completely rebuilt after being damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, it reopened in 2018 as a model of sound environmental practices and land stewardship, which you can read about in

detail at www.thelodgeatgulfstatepark. com. It also has a great pool, easy beach access and several fine restaurants and bars A good starting point for forays for golf, food and fun. Let’s get to the golf and let’s start with Kiva Dunes. Long a favorite of traveling Oklahomans, this Jerry Pate creation on the Fort Morgan peninsula has a less claustrophobic look after Hurricane Sally and course crews combined to remove a couple of thousand trees, mostly pine, in 2018. And yet, as someone who has played the course plenty before and after, it’s not that noticeable. Errant shots still spill into the

The Lake Course hole 8 at Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club, located in Gulf Shores, Ala.



...like teeing up on a quiet morning at a luscious green course and feeling the cool coastal breeze as you line up your shot. Putt, drive, swing, and dine all year long at one of the 15 beautiful golf courses in and around Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

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TRAVEL ravines where the cart path winds through scrub oaks. All of the rolling terrain Page incorporated is still there to challenge drives and approaches. Reactions to Kiva Dunes can vary widely depending on how consistently you keep your tee shot in play, but I’ve always found it to be hugely entertaining, one of the best courses in the state. As long-time head pro Mark A tree blocks part of the fairway on the 10th hole at Gulf Shores Golf Club. Stillings notes, Kiva Dunes has long been a favorite of Oklahomans. trip and Cypress Bend. Both courses are also than that oddity is a very interesting laySome purchase condos and stay on-site for more open than in the past thanks to Sally out. Some holes really require precision off months at a time, many others go through but as most superintendents will tell you the tee and the closing stretch is particularly challenging. The finishing hole is a Kiva for its custom stay & play packages that only helps with turf conditions. For resort golf that is fun and afford- par-5 lined with water left and in front of including condos, cottages or beach homes. Probably the second most popular desti- able and won’t send you home shooting the green, not to mention a large bunker in nation for golfers is the three nines at The 10 shots above your average despite the the landing area. Our foursome combined for a score of probably 32. Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club, But it was our final hole of the trip also located on the Fort Morgan and we were racing for the airport peninsula. Located next to the Bon after, so maybe we just waned to Secour Wildlife Preserve, the nines make it last. wind through live oaks, cypress, Besides the golf, we enjoyed wonwith marshes and lagoons teeming derful dinners in the party atmowith wildlife. Turf conditions are spheres at the beach favorite LuLu’s lush, almost too much so the day and at the Flora-Bama Yacht Club, we played as there was little roll directly across the road from the faand balls were picking up mud in Gulf Shores combines fresh seafood, southern fare and often a touch of Cajun for a wide range of deliciousness. mous Flora-Bama bar, which stradthe fairways. The three nines were designed by Earl unfamiliarity, the courses at Craft Farms dles the state lines. We also had a wonderStone, Alabama’s answer to Floyd Farley are ideal. Friendly and welcoming, like ful meal at Big Fish in Orange Beach and at The Perch at our hotel. who designed so many quality public and their designer. The Flora-Bama, for the uninitiated, is This trip included a visit to a new venue private courses in Oklahoma. Stone also designed the enjoyable Rock Creek further for us, the Gulf Shores Golf Club. Designed one of the legendary venues on the coast, by the father-son team of Jay and Carter with multiple stages, outdoor venues and is up the coast toward Mobile. Two of the first courses that began pull- Morrish, the course was built in the 1960s reputed to be the home of the Bushwacker, ing visitors to Gulf Shores were the Arnold and renovated in 2005. It greets you with a which may look and taste like a milkshake Palmer-designed layouts at Craft Farms, single large tree in the middle of the fair- but contains rum, vodka and lots of other both Cotton Creek which we played on this way on the first and 10th holes, but other goodies. Handle with care. The sixth hole on the Cotton Creek course at Craft Farms.




Award-winning dining, a booming craft beer scene, luxurious resorts, and exceptional year-round golf on courses along the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail await you in Alabama. Plus, with Jerry Pate’s Kiva Dunes and Arnold Palmer’s Craft Farms in Gulf Shores, from the Mountain Lakes to the Gulf Coast, you can take it all in.


Kiva Dunes Golf & Beach Resort, Gulf Shores W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG




Work on your putting this winter I

t’s fall, the weather is finally changing a bit and I am so grateful for some cooler temperatures. The leaves will change, we will Maggie Roller be wearing more clothing, and there is no better time to practice your golf game more than when it cools off. As an instructor, I see most people put their sticks up from November -February. I want to give you some good solid advice on staying after this crazy game even when it is too cold outside. The one thing I recommend you do all winter is continue to putt. You might wonder how will I do that when it is so cold outside? But you can putt with lots more layers on, where

cal things. 1) Buy a putting tool. And, use it! Don’t just keep it in the garage or in the trunk. Eyeline has great putting mirrors, Dave Pelz tools, putting tracks, chalk line, gate systems, etc. I go to about two PGA/LPGA events each year and the putting greens are filled with tools and gadgets to aid in the pros putting. If the best golfers in the world use tools, how much more should the average amateur use them? 2) Do basic putting drills and games. I teach a standard 3-45-foot game around the hole so you are not putting the same putt in a row. Make 12 from 3 feet, eight from 4 feet, and four from 5 feet in a row. Another fun one, 85 total putts. Putt 30 3-footers, 25 4-footers, 10 Putting tools are used by the 5-footers, 10-6-footers, and 10 pros, you should try one too, 10-footers. Count how many Roller says. you make and the PGA average Here are five tips to improve your put- is 74. Play nine holes keeping score, each ting. Putt all winter with these five practi- first putt 35 feet or more. Goal is 18. 3) Lag putt a lot to work on speed. Start with a cross country putt of 40 feet or more. Try to get yourself within the 3-foot range for the second putt, I call those the “no pressure” second putts. If you lag it a lot across the green your speed will improve and your number of three-putts will be fewer. If you are continually leaving yourself a second putt of 7 to 8 feet, the pressure will get to you and those are difficult to make all day long. The 8-foot make on the PGA Tour is 50 percent. Lag it often to have no pressure second putts. 4) Have a practice plan and purpose when you putt. Write out what you want to accomplish each session. Example: 20 minutes mirror work, two drills, one ninehole lag game. 5) Keep a record of your results on the games. Write down your score on the 85putt game, the nine-hole lag game, time yourself on the 3-4-5-foot game around the world. Keep a log of it, practice with purpose and watch your putting improve. So, bundle up, work on your putting and I bet you shave 5-6 strokes by next spring. LPGA teaching professional Maggie Roller is the director of instruction at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Broken Arrow. as swinging a full swing is much more difficult and cumbersome with jackets and more layers. The scratch golfer averages 31.5 putts per round while the 16-20 handicapper averages 35.8. You can lower your score the fastest by becoming a better putter.

Maggie Roller is the director of instruction at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Broken Arrow. 46




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