2023 Golf Oklahoma Oct/Nov

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Official publication of the Oklahoma Golf Association

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Volume 13 Issue 5

The Goods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Tom Bedell on new Alan Shipnuck and Billy Walters books

Chip Shots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 GM Cleve Stubblefield to retire at Cedar Ridge 14 New superintendents at Patriot, Southern HIlls and Cedar Ridge 14 Ann Pitts Turner honored by OSU 15 USGA returns to Oklahoma with U.S. Women's Amateur and U.S. Senior Open


Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Morri Rose by Mike McGraw 20 OU's Jaxon Dowell helps others with diabetes 22 New Hall of Fame for prep golf coaches 26 Course restorations at Patriot, Karsten Creek

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Departments . . . . . . . . . . 6 Letter from the Publisher 8 OGA ED Kevin Stanton 8 WOGA ED Laurie Campbell 28 Lessons, Pat McTigue 29 Schedules and results

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ON THE COVER: Morri Rose, recently retired director of the Oklahoma Junior Golf Tour, will be inducted Nov. 12 into the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame.

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



YOUR SUPPORT CHANGES LIVES BLESSING MILITARY AND FIRST RESPONDER FAMILIES BEYOND GRADUATION When spouses and children of American heroes need us most, Folds of Honor helps reduce the burden of high cost education. We invite you to see the life changing difference it’s making – simply scan the QR code to watch. The generosity of the golf community is behind thousands of these success stories. Your commitment proves that unity is possible and powerful. Through scholarships, you’re opening doors of opportunity for families who’ve paid the highest price to keep us safe and free.



October /November Issue 2023 FROM THE PUBLISHER KEN M AC LEOD


End of an era

outhern Hills Country Club still two did that will be missed. Their expertise looks the same when I glance out and influence on golf went way beyond the the window of my office building hedges that ring Southern Hills. In addition to his day job, Sidorakis is the situated directly west of the iconic club on chief fundraiser and administrator for the Lewis Avenue. Tulsa First Tee Chapter, one of the larger But it’s not. The club had long been preparing for and most ambitious chapters in the nation. I am fortunate to work with him on the the exit of versatile General Manager Nick Sidorakis, who officially retires at the First Tee Board as well as the Tulsa Public Golf Course Imend of the 2023 provement Combut will stay on mittee, where he as a consultant has been and will through August be invaluable as to help with the we move forward 2024 U.S. Womwith restoring en’s Amateur Page Belcher and Championship. Mohawk Park. That was tough We also work enough. Sidorakis closely together has been running on the Oklahothe club since ma Golf Hall of 1995. In that time Fame, where he is there have been a board member three major restoand past presirations, two PGA dent and I have Tour ChampionNick Sidorakis and Russ Myers been fortunate to ships (1995 and 1996), four major championships (2001 be the Executive Director since its foundU.S. Open, 2007 PGA Championship, 2021 ing in 2014. In addition to his great work at Southern Senior PGA Championship, 2022 PGA Championship) and the 2009 U.S. Amateur Hills, Myers also gives of himself freely. He is a consultant for just about everyone Championship. Then came the announcement that su- out there with a project or even just a nosy perintendent Russ Myers, considered one reporter. I may have picked up four story of the best at his craft in the country, was ideas from him in a recent chat and that leaving to join the team of architects Gil was nothing unusual. “Nick has been a tireless advocate for Hanse and Jim Wagner. They worked closely together on the extensive 2018 res- Southern Hills and for golf in general,” said toration that rebuilt all the greens, bunkers, Andy Johnson, who served as club presitee boxes and much more, and before that dent in 2016. “It’s hard to even conceive of on the restoration of Los Angeles Country the skill set it takes to do what he does. He deals with hundreds of employees and Club, site of the 2023 U.S. Open. Southern Hills has already hired quality then 800 bosses (members) who are used replacements in new GM Jay Johnson and to getting their own way. He works with former assistant superintendent Bryant Ev- the governing bodies (PGA of America and ans. Johnson, a former general manager at USGA) and goes to those meetings. It takes Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, an incredible person to manage all that. “And Russ did a fantastic job at Southern Kan., has been learning the ropes for more than a year as assistant GM. Evans is a for- Hills. I think he just wanted a new chalmer Myers assistant and has worked won- lenge in his life and his new role with Gil is ders at the Perry Maxwell-designed Old perfect for him. Town Club in Winston-Salem, N.C. The club will be fine. It’s everything else those See END OF ERA on page 9 6



Golf Oklahoma Offices Southern Hills Plaza 6218 S. Lewis Ave., Ste. 102 Tulsa, OK 74136 918-280-0787 Oklahoma City Office 405-640-9996



Publisher Ken MacLeod ken@golfoklahoma.org


COO/Marketing Director A.G. Meyers agm@golfoklahoma.org Sales 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 Kevin Stanton kstanton@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 2023 by Golf Oklahoma Magazine. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from Golf Oklahoma. Golf Oklahoma is published by South Central Golf, Inc.


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Thanks Morri for all you did for golf The 109th Oklahoma Open was again national championships: We would be remiss if we didn’t OGA State Amateur - USGA US Amateur start out by congratulating our friend and played at Oak Tree Country Club, and OGA Junior Boys – USGA US Junior Amateur colleague Morri Rose on his induction into was a close battle between two former OGA Junior Girls – USGA US Junior Girls OU teammates, Blaine Hale and Max Mcthe Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame. This opportunity will give our OklahoMorri devoted 22 years to growing and Greevy. Blaine was able to make a birdie on nurturing the Oklahoma Junior Golf Tour the demanding 18th hole of the Oak Tree ma players a greater chance to display what (OJGT). His dedication has helped in the East course to clip Max by one stroke and they can do on a national stage. Our fall OJGT schedule development of some of the is in full swing. Our eightbest players in the state of event fall schedule has alOklahoma. ready seem some amazing His nurturing of the play. Emerson Majma tied game in the youth of Oklathe course record at John homa produced not only Conrad with a 64 only to great players but many have it eclipsed the next day outstanding well-rounded by Collin Bond with a 63. people as well. Grant Gudgel fired a 63 You can see what Morri in the final round at Bailey means to the players every Morri Rose Kyle Hudelson Blaine Hale Ranch en route to his eighttime he is on site at an event. stroke victory. Collin Bond closed with five Morri will continue to be a part of the capture his first Oklahoma Open title. We also saw some hot play in a USGA birdies in a row at Lincoln Park East to nip OJGT for many years to come, and we look forward to watching him be inducted on championship from a past OGA champi- his closest competitor by one for his second on. Ian Davis of Edmond bested 242 play- victory in the series. Avery Schartz fired a Nov. 12 at Southern Hills Country Club. We recently finished up our final events ers in the USGA Mid-Amateur Champion- 63 on Lincoln Park’s East course, and Syrah ship to qualify for the match play portion. Javed has two victories to her credit this fall. for the OGA season. All of this is leading up to the Red River Our 39th Mid-Amateur Championship His Round of 64 match didn’t go as he was played at Quail Creek Golf & CC. Kyle planned, but it is a big accomplishment Challenge. This pits the OJGT vs. the TexHudelson and Mike Hearne had a close bat- to qualify for match play in any USGA as Junior Golf Tour (TJGT) on Oct. 28-29 at historic Dornick Hills Country Club. This tle on the back nine of the two-day tourna- championship. The USGA has passed on some exciting event is the highlight of the fall for many of ment. It came down to the final hole with Kyle making birdie to edge Mike by one news to add to our state championships. the OJGT golfers. Please visit OKgolf.org for more exciting stroke. This was Kyle’s third victory in the The winner of the following events will receive an exemption to their corresponding things to come in 2024. past five years in this event.


President WOGA


On deck, Louise Blumenthal Johnson Golf season is drawing to a close as is my leadership as WOGA President. I’d like to introduce you to the incoming WOGA President, Louise Blumenthal Johnson. Louise was born and raised in Okmulgee. She graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1969, attended Oklahoma State from 1969-1972, Central State from 1971-1973 and OU from 1973-1975, where she graduated from the College of Dentistry and Dental Hygiene. She practiced her skills for 38 years before retiring in June 2013. Louise is the proud mother of her two sons, John and Sam, who both serve in the Oklahoma City Police Department. She very much enjoys spending time with her six grandchildren and one great-grandson. Louise’s father, Phillip Stekoll, introduced his daughter to golf at the age of 6. 8

She competed from ages 10-17 in the WOGA Girls Junior State Championship and in 1968 won the state High School Championship.

Outgoing WOGA President Laurie Campbell and incoming President Louise Blumenthal Johnson.


Louise has also competed in the USGA Junior and Women’s National Amateurs and the Trans-Mississippi Championships. In 1973, she won the medalist honor and the Oklahoma State Amateur Championship at Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club. Louise was instrumental in helping to initiate the Women’s Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame in 2006 and continues to serve on the board of the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame since the merger in 2015. She has chaired the WOGA Girls’ Junior State Championship for the past 16 years and has captained the Oklahoma Fore State Team since 2016. She has served on the WOGA Board for the last six years and will as always be a strong leader and an inspiration to all junior girls in Oklahoma. It has been an honor and privilege serving as your president. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

END OF ERA cont. from page 6 Past president Bryan Johnson (2020), whose father John was a co-founder of the First Tee program, said his fellow members are fully aware of what they are losing. “It’s like we had the best in class of general managers, superintendent and head professional with Cary Cozby and now we’re losing two of them,” Bryan said. “When I was president and we would be around other GMs and presidents, it was clear that even among his peer group Nick stood out as the leader and everyone looked up to him. He’s recognized as being the best GM there is.” More than 15,000 young golfers have been through the First Tee program run by Janice Gibson. Over 30 graduates have received college golf scholarships. “Russ accomplished all he could here and is leaving it in good hands,” Bryan said. “Clearly he and Gil are really close and this is just a great opportunity for him. The restoration here that they worked on together took us to another very elite level.” Well beyond the gates of Southern Hills, Sidorakis and Myers were good for the game, good for the city and good for the state. Fortunately they are both planning to keep their residences here and we’re keeping their phone numbers.


Stubblefield steps down I

n 21 years running Cedar Ridge Amateur qualifying, numerous high school, Country Club in Broken Arrow with college and Oklahoma Golf Association an open mind and even hand, Cleve championships, massive improvements to Stubblefield earned the respect and love of the golf course and practice facilities, clubboth members and employees alike, not al- house renovations, the addition of a weight ways an easy task in the ego-inflated world room, pool and fitness center, a new halfway house and the addition of an indoor of private club management. teaching center. That tenure is coming to an In May, the club hosted a LIV abbreviated close, unfortunately. Golf event and shortly thereafter Stubblefield announced in early parted ways with its superintenOctober that he would be resigndent, bringing back long-time ing his position as general mansuperintendent Mike Wooten to ager, most likely in November, serve on an interim basis. His son due to a recent deterioration in Jared Wooten was recently hired symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, as superintendent and officially which he has been battling for Cleve Stubblefield began work this week. four years. Stubblefield said removing the stress of daily operations could help slow the progress of the disease and he is also considering a treatment called Deep Brain Stimulation which has proven effective in treating tremors in up to 88 percent of patients. Stubblefield, 61, came to Cedar Ridge in 2002 after 10 years of running Tulsa Country Club. In his tenure, he has guided the club through five LPGA Tour events, U.S.

Stubblefield said the big events of 2023, including an internal club debate about whether to completely rebuild its clubhouse, did not increase his stress levels. “I’ve always done well handling the big events,” he said. “Sometimes it’s the little things that I’ve let bother me.” For the complete story including testimony from members and co-workers visit www.golfoklahomaa.org, posted Oct. 4.




Money Makes the World Go Round A by tom bedell

s all but cavedwellers know, the golf world has gone topsy-turvy ever since LIV Golf came on the scene. The opening round of the first LIV Golf Invitational took place on June 9, 2022, at the Centurion Club near St. Albans in England. There was no single opening tee shot, of course, since the LIV tournaments, 54 holes, are played shotgun style. But LIV has been more like a howitzer, and the shrapnel is still falling. The long and antagonistic birth of the rival league to the PGA Tour has led, currently, to a still unsettled state of affairs. There is a settlement on the table, but the details remain less than pellucid, and plenty of heads are still being scratched in puzzlement. Once the surprise announcement came— just under a year after the first LIV tournament—that the Tour and LIV’s sponsor, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), had come


to an agreement to (somehow) envelop the two tours (including the European tour), the war seemed to be over and it was anyone’s guess who the real winners were. It would appear to be the Saudis, but there’s still plenty of dust left to settle. But Dylan Wu, whose Tour career earnings since 2018 are just over half what one win on the LIV tour earns ($4 million) had a perceptively succinct summation of the entire affair: “I guess money always wins.” Wu is quoted in Alan Shipnuck’s “LIV and Let Die: The Inside Story of the War Between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf” (Avid Reader Press, $32.50), a wonderfully comprehensive account of golf’s ongoing imbroglio. Yes, money—lots of money—is at the heart of this Gordian knot, but it’s not the whole story, and Shipnuck does an impressively masterful job in trying to untangle all the strands. It’s a compelling read. Another key element at play, he suggests early in his narrative, is vengeance. The real villain of the scenario, critics of LIV


would suggest, is Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose henchmen took a bone saw to journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The entire thrust of LIV, goes one narrative, was to “sportswash” this and other human rights abuses of the Saudi regime. But as for golf, Greg Norman emerges as the heavy. The two-time Open Championship winner (and multiple hard luck major loser), according to Shipnuck, had never gotten over the snub of his failed 1989 proposal for a World Golf tour (to be funded by Rupert Murdoch). At an off-season tournament, Norman’s own Shark Shootout, he unveiled the plan to players, one of whom happened to be the King: Arnold Palmer. Palmer listened, but eventually said, “I don’t want any part of this,” and walked out of the room. After some shocked silence, Lanny Wadkins chimed in, “If it’s not good enough for Arnold, it’s not good enough for me.” He left, and then everyone left. The egg apparently hardened on Norman’s face for all the succeeding years, until he took the public reins of LIV, not without further controversy. Such context is part of the skill Shipnuck brings to his story, and he does the same for the other characters swirling around the scene: Phil Mickelson, of course (subject of


Shipnuck’s “Phil,” reviewed in the April-May 2022 issue); Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Pat Perez, Rory McIlroy, Brandel Chamblee and many others. So many others one wishes there was an index. But in an hilarious “Note to Golf Industry Insiders” on the back cover there’s this: “Sorry. This book does not contain an index. If you want to find out how you’re portrayed, you’ll actually have to read it.” GAMBLER Billy Walters makes a cameo appearance in Shipnuck’s book, Shipnuck makes a cameo in Walters’ book, and Phil Mickelson is all over both of them. But Walters’ “Gambler: Secrets From a Life at Risk” (Avid Reader Press, $35) is more accurately an autobiography of the famed (in some quarters) gambler and golf entrepreneur. Walters was all over the media when his book first came out, and the questions invariably turned to his relationship with Mickelson. It was Mickelson’s refusal to testify at Walters’ insider trading trial that, Walters claims, led to his conviction and imprisonment: “Bottom line, if he had simply taken the stand in my trial and told the truth about

the public information I had provided him, I believe that I never would have stepped foot inside a rat-infested Pensacola prison.” Walters also claims he was innocent, but the book actually opens inside the prison, and it sets up an engaging narrative. How much of a writer Walters may be is a little open to question. You have to turn to the title page to see that Walters wrote the book “with Armen Keteyian,” the co-author of the persuasive “Tiger Woods” biography (reviewed in the June-July 2018 issue). Read the acknowledgments and a couple of other early writers are mentioned, suggesting that Walters may have had a troublesome manuscript at some point. But no matter, it all came out right in the end. Whatever you may wind up thinking of Walters, the book is vastly entertaining. It takes Walters from an impoverished Kentucky upbringing, where he early on started on his gambling ways and heavy drinking. He stumbles his way through two young marriages, becomes an expert car salesman but regularly blows through his earnings with excessive drunken wagers. He begins to right the ship with his third marriage to Susan

Humphries and their move to Las Vegas. Walters, now 77, works his way into becoming one of the most successful sports bettors of all time, and the owner or operator of various golf courses—he is now in both the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame and the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame, and has an estimated worth of $200 million. There are plenty of juicy tales in the book about high-stakes wagering and a parade of Vegas characters right out of a Scorsese movie. For those looking to pile up their own sports betting fortune, there are a few chapters dense with the analytical methods Walters says he successfully used, and good luck following all that. Along the way he and Mickelson became betting partners for a few years. Walters estimates that, “Phil wagered a total of more than $1 billion during the past three decades. The only other person I know who surpassed that kind of volume is me. During a twentyyear period beginning in the mid-nineties, Phil’s losses approached $100 million.” Mickelson’s signing bonus with LIV was reported to be $200 million. Maybe Wu is right. Tom Bedell is taking a big gamble every time he steps onto a golf course.




Oklahoma City 9300 S I-35 Ser vice Rd OKC, OK 73160 405-634-0571

Tulsa 10118 E 51st St. Tulsa, OK 74146 918-663-0571






Morri's labor of love by mike mcgraw

“One hundred years from now, it won’t matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank, nor what my clothes looked like. But the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.” – Forest Witcraft


rowing up in Okemah, a small settlement located in the northeastern part of Oklahoma, playing golf never occurred to young Dayton Morrison Rose Jr. His early years were spent playing baseball, often in his own backyard with neighborhood buddies. “We were country kids, and we made our own games,” says Morri. “I was going to be the next Mickey Mantle. Golf? I didn’t consider playing the game. After all, Okemah wasn’t exactly the Golf Capital of the World.” During Morri’s formative years, (mid1950’s to mid-1960’s) what self-respecting Oklahoma kid didn’t want to be Mickey Mantle? After all, Mantle was just about the biggest name in the sport. In golf terms, he was Arnold Palmer. EARLY INFLUENCES Morri isn’t the only sports personality from Okemah. His early influences were Okemah natives Larry Coker and Marita Hines, both a few years older than he was. Among various positions held, Coker served as Offensive Coordinator at Oklahoma State during the Thurman Thomas-Barry Sanders era and would eventually coach Miami to a national championship in 2001. Marita forged a successful career as softball coach at the University of Oklahoma. She would also serve as an Associate Athletics Director for women’s sports at OU, where the softball stadium is named in her honor. “I looked up to both when I was a boy,” Morri said. “In fact, Marita taught me how to ride a horse when I was 5.” Early influences can be so vital to our development. We all need mentors to guide us on our journey, something that is not lost on Morri, especially when referring to his first mentor. “When my dad passed away, I was only 10 years old, and it devastated me. My first mentor was gone. "My mom had to raise three kids by herself. A year later, she moved me, my older 12

Morri Rose with JJ Gregston, Cara Cummins and Spencer Holleyman. brother David, and my younger sister Jenny to Midwest City to be near family. “Mom was a great example for us kids. She went back to school and got her teaching degree and ended up teaching school for 12 years before moving back to Okemah. She was a hero to me.” Another influence, who was now nearby was his grandfather, Oscar Rose. He just happened to be the Superintendent of the Mid-Del School District and his wife Virginia was one of the first female principals in the State of Oklahoma. Rose State College is named after Oscar. “Education has always been a big part of our family”, says Morri, who would go on to a long career both as a teacher and a principal. At his core, Morri has always been a teacher. “I’m a teacher at heart,” he said. “I spent nearly 40 years in education. It just so happens that for the last 20 or so years, my classroom has been the golf course.” BEGINNINGS IN THE GAME Sometime in the summer of 1965, Morri heard of a golf clinic being held by Midwest City Municipal head professional Chuck Tiedy. “I thought to myself, ‘why not’? I remember that I got a lot out of that clinic, mostly a real desire to start working at golf.” Inspired by that clinic, and armed with clubs borrowed from his uncle, he took to the game like a duck to water. His first training ground (MWC Municipal) wasn’t exactly Augusta National. Instead, the juniors gave the nine-hole course the nickname “Midget Meadows.” Today it is better known as Hidden Creek. The course had nine tee boxes and nine


greens (all the boys needed), and there was no shortage of junior golfers to help Morri hone his craft. The course was the birthplace of many careers. Not long after Morri had started his love affair with the game, Chuck Tiedy was replaced by Eddie Abbott as head professional. Morri’s golf life would never be the same, not by a long shot. “Eddie Abbott fostered my love for the game more than anyone else,” says Morri. “He was the most influential person in my golf career, no doubt about that.” A LESSON LEARNED As is the case in most childhood stories, there are certain situations that stand out as major learning experiences, usually after mistakes are made. Such was the case when Morri and several of his buddies vandalized the golf course to the tune of $2,000 worth of damage. “I have no idea what was going through our minds, it was so stupid.” Morri and four of his accomplices were forced to work on the maintenance crew for the Mid-Del District as restitution. Once their debt was paid, grandad Rose met with the boys and said, “Boys, you made a mistake and you have paid for it with your work. Now, your first mistake is considered ignorance. If you make that same mistake a second time, well that’s just stupidity, and I’ve got no use for stupidity.” Morri never forgot that lesson. And, perhaps most importantly, his mentor Eddie Abbott forgave him for his misdeeds. “He never held that against me. He just chalked it up to a learning experience, which meant a lot to me at the time. It still does to this W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

day,” Morri said, with emotion in his voice. During the next four years, he continued to work at the game and would eventually earn a golf scholarship to Oklahoma City University. It was quite an accomplishment, especially for a lad who had taken up the game only four years prior. Before he left for school, Morri went by to thank Eddie Abbott. “I didn’t realize it when I headed off for school, but it is easy to see now that 90 percent of what I have tried to do with the OJGT comes from Eddie’s influence. He taught me life lessons all the time. That was his classroom,” Morri said. Morri’s career at OCU was notable, winning two individual titles while playing for coach Les Metheny. He also advanced to to the 1973 TransMiss Amateur quarterfinals at Prairie Dunes, before falling to Florida All-American and future PGA Tour winner Gary Koch. After graduation from OCU, Morri worked for a bit as an assistant pro at Twin Hills Country Club, before a principal in the Mid-Del District talked him into getting his teaching certificate, his master’s in education, along with Elementary Certification so he could be a principal. After 18 years as a principal, Morri was, in his own words, “burned out.” He went into the classroom for 12 years in Midwest City and then began a stint at golf coach at Heritage Hall in Oklahoma City. It was at about the same time that he began running the Oklahoma Junior Golf Tour in 2002. GIVING BACK Merriam-Webster defines “labor of love” as follows: “a labor voluntarily undertaken or performed without consideration of any benefit or reward.” That’s Morri Rose, and his labor of love was the OJGT. He never wanted anything back. As Eddie Abbott had encouraged him, all Morri ever wanted to do was give back to the game … and give back, he certainly did. Because of Morri’s hard work and dedication, an estimated 500 junior golfers have earned golf scholarships, including his son Dayton, who played at Oklahoma State as a teammate of Alex Noren. Despite all those accolades, Morri’s ego has stayed in check with humility at the forefront. “I’m just an old man who ran tournaments, loves golf, and still believes in kids, families, and communities. You understand, don’t you Mike?” Yes Morri, I think I do. Thanks for everything. Mike McGraw has been to many an OJGT event as a collegiate coach for Oklahoma State and now Baylor. W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

ZT Cigars 25th Anniversary Toro by laramie navrath


T Cigars celebrated its 25th anniversary as a cigar retailer this year and to commemorate this milestone, owner Todd Naifeh reached out to cigar titan Rocky Patel to help craft a cigar to memorialize this achievement. The ZT Cigars 25th Anniversary Robusto and Toro are a result of their effort. Todd envisioned two separate cigars, first being a Nicaraguan maduro robusto that embodies richness and complexity and an Ecuadorian habano toro crafted for flavor and balance. While visiting with Todd he said, “I want a cigar I can give to anyone for any event or occasion that they can enjoy.” Mission accomplished I say to these two beautifully made cigars. While this article will focus on the toro, I encourage you to try the maduro robusto when you have time to sit and give the smoke your full attention. The ZT Cigars 25th Anniversary Toro has

wonderful flavor off the light, with subtle yet pleasing white pepper spices in the retrohale. The first third of the smoke offers notes of sweet grains and sea salt which saturate your pallet complemented by toasted nuts and dried fruit. The construction is great with a durable ash that burns even and holds together allowing for a cooler smoke. The strength level starts as a solid medium but backs off quickly allowing the flavors of the cigar to take center stage. Moving into the second third of the smoke, the cigar flavors are more soft, creamy, and buttery while the notes of white pepper and nuts trail off. The cigar produces an ample amount of smoke to enjoy all these wonderful flavors or to retrohale for those that want to add more strength to their experience. The final third of the smoke is smooth and pleasant with notes of leather, citrus and earth. The overall smoking time is around an hour making this cigar great for a casual round of golf, get together with friend or a fine bourbon or scotch.

Proudly serving Oklahoma with a fine selection of cigars and related products. Stop on by our current locations and share a smoke with us!

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Super shakeup in tulsa area T

Manager Nick Sidorakis. “He’s done an amazing job at Old Town. He’s got a calm demeanor, his staff loves him and he’ll be a very good fit culturally here.” here are new superintendents at $3.3-million renovation. Evans said he loved his time at Old If anyone can replace the popular and The Patriot, Cedar Ridge Country Club and Southern Hills revered Myers at Southern Hills, Evans Town Club but Southern Hills has always Country Club, three of the more promi- seems the ideal candidate. Not only has been a dream job, just not one he expected he worked for Myers at Southern Hills, he to open this soon. nent clubs in northeast Oklahoma. “I’ve always wanted to put myself in the Southern Hills Country Club has has spent the past five years taking anothnamed Bryant Evans, currently the super- er Perry Maxwell transition zone classic in right position to be considered if it opened up but never thought it would be intendent at Old Town Club in Winthis early,” said Evans, who is enston-Salem, N.C., to replace Russ gaged to a Tulsan in Kendall Craft. Myers, who is going to work for the “We love the Tulsa area and spent course design team of Gil Hanse and almost 10 years there.” Jim Wagner. Evans was a volunteer on Myers • Cedar Ridge has named Jared staff for both the 2021 Senior PGA Wooten, currently superintendent Championship and the 2022 PGA at Stillwater Country Club, to reChampionship and the club will place his father Mike Wooten, who Bryant Evans Jared Wooten Blake Willems host the 2024 U.S. Women’s Amahas been interim superintendent since the club and former superintendent Old Town Club from relative obscurity to teur Championship next August. He said the lofty perch of No. 38 in the U.S. by he learned a lot from Myers in the years Eddie Roach Jr. parted ways in May. • The Patriot in Owasso has named Golf Magazine, No. 54 by Golf Digest and they worked together. “Russ does the fundamentals better Blake Willems, a former assistant superin- No. 22 in the U.S. in Golfweek’s list of than anyone else. He does the simplest tendent at Southern Hills, as its Director of top-100 classic courses (pre-1960). “Bryant is agronomically sound, he has things exceptionally down to the smallAgronomy. Jack Dunn, who was promoted to superintendent after Jeremy Dobson was the technical skills, he’s worked on a Per- est detail. You never take a day off from killed in an auto accident on Feb. 21, 2022, ry Maxwell course in the transition zone doing things the right way. There are no remains in that role and the two will work and knows bent grass greens and Bermuda shortcuts. That’s the culture I’ve tried to together as the course reopens following a fairways,” said Southern Hills General instill here.”

Ann Pitts Turner honored by OSU

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At the sold-out Oklahoma State Athletics Hall of Honor dinner in Gallagher-Iba Arena, at least six of the tables were occupied by friends, family and former players coming to pay tribute to inductee Ann Pitts Turner, the trail-blazing golf coach who once sued her own university for equal pay. Pitts Turner, now 84 and still whipping her friends while playing at least three times a week at her home course at Shangri-La Resort, greatly enjoyed the evening Golf Oklahoma profiled the remarkable career of Pitts Turner online on September 13, just go to www.golfoklahoma.org to read the full story. And congratulatons to a true coaching legend! W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

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U.S. Senior Open returns, Women's Am up in 2024 by ken macleod


he United States Golf Association has two confirmed upcoming events in Oklahoma after the recent announcement of golf’s worst-kept secret, that the U.S. Senior Open would be coming back to Oak Tree National in Edmond in 2027. Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa is already preparing for the 2024 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship next August 5-11. The events will mark the 22nd and 23rd USGA championships to be conducted in Oklahoma Let’s take a closer look at each. 2024 U.S. WOMEN’S AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP For Southern Hills, hosting this event is a chance to enjoy a pure golf championship without all the hoopla that goes into majors such as corporate tents and sales, parking shuttles, long extensive buildouts and recovery. The tournament will be free to the public, parking will be in some form on-site and spectators will have the opportunity to roam the


fairways at a close distance to the competitors, watching some of the best young female players on the planet at a respectful distance. The volunteer load is much lighter but still significant. Those interested in volunteering should email Nick Sidorakis at nsidorakis@southernhillscc.org. Sidorakis, member Cathey Barkley, who is serving as tournament chairman, and others from Southern Hills attended the 2023 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles and came away impressed by the setting, by the USGA’s tournament organizational skills and overwhelmingly by the competitors’ talent. The event was won by Auburn University graduate student Megan Schofill with a 4 and 3 victory over Latanna Stone of LSU. At 22, Schofill was the oldest champion of this event in 23 years. 2027 U.S. SENIOR OPEN Since Colin Montgomerie won this championship in 2014 and proceeded to rave about Oak Tree National’s virtues as a potential U.S. Open site to anyone and everyone, it’s been a fairly good bet that the Senior Open would be

on its way back at some point. That point happens to be the year the year after Tiger Woods turns 50 and is eligible to compete and pursue his 10th USGA Championship to go with his three U.S. Junior Championships, three U.S. Amateur Championships and three U.S. Open Championships. OTN President and COO Tom Jones pushed for 2026 in his negotiations with the USGA as that would have been the first year Tiger is eligible and also Oak Tree will be celebrating its 50th anniversary that summer. The Pete Dye masterpiece opened in 1976 and members of both the vintage Oak Tree Gang and the new Oak Tree Gang say it’s never been better since the new Tifeagle Ultradwarf Bermuda greens were added in 2022. This will be the fourth major championship to be held at OTN, including the 1988 PGA Championship won by Jeff Sluman, the 2006 Senior PGA Championship won by Jay Haas and the 2014 U.S. Senior Open. It also hosted the 1984 U.S. Amateur Championship won by member Scott Verplank, who could be along with Willie Wood the only members of the original Oak Tree Gang to compete in this event.




BOOM TIME at Winter Creek by john rohde


inter Creek Golf & Social Club in Blanchard, Okla., has been down this bumpy road many times before. Now, thanks to Sunshine Industries based in Louisville, Ky, that road has been repaved. James French, who is president of the company’s Oklahoma Division, recalls his first-ever glimpse of what would soon become his future residence. “I had never been in Oklahoma before, and the main road into Winter Creek at the time was basically a gravel road,” French said. “I’m driving around thinking, ‘What

have I got myself into?’ bump from the swift rise in popularity of As soon as you get to Winter Creek. Upon his arrival, French said his first order the front gate at Winter Creek, you’re like, of business was to build four spec homes. ‘Holy Cow. This place Soon came his own property, which sits just is awesome. This is a a lob wedge from the clubhouse. Much more has come in the interim. little paradise right in French said the initial investment included the middle of flatlands building roughly 20 houses, spending more Oklahoma.’ ” French was intro- than $2 million on roads and infrastructure duced to Winter Creek (including repaving the main road), commitby a friend of a friend. At the time, the prop- ting $750,000 into remodeling the main clubhouse that now includes two new erty was owned by Legacy Bank. bars and a speakeasy/cigar/bourbon With the onslaught of the Paycheck lounge in the basement. The old pro Protection Program (PPP) due to shop was transformed into a simulaCOVID, French knew Legacy Bank tor game room. A state-of-the-art irneeded to get rid of some bad debt. rigation system is due for completion “We basically were in the right by mid-October. Also added was a place at the right time to write a check,” said French, who preferred James French $1.4 million resort-style pool featuring a fully functional bar with three to not share the purchase price. Located 20 miles southwest of Norman, 90-inch televisions. “It’s basically a pool/re35 miles south of downtown Oklahoma sort/sports bar,” French said. When French relocated from Kentucky City and 55 miles south of heralded Oak Tree National in Edmond, Blanchard has to Winter Creek on Jan. 4, 2021, the 460-lot a population of 9,759 according to this property had 12 houses. By the end of 2023, year’s Census. That number has gotten a there will be more than 100 homes. By the

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COURSE UPDATE end of 2024, more than 200-plus houses are envisioned. “In Year No. 1, it was just me begging people to come down here and give us a shot,” French said with a chuckle. “If you’re even looking at building a house, I’ll cover your golf when you make a visit. I’ll take you around. I’ll buy your drinks. Just come down here and give us a chance. We’ll incentivize you to put eyes on this property. Then it slowly started taking off. “Year No. 2 was just gangbusters. Even people from Norman were like, ‘We’ve never even heard of Winter Creek.’ Now they show up and they’re sold. I’m not selling it. The land sells it.” French’s decision to relocate came on Nov. 7, 2020, which was his wife, Beth’s, 30th birthday. They are joined by daughter Madeleine (8 years old), son Alexander (6) and daughter Mackenzie (4). The original footprint of the Winter Creek course remains, as does the original design of architect Rocky Roquemore from the late 1990s. Perhaps the most significant change under Sunshine was eliminating one pond, taking the total from 14 down to 13. “It just wasn’t a very good body of water, so we just blew it up and filled it in,” French explained. “It was at No. 16, a par-3

with a 120-yard carry. It was just super unfair for your higher handicap golfers. We have the No. 1 youth program in Oklahoma and we’re just not going to punish that many kids by putting bodies that force a carry over water. French said substantial Winter Creek may soon have a companion course. finances were put into bunkers the first year and also enhancing the course once sat, a choice piece of property driving range. “It was mostly lipstick,” French located just five miles northwest of Winter admitted. “It was raising the canopies on the Creek that borders on the opposite side of trees that were overgrown. Really kind of Highway 62 and offers more than a mile of commercial frontage. clean-up work. Much like with Winter Creek, French’s As of early October, roughly 189 lots remained available and range from $75,000- optimism overflows at the prospect of Indian Ridge. $125,000 per half-acre. “Our group at Sunshine would expect to Asked to describe the course’s primary appeal, French said, “It’s the lakes and the roll- move as quickly there as we have here,” said ing hills we have. There’s a whole lot more French, who said he would share more inelevation out here than what you normally formation about the Indian Ridge project at see in Oklahoma. Every single person who the appropriate time. French said Winter Creek lots already plays here says, ‘I cannot believe how much have been purchased by people from Caliwater you all have. It’s beautiful.’ ” French confirmed Sunshine is on the verge fornia, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kenof closing a deal to purchase 1,000 acres tucky, Florida, Colorado, Tennessee, Nevada where the abandoned Indian Ridge golf and South Dakota.

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Dealing with diabetes Dowell wants to impact others as part of Dexcom U team pearances. But also one that has included numerous surgeries on slow-healing injuries olf fans in Oklahoma and around attributed partly to his diabetes. “I know Coach (Ryan) Hybl had also the country are familiar with the story of Edmond’s Scott Verplank reached out to Scott to see if there was and his career-long battle with Type I dia- anything he should be concerned about. betes, the toll it’s taken and the millions of dollars he and wife Kim have raised to help other young athletes overcome the same affliction. One of those who has been inspired by Verplank is University of Oklahoma redshirt junior golfer Jaxon Dowell, who was diagnosed along with his twin sister Eden at the age of 3. His father Matt, a physician, has dealt with the disease since he was 12. Those who have watched Dowell win two Class 3A state championships at Oklahoma Christian School along with numerous other junior events and go on to become a productive member of one of the nation’s top collegiate squads may not have known he is constantly monitoring his glucose levels and responding with food, drink or insulin shots during competition. The device that monitors his glucose levels is provided by diabetes technology company Dexcom as part of its NIL (Name, But with the technology we have now, we Image and Likeness) program called Dex- can really keep it under control. We talked com U, in which Dowell and 19 other col- about Dexcom and it was just really cool to legiate athletes with diabetes share their be able to talk with him about what he’s stories in hopes of inspiring other younger been through.” Dowell said he checks his levels freathletes with diabetes. Dowell wears the Dexcom device, about quently just before competition and right the size of a quarter, on his lower back and before bedtime to make sure he is stable. it sends his glucose levels to his phone and The instant feedback of the monitoring is to the phones of his parents. If levels are crucial because he said if you wait until you low, it’s time for a Nature Valley bar or oth- feel off, it’s too late. “The biggest thing I’ve learned is you can er snack. Too high and he quickly can do a only feel the extremes,” Dowell said. glucose injection with a pen. “That’s why the importance of check“For the most part, I feel normal but I do have to check my glucose levels about ev- ing your glucose levels is very important. ery three holes,” Dowell said. “If levels are If it’s low, you can get sweaty, have blurry high and I have to take a shot, I just take it vision and feel generally weak. If it’s high in my arm or stomach. I’ve gotten pretty you have to pee a lot, you get thirsty, your body aches and you just don’t feel good.” good about making it nonchalant. Verplank experienced all those sympIt’s not something most people would notice but just something I have to deal with.” toms numerous times as a competitor. He When Dowell joined Oak Tree National concurred with Dowell that once you start in 2021, he spent an hour chatting with Ver- to feel the stress of high or low blood sugar, plank on the putting green about his meth- it’s too late to prevent the inevitable even ods of dealing with diabetes over the course with an insulin pump or by eating. “More times than I could possibly tell you,” of a career that has included a U.S. Amateur Championship, NCAA Championship, six Verplank said. “You just have to hold on. What I grew up with was like the stone PGA Tour victories and two Ryder Cup apby ken macleod




ages compared to the technology of today. It was the ABCs and now it’s like algorithms. A lot of it was just guessing and you needed to be on as tight a schedule as you could. And playing golf is hard to be on a tight schedule. I somewhat jokingly say that I don’t know how I made it through college. “These technologies are great for the young kids. You have a chance at being healthier than ever before. And that’s what it’s all about.” Dowell redshirted in 2020-21 and played in four events as a redshirt freshman in 2021-22, including a tie for seventh at the Colonial Collegiate. Last year he played in five events while trying to crack the lineup on the deep and talented Sooners roster, shooting four rounds in the 60s. He has a 10-0-1 record in match play and this fall tied for 28th while helping the Sooners finish second at the Husky Invitational at Bremerton, Washington. “He’s become a great putter and his ball striking keeps getting better and better,” Hybl said. “He has the belief in himself and the work he’s put in. Also I can’t speak highly enough about he deals with his health. He loves working out and is in arguably as good a shape as anyone on the team. I don’t even know what’s going on most of the time (regarding his diabetes) because he and his team are monitoring everything.” Hybl has taken Dowell to postseason events as a potential sub even when he hasn’t made the starting lineup. “I’ve been right on the edge the last two years but this is a deep team with nine or 10 guys who are pretty much interchangeable,” Dowell said. “Going to those postseason events is cool to get the experience but it’s also been torture when you know you’re not going to tee it up. But I’ve learned a lot over my three years here and I think I’m hitting the ball as well now as I ever have.” Dowell is excited about the opportunity to share his story with other young athletes as part of the Dexcom U program. “The biggest thing is telling our stories as college athletes,” he said. “It could be social media posts, zoom interviews, just spreading the word and showing the next generation that you can take control of your diabetes and live a good life.” W W W.GOLFOKL AHOMA.ORG

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New hall to honor prep coaches by murray evans


tarting any Hall of Fame from scratch is a daunting task, as Tanner Dupree learned while trying to organize one for the Oklahoma Golf Coaches Association. But with the initial flurry of hard work almost finished, Dupree believes the OKGCA now has a strong vehicle through which coaches who have worked to build the game at the high school level can be recognized for their contributions. The initial class of six – Eddie Cox of Duncan, Jeff Doherty of Edmond North, Ken Posey of El Reno, Bill Roller of Jenks, Steve Ross of Ardmore and the late Ralph Wilson of Cushing – will be formally inducted on Oct. 13 during a ceremony at The Golf Club of Edmond. “There are so many guys that have greatly positively affected this game in Oklahoma,” said Dupree, the boys and girls coach at Durant High School. “We talk about growing the game. The Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame is a big deal and it’s something I have paid attention to. We wanted to put something like that


together, to where these coaches who are deserving are being remembered by the coaches’ association.” Dupree first pitched the concept of an OKGCA Hall of Fame about four years ago, and “while everybody loved the idea, nobody jumped into creating the product,” he said. So last year, he decided to plunge in and began researching ideas for building a new Hall of Fame. Dupree, the current president of the OKGCA, worked with six other members of the Hall of Fame board to develop criteria for induction and a rubric for them to consider potential nominees. “It just took somebody putting the document together in the format of how we were going to do it,” he said. One roadblock to the committee’s work is the lack of consistent record-keeping in high school golf, which in Oklahoma dates back to at least 1931, when Ponca City’s boys and Oklahoma City Central’s girls won the first state tournaments. Fortunately, former Edmond North and Oklahoma State and current Baylor coach Mike McGraw – himself a golf historian – had compiled what Dupree


said is “the only known list” of the winners of every Oklahoma prep state tournament and the coaches of those teams. Having access to that information allowed Dupree and the OKGCA committee to follow leads and research background on potential Hall of Fame candidates of which they otherwise may not have been aware – folks like Posey, who spent a half-century as a head coach and won a state title in 1987 at El Reno. Dupree said he also learned he has a connection to Wilson, who coached in the 2002 Oklahoma Coaches Association AllState competition in which Dupree played. After the initial class is inducted, Dupree said plans call for the OKGCA to add three or four inductees per year – likely three coaches of more recent vintage and a ”legacy” coach whose career began before 1980. Nominations can be made on the OKGCA website. For the first go-round, Dupree said 13 nominations were received. “We had a very strong pool to choose from,” he said. “I think we chose six deserving and strong candidates. I think it’s a class of well-respected men who have left strong footprints on high school golf in Oklahoma.” For now, the Hall of Fame will be hosted virtually on the OKGCA website, but Dupree said the organization is looking for a physical location at which plaques, photos and other information about the inductees can be displayed. Here is some information about each member of the inaugural class: EDDIE COX Cox, a 1969 Duncan High School graduate, has been associated with Duncan athletics for decades, since he was playing basketball and running track. In 1984, he was named as the Demons’ boys golf coach, a position he held for 30 years until 2013. Cox won more than half of the regional championship tournaments in which Duncan competed (17 titles altogether) and his teams finished either first or second nine times in the state tournament, capturing titles in 1991 and 1996. Cox also was instrumental in the organization and founding of the Oklahoma Golf Coaches Association, holding the organization’s first meeting at Duncan Country Club. He helped golf become an established sport at the summer All-State Games and coached the West team in 1991. Cox also is a member of the Duncan Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 2011.




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2023 OKGCA HALL OF FAME JEFF DOHERTY Doherty started making his mark as a golf coach in Midwest City in the mid1990s, leading the Bombers’ girls team to a pair of state runner-up finishes. After taking the job as the boys coach at Edmond North, Doherty started to see success almost immediately with the Huskies. During his 21 seasons at the helm, his teams established one of the top dynasties in state history. Some of the numbers are staggering – 15 regional championships, 12 state championships (including 10 in a row) and more than 150 career tournament victories. Doherty was named as the National Federation of State High School Association Coaches Association coach of the year in 2011 and has won the Oklahoma state coach-of-the-year honor on numerous occasions. KEN POSEY Posey has been around high school golf in Oklahoma for a long time with more than 50 years of head-coaching experience in the sport. Known for his humility and integrity, he has led El


School. At Ardmore, he developed one of the most formidable dynasties in state history, winning nine state championships and finishing as the runner-up twice. The Tigers’ boys team won more than 100 tournaments playing against the state’s top fields. Ross has earned numerous state and BILL ROLLER Since 1976, Roller has regional coach-of-the-year honors. In 2011, spent more than 45 com- he was a finalist for the NHSCA coach-ofbined seasons coaching the-year award. In 2023, Ross won his 10th boys and girls golf in state title while coaching at Plainview. the Tulsa area, serving RALPH WILSON at different times as the A former Oklahoma coach at Webster, Jenks and Regent Prep. State football player, Under his guidance, those schools have finWilson coached both ished on the podium 25 times, winning 15 boys and girls golf (in state championships and finishing as the addition to football and runner-up six times. The National High wrestling) at Cushing, School Coaches Association named Roller as its 2004 national boys golf coach of the winning 17 regional titles and four state year and in 2007, the National Federation championships with the boys and eight of State High School Associations honored regional titles and five state titles with the girls. During Wilson’s tenure, Cushing prohim as its state coach of the year. duced 24 All-State golfers. He was named as Oklahoma’s boys golf coach of the year STEVE ROSS Ross coached golf at in 1991 and won the state’s girls coaching Ardmore High School honor in 1995. Wilson was one of the first from 1994 to 2022 be- All-State golf coaches in 1989 and was infore moving across ducted into the Cushing High School Athtown to Plainview High letic Hall of Fame in 2017. Reno’s boys into 25 state tournaments, with the Indians winning the Class 4A state title in 1987 while his son, Lance, earned medalist honors. He has served as a mentor to many coaches throughout Oklahoma.







Patriot reopens, Karsten Creek renovation begins by ken macleod


he Patriot Golf Club in Owasso reopened Sept. 23 after a $4.4-million renovation that improved drainage, extended cart paths, rebuilt all 53 bunkers and perhaps most dramatically rebuilt the banks and bottoms of a creek that runs throughout the property. The zoysia grass fairways were extended to the edges of the creeks. Native rocks were used in the streams to provide greater visibility and eliminate undergrowth. In other words, golfers who hit balls in the stream can hopefully walk up and pluck them out without any searching, greatly improving the pace of play. “The playability will be much faster,” said Patriot General Manager Ali Sezgin. “We’ve also added seven new forward tees that will help with that as well.” The project was done by a collaborative effort between Tulsa construction firms and golf course builders Jonesplan and United Golf, allowing for an accelerated


pace that limited down time. The front nine closed May 15, the back nine on July 4 and the entire course reopened Sept. 23 for an eager membership that has grown considerably, buoyed by the tremendous success of the surrounding housing and amenities in Stonebridge Village. “This renovation takes us to a new level,” Sezgin said. “Hopefully our members and staff will be proud and want to bring more people here to see what we’ve done.” KARSTEN CREEK GOLF CLUB Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater closed in October for a massive renovation that will include all new greens, fairway grasses, irrigation, several new holes and expanded practice facilities. The architect for the renovation is Andrew Green, who has drawn raves for his renovations of Inverness, Congressional and Oak Hill, site of the 2023 PGA Championship, among other venues. The existing zoysia fairways and Bermuda roughs were sprayed out in July al-


The rebuilt creeks with zoysia collars. though golfers continued to play until the fall. The new fairways and roughs will use Tahoma 31 Bermuda, developed by turf grass researchers at OSU. Having one grass in fairways and roughs will allow the course to widen or tighten fairways depending on need for various tournaments. The greens will remain bent grass and the renovation will include new contours


Golf Course and going around the state to practice at venues such as Oak Tree National, Southern Hills Country Club and other courses where they have been invited in the past but seldom had time to take advantage. Mike Holder, OSU Athletics Director Emeritus, who did the Construction by the 18th tee box at Karsten Creek, photo fund raising when the courtesy Cowboy Golf Facebook page. course was built as the and the installation of a hydronics system Cowboys’ golf coach, is taking the lead in to regulate green temperatures similar that endeavor for this project as well. Karsten Creek has been the site of three to what was installed at Southern Hills Country Club in its 2018 renovation. When NCAA Championships and numerous complete, the course will be lengthened to other tournaments. The most recent was nearly 8,000 yards from its current 7,407, the 2018 NCAA Championship won by giving a test to the modern collegiate play- the OSU team featuring Viktor Hovland, ers and the prodigious distances they rou- Matthew Wolff, Austin Eckroat, Kris Ventinely hit the ball. Karsten Creek, which tura, Sam Stevens and Zach Bauchou, all of opened in 1994, will also change its name whom are now playing professional golf at various levels. Hovland, who still resides in to Karsten Golf Club upon reopening. The course will be closed for at least a Stillwater, has gone to become one of the year. The OSU teams will make Stillwater top five players in the world. Many more details of the project will be Country Club their new base while the course is closed, while also using Lakeside announced later.







Release your potential M

change is that the correct hand/arm action ore than any with stable wrists and forearm rotation. Fixing release is likely the hardest feels ‘weak’, as it puts the trail arm in a pasother aspect of the golf change for a golfer to make, but will im- sive position. The urge to push the club swing, the quality of a pact and flight more than any other change. through with the right arm is a strong one golfer’s release will deter- The good news is that you don’t have to and the longer someone has been doing mine the ceiling of their do it perfectly to start seeing better results. that, the harder the change will be to make. As with any change in golf, if you can’t Incremental improvement will provide inscoring ability. Pat McTigue make the change in a small The main swing, you won’t in a full swing. issue in developing a proper reProper hand action is paramount lease is that it is counter intuitive. in the short game, so start there. If left to instinct, a golfer will flip The ‘Punisher’ is a go-to method the right wrist at impact (lefties, to improve release. Start with you know what to do), throwing short pitches and work into lonthe clubhead forward, resulting ger shots (https://www.youtube. in the right palm facing up into com/watch?v=KWNyvfe-AD8). the follow through. This results This drill will force you to keep in a loss of forward shaft lean proper bends in the wrist, and through the strike, resulting in also promote proper hip rotapoor low point control, open tion. clubface, less than solid contact Similarly, but putting focus and abnormally high ball flight. 100 percent on the right hand is If trained correctly, the golfer’s the ‘Right Hand Only’ drill right palm should be facing the This right-hand only drill helps ingrain a proper release (https://www.youtube.com/ ground through impact, trapping watch?v=4RcOpkPFtfM ). In this second the ball with the clubhead. Put another way, crementally better ball striking. One of the major obstacles to positive drill, watch the student on the left’s rightdon’t release the club with the wrists, rather hand position at impact, and you’ll see his right palm facing up, while the instructor’s swing at impact has the right palm facing toward the ground. That ensures proper forward shaft lean through impact. Ball flight will be lower and spin rate much higher when done correctly. I’ve had some success with ‘flippers’ by suggesting a student ‘wipe the table’ with the right hand through impact. Imagine a table at hand height, make a swinging motion turning the right palm toward the ground through impact. The right, or trail hand, is almost always the culprit with a poor release, so focus your efforts on getting it to behave correctly. Don’t worry about how awkward it feels, and it will feel horrible. That’s how you know you’re making a change, and don’t hesitate to exaggerate the change at first. Most, if not all major swing faults trace back to a poor release. It’s why so many golfers come ‘over the top’ as a compensation. The way I see it, if the hands and arms are working correctly, other swing problems often go away naturally or are minimized. Commit to improving your hand and arm action, and ball striking will get better. Pat McTigue, PGA MeadowBrook CC Head Professional 28



R E SU LTS : More at w w w.gol fok la homa.org OKLAHOMA OPEN AT OAK TREE CC (EAST), EDMOND (PAR-70) AUG. 24-26 1, Blaine Hale 64-66-64 – 194 ($10,750); 2, Max McGreevy 65-65-65 – 195 ($6,800); 3, Brian Dwyer 62-70-64 – 196 ($4,200); 4, a-Preston Richardson 66-64-67 – 197 ($1,000); 5, Tyler Collet 65-68-65 – 198 ($2,800); 6 (tie), Carson Griggs 69-65-65 – 199 and Rob Hudson 69-6664 – 199 ($2,250); 8 (tie), Jonathan Brightwell 70-66-64 – 200 and Zach James 66-65-69 – 200 ($1,700), and a-Parker Sands 72-59-69 – 200; 11 (tie), Austin Eckroat 66-67-68 – 201, Trey Winstead 65-68-68 – 201 James Ross 65-66-70 – 201, Philip Barbaree 64-69-68 – 201 and Preston Stanley 65-68-68 – 201 ($1,350); 16, Matt Echelmeier 73-63-66 – 202 ($1,200). OJGT LAKE HEFNER FALL ROUNDUP AT LAKE HEFNER GC (NORTH), OKLA. CITY (PAR-72)SEPT, 30-OCT. 1 BOYS 1, Cameron Cheek 65-66 – 131; 2, Coltrane Mittag 67-67 – 134; 3 (tie), Parker Sands 68-68 – 136 and Mason Haley 68-68 – 136; 5, Chase Hughes 71-66 – 137; 6 (tie), Colt Farrow 71-67 – 138 and Parker Payne 70-68 – 138; 8 (tie), Will Hennessee 72-67 – 139 and Collin Bond 70-69 – 139; 10, Blake Berry 72-69 – 141; 11 (tie), Cooper Watson 76-66 – 142 and Carter Ray 71-71 – 142; 13 (tie), Ben Lathrop 74-69 – 143 and Nick Friedrichsen 74-69 – 143; 15, Kaden Leivian 71-73 – 144. GIRLS 1, Natalie Blonien 70-70 – 140; 2, Emerie Schartz 75-66 – 141; 3 (tie), Rylie Roberts 6973 – 142 and Jaci Hartman 71-71 – 142; 5, Avery Schartz 72-72 – 144; 6, Allie Justiz 77-69 – 146; 7, Syrah Javed 77-71 – 148; 8 (tie), Meredith Colby 76-73 – 149, Harlow Gregory 76-73 – 149 and Josey Cavitt 77-72 – 149; 11, Megan Kalapura 7773 – 150; 12, Reagan Plank 74-78 – 152; 13 (tie), Cara Cummins 76-77 – 153 and McKenna Tatum 77-76 – 153; 15, Layne Ailshie 79-78 – 157.


FIRELAKE JUNIOR CLASSIC AT FIRELAKE GC, SHAWNEE (PAR-70) SEPT. 23-24 BOYS 1, Sam Morris 67-71 – 138; 2, Hunter Baumann 71-68 – 139; 3, Parker Payne 71-69 – 140; 4, Cameron Cheek 72-69 – 141; 5 (tie), Mason Haley 74-68 – 142 and Jackson Magness 73-69 – 142; 7 (tie), Ryan McClanahan 76-67 – 143 and Coleman Sides 76-67 – 143; 9 (tie), Samuel Bonaobra 71-73 – 144 and Ty Hyatt 71-73 – 144; 11 (tie), Jack Lee 75-70 – 145 and Ben Lathrop 76-69 – 145. GIRLS 1, Syrah Javed 72-74 – 146; 2 (tie), Elle Daniels 78-74 – 152 and Megan Kalapura 76-76 – 152; 4, McKenna Tatum 79-75 – 154; 5, Amy Reavis 84-74 – 158; 6 (tie), Lana Bowen 81-80 – 161 and Layne Ailshie 80-81—161; 8 (tie), Maggie Ruby 84-80 – 164, Lauren Dage 81-83 – 164 and Meredith Reid 84-80 – 164. BEAST OF THE EAST CLASSIC AT LINCOLN PARK (EAST), OKLA. CITY (PAR-70) SEPT. 16-17 BOYS 1, Collin Bond 65-66 – 131; 2, Emerson Majma 62-70 – 132; 3, Sam Morris 65-68 – 133; 4 (tie), Samuel Bonaobra 69-65 – 134 and Logan Mayo 68-66 – 134; 6 (tie), Carter Ray 72-64 – 136, Colt Farrow 68-68 – 136 and Harry Satterlee 67-69 – 136; 9 (tie), Coleman Sides 71-66 – 137 and Sebastian Salazar 68-689 – 137. GIRLS 1, Avery Schartz 63-72 – 135; 2, Allie Justiz 67-69 – 136; 3 (tie), Josey Cavitt 71-72 – 143 and McKenna Tatum 75-68 – 143; 5, Jaci Hartman 70-74 – 144; 6, Natalie Blonien 74-72 – 146; 7 (tie), Megan Kalapura 72-75 – 147 and Syrah Javed 74-73 – 147; 9 (tie), Peyton Coburn 75-73 – 148 and Rylee Roberts 73-75 – 148. BAILEY RANCH BASH AT BAILEY RANCH GC, OWASSO (PAR-72) SEPT. 9-10 BOYS

1, Grant Gudgel 70-63 – 133; 2, Cameron Cheek 72-69 – 141; 3 (tie), Samuel Bonaobra 72-70 – 142, Jack Randall 73-69 – 142 and Nick Nickloy 75-67 – 142; 6 (tie), Collin Bond 74-71 – 145 and Jacob Newsom 72-73 – 145; 8, Carson Scrymgeour 6977 – 146; 9 (tie), Nick Friedrichsen 74-73 – 147, Ty Hyatt 72-75 – 147 and Ian WIlcoxen 71-76 – 147. GIRLS 1, Syrah Javed 71-76 – 147; 2 (tie), Megan Kalapura 80-78 – 158 and Riley Rinner 79-79 – 158; 4, Peyton Coburn 80-79 – 159; 5, Elle Daniels 79-81 – 160; 6 (tie), Sophia Lefler 86-75 – 161 and Reagan Plank 80-81 – 161; 8, Lily Reid 83-80 – 163; 9, Nikki Pitts 85-81 – 166; 10, Maggie Ruby 90-80 – 170. TALOR GOOCH JOHN CONRAD FALL CLASSIC AT JOHN CONRAD GC. MIDWEST CITY (PAR-72) SEPT. 2-3 BOYS 1, Collin Bond 70-63 – 133; 2 (tie), Will Hennessee 66-68 – 134 and Preston Albee 67-67 -- 134; 4 (tie), Chase Hughes 70-65 – 135 and Carter Ray 70-65 – 135; 6, Emerson Majma 64-72 – 136; 7 (tie), Benton Manly 71-66 –137 and Parker Payne 66-71 – 137. GIRLS 1, Natalie Blonien 72-72 – 144; 2, Rylee Roberts 7472 – 146; 3, Peyton Coburn 77-70 – 147; 4, Josey Cavitt 78-70 – 148; 5, Jaci Hartman 76-73 – 149; 6, Kylie Fisher 71-81 – 152; 7 (tie), Megan Kalapura 80-73 – 153 and Harlow Gregory 77-76 – 153. WOGA CUP AT FOREST RIDGE GC, BROKEN ARROW SEPT. 18-19 FOUR-BALL MATCH PLAY AND FOURSOMES MATCH PLAY Modified Ryder Cup format 1, Shangri-La (Carol Cable, Liz Paden, Susie Kraft, Vicki Graper) 45; 2, Broken Arrow G&AC (Carol Bowles, Janet Miller, Pam Boyd, Dixie Reed) 42.5; 3 (tie), Owasso G7AC (Janet Murnan. Karen Ford, Patti Shaffer, Teresa DeLarzelere) and Lake Hefner GC (Fran Derrick, Lori Garison, Lorie Harned, Rebecca Morse) 39; 5, Belmar GC (Jennifer Aleman, Kim Bell, Naomi Zyonse, Sharon Chaffin) 38.5.



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