Sunday, April 29, 2007

TPC Las Colinas Greens a Disgrace

Is there anyone who watched the Byron Nelson Championship this week without noticing the condition of the greens and thinking to themselves, "Gee, that looks like my local muny"? I doubt it. Some of the greens, including No. 18, had huge, dead brown patches on them, and some that didn't make TV were apparently even worse.

I don't know what the problem was, but if I owned that resort, the Directory of Agronomy would have to convince me that no superintendent could have had the greens in better condition or he'd be looking for a new job.

The players were no too happy about it, many of them saying these were worst greens they'd play on all year. (Why did this have to happen to a Texas course? Texas golf is already picked upon enough.)

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

A sampling of feedback:

Rich Beem

On the greens: "We're in the heart of Texas, and you can do something for greens. Thankfully, it's only one week, and they won't show some of the ones that are really bad on TV."

1-5 scale (5 being the worst): 5. "They didn't even register on Monday."

Tripp Isenhour

On the greens: "I played Wednesday before the pro-am and thought they'd be a disaster. They've done a great job getting it back. I only had about two or three bouncy [putts]."

1-5 scale: 3 1/2 . "A little below average. They get a very-improved award."

Craig Bowden

On the greens: "Compared to what we're used to, they're below average, but we're spoiled."

1-5 scale: 3.

Bill Haas

On the greens: "The 15-footers are easier to make than the 4-footers. You've got to hit 'em easy, or they'll bump off. This course already tests your patience, but even more with greens like this."

1-5 scale: 3.

Richard S. Johnson

On the greens: "I think they're better than they were last year. They look worse, but I think they're smoother."

1-5 scale: 4. "They're not good, but not as bad as they look on TV."

Billy Andrade

On the greens: "They're going to blow the place up on Monday and spend several million. What's the point of spending a couple million to fix it for one year?"

1-5 scale: 4.

Corey Pavin

On the greens: "I could give you the standard line, 'We all play the same greens,' but they're not good. By tour standards, it's unfortunate."

1-5 scale: "I'm not going to give you a number."

Phil Mickelson

On the greens: Uh, they're fine. They're fine.

1-5 scale: "I don't know. The hole locations are making accommodations, putting them in the best parts of the green."

Brett Wetterich (defending champion)

On the greens: "There's a few bad spots, but the putts I had, I didn't have any problem with it."

1-5 scale: "I stay away from questions like that."

Billy Mayfair

On the greens: "It's too bad. Normally the course here is in such great shape. We had 108, 110 [degree] heat index hear last year. Now we're in jackets. When the tour switches [the schedule] around, we're going to run into this. Tournaments aren't ready to have it a month early sometimes. You've got to blame this on the tour."

1-5 scale: [No number given] "They're the worst we'll putt on all year."

Futures Tour Tourney Might Leave McAllen in '08

The Duramed Futures Jalapeno Golf Classic wraps up today (Sunday), and this might its final year in McAllen.

The City of McAllen kicks in $50,000 a year to fund the tournament, which is run by the McAllen Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. It takes $130,000 total per year to run the tourney, with nearly all the remaining operating expenses comes via corporate sponsorships.

Cynthia Sakulenzki, president of the Hispanic Chamber, says it's unlikely the tournament can continue in McAllen without at least some subsidy from the city. So she's been talking to other cities in the Rio Grande Valley:

"We’ve been talking to some other cities, and after we meet the decision-making persons in each community and talk about what they have to offer, we will make our decision,” said Cynthia Sakulenzki, president of the McAllen Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the annual women’s golf tournament.

“We would like to stay in McAllen. But wherever we go, our main concern is bringing in a professional sporting event where the Rio Grande Valley is highlighted.”

Weslaco’s Tierra Santa golf course, Edinburg’s Los Lagos golf course, Pharr’s Tierra Del Sol golf course and Cimarron Country Club were all listed by Sakulenzki as potential venues for next year’s event. She said officials from the three cities and the country club had called her to discuss the requirements for hosting the tournament.

So the good news for Valley golf fans is that there appears a good chance the tournament will remain someone in the Valley. And Futures Tour president Zayra Calderon sounds as if that's what she's hoping for, too:

"Most all of our tournaments are supported by the cities, whether it’s in Lakeland (Fla.) or Bloomfield (Conn.),” Calderon said.

“I love McAllen and the players love McAllen. They felt such hospitality ever since the first year, and the golf course is in great shape.”
For its part, the City of McAllen says its subsidy was never meant to be open-ended, and besides, there are more important things to spend money on:

When McAllen agreed to support the tournament in 2005, the intention was that within three years it would find a corporate sponsor to pick up the city’s share, said McAllen Mayor Richard Cortez. A regular attendee at the golf tournament the last two years, Cortez said he nevertheless supported the City Commission’s decision.

“We’re supportive of the golf tournament, but we just have so many things we need to do. We have to spread out our resources as efficiently as possible,” he said. “I would prefer to have it in McAllen, but I wouldn’t be disappointed if it went to Los Lagos. Edinburg is a sister city of ours, and we want them to do well, too.”

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tight Lies Tour Founder Launches New Tour

As we wrote a few days ago, the Tight Lies Tour - since 2006 a subsidiary of the U.S. Pro Golf Tour - suspended operations earlier this month when the USPGT's parent company announced it was out of funding. Three days before that happened, Gary DeSerrano, the founder of the Tight Lies Tour, had quit his post as president of the USPGT. And when the suspension of the 2007 schedule was announced, DeSerrano also announced his intention to form a new tour to replace the Tight Lies Tour.

And he's already done it. The Adams Golf Pro Tour Series is up and running. It already has a Web site and a schedule of tournaments. It is essentially replacing previously scheduled USPGT/Tight Lies Tour tournaments in Texas and the Southwest with new tournaments under the flag of the Adams Tour.

The new tour had to take its new name, presumably, because the USPGT now owns the "Tight Lies Tour" brand. But the new tour makes it unlikely that brand will be used again, at least in this part of the country.

The first tournament on the Adams Golf Pro Tour Series schedule is May 10-12 at Hillcrest Country Club in Lubbock. Here are the Texas tournaments scheduled so far:

  • May 10-12: WPS Lubbock Open, Hillcrest Country Club, Lubbock

  • July 19-21: Rising Star Open by Century Bank, Texarkana Golf Ranch, Texarkana

  • Aug. 9-11: skinny's/FINA Abilene Open, Fairway Oaks Country Club, Abilene

There are 13 tournaments total on the schedule, as of this writing, with other events in New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Mississippi.

Check the AGPTS Web site for more details.

Q&A with "King of Aces"

I posted a few days about the 51st ace of Mancil Davis' career. Davis is a native Texas known as the "King of Aces" because he is the professional world record-holder.

He's also sort of a "Zelig" of Texas golf, I've discovered. Because over at Waggle Room, my colleague Mulligan Stu has conducted an interview with Davis that is very fun reading. Davis talks about drinking tequila with Willie Nelson, caddying for Tom Weiskopf and Hale Irwin, working for Doug Sanders, and one ace that hit a tree and then bounced off a sprinkler head before going into the hole!

Check it out.

STPGA Srixon Spring Classic

Boerne resident Tim Hobby - the teaching professional at San Antonio's Sonterra Country Club - was the runaway winner of the Southern Texas PGA Srixon Spring Classic, recently played at Kerrville's Comanche Trace. Here is the report from the STPGA:

Tim Hobby of Boerne entered the second and final round of the 2007 Southern Texas PGA Srixon Spring Classic at The Club at Comance Trace in Kerrville with a
six-stroke lead. He ended up winning by eight strokes.

Hobby opened the tournament with a score of 30 for his first nine and finished the first round at 7-under-par 65. A second round score of 69 gave him a 36-hole total of 10-under-par 134 and a $2,500 check for first place.

Defending champion Tim Thelen of College Station, to whom Hobby lost in a playoff at the 2006 Srixon Spring Classic, finished in a second-place tie with Robert Thompson of Huntsville at 2-under-par 142, good for $1,525 in earnings each.

Victoria’s Joe Mitchell posted a 143 total for a solo fourth-place finish and a $1,000 check.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Play Golf America Schedule in Dallas

A Play Golf America Day is scheduled for this weekend in the Dallas area. On Saturday, Sherrill Park Golf Course in Richardson hosts the daylong event, which is free to the public, and includes free lessons and clinics, product demos, and a performance by long-drive pro Mike Moulton.

Here's the schedule of clinics and exhibitions:

  • 10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. - Putting Clinic
  • 10:50 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. - Golf Swing Basics
  • 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. - Long Drive Exhibition
  • 12:25 p.m. to 12:55 p.m. - Chipping Clinic
  • 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. - Long Drive Exhibition
  • 1:50 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. - Putting Clinic
  • 2:25 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. - Golf Swing Basics

Monday, April 23, 2007

Byron Nelson Monday Qualifiers

The four golfers who qualified to play in this week's EDS Byron Nelson Championship via open qualifying (better known as the Monday qualifier):

Tag Ridings, Roanoke, 33-31--64
Scott Abbott, Dallas, 31-33--64
Michael Allen, Scottsdale, 32-33--65
Colt Knost (a), Dallas, 32-33--65

The qualifier was played at Timarron Country Club in Southlake.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Most Stars Skipping the Nelson

As I predicted last year following the death of Byron Nelson, many of golf's biggest names are skipping the Byron Nelson Classic now that its namesake is no longer around. I was just off a little in the timing, writing, "I don't expect Woods, Els, Singh and other top players to start skipping the event immediately. They'll want to show up in 2007 to honor Byron Nelson."

But as the Dallas Morning News reports, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Ernie Els, Adam Scott, Retief Goosen and Geoff Ogilvy are among the big names dropping the Nelson from their schedules.

And DMN columnist Bill Nichols is in high dudgeon about it:

In the first Nelson tournament without its namesake, Woods is a no-show. So are some other big names.

Players have known for months about the tributes planned for next week's tournament. The Salesmanship Club and EDS were determined to make this a special event in honor of a special person. And it will be.

But a show of support from today's top players would have been a fitting tribute to the game's greatest ambassador. Instead, the text-messaging generation turned its back on a legend who penned handwritten notes to them.

The absence of world-ranked players like Woods, No. 2 Jim Furyk, No. 3 Adam Scott, No. 5 Ernie Els, No. 8 Retief Goosen and No. 9 Geoff Ogilvy is sad. And disrespectful.


Most players were overseas when Nelson died last September and were unable to attend the funeral. You might expect them to play this week out of respect.

Instead, Woods, who has played all of five tournaments in four months, canceled his hotel reservation. Furyk, who accompanied Tom Lehman to Nelson's Roanoke Ranch for dinner last year, called to say he had a scheduling conflict. At least he called.

When Goosen arrived for his first appearance in 2005, Nelson showed his appreciation by going with wife Peggy and a driver to the airport. Nobody needs to pick up Goosen next week.

Adam Scott, a crowd favorite, tied for third in his only appearance last year. He's not playing. Neither is last year's runner-up, Trevor Immelman, No. 13 in the world rankings. Most players return to places they play well.

Last year's poor course condition has something to do with it. Those who aren't here will find a way to fit the next two events – the Wachovia Championship and The Players Championship – into their schedules.

But play three golf tournaments in a row? Goodness, somebody could get a blister.

Tight Lies Tour Suspends Operations

Or, more accurately, Greens Worldwide Inc. has suspended operations of the U.S. Pro Golf Tour (USPGT), the California Players Tour and the Tight Lies Tour.

That old Tight Lies Tour logo - from the days prior to the tour's purchase by Greens Worldwide, as part of that company's grand plans to turn the USPGT into a major force in golf - is kind of sad to see. For years, the Texas-based Tight Lies Tour, with sponsorship by Plano-based Adams Golf (the tour's name derives from the Adams Tight Lies brand of clubs), thrived with a schedule of 20 or so tournaments a year played mostly in Texas.

Event purses were in the neighborhood of $100,000 per tournament - pretty darn good by mini-tour and regional tour standards of the time. And many young golfers who later played their way onto the PGA Tour spent time honing their games on the Tight Lies Tour; players such as Tim Herron, Mark Hensby, Ryan Palmer, J.L Lewis , Wes Short , Harrison Frazar, Tag Ridings, Kris Cox, Eric Axley and Jimmy Walker.

The Tight Lies Tour was operated by a company called Texas Sports Group, whose president was Gary DeSerrano.

I believe it was in 2005 that Greens Worldwide purchased the U.S. Pro Golf Tour, which at that time was about on the same level as, say, the Gateway Tour. Not quite to the level of the Hooters Tour in terms of importance and recognition among golfers and fans. But Greens Worldwide set about to change that.

They started by purchasing the Tight Lies Tour and California Players Tour with the idea of setting them up as regional tours of the USPGT, tours that would feed into the higher-level USPGT. They forged an agreement with Donald Trump to sponsor a very lucrative quartet of USPGT tournaments called the "Trump Championships," all of which would have purses of more than $1 million and one of which would offer a $5 million purse. Figures that top Nationwide Tour purchases.

All of this happened very fast. Too fast. Trump - no fool - quickly sniffed out problems and severed ties with the USPGT. The Trump Championships concept was dead.

Things kept going downhill for Greens Worldwide and the USPGT, which had to announce scaled back plans for 2007. Various company officials resigned along the way.

And then, on April 10, Gary DeSerrano - the former Tight Lies president - resigned his position as president of the USPGT. And a few days later Greens Worldwide announced a suspension of play on the USPGT, Tight Lies and California Players tours.

Golfweek reported recently:

The U.S. Pro Golf Tour, Tight Lies Series and California Series "are insolvent" and will not resume play until financing is secured, according to Bill Conwell, CEO and president of Greens Worldwide Inc., the parent company that owns the three mini-tours.

"We do not have the necessary cash resources to operate tournaments, honor our player refund obligations, or pay our other outstanding payables," said Conwell, in an announcement released by the company April 13.

Conwell also said Greens Worldwide's proposed merger with Beat The Bogeyman LLC and HyPerformance, Inc., has been terminated. The completion of that deal was contingent on USPGT receiving additional funding.

In another setback for the unraveling tour, its president Gary DeSerrano resigned on April 10, according to Conwell. Two days later Conwell sent an e-mail to its 353 members updating them on the state of the tour.

"We are insolvent and have no cash," he wrote. "Please allow us to work on securing the funding and getting a schedule in place."

But there may be a silver lining in this news for Texas. DeSerrano told Golfweek that he plans to form a new tour - again with help from Adams Golf.

We can only hope that the new tour gets off the ground quickly, and that it follows in the tradition of the Tight Lies Tour, bringing quality mini-tour golf to cities across Texas.

Zach Johnson's Teacher Joins Lakewood in Dallas

The new teaching professional at Lakewood Country Club in Dallas is the instructor of Masters champion Zach Johnson:

Pat O’Brien, one of America’s top golf teachers, is the new Teaching Professional at Lakewood Country Club in Dallas.

O’Brien’s best-known students are Ryder Cup teammates Zach Johnson and Vaughn Taylor, both of whom have won twice on the PGA Tour. Johnson won the Masters two weeks ago.

"Pat O’Brien means a lot to me as an instructor," said Johnson, "and even more as a friend."

O’Brien, 37, grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and attended the University of California at Santa Barbara. He first came to prominence as the Tour representative for the SeeMore Putter Company in 2000. He’s been teaching at The Practice Tee in Richardson, Texas since 2002.

"Pat’s knowledge of the game—particularly the short game—is extremely impressive," said Lakewood Head Professional Gilbert Freeman. "And he has the ability to communicate it, which is just as important.

"Plus he’s such a solid, likeable guy. We’re very happy to have him at Lakewood."

O’Brien lives in Plano with his wife Reagan and their young daughter, Carys.

Lakewood, founded in 1912, is one of the most historic clubs in Texas. It hosted the first Dallas Open in 1944 won by Byron Nelson, and has hosted the Texas Amateur twice and the Texas Mid-Am. Lakewood is also the home of the EDS Byron Nelson Junior Championship.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Another Hole-In-One for the "King of Aces"

Mancil Davis is a native Texan who has earned the monicker "King of Aces" because he makes so darn many of them. Fifty-one of them, to be exact.

You read that right: Davis has made a world-record 51 holes-in-one in his golf career (he also holes the world record with 10 double-eagles).

No. 51 recently came at The Woodlands Country Club, where he once served as directory of golf. Here's the press release:

Mancil Davis, perhaps better known as the "King of Aces" for his PGA World Record 50 holes-in-one, has now added to the total, scoring his 51st career ace on Monday, April 16 at the Woodlands, Texas. Davis scored the record extending shot during a Celebrity Golf Event, on the 7th hole from a distance of 154 yards.

Davis, who appropriately enough serves as the Director of Golf Operations for the Dallas, Texas-based National Hole-In-One Association, first claimed the PGA record in 1982, when he surpassed the late Art Wall, who held the title with a total of 42 holes-in-one.

Mancil appears at corporate, charity, member-guest, or any special golf event. Corporate or charity guests enjoy a full day with the PGA's career hole-in-one leader (a total of 51) and will also have the chance to win fabulous prizes for scoring their own hole-in-one.

Davis' first ace came at age 11. He once aced 8 holes in one year, including three in a single week, and recorded at least one hole-in-one every year from 1967 through 1987. You can read more about Davis and his exploits on his Web site.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

"Junior Golf Jamborees" at Academy Sports

Academy Sports & Outdoors is the title sponsor of the Southern Texas PGA's Little Linksters and Junior Tour programs. Those programs tee off on June 4 this year, and registrations continue.

One way the STPGA is trying to introduce these programs to young golfers and their parents is through Academy Sports & Outdoors "Junior Golf Jamboree" days. On one day each, six Academy stores in six different STPGA regions will host a Junior Golf Jamboree.

These events will include a variety of activities ranging from instructional discussions and putting competitions to equipment presentations. There will also be info available to junior golfers and their parents about the STPGA Little Linksters and Junior Tour programs, along with the ability to register for those programs.

And all the young golfers in attendance will have the chance to win door prizes. Here is the schedule of Junior Golf Jamborees, along with the address of the Academy Sports & Outdoors store serving as host in each city:

San Antonio
April 21, 15350 I-35 North in Selma

Corpus Christi
April 22, 5001 South Padre Island Dr.

May 5, 21351 Gulf Freeway in Webster

Bryan/College Station
June 2, 2351 Earl Rudder Freeway South in College Station

June 2, 6250 Eastex Freeway

June 23, 5400 Brodie Lane, Suite 100, in Sunset Valley

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Nelson Ditching Cottonwood Course Next Year

And speaking of the Byron Nelson Classic, this via the Dallas Morning News (subscription required):

The EDS Byron Nelson Championship will drop its two-course format next year, returning exclusively to a remodeled TPC Four Seasons at Las Colinas, officials said.

Since 1995, players have used the TPC and its neighboring Cottonwood Valley layout the first two days. That was done primarily to speed play in case of rain.

Cottonwood was called into use as an emergency in 1994, when severe rains canceled play the first two days and both courses were used to complete 36 holes on Saturday. Since then, the tournament hasn't lost any rounds because of weather.

But highlighting the TPC's new design in coming years was the main reason tournament officials opted to change. Plus, PGA Tour players don't like using multiple courses.

Plano-based D.A. Weibring/Golf Resources Group will begin work on the TPC after the April 26-29 tournament.

New Awards Honor Memory of Nelson


IRVING, Texas -- Byron Nelson Championship officials have created two international award programs to honor the memory of the tournament's namesake.

The Salesmanship Club of Dallas announced Thursday the creation of the Byron Nelson Prize and the Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Awards.

The Byron Nelson Prize will be given to a person or organization in the golf world who exemplifies the ideals of "giving back" that Nelson personified. The first recipient will be announced at the opening ceremony of the tournament April 24 and will receive a $100,000 contribution to the charity of its choice.

The junior awards will carry on Nelson's legacy for encouraging young golfers. Junior golfers from around the world will be identified by an international panel and the finalists invited each year to the tournament.

"Our theme is 'Byron's Work for the Kids Continues' because it reflects the many facets of Byron's life and the beneficiaries of the EDS Byron Nelson Championship," said Mac Wesson, president of the Salesmanship Club.

Play Golf America Day in Dallas

Alert from the NTPGA:

Dallas, Texas – A fun-filled day of free golf activities will be held during the PGA Play Golf America Day at Sherrill Park Golf Course in Richardson, on Saturday, April 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. From free lessons and clinics to new product demonstrations from leading golf manufacturers, this will be a fun, interactive experience for men, women and children of all ages and skill levels.

Mike Moulton, Cobra Pinnacle Long Drive team member, will be performing during the day, and there will be a PGA logo gift for the first 500 in attendance. Admission is free to the general public.

Please call the Northern Texas PGA at (214) 420-7421 for additional information.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Cleveland Fitting Studio in Dallas

Interesting press release that came across the transom:

Huntington Beach, CA ... In conjunction with The Golf Performance Institute of Dallas, Cleveland Golf has announced a Dallas based fitting studio in support of its current line of golf clubs. The Golf Performance Institute of Dallas, powered by Cleveland Golf, will offer custom club fitting and use the same proprietary software used by Cleveland to fit their PGA Tour professionals.

The Studio uses a radar-based tracking device that measures more aspects of a golf shot than any other traditional launch monitor system. This Four (4) camera system and advanced proprietary software to provide extremely accurate information on the player, the club head, and the ball throughout the swing. This information is invaluable for the optimal fitting of golf clubs. The fitting process identifies which head and shaft combination maximizes distance, accuracy, and consistency for every type of golfer. All players will receive a written fitting profile for Cleveland Golf clubs.

Unlike all other Cleveland retailers, custom equipment will not have to be ordered. Pickup will be available usually the following day. Fittings are by appointment only. Grand opening is scheduled for late April.

GPI of Dallas Web site

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Futures Tour Begins Texas Swing

The Futures Tour will be in Texas three of the next four weeks, beginning this weeked in DFW with The Power of a Dream Futures Golf Classic at The Trails of Frisco.

There's a lot going on in women's golf these days, with many, many promising talents on the horizon. A Futures Tour tournament is great way to get up close to some of the LPGA players of tomorrow at events where you don't have to jostle your way through packed crowds to catch just a glimpse of a player.

Players at Frisco this week (the tournament is Friday-Sunday) include U.S. Amateur champ and 2-time Curtis Cupper Jane Park; former Duke All-American Liz Janangelo, who's won once already on the Futures Tour this year; "Big Break" golfers Ashley Prange, Rachel Bailey, Bridget Dwyer, Dana Lacey, Kristina Tucker, Bri Vega and Julie Wells; and former Texas high school and/or college standouts that some of you may remember well, such as Lauren Espinosa, Salimah Mussani and Adrienne Gatreaux.

Here's the schedule for the Texas swing:

Monday, April 09, 2007

Cowboys, Klingons and Golf

Wanted to pass along notice of the Lois Caldwell 4 Breast Cancer Awareness Celebrity Golf Extravaganza coming up this weekend in San Antonio, because it combines a couple of my favorites things: the glory days of the Dallas Cowboys; golf; and Mexican food from Las Palapas (better than Taco Cabana and if you disagree, well, fine, more for me).

Klingons? I don't really care about Klingons, because I'm not a nerd. But those who do care about Klingons seem to care deeply, so I'm throwing it in.

Here's the scoop:

Las Palapas Mexican Grill restaurants is the proud Presenting Sponsor of this charity golf tournament, set for April 16 at The Club at Sonterra. A golf shootout is set for April 15 at Canyon Springs Golf Club.

More than 60 celebrities from the world of pro sports and Hollywood are expected in San Antonio for this event, including Dallas Cowboys greats Robert Newhouse, Billy
Joe Dupree, Everson Walls and Michael Downs, NBA Hall of Famer and San Antonio Spurs favorite George Gervin, Kansas City Chiefs star pass rusher Art Still, and Gater Rivers of the Harlem Globetrotters. Also expected are actors Oliva Brown of the ’80s smash TV series “Miami Vice” and Susie Stillwell, whose diverse career includes stints as a Klingon warrior on various “Star Trek” TV series. NFL Hall of Famer Joe Namath also is expected to appear at a Sunday night gala.

The Lois Caldwell Foundation is a local non-profit organization that raises money for local cancer research and for a memorial to fallen firefighters and police officers in the San Antonio area.


Event registration is $150 per individual, $600 per team of four or $650 for team and tee box signage. The celebrity shootout is $125. Scramble teams will be comprised of four golfers and one celebrity. Participants and non-participants may also purchase tickets for a chance to win a 2007 Iron Horse Motor Cycle from Iron Horse of San Antonio. Raffle tickets are being sold for 1 for $ 50 or 3 for a $100.

For more information and to register, please contact Rodney Caldwell at210-683-0713, Ken Nickel at 210-508-1313 , Raymond Caldwell at 210-857-3077, or The Club at Sonterra at 210-491-9900.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Obit: Larry Trader

From the San Antonio Express-News:

The day Larry Trader and his fiancée, Linda, got married 27 years ago started out like any other. Everything changed when Trader and his buddies got to the seventh tee of the Pedernales Golf Club in Briarcliff near Austin.

"Like everything else, it was a serendipitous moment," Linda Trader said from her home on the seventh tee of the golf course. "Larry called me, said, 'The preacher's here, we're getting married. Come on over.'"

After the ring went on her finger, the golf game continued.

That's how it was at Pedernales Golf Club — also known as Willie Nelson's Cut-N-Putt — where Trader, often called the singer's "right-hand man, concert coordinator, golfing partner and promoter," was the general manager.

Trader was 78. Read the full article.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

NTPGA Junior Foundation Members Get Into Nelson, Colonial Free

What are the benefits to junior golfers who join the Northern Texas PGA Junior Golf Foundation? This year, members get in free to the PGA Tour's Byron Nelson Classic and Colonial tournaments.

There's also the tournament circuit, of course, among other opportunities. Membership packets will be available beginning April 13. Here's the news release from the NTPGA:

DALLAS, TX – The Northern Texas PGA Junior Golf Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2007 membership packets will be mailed to all members on April 13.

The Northern Texas PGA Junior Golf Foundation is open to all interested junior golfers ages 7-18, who are not currently in college. The Foundation conducts numerous junior golf tournaments throughout the year with the summer program, Ewing Automotive Junior Tour, being the most popular. The Foundation is separated into three general populated areas of the Northern Texas Section: East, Metro, and West. This allows for more playing opportunities for the members of the Foundation to play in various regional areas and tour levels based on performance and playing potential.

The East and West Texas regional areas feature the Ewing Automotive GMC Medalist Tour for members of the Foundation ages 7-18 with average-playing tournament experience consisting of 9 and 18-hole individual stroke play competitions. While the Metro regional area features more novice and advance opportunities with the Ewing Automotive Pontiac Instructional Tour, Ewing Automotive Buick Prep Tour, Ewing Automotive GMC Medalist Tour, and the Ewing Autohaus Mercedes-Benz Masters Tour.

The Metro Ewing Automotive Pontiac Instructional Tour is an opportunity for novice golfers ages 7-18 to play 3-hole and 5-hole rounds without the pressure of having to compete in a tournament format. The Ewing Automotive Buick Prep Tour is for those beginner golfers ages 7-18 with very little competition experience that seek to compete in 9-hole individual stroke play events. The Ewing Automotive GMC Medalist Tour is for members of the Foundation ages 12-18 with average-playing tournament experience 18-hole individual stroke play competitions, this level is similar to high school golf. The Ewing Autohaus Mercedes-Benz Masters Tour is for those members that are 12-18 years of age and have demonstrated a moderate to high level of tournament ability. The Masters Tour is the highest level of tournament competition that is available within the Foundation and serves as a way for players to earn playing exemptions into the Texas Legends Junior Tour.

A fee of $60.00 is required to become a member of the Northern Texas PGA Junior Golf Foundation. Benefits include access to the Foundation non-invitational events, including the Ewing Automotive Junior Tour, free admittance into the EDS Byron Nelson Championship and Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial (restrictions apply) and much more. Upon gaining membership, the Foundation member can gain access to over 240 junior tournaments in the northern section of the state of Texas. Additional minimal fees do apply for the individual junior tournaments depending on region and tour level.

Visit the NTPGA Junior Golf Foundation Web site for more info.

Bloggers' Masters Predictions

As you may know, I also post (about general golf topics, as opposed to Texas golf topics) at Waggle Room. The proprietor over there, one "Mulligan Stu" (what, is he copying me?), asked a bunch of golf bloggers for their Masters predictions, and I was included. Here's what I gave Waggle Room:

  • Winner: Retief Goosen
  • Runner-up: Vijay Singh
  • Dark horse: Chad Campbell. Gotta go with the Texan!

You can see the rest of the bloggers' picks here.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Roundup: Nelson Qualifying, Other Notes

Northern Texas PGA “Class A” qualifying for the EDS Byron Nelson Championship was held at Columbian Country Club in Carrollton, and two DFW pros made the grade. Cameron Doan, head golf professional at Preston Trail Golf Club in Dallas, shot 6-under 66 to win; Craig Pullen, director of golf at Stonebriar Country Club in Frisco, shot 67 for the runnerup spot. Doan and Pullen each qualified for the Nelson. The alternate is third-place Vince Jewell, assistant golf professional at Brook Hollow Golf Club in Dallas, who finished at 2-under.


  • A business in Houston has been trying for six years to get the City of Friendswood to approve its development plans for Friendswood Country Club and surrounding areas. The plans involve renovating the course and rerouting some of the holes, new home building and other commercial development. The city council is considering the latest proposal, but the city's planning and zoning commision has recommended against it.

  • Marti Longoria-Potts is the new manager at Corpus Christi's Oso Beach Municipal, the first female GM/head pro in the city's golf history. Longoria-Potts was a standout high school golfer in Corpus who played collegiately at Oklahoma and spent several years on the Futures Tour.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Good Weekend for Texas on Tours

What a weekend for Texas on the pro tours, the weekend just completed:

  • Great tournament at the Shell Houston Open. One of the biggest names in golf, Adam Scott, was the winner, beating another top-tier talent, Stuart Appleby, down the stretch. And the Tournament Course at Redstone won raves. NBC's Johnny Miller even said it was in better shape than Augusta.

  • Former University of Texas standout Omar Uresti only managed to finish the Nationwide Tour's Livermore Valley Wine Country Championship at even-par. But since nobody else was below par, Uresti was the winner.

  • Keith Fergus won the Champions Tour Ginn Championship, becoming just the second golfer to record wins on the PGA Tour, Nationwide Tour and Champions Tour. Fergus is a Temple native and former golf coach at the University of Houston.