Monday, July 30, 2007

Another TGA Mid-Am Title for Mathias

The Texas Golf Association's State Mid-Amateur Match Play Championship wrapped up Sunday in Houston, with Jonathan Macian claiming his second TGA Mid-Am in a year. Here's the report from the TGA:

Jon Mathias of San Antonio now holds both the TGA Mid-Am Match Play and TGA Mid-Amateur titles after defeating defending champion Alan Clark of Ennis in the finals of the 2007 Mid-Am Match Play Championship. Mathias won 3 & 1 at the Member’s Course of Redstone Golf Club in Humble. Even though Mathias and Clark had already played five rounds of competition (two rounds of stroke play qualifying and three matches) in four days, they still had plenty of energy to put on quite a battle, with some very good golf played by both finalists. Mathias had defeated Kent Wiese of Houston 2 & 1 in the morning semi-finals. Clark made the most of his title defense by getting to the finals, defeating Ron Kilby of McAllen by the same 2 & 1 margin in the semi-finials.

The final match was a back and forth battle most of the first nine holes and was all square at the turn. Mathias birdied #10 and stayed ahead the rest of the way. A Clark bogey on #13 and a Mathias birdie on #15 gave Mathias a 3-up lead with three to play. Clark made birdie on #16 to extend the match, then hit a tree with his approach shot on #17. His third shot went over the green and when his par chip slid past the hole he conceded the hole to Mathias for the 3 & 1 win.

"I kept a good attitude all week no matter how squirrelly things got with the weather and the conditions," Mathias said. The conditions were certainly a factor throughout the week as both rounds of stroke play qualifying on Thursday and Friday had weather delays, and just to keep the trend going the championship match was delayed some 25 minutes by a passing storm that dropped even more rain on an already saturated Redstone Golf Club.

Asked about holding both the Mid-Am Match Play and State Mid-Amateur titles at the same time Mathias simply responded: "That is really neat." Then with a grin he added, "Of course it would be nice to do it in the same year."

Mathias plans to defend his Mid-Amateur title in September at Miramont CC in Bryan . Right now he said his sights are set on a third straight TGA South Regional Player of the Year Award when he tees it up next Friday in the TGA South Region Mid-Am, the final Regional Championship for the South Region in 2007.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Houston's Whitsett Beats Fellow Texan for U.S. Junior Am Title

cory whitsett - us junior amateurThe U.S. Junior Amateur Championship came down to a meeting of two Texas teens in the final, both of whom have experience on the Texas Legends Junior Tour. The TLJT send out a brief news release after Cory Whitsett (pictured) of Houston defeated Anthony Paolucci of Irving to win the championship:

Cory Whitsett put his name alongside history on Saturday, becoming just the second left handed player to win the US Junior Amateur. Whitsett (Houston) defeated fellow Texan Anthony Paolucci (Irving) 8 & 7 in the 36 hole final match. Whitsett used a stretch of five consecutive hole victories to race past Paolucci to win the Championship held at Boone Valley Golf Club in Augusta, Mo.

Whitsett, a member of the Texas Legends Junior Tour in 2006, also has an impressive resume, highlighted by three AJGA tournament victories in 2006. On the Texas Legends Tour, Cory was a member of the South Team in the Jackie Burke Cup matches held at Spanish Oaks CC. Cory was the only player in the Ryder Cup format event to go undefeated in his matches throughout the championship. He also won the 2006 South Westfield PGA Championship Qualifier and finished tied for third at the prestigious 2006 EDS Byron Nelson Junior Championship.

Paolucci, who has been a member of the Texas Legends Junior Tour for the last three years, won two tournaments on Tour in 2006, the Bruce Lietzke Junior Classic and the PGA Westfield Championship Qualifier. Anthony also won the 2005 Ben Hogan Invitational at Shady Oaks Country Club.

Whitsett is 15 years old and Paolucci is 14 so there is a good chance we'll be hearing from these guys again. Whitsett is a lefty, and he's the first Texan to win since Matthew Rosenfeld of Plano took the 2000 championship.

Get the full report from the USGA

(Photo by Steven Gibbons/USGA)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

TGA State Mid-Am Match Play Under Way

The Texas Golf Association's State Mid-Amateur Match Play Championship got under way today. We'll have a recap in a few days. Meantime, here's the tourney preview from the TGA:

The 2007 State Mid-Amateur Match Play Championship, conducted by the Texas Golf Association, will be held from July 26-29 on the Members Course at Redstone Golf Club in Humble.

The event is open to male amateur golfers who will have reached their twenty-fifth birthday by the tournament start date, have a current USGA Handicap index of 5.4 or less, and belong to a club that is a member of the Texas Golf Association.

On Thursday, July 26 and Friday, July 27 the 90-player starting field will play 18-holes of stroke play with the low 16 scores advancing to the match play portion of the championship over the weekend. First and second round matches will be played Saturday, with the semifinals and finals played on Sunday.

Headed by defending champion Alan Clark of Ennis, some of the other top contenders for this year's title include Jeff New of The Woodlands, a semifinalist from 2006, two past Mid-Amateur Match Play champions, Steve Gill (2005) of Sugar Land and Pat Youngs (2000) of League City, along with two former Mid-Amateur champions, Mike Booker (2003) of The Woodlands and Jon Mathias (2006) of San Antonio.

Peter Jacobsen and Jim Hardy designed The Members Course at Redstone Golf Club, which hosted the Shell Houston Open from 2003-25. For the State Mid-Amateur Match Play, the course will play approximately 7,130 with a par 36-36 - 72.

Daily results from the 36-hole stroke play qualifying, as well as the match play rounds, will be posted on the Texas Golf Association web site (

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Waterford Recovering from Waterlogging

Here in South-Central Texas, it seems as if it's been raining for a month. But no matter what residents in the San Antonio area think, we haven't been hit nearly as bad as the folks just a little north of us got hit last month.

In some parts of Central Texas and the Hill Country, particularly in and around Marble Falls, there was a deluge in late June. As much as 19 inches of rain fell is as little as four hours.

What does that type of rainfall do to a golf course? Especially if said course sits on the banks of a lake?

Lake Travis, on whose shores the new Waterford Texas golf course sits, rose nearly 60 feet in the aftermath, from around 643 feet to 703 feet. That was bad news for Waterford:

Two of Waterford's holes (Nos. 11 and 18) are right next to the far-north shore of Lake Travis, a huge body of water that has risen from 643 feet above sea level six months ago to almost 703 feet as rainwater and runoff poured into the lake.

The fairways of both holes - designed at 698 feet - were overrun with water as high as 3 feet in some portions. The majority of that water has dissipated and left minimal damage to the fairways. The greens on these holes are at 705 feet and were not affected.

The two holes are separated by a cove into the development's marina and clubhouse village. That cove is spanned by a cart/footbridge whose bottom is normally 20 feet above the level of the lake. Three weeks ago the bridge was almost completely underwater. But in mid-July, thanks to the opening of at least six gates on Mansfield Dam on the extreme south side of Lake Travis, the waters had subsided to covering just the entrances to the bridge. The water level has fallen below the bridge line this week, but more rain in the area has slowed the drop.

"We have really seen the lake come up to historic levels, and I think we have come through it all very well," said Waterford's general manager, Jimmy Terry. "Those holes were built with a flood-type situation in mind, but the fact that the lake has come up so far so fast has brought the lake more into play than one could have truly imagined when the course was in its planning stages."

Kudos for The Rawls Course

the rawls course - lubbock
The Rawls Course in Lubbock, designed by Tom Doak and owned and operated by Texas Tech University, has been named the third-best college course in the country by Turfnet magazine, a publication for golf course superintendents:

The recognition is the latest in a long list that includes mentions in Golfweek (No. 3 collegiate course nationally), Golf Magazine (No. 2 affordable course in the U.S. and No. 23 among the top 50 golf courses nationally for $50 or less).

Yale Golf Club topped the list, followed by Taconic Golf Course at Williams College and The Rawls Course, respectively. Ohio State's Scarlet Course, home to the 2002 NCAA Men's Championships, is fourth, while The Orchards at Mount Holyoke College is fifth. University Ridge Golf Course (Wisconsin), Stanford Golf Club, Colbert Hills (Kansas State), Warren Golf Club (Notre Dame) and the University of Michigan Golf Course round out the top 10.

The Rawls Course is the newest course to make the list, having opened in 2003. The course is open to the public, but serves as the home to both the men's and women's teams at Texas Tech. In its young life, The Rawls Course has hosted the women's Big 12 championship, a women's NCAA regional, USGA qualifiers and AJGA tournaments.

(Image via Golf Digest)

Doan Takes NTPGA Western Championship in Playoff

The Callaway NTPGA Western Championship is one of the Northern Texas PGA's "majors." Here is the recap:

MIDLAND, TX – Cameron Doan, head golf professional at Preston Trail Golf Club, erased a 5-shot deficit after round one to claim the 2007 Callaway Golf Western Championship at Midland Country Club.

Doan carded a 5-under par 67 (34-33) during Tuesday's final round to force a playoff with defending champion Perry Arthur. Arthur, director of instruction at Stonebridge Ranch Country Club (Dye Course), shared the lead at 5-under par following the first round and finished Tuesday's final round at even par 72 (35-37).

Both players made par on the first sudden death playoff hole. Then Doan hit his tee shot on the 180-yard par 3, 16th hole to six feet, while Arthur encountered trouble. Doan only needed to two-putt to win the playoff and claim the title for the second time in his career. His previous Western Championship victory came in 2002 at San Angelo Country Club.

Final Leaders
Cameron Doan, Preston Trail Golf Club, 72-67--139 (-5)
Perry Arthur, Stonebridge Ranch CC-Dye, 67-72--139 (-5)
Steven Young, Midland Country Club, 70-70--140 (-4)
Vince Jewell, Brook Hollow Golf Club, 71-69--140 (-4)
Will Doughtie, The Vaquero Club, 69-71--140 (-4)
Full Results

80th Texas Junior Golf Championship Coming Up in Austin

A preview from the Texas Legends Golf Tour, which runs the Texas Junior Golf Championship:

The Texas Junior Golf Championship (TJGC), one of the nation's oldest and largest state junior golf championships, is ready to add another chapter to its rich history. Beginning on July 30 at Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, a field of 291 players (195 boys, 96 girls) will compete for the right to be called "State Champion."

This year will mark the 80th anniversary of the TJGC and the list of past champions is long and distinguished. In addition to trying to join players such as Ben Crenshaw, Bruce Lietzke and Jeff Maggert as champions, participants will also be competing for AJGA exemptions. A total of 27 exemptions will be up for grabs across all divisions.

The TJGC is scheduled for July 30-August 1 with the Boys 15-18 division playing the Fazio Foothills Course and the Boys 12-14 division and Girls divisions playing the Crenshaw Cliffside Course. The Boys 12-14 division and Girls 12-14 division will play 36-holes over two days while the Boys 15-18 and Girls 15-18 divisions will play 54-holes over three days (the field will be cut to the low-50 and ties in the Boys 15-18 division and low-27 and ties in the Girls 15-18 division after 36-holes).

Alex Moon of Dallas will look to defend his title in the Boys 15-18 division while Brendan Redfern of Austin, last year’s 2006 Boys 12-14 champion, will try to unseat him. Emily Collins of Colleyville, the 2006 Girls 12-14 winner, will also move up a division and try to add her name to the trophy once again.

The public is welcome to attend. There is no admission fee. Pairings and tournament information are available at

The Texas Legends Junior Tour has run the TJGC since 2005. That year, the state's three prominent golf associations – the Northern Texas PGA (NTPGA), Southern Texas PGA (STPGA), and the Texas Golf Association (TGA) – joined forces to create the leading year-round tour for serious junior golfers: The Texas Legends Junior Tour. The merger of these respected organizations brings together a powerful combination of experience and expertise in tournament planning and administration, financial stability, along with a far-reaching network of contacts within the golf community.

Proceeds generated from the Texas Legends Junior Tour and outside sponsorships will provide for grants and scholarship, in addition to supporting a number of worthy causes including the Golf-In-Schools program, which introduces elementary and middle school students to the game of golf through the physical education curriculum.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Jaxon Brigman Claims Adams Tour Rising Star Open

From the Adams Golf Pro Tour Series:

Having been there just one year ago, Jaxon Brigman defended his Rising Star Open at Texarkana Golf Ranch with spectacular iron play in the final round on Sunday. His successfull defense came by placing his approach shots on the correct side of the hole all week. The bottom line was a six shot victory and a tournament record 15 under par total.

2005 winner Jon Whittaker has a lot to be proud of in placing second. His four day total of 9 under par has been good enough to win the last three Rising Star Opens. Brice Garnett had his best finish of the year by shooting a 5 under par final round and finishing in sole possession of third place.

Once again, the Texarkana Golf Ranch proved to be the toughest course on the Tour's schedule as only 9 players broke par at this year's Rising Star Open.

Final Leaders
Jaxon Brigman, Abilene, 69-66-71-67--273 (-15) $12,700
Jon Whittaker, Springdale, Ark., 66-70-73-70--279 (-9) $7,050
Brice Garnett, Gallatin, Mo., 77-69-68-67--281 (-7) $5,880
Alex Rodger, Fort Worth, 72-70-69-72--283 (-5) $5,170
Brad Gibson, Denton, 72-72-70-70--284 (-4) $4,135
Patrick Sullivan, Maumelle, Ark., 73-68-71-72--284 (-4) $4,135
Full Results

Baylor Golfer Williams Wins West Texas Amateur

Here's the report from the Texas Golf Association:

It was a great morning for scoring for the final round of the 79th annual West Texas Amateur at Abilene Country Club. The famous west Texas winds were down again Sunday, giving players another chance to go low.

The low round of the morning came from Scott Roudebush, who fired a 66. Roudebush made an impressive comeback to finish in 33rd place after rounds of 74 and 71 the first two days.

Temperatures rose and a slight breeze picked up for the leaders in the afternoon. Anthony Broussard opened the day with a two shot lead over Colton Williams and a three shot cushion over Jeremy Alcorn.

Williams and Alcorn, both members of the Baylor University golf team, got hot early and closed their deficits. Alcorn had a one shot lead before bogeys on the 8th and 9th holes, leaving Williams and Broussard tied for the leading going into the final nine holes of play.

Broussard played consistently all day, but Williams continued to make birdies. Colton Williams seized a one stroke lead on the back nine and carried in all the way to the pivotal 18th hole. With Alcorn and Broussard in with pars, Williams was left with a six footer to win. Colton Williams confidently sank the putt for an impressive final round 66 and his first TGA championship. Jeremy Alcorn also finished with 66 leaving him tied for second with Anthony Broussard, who carded a final round 69.

In all, forty golfers managed to finish under par for the tournament. The low round on Sunday was a 65 by Bill Allcorn, which vaulted him up the leader board and into a 5th place finish.

In the senior division, Jody Vasquez of Aledo successfully defended his title, earning a one shot victory. Vasquez carded a round of 75 to add to his rounds of 69 and 71 from the first two days. Mickey Jones, a TGA director from Odessa, made things interesting, but fell one shot short of Vasquez. Jones played very consistently all week, firing rounds of 72, 71, and 73.

Carey Schulten, also a TGA director, took home the trophy in the Super Senior division. Schulten, of Dallas, made up ground all weekend with two rounds of 75. For a full leader board please see the Pairings/Results tab at the top of the page.

Full results can be found here.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Texas Residents on the PGA Tour

I was watching the British Open today and thinking, as K.J. Choi hit a shot, "It'd be nice to see a Texan win this thing."

Of course, K.J. isn't really a Texas. He's from South Korea. But he lives in Houston (The Woodlands, to be exact). Which got me to thinking: Which PGA Tour players live in Texas? Not necessarily were born here, but now, currently, make their residence here?

Well, here you go:

Austin - Rich Beem, Bob Estes, J.L. Lewis, Joe Ogilvie, Wes Short, Omar Uresti

Colleyville - Chad Campbell

Coppell - Joel Edwards

Dallas - Harrison Frazar, Hank Kuehne, Justin Leonard, Corey Pavin, Tommy Armour III, Kris Cox, David Frost, Anthony Kim, Jason Schultz, B.J. Staten

El Paso - J.P. Hayes

Flower Mound - Rod Pampling, Paul Stankowski

Fort Worth - J.J. Henry, Mark Brooks

Houston - Steve Elkington, Jeff Maggert

Hurst - Ryan Palmer

Irving - John Rollins

Plano - Hunter Mahan

Roanoke - Tag Ridings

Richmond - Tom Byrum

San Antonio - Cameron Beckman

Southlake - Brandt Jobe, Rory Sabbatini

The Woodlands - K.J. Choi, Craig Kanada

Westlake - Ben Crane, Todd Hamilton

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Aussies - and Brett Hull - Put Another Birdie on the Barby

For the past three years, a group of Australian golf professionals - most of them living in the DFW Metroplex - have staged the "Birdies for Kids Fundraiser," raising nearly $200,000 in proceeds, all of which are donated to the NTPGA Junior Golf Foundation's Golf-In-School Program and the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

This year, the Aussies - plus "honorary Aussie" Brett Hull - are back at it. The fourth Birdies for Kids Fundraiser takes place Aug. 20 at Brook Hollow Golf Club in Dallas.

"We all feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work here and simply wanted to do something to give back to the local community," said one of the Australian golf pros, Dean Larsson, who who is an assistant pro at Bent Tree Country Club in Dallas. "The first three events have been tremendously successful and have far exceeded our expectations. We have raised $196,401.47 in the last three years thanks to many generous people who supported our fundraiser. Our goal is raise more than $100,000.00 this year."

The seven Aussies get local businesses and individuals to sponsor them in a daylong marathon of golf in which they try to make as many birdies and eagles as they can. In years past they played 72 holes each in one day in July. This year they are upping the ante and playing 108 holes each in August.

Cameron McCormick, director of instruction at Brook Hollow and one of the seven Aussies, said 72 holes in July just wasn't tough enough. Playing 108 holes in August will "make the day feel more like going walkabout in the outback than a stroll on the beach."

Hockey legend Brett Hull first took part last year, when the group went looking for an eighth in order to play as four twosomes. Hull volunteered to return every year if needed, and the group asked him back this year.

In addition to McCormick and Larsson, the other Australians taking part are Stuart Deane, PGA Member from Arlington; Nick Griffin, an assistant professional at Bent Tree; Travis Johns, an assistant professional at Preston Trail Golf Club in Dallas; Jeremy Langdale, an assistant professional at Green Tree Country Club in Midland; and Mark Harrison, the director of operations with the Northern Texas PGA.


New for this year, the group has asked members of the Northern Texas PGA Junior Golf Foundation and Texas Legends Junior Tour to become “honorary Aussies” for the summer to help raise money for kids.

Junior golfers are asking for support from friends, neighbors and relatives in an effort to raise money for the respective charities. In addition to sending letters, the kids can also create their own fundraising website. Simply visit and click on Become a Fundraiser to set up a site and learn more about how to become a fundraiser.

STPGA Team Earns Berth in National Team Championship

Passing along this news release:

HORSESHOE BAY, Texas – The Southern Texas PGA Section will send PGA Professional Jason Capps and amateurs Trey O’Connell, Jerry Johns and Dennis Hobbs to the inaugural PGA McGladrey Team Championship national finals, Sept. 10-12 at world-renowned Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort.

The club qualifying to participate in the National Championship was Twin Creeks Country Club in Cedar Park, Texas.

Each team participating in the National Championship advanced via Local Qualifying Events conducted through the spring and summer months. National Championship field features 41 Section Champion teams composed of one PGA Professional and three amateurs with certified USGA Handicap Indexes. Three rounds of two best net balls of four players will be used to determine scoring in the National Championship.

Conducted by The PGA of America, The PGA McGladrey Team Championship is the first grass-roots amateur best-ball championship managed by The PGA of America. PGA Professionals and amateurs compete for a combined purse of $20,000 at each Section Championship and $200,000 at the National Championship. Amateurs’ purse compensation will be in the form of gift certificates.

The 41 Section Champion teams will converge upon Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort, Sept. 10-12, for the National Championship where they will meet two of America’s premier Tour professionals and members of “Team McGladrey” – Masters Champion Zach Johnson and Chris DiMarco, a member of four consecutive U.S. Ryder Cup Teams.

Johnson and DiMarco are scheduled to appear at Pinehurst Monday, Sept. 10, where they will spend the day conducting a sponsor clinic and personally greeting the Section Champions.

The National Championship field will compete on three of Pinehurst’s premier layouts, concluding play on Pinehurst No. 2, the site of some of golf’s historic championships, including the 1936 PGA Championship, the 1951 Ryder Cup and the 1999 and 2005 U.S. Open.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

TGA West Texas Amateur This Weekend

From the Texas Golf Association:

The 2007 West Texas Amateur, conducted by the Texas Golf Association, will be held from July 20-22 at Abilene Country Club in Abilene.

Scheduled for 54-holes of individual stroke play, the West Texas Amateur features three divisions: Open, Senior (55 and older), and Super Senior (65 and older). While there is a separate winner for each of the Senior and Super Senior divisions, the overall senior champion will be the player returning the lowest tournament total, regardless of age.

Tom Doughtie of Amarillo was the last person to win the West Texas Amateur back-to-back. He accomplished that feat in 1989-90 and now, seventeen years later, has a chance to do it again, having won last year's title at The Rawls Course in Lubbock.

An exceptionally strong field will be on hand to try and stop him, however. Some notables in the 114-player field include current Texas Amateur champion Charlie Holland of Dallas, San Antonio's Jon Mathias, winner of the 2006 State Mid-Amateur, and 2005 West Texas Amateur champion Trey Todd, who is one of 16 members from Abilene Country Club who will be competing in this year's event.

Jody Vasquez of Fort Worth is back to defend his Senior title, as is Chuck Bubany of Lubbock, who in 2005 captured both the Senior and Super Senior.

Prior to the start of the first round on Friday, July 20, Doug Jones of Abilene will hit the ceremonial opening drive. Jones, who will turn 92 later this year, also won consecutive West Texas Amateur titles in 1946-47. He has been a member of Abilene CC since 1939 and still walks nine-holes every morning.

Tee-times, pairings, and live scoring updates will be available throughout the tournament and will be posted on the Texas Golf Association web site (

First Pro Win for Taylor Leon

taylor leonCongratulations to Texan Taylor Leon for recording her first professional victory in just her third professional start.

Leon grew up in Dallas along with her golfing siblings Tyler and Trent. None of the Leons played collegiately in Texas, however. Tyler and Trent are current members of the Oklahoma State golf team; Leon left the University of Georgia a few months ago following her sophomore season.

Leon won the Cigna Golf Classic on the Futures Tour last weekend in Bloomfield, Conn. She didn't play great in the final round, shooting a 75, but all you have to do is finish with a lower score than anyone else. Actually, Leon finished tied with Mollie Fankhauser, who really struggled in the final round (78), then won the championship on the first playoff hole.

It was Leon's second Futures Tour tournament since turning pro (her other pro event was the U.S. Women's Open).

At lot of people expect big things from Taylor Leon going forward. She already has a caddie. Why is that unusual? Futures Tour players rarely use caddies - those women carry their own bags! Caddies are just too expensive for most of the players on the Futures Tour. But Leon is already set up with a veteran. From the Futures Tour recap:

But this time, it was the rookie who came out on top – which wasn’t a surprise to her caddie, 28-year LPGA Tour veteran Jerry (Woody) Woodard.

"Taylor does a lot of flag hunting," said Woodard, who caddied for LPGA Hall of Famers Pat Bradley, Betsy King and current European Solheim Cup captain Helen Alfredsson. "She's not scared. If she’s got a wedge in her hands, she's going for that flag."

And while she believed she could win, Leon admitted that leaving Georgia after two seasons to turn pro did step up the pressure she was already putting on herself.

"I think I always feel pressure because it's kind of a scary, new situation," said Leon, a two-time collegiate winner and the 2007 SEC Champion, who earned $11,200 for today’s win. "In the back of my head, I'm thinking, 'What if something happens? What if I break my arm?' I don’t have a degree."

Photo: Taylor Leon with the trophy she received for winning the Cigna Golf Classic (Credit: Futures Tour)

Kings Crossing Going Public?

Kings Crossing Country Club in Corpus Christi has always been, in my opinion, an underrated course. But then, it's easy for a course to be underrated when it has persistent condition problems, as Kings Crossing has for much of its existence. I once heard that a previous greenskeeper at the club was secretly pumping water out of the Laguna Madre to get around watering restrictions. He got the water he wanted, but the high salinity of the Laguna Madre killed the grass it was put on. Smart move.

Kings Crossing, an early design of Bill Coore (before he started working with Ben Crenshaw), has always struggled attracting members. It was put up for sale several months ago. There were reports the City of Corpus Christi might purchase it, but that didn't happen.

However, I'm now hearing that the club has sold, and that the new owners plan to open it to the public. Presumably it will be semi-private, and existing memberships will be honored and new ones sold. But if true (I've been unable to nail down this rumor so far) it will certainly add an attractive new public golf option to the Coastal Bend area.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hollands Win TGA State Father-Son

The winners of the Texas Golf Association State Father-Son Championship have a pedigree: son Charlie Holland recently won the Texas State Amateur and father Malcolm Holland is the current president of the TGA. Here's the recap, courtesy of the TGA:

Horseshoe Bay - Charlie Holland, the recently crowned Texas Amateur Champion, and his dad Malcolm, the current TGA President, matched their opening round of five under par 67 in the final round of the 2007 TGA State Father-Son Championship to win by eight shots over Riley and Jay Pumphrey. It was the second round of the play where the Holland ’s, of Dallas , opened up a commanding lead on the rest of the Championship Division, enabling them to cruise to an easy win on the Apple Rock course at Horseshoe Bay Resort. The format for the Championship Division of the TGA State Father-Son is four-ball stroke play in rounds one and three, and combined score in round two. A five under par 139 in the second round (Charlie = 68, Malcolm = 71) gave the Holland ’s a nine shot cushion going into the final round.

Riley and Jay Pumphrey of Georgetown had a very good second round as well with son Riley shooting a 71 and dad Jay a 72 for a one under par 143 total. Despite shooting a six under par 66 in the final round they could not catch the Holland ’s and had to settle for the runner-up trophy. Gary and Eric Durbin of Houston had the low final round with a seven under par 65 to finish third.

Thirty-eight teams were in the Championship Division, and after 36 holes the top 20 teams (and ties) earned their way into the Championship Flight. The remaining teams in the Championship Division went into the President’s Flight and the results for that flight were based on final round score only. Two teams tied for first place - Andy and Mike Kampen of Dallas and Robert and Trent Booher of Sugar Land , Both teams shot two under par 70.

The remaining 50 teams in the tournament were pre-flighted based on combined handicap indexes. Those teams played a Stableford scoring format for all three rounds.

Larry and Chris Shive of Lago Vista won the Hogan Flight with a 54 hole total of -4.25 points. They barely edged past Steve and Steven Reid who finished at -5 points. Mark and Jordan Griege of Dallas held on to win the Nelson flight with a -6.5 total. Ken and Lino Oballo of Austin came from behind to win the Crenshaw Flight. Rick and Chris Lowe, of Spring and Montgomery respectively, won the Kite Flight and came closest to matching their quota of any team with a -2.25 total.

Recap, results and photo gallery are available on the TGA Web site.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Loving Wins TSO in 3-Hole Playoff

From the NTPGA:

TYLER, Texas – The scene on the 18th hole today at The Cascades was one for the ages. Matt Loving from San Antonio outlasted Australian Adam Crawford in a three-hole playoff to take home the title. Loving and Crawford both birdied the 18th hole to move to 14-under-par 266 for the tournament and force the playoff.

The two players who made it to the playoff are also the two who set course records this week for The Cascades. Loving shot a course record 8-under-par 62 on Thursday, but did not hold the record for even 24 hours. Crawford had an amazing 9-under-par 61 in the second round to set a new low.

Loving turned pro in 2001, and this was his first professional win. "It still hasn’t sunk in yet," he said. "But it feels good."

Loving rebounded from his third round where he was 1-over par and shot a 5-under-par 65 in the final round. The victory was even sweeter because he was able to share it with his wife, Brandy, who caddied for him for the first time this week. His parents also surprised him by driving to Tyler from San Antonio to see the final hole. They decided to come at the last minute and left San Antonio at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. "We just felt like we needed to be here," his dad said.

The new champion relied on his short game during the Open, only three-putting once during the four rounds. He finished with a putt of 15 feet for birdie on the third and final playoff hole.

Martin Piller, from Duncanville, and a member of the Texas A&M University men's golf team, earned top amateur honors for the second consecutive year and finished tied for seventh in the Championship by shooting rounds of 68-68-67-70 for a final score 273 (7-under par).

The 72-hole stroke play event consists of 156 contestants comprised of 28 amateurs and 128 professionals. 54 professionals and 5 amateurs survived the cut at 142 (2-over par) after 36 holes. 28 players completed the tournament under par. The top fifteen professionals and top three amateurs will receive an exemption into the 2008 Texas State Open at The Cascades. All four rounds of the Championship were contested at The Cascades, a 6,834 yard, par 70 Mark Hayes design, located in Tyler, Texas. The total purse is $127,960.00, with $25,000.00 awarded to the champion, Matt Loving.

Final Scores
Matt Loving, San Antonio, 62-68-71-65--266 (-14) $25,000
Adam Crawford, Australia, 69-61-69-67--266 (-14) $15,000
Andrew Dresser, Carrollton, 70-65-69-65--269 (-11) $10,500
Clark Dennis, Fort Worth, 67-69-64-70--270 (-10) $7,455
Christopher James, Edmond, OK, 70-64-67-69--270 (-10) $7,455
Full Results

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Texas State Open - Third Round Report

My apologies for skipping over the second round. Rain delays pushed the completion of Round 2 back to today, so I decided to just wait until the third round was completed late in the day. So here you go, courtesy of the NTPGA:

TYLER, Texas – Adam Crawford of Brisbane, Australia, leads by one after shooting a 1-under-par 69 Saturday. Crawford had two eagles during his third round and is ready for the final day of play. "It’ll be good fun tomorrow," he said. "Hopefully I'll have a good day."

The lowest score of the day came from former Texas State Open Champion Clark Dennis of Fort Worth, who shot a 6-under-par 64 to finish the third round in second place with a 10-under-par. "I wanted to make it to double digits, and I was able to accomplish that today. I wanted to be in the last couple of groups for the final round," he said. Dennis will play in the final pairing on Sunday.

Matt Loving shot one over par today and finished at 9-under-par, which puts him tied for third with Christopher James of Edmond, OK. James shot a 4-under-par 67. Loving, who’s Thursday course record that lasted only one day said he had a tough round, but he is excited about the final round. "I just want to come out and hit my fairways," he said. "My goal is to be in contention with nine holes to go."

J.J. Killeen had another solid round Saturday, shooting a 2-under-par 68, putting him in fifth place. Amateur Martin Piller also had a good day Saturday, with a 3-under-par 67, for a tournament score of 203, four strokes behind the leader. Piller is the only amateur in the top 20 and is trying to capture low amateur honors for the second consecutive year.

There was a brief rain delay Saturday morning, but the players were able to get back on the course after approximately 50 minutes and finish their rounds.

The 72-hole stroke play event consists of 156 contestants comprised of 28 amateurs and 128 professionals. 54 professionals and 5 amateurs survived the 142 (+2) cut after 36 holes. All four rounds will be contested at The Cascades a 6,834 yard, par 70 layout located in Tyler, Texas. The total purse is $125,410, with $25,000.00 being awarded to the champion.

Round 3 Leaders
Adam Crawford, College Station, 69-61-69--199 (-11)
Clark Dennis, Fort Worth, 67-69-64--200 (-10)
Christopher James, Edmond, 70-64-67--201 (-9)
Matt Loving, Dallas, 62-68-71--201 (-9)
J.J. Killeen, Fort Worth, 70-64-68--202 (-8)
Full results

SMU's Colt Knost wins U.S. Publinx Title

colt knost

(Photo by Fred Vuich/USGA)

Congratulations to Pilot Point's Colt Knost, who followed up his senior season at SMU by winning the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship on Saturday in Wheaton, Ill.

Knost delayed turning pro after completing his SMU career in order to chase a spot on the U.S. Walker Cup team. I'd say his chances of getting that spot just improved dramatically.

But now Knost may be faced with another difficult decision about when to turn pro. The Publinx champ traditionally is invited to The Masters, and Knost would get that invitation for the 2008 Masters. But he'll only get to play The Masters if he remains an amateur.

Knost, 22 years old, defeated 18-year-old Cody Paladino of Kensington, Conn., in the championship match by a score fo 6-and-4.

See the USAPL Web site for complete coverage.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Loving Sets Course Record in Texas State Open First Round

Texas State Open first round report from the NTPGA:

TYLER, Texas – Matt Loving of San Antonio, TX set a new course record and is the clubhouse leader after the opening round of the 37th Texas State Open at The Cascades. Loving got out to an early start, shooting 6-under-par on his first nine holes. He finished the round with an 8-under-par 62, one stroke better than the previous course record.

Loving played college golf at Texas Tech, where he was named an All-Conference player twice and an All-Academic player three times. He played his senior year at Texas A&M and has played professionally since 2001. Loving said he did not even know he was shooting a course best while he was playing. His wife Brandy caddied for him for the first time Thursday.

Past champion Casey Devoll had a great afternoon, shooting a 33-32-65 (5-under-par) and ending the day in second place. Devoll won the Open in 2004. Two players finished tied for third with a 4-under-par 66.

Five players are tied for fifth place with a 67, including Raul Lemus, an amateur from Mission, TX. Lemus currently plays at North Texas, where he says he has struggled a little with his game. "I haven't been playing too hot," he said. "But it feels good to be back, especially at this stage."

The 72-hole stroke play event consists of 156 contestants comprised of 28 amateurs and 128 professionals. The field will play 36 holes before being cut to the low 55 scores and ties. All four rounds will be contested at The Cascades, a 6,834 yard, par 70 layout located in Tyler, TX. The total estimated purse is $125,000, with $25,000 awarded to the champion.

First-Round Leaders
Matt Loving, Dallas, 33-29--62 (-8)
Casey Devoll, Cooper, 33-32--65 (-5)
Rick Karbowski, Frisco, 33-33--66 (-4)
Mike Wendling, Oklahoma City, Okla., 32-34--66 (-4)
Raul Lemus (a), Mission, 35-32--67 (-3)
Chris Winton, Frisco, 33-34--67 (-3)
Clark Dennis, Fort Worth, 33-34--67 (-3)
Kevin Dillen, Paris, 34-33--67 (-3)
Kyle Edwards, Austin, 33-34--67 (-3)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Legends Golf Course on Lake LBJ Re-Opens

legends on lake lbj

Legends Golf Course on Lake LBJ opened several years ago on the shores of its eponymous lake near Kingsland in the Highland Lakes region. The course was highly touted when it opened, a design by Tom Kite working with the then-team of Roy Bechtol and Randy Russell. The semiprivate course came with "golf villas" for golfers wanting to make a getaway of the gorgeous area not too far from Marble Falls and Horseshoe Bay.

But financial problems beset the course when its original developers and owners declared bankruptcy. And Legends Golf Course went into hibernation. Sixteen months later, in January of this year, Legends finally reopened with new owners, but the course is just now starting to round back into shape.

According to Cybergolf:

Since the bankruptcy of its developers and original owners closed its gates until January 2007, the Legends - as should be expected - still has some roughness around the edges. But layout has potential and will challenge the best players.

"We are still working to get the course back to the shape we know we can have it in," said Robert Strain, who manages the course and the adjacent villas after they were purchased by Strain and his father Don. "The course you see today is really just a stepping stone to the course we will eventually have ready for play."

There are places at The Legends (Nos. 1, 6, 11, 12 and 14) where you have good chances to make birdies, but those holes are balanced by the course's tougher holes - Nos. 2, 7, 9, 15 and 17 - where the use of a wrong club or a less-than-perfect shot can generate big numbers.

Located about a mile north of Highway 1431 in Kingsland on Ranch Road 2342, The Legends on Lake LBJ Golf Club is nestled in the bend of the Colorado River arm of Lake LBJ. The par-72 course stretches 7,260 yards from the tips.

Check out the Legends Golf Course Web site for more info.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Texas State Open

the cascades - tyler - texas state open

The biggest professional tournament in the state, outside of the tours, gets under way on Wednesday: the Texas State Open. The four-round, stroke-play tournament begins Thursday and concludes Sunday.

The tournament is being played at The Cascades (hole No. 15 pictured above) in Tyler, which is set up to 6,834 yards for this event. It will play to a par of 70 and a course rating of 74.3.

Past champions include Homero Blancas, Lee Trevino, Jack Burke Jr., Ben Crenshaw, Keith Fergus, Blaine McCallister, Jeff Maggert, Kris Cox and Cameron Beckman.

The Pro-Am took place on Tuesday, with the team of professional Chris Garcia and amateurs Chris Benestante, Jonathan Ayala and David Maldonado winning.

Low Pros in Pro-Am
Adam Crawford, 67
John Sikes, 68
David Ogrin, 69
Ryan Murphy, 69
Chris Garcia, 69
Justin Bates, 69
Tim Thelen, 69

First-Round Pairings
(Number in parentheses is starting tee)
7:30 a.m. (1) - Brian Smith, Tony Varvel, Chase Wood
7:30 a.m. (10) - Chris Borgen, Matt Loving, Chris Wheeler
7:39 a.m. (1) - Craig Nightingale, Bryan Novoa, Randy Block
7:39 a.m. (10) - Geoff Moulton, Lance Rust, Derek Smith
7:48 a.m. (1) - Jonathan May, B.J. Waters, Matt Boyd (a)
7:48 a.m. (10) - Ray Richmond, Cole Howard (a), Judd Cornell
7:57 a.m. (1) - David Muttitt, Rick Maxey, John Bull
7:57 a.m. (10) - Dusty Smith, Dustin Garza (a), Stetson McMillan (a)
8:06 a.m. (1) - Richard Noon, Jeff Burns, David Lundstrom
8:06 a.m. (10) - Aaron Shipley, Eddie Podzemny, Marc Campbell (a)
8:15 a.m. (1) - Bobby Massa (a), Erik Manning (a), Seth Murphy
8:15 a.m. (10) - Franklin Hatchett, Brad Gibson, Tyrone Mordt
8:24 a.m. (1) - Blake Slaughter, Matthew Van Buren (a), Shane Pearce (a)
8:24 a.m. (10) - John Clift, Brent Bennett (a), Michael Hood
8:33 a.m. (1) - Brad Lardon, Adam Crawford, Brooks Baldwin
8:33 a.m. (10) - Mark Johnson, Colter Kautzmann (a), Gary Utsey
8:42 a.m. (1) - Ernie Rose, Christopher James, Kerry Lott
8:42 a.m. (10) - David McMillon, Cody Massa (a), Derek Hendryx (a)
8:51 a.m. (1) - David Ogrin, Bruce Smith, Todd Rossetti
8:51 a.m. (10) - Ryan Sirman (a), Aaron Hickman (a), Bryan Baker (a)
9:00 a.m. (1) - Dustin Morris (a), Colin Cruz (a), Ryan Cromwell
9:00 a.m. (10) - Chad Williams, John Gibson, Jr., Lee Rhind
9:09 a.m. (1) - Neil Dufford (a), Joey Zamora, Zach Rezentes (a)
9:09 a.m. (10) - Richard Woodson, Scott Abbott, Lonny Alexander
9:18 a.m. (1) - Wade White, Raul Lemus (a), Augie Hawkins
9:18 a.m. (10) - Michael Pruitt, Chad Ginn, Gabe Reynolds
12:30 p.m. (1) - Chris Winton, Jason Alexander, Nick Beach
12:30 p.m. (10) - Justin Bates, Luke Doebele, Sean Sciba
12:39 p.m. (1) - Casey Devoll, Mark Walker, Richard Swift
12:39 p.m. (10) - Ryan Blagg, Shaun Goodwin, Kelly Southerland
12:48 p.m. (1) - Ricky Arnett, Robert McMillan, Bronson Burgoon (a)
12:48 p.m. (10) - Stephen Ubernosky, Brian Rowell, Justin Kaplan (a)
12:57 p.m. (1) - Ryan Baca, Alex Rodger, Reggie Howell (a)
12:57 p.m. (10) - Perry Arthur, Jerad Harklau, Steve Parker
1:06 p.m. (1) - Sammy Hanson, Daniel Fox, Addison Blanks
1:06 p.m. (10) - Tim Thelen, Britt Patton, Martin Piller (a)
1:15 p.m. (1) - Cameron Doan, Martin Flores, Adam Babb
1:15 p.m. (10) - J.J. Killeen, Todd Mayfield, Derek Abel
1:24 p.m. (1) - Terry Snodgrass, Clark Dennis, Rick Karbowski
1:24 p.m. (10) - Dillon Gooch (a), Clint Lange, Trey Caldwell (a)
1:33 p.m. (1) - Chris Garcia, Ryan Murphy, Jonathan Whaley
1:33 p.m. (10) - Justin Orbin, Brian Adams, Kevin Dillen
1:42 p.m. (1) - Mike Wendling, Bryce Benson, Jeffrey Barton
1:42 p.m. (10) - Justin Ward, Scott Nugent, Adam Arnett
1:51 p.m. (1) - David von Hoffmann, Gino Mortola, Franklin Corpening (a)
1:51 p.m. (10) - Brandt Kieschnick, Michael Henderson, Andrew Dresser
2:00 p.m. (1) - Brad Weesner, John Sikes, Brian Marini
2:00 p.m. (10) - Rodney Cook, David D. Schultz, Eric Bogar
2:09 p.m. (1) - Jeb Stuart, Matt Dunn (a), Shawn Stefani
2:09 p.m. (10) - Jason Rocha, Kyle Edwards, Ian Finch
2:18 p.m. (1) - Eric Moore, Drew Pigg, Donnie Keim
2:18 p.m. (10) - Jerod Turner, Matthew Rosenfeld, Tim Poulos

Preview: State Father-Son Championship

The Texas Golf Association State Father-Son Championship takes place this weekend. Here is a preview from the TGA:

The 2007 State Father-Son Championship, conducted by the Texas Golf Association, will be played from July 13-15 on the Apple Rock Course at Horseshoe Bay Resort, located on Lake LBJ in the Texas Hill Country.

To accommodate the overwhelming response to this year's championship the starting field has been expanded from 72 to 88 teams. The Championship Division will consist of 38 teams that have a combined handicap index of 8.0 or less. These teams will play four-ball stroke play (or best-ball) in round one, the total scores of the two players are combined for round two, and then back to four-ball stroke play for the final round.

The remaining teams will be divided into four flights, according to their combined handicap index, and will play all three rounds using a net Stableford scoring method where points are awarded for each hole based on a player's score in relation to par. Flight winners will be determined based on their 54-hole total.

Steve and Brett Gill of Sugar Land have won the event the past two years and will be up against some heady competition as they try to hold on to the title. Some top finishers from 2006 who will be looking to dethrone the champions include Malcolm and Charlie Holland of Dallas, who lost to the Gills in a playoff, Rob and Robby Ormand of Austin and Gary and Eric Durbin of Houston, who finished in a tie for third, along with fifth place finishers Robert and Trent Booher of Sugar Land and Chuck and Clint Keller of Dallas. Matt and Will Griffin of San Antonio, making their first appearance in the Father-Son, also figure to be in the mix come the final round.

Horseshoe Bay is the only resort in the country that can lay claim to having three 18-hole courses all designed by master architect, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Slick Rock opened in 1972, Ram Rock in 1981 and Apple Rock in 1985. Even though Apple Rock is the newest of the three layouts, many will argue that the best was saved for last. That was certainly the thinking at Golf Digest, which named Apple Rock the Best New Resort Course in America the year it opened.

Daily results from the championship will be posted on the Texas Golf Association web site (www.

Tournament Notes

PAR AND YARDAGE - For the Championship Division, Apple Rock will play 6,865 yards (par of 36-36 - 72) and have a USGA Course/Slope rating of 75.4/136. Course set-up for the Flight Divisions will be 6,455 yards with a USGA Course/Slope rating of 72.8/131.

TEXAS AMATEUR, PART TWO - A number of sons enjoyed considerable success in the 2007 Texas Amateur, which was held June 7-10 at Whispering Pines Golf Club, and their dads are no doubt hoping their good play continues. The list includes champion Charlie Holland, runner-up Robby Ormand, and Will Griffin, who finished in a tie for sixth place.

Schedule of Play
• Friday (July 13) - First round, 18-holes.
• Saturday (July 14) - Second round, 18-holes.
• Sunday (July 15) - Final round, 18-holes. Awards ceremony immediately following the close of competition.

FATHER-SON ON THE WEB - For scores, pairings, and the latest championship information, log on to the TGA web site at

THE 2006 FATHER-SON - The formidable father-son duo of Steve and Brett Gill of Sugar Land defended their title by beating Malcolm and Charlie Holland in a one hole playoff at Beaumont Country Club in Beaumont.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pilot Lands Plane on Houston National

What makes that such a great photo is that the guy putting seems oblivious to the plane behind him. What would make it even better is if the plane had actually landed while the guy was putting. But alas, that didn't happy. Glad to report, however, that nobody was hurt:

A small, single-engine airplane went down today at a golf course in northwest Harris County but there are no reported injuries, officials said.

The incident happened about 3:20 p.m. at the Houston National Golf Club, 16500 Houston National Blvd.

"He (the pilot) was standing beside (the plane) when I got there," said David Clay, the club's director of golf. "He's obviously a very experienced guy."

Clay reported that there wasn't even any appreciable damage to the golf course.

(Photo by Steve Campbell / Houston Chronicle)

STPGA McGladrey Team Championship

The Southern Texas PGA completed its inaugural McGladrey Team Championship over the weekend, a tournament that pairs one professional with three amateurs in a 2 Best Balls format.

Here is the report from the STPGA:

Two teams of four golfers each (one professional and three amateurs) posted a two-best balls (net) score of 132 for a first-place tie in the inaugural Southern Texas PGA McGladrey Team Championship, held on the Ramrock Course at Horseshoe Bay Country Club in Marble Falls.

The team from Twin Creeks Golf Club in Cedar Park, consisting of professional Jason Capps and amateurs Trey O’Connell, Jerry Johns and Dennis Hobbs won the ensuring "putt off" tiebreaker, earning the right to go to the tournament’s national championship.

The first-ever PGA McGladrey Team Championship will be held Sept. 10-12, 2007, at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina. The championship will be contested by representative teams from all 41 Sections within the PGA of America.

The team of professional Randy Jones and amateurs David Rodriguez, Steve Meyer and Adam Stanchos, representing Alamo Golf Club in San Antonio, took the runner-up spot in the Southern Texas PGA Section event.

Final Results (Professional listed first)
Randy Jones, David Rodriguez, Steve Meyer, Adam Stanchos, 132
Jason Capps, Trey O’Connell, Jerry Johns, Dennis Hobbs, 132
Will Borowski, Yil Durak, Jerry Farias, Sunil Wodwani, 134
Ken Wilson, Pat McCoy, Trey Park, Jimmy Hatfield, 140
Balt Ramos, Gabriel Goldoracena, Jesus Vela-Cuellar, Ruben Pina, 141
Matt Trevino, Harold Danford, Phillip Stacy, Clay Steadman, 141
Chris Farnsworth, Lee Higley, Jon Kasparek, Bob Hutchins, 141
Wayne Mitchell, Bill Kelly, John Goodrich, J.C. Staples, 142
Alex Osmond, Dave Jefferson, Leonard Wood, Ronnie Morgan, 146

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Book a Room, Get Free Golf

Thinking of traveling somewhere in Texas during the next few months? If so, check out the "Great Golf Giveaway" by Hilton Garden Inn, a "casual" brand of Hilton Hotels.

From now through late October, if you spend at least one night in a Hilton Garden Inn, and that night is a Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you'll get a golf voucher good for free green fees for up to two players at any of 380 participating golf courses around the country.

The list of participating courses in Texas is as follows:

  • Austin - Jimmy Clay Golf Course; Morris Williams Golf Course; Roy Kizer Golf Course
  • Bandera - Lost Valley Resort Ranch
  • Bastop - Lost Pines Golf Club
  • Beaumont - Iron Oaks Golf Club
  • Burnet - Delaware Springs Golf Course
  • Carrollton - Indian Creek Golf Course
  • Conroy - The Village Golf Course
  • Corpus Christi - Gabe Lozano Golf Course; Oso Beach Golf Course
  • Dallas - Bear Creek Golf Club
  • El Paso - Painted Dunes Desert Golf Course
  • Fort Worth - The Golf Club at Fossil Creek
  • Frisco - Plantation Resort Golf Club
  • Grand Prairie - Riverside Golf Club
  • Houston - Hermann Park Golf Course; Jersey Meadow Golf Course
  • Killeen - Stonetree Golf Club
  • Laredo - Casa Blanca Golf Course
  • Lewisville - Lake Park 18 Hole Course
  • Mansfield - Mansfield National Golf Club
  • McKinney - West Ridge Golf Course
  • Mercedes - The Palms at Mid Valley
  • Moody - Greenbrier Golf Club
  • North Richland Hills - Iron Horse Golf Course
  • Pharr - Tierra Del Sol Golf Club
  • Port Arthur - Babe Zaharias Golf Course
  • San Antonio - Brackenridge Golf Course; Mission Del Lago Golf Course; Riverside Golf Course; Willow Springs Golf Course
  • Waco - Cottonwood Creek Golf Course

Find out more about the promotion on the Hilton Garden Inn Web site.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Ever the Optimist, Campbell Still Thinks of Golf

Earl Campbell's body is broken and brittle, and his mind doesn't always seem sharp these days, either. The University of Texas and Houston Oilers legend hasn't heen able to play golf in six years because of his physical condition, but he remains optimistic.

The article below stirred emotions for many of Campbell's fans, as the reporter wrote of what he saw at an event at Barton Creek Resort honoring Campbell and Texas A&M legend John David Crow. Click the arrow buttons to navigate through the article.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Lajitas Resort Files for Bankruptcy

Hours before the Lajitas Resort, with its parkland-style golf course called The Ambush in the middle of the border-country desert in West Texas, was due to be sold at auction over an allegedly defaulted loan, the resort filed for bankruptcy protection.

But it doesn't look as though the resort is in imminent danger of closing:

It's not clear if any outside buyer would have put up the $13.3 million now owed to Prime Asset to buy the resort ...

Originally set for early June, the foreclosure was delayed a month to allow Lajitas to find alternate funding.

Though that effort fell short, another lender appears willing to bail Lajitas out.

In a prepared statement, (owner Stephen) Smith vowed that the resort will continue to provide guests with full amenities and meet its financial obligations.

"The action we have taken is a necessary and responsible step to preserve Lajitas' value and execute a plan which completes the vision for Lajitas," he said, adding that a recent appraisal valued the property in excess of $200 million.

Full article

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Texas' Best Teaching Pros

At least according to Golf Digest. The magazine has released its biennial ranking of the Top 50 instructors in America, and in addition to that list also has its lists of top instructors in each state. These rankings were voted on by instructors themselves, so here, according to the poll results, are the top golf instructors in Texas (number in parentheses represents that instuctor's ranking on the overall Top 50):

1. Hank Haney (3)
Hank Haney Golf, Lewisville

2. Chuck Cook (6)
Chuck Cook Golf Academy at Barton Creek Resort & Club, Austin

3. Jim Hardy (7)
Jacobsen Hardy Group, Houston

4. Dave Pelz (13)
Pelz Scoring Game Schools, Spicewood

5. Randy Smith (16)
Royal Oaks Country Club, Dallas

6. Paul Marchand (44)
Shadow Hawk Golf Club, Richmond

7. Bill Moretti (50)
Academy of Golf Dynamics, The Hills, Austin

8. Jim Phenicie
WindRose Golf Club, Spring

9. Shawn Humphries
Cowboys Golf Club, Grapevine

10. Kevin Kirk
Cypresswood Golf Club, Spring

11. Mark Pelletier
El Paso Country Club

12. Tom Relf
Briggs Ranch Golf Club, San Antonio

13. Mark Steinbauer
The Club at Carlton Woods, The Woodlands

14. Cameron Doan
Preston Trail Golf Club, Dallas

15. Kyle Jerome
Academy of Golf Dynamics, Austin

16. Mickey Piersall
Keeton Park Golf Course, Dallas

17. Michael Vardeman
The Academy at La Cantera, San Antonio

18. Charlie Epps
The Houstonian Golf & Country Club, Richmond

19. Roy Pace
Alpine Target Golf Center, Longview

20. Steve Johnson
Hank Haney Golf, Lewisville

21. Marius Filmalter
D.A.’s Spring Creek Golf, Plano

22. Matt Swanson
Matt Swanson’s School of Golf, Houston

23. Jim Murphy
Sugar Creek Country Club, Sugar Land

You can read more about Golf Digest's 50 Greatest Teachers here.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Finally, Some Good News for Boot Ranch

boot ranch fredericksburgHal Sutton's luxury residential and golf development called Boot Ranch has been been plagued with problems throughout its history. A major investor - the Louisiana police union's pension fund - has threatened to pull out; and some reports had the project on the verge of bankruptcy. Despite all that, the golf course itself has been open since last fall, and a few homes are under construction.

But now Sutton's financial concerns appear to have been met, and he sounds confident, in this article in the San Antonio Express-News, that things will be much smoother going forward.

Sutton said Legacy Properties, a Las Vegas development company, will bring construction expertise and Lehman Brothers capital to Boot Ranch. The project has been dogged by slow sales of home sites, controversy over its financing and concerns about its water supplies. ...

Sutton said he closed several lot sales on the heels of the deal made final June 22 — raising the number of home sites under contract to about 30. The first two homes being built there are about half completed. Work on the clubhouse village will soon resume, he said.

Lots by the scenic course are advertised from $300,000 for 2.5 acres to $1.7 million for 12.6 acres.

"With these new partners, we're going to add some new family amenities that we didn't have factored in on the original project," said Sutton, 49.
Lots by the scenic course are advertised from $300,000 for 2.5 acres to $1.7 million for 12.6 acres. Prices include a $175,000 fee to join the golf club, which has about 50 members so far.

While things are looking up for Sutton and Boot Ranch, there are still plenty of issues and potential pitfalls. The Louisiana police fund is dealing with a lawsuit by its own members who want the fund to divest from Boot Ranch. And there are still plenty of water concerns in this drought-plagued area, with a contested case hearing coming up on Boot Ranch's request for additional water pumping rights.

(Photo by Bob Owen/San Antonio Express-News)