Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fort Worth Duo Wins TGA Senior Four-Ball

Congratulations to John Grace and Gary Hardin, both of Fort Worth, for winning the Texas Golf Association's Senior Four-Ball championship on Sunday at Onion Creek Club in Austin. Here is the report from the TGA:

Austin, TX: John Grace and Gary Hardin, both from Fort Worth, shot a final round of seven under par 63 to win the 2007 TGA Senior Four-Ball at Onion Creek Club in Austin. The winners were locked in a three way tie for the lead going into the final round, but broke away from the pack with a strong final round to win by three shots over Jerry Hudgins and Jimmy Chapman of Houston. Hudgins won the event last year with Gary Kirwan, but he and his new partner couldn’t defend the title. Chip Stewart of Dallas, and Curt Sampson of Ennis, the other team tied for the lead after two rounds, struggled to an even par 70 to finiah alone in third, seven shots off the pace.

Grace, recently reinstated to amateur status after playing professionally on the European Senior Tour for a few years, led the charge in both the first and final rounds, with Hardin contributing the most in round two. The duo lowered their score each round by posting 65-64-63 for a 192 total. Hudgins and Chapman opened with the lead at 63, then had back to back rounds of 66 to finish at 195. Stewart and Sampson had the low round of the tournament on day two with a 62 after and opening round 67. Their final round 70 left them at 199 for 54 holes.

In the Net Division the team of Dennis Wood and Rick Hare from Montgomery all but lapped the field. Their net scores were 60-59-57 for a 176 total, 17 shots ahead of Eddie Bock and Richard Larson.

Final Scores

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Christina's Smile

We often hear about the charitable contributions of PGA Tour events - how much money each tournament raises for its local charities. It's a big part of the PGA Tour experience, and a major goal of each tournament. And it really matters to the people in charge of raising those funds, and it really matters to the PGA Tour, too. There have been times in the recent past when the Texas Open, for example, was considered endangered on the PGA Tour schedule. But because the tournament raised so much money for charity, it always survived. And now, under Valero's stewardship, the Texas Open is the single largest fund-raiser on the PGA Tour. And that has something to do with promises from the tour to move to the tournament to a more favorable spot on the calendar.

There are many more charitable endeavors associated with the PGA Tour, however, than just the fund-raising that goes on around a tournament.

Christina's Smile is an example of one of those "auxiliary" charity efforts. Started by Austin dentist Dr. Richard R. Garza in 1989, the Christina's Smile Children's Dental Clinic travels in conjunction with PGA Tour events and provides, through a mobile dental lab, free dental care to needy children in the tournament city.

Christina's Smile will be in San Antonio Oct. 1-3 in conjunction with the Texas Open. Local dentists and dental assistants volunteer their time and services, working out of a "48-foot trailer (that) houses three fully equipped state-of-the-art dental treatment operatories along with X-ray and sterilization equipment."

The San Antonio Independent School District will help select the children most in need of services, children ages 6-15, and somewhere around $75,000 of free dental care will be dispersed through the program during the Texas Open. Just one more thing for the PGA Tour to smile about.

You can learn more about Christina's Smile at

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

SA-Area Duo Wins Pro-Pro Match Play Title

From the Southern Texas PGA:

Boerne's Tim Hobby and Jeff Hunter of San Antonio defeated Jason Alexander of The Woodlands and Shane Pearce of Montgomery by a 2&1 margin in the finals of the 2007 Yamaha Southern Texas PGA Pro-Pro Match Play Championship at Wolf Dancer Golf Club in Lost Pines.

Hobby and Hunter were 3-up going into the 15th hole of the match when Alexander and Pearce rallied to win the 15th and 16th holes. The twosomes halved the 17th hole, giving Hobby and Hunter the 2&1 victory. The winning team received first-place money of $2,700, while the runners-up split $1,600.

Daren Heflin of Houston and Jeff Olson of League City won the consolation match and $1,000 with a 7&6 victory over Tony Johnson of San Antonio and Shawn Strohman of Marble Falls. Johnson and Strohman won $800 for their fourth-place finish.

The 2007 Yamaha STPGA Pro-Pro Match Play Championship began with qualifying rounds in two brackets in late May. Matches continued throughout the summer, culminating in the Sept. 24-25 semi-finals and finals at Wolf Dancer.

All teams reaching the quarterfinals received winning of $750; teams reaching the third round earned $425.

AT&T Championship Touts Texans in Field

The Champions Tour's AT&T Championship is due in San Antonio in just a couple weeks. And the tournament organizers appear very happy with the field they are drawing, particularly all the Texans who'll be showing up. No surprise, the event is in Texas, after all, and the tournament has a strong history of strong fields at Oak Hills Country Club, a course the senior circuit golfers love.

Among those golfers who are from Texas or live here who will be playing are Lanny Wadkins, a longtime residents of the Metroplex who'll be making a rare Champions Tour appearance. Wadkins played sparingly during his first couple years of eligibility because of broadcasting commitments; this year he's been recovering from back surgery.

Also playing will be Corpus Christi native and resident Phil Blackmar, who'll be making his maiden start on the Champions Tour.

Other golfers from Texas, or living here, who'll be playing include: Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite, D.A. Weibring, Tom Jenkins, Lee Trevino, Bill Rogers and Brad Bryant.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Jewell, Larsson Capture NTPGA Honors

From the Northern Texas PGA:

DALLAS, TX – The Northern Texas PGA is pleased to announce that Vince Jewell, assistant golf professional at Brook Hollow Golf Club in Dallas captured the Cleveland Golf / Club Car NTPGA Player of Year Award and Dean Larsson, assistant golf professional at Bent Tree Country Club in Dallas captured the Ben Hogan/ NTPGA Stroke Play Average Award.

Jewell accumulated a 325.00 point total to capture the 2007 Cleveland Golf / Club Car NTPGA Player of the Year title with four top ten finishes. He finished tied for fifth at the E-Z-GO Eastern Championship, tied for third at the Callaway Golf Western Championship, tied for fourth at the NTPGA Professional Championship and tied for seventh at the FINA NTPGA Section Championship. Jewell finished the year with a 71.13 stroke play average, second only to Larsson. This is Jewell’s first Player of Year Award.

Larsson finished the year with a stroke average of 70.67 for six rounds in route to capturing the 2007 Ben Hogan/ NTPGA Stroke Play Average Award. He recorded four even par or better rounds in 2007. Larsson used a pair of 67’s (-4) to capture the FINA NTPGA Section Championship at Lakewood Country Club. Both rounds were his lowest tournament rounds of the year. Larsson capped off a year that also included a win at the TaylorMade-adidas Golf NTPGA Assistants’ Championship. This is Larsson’s first Stroke Play Average Award.

The Cleveland Golf / Club Car NTPGA Player of the Year Points Challenge is a season long competition that rewards the top-40 finishers in the four major individual stroke play events. The Ben Hogan/ NTPGA Stroke Play Average Award requires a minimum of six rounds in the four major individual stroke play events. The four events are the E-Z-GO Eastern Championship, NTPGA PGA Professional Championship, Callaway Golf Western Championship, and the FINA NTPGA Section Championship. The Cleveland Golf / Club Car NTPGA Player of the Year Points Challenge is presented by Ashworth and KMG Marketing.

The top 32 finishers in the 2007 Cleveland Golf / Club Car NTPGA Player of the Year Points Challenge will receive invitations into the Cleveland Golf / Club Car Match Play Championship on November 12-14 at Northwood Club in Dallas .

Lindy Miller captured the Senior Division of the Cleveland Golf / Club Car NTPGA Player of the Year Points Challenge. Miller amassed 350.00 points with a Senior Division win in the FINA NTPGA Seniors’ Championship which included a final round course record of 63

Monday, September 24, 2007

Knost Turns Pro, Debuts at Texas Open

Colt Knost, coming off one of the great years in amateur golf in recent memory, announced he is turning pro and will make his professional debut at the PGA Tour Texas Open in San Antonio next week.

This year Knost, who played collegiately at SMU, won the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, the U.S. Amateur Championship, and was a key member of the victorious U.S. Walker Cup team.

Knost will seek other exemptions into the few remaining PGA Tour events this year, and will go through PGA Tour qualifying (having to start in the First Stage).

Through is amateur victories in 2007, Knost had received spots in the field at the 2008 Masters, U.S. Open and British. But since he is turning pro, he forfeits all of those exemptions.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Texas Keeps USGA State Championship at Home

(Photo by Fred Vuich/USGA; left to right, Jonathan Mathias, Trip Kuehne, Terrence Miskell)

The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands was the site of the 2007 USGA State Team Championships over the past few days. The tournament concluded on Thursday with Texas winning the men's trophy for the second straight competition, and the third time overall - thus becoming the first men's team to win this tournament three times.

The U.S. team was comprised of Trip Kuehne, Terrence Miskell and Jonathan Mathias. Kuehne was the workhorse in the final round, posting a 5-under 67 to lead the Texas team to a 1-stroke victory over Georgia. The team's three-day total was 422 (each day, the two low scores of the team's three members are counted).

The Texas men also won in 2005 and 1999.

For Trip Kuehne, this marks his first USGA championship, although he was the runner-up (losing to Tiger Woods) at the 1994 U.S. Amateur. He's the third Kuehne to win a USGA trophy. Hank Kuehne won the 1998 U.S. Amateur and Kelli Kuehne won the 1994 U.S. Girls' Junior and the 1995 and 1996 Women's Amateurs.

See the USGA recap for full details.

On the women's side, the Texas team of Mina Hardin, Anna Schultz and Carolyn Creekmore finished seventh.

Texas Open Early Commitments

It will be interesting to see what kind of fields the PGA Tour's "Fall Finish" tournaments draw this year. Although one has to keep in mind that many tournaments in this late-season part of the schedule have traditionally drawn much weaker fields than tourneys earlier in the year.

The Texas Open, over the last 15 years or so, is one of those tournaments drawing a weak field. While the touring pros love San Antonio and the Westin La Cantera Resort & Spa, they hate the golf course (it's a great resort course, but a terrible PGA Tour course). And this time of year, most of the big names are already done for the season.

The folks who run the Texas Open issued a press release a few days ago crowing about their early commitments. Those include seven winners on the PGA Tour this year:

  • K.J. Choi (The Memorial, AT&T National)
  • Brandt Snedeker (Wyndham Championship)
  • Nick Watney (Zurich Classic of New Orleans)
  • Mark Wilson (The Honda Classic)
  • Charley Hoffman (Bob Hope Chrysler Classic)
  • Joe Ogilvie (U.S. Bank Championship)
  • Steve Flesch (Reno-Tahoe Open)

Not a bad start, especially landing Houston resident Choi. There is more hope for the Texas Open this year in the form of Nick Flanagan, the young, charismatic Aussie who earned an in-season promotion from the Nationwide Tour. There's a good chance Flanagan will be there, although he is not listed on this early commitment press release.

Justin Leonard and young hotshot Anthony Kim are listed. The Valero Texas Open takes place Oct. 4-7.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

STPGA Championship Goes to Alexander

Lonny Alexander is the winner of the Southern Texas PGA's Professional Championship, and earns a spot in the field at the PGA of America's Professional National Championship (formerly known as the Club Professionals Championship, or CPC). That's the tournament whose top finishers gain automatic entry into the PGA Championship.

Here's the report from the STPGA:

New Braunfels’ Lonny Alexander, the teaching professional at Austin’s Onion Creek Club, posted a sparking 54-hole total of 12-under-par 204 to win the 2007 Southern Texas PGA Professional Championship at Walden on Lake Conroe Golf & Country Club in Montgomery.

Alexander finished eight strokes better than runner-up Robert Thompson of Huntsville for the win and $6,500 in earnings. Thompson, the teaching professional at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, posted a total of 212 to take home second-place money of $5,000.

Houston’s Mike Kullberg, head golf professional at Houston National Golf Club in Cypress, finished in third place at 216, earning a check for $3,500.

The STPGA Professional Championship also serves as a qualifying event for the PGA of America’s Professional National Championship.

Alexander, Thompson and Kullberg will be joined at the national event by: Boerne’s Tim Hobby, the teaching professional at The Club at Sonterra in San Antonio; Houston’s Ken Kelley, the head golf professional at Walden on Lake Houston Country Club in Humble: Leander’s Wes Skaggs, head golf professional at Crystal Falls Golf Course in Leander; Montgomery’s Dean Choate and Bruce Smith of College Station.
College Station’s Tim Thelen, the director of instruction at the Traditions Club at Texas A&M, and Bryan’s Brad Lardon, director of golf at Miramont Country Club in Bryan, will also be in the field for the national event. Thelen was exempt from qualifying as a past winner and his Top 20 finish in the 2007 championship, and Lardon was exempt from qualifying for his Top 20 finish in the 2007 national tournament.

Top Finishers
Lonny Alexander, New Braunfels, 66-69-69--204
Robert Thompson, Huntsville, 71-71-70--212
Mike Kullberg, Houston, 75-68-73--216
Brad Lardon, Bryan, 76-75-67--218
Tim Hobby, Boerne, 72-75-71--218
Ken Kelley, Houston, 73-72-73--218
Wes Skaggs, Leander, 67-77-74--218
Full Results

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Anthony Rodriguez on "Big Break Mesquite"

The next season of "The Big Break" on The Golf Channel starts in just a couple weeks with "Big Break Mesquite," filmed in Mesquite, Nev. One of the contestants is San Antonio's Anthony Rodriguez, a Texas A&M star in the late 1980s who has held PGA Tour and Nationwide Tour status in his career and now plays on mini-tours.

The clip below is The Golf Channel's "meet the contestants" clip about Anthony. It looks like Anthony is the villain this year. See for yourself:

There's another a clip, a series preview, in which Rodriguez is shown throwing clubs, cursing other contestants, being mocked as "Hollywood" and "A-God" (as opposed to "A-Rod") by other contestants, and in which other golfers talk about how much they, well, hated him.

Is there no such thing as bad publicity? Looks like Rodriguez may soon be finding out.

Another NTPGA Victory for Larsson

It's been a big year for Dean Larsson, the Australia native now living in the Metroplex and one of the founders of the big Birdies For Kids Fundraiser in DFW. On Tuesday, he completed a victory in the Northern Texas PGA Section Championship, a win that gets him into this year's Nationwide Tour tournament in Midland and next year's Byron Nelson Championship.

Here's the report from the NTPGA:

DALLAS, TX – Dean Larsson, assistant golf professional at Bent Tree Country Club in Dallas, fired a final-round 4-under-par to match his first-round score and claim the FINA NTPGA Section Championship. Larsson finished at 8-under, five shots better than his nearest competitors.

Larsson also captured the FINA NTPGA Section Championship in 2004 at Bent Tree Country Club and most recently won the 2007 NTPGA Assistants’ Championship last month at Hurricane Creek Country Club in Anna. The 2007 Larsson resume also includes successfully qualifying for the PGA Professional National Championship and PGA National Assistants' Championship.

Judd Whiteman, assistant golf professional at Dallas National Golf Club, finished in a tie for second place with Michael Henderson, head golf professional at Stevens Park Golf Course in Dallas, at 3-under. Jamie Elliott, teaching professional at Bridlewood Golf Club; Tom Strueber, PGA Life Member; and John Sikes, teaching professional at Hollytree Country Club, all finished in a tie for fourth place at 1-under.

The Nationwide Tour WNB Golf Classic "PGA Class-A" qualifier was held in conjunction with the Championship. Larsson, Whiteman and Henderson successfully qualified for the WNB Golf Classic which will be conducted on October 11-14, 2007 at Midland Country Club in Midland.

The FINA NTPGA Section Championship presented by NIKE Golf and PGA TOUR was conducted at Lakewood Country Club. The 6,717-yard, par 71 golf course is located in Dallas, Texas. The field consisted of 85 PGA professionals from the Northern Texas Section of the PGA of America competing for a $48,000 purse, with the champion taking home $10,000 and the prestigious title of NTPGA Section Champion. Along with the trophy and prize money, the champion earns an exemption into both the 2008 EDS Byron Nelson Championship and the 2007 Nationwide Tour WNB Golf Classic.

The Championship is the fourth and final individual stroke play championship and Player of the Year points event of the 2007 season. The four events, the Eastern, Western, PGA Professional Championship and NTPGA Section Championship are used as qualifiers for the year-end Cleveland Golf/Club Car Match Play Championship, Player of the Year Points Challenge, the Ben Hogan/NTPGA Scoring Average Award and the 2007 Texas Joe Black Cup team.

Top Finishers - Overall
Dean Larsson, Bent Tree Country Club, 67-67--134
Judd Whiteman, Dallas National Golf Club, 71-68--139
Michael Henderson, Stevens Park Golf Course, 70-69--139
John Sikes, Hollytree CC, 68-73--141
Tom Strueber, PGA LM, 71-70--141
Full Results

Top Finishers - Senior Division
Tom Strueber, PGA LM, 71-70--141
Billy Harris, Dallas Country Club, 76-71--147
Michael Hurley, Grayson County College GC, 73-74--147
Lindy Miller, Mira Vista Golf Club, 73-75--148
Gilbert Freeman, Lakewood CC, 77-72--149
Chuck Young, Practice at the 19th, 74-75--149
Full Results

Monday, September 17, 2007

Babb Wins Adams Tour Event in Playoff

The Adams Pro Golf Tour Series was at the Towa Resort in Pojoaque, New Mexico, over the weekend for the Rotary of Santa Fe Cities of Gold Golf Classic, and Adam Babb was the winner in the playoff over Mark Walker.

Babb and Walker finished regulation tied at 13-under, after Walker had started the day with a 4-stroke lead. On the first playoff hole, Babb reached the par-5 No. 18 in two, then two-putted for a birdie and the win. And the $20,000 first-place prize money.

Top Finishers
Adam Babb, 68-68-71-68--275
Mark Walker, 65-69-69-72--275
Kerry Lott, 66-72-75-67--280
Matthew Rosenfeld, 73-71-68-68--280
Brice Garnett, 70-70-68-73--281
J.J. Killeen, 71-72-67-71--281
Full Results

Read the tournament recap from the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper.

Miskell Claims State Mid-Am Title

Terrence Miskell was the Texas Golf Association Player of the Year in 2006. And it's looking like he'll repeat in 2007. On Sunday in Bryan, at Miramont Country Club, Miskell claimed his second individual TGA title of the year and fourth overall, winning the Texas State Mid-Amateur Championship.

Here is the report from the TGA:

Bryan, TX -- 2006 TGA Player of the Year Terrence Miskell fired a final round of three under par 69 to win the 2007 Texas State Mid-Amateur Championship at Miramont Country Club in Bryan . Miskell held a slim one shot lead over his good friend and two time State Mid-Am champ (1999 and 2004) Alan Hill going to the final hole. Hill reached the front of the green on the par five 18th, so Miskell went for the green with his second shot, ending up just off the right edge of the green. Hill three putted for par and Miskell got up and down for birdie to make the margin of victory two shots. Miskell finished at seven under par 209 for the 54 hole championship.

Miskell, of New Braunfels , made a strong bid to defend his Player of the Year title by claiming his second individual and fourth overall TGA title of 2007. He teamed up with Trip Kuehne to win the State Four-Ball, and led the Dos Rios Golf Club team to victory in the State Club Team Championship. In June he won the Texas State Pub-Links title, and now can add the Texas Mid-Amateur trophy to his collection.

Four players tied for third, including 2006 Mid-Am Match Play champion Alan Clark of Ennis, who set a competitive course record with a sizzling seven under par 65. That left him at two under (214) for 54 holes and tied with Steve Galko (67) of Dallas, Scott Loving (72) of Conroe, and John Bearrie (68) of Arlington. Robert McKinney was the only other player to finish the championship under par, as the 1996 Texas Mid-Am champ had a final round 72 for a one under par 215 total.

"Without a doubt the par-5s were the key," Miskell said after posting two birdies and an eagle on par five holes in the final round. "I actually had three eagle putts in a row on 8-9-10. That is something I’ve never done before." Miskell drove the par four eighth hole, then reached both #9 and #10 (par five holes) in two. He made the eagle on the ninth hole and then watched Hill make an eagle putt as well to stay within two shots at the turn. After Miskell birdied #10 and Hill made what he called "a dumb, dumb, dumb three putt bogey on #11" there was suddenly a four shot advantage for Miskell. Hill never gave up and kept the pressure on Miskell. A birdie on #17 closed the gap to one shot going to the last hole, setting up the finish that led to a two shot win.

Here are the top finishers:

Terrence Miskell, New Braunfels, 73-67-69--209
Alan Hill, Spring Branch, 71-71-69--211
Alan Clark, Ennis, 78-71-65--214
John Bearrie, Arlington, 69-77-68--214
Steve Galko, Dallas, 73-74-67--214
Scott Loving, Conroe, 70-72-72--214
Complete Results

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rookie Hall-of-Famers Commit to AT&T Championship

The Champions Tour AT&T Championship is played at Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio, a course that many times hosted the PGA Tour Texas Open in the 1970s and 1980s. And the golfers love the course, which is why this end-of-the-season tournament on the Champions Tour has attracted some of the strongest fields on the senior circuit each year it's been played at Oak Hills.

Looks like this year will be no different, with Hall-of-Famers Nick Price and Bernhard Langer, each a rookie in 2007 on the Champions Tour, committing to play the tournament, along with fellow rookies John Cook and Jeff Sluman.

Here's the scoop:

The AT&T Championship Presented by Alcatel-Lucent, one of the most historic and longest running events on the Champions Tour, will welcome a superstar group of rookie players to its 2007 event, Oct. 19-21.

Tournament officials announced that four star Champions Tour rookies, Bernhard Langer, Nick Price, Jeff Sluman and John Cook have all committed to play this year’s tournament at Oak Hills Country Club.

Between them, there are six major championship victories with both Langer and Price already in the World Golf Hall of Fame

"We are absolutely thrilled that four of the top new rookies on the Champions Tour will be coming to San Antonio next month for the AT&T Championship," said tournament director Colby Callaway.

"Our fans and sponsors are in for a treat to see these champions of the PGA Tour making their first Alamo City Champions Tour appearance at Oak Hills."

Price turned pro at the beginning of the 2007 Champions Tour season and said he is always happy to be returning to San Antonio where he captured the 1992 Texas Open at Oak Hills.

"I always enjoy coming back to San Antonio, it reminds me of my home ( Zimbabwe ), plus I have great memories of my win there."

The other three champions will have only recently turn 50 and joined the Champions Tour this fall. Langer played in his first Champions Tour event earlier this month at the Wal-Mart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Sluman, the assistant captain on the U.S. Presidents Cup team at Royal Montreal in Canada, turns 50 on Sept. 11 while Cook has his 50th birthday on Oct. 1.

Langer, who played in the Texas Open last year in San Antonio, said he was looking forward to a return this October against players his own age.

"I’ve been on the regular Tour for 32 years and have enjoyed my time out there, but I’m looking forward to having some fun against guys my own age instead of being out driven by 50 or 60 yards by these 20-year-olds," he said.

Langer nearly joined defending AT&T Champion Fred Funk by winning on the PGA Tour this year, falling in a playoff at Colonial in Fort Worth in May. He tied for 10th at Pebble Beach in his Champions Tour debut.

"A lot of people think it's going to be a push over this year, but I know these guys and know how competitive they are. I know it’s going to be a struggle, but I’m a very competitive person myself," he added.

Sluman won the 1988 PGA Championship at Oak Tree Golf Club in Edmond, Oklahoma. He has won six PGA Tour events and lives outside Chicago, not far from 2006 AT&T runner-up Chip Beck.

Cook has won 11 times on the PGA Tour, including the 2004 Byron Nelson Classic where he out-dueled his friend and Orlando, Florida neighbor Tiger Woods.

Along with the fab foursome of Champions Tour rookies, joining defending champion Funk, will be current superstars Jay Haas and Loren Roberts along with local favorites Lee Trevino, Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite.

For tickets and more information, call 210-698-3582 or go to

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Jim Hardy is PGA Teacher of the Year for 2007

The news from the STPGA:

Jim Hardy, a partner in the Houston-based Jacobsen Hardy Golf Course Design firm, has been named the PGA of American’s 2007 Teacher of the Year.

Hardy is the first member of the STPGA to receive national recognition since 1996, when Austin’s Chuck Cook was named the national Teacher of the Year, and Courtney Connell, then the head golf professional at The Quarry Golf Club in San Antonio, was tabbed the PGA’s Merchandiser of the Year for public facilities.

Hardy is the third member of the Southern Texas PGA to receive the national Teacher of the Year award— the late Harvey Penick preceded Chuck Cook by seven years, earning that honor in 1989.

“Being honored like this is a very humbling experience,” said Hardy. “You always kind of hope such things come your way, but when they call to say you’ve been chosen, it’s kind of hard to believe. It’s really a wonderful thing.”

“I’m so proud that it happened for the Southern Texas PGA, too,” added Hardy. “We have many outstanding teachers within our Section . . . I kind of feel that we won as a Section, and it’s especially meaningful to be in the same company as Harvey Penick and Chuck Cook as PGA of America Teachers of the Year.”

The PGA’s Teacher of the Year award bestows special recognition on a PGA Professional for excellence in golf instruction, along with overall performance. The recipient must have attended or conducted at least two National PGA Teaching workshops, seminars, or the PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit within the past five years or have completed the PGA Certified Professional Program in Teaching. Promotion of golf, use of teaching aids, involvement in junior golf activities, teaching techniques, and articles published are some of the criteria considered for the award.

Hardy, elected to PGA of America membership in 1970, achieved PGA Quarter Century status is a Life Member of the organization. He was honored as the Southern Texas PGA’s Harvey Penick Teacher of the Year for 2002 and 2005.

Often a member of Golf Digest’s “America’s 50 Greatest Teachers” and Golf Magazine’s “Top 100 Teachers in America” lists, Hardy has been a featured speaker at the PGA’s Teaching and Coaching Summit three times (in 1990, 1996 and 2004) and has addressed over 25 PGA sectional gatherings. He was the featured speaker at the European PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit in 1997.

A nominee to the Teachers Division of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Hardy works with a formidable list of golfers that includes Peter Jacobsen, Olin Browne, Scott McCarron, Tom Pernice, Bob Tway, Jay Delsing, Graham Marsh, Don Pooley, David Eger, Chris Tidland, Dick Mast, Duffy Waldorf and Mitch Adcock. He has also worked with Dave Stockton, Carol Mann, Donna Caponi, Brad Faxon, Mark O’Meara, and Paul Azinger.

Olin Browne and Peter Jacobsen have won PGA Tour Comeback Player of the Year honors while working with Hardy.

An All-American golfer at Oklahoma State University in 1966, Hardy is a veteran of PGA Tour and Champions Tour competition. He has been a color analyst for golf network telecasts for NBC, ESPN and MISLOU, and provided golf tips for NBC telecasts in 1982.

He has won the Southern Texas PGA Senior Professional Championship three times.

Among the prominent golf instructors who have studied under Hardy are Hank Haney, Mike LaBauve, Jim Murphy, Martin Hall, Roger Gunn, Paul Gorman, Chris O’Connell and Rick Sellers.

A frequent contributor of instructional articles to a variety of periodicals, Hardy has authored and been featured in several books and videos. His first book, “The Plane Truth for Golfers,” was published in 2005 and was the best selling golf book in the world for that year.

His second book, “The Plane Truth for Golfers, Master Class,” was published in April of this year and is among the top 10 selling golf book in the United States.

Hardy’s partnership with Peter Jacobsen at Jacobsen Hardy Golf Course Design has produced a number of noteworthy golf courses, including both layouts at Blackhorse Golf Club in Cypress and the Member Course at Redstone Golf Club.

The Teacher of the Year award is one of nine national honors presented by the PGA of America to its members annually. Those awards are; Golf Professional of the Year; the PGA Horton Smith Award; the Bill Strausbaugh Award; PGA Junior Golf Leader; PGA President’s Plaque; and Merchandiser of the Year (in three categories, Public, Private and Resort Facilities).

All of the 2007 honorees will receive formal presentation of their awards at the PGA of America Awards celebration on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2008, during the 55th PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center’s Linda W. Chapin Auditorium in Orlando, Fla.

Additional information about Jim Hardy may be found on the internet at and

Monday, September 10, 2007

Brigman Takes Adams Tour Title in New Mexico

The New Mexico Open on the Adams Tour Pro Golf Series wrapped up over the weekend at Inn of the Mountain Gods in Mescalero, N.M. Jaxon Brigman of Frisco held off Brian Kortan of Albuquerque for the victory. Brigman finished at 19-under with a 69 in the final round to claim the $13,000 first prize. Kortan charged with a 64 in the final round, but came up one stroke short.

Top Finishers
Jaxon Brigman, Frisco, 65-63-69--197 (-19) $13,000.00
Brian Kortan, Albuquerque, NM, 68-66-64--198 (-18) $9,000.00
JJ Killeen, Fort Worth, 67-65-68--200 (-16) $7,000.00
Javier Quevedo, El Paso, 67-67-67--201 (-15) $5,500.00
Kyle Willmann, Austin, 66-67-68--201 (-15) $5,500.00
Full Scores

Friday, September 07, 2007

Texas Golf Reads

When you're not reading greens on the golf course, how about reading a book about golf? There are three new books about Texas golf (or at least written by Texas golfers) hitting the shelves. I'd like to point them out to you. Note that I haven't actually read any of these yet myself, but in the first two cases I know enough about the authors to have great confidence that the books are well worth reading.

Golf Unplugged by Jim Apfelbaum

Many of you probably recognize Jim's name. He's a great golf writer whose had a golf radio show in Austin - That's Golf! on AM-1300 The Zone, Saturday 8-9 a.m. - for years; has a Web site called The Hearthstone Review, where he collects his many-varied writings about the game; and writes the blog Golf Digress.

Golf Unplugged, as its title suggests, is an irreverant look at the game described thusly on
"An edgy and humorous look at the state of golf today, with an emphahsis on how the game has strayed from its original simplicity due to commercialism across all areas - golf course design, equipment technology, instruction and the excesses on the Pro Tour. Veteran golf writer Jim Apfelbaum draws on historical material and original interviews to expose the folly in today's game - and shows how to rediscover the game's roots."

The SCoR Method by Terry Koehler

The full name of this 30-page booklet is The SCoR Method - A Simple Way To Achieve Precision In Your Shotmaking. The author, Terry Koehler, is the founder of Eidolon Golf and the man behind that Texas company's highly regarded wedges. He's also the author of the informative blog, The Wedge Guy.

The SCoR Method is described thusly:

Step-by-step, this book will show you how to accurately chart your distances and to quickly and easily learn to reliably hit each of your scoring clubs three to six different yardages, without having to learn partial swings!

The booklet is being released along with a new grip developed by Koehler called the Eidolon SCoR grip, and the book is now available free with any order of SCoR grips. (I believe the book will be available separately soon.)

See this page for more info.

Spectacular Golf of Texas by Brian Carabet and John Shand

It shore looks purdy. This one's a coffee-table book that was actually published late last year. It's part of a series of books focusing on different states and highlighting the "most scenic, inspiring, and unforgettable golf holes" across the state.

Spectacular Golf of Texas checks in at 208 pages and three pounds. It focuses mostly on big-city courses, with plenty of great golf course photography.

Texan Schultz Wins U.S. Senior Women's Am

anna schultz - 2007 us senior womens amateur
(Photo by Robert Walker/USGA)

Congratulations to Anna Schultz of Rockwall, the 2007 winner of the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur championship. The tournament was completed Thursday at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Oregon.

It is the first USGA championship for Schultz, age 52, and comes one year after she lost in the finals of the same national championship.

Schultz defeated Robyn Puckett, 60, of Irvine, Calif., in the final, 1-up on the second extra hole.

"It's overwhelming," Schultz said afterward. "I am so thrilled. I've wanted this for so long. This is what we work for and what we dream of. It's something everybody wants so badly."

The championship match recap on the USGA site details that Schultz took an early lead, then held on as Puckett made a furious comeback, before closing it out on the 20th hole.

The USGA site also includes the transcript of a post-championship interview with Schultz.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Champions Tour Qualifiers Coming in October

The two Champions Tour tournaments in Texas near the end of the senior circuit schedule will hold qualifiers in October open to any professional or amateur over the age of 50. Qualifiers on the Champions Tour these days are held in two stages. First, there's the Pre-Qualifier. Make it through that and you get into the Event Qualifier (a k a the Monday qualifier of tournament week).

Want to take a crack at it yourself? Here's the scoop from the Southern Texas PGA:

Texas' final two Champions Tour competitions of 2007 will take place in October, and both will be preceded by a pair of qualifying rounds.

Pre-qualifying for the 2007 Administaff Small Business Classic will take place Oct. 4 on the Tradition Course at Cypresswood Golf Club in Spring, and is open to all professionals and amateurs aged 50 and above as of Oct. 4, 2007.

The pre-qualifying event for the 2007 AT&T Championship will be held Oct. 10 at The Republic Golf Club in San Antonio. It is open to all professionals and amateurs aged 50 and above as of Oct. 10, 2007.

Amateurs are permitted to enter and compete in the Pre-Qualifiers and maintain their amateur status. Amateurs competing in the Pre-Qualifiers and successfully qualifying for advancement to the Event Qualifiers must forfeit their amateur status prior to entering an Event Qualifier. Amateurs who become professional specifically to enter an Event Qualifier and are not successful in qualifying may apply to the USGA for reinstatement of their amateur status.

The top five golfers in the Pre-Qualifiers will gain entry into the respective Event Qualifier. There will be no alternates from the Pre-Qualifiers— ties for the last qualifying spot(s) will be broken by sudden-death playoff.

The entry fee for the Pre-Qualifiers is $150 for Class A PGA members and $220 for all other players, professional or amateur other than exempt golfers or associate members of the Champions Tour (This entry fee also covers entry into the appropriate Event Qualifier for golfers advancing to those events).

The entry deadline for the Administaff Small Business Classic Pre-Qualifier is Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2007. The Event Qualifier for the Administaff tournament will be held Oct. 9 on the Gary Player Course at The Woodlands Country Club.

The entry deadline for the AT&T Championship Pre-Qualifier, which will take place Oct. 10, 2007, at The Republic Golf Club, is Oct, 8, 2007. The AT&T Championship Event Qualifier will be held Oct. 16, 2007, at The Republic Golf Club.

A maximum of the low five golfers will advance from the Event Qualifiers into the field of the Champions Tour events.

For complete information and entry details for 2007 Administaff Small Business Classic qualifying events or for 2007 AT&T Championship qualifying information, please visit the “Tournaments” page of

Monday, September 03, 2007

Callas Claims Adams Tour Title in El Paso

Brett Callas of Houston fired a final-round 68 to win the Adams Golf Pro Tour Series El Paso Sunrise Open on Sunday by three strokes over Brad Weesner.

The tournament was played on the Yucca Course at Santa Teresa Country Club.

Callas posted rounds of 69-69-64-68 to finish at 18-under 270. Weesner, of Hideaway, was at 273. Tied for third were El Pasoan Trent Ronmann, a former UTEP golfer now an assistant pro at El Paso Country Club, and Judd Cornell, of Omaha, Neb., at 274. Callas earned $20,000 with the victory.

The El Paso Times reported:

But this was Callas' day. He began slowly, making the turn at 1 under. But he put his final stamp on this tournament on the back nine, holing a bunker shot on 16 for birdie and then two-putting for birdie on 18.

"Down the stretch, I was just trying to hit fairways," Callas said, shaking his head. "I couldn't believe I reached the green in two (on 18), because I wasn't trying to. I think some adrenaline kicked in. I knew then it was probably over unless I did something horrendous."

He did not.

Full Story

Top Finishers
Brett Callas, Houston, 69-69-64-68--270
Brad Weesner, Hideaway, 71-68-67-67--273
Judd Cornell, Omaha, Neb., 69-65-71-69--274
Trent Rommann, El Paso, 68-67-70-69--274
Clark Dennis, Fort Worth, 70-68-68-69--275
Kevin Dillen, Paris, 71-68-68-68--275
Kyle Willmann, Edmond, 69-69-66-71--275
Full Scores

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Notebook: Lubbock Girl Named High School Player of the Year

Rachael Dansby of Lubbock has been named national Girls Player of the Year by the National High School Golf Coaches Association. In announcing the honor, the NHSGCA said of Rachael:

This past spring, Dansby helped Lubbock Christian School win the 4A district and state championships. She was the individual district champion and runner-up at the state championship. She has earned All-State honors three times and was an NHSGCA All-American last year. Rachael shot a career low round of 65 in 2007. A member of the National Honor Society, Rachael has tutored other students in chemistry, geometry and algebra. She was junior class vice-president in 2006-07 and president of 4-H. She is a talented musician and singer.

How she finds the time to golf, I'll never know. I flunked chemistry, geometry and algebra, and I still can't find enough time for golf ...

Other items of note:

  • After two months closed due to waterlogging, the Masters Course at Houston's Bear Creek Golf World is open again.
  • San Antonio's brand new Municipal Golf Association - which will gradually take over management of the city's munys, a process that will include shutting down Brackenridge Park Golf Course for a redesign - is finally up and running.
  • In his Backspin blog for the Austin American-Statesmen, Kevin Robbins takes a look at the Golf World college golf preview issue, in which Texas colleges don't fare so well.
  • Have you ever played a course, checked the scorecard for the No. 1 handicap hole, and thought to yourself, "No way is that the toughest hole"? The Houston Chronicle explains why the No. 1 handicap hole isn't necessarily supposed to be the toughest hole.
  • A nearly $1 billion project is slated for Ingleside, near Live Oak Park and close to the soon-to-be-closed Naval Station Ingleside, that will include a golf course in addition to all the homes, plus a marina, town center and condos.