Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Junior Tour Honors Texas Legend Demaret

jimmy demaretThe Texas Legends Junior Tour is honoring Texas legend Jimmy Demaret by renaming the circuit's stop at Austin's Onion Creek Club in honor of the World Golf Hall of Fame member.

"We are extremely excited that the Demaret family has chosen the Legends Junior Tour to host an event for a true Texas golfing legend," said David Anderson, Executive Director of the Legends Junior Tour. "As a three-time winner of the Masters, we are once again honored to memorialize a great golf pioneer at his own home course."

The Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic is scheduled July 15-16 and is open to boys and girls ages 18-and-under who are members of the Legends Junior Tour.

Demaret was born in 1910 in Houston and died in 1983. As a young pro, he worked at River Oaks Country Club in Houston, where Jack Burke Sr. was head professional, and where Jimmy often babysat Jack Burke Jr. Jimmy and Jackie formed a lifelong bond and in the 1950s cofounded Houston's Champions Golf Club.

Demaret won 31 times on the PGA Tour, including three Masters championships. After his playing days ended, Demaret had success as a homespun wit in the broadcast booth on television.

In 1974, Demaret founded Onion Creek Club, and in 1979 Demaret was a driving force in organizing the first Legends of Golf tournament at Onion Creek, the event that gave rise to the Champions Tour.

For more on the Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic and the Texas Legends Junior Tour, visit tltj.org.

Friday, January 18, 2008

NCAA Exemption Keeps Storied El Paso Tourney Alive

Back in early December, we reported on what then appeared to be the bleak future of the Western Refining All-America Golf Classic in El Paso, a top independently run tournament for college men whose past winners include Tiger Woods, David Duval and Davis Love III.

The issue was that NCAA rules limit the number of "playing days" available to student-athletes, including its golfers. However, certain big events are exempted from that rule, giving those top college players the chance to play in those independently run tournaments. But the board that oversaw those exemptions for golf was disbanded, and the All-America Golf Classic was likely to lose its exemption as a result. No exemption, no players, no tournament.

Happily, there's a happy ending to pass along now. The NCAA Board of Directors took up the matter and voted to extend the All-America Golf Classic's exemption, meaning that top collegiate golfers can continue playing in El Paso without it counting against their team's "playing days."

And everyone should live happily ever after.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Legends Junior Tour Teams with IJGT
The International Junior Golf Tour has teamed up with the Legends Junior Tour of Texas to add three additional top-tier junior tournaments in Texas in 2008. The three new events are ranked by Golfweek and Junior Golf Scoreboard, and one (marked with asterisk below) also provides and AJGA exemption.

The three tournaments will take place at:

  • February 15-17: The Wildcat in Houston
  • February 29-March 2: Castle Hills Golf Club in the Dallas area
  • March 14-16: The Tribute Golf Club in the Dallas area

The IJGT is affiliated with the International Junior Golf Academy, where Hank Haney is director of instruction. Visit the IJGT Web site or the Texas Legends Junior Tour Web site for more info.

Top Golf Communities
Travel & Leisure Golf magazine compiles a list of its Top 100 Golf Communities in the U.S. in its Jan./Feb. issue, and four Texas communities make that list:

  • Barton Creek, Austin
  • Comanche Trace, Kerrville
  • Spanish Oaks, Bee Cave
  • Vaquero, Westlake

Hat tip to Waggle Room, where Mulligan Stu points out that Comanche Trace is among the least expensive of the communities in the Top 100.

Honoring Whitworth
The Trophy Club in DFW is paying tribute to a legend - Kathy Whitworth, the winningest golfer in the history of the LPGA (or PGA Tour) with 88 career victories. The club is renaming its Arthur Hills Course to Kathy Whitworth Course, and has also created a sort of Whitworth museum in its clubhouse: "One wall of a clubhouse room is now covered by a massive trophy case that honors each one of Whitworth's 88 LPGA victories."

Brackenridge Closed
Historic Brackenridge Golf Course in San Antonio is now closed for renovations. The course should re-open in approximately eight months.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Let's Hear It for the Boys and Girls

The Northern Texas PGA Junior Golf Foundation handed out a passel of awards recently to its junior golf players of the year in its Masters Tour, and East, Metro and West chapters. Here they are:

East Texas Chapter Boys Player of the Year
Ages 16-18: Jason Fiscus of Longview
Ages 14-15: Nathan Weant of Hallsville
Ages 12-13: Jake Gorman of Quitman
Ages 10-11: Dennis Godoy of Hideaway
Coed 7-9: Pate Jansen of Mineola

East Texas Chapter Girls Player of the Year
Ages 15-18: Elizabeth Rosebury of Bullard
Ages 12-14: Julia Bazaldua of Arlington
Ages 10-11: Sarah Black of Big Spring

Metro Chapter Boys Player of the Year
Ages 16-18: Boom Sritart of Keller
Ages 14-15: Gates Lopez of Fort Worth
Ages 12-13: Scott Scheffler of Dallas
Ages 10-11: William Blaine Hale Jr. of Dallas
Coed 7-9: Andrew Scontrino of Garland

Metro Chapter Girls Player of the Year
Ages 15-18: Paloma Nunez of Granbury
Ages 12-14: Grace Choi of Dallas
Ages 10-11: Emily Campbell of Plano

West Texas Chapter Boys Player of the Year
Ages 16-18: Blake Fulton of Amarillo
Ages 14-15: Logan Leggett of Amarillo
Ages 12-13: Hogan Hudgins of Amarillo
Ages 10-11: Clarke Hudgins of Amarillo
Coed 7-9: Tanner Montgomery of Andrews

West Texas Chapter Girls Player of the Year
Ages 15-18: Rachael Dansby of Lubbock
Ages 12-14: Libby Thomas of Midland
Ages 10-11: Sarah Black of Big Spring

Masters Tour Boys Player of the Year
Ages 16-18: Garett Fisher of Keller
Ages 14-15: Kolton Crawford of Mansfield
Ages 12-13: Scott Scheffler of Dallas

Masters Tour Girls Player of the Year
Ages 15-18: Amanda Genovese of Crandall
Ages 12-14: Grace Choi of Dallas

Monday, January 07, 2008

Clubhouse Fire Won't Impact NCAA Regionals

The under-construction, close-to-completion clubhouse at the UT Golf Club caught fire a couple weeks ago and was totally destroyed. The women's NCAA Central Regional golf tournament is scheduled at UT Golf Club May 8-10. Is there a problem?

No, UT women's coach Martha Richards told Golf Digest's Campus Insider blog:

According to Texas women's coach Martha Richards, the fire shouldn't impact the school hosting regionals May 8-10. "The most important thing you need for regionals is the golf course," Richards said today via phone. "The golf course is great. The golf course is fast. ? The big impact probably more than anything is the restaurant [that would have been up and running in the new clubhouse]. It's not like everybody is hanging out in the clubhouse at regionals. And that can all be solved."

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Adams Golf Expands Tour Staff

Is it possible that Plano-based Adams Golf might be thinking of itself as a challenger to the Big Boys (Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway, Ping, Nike)? That's the first thought that entered my mind when I read the news that Adams has signed Rory Sabbatini and Aaron Baddeley to endorsement deals.

Adams has always had a strong presence on the Champions Tour, with Tom Watson, et.al. And Adams has signed LPGA stars in the past, including, currently, Brittany Lincicome. But Adams' presence on the PGA Tour has usually been limited to second-tier players.

But Sabbatini and Baddeley are big names. Both golfers are in the Top 20 in the world rankings.

Golfweek reported:

... the addition of Sabbatini and Baddeley is by far the company’s most aggressive move toward gaining exposure on the PGA Tour.

"We wanted to broaden our brand’s appeal and reach by having a PGA Tour presence," Brewer said. "Business has done well, and we thought we had an opportunity and we took it. Time will tell how big this move is. We’ve got four players on the Tour we're very proud of, and we hope it’s a nice significant move forward for our brand."

Brewer said Adams had discussions with a half dozen PGA Tour players before wrapping up deals with Sabbatini and Baddeley. He doesn’t expect any more PGA Tour signings in the immediate future.

The other two PGA Tour players recently signed by Adams are Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey and Brad Elder.

Big moves in Plano.