Monday, December 29, 2008

Lajitas Rebuilding The Ambush

As noted earlier, The Ambush golf course at Lajitas Resort was mostly washed out by severe flooding earlier this year. That original course was designed by Randy Russell and Roy Bechtol, a ribbon of green through the Chihuahuan desert. And it included a 19th hole (actually, hole 11A) with a tee shot across the Rio Grande, into Mexico (no, you didn't get to cross over to finish out the hole).

Lajitas Resort recently announced plans to rebuild The Ambush. The new Ambush will be designed by Lanny Wadkins Design Group and built by Fezler Golf. Construction was scheduled to begin this month, with completion targeted for Fall 2009.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Futures Tour Makes 2009 Texas Stops Official

The Futures Tour released its 2009 schedule this week, making two new stops in Texas official for next season.

For the past several years, the women's developmental tour has played events in McAllen and in El Paso. Both are gone from the 2009 schedule, although Valley golf fans still have a tournament in their region.

In their place are tournaments in Brownsville and San Antonio:

Historic Brownsville Open
Rancho Viejo
April 24–26
Purse: $110,000

Texas Hill Country Classic
San Antonio
May 1–3
Purse: $125,000

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Texas Golf Hall of Fame Missing Some Pieces

San Antonio's Brackenridge Park Golf Course is open again following a multimillion-dollar renovation designed to restore the historic track to its former glory. But the work at Brackenridge doesn't end with the course; renovations and upgrades will continue to restore the historic buildings that house the course's pro shop and clubhouse.

The Brack clubhouse is supposed to be the new home of the Texas Golf Hall of Fame, which has been without a home for years. In fact, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Texas Golf Hall of Fame ceased to exist as a business entity in 2001. Since then, its displays and memorabilia have been in storage.

And, unfortunately, some of those items have gone missing. The Star-Telegram reports:

Among the items he cannot locate, said Hall of Fame chairman Joe Black, are two Ben Hogan-related pieces donated by individuals outside the Hogan family. Also missing, according to Black’s inventory list, are antique clubs and golf books autographed by Hall of Fame inductees, including Hogan and Byron Nelson.

Black, 75, is leading a group that seeks to reopen the Hall of Fame in 2009 at Brackenridge Park Golf Course in San Antonio, the state’s first public course. When the hall ceased operations at its former location in The Woodlands, a Houston suburb, donors were given the choice of having items returned or storing them until the hall reopened.

At issue is what happened to the stored items that are missing and who should attempt to find them. The Woodlands Operating Co., which owned the building where the hall was located, and the Houston Golf Association, which shared office space with the hall, were involved in the early stages of the storage process.

In the interim, however, the HGA has moved to a new location and The Woodlands Operating Co. has undergone multiple ownership changes. Black acknowledged receiving a file cabinet with photos and documents from the HGA.

But he said he expected to receive more memorabilia items, including a vintage sand wedge designed by Hogan, as well as a golf bag Hogan once used. Other missing items from his inventory list, Black said, include trophies, antique clubs and vintage golf books dating to the 1890s. One missing book came from the late Harvey Penick, the renowned Austin instructor whose pupils included Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw.

"It would be a great loss if we can’t find all these things that were in the Hall of Fame," Black said. "Because they’re irreplaceable."

Read the full article.

(As an aside, in case anyone is wondering, yes - the Joe Black mentioned in the article is the same guy the Texas Joe Black Cup Matches are named after.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pilsner Named STPGA Pro of the Year

The Southern Texas PGA has announced its yearend award-winners. The full list follows the STPGA news release below about David Pilsner, this year's honoree as Professional of the Year.

David Pilsner, president of the Southern Texas PGA in 2007 and 2008, is the STPGA’s Golf Professional of the Year for 2008. Pilsner is the 41st winner of the STPGA’s highest honor.

The first STPGA Golf Professional of the Year award went to the late Hardy Loudermilk, shortly after the STPGA’s creation in 1968.

A native of Victoria and a 1980 graduate of the University of Texas, Pilsner has been involved with the STPGA’s leadership since the mid-1990s, when he served as an officer with the Section’s Alamo Chapter Assistants Association. He became a member of the STPGA Board of Directors in 1997 and has since served as president and vice-president of the Section’s Eastern Chapter and as secretary and vice-president of the Southern Texas PGA, in addition to his term as president. He will complete his presidency in February and will serve as Honorary President of the STPGA for the next two years.

Pilsner was elected to membership in the PGA of America in 1983, and his career includes tours of duty as the head golf professional at three clubs within the Southern Texas PGA— Riverhill Country Club in Kerrville, Golfcrest Country Club in Pearland and Bay Oaks in Houston, at which he has served since 2000.

Pilsner has previously been honored as the STPGA Eastern Chapter Merchandiser of the Year (1998) and the STPGA Eastern Chapter Golf Professional of the Year (2001, 2005).

Pilsner credits a pair of PGA Professionals - Ross Collins and Warren Chancellor - as keys to his success. His experiences with those two gentlemen and others have yielded an effective philosophy toward his career.

"Good leadership is an absolute must for organizations," says Pilsner. "The qualities that are critical for successful leadership are loyalty, integrity and the ability to create and sustain a vision for the organization."

It has been through the consistent application of those principals that David Pilsner has earned the respect of his members, his employers, his employees and his fellow golf professionals, who have chosen him as the most outstanding golf professional in the Southern Texas PGA for 2008.

Golf Professional of the Year
David Pilsner, Head Golf Professional, Bay Oaks Country Club, Houston

Harvey Penick Teacher of the Year
Kevin Kirk, Director of Instruction, The Woodlands/Canongate Performance Center

Junior Golf Leader
Will Borowski, Director of Instruction, The Club at Cimarron, Mission

Horton Smith Award
Rich Ballinger, Director of PGA Golf Management and Golf Course Operations, Sam Houston State University, Hunstville

Bill Strausbaugh Award
Jeff Strong, Head golf professional, Eagle Pointe Golf Club, Mont Belvieu

Assistant Professional of the Year
Corey Lundberg, Senior Assistant Professional, The University of Texas Golf Club, Austin

Merchandisers of the Year
Eagle Pointe Golf Club (Public), Houston Country Club (Private), Westin La Cantera Resort (Resort)

STPGA President’s Plaque
Andrew Peterson, Head Golf Professional, Canyon Springs Golf Club, San Antonio

STPGA Golf Sales Representative of the Year
Bill Lame, FootJoy, Fair Oaks Ranch

STPGA Amateur of the Year
Terrence Miskell, New Braunfels

STPGA Junior Golfer of the Year
Cory Whitsett, Houston

STPGA Special Service Award
Corby Robertson, Houston

STPGA Meda/Public Relations Award
Richard Oliver, San Antonio Express-News, San Antonio

STPGA Chapter Awards
Each of the Southern Texas PGA’s three Chapters selects its own slate of award winners annually. For 2008, the recipients of those award winners are as follows.

Eastern Chapter
Golf Professional of the Year: Jeff Strong, Head Golf Professional, Eagle Pointe Golf Club, Mont Belvieu
Harvey Penick Teachers of the Year: Paul Marchand, Head Golf Professional, ShadowHawk Golf Club, Richmond, and Jim Phenice, Director of Instruction, WindRose Golf Club, Spring
Junior Golf Leader: Jennifer Burdette, Teaching Professional, Blackhorse Golf Club, Cypress
Merchandiser of the Year: Champions Golf Club, Houston

Southern Chapter
Golf Professional of the Year: Doug DeSive, Head Golf Professional, Corpus Christi Country Club
Harvey Penick Teacher of the Year: Bruce Haddad, Head Golf Professional, Kings Crossing Country Club, Corpus Christi
Junior Golf Leader: Will Borowski, Director of Instruction, The Club at Cimarron, Mission
Merchandiser of the Year: Corpus Christi Country Club

Western Chapter
Golf Professional of the Year: Glenn Lee, Director of Golf, Horseshoe Bay Resort, Horseshoe Bay
Harvey Penick Teacher of the Year: Mike Vardeman, Director of instruction, The Academy at La Cantera, San Antonio
Junior Golf Leader: Brian McMyler, Golf Instructor, Canyon Springs Golf Club, San Antonio
Merchandiser of the Year: Wolfdancer Golf Club, Bastrop

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Garland's Eastern Hills Keeps TWO Through 2011

eastern hills country clubThe Texas Women's Open will continue at Eastern Hills Country Club through at least 2011, the Northern Texas PGA has announced. The club has served as the site of the tournament since 2001, and under the extension will host the TWO on he following dates:

  • 2009: June 23-25
  • 2010: June 22-24
  • 2011: June 21-23

Mark Harrison, director of operations for the NTPGA, said:

"The Texas Women's Open is one of the premier state opens for females in the United States. The event has steadily grown over the past eight years thanks in part to our partners at Eastern Hills Country Club. The club and its members look forward to hosting the event every year and role out the red carpet for all our contestants and sponsors. The golf course is always in tremendous condition and provides a difficult, yet fair test of golf. We look forward to enhancing the event even further and are excited about the future."

The Texas Women's Open was first played in 1935, and continued into the early 1950s, when it was part of the earliest LPGA schedules. The tournament discontinued play after 1954, however, until the NTPGA revived it in 2001.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Brackenridge Now Open

brackenridge golf course san antonio

For the past month or so, golfers could play the renovated Brackenridge Park Golf Course in San Antonio for $250 (a fund-raising fee). And next April, the historic golf course will have its official grand re-opening.

But now, as of Dec. 1, Brackenridge is open on a limited basis for daily play at its normal rates. Tee times are offered daily from 9 a.m. to 11:48 a.m. only, and that window will be open until April, when the course ramps up for a full load of tee times.