Friday, April 30, 2010

Pharaohs CC in Corpus to Close

That's the news in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, which reports that the club will shut down by July.

Pharaohs Country Club will be the second Corpus Christi course to close within a year, following the 2009 closure of Kings Crossing Country Club. The newspaper article paints a bleak picture of golf in Corpus, reporting that rounds at the two municipal courses have fallen, and rounds at Padre Isles Country Club are down 35-percent over the past 10 years.

Pharaohs opened in 1964, designed by Ralph Plummer, and was a private club for most of its first 30 years. In its early years, it was considered a top-flight facility; many of the biggest local tournaments were played there. The LPGA Tour visited Pharaohs several times in the early 1970s, Kathy Whitworth winning one of those tournaments.

In the 1990s, Pharaohs switched to semi-private, still offering memberships but also allowing public play. Despite the oft-repeated claims of Corpus golfers (and I was one for the first 29 years of my life) that the city desperately needed a third public course, golfers never flocked to Pharaohs once it opened to the public. Forget flock, they didn't even trickle in.

I played Pharaohs often in the mid-90s, specifically because the course was usually deserted.

And the Caller-Times reports continuing declines at the other public courses in Corpus.

A couple years ago, the city of Corpus Christi paid the National Golf Foundation a lot of money to study the feasibility of adding a third municipal golf course (joining Oso Beach and Gabe Lozano Sr. golf courses). The NGF said no; focus instead on taking care of the two courses you already have.

Recently, a group of students at Texas A&M-CC studied the local golf scene, and concluded that the city should forget adding another muni and instead focus on taking care of the courses it already has.

Both studies also recommended changes to business plans to make the city's golf courses more self-sustaining, more customer-friendly, better conditioned. The NGF's recommendations were promptly ignored. So, too, will be the student group recommendations. That's just the way it works in Corpus. But if one thing should be clear after the decline in Corpus golf over the past 20 years, it's that another course is not needed.

Farewell, Pharaohs.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

SA's Reid Named Head of Texas Golf Hall



San Antonio's Reid Meyers has been appointed executive director of the Texas Golf Hall of Fame and Museum. After decades of atrophy, the Texas Golf Hall of Fame is springing back to life in San Antonio, and will move into its new permanent home at Brackenridge Park Golf Course later this year.

Here is the news release from the Southern Texas PGA:

The Board of Directors of the recently reconstituted Texas Golf Hall of Fame and Museum has appointed Reid E. Meyers as its Executive Director.
The Texas Golf Hall of Fame, formerly located at The Woodlands, Texas, and closed in 2001, was reconstituted late last year with a new statewide Board of Directors. The new Board includes officials from the Texas Golf Association, the two Texas Sections of the PGA of America, San Antonio’s Municipal Golf Association-SA, and other golf dignitaries who have been heavily involved in Texas golf throughout their careers.
The 15-member Board made the decision to hire Meyers after six months of organizational planning.

"Mr. Meyers has the right passion and vision for this project and, without a doubt, he is a man of action. We are delighted that Reid has accepted this role," said Buddy Cook, Chairman of the Hall's Board of Directors.

Agreeing with Cook, Hall of Fame Honorary Chairman and former President of the PGA of America Joe Black said, "Reid is the right choice to jump-start our efforts."

Meyers, a San Antonio employment law attorney, has been a golf industry leader since 1992. He was president of the San Antonio Golf Association (now known as Golf San Antonio), operator of the Valero Texas Open, from 1996-98, and continues to serve on its Executive Committee. During his term as SAGA's president, the organization initiated The First Tee program and proposed plans to renovate the Brackenridge Park Golf Course clubhouse. He was also involved in the name change to Golf San Antonio and the hiring of longtime Golf San Antonio Chief Executive Officer Tony Piazzi.

More recently, Meyers was tapped by City of San Antonio officials to form and chair the Municipal Golf Association-SA (d.b.a. The Alamo City Golf Trail), which took over the operation of San Antonio’s municipal golf courses in 2007. In 2008, under Meyers’ leadership, the MGA-SA restored Brackenridge Park to its original A.W. Tillinghast design.

"I am deeply honored to have been offered this opportunity from the Hall of Fame Board. We have an opportunity to create a very special place at Brackenridge Park and, with the help of our Board and golf history lovers from across the state and nation, we will succeed," Meyers said.

The Texas Golf Hall of Fame and Museum will be located at the Brackenridge Park Golf Course clubhouse and a historic building adjacent to the clubhouse, the Borglum Studio.

From the mid-1970s to the late 1990s, the Texas Golf Hall of Fame inducted 77 Texans into its membership. From Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, and Babe Zaharias to Lee Trevino, Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite, the Texas Golf Hall of Fame includes more great names than any other state golf hall of fame.

The Texas Golf Hall of Fame and Museum's new home at San Antonio’s Brackenridge Park Golf Course will open later this year, and, on October, 25, 2010, the Hall will induct its newest members.

South Shore Harbor Takes State Team Title

From the Texas Golf Association:

San Antonio, TX – Another day of perfect weather greeted the players as they arrived for the final round of the 2010 State Club Team Championship presented by Golf Week. The sun was out, the wind was down and in the end Rian Butler, Ross Odell and Pat Youngs of South Shore Harbour Golf Club in League City climbed from two strokes off the lead after one round to take a one stroke victory over the defending champions, David Leiss, Kyle Flodder and Aaron Hickman of Memorial Park GC.

South Shore’s team was anchored by Houston’s Rian Butler who fired a 5-under par 67 to help bring his team from a tie for fourth after the first round to a one stroke victory at the conclusion of play on Sunday. With his scorecard tarnished by a double bogey (on his opening hole) and a bogey on the par 4, 8th hole, Butler exploded for eight birdies including five in a row to start his final nine. Consistent play by League City’s Pat Youngs, whose second round 3-over, 75 helped secure their victory. The defending champions from Memorial Park had a chance to repeat, but came up just one stroke short. Aaron Hickman improved eight strokes from Saturday to come in at 2-under par. That, along with David Leiss’ 1-under par gave the team from Houston a tie for the lead in the clubhouse.

First round leader, The Club at Sonterra (1) were unable to keep pace as team members Christopher Payne, Dave Moore, and Gene Roe came in at 79, 77, and 76 respectively to finish tied for the eighth position while their second team, The Club at Sonterra (2) climbed up the leader board to finish in third place outright.

The State Club Team also recognizes the individual medalist for the weekend and that honor went to Crown Colony’s Randy Lance who fired a tournament low 6-under par 66 to finish the weekend at 2-under par, 142, good enough for a two stroke victory over Northgate Country Club’s Jeff Stringer. Lance was able to card eight birdies (4 on each side) to just two bogeys to take home the medal.


View the scores

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Play Golf America Day in San Antonio May 8

From the Southern Texas PGA:

Spring has taken hold on south Texas, and golfers have headed back out to their favorite golf courses to take advantage of the weather it has brought.

To help them get the most out of their games, the Southern Texas PGA and The First Tee of San Antonio have planned a “Play Golf America” Day for Saturday, May 8, at the First Tee facility (915 E. Mulberry in San Antonio).

The event will begin at 10 a.m. and end approximately 3 p.m. and will include the opportunity for “hands-on” equipment testing for those attending. Equipment and representatives from Callaway, Cleveland Golf, Nike, TaylorMade, Titleist and U.S. Kids Golf will be available for the “demo day” portion of the event.

So, too, will free golf instruction— several Southern Texas PGA golf professionals will be on hand to provide free, 10-minute lessons to golfers interesting in improving their skills.

Drawings for a variety of special prizes will be conducted throughout the day.

Representatives of the Southern Texas PGA will be present to discuss the various operations of the region’s PGA of America Section, especially the STPGA Academy Sports + Outdoors Junior Golf programs, the Bridgestone Golf Senior Series and the new STPGA Associate Program.

The latter offers golfers a round of golf at a select area golf course and two personalized luggage/bag tags for a cost of $40.

Golfers who purchase a membership in the STPGA Associate Program by May 9 will also receive a free “good any day” ticket for the 2010 Valero Texas Open.

For more information about the STPGA/First Tee of San Antonio “Play Golf America” Day or the STPGA Associate Program, please call 832-442-2404 or visit www.stpga.com.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

La Torretta Resort Opens to Public



La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa is celebrating the first anniversary of its reopening following a renovation by - among other things - opening its golf course to the public.

You might remember La Torretta - which is in Montgomery on Lake Conroe - as Del Lago Resort. In 2007, the resort began a facelift that included upgrading its 18-hole golf course, which included adding yards, redesigning several holes, and resodding with improved strains of turfgrasses.

Del Lago, which was open only to members and resort guests, later became La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa, which is now opening both its golf and spa bookings to the public.

The redesigned spa is 17,000 square feet and is now called SpaTerre. So if you're a one-golfer family, there's something for both him and her (or her and him, as the case may be).

To re-introduce the resort to the public, this spring La Torretta is also offering overnight guests rates starting as low as $129. You can also ask about the 50-percent-off greens fee special now running. Visit www.LaTorrettaLakeResort.com for more info.

Cowboys QB Romo Runner-Up at Adams Pro-Scratch

My apologies for that headline to Christopher Brown and Kevin Pedigo, who actually won the Adams Golf Pro-Scratch Championship. But when one of the runners-up is Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, well, sorry, Romo gets the headline.

Here's the recap of the event from the Northern Texas PGA:

DALLAS – The team of Christopher Brown, PGA teaching professional at Turtle Hill Golf Course, and his amateur partner Kevin Pedigo captured the Adams Golf Pro-Scratch Championship by one stroke over the team of Mark Walker, PGA Member, and his amateur partner Tony Romo.

Brown and Pedigo fired rounds of 67-64 for a total of eleven-under par, 131. They began the day two strokes off the lead, but were able to quickly eliminate that deficit with a five-under par, 31 on the front nine. Brown and Pedigo's fine play continued on the back nine with birdies on holes #10, #13 and #17 and only one bogey on hole #16.

Defending champions Mark Walker and Tony Romo made a late charge with an eagle-birdie finish, but still fell one stroke short of a playoff. Walker and Romo finished alone in second place with rounds of 65-67—132 (ten-under par).

The four-ball stroke play NTPGA major championship featured a full field of 84 teams of one PGA professional teamed with one scratch amateur.

Teams competed for a share of the $16,400 purse. The winning earned $1,500 for first place. Amateurs were awarded gift certificates.


Gee, I wonder what Tony Romo will buy with that gift certificate ...

Check the full scores

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No Courtesy Cars at Texas Open - Courtesy Trucks

At PGA Tour stops around the country, arriving pros are provided with courtesy cars. The cars are typically luxury cars. That's what the Valero Texas Open has always done. But not this year. This year, as the Texas Open moves to the TPC San Antonio complex, tournament entrants will get trucks. The AP explains:

As tournaments scramble to provide courtesy cars for PGA Tour players, the Texas Open not only created a partnership with the Ford Motor Co. officials in its region, it found a way to match its theme of being "Unapologetically Texas."

Players won't get courtesy cars in San Antonio. They'll get courtesy pickup trucks.

Ford provided a mixture of vehicles last year when the Texas Open first moved to its May date, and that included a couple of trucks.

"We heard some favorable comments that they thought that was neat," tournament director Craig Smith said. "One of them called me ahead of time and said, 'Can I get one of those trucks to drive?' I said to tell him it would be an extra 15 minutes so they can finish installing the gun rack."

That got tournament officials wondering if they could add a local flavor to the oldest PGA Tour stop in the Lone Star State.

Smith met with Ford officials and asked about the chances of providing pickup trucks to the players. Ford liked the idea, and didn't flinch when Smith asked about getting the King Ranch truck, named after the largest ranch in the United States.

"We'll have all King Ranch pickup trucks," Smith said. "Obviously, we'll have Expeditions and other SUVs for guys traveling with their families. But unless you've got a bunch of kids, these big-boy trucks are all you need."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

San Angelo's Mundell Claims North Senior Am

From the Texas Golf Association:

Dallas – Players once again experienced great scoring conditions for the final round of the North Senior Amateur. The Golf Club of Dallas hosted this year's championship, in just its second year of existence, and proved to be a good test for some of the best senior players in the northern half of the state. Calm winds and sunny skies let players be aggressive, but in the end, consistent play gave Jim Mundell the victory.

The championship was up for grabs all day between the members of the final pairing. Jim Mundell used a clutch birdie on the 17th hole to give him a cushion heading to the last hole. Mundell’s bogey on the 18th hole gave John Grace a chance to tie, but his birdie attempt slid past the hole. Jim Mundell, of San Angelo, posted round of 71-72 to earn his one shot victory. John Grace, of Fort Worth, carded a final round of even par 70 to finish alone in second place. Lee Sandlin made a significant turnaround from the first round to make a charge up the leader board. Sandlin, of Dallas, used five birdies to post a round of two under par 68 and finish in third place.

In the Super Senior division, Randy Wolff cruised to a seven shot victory. Wolff, of Heath, used a blistering first round of 67 to separate himself from the field and take away all the pressure of the final round. Don Addington fired the low round of the day for super seniors, a three over par 73 to finish in second place.

Format for the North Senior Amateur is 36 holes stroke play and features two divisions: Senior and Super Senior. To be eligible for the Senior Division applicants must be male amateur golfers who have reached the age of 55 by April 13, 2010. For the Super Senior Division, applicants must have reached the age of 65.


View the final scores

NTPGA Awards Exemptions Into Texas State Open

With the close of the Northern Texas PGA Players Tour, the tour money list is finalized. And that means 10 golfers now know they are exempt into the Chesapeake Energy Texas State Open, which takes place July 15-18 in Tyler.

The top 10 finishes on the NTPGA Players Tour money list earn those exemptions. And in 2010, those players are:

1. Vince M. Jewell, Dallas, $6,040
2. Randy Lowry III, Spring, $4,200
3. Todd Rossetti, Plano, $4,183.33
4. Nick P. Malinowski, Frisco, $3,510.83
5. Will Doughtie, Amarillo, $3,157.50
6. KC Lim, San Antonio, $2,700
7. Bill Allcorn, Abilene, $2,474.17
8. Perry Moss, Shreveport, La., $1,933.33
9. Will Osborne, Wichita Falls, $1,560
10. Keoke A. Cotner, Bedford, $1,465

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Nelson, Pappas Bros. Team Up for Ticket Promotion

News from the HP Byron Nelson Championship:

HP Byron Nelson officials have announced the launch of two new ticket promotions in conjunction with Pappas Bros. Steakhouse and MasterCard®.

Available through April 30, the Championship is offering a $125 ticket package which includes two weekly badges to the Championship, a weekly parking pass and a $25 discount card to Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. This package is discounted more than $100 off the regular retail price, and is available for purchase on www.hpbnc.org by clicking on the Buy Tickets button at the top of the page.

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse announced a separate ticket promotion through Saturday, May 22. Every guest who spends $125 at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse and uses a MasterCard® card as their method of payment will receive two (2) tickets to this year’s HP Byron Nelson Championship. Reservations may be made by calling 214.366.2000 or at www.pappasbrosdallas.com.


The 2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship takes place May 20-23.