Rip One Golf- Golf Instruction, Golf Coaching, Golf Classes and Golf Lessons in Austin, TX

Garry Rippy Golf offers golf lessons, golf coaching, golf instruction, golf classes and golf schools in Austin, TX. This blog contains golf instruction articles, golf tips and golf instruction videos by Garry Rippy, PGA.

Competitive Background

I have always enjoyed playing competitive golf as I like the focus it requires and it serves as a benchmark to measure my progress.  Over my career I have had ups and downs just as any golfer, but the downs inspire me to practice.  To this day, I still practice daily to prepare for tournaments.

This is a good time to recognize my mentors and advisors which I trusted to help me play the game to a higher level and influence the way I teach the game!  I would like to thank (chronological order) these PGA Professionals:

Joe Balander, Lloyd Morrison, Terry Dill, Bob Putt, Henry Ransom, David Crafton, Clay Kinnaird, Art Hall, Raymond Gafford, Lindy Miller, Rick Pobst, Duke Butler, Bruce Olsen, William Cromwell, and Brech Spradley.  These gentleman all had a hand in my professional development.  Some were employers, some were co-workers and some played the game for a living.

My first tournament was the 1969 Austin City Junior Championship.

I finished runner up in the 14th flight.  Well, you have to start somewhere.  In those days, there were no junior tours as there are now.  I competed in a total of four Austin City Junior Championships, two Texas State Junior Championships, one Texas-Oklahoma Junior Championship and numerous high school tournaments.  I played as the #1 or #2 man on my high school team and won a high school event my senior year. That sums up my junior golf experience.

I played amateur golf for about four years after high school as I turned professional in 1978.  I mostly played in the Austin City Championships, the 1975 Trans-Miss Championship and numerous U.S.G.A. qualifiers including US Open, US Amateur and US Publinx.  In addition I played several of the BBQ Circuit tournaments which were very popular in most of Texas.

After turning professional in 1978 I won my very first professional event and it was a great feeling "cashing" a check!  From that point I played well in the majority of my assistant professional events and won the NTPGA Metro Chapter Assistant's Championship in 1982.  

While serving as assistant professional at Shady Oaks CC in Ft. Worth, I took a five week leave of absence to compete on the PGA Winter Series Tour in south Florida.  Although I only cashed one check in the series, the experience was great.

In 1982 I received the Player of the Year Award in the Metro Chapter of the Northern Texas PGA.  In addition, I received the Most Improved Player Award in 1986.

I have served in various positions in three PGA Sections including the Southern Texas PGA, the Northern Texas PGA and the North Florida PGA.  Competition is strong in all of these sections and one of my best finishes and biggest check was a top 5 finish in the Gate Open in the North Florida Section while an assistant professional at the TPC at Sawgrass.

Most of my career was spent in the STPGA as Head Professional at the TPC at The Woodlands.  During my tenure, I qualified and competed in three PGA TOUR events including the 1989 Texas Open, the 1995 Shell Houston Open and the 1999 Shell Houston Open.  What a thrill for a working PGA pro to compete at the highest level.  Of course during the Shell Houston Open I was also working ninety hours that week.  Needless to say, I didn't make the cut, but did play respectable golf.

In addition to playing in three PGA TOUR events I played in ten Texas State Opens and competed on three STPGA Joe Black Cup teams.  I also competed in numerous mini-tour events in the Houston area including the Texas Tour, Ninfa's Tour and Tommy Armour Tour.

In 2006, I won the Player of the Year Award for the STPGA Senior Series Tour.

I left the Houston area in 2003 and moved to Austin.  At this time I was looking forward two years when I would be eligible to compete in the Senior Division in the STPGA events.  While working at Falconhead Golf Club, we hosted the Champions TOUR Qualifying School.   After watching these guys compete, I knew I had to try and get there too. 

To prepare for the Q-School I competed on the Heartland Senior Tour which was a developmental tour for players 48 and older.  I traveled all over the south and mid-west competing.  I cashed a few small checks but my game was getting better.  I was also competing in two other mini tours so I was getting a great hands on experience in competitive golf.

In 2005 I qualified in the Regional Qualifier for the Champions TOUR and shot my lowest competitive round of 66 in the second round.  I finished in the top 19 players out of 90 players and advanced to the Q-School Finals.  At the finals the Santa Anna winds were blowing 30-40 mph and there were some par 4's I couldn't reach.  My first two rounds were respectable considering the conditions, but I ended up with a lower back strain during the 3rd round and ultimately had to WD from the tournament.  Although I was very disappointed and I didn't try TOUR School again, I remained very competitive and played some of my best golf between the age of 50-55.

In 2007 I drove a total of almost 19,000 miles competing in tournaments around the country.  I competed in 42 tournaments and played on the west coast of California to the east coast of Florida to the very tip of Texas to as far north as Waterloo, Iowa.

Since living in Austin, I have competed in four George Hannon Cup Matches which pits the best professionals in the area against the best amateurs in a Ryder Cup style event.

List of events I competed as a Senior:

Texas Senior Open                                     Made the cut in all 4 events (2006-2009)
Colorado Senior Open                                Made the cut in all 3 events (2007-2009)
New Mexico Open                                      Played in 2005 and finished Top 25
New Mexico Senior Open                          Played 2007-2009 
Waterloo Open  (Iowa)                               Played 2007-2008 and finished Top 5
National Senior Club Pro Championship   Qualified and competed in 2005, 2006, 2008  
STPGA Senior Series                                  8 time winner 2006-2023
NTPGA Senior Series                                 2 time winner 2006-2007
STPGA Senior Section Championship       2005 Champion
STPGA Callaway Tradition Champ.          2005 Champion
STPGA Club Car Memorial Champ.          2006 Champion
STPGA Senior Series Player of the Year    2006

Career low round-62River Place Country Club in 2008.  I made 9 birdies and 9 pars that day.

Most honest way to finish a tournament-

I look forward to continue competing as long as I can.  I love this game!

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