Google+

My Golf Experiences

Welcome to "My Golf Experiences".  From the very first round I played, I had a feeling that golf was going to be a huge part of my life.  Little did I know it was going to make for a wonderful career.  Golf has taken me all over the United States and I have played, competed and worked at some of the top courses in the country.  I have met many wonderful people from all walks of life including two U.S. Presidents.  I hope you enjoy learning a little more about my experiences that influence the way I play and teach this great game.

First round of golf-1966 at Butler Pitch and Putt in Austin, TX.  It was my birthday and my best friend invited me to go play.  I was hooked from this very first round.  We would either ride our bikes or walk there and we played at least 27 holes per day at least twice a week.  I have played hundreds of rounds on this beautiful par 3 layout which is an Austin landmark.  I made a hole in one there in 1977 and my name is on the Wall of Fame with all the other golfers which made aces.  There will always be a special place in my heart for this course that gave me my start in golf.  In fact, my dad didn't start playing golf until after I started and he played his first round here too.


I was thirteen years old when I played my first round on a regulation golf course.   This historic round was played at Lions Municipal Golf Course in Austin and I shot 130.  I now officially apologize to the golfers playing behind me as I had not had any formal instruction at that point.  After that round I played almost every day at this historic course.  My mom would drop me and my best friend off each morning as she went to work and pick us up on the way home.  

First tournament I competed-My first tournament was the 1969 Austin City Junior Championship.  It was a match play event and I finished runner up in the 14th Flight.  I still have my bag tag from 1969.
I went on and competed in many more junior events including the Texas/Oklahoma, the Texas State Junior Championship and a few more Austin City Junior Championships.


First tournament I won-I played on the high school team starting in the spring of my freshman year. I wasn't very good and very rarely broke 50 for nine holes.  My sophomore year was better as I was shooting in the mid to high 80's and by my junior year I was scoring in the high 70's.  In my senior year I was either the #1 or #2 man on the team and I won my first tournament in Temple, TX, and I shot a 69.





After I graduated from high school I attended the University of Texas and tried to qualify as a walk on for the team.  I wasn't successful my freshman year but my sophomore year I competed in the eight round qualifier in the fall and I finished high enough to possibly have a chance to play in the spring.  As fate would have it, my dad started having some health issues and needed help running his business.  So I left UT and helped him for over four years.  During that time I still played in amateur events including U.S.G.A. qualifiers, Austin Men's City Championships and I competed in the Trans Mississippi and Texas State Open.

First job in golf- I was a junior in high school when I got my first job in golf.  It was a new driving range not far from where I lived.  I was paid not by check, but I could hit all the balls I wanted when I wasn't working.  The first month I started was in the winter and it was cold and rainy the entire month it seemed.  Since the grass had not fully grown in, I had to hand pick the driving range using a tin cup welded to a shaft and I picked the balls up one by one!  It didn't take me long to realize I couldn't hit enough balls to offset that experience.  Fortunately I got a job soon after at Lost Creek Country Club at a whopping $1.75/hour.  Little did I know I would meet my first mentor in the game, Terry Dill, and we are friends to this day.  Terry had just left competing full time on the PGA TOUR to develop Lost Creek.

Year turned professional-After an uneventful amateur career I turned professional as I accepted an assistant professional position at Horseshoe Bay Resort and Country Club in Marble Falls, TX.  Thank you Bob Putt, for giving me my first professional opportunity.  It could not have been a better start and fully prepared me for my future positions!


I have been very fortunate as I then went on to work at some of the most prominent courses in the country including Shady Oaks Country Club (home of Ben Hogan), TPC at Sawgrass (home of The Players Championship) and TPC at The Woodlands (host to the Shell Houston Open).  In all I have worked 17 PGA TOUR events including The Players Championship, The Senior Players Championship, the Shell Houston Open and the PGA Championship at Winged Foot in NY.


Events I have hosted as head golf professional-Shell Houston Open, U.S.G.A. Senior Women's Amateur, Texas State Open, The Woodlands Celebrity Classic, PGA TOUR Q-School, Golf Digest Intercollegiate and numerous other U.S.G.A./PGA Qualifying events.

Number of states I have played in- 19

Number of courses I have played- 418
Arkansas            2
Arizona              9
California           24
Colorado            12
Delaware            1
Florida                53
Iowa                    2
Louisiana            5
Kansas                2
Mississippi         1
Missouri              9
Nebraska             1
Nevada                3
New Mexico       5
Oklahoma           3
Pennsylvania       1
South Carolina    3
Tennessee            1
Texas                   281

From the 418 courses I have played, 35 of them hosted either a PGA TOUR, Champions TOUR, or LPGA event.  In addition, eleven of the courses I played have hosted a golf major including the U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Amateur, PGA Championship, Ryder Cup or World Cup event.  I have also played the five oldest courses in Texas including Hancock GC (Austin, 1899), Gus Wortham Park (Houston, 1908), River Crest (Ft. Worth, 1911), Brackenridge Park (San Antonio, 1915) and Brookhollow (Dallas, 1920).  I have played golf courses designed by world famous architects including A.W. Tillinghast, Donald Ross, Robert Trent Jones, Tom Fazio, Ben Crenshaw/Bill Coore, Robert Von Hagge/Bruce Devlin, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, John Bredemus, Perry Maxwell and Arthur Hills.

Courses I have played which hosted major events

Oakmont Country Club, Pittsburgh, PA     U.S. Open, 9   PGA Championship, 3
                                                                          U.S. Women's Open, 2

 Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, TX     1941 U.S. Open   1991 U.S. Women's Open

 TPC at Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL      The Players Championship
                                                                              1994 U.S. Amateur    

PGA National Golf Club, Palm Beach Gardens, FL    1983 Ryder Cup, 1987 PGA Championship
                                                                                           1982, 2000 Senior PGA Championship

 Pecan Valley Golf Club, San Antonio, TX     1968 PGA Championship

 Champions Golf Club, Houston, TX     1967 Ryder Cup, 1969 U.S. Open, 1993 U.S. Amateur

 Oak Tree Golf Club, Edmond, OK     1984 U.S. Amateur, 1988 PGA Championship
                                                                 2006 Senior PGA Championship

Grand Cypress Golf Club, Orlando, FL     1990 World Cup

Northwood Country Club, Dallas, TX     1952 U.S. Open

 Dallas Athletic Club, Dallas, TX     1963 PGA Championship

The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO     1959, 1964 U.S. Amateur, 2011 U.S. Women's Open
                                                                         2008, 2018 U.S. Senior Open

Major champions I have played golf with-Tom Kite (1992 U.S. Open), Charles Coody (1976 Masters), John Mahaffey (1978 PGA), Dave Marr (1965 PGA), Dottie Pepper (1992 Kraft/Nabisco), Jeff Maggert (2015 U.S. Senior Open), Fred Funk (2009 U.S. Senior Open), Dave Eichelberger (1999 U.S. Senior Open), Chris Patton (1989 U.S. Amateur)

Major champions I have met-Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Raymond Floyd, Curtis Strange, Jackie Burke, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw, Sam Snead, Gary Player, Fred Couples, Ken Venturi, Lou Graham, Don January, Andy North, Larry Mize, Orville Moody, Payne Stewart, Tommy Aaron, David Duval, Tiger Woods, Tom Weiskopf, Jan Stephenson, Carol Mann, and Sandra Haynie

1 comment:

Tom Winterton said...

Wow - pretty impressive resume! You certainly are well experienced at being a golf professional, but you shyly avoided mentioning your greatest achievement- teaching, mentoring, and befriending hundreds of other golfers (including me). Thanks!!