My Life in Golf

Welcome to my Life in Golf.  From the first round I played in 1965, I knew golf was going to be a huge part of my life.  Golf has taken me all over the US and I have played or competed with some of the top names in golf on some of the top courses this country has to offer.  I hope you enjoy learning more about my experiences in golf which influence the way I play and teach this great game we all love!

More about me...

First round of golf- 1965 at Butler Pitch and Putt in Austin, TX.  I played hundreds of rounds on this beautiful par 3 layout which is an Austin landmark.  I made a hole in one here in 1977 and my name is on the wall with all the other hundreds of acers as well.  There will always be a special place in my heart for this course. 

7th hole

First job in golf- I worked at a driving range located between Austin and Oak Hill and I got paid by "all the balls I could hit".  It didn't take long to figure out I couldn't hit enough balls to make it work.  I was in high school and the first two weeks I worked there it had rained alot and I was picking up the golf balls with a soup can on the end of a shaft, by hand.  I think I did it for a month.  Then I got a job as the first cart attendant at Lost Creek Golf Club and that was for cash...$1.75/hour!  But I met one of my mentors...Terry Dill, and little did I know, we would be friends forty years later.

First tournament I competed-1969 Austin City Junior Championship. I finished as runner up in the 14th consolation flight at Lion's Municipal Golf Course. I still have my bag tag from this event. I went on to compete in many junior events including the Texas/Oklahoma Junior Tournament and the Texas State Junior Championship.

First tournament I won- I played on the high school golf team starting my sophomore year.  When I was a senior, we had a really good team and I was either the #1 or #2 man all year long.  I finally won a tournament in my senior year in Temple, TX and I shot a 69.  My claim to fame is the year before, Keith Fergus (became a top notch TOUR player) won the event.  I played with him a few years after that in a U.S. Amateur Qualifier at Houston Country Club and he shot the course record the day we played as I shot my two rounds in the 80's.

Year turned professional-After a very uneventful amateur career, I turned professional in 1978 as I accepted my first assistant professional position at Horseshoe Bay Resort and Country Club. I have been very fortunate as I have held positions at some of the most prominent clubs and resorts in the country including Shady Oaks Country Club (home of Ben Hogan), TPC at Sawgrass (host to The Players Championship) and the TPC at The Woodlands (host to the Shell Houston Open).

Number of states I have played in- Twenty and counting (I hope)

Most miles driven in one year competing in tournaments- 18,807 in 2007.  I played in 42 tournaments that year.  I played from California to Florida and from South Padre Island to Waterloo, Iowa.

Courses I have played which hosted major events-

Oakmont CC, Pittsburgh, PA      U.S. Open's 8, PGA's 3, U.S. Women's Open's 2, U.S. Amateurs 5
18th Hole
Colonial CC, Ft. Worth, TX        1941 U.S Open, 1991 U.S. Women's Open
13th Hole
Champions GC, Houston, TX     1967 Ryder Cup, 1969 U.S Open, 1993 U.S. Amateur

Jackie Burke and Jimmy Demaret, Founders Champions Golf Club

Pecan Valley GC, San Antonio, TX     1968 PGA

PGA National GC, Palm Beach Gardens, FL    1983 Ryder Cup
18th Hole
TPC at Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra, FL    1994 U.S. Amateur, Players Championship

17th Hole
Northwood Club, Dallas, TX       1952 U.S. Open

Grand Cypress Resort, Orlando, FL   1990 World Cup

18th Hole
Oak Tree Golf Club, Edmond, OK     1984 U.S. Amateur, 1988 PGA, 2006 Senior PGA

The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO    2008 U.S. Senior Open, 2011 Womens U.S. Open,
                                                                   1959 & 1964 U.S. Amateur

Dallas Athletic Club, Dallas, TX     1963 PGA

Out of all of these courses, Oakmont and Colonial were my favorites.  At Oakmont all they would have had to do is put up ropes and they could have had a TOUR event.  It was that good!  Although they would have had to slow the greens down for a TOUR event as they were rolling at a 13 on the stimp meter the day I played. 

Major champions I have played golf with-  Tom Kite (U.S. Open), John Mahaffey (PGA), Charles Coody (Masters), Dave Marr (PGA), Fred Funk (U.S. Senior Open), Jeff Maggert (Ryder Cupper), Dottie Pepper (LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship)

Major champions I have met, made eye contact with and shook hands- Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Charles Coody, John Mahaffey, Raymond Floyd, Curtis Strange, Fred Funk, Jackie Burke, Dave Marr, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw, Sam Snead, Gary Player, Fred Couples,. Ken Venturi, Lou Graham, Don January, Andy North, Larry Mize, Orville Moody, Payne Stewart, Sam Snead, Tommy Aaron,Gary Player, Ken Venturi, David Duval, Tiger Woods, Tom Weiskopf ...Jan Stephenson, Carol Mann and Sandra Haynie.

Prominent events I have competed in- Texas State Open (7 times), Texas Senior Open (6 times), Florida Open, New Mexico Open, New Mexico Senior Open, Colorado Senior Open, Waterloo Open  (2 times), Socorro Open (2 times), Champions TOUR Q-School, The Gate Open (FL), Heartland Senior Tour, TransMississippi Amateur and numerous qualifiers for the U.S. Open, Amateur and Senior Open.

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

Career low competitive round- 66 in the second round of the Champions TOUR Q-School First Stage Qualifier at the Southern California PGA Golf Club (2005).  I advanced through the first stage to the finals but had to withdraw during the fourth round due to back spasms (more about this in Worsts).

Number of hole in ones- Five official and one unofficial (par 3 course).  I went eighteen years between my third and fourth ace.  Two of the official aces were scored in competition.

Biggest win- 2006 Southern Texas PGA Senior Championship (67-71).  I also won the Assistant's Championship in the North Texas PGA Section in 1982.  

Most wins-  I have won seven times on the Southern Texas PGA Senior Series Tour

PGA TOUR events I have played- I qualified for three PGA TOUR events including the 1989 Texas Open at Oak Hills CC in San Antonio and the 1995 and 1998 Houston Open at the TPC at The Woodlands.  I was also the head professional at the TPC while I was competing in those events.

Best birdie I ever made-- During the 1995 Houston Open, I birdied the 18th hole on Friday afternoon with the stands full of spectators.  I lipped out my approach shot and the roar from the crowd made the hair on my arms stand up.  As it turned out the cameras were rolling and I have this birdie on a VHS tape.

Best double bogey I ever made- During the 1998 Houston Open, I was playing the very difficult 17th hole again on a Friday afternoon with the stands full.  There is water all the way down the left side of the hole and it also protects the entire front part of the green.  The pin was tucked on the far right side of the green and there was no bail out.  I struck what I thought was a good 7 iron, but the ball hit the wooden pylons in front of the green and went into the water.  Now I have to drop in the same place and hit the same shot again.  I looked at my caddy and said "I hope this gets across or we may be here awhile".  We both laughed nervously as I hit a 6 iron this time just right of the green and I made my double.  Hale Irwin made a 9 on this hole a few years earlier. 


Worst competitive score- 88 in the third round of the Champions TOUR Q-School Finals.  I had shot 77-77 the first two days with the Santa Ana winds blowing over 40 mph.  During the third round I started having back spasms and went to my knees on every shot.  I should have withdrawn but I was determined to finish.  After the round I went for a massage and before I teed off in the fourth round I took about 3-4 Advil.  I was fine until the 6th hole and I tweaked it again and just could not finish. 

Most embarrassing opening tee shot-  In a high school tournament at Landa Park in New Braunfels, TX, I heeled my drive off the first tee and it hit the cart barn and was OB.  There were numerous spectators and coaches around the tee, so it was fairly embarrassing.

Worst conditions I have played in- I have four that really stand out in my mind.  We were playing a North Texas PGA event in Arlington, TX and the wind was blowing so hard the DFW airport was closed due to 60 mph winds.  Then it started raining and it felt like BB's hitting you in the face.
At another NTPGA event at Las Colinas, the temperature never got out of the 30's and it sleeted on and off all day.  I got caught in a severe thunderstorm at The Woodlands one day, and we took cover under a bridge.  Lightning was hitting all around us and huge pine trees were being uprooted.  This was the longest 30 minutes of my life!  At the Champions TOUR Q-School Finals, the winds blew consistently 40-50 mph for two days.  It was the strongest winds I have played in for that long and I was not prepared mentally.

Worst way to finish a tournament-  I was competing in a Southern Texas PGA event at the TPC at The Woodlands and was near the lead coming to the last hole.  I pulled my drive slightly but had a shot the the green.  I was about 180 yards out and I hit a perfect 4 iron which just clipped a branch on a pine tree.  I thought the ball still had enough on it to get to the green, but it just rolled into the lake in front of the green.  Just as I was reaching down to get my ball, a huge water moccasin about 5 foot long came right at me.  My heart was pounding but I took my drop and then chunked the next shot in the water too.  I should have waited until I was calmer before I hit.  Anyway, I made an 8 on the hole and ended up finishing fourth.

Another worst way to finish a tournament-  Four  years ago I was playing in the Colorado Senior Open and was in a good position going to the final round.  The weather turned cold and windy for the last round and I started with an 8 on the first hole.  From that points on I made several birdies (6)  mixed in with a few bogies in a very up and down round.  The player keeping my score had written a 3 down on one of the par 4's I made a 4 on.  After the round at the scorers table my total was correct (74) but I missed seeing the 3 he had written down.  So I had to DQ myself when I realized what had happened.  Now that made for a long ride home from Denver as it costs me close to $600.


Favorite course in Austin- I really enjoy playing Barton Creek Fazio Foothills.  I love courses that are fun to play and beautiful, and this course meets the criteria!

Favorite place to visit for golf- Palm Springs, CA is my favorite place to visit and play golf.  My favorite course to play in this area is  the Mountain Course at LaQuinta Resort. Look at this scenery!

Favorite 9 hole course- I have two favorite 9 hole courses...Marshal Lakeside in Marshall, TX (NE Texas) and Star Hollow in Tolar, TX (SW of Ft. Worth). 


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