From Bob Tway to Rickie Fowler to Nancy Lopez, here are Oklahoma's top 18 contributors to golf
With the PGA Tour set to return to action on Thursday, The Oklahoman sports staff took the opportunity to celebrate the sport in Oklahoma with a look at the top 18 contributors to golf with ties to our state.
It’s a wide-ranging list, from players to executives to coaches to World Golf Hall of Fame inductees.
Here’s The Oklahoman’s list of the state’s 18 most significant contributors to golf:
Bio: Awtrey was born in Oakland, California, but grew up in Shawnee and played college golf at OU, graduating in 1966. He has worked as a club pro, served as OU's head coach, and held several positions for the PGA of America, including tournament manager and executive director. In 1993, Awtrey was named the organization’s first CEO, and held the position until his retirement in 2005.
Bio: Bolt was born in Haworth in 1916 and served in the Army during World War II. He didn’t join the PGA Tour until his 30s, but he went on to win 15 times, including the 1958 U.S. Open. He was known for throwing clubs, which eventually led to a rule being made to prevent that. He played in two Ryder Cups and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002. He died in 2008 at 92.
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Bio: Born in Ardmore in 1923, Coe grew up in Oklahoma City and went on to become one of the greatest amateur golfers in history. After a stint as an Air Force pilot during World War II, he was a three-time conference champion as a player at OU in 1946-48. He won the U.S. Amateur in 1949 and 1958, and played in the Masters 19 times as an amateur, including a second-place finish in 1961. He made the cut at the Masters 15 times and was the low amateur six times. The practice range at OU is named in his honor. He died in 2001 at age 77.
Bio: Dickson was born in McAlester in 1944 and was a two-time All-American at Oklahoma State. In 1967, he became the first amateur since 1935 to win the U.S. Amateur and British Amateur. He won five times professionally, including twice on the PGA Tour. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
Bio: Originally from Missouri, Edwards attended Oklahoma State, where he helped the Cowboys to the NCAA championship in 1976 and 1978, winning the individual title the latter season. He joined the PGA Tour in 1979, where he won four times in his career. He finished in the top 15 at each of the three American major championships, including a tie for third at the 1984 Masters.
Bio: Fowler played at Oklahoma State in 2007-09 and was a two-time All-American. He won the Ben Hogan Award after his first year, which is given to the nation’s top collegiate golfer, becoming the first freshman to win the award. He turned professional in 2009 and has won nine times, including five wins on the PGA Tour.
Bio: Born in Arkansas in 1908, Harris moved to Wewoka at age 8. He found his talent for golf at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, where he won the Oklahoma Collegiate Conference individual title. He became an accomplished player, but is best known as the founder of OSU golf after he was hired by Henry Iba in 1947 to start the program from scratch. He coached OSU to 24 conference championships, and the 1963 national title, as well as helping two Cowboys win individual NCAA titles. Harris died in 1995.
Bio: The 1980 Big Eight individual champion at OSU, Holder took the reins of the Cowboy golf program from Labron Harris in 1973. He went on to coach the Cowboys to 25 conference championships and eight national titles between 1976 and 2000. He stepped away from golf after 32 years as head coach to take his current position as OSU’s athletic director in 2005.
Bio: Jameson was born in Norman in 1919 and was one of the 13 founders of the Ladies Professional Golf Tour in 1950. She won 13 times on tour, including three majors. She attended school at Texas and graduated from high school in Dallas. She died in 2009 at 89.
Bio: Born in Torrance, California, in 1957, Lopez became one of the most dominant college golfers the sport ever saw during two years at the University of Tulsa. She won 11 of the 19 tournaments, including a national championship, before turning pro and continuing to dominate the sport. Regarded as one of the most talented female golfers of all time with 48 LPGA Tour wins, she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1987.
Bio: Maxwell was a world-famous golf course architect. He’s known as the Father of Oklahoma Golf, where he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012. He constructed Dornick Hills in Ardmore, Southern Hills in Tulsa, Twin Hills in Oklahoma City and made major contributions to Augusta National, Colonial and Merion, among many others. He died in 1952 at 73.
Susie Maxwell Berning
Bio: Maxwell Berning’s family moved to Oklahoma City when she was 13. She won three Oklahoma high school state championships and attended Oklahoma City University, becoming the first woman to receive a golf scholarship and competed on the men’s team. She won 11 times on the LPGA Tour, including four majors, the 1965 Western Open and the 1968, 1972 and 1973 U.S. Women’s Open. She will join the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2021.
Bio: While her crowning achievement might be convincing Nancy Lopez to come to Tulsa for two years, McNamara’s coaching success is much broader. In 26 years coaching at Tulsa — in her hometown — her teams won 80 tournaments and four national championships with 28 All-Americans and three individual NCAA medalists.
Bio: Morgan was born in 1946 in Wewoka. He went to East Central State College in Ada before getting a Doctor of Optometry at Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. He turned professional in 1972 and won seven PGA Tour events, but he excelled on the Champions Tour, where he won 25 times, which is the fourth-most wins in history.
Bio: Born in Chickasha in 1933 and growing up in Oklahoma City, Moody won the 1952 state title at Capitol Hill. He turned pro in 1967 after a 14-year stint in the U.S. Army. Moody won only one time on the PGA Tour, taking the 1969 U.S. Open title. He found greater success on the Champions Tour, winning 11 times. Moody died in 2008.
Bio: Tewell moved to Stillwater when he was young and attended Oklahoma State, where he started on a basketball scholarship before becoming a golfer and turning pro in 1971. He won four times on the PGA Tour and eight times on the Champions Tour, including the 200 Senior PGA Championship by seven strokes.
Bio: A lifelong resident of the OKC metro area, Tway was the author of one of the PGA Championship’s most memorable shots, when he holed out from a greenside bunker on the final hole to defeat Greg Norman by two shots in 1986. He was a three-time All-American at OSU, where he played on two NCAA championship teams. Tway went on to win eight times on the PGA Tour.
Bio: Verplank was born in Dallas but played college golf at Oklahoma State. He was on the 1983 national championship team, finishing T-3. He won the 1984 U.S. Amateur at Oak Tree and the 1986 NCAA individual title. He won five times on the PGA Tour and played for two Ryder Cup squads.
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and... Read more ›
Cameron Jourdan joined The Oklahoman in March 2019 to cover high school sports. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in May 2018. He had an internship with The Oklahoman and Stillwater News Press. During his time at OSU, Cameron served in a... Read more ›