Jayne Clarke Elected Central Links Golf President

Central Links Golf is excited to announce Jayne Clarke as our new President, effective November 20th. Jayne takes over for Greg Dunn, Central Links Golf’s first President. Dunn led the association from its conception and recent merger, formerly Kansas Women’s Golf, Kansas Golf and Kansas City Golf Association. Clarke served as the Vice President under Dunn and has now been elected as the first female President of Central Links Golf. Jayne has been involved in the golf community for many years as a competitive player and in former leadership roles.

“Golf has afforded me the opportunity to meet so many individuals from across the state and forge many friendships I wouldn’t have had otherwise,” says Clarke. Former President of the Kansas Women’s Golf Association, Jayne has a history of leadership and hopes to continue to forge friendships and use connections to lead the association.

“The last couple of years have been consumed by the successful merger of associations and conducting competitions in a world with Covid-19. One of those events would have been enough to deal with, yet Central Links Golf staff and board successfully managed to navigate both,” Clarke says regarding the recent hurdles faced by the organization. Her vision for moving forward is one of strategic planning and reflection on what we can do better.

“Now we need to focus on how we can utilize the combined strength of the organization to better serve a growing golf community,” Clarke comments. Her plan is to focus on a strategic planning process over the next few months to set new goals for the association.

“I’m looking forward to what comes from the discussion; we do have some challenges, but growth is a challenge many associations would envy.”

Central Links Golf supports and looks forward to how we grow and reflect over the next few months to continue to serve our members in the best way possible. We are excited about the possibilities in 2022 and beyond.

In addition to Jayne, the board would like to welcome our new additions to the board: Ryne Fisher, Chad Fuqua, Gary Hruby, Chris Robinson and Kurt Vollertsen. To see a complete list of our executive committee and board members, please click here.

Support Youth on Course on #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of generosity and unity, a day to come together and give back in response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19, no matter who or where we are.

GivingTuesday will start on Tuesday, May 5th to bring together the community and inspire millions of people worldwide to volunteer, perform acts of kindness, and donate their voices, time, money and goods. On the last GivingTuesday, December 3, 2019, the global giving day generated $2 billion on giving, just in the United States.

This campaign is taking place from its regular scheduled annual event on December 3rd as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

Central Links Golf urges golf lovers and supporters to take this opportunity to give to our local golf programs such as Youth on Course – a great junior golf program designed to allow kids to play at participating golf courses for $5.

You can support Youth on Course in Kansas City by donating to the Golf Foundation of KC here. You can also donate via check.

During a time where everyone is affected and experiencing effects from this global pandemic, we can use this opportunity to remain connected through generosity.

For more information on the #GivingTuesday campaign, please see here.

New Watson Challenge Dates Announced

2020 Watson Challenge Rescheduled Amid Coronavirus Concerns

LENEXA, Kansas, April 3, 2020 – The 2020 Watson Challenge, originally scheduled to be played at The National Golf Club of Kansas City on May 29-31, has been rescheduled following its postponement last week due to coronavirus concerns. The 2020 Watson Challenge will now be played at The National on August 4-6.

Last week’s postponement marked the first time since the tournaments’s inception in 2007 the event has had to be postponed. The only other interruptions of the tournament occurred when two final rounds were canceled due to weather, including last year’s tournament at Nicklaus Club at Lionsgate.

“This was a very difficult decision, but we felt with the current, ongoing health crisis, it was not in the best interest of the players, club, staff and volunteers to continue with the event in May,” said Tournament Director Doug Habel in regards to the difficult decision to postpone.

The date change may not be the extent of changes for the event this year. Amid the ever-changing times we now face, other alterations might be made to the event which will be announced at a later date.

“The Watson Challenge is one of the premier golf events in the Kansas City area, and it’s our intention to explore all possible options to still play the event this year in a safe way for all involved,” Doug Habel informed.

The public will be informed as more details and information become available in the coming weeks. We understand the rescheduling could cause conflicts for players, and we hope everyone can understand the predicament we are facing. Monitoring of the health crisis will continue on in to the future.

Click here to view the 2020 Watson Points List.

For any questions regarding the Watson Challenge, please reach out to Doug Habel at doug@clgolf.org. We appreciate your patience and support during this time.


The 9-Hole Guy

One Wichita man has played every 9-hole golf course in the state of Kansas. That’s a total of 107 grass green courses.

Dakin Cramer is a former member of Flint Hills National Golf Club and a long-time member of the Kansas Golf Association. When Flint Hills was closed on Mondays or during the winter you could find him at nearby 9-hole courses in Wichita, there are more than 30 9-hole golf courses within 75 miles of Wichita. He reflected on when he first thought “maybe I should expand my playing to include more 9-hole courses nearby when Flint Hills is closed.” His first course was Anthony Golf Club played in January of 2015.

Some of his buddies at Flint Hills National thought he was crazy, due to the excellent condition of their home club. Overtime, Dakin found a particular hole on every course that really spoke to him. Even the most mundane of courses have some type of design feature that made the course interesting. It was in his appreciation for these courses, that his dream to play every 9-hole course was born.

Dakin planned out his trips carefully, as his radius grew outside of 75 miles from Wichita it often included overnight stays. For example, he played 36 holes two days in a row in the Hays/Colby area.

He’s learned a lot about the different communities he’s played in. Dakin said “having a golf course is a lot like having a post office or school, once the town loses it, they lose their identity. Communities are proud of their courses, several have been built by the community and funded by them, too.”

In my conversation with Dakin, he reflected on some of his favorite and most unique golf courses.

In Sharon Springs, the scorecard has a picture of a ball being wrapped up by a rattlesnake, it turns out, they’re home to a tournament called the Rattle Snake Open.

One of his favorite courses is Prairie Dog Golf Course in Norton, KS

Other notable courses for Dakin included:

For Dakin, his goal hasn’t changed over the years, but his expectations have. He now understands the importance of the 9-hole golf courses to each community he visits. He knows that they don’t always make money, but the importance of the facility is the commitment the community has to it. Over the years, some properties have been bought, sold, remained privately owned, but for the town, it’s remained a labor of love to keep the doors open and the grass mowed.

Dakin completed his goal of playing every 9-hole golf course in the state on September 10, 2019.

Dakin’s collage includes signatures from people who have had an impact on his life. It’s all about his experience visiting with people while they sign his collage. Memories and people, he has interacted with during his golf experiences. Signatures from Kim Richey, Golf Team from 1966, Steve Hatchet (won a junior event together in 1965), lower right-hand corner – check to Dean Smith for $50 that was never cashed, Gary Conover (past president of KGA), Dave Hensen (Head Golf Profession at Flint Hills National). He even mentioned when he dies this collage will be at his funeral, that’s how important these memories are to him!

Do you have a story that should be shared with our golf community? Contact us: baile@kcgolf.org

KC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Hall of Fame to induct four

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the honorees for this year’s class of the Kansas City Golf Hall of Fame.

Well known golf professional and stand-out amateur Jim Colbert joins the hall on the strength of his Missouri Amateur (1963), Heart of America Four Ball (1964) and Kansas Amateur (1965) Championships as well as his record of 8 PGA TOUR and 20 PGA TOUR Champions victories.

For more than five decades Frank Kirk has served the golf community in Kansas City. He was a principal founder and Board member of the First Tee of Greater Kansas City, has served on the Boards of the KCGA, KGA and the Western Golf Association, and gives freely of his time and resources to various community organizations and foundations.

In the 1930’s and early 40’s there was no one in the women’s game in Kansas City to compare to Jean Pepper. She won six KC Women’s Match Play Championships, was runner-up twice (losing to Hall of Famers Opal Hill and Marian Gault) and won the Missouri Women’s Amateur three times in succession (1939, ’40 and ’41).

Beginning with this, the fourth class of the Hall of Fame, the committee has initiated a “Committee Selection” to recognize outstanding individuals whose accomplishments might otherwise “fly under the radar” in the normal nomination/election process.

This year’s Committee Selection is Maxine Johnson. After four runner-up finishes in the KC Women’s Match Play, Ms. Johnson captured the first of her seven championships in 1953. She won the Missouri Women’s Amateur in 1951, was runner-up in 1956 and defeated 2016 Hall of Fame inductee Karen Schull (MacGee) for the title in 1957. She also was a consistent performer in the LPGA’s KC Women’s Open, never finishing worse than T-5 low amateur in the six years she competed.

These outstanding individuals join a star-studded cross section of individuals who make up the Kansas City Golf Hall of Fame. They include:

The 2013 class of Opal Hill, Miriam Burns (Horn), Bob Reid, Stan Thirsk, Leland “Duke Gibson, Chester Mendenhall and Tom Watson.

The 2014 inductees were Bob Stone, Karen Schull MacGee, and “The Foursome” a group of African-American golfers who played a major role in integrating public golf in Kansas City.

In 2016 we honored “The Father of Kansas City Golf” James Dalgleish, Marian Gault and Bill Ludwig.

When the committee was established in 2012, as part of the celebration of our first century serving the golf community in Kansas City, the charge was:

“…to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of area amateur and professional golfers, teaching professionals, golf course superintendents, pioneers of the game and others who have contributed to the success and growth of the game over the more than one-hundred years since the founding of the Kansas City Golf Association.”

As stewards of the game, we believe it is our responsibility to preserve our history and to recognize those who built the foundation of excellence on which we stand. The Kansas City Golf Hall of Fame is one of the ways we strive toward that goal.

The Hall of Fame Induction ceremony will be held at Mission Hills CC on November 17th. For those who wish to attend, register here. Attendance is $40. For any questions, email Doug Habel at doug@kcgolf.org.

Statement by Don Kuehn

2018 Player of the Year Recipients Announced

The Kansas City Golf Association rewards exceptional play for our golfers through a season long points system that determines the Player of the Year for each division through the number of events played and how well a golfer placed in the events he/she played. Our points system also takes in to consideration the “weight” of each event – if it is a regional championship or USGA qualifier more points are available.

We have three Player of the Year awards for our men’s division and three for our women’s: Amateur Player of the Year, Senior Player of the Year and Junior Player of the Year.

Our Men’s Amateur POY for 2018 is Andy Spencer. Spencer is currently a junior on the Kansas University golf team and is no stranger to the KCGA limelight. Spencer is the winner of the 2017 and 2018 Watson Challenge and a semifinalist in the 2018 Kansas Amateur Championship. Spencer also qualified for the US Amateur at Pebble Beach. Spencer’s consistent play gave him a lead over second place finisher and KC Amateur Champion, Blake Allen.

Our Women’s Amateur POY for 2018 is Lacy Shelton. Shelton had another great year of golf with a third place finish in the Women’s Mid-Am Championship as well as a runner up finish in the Women’s Match Play. Shelton also qualified with her partner Megan Propeck with a five-under round of 65 in the 2019 US Women’s Four-Ball qualifying at Mission Hills CC. Shelton edged out Carmen Titus to win the honor.

Our Men’s Senior POY race was a close one between three or four of our top talents. Ultimately Mark Addington edged out Steve Groom for player of the year with a year that featured wins in the Stateline Championship and the Low Senior at the KC Amateur Championship. Addington had top five finishes in almost every tournament he competed in and was a semi-finalist in the KC Senior Match Play as well as tied for third in the Kansas Senior Amateur.

Pam Simpson has taken the Women’s Senior POY award over a close second finisher, Denise Desilet. Simpson’s season highlights include a semi-finalist finish in the Women’s Match Play and qualifying for the both the US Women’s Mid-Am and US Senior Women’s Amateur. Simpson is one of KC’s consistent qualifier for USGA events.

The 2018 Boys’ Player of the Year was decided upon by the Committee based on astounding play and finishes. The Committee decided that Justin Wingerter after winning both the KC Junior Championship and most recently the KC Masters, he bolstered an already talented resume to win Player of the Year. Other highlights from Wingerter’s season include qualifying for the US Junior Amateur and playing in the Watson Challenge. Wingerter also played on the KCGA Mid-America Junior Cup team that recently beat the Metropolitan Golf Association in a Ryder Cup style team event.

Megan Propeck had an outstanding year that solidified her last year’s performance. Propeck claimed the Girls Player of the Year title over second place finisher Julia Misemer with a win in the Kansas Junior Amateur, KC Junior Championship, and qualifying for the US Women’s Four-Ball with Lacy Shelton. Megan’s been a long time force in the KC Junior orbit and her talent continues to improve.

Congratulations to all of our 2018 Player of the Year recipients. The talent in the Kansas City area is a joy to watch and see compete throughout each season. We look forward to seeing how our current champions compete next year and perhaps new Player of the Year recipients.

To see the overall standings for the Men’s Player of the Year, see here.

To see the overall standings for the Women’s Player of the Year, see here.


2018 Season Comes to a Close with the KC Masters

Another great season at the Kansas City Golf Association has come to a close with the conclusion of the Kansas City Masters, an invitation only, two-day tournament where the best of the best fight for their last chance at a title.

This year’s Masters was held at Wolf Creek Golf Club and it certainly did not disappoint. In great condition and a reputable atmosphere, Wolf Creek provides a difficult, yet fair test for the best golfers in the KC area.

40 players accepted an invitation and ages ranged from 16 year old high schoolers Justin Wingerter and Joe Bultman to our reputable senior players Steve Groom and Jim Seward. It’s a unique event that allows great representation of the talent we have.

Day one of competition showed the difficulties of Wolf Creek as only three players carded rounds under par. Justin Wingerter, Greg Diederich and defending champion Park Ulrich all came in with rounds of 69 (-3). Fourteen birdies were carded on day one between the three of them and lead the field by three.

Heading in to day two of competition, Parker Miller and Jeff Bell sat in a tie for fourth place after shooting even par rounds with Joe Bultman on the outside looking in after a round of 73 (+1).

Day two brought a lot of changes in the leaderboard as scores seemed to be consistently lower than round one with everyone chasing the leading group. Some notable scores from day two included a two-under round from Mark Terranova, a one-under round from Ed Brown and a three-under round (69) by Jackson Foth.

The leading group struggled a bit on the final day of competition to create a little bit of excitement as the tournament came down the stretch. Both Parker Miller and Joe Bultman carded even par rounds of 72 to become the leaders in the clubhouse at 144 (E) and 145 (+1). With the final group still out, both Bultman and Miller waited to see how their scores would hold up.

Greg Diederich and Park Ulrich would both struggle down the stretch with a few bogeys to leave the door open for Justin Wingerter. Despite a few bogeys on the back nine, Wingerter’s great play on day one would be enough to hold off the field. Wingerter’s final round of 74, (+2), would bring him to a total score of 143 (-1) and beat out Parker Miller, 144, for first place. Joe Bultman would finish in third place with his one-over total score of 145.

Greg Diederich shot a final round of 77 (+5) to finish tied for fourth with Mark Terranova (146). Park Ulrich shot a final round of 78 (+6) to finish tied for sixth with Jackson Foth (147).

With the season finally ended, we would like to thank everyone who makes what we do possible. We have a great group of volunteers who donate their time to support our events throughout the season. We also couldn’t do what we do without the players who continue to support us and choose to play in our events all season long.

Thank you for the continued support and we will see you all in April!

Staley Farms and Tiffany Greens Claim Victory in KC Cup Championships

On a beautiful, fall day in Kansas City, Oakwood CC hosted both the KC Cup and Women’s KC Cup Championships on October 24.

Defending women’s champions, Staley Farms GC, #2 seed, competed against Sunflower Hills, #1 seed, in three four-ball matches. 3 total points were available in the championship match, in which a team needed 2 points to secure the win and avoid a sudden death playoff. All three matches went the distance with two ending after 18 holes and one on the 17th green. Tammy Harmon and Tracee Lechner of Staley Farms took the first point with a 1 up win over Sunflower in the low handicap four-ball match. The second and deciding point for Staley Farms came a few minutes later when Kim Ekiss and Tawyna Neal claimed victory on the 17th green with a 2 and 1 win. Having clinched the championship, Staley Farms finished out its final match between Angel Harbison/Julie Scriven vs Teresa Gumm/Alane Studley of Sunflower Hills. Staley took the final point of competition with a 1 up win and ultimately defended their Women’s KC Cup Championship with a final score of 3 to 0.

In the KC Cup Championship, two teams competed that had not been in the final last year. Tiffany Greens GC, #1 seed, battled St. Joseph CC, #7 seed, in various formats over 11 matches in which the winning team needed at least 6 points to claim the title.  Tiffany Greens got off to a quick start over St. Joseph’s with a win in the first three matches: chapman alternate shot, open singles and open handicap singles. The two teams would trade off the next two matches, each claiming one point in the senior handicap and senior singles matches. The score stood at 4 to 1 in favor of Tiffany Greens with six matches left to finish. With a win in the senior handicap four-ball match, St Joseph would close the gap by another point (4 to 2). The professional/amateur four-ball match point went to Tiffany Green to get them closer to clinching the KC Cup final, but St Joseph fought back with a win in the handicap four-ball match. With the score standing at 5 to 3, Tiffany Green just needed one point out of the last three matches to become the 2018 KC Cup Champions.

Tiffany Greens would do just that after winning their second handicap four-ball match with a clutch par save on the 18th green to clinch the win. All players whose matches were finished gathered around the 18th green at Oakwood to watch the intense finish. Tiffany Greens’ players erupted in applause and cheers after securing the 2018 title with two matches remaining in play. The last two matches would finish out and St Joseph’s would gain another point in the scratch four-ball match and a half point in the open/senior four-ball match. With a final score of 6 1/2 to 4 1/2, Tiffany Greens became the 2018 KC Cup Champions!

What a great KC Cup season we had this year. The KCGA is able to reach so many players through this event, and we hope the players enjoy it as much as we do. Thank you to all the players and the team captains for all their hard work in score posting and scheduling matches. We look forward to next year and see is Staley Farms can repeat for a third time, and if Tiffany Greens can defend their new title!