CLG Adds Stretch Zone as Official Stretch Partner

LENEXA, KS // Central Links Golf announces Stretch Zone of Kansas City as the new Official Stretch Partner for the organization. Stretch Zone, a locally owned assisted stretching franchise, will be onsite at CLG tournaments in 2023 providing stretching services to players.

“We’re really excited to have Stretch Zone as the Official Stretch Partner of Central Links Golf. We are constantly looking to partner with companies that can enhance the experience for our players, and we think Stretch Zone will definitely do that.” – Doug Habel, CLG Executive Director

Stretch Zone will also offer CLG Members an exclusive discount at their Kansas City Area locations: Lee’s Summit, Lenexa, Overland Park, Parkville, and Prairie Village. Members can receive one free stretch and a package of five stretches for $250, normally priced at $325.

Stretch Zone joins Mommy’s Helper, Falcon Wealth Advisors, and Granite Garage Floors as tournament partners for the 2023 season.

Four Indian Hills caddies awarded Evans Scholarships

In our Centennial Year, four Indian Hills caddies have been awarded four-year, full tuition and housing college scholarships by the Western Golf Association.  The new Evans Scholars include Paige Bruce (Lee’s Summit North HS), Savannah Gentry (St. Teresa’s Academy), Cooper Goss (Rockhurst HS), and Jaisen Guier (St. Michael the Archangel HS).

All the new Evans Scholars will be attending the University of Kansas, as Freshmen in September 2022, where they will be living with 35 other scholars in the KU Evans Scholar Chapter House on campus.  Indian Hills caddie and graduating KU Evans Scholar,  AnhDao Do, will serve as next year’s Graduate Resident Advisor at the KU Chapter House.

To be awarded an Evans Scholarship a caddie candidate must be recommended by their Club Pro, have caddied for at least two years, have achieved high academic standing, evidence family financial need, and demonstrate exemplar character.  All of our new Indian Hills Evans Scholars met these high standards and greatly impressed the WGA Interview Committee in their early February interviews. The four-year scholarship has a value of $120,000.

The Evans Scholarship Foundation, sponsored by the Western Golf Association, will have 1200 students on scholarship in 2022, at 20 universities throughout the nation.  The Program is funded from proceeds of the BMW Championship and by club members, golfers, and Evans Scholar Alumni, who make annual contributions to the WGA Par Club.  Three Indian Hills members serve as Directors of the WGA:  Bob Hartnett, Dan Scherman, and Jack Holland.

As a result of the decades-long support of Mike Ricket and his staff, Indian Hills has the strongest and oldest caddie program in the region, and over 60 Indian Hills caddies have been awarded Evans Scholarships, including four in our Centennial Year!

Meet the Central Links Golf Board of Directors

April 17-23 is National Volunteer Appreciation Week! Central Links Golf has hundreds of volunteers who help officiate golf tournaments, conduct course ratings, oversee junior golf programming, and more. We are grateful for every single person who helps make our association what it is today.

In honor of this special week, we wanted to introduce you to the 32 members of our Board of Directors who represent golf clubs and communities across Kansas City and Kansas. Take a few minutes to get to know each of their stories below.

The Executive Committee

Jayne Clarke, President

A member of Smoky Hill Country Club in Hays, Jayne Clarke is a long-time member of Central Links Golf. Almost 20 years ago she answered a volunteer request for a Handicap Director position with the Kansas Women’s Golf Association, then served in several roles at the KWGA before assisting with the KWGA/KGA merger and the most recent KGA/KCGA merger that created Central Links Golf. Jayne has a passion for the game of golf which is evident to all; she plays in nearly every CLG women’s event each year, is a member of the Fore State Team, and is well respected in the women’s golf community.

What is one thing you wish people knew about CLG?
I wish more women realized that you don’t need to have a single-digit handicap to play in a Central Links Golf Event. There are events for every type of female golfer. The women’s events are a terrific way to socialize with ladies from across the region.

John Alefs, Vice President

John is a member of Wichita Country Club. He was introduced to the game of golf through his wife, he says “I played football and was a pole vaulter. When I started dating the girl who is now my wife, I found out everyone in her family played golf and most of them were pretty good.  I figured if I was to have any chance at all I would have to take up the game.

Why do you enjoy serving on the Board of Directors?
Having watched so many volunteers of the association while playing it gives me pleasure to be able to emulate their work and give back to the game.

Katy Winters, Secretary

Katy is a member of Crestview Country Club in Wichita. She has been an avid golfer in the state of Kansas most of her life after her parents introduced her to the game at six years old. She most recently placed third at the Prairie Invitational, breaking a course record at Hallbrook Country Club after shooting 67 in the second round.

What is your most memorable round of golf?
2005 KSHAA 4-1A State Championship – I made a 10 on #1 (now #10) at Terradyne to start the round and was even over the last 17 holes to get in a playoff. I made birdie on #1 in the playoff to win.

Doug Albers, Treasurer

Doug belongs to Mission Hills Country Club, although he grew up down the street from the Country Club of Leawood. Doug most recently won the Kansas City Match Play in 2021 and enjoys serving on the CLG Board because it allows him to give back to the organization that provided so many opportunities to him as a player over the years.

How were you introduced to the game?
My dad initially introduced me to the game, but the credit really belongs to the 20 or so kids on my street that played junior golf. I was really lucky to grow up where I did. We lived on the 11th hole at Leawood South Country Club and the driving range was a 3-minute walk from my house, so I spent almost every day in the summer hitting balls, having putting contests, and playing with the neighborhood kids. In the evenings, after dinner, we would either chip and putt on #11 green or play a loop from #11 to #17 that basically wrapped around our neighborhood. I’m sure the superintendent wouldn’t have been happy with us but we always fixed our ball marks and raked the bunkers to cover our tracks! I don’t think any club in town today would let junior golfers have the access we did back then. It paid off…5 of the kids from our street went on to play Division I College Golf!

Greg Dunn, Past President

When not serving as a Rules Official at a Central Links Golf event, you can find Greg playing at Milburn Country Club. He was the President of Central Links Golf in its first two years post-merger and serves as a knowledgeable Rules Official.

Why do you enjoy volunteering with CLG?
I enjoy working with the staff, volunteers, and players of CLG and wish more people know how much the association supports and benefits clubs, courses, and players.

Bob Bezek, Competitions Chair

Bob is a member of Prairie Highlands Golf Course in Olathe.

What do you enjoy about serving as the Competitions Chair?
I love golf and I love helping our staff and volunteers run high-quality golf tournaments. I wish more people knew how much thought and work it takes for CLG to make it all happen.

Dick Stuntz, Club Services Chair

Dick is a member of The Jayhawk Club but was introduced to the game of golf in Northern Iowa. His community had a 9-hole golf course and his entire family played golf. He mentions that “my mother was the club champion in five different decades!”

How did you get involved with CLG?
I was involved as a Board Member for the KGA and now CLG. I enjoy being associated with such a golf-knowledgable group of people and learning from them.

Brianna Portmann, Player Development Chair

Brianna was first involved with the association when it was the KCGA and she was competing on the Junior Tour. She went on to become a highly-skilled player in her youth and into college where she played at the University of Michigan.

What is your most memorable round of golf?
Competing against Morgan Pressel during the USGA Women’s Amateur Championship in 2004.

Pete Krsnich, Budget Chair

Pete is a member of Wichita Country Club and was originally introduced to CLG as a junior golfer by Scott and Vicki Brooks who ran the South Central Section of the Kansas Junior Golf Association.

What is your most memorable round of golf?
The semi-final match of the 2004 Kansas Amateur at Shadow Glen. I chipped in three holes in a row; I won a hole, halved a hole, and lost a hole. Yes, I chipped in and still lost the hole.

One thing he wishes more people knew about CLG is that “We are extremely grateful to our host clubs and courses. It takes a group effort to build a schedule with great venues including staff, board members, and players at host clubs and courses.”

The Board of Directors

Lyndi Cox, Topeka Country Club

How did you get started playing golf?
My dad is the one who got me started in golf at the age of 12. He “made” me participate in Junior Golf in the Summer and I begged him not to make me go. He strongly encouraged me to stick with it. I am so grateful for him spending countless hours and money on lessons to help me become a better golfer, as that allowed me to play College Golf. 

How were you introduced to CLG?
Karen Exon introduced me to CLG. I have known her since I was a Junior Golfer and now we actually play at the same course. Anyone who has met Karen knows her passion for the game and I was honored she asked me to take over her position. 

Ryne Fisher, Blue Hills Country Club

What was your most memorable round of golf?
My first round with Tom Watson at the Watson Challenge.

Why do you enjoy serving on the CLG Board of Directors?
Working in the golf industry for Bushnell Golf, growing the game is important to my everyday life. Seeing what CLG does to introduce new people to the game while also providing competition for the more experienced golfers is extremely encouraging.

Dan Froelich, Ironhorse Golf Course

How were you introduced to the game?
I was in my mid 30’s and my boss highly recommended I give up tennis and start playing golf. He said that golf was much better from a client relationship standpoint than tennis. What he told me is that with tennis you are trying to beat your opponent whereas with golf you are playing against a common opponent, the golf course. Lastly, my boss said that the time spent on the golf course with the client was priceless.

How did you get started with CLG?
Prior to retiring, my best friend said I should become a Rules Official and Course Rater which sounded like a great idea. After several years of volunteering, I was asked to serve on the Executive Committee of what was then the KCGA.

Chad Fuqua, Hesston Golf Course & Prairie Dunes Country Club

How were you introduced to the game?
Golf Pro Dean Adkisson, from Tulsa’s Southern Hills Country Club, made a career decision that changed my life. Dean and his wife decided to resign as Head pro of Southern Hills CC in 1975 to take a job at a “far more prestigious” municipal golf course in Hesston, KS – Hesston Golf Course. Which opened in 1976. I was four years old. In the same year, 1976, my father decided to enroll me in the newly founded junior golf program in Hesston. Junior Golf was a lifelong passion for Dean Adkisson, as the only way to grow the game was to introduce it to people at a young age. By the time I was 8 years old, I spent more summertime at the golf course than I did at my home. Dean became one of the most notable mentors in golf and life, as he helped me develop a passion for the game throughout my formative years. He retired from the head pro position the fall after I graduated from High School in 1990. I was his last student of the game. During his tenure as Pro at Hesston, Hesston High School was the most dominant 3A/4A high school golf team in KSHSAA. As he impacted several young people’s love for the game and competition and developed many fine young golfers (both boys and girls)

Why do you enjoy volunteering as the Junior Golf Chair for the South Central Section?
I can say that Golf was a very important part of my life. I look back at one of my mentors, Dean Adkisson, and he gave so much to young people in golf; I believe that giving back to the game’s youngest players is the best way I can honor the game that has had such an impact on my life.

Jack Garvin, Fred Arbanas Golf Course

Jack is one of our association’s historians. He does an excellent job keeping records of every major event we run and helped tremendously with the compilation of historical documents when KCGA and KGA merged into CLG.

What do you love most about being involved with CLG?
It feels good to work with others and give back to the game.

Lance Ihrig, Sugar Hills Golf Club

How did you first get involved with CLG?
Our club used the Handicap System through the KGA for many years. My boys played in tournaments and I got to meet quite a few members doing that.

What is one thing you wish more people knew about CLG?
People don’t realize how much work goes into running a golf tournament.

Dave Jackson, Milburn Country Club

How did you get started playing golf?
My father left a set of old Lynx irons, and some friends convinced me to give them a try at a couple of local muni courses (Minor Park & Staton Meadows). 

Why do you enjoy serving on our Board of Directors?
It’s been a rewarding way of giving something back to the game and community of golf with a terrific group of people sharing a common focus. 

Don Kuehn, Paradise Pointe

If you are familiar with golf in Kansas City, you’ve probably heard Don’s name a few times. Don is not only a great player and competitor but also serves as the Chair of the Kansas City Golf Hall of Fame Committee.

Do you prefer to ride or walk when you play?
I’m a former caddie and a dedicated walker!

Range or putting practice?
I spend a lot of time on the range.

Ryder Cup or The Masters?
Put me down for the Ryder Cup.

Mark Lavin, Milburn Country Club

If you have ever been to a Rules of Golf class, you will know how much Mark loves to talk about the Rules!

How did you get involved with CLG and what is your favorite part about volunteering?
The late Michael Bombeck suggested I might enjoy doing Rules. It is my way of giving back to the community for all the benefits I have gotten from golf and from living in Kansas City.

What is your most memorable round of golf?
When I shot 68 at Prairie Highlands.

Martha Linscott, Indian Hills Country Club

Martha is a notable player in our association. She won the Senior Amateur in 2020, going on to compete in the US Senior Amateur. She has also been low-senior at the Prairie Invitational.

Why do you enjoy serving on the Board of Directors?
Because I get to meet fellow golfers from around the state who are striving to make tournament golf a positive experience for golfers of all levels. It’s important to have standards and expectations for competitive golf and hold each other accountable so it can be a great experience for all.

Taylor McCann, Ironhorse Golf Course

What was your most memorable round of golf?
When I shot below my age at Ironhorse, I shot 71 at age 76.

What is one thing about CLG you wish more people knew?
More about the extent of activity the association does in the community – managing and officiating golf for all amateur and professional golf in our region – (juniors, handicaps, scratch, collegiate, Watson Challenge, and Korn Ferry qualification). GHIN handicap through staff, volunteer, and course rating – etc, etc, etc!

Judy Morris, Derby Golf & Country Club

Judy was heavily involved in the KWGA, serving as a Past President and Junior Golf Administrator. She was on the Board of Directors during the merger that created Central Links Golf.

What is your most memorable round of golf?
My most memorable round was my winning round at the 2018 Kansas Women’s Super-Senior Championship at Wichita CC. It was the first State Championship I had won all by myself. Before that, I had “watched” my daughters (Kathy & Jaci) win multiple State Championships; “partnered” to win one; and “coached” our winning KWGA Fore State Team. The Senior Super-Senior Championship Tournament is an event I always look forward to – it has a great history and is always a wonderful opportunity to connect with golfing friends, and it was truly an honor to earn the title of Champion.

Conrad Roberts

How did you get started playing golf?
At the age of 11, my dad joined Cradoc Golf Club which was my local course in Wales. I basically wanted to do whatever my dad did, so he took me with him to the course and I just started hitting balls. However, it wasn’t until I was 13 before I started getting good enough to play competitively, so that’s when I truly caught the golf bug!

Why do you enjoy serving on our Board of Directors?
Coming from Wales, golf opened up so many opportunities for me. It not only paid for my college education, but the game has taken me around the world. Golf also introduced me to so many wonderful people, so I want to be able to give back to the game that has been so good to me. Serving on the board is one way I can do that.

Chris Robinson, Mariah Hills Golf Course

Chris is the Head Golf Professional at Mariah Hills Golf Course in Dodge City.

What is your most memorable round of golf?
When I played with my son and he broke 80 for the first time.

Why do you enjoy serving on our Board of Directors?
I like being able to grow the game of golf while giving input for the needs of Southwest Kansas.

Patricia Sherwood, Flint Hills National Golf Club

How did you get started playing golf?
It was with the flip of a coin, “golf” or “interior design” classes. I signed up for a non-credit PE class at WSU and lo and behold Natasha Fife was teaching it. I didn’t know who she was, but she had a big following. I loved the class and signed up again in the spring semester. She’s still my mentor and friend.

What do you wish more people knew about CLG?
I wish people knew more about our resources other than just putting on tournaments and handling our handicap. There is a big education component and so many ways to get involved and volunteer. 

If you had to choose between watching The Ryder Cup or The Masters, which would you choose?
Definitely the Masters. My favorite tournament of the year. I got to go once when Tiger was playing as an amateur…No crowds with him back then!

Alane Studley, St. Joseph Country Club

Our dear friend and Board Member Alane passed away in April. Alane was a valued member of the Board of Directors, a fierce competitor, and a friend to all she played with. In 2020, she won both the Tee Fore Two and Fall Triple Threat. Her contributions to the game will be deeply missed.

Sean Thayer, Buffalo Dunes Golf Course & The Golf Club at Southwind

Sean was involved with the KGA Board of Directors for many years and won the 1999 Kansas Amateur at Milburn Country Club.

How were you introduced to the game?
I was four years old and had three older brothers in junior golf at Liberal Country Club.

What is one thing you wished more people knew about CLG?
That Doug (CLG Executive Director) is a physicist.

Ryder Cup or The Masters?
Ryder Cup by a lot.

Chris Tuohey, Sand Creek Station Golf Course

He is the Director of Golf at Sand Creek Station Golf Course and is a big supporter of CLG events, especially women’s golf in our state. CLG is grateful that Sand Creek hosts multiple events each year.

How were you introduced to the game?
First, by my dad. He was an avid golfer, and the limited time I spent with him was on the golf course. I didn’t have much interest in the game until the age of 13. A good friend of mine in school, David White asked if I wanted to join the golf team. The rest was history. I became an avid player and competed in high school and junior tournaments during the summer. I never became a great player, but it kept me engaged in healthy elements. David was an incredible player in High School and College and a great role model. I didn’t have much direction in my life in school, but golf and David did their best to keep me on the right path. Amazing the impact people can make on your life. To this day, I still remember the day I accepted Jesus. David made this happen and I’m forever grateful. Helped me become the man I am today.

How did you get started with CLG?
I would say it started with Kim Richey, Rusty Hilst, and Casey Old. I had just started managing Sand Creek Station in 2006 when I reached out to what was then the Kansas Golf Association. I had a great conversation with Kim. I expressed my desire to host numerous KGA events at Sand Creek, even the Amateur Match Play. I just remember Kim chuckled and said “slow down kid, we’ll get there in time.” That’s when the Railer was born. Kim, Casey, Rusty, and I put our heads together and came up with what I think is a fantastic championship for Kansas Golf. I’ve made so many good friends over the years with the CLG team and all the great players.  

Tim Tyner, Council Grove Country Club

What was your most memorable round of golf?
Two rounds in one day actually. It was a 36-hole qualifier for the US Amateur in 2001 at Shadow Glen it was 95 degrees and we had to walk. 135 players teed off and 87 posted a score. 77-74. I was an old 42 at the time…

Why do you like serving on the Board of Directors?
I like helping to keep amateur golf alive in Kansas. It has been a big part of our family’s life.

Kurt Vollersten, The Golf Club of Southwind

Why do you like serving on the Board of Directors?
I like keeping Southwest Kansas visible and involved in Kansas golf.

What is something more people should notice about CLG?
Our efforts to recruit and involve our youth in the game of golf.

Gary Hruby, Shadow Glen Golf Club

Ted McDonald, Indian Hills Country Club

Benn Sledge

The Advisory Board

Steve Randall, The Jayhawk Club

What is your most memorable round of golf?
Difficult to answer with just one, so I’ll name two.  The 65 (-6) round I shot in Minnesota at the Detroit Lakes Country Club is up there, however playing my practice round at last year’s state amateur with my 14-year-old son will hold lasting memories.  It was great we both qualified for the state am, which is an exceptional event and experience.

How were you introduced to CLG?
I’ve been blessed to work in the golf industry since the mid-1990s, as a coach, then working for the Minnesota Golf Association, then being Executive Director of the Sun Country Amateur Golf Association (New Mexico/West Texas) before moving to Lawrence and working with the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America which his based here.  When moving to Lawrence I reached out to the Kansas Golf Association staff and wanted to be involved.  The KGA has positively evolved into the Central Links Golf Association.  I’m honored to be part of a great group.

Brian Burris, Flint Hills National Golf Club

How did you get started golfing?
My father was career military. During my 4th grade year, he was transferred to California. We moved to a house in the countryside. There was not a lot to do out there – no kids to play with. My father cut off 3 old golf clubs to fit me (some Walter Hagen blades with metal shafts that were colored like bamboo — 5, 7, and 9 irons). He taught me how to swing. Almost every day I would hit balls into the open field next to our house, pick them up, and hit them again  . . . and again. I probably hit 6,000 balls into that field before I ever got onto a golf course. When my father was transferred to Ft. Riley, KS before my 7th-grade year, I had access to the Officer’s Club Golf Course and Custer Hill Golf Course.  I played every day during the summer and joined the junior high golf team. I’ve kind of been hooked ever since.

How were you introduced to CLG?
In the 1990s, I represented some member clubs of the Kansas Golf Association in tax relief litigation. The case went all the way to the Kansas Supreme Court. I got to know Kim Richey during this time. Jack Simpson and Kim Richey asked me to be General Counsel for the Kansas Golf Association in 2014. That was two mergers ago. I was asked to continue as General Counsel for CLG, which I gladly accepted.

Brett Plymell, Oakwood Country Club

Golf in all 50 States

It is often hard for us as working individuals to find time to play golf at our home club throughout the year. However, despite the busyness of our lives, we always find time to sneak in a round here and there. For Gary Kipp, his life journey with golf started as a simple hobby but turned into something much greater – a national exploration of golf. Gary Kipp, a retired Navy Flight Officer and Commander from Wichita, Kansas, has played a round of golf in all 50 states in the United States of America.

Playing golf, let alone in all 50 states, was not a goal of his to start with – Gary grew up in Wichita in Hilltop, right across the street from LW Clapp Golf Course, and had a paper route that took a paper to LW Clapp every morning. He borrowed a set of golf clubs and started playing golf at the age of 14 in 1960. He recalls the greens fees at his home club were only 75 cents a day to play all day. Oh, how nice it would be to play for 75 cents today! Gary said, “72 holes a day was a piece of cake!”

As his love for the game grew over time, Gary began to play at the courses located in military bases across the country as he traveled. Six months after he graduated from Fort Hays State University, Gary was drafted into the Navy. He became a Naval Flight Officer flying in P3 Orions, whose primary mission was to hunt and track submarines. After completing 4 years active duty and 21 years in the Naval Air Reserve, he retired as a Commander (LtCol) in the Navy when he was 48. Throughout his journey in the Navy, he began to play more and more courses located within military bases, which got him thinking he could really complete his 50 states goal. Here are some of Gary’s highlights of his golfing journey across the United States and many military bases:

  • Alaska: Gary remembers being on a 13-man flight there… he was the only passenger with golf clubs. Gary played at the Elmendorf Air Force Base, in Anchorage, AK. Gary said, “You see a lot of deer in Kansas, but in Alaska, I was able to see a few moose!”
  • In California, Gary not only played at the course located at the North Island Naval Air Station, but he also played famous courses such as Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, and others. Gary says, “this was his most memorable experience of all 50 states.”
  • In Boston, Gary played a round and then rented a car, went to Maine to play golf, then drove to play more golf in New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island’s Newport Naval Station, and then back to Boston and he flew home. “One-week trips really helped knock out my goals”, Gary said.
  • The last two stops in Gary’s journey of golf in all 50 states were to Idaho and Montana. Gary flew to Spokane, WA, and rented a car and drove to Idaho. In Idaho, he played the Coeur d’Alene Island Green Course (pictured below, one of Gary’s favorites).
A small boat in a body of water

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  • Once he finished playing in Idaho, he drove the next day to Anaconda, Montana, to the Old Works Golf Course for his final state (#50). The course was unique, as it was designed by Jack Nicklaus and is famous for its black bunkers and waste areas composed of crushed black slag leftover from copper mining in the area. Quite the unique course to end on!
  • The most difficult states to cross off were the western states because of how expansive it is. “I couldn’t play them the same way as the northeastern states. It was almost an effort to knock one state off at a time in that area… Oregon was hard. I had to wait until I visited a cousin in Portland at Pumpkin Ridge (another of Gary’s favorites). Luckily, I crossed off Washington when I played in Seattle while I was in the Navy Reserves.”

Once the journey was over in Montana, Gary was elated that he finally completed his amazing goal, but he also realized he needed to find a new goal. “After I did it, I told my buddy, ‘Rich, it’s all over. I don’t have anything else to look forward to now. Somebody just let all the air out of the hot air balloon.’”

Gary is still heavily involved in golf and other aspects of his community. For the past twenty years, Gary has made an impact in his community through the caddy program at Flint Hills and as a golf coach. In 1996, Gary went through a professional golf coaching seminar in Phoenix, Arizona, and became certified to teach golf. When he came back to Wichita, to McConnell AFB, he taught golf there for about 5 years, between 1997-2001. Once the unfortunate events of “9/11” struck our country, it became hard to get onto the base and then the golf course closed. Once that ended, his attention turned to the caddy program. In 1997, Flint Hills National opened and developed a caddy program. Caddies got to play free on Monday, so Gary started caddying there. After a few years, Gary became an instructor for the caddies at Flint Hills for 17 years, between 2001-2018.

Gary is still a busy man who is finding new goals to set – his most recent goal that he hit was shooting his age. Gary shot a round of 73 one month after completing his “50 states” goal. Gary has experienced a lot of amazing things throughout his life, but he will never forget his life journey of playing golf in all 50 states. Gary said, “I can’t say that I liked every course, I played some just because I was traveling through there, but it was an unbelievable experience that I will never forget.”

No matter the course, no matter the score, it is always a blessing to be able to play the beautiful game that is golf. Gary’s story is a special one and should motivate us all to go out and make time for a round of golf – no matter which state it’s in.

Story written by Nelson Searcy.

Milburn CC Raises nearly $5,000 for Youth on Course

By Taylor Albritton, KCGA Intern

Saturday, April 28th, Milburn Country Club held their opening day tournament for the benefit of their members and to kick off the summer season. One member in particular, Dave Jackson, took the opportunity upon himself to raise awareness and money for the local Youth on Course program.

During the duration of the opening day tournament, Jackson perched himself on the #1 tee and passed out information packets as well as advocated for the importance of the Youth on Course program in Kansas City to Milburn members as they passed through. His persuasiveness paid off in a big way. In one day, Jackson and Milburn CC were able to raise nearly $5,00o from its members specifically for the Youth on Course program. On top of a successful donation of nearly $2,000 earlier in the year, Milburn CC has managed to raise almost $7,000 for Youth on Course in 2018 alone.

Despite being a private club and not being able to personally benefit from Youth on Course services, Milburn CC has done a great thing for its Kansas City community.

“It’s great to see private clubs embracing Youth on Course,” said Doug Habel, Executive Director of the Kansas City Golf Association.

“The success of Youth on Course will ensure the success and future of these private clubs for years to come. I hope the rest of the private clubs around Kansas City will also take opportunities such as this to help such an important program.”

Youth on Course is great program that supports local kids’ desire to play golf at an affordable and less competitive environment. In order to keep the game of golf relevant and important for many years to come, the youth movement must continue to grow. Please join us and the many other golf associations in supporting your local Youth on Course program.

A big thank you to Milburn Country Club for their amazing contribution!

Club Champion Now Open in the Kansas City

Club Champion Now Open in the Kansas City Area

Golfers Choose from 35,000 Head & Shaft Combinations

Willowbrook, IL — Club Champion, the country’s #1 premium golf club fitting and building company, announces the opening of its new Kansas City fitting studio in Overland Park, Kansas at 7400 W. 121st Street.

Club Champion fits, sells, and builds custom golf clubs constructed from clubheads, shafts, and grips from the best brands in golf including Callaway, TaylorMade, Ping, Titleist, PXG, Fujikura, Golf Pride and many more. The company delivers a Tour-quality fitting that produces longer, more accurate shots, with a nearly 100% satisfaction rate for golfers of any ability level.

The new location features approximately 3,000 square feet of space and has been designed to showcase Club Champion’s premium fitting experience and 35,000 hittable clubhead and shaft combinations. The studio includes two indoor hitting bays with Trackman launch monitors for analyzing performance, a SAM PuttLab’s fitting system to find the perfect putter on their practice green, and a build shop for repairing and assembling golf clubs by hand.

“We are excited to bring the finest club fitting and building to the Kansas City area,” said Joe Lee, CEO and president of Club Champion. “Our approach is unbiased, with no promotion of any specific vendors. Our only goal is to find the best combination of components to help customers hit longer, more accurate shots, and lower their scores and enjoy the game more.”

Ranked by Golf Digest as one of the 100 Best Club Fitters eight years running, Club Champion hires experienced fitters who then receive an additional 150+ hours of training before starting their job; unmatched in the golf industry. The company has a unique coupling system that allows them to combine any head and shaft together, so golfers hit the precise combination to be custom built for them. They are the only fitter in the country to offer 35,000 interchangeable head and shaft combinations on-site, at all locations. Golfers get to hit the exact club that will be custom built for them.

Says Lee, “Our unrivaled fitters and demo options generate unmatched results. A recent Golf Magazine study showed our average customer gained 22 yards off the tee, 15 yards with their irons and lowered their scores by 3 strokes. Many players think they aren’t good enough to be custom fit. But the study showed that higher-handicappers saw the biggest gains. Some of these golfers gained as much as 25 more yards with their drivers and shaved as many as 10 strokes per round.”


With advances in club technology, most golfers could easily hit the ball farther and more accurately, yet a Golf Magazine study found that 90% of US golfers may be playing with improperly fit clubs. Club Champion endorser and world-renowned golf instructor David Leadbetter stated, “It never ceases to amaze me that golfers buy clubs off the shelf and assume they’re right for them. Whether you’re a great golfer or a casual one, getting a custom club fitting is one of the quickest ways to improve your game.”

To celebrate the new opening, for a limited time (see website for details), the Kansas City store will offer 50% off full bag fittings, normally $350 (now $175), and 33% off driver, fairway wood, long game, hybrid, wedge, and putter fittings. This store opening special will run until March 31, 2018. The studio is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  More information on the company can be found at or by calling (888) 340-7820.

 About Club Champion

Established in 2010, Club Champion is a national club fitting and building company headquartered in Chicago, IL. The company currently has 28 studios in major markets across the country and will be adding 11 new locations by Summer 2018. The studios carry all the top golf club, shaft, and grip manufacturers in the industry, which allows for 35,000+ equipment combinations for customers to trial. Studios are equipped with advanced analysis technology with highly trained certified fitters and builders that must complete an extensive training program. Services include custom fitting and building for all club purchases, repair services, personalization, and highly engaging corporate and personal entertainment events. For more information about Club Champion, visit

The 2018 Kansas City Golf Show is Coming Up!

Kansas City Golf Show • Feb. 16-18 • Overland Park Convention Center

The Kansas City Golf Show returns to the Overland Park Convention Center, Feb. 16-18, 2018, with even more great deals, fun activities, incredible giveaways, and the largest gathering golf retailers and exhibitors under one roof in the entire state! This is our biggest year yet! Get fitted and take advantage of the seasons lowest on name-brand clubs and equipment from the industry’s top manufacturers, be the first to try out hot new clubs for free on an indoor driving range. Play fun skills contests featuring thousands of dollars in prizes, take a free lesson from a top PGA pro, or visit special areas for golf travel and other exciting activities. In addition, attendees will receive a front door goody bag including free rounds of golf and more! For more information, visit

Mays and Shelton Claim KC Match Play Titles

It was championship Sunday today at Swope Memorial, as new Women’s Kansas City Match Play and Men’s Kansas City Match Play champions were both crowned.

In the morning, Lacy Shelton and Erin Carney squared off in the women’s match. Shelton got off to a slow start and found herself 2-down after bogeys on 2 out of the first 3 holes. She quickly squared the match with wins on the 5th and 6th holes, but double-bogeyed the 9th to make the turn at 1-down. A birdie at the 10th and a  birdie at the 13th, however, turned the match in her favor, giving her a 1-up lead. The players would halve the last 5 holes, to give Shelton the 1-up win. Shelton is the first Women’s Kansas City Match Play champion since the event was discontinued in 1978.

In the men’s final, Travis Mays took on Scott Schaeffer for the title. Schaeffer, the #32 seed, had proven to be a very difficult man to eliminate over the three days of competition, but Mays was up to the task. Schaeffer jumped out to a quick 3-up lead, as Mays struggled to find his form early. Mays fought the lead back to 1-up at the turn, squared the match with a birdie on the 12th, and then went 1-up with a birdie on the 13th. Schaeffer never gave in, birdieing the 17th to force the match to the 18th, but ultimately Mays prevailed 1-up.

The KCGA would like to thank all that participated, as well as the staff at Swope Memorial and all of the KCGA volunteers that came out to help.

Schaeffer, Foth, Barry and Mays Make Advance to Semifinals

Day 2 of the 2017 Kansas City Match Play Championship is in the books.

Semifinal #1 will be played between Scott Schaeffer and Jackson Foth. Schaeffer, who survived an 8-person playoff to make match play, beat John Lovell and Drew Hatten on his way to the semifinals. Jackson Foth, the 2016 runner-up, breezed past Alex Forristal and beat Jay Gregory 2-up to advance.

In semifinal #2, Matt Barry will square off against Travis Mays for the right to play for the title. Barry, a recent UMSL grad, bested Jason Adkins in the round of round of 16 and Mark Terranova in the quarterfinals. Mays reached the semifinal with wins over Kyle Smell and Doug Albers.

The semifinals will be played Friday, May 21st, at 7:30am.

Four Advance to US Open Sectionals

U.S. Open Local Qualifying was held Monday, May 15th at the Golf Club at Creekmoor.

65 players teed it up for a shot a advancing to sectional qualifying and then onto the U.S. Open at Erin Hills in June.

On a warm, windy day on a tough golf course, four players were able to get around at even par or better and punch their tickets to sectionals.

Former Colorado Buffalo Justin Bardgett took home Medalist honors with a 70. Former Missouri Tiger Jace Long shot 71. Local amateur Alex Forristal and UMKC Kangaroo Sam Humphrey’s rounded out the group with 72’s.

Chris Thompson defeated Keenai Sampson in a playoff to earn 1st alternate.

Click here for complete results.