News from Around the Green

The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.

114th Texas Amateur Set for June 15-18

The Clubs at Houston Oaks in Hockley is poised to host the 114th Texas Amateur. Conducted by the TGA since 1906, this year’s championship is scheduled for June 15-18.

“The goal of hosting the Texas Amateur started several years ago, and we’re very excited that all the hard work has come to fruition,” said Bob Gusella, The Clubs at Houston Oaks’ General Manager. “To be able to welcome the finest amateur golfers in the state for the 114th Texas Amateur this summer is an honor and a privilege for us. We can’t wait to showcase our club and our unique brand of Texas hospitality.”

This year’s Texas Amateur will be the second TGA men’s major and third overall TGA championship conducted at The Clubs at Houston Oaks. The club previously hosted the 2018 Texas Shootout and the 2021 Texas-Mid Amateur.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to return to The Clubs at Houston Oaks for the 114th Texas Amateur,” said Justin Guthrie, TGA Tournament Director. “The owners, members, and staff at Houston Oaks are such tremendous supporters of amateur golf, and we are excited to extend our relationship with them and to work together in conducting an unforgettable championship.”

The Clubs at Houston Oaks has been constantly growing and evolving ever since three couples got together to purchase the old Tennwood Country Club in the mid-2000s. They gave it a new name and purpose and implemented a long-range plan to enhance the entire facility in a multi-step approach. When it came time to redo the existing golf course, the new owners hired noted Texas-based architect Chet Williams.

In early 2016, Williams began work on a comprehensive overhaul of the course that involved reimagining everything above ground and modernizing all below-ground systems as well.

Following the completion of the 17-month, multimillion-dollar remodel, the modern-day Houston Oaks course was unveiled in late 2017. Williams’ stunning 7,007-yard, par-71 layout meanders through groves of centuries-old oak trees and in and around natural water features and vast native areas. The course features gentle undulations throughout with a wonderful variety of strategic challenges including long and short holes, doglegs, cleverly placed bunkers, and large green complexes.

“At first glance, it may not look as intimidating as some courses, but it’s a fantastic test of golf,” Gusella said. “The players will need precision and discipline starting from the tee box. They will need to hit the fairways most importantly, and then carefully maneuver their way around from there to score well.”

The golden opportunity to compete for the state’s most coveted amateur title at such a highly regarded venue as Houston Oaks was not lost on the players. The TGA accepted a record 1,176 entries for the 114th Texas Amateur, eclipsing the previous record of 1,010 accepted entries for the 111th Texas Amateur in 2020 at Boot Ranch in Fredericksburg. It is just the second time entries have surpassed the 1,000 mark.

“The Clubs at Houston Oaks is well known around the state, and we knew from the start there would be a tremendous amount of interest for this year’s championship,” Guthrie said. “It’s very gratifying to set a record for the number of entries, because it shows just how excited players are about competing in the Texas Amateur at such a special place.”

Holden Wisener of Dallas won last year’s Texas Amateur in a playoff at Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler and is one of four past champions among the 41 players who were fully exempt from having to qualify. Joining Wisener are Austyn Reily of Pottsboro (2021), Trey Bosco of Austin (2020), and Zach Atkinson of Colleyville (2004).

Top finishers from the 2022 championship are also among the group of exempt players and include Hayes Hamilton of Kingwood (who finished T4), Francois Jacobs of League City (T4), Travis Woolf of Fort Worth (7th), Hunter Bott of Montgomery (T8), Garrett Leek of Brock (T8), and Cody Winkler of McKinney (T11).

To determine the remaining 103 spots in the 144-player starting field, 18-hole qualifiers were held April 10 – June 6 at 14 sites across the state.

The format for the walking-only championship is 72 holes of individual stroke play. All contestants play 18 holes on both June 15-16. After 36 holes the field will be cut to the low 54 scorers and ties heading into the final two rounds on Saturday and Sunday.

Starting times and pairings for the first and second rounds will be posted on the TGA website no later than June 12. Live scoring updates and daily recaps will also be available online once the action gets underway from The Clubs at Houston Oaks.

The Texas Amateur is the state’s oldest and most prestigious amateur championship and is one of the four men’s majors on the TGA’s annual schedule along with the Texas Four-Ball, Texas Senior Amateur and Texas Mid-Amateur. Notable past Texas Amateur champions include Charles Coody, Ben Crenshaw, Bruce Lietzke, Mark Brooks, Scott Verplank, Bob Estes, and Will Zalatoris.

PAR AND YARDAGE: For the Championship, The Clubs at Houston Oaks will play approximately 7,007 yards with a par of 35-36 – 71.

SCHEDULE OF PLAY: Thursday, June 15 – First round, stroke play (18 holes). First wave starting times begin at 7:30 a.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees; Second wave starting times begin at 12:30 p.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees.

Friday, June 16 – Second round, stroke play (18 holes). First wave starting times begin at 7:30 a.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees; Second wave starting times begin at 12:30 p.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees. The starting field of 144 players will be cut after 36 holes to the low 54 scorers and ties.

Saturday, June 17 – Third round, stroke play (18 holes). Starting times begin at 7:30 a.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees.

Sunday, June 18 – Final round, stroke play (18 holes). Starting times begin at 7:30 a.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees. Lowest scorer for 72 holes will be the champion. In the event of a tie for the Championship, a hole-by-hole play-off will be held immediately following regulation play.

H.L. EDWARDS MEMORIAL TROPHY: The winner of the Texas Amateur receives custody of the H.L. Edwards Memorial Trophy, named in honor of Harry Lee Edwards, the “Father of Golf in Texas.” Edwards earned the descriptive title because he helped to establish the TGA in February of 1906, served as its first president, and won the first-ever Amateur Championship. Additionally, Edwards was also a founding member of both Dallas Country Club and Brook Hollow Golf Club.

AMATEUR CHAMPIONS SUCCESSFUL ON TOUR: Ten past Texas Amateur champions have combined for a remarkable 58 wins on the PGA Tour: Ben Crenshaw (1972) – 19; Bruce Lietzke (1971) – 13; Mark Brooks (1979, 1981) – 7; Scott Verplank (1982, 1984-85) – 5; Bob Estes (1988) – 4; Charles Coody (1959) – 3; Earl Stewart, Jr. (1947) – 3; Don Massengale (1958) – 2; Marty Fleckman (1964) – 1; and Will Zalatoris (2014) – 1.

FOLLOW THE TEXAS AMATEUR: Once the action gets underway from The Clubs at Houston Oaks, log on to the TGA website for up-to-date Texas Amateur news and information, including starting times, pairings, live scoring, and daily recaps. For enhanced Texas Amateur coverage, follow the TGA’s social media feeds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.