News from Around the Green

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

85th Texas Senior Amateur Set for Sept. 9-11

Champions Golf Club in Houston will be the host site for the 85th Texas Senior Amateur, the third of this year’s four men’s major amateur championships conducted by the Texas Golf Association. The championship, which features the state’s top amateur golfers aged 55 and older, will be contested on the Jackrabbit Course from Sept. 9-11.

This will be the first Texas Senior and sixth overall TGA championship held at Champions. The 2016 Texas Shootout was the most recent TGA championship played at the historic club.

“We are incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to return to such a special place as Champions Golf Club,” said Justin Guthrie, TGA Tournament Director. “Champions has been a proud supporter of the game at all levels, and we look forward to working together with the members and staff to provide a truly memorable experience for the players.”

Champions Golf Club was founded in 1957 by World Golf Hall of Fame members Jack Burke Jr. and the late Jimmy Demaret. Located approximately 20 miles northwest of downtown Houston, Champions features 36 holes that weave through a rolling landscape of tall pine trees, creeks, and waterways. Designed by Ralph Plummer, the Cypress Creek Course opened in 1959, followed by the Jackrabbit Course designed by George Fazio, which opened in 1964. Tom Fazio, George’s nephew, supervised a renovation of the Jackrabbit Course in 2002. Chet Williams led a renovation of the Cypress Creek Course in 2018.

Over the years, Champions has acquired a well-earned reputation as one of the nation’s most esteemed tournament venues. The club has played host to five USGA championships in its 65-year history, including the 1969 U.S. Open, 1993 U.S. Amateur, 1998 and 2017 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, and the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open. In addition, Champions has also been the site of many other prominent events, including the 1967 Ryder Cup, five PGA Tour Championships, the Houston Champions International (now the Houston Open) between 1966-71, the Southern Amateur in 1973 and 1980, as well as the annual Champions Cup Invitational.

“Champions has an illustrious golf history, and it is an honor for us to be a part of it,” Guthrie said. “The players are excited about getting the chance to showcase their skills on the renowned Jackrabbit Course, which is an outstanding test of golf and the ideal stage for what is sure to be a great championship.”

First played in 1937, the Texas Senior Amateur is open to male amateurs who have a WHS Handicap Index® of 6.4 or less, will have reached the age of 55 on or before the tournament start date, and are current Texas residents.

The format for the championship is 54 holes of individual stroke play. The starting field of 144 golfers play two rounds on Sept. 9-10. At the completion of the 36 holes, the field is cut to the low 54 scores and ties for the final round.

Defending champion Gary Durbin of Houston, who also is a longtime member of the host club, heads the list of the elite senior amateurs who will convene at Champions. Durbin captured his second Texas Senior Amateur last year with rounds of 71-70-75 at Westwood Golf Club in Houston. Durbin, who will look to be the first to win back-to-back titles in over 20 years, also won the 2019 championship at Deerwood Club in Kingwood.

Seven other past champions will join Durbin in the starting field, including John Derrick of Waco (who won in 2020), Lewis Stephenson of Mansfield (2016, ’18), Ed Brooks of Fort Worth (2017), Mike Booker of The Woodlands (2015), Mike Peck of Irving (2013), Chuck Palmer of Dallas (2012), and John Grace of Fort Worth (2010).

Live scoring updates and daily recaps, as well as tee times and pairings, will be available on the TGA website once the action gets underway from Champions Golf Club.