News from Around the Green

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

TGA’s Take Your Shot Challenge a Massive Success

DALLAS – Nearly 60 competitors on Thursday took part in the inaugural Take Your Shot Challenge, a Texas Golf Association Foundation fundraiser that had players compete in a nine-hole closest-to-the-pin contest at Trinity Forest Golf Club with chance to win $1 million in the grand finale.

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Brian Jennings from Dallas was the big winner. After winning two of the nine closest-to-the-hole contests, he and seven others attempted one shot from 176 yards at Trinity Forest’s Horse Course to win $1 million for a hole-in-one. Jennings didn’t make the ace, but his ball finished closest to the hole and that was good for a $500 gift certificate from Peter Millar. For his two closest to the hole shots on No. 3 and 7, Jennings won a round of golf for four at TPC San Antonio and a spot in an upcoming one-day Dave Pelz Scoring Game Clinic and a custom-ground Pelz wedge.
“It was the real deal. A million bucks is a lot of cash,” said Jennings, a 32-year-old real estate developer. “It was a great event, and very well run. The shot was between a 7-iron and 8-iron. I tried to hit a soft 7 and fade one in there. It wasn’t meant to be, but I encourage everyone to come out to the next one and take their shot at a million bucks.”
The event began a little after 5 p.m. with registration, putting contests and free food and beverages for competitors and guests. At promptly 6 p.m., players started taking their shots on the Trinity Forest short course built by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore in 2016. The visually stunning par-3 course looks and feels like a miniature version of the links-style big course, which is the home of the PGA Tour’s AT&T Byron Nelson Championship. The facility also is the home of the SMU Men’s & Women’s Golf Teams, and members of the Women’s Team graciously volunteered to serve as witnesses during the competition.
Each of the nine holes had an exciting prize for any hole-in-ones made during the evening. For example, the competitors had chances to win $25,000 in cash, a custom-made golf cart, a two-year lease on a 2018 Range Rover, $25,000 in private jet time and a Pebble Beach golf package for four people, to name a few of the high-profile prizes.
Players with the closest shots to the holes also won prizes and advanced to the night’s $1 million shot grand finale, which took place on a lighted hole just after sunset.
“It was great. The nine holes probably average in distance about 125-130 yards,” Jennings said. “I had two shots that were about 5-feet from the hole, and I won some great prizes. It was fantastic. My favorite part of the night was the TGA Staff. It was very well run. Everyone made it really fun, playing under the lights for a million bucks. The whole thing was a lot of fun.”
There also was a raffle for a trip for two to Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, complete with three nights and six rounds of golf. Trey Caldwell, who made the drive up from Austin, won the trip to the award-winning resort on the Pacific coast of Southern Oregon.
“It was an awesome day and winning the raffle just made it extra special,” said Caldwell. “It was a real pleasure to be here and help support junior golf in Texas.”
All proceeds from the event benefit the TGA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to ensuring that the game of golf grows and prospers. It achieves this mission through the financial and administrative support of existing grass-roots junior golf development programs and in creating new avenues for deserving and underserved youth to learn some of life’s most important lessons through their exposure to the game of golf. To learn more about the TGA Foundation, click here.