For the last six years a group of golfers, whose roots in the game of golf spring partly from Lions Municipal Golf Course, have gathered for their annual reunion and putting contest. (click on the photo to enlarge it and use the back button to return to the text.)
The bond of golf and playing at Lions Municipal golf course is a strong one. The gathering allows these folks to catch up on who is doing what and swap stories of their youth and golfing adventures. It a joyous occasion.
Although golf and Muny are the binding connection that fostered these relationships, most of the discussion that takes place is about the people, their families and their lives in general. Golf related discussions are interwoven but they are not the main focus. It’s more about the relationships and enjoying each other.
The group is quite diverse. Some played in college or professionally. Most went on to enjoy golf on an amateur basis while raising families and making a living. There are a couple of greens keepers from the Kizer family.
The putting contest provides some competition but mostly serves as a vehicle for people to stand around and visit while they watch the putting matches. The contest is a nine-hole putting contest, aces only, with two man teams that advance through math play.
In a most unlikely win, of Roane Puett, a five time Austin Men’s City Champion and 81 years young, paired with A.R. Perez to win the putting contest. Mike Kelley and his son finished second. All are pictured here with Erik Lopez, head professional at Muny and Ben Crenshaw, who presented the winners checks.
Barbara Puett, who is Roane’s wife, was the golf coach at Lamar Junior High when Tom Kite, Mike Allen, Richard Buratti and Chuck Munson played for her. She has won six Austin Women’s City Championships.
She posed with Allen, Roane and Jim Apfelbaum. Barbara and Apfelbaum authored a book on golfing etiquitte. For the last couple of decades she has taught golf classes through the University of Texas at Austin’s informal classes division and encouraged hundreds of loal golfers. Apfelbaum has written about Austin golf for decades.
This photo includes:
Tim Wilson: who won the Firecracker Open, Austin Men’s City Championship, Trans-Miss Amateur and numerous other titles; Lloyd Morrison, head professional at Muny for several decades; Billy Clagett – who is nicknamed “Mr. Muny” for his six Firecracker Open Championships, has won dozens of titles including: Austin Men’s City Championship, Austin Senior Men’s City Championship, Texas Golf Association Mid-Am Match Play Championship, Bluebonnet Cup etc.;
Bill Boone, local Austin businessman who played with Clagett and others at Austin High School; Tom Clark – graduated from Austin High School in ’65 and played on the golf team is a physician in Oregon.
In this photo, Ben Crenshaw, who played at Austin High, won three NCAA individual titles (one shared with Tom Kite) two Masters and 19 PGA tour events, is next to Jay Ganaway who played for Austin High and won several local golfing titles. Bill Gainer, who won the Firecracker Open, was a founding member of the Austin Golf Association and long time member of Austin Country Club. Pratt has played locally for decades and is a fine player.
Dan Simpson, Lou Canatti, Mike Edgar, William Cromwell, all played for Austin High. Simpson worked for George Hannon as an assistant professional for several years before moving into property management for the state. Canatti recently retired from the Dentistry profession, as did Mike Edgar. Tim Wilson played for McCallum.
Scott Benson, long time Austin golfer who continued his dad’s work in the book publishing business poses here with his dad Walter and Crenshaw. Walter Benson is featured in the Austin Golf History and Player Profiles section of this Website. Click on the link to read his story and other prominent Austin golfers. Walter Benson won numerous local titles and is reputed to be one of the best ball strikers Austin has produced. He was a prominent player when Crenshaw was learning the game and they have enjoyed a long friendship.
Jamie Kizer, who is the latest in the long line of Kizers that have been greens keepers in Austin, shows off an Otey Crisman 700 H putter that he acquired from Edwin Kizer. In 1965, George Hannon gave the putter to Edwin after a round of golf when Edwin commented on how much he liked the putter than Hannon was using. So, true to Hannon’s generous nature, he gave him the putter. It is hickory shafted with a paddle type grip and it is still in it’s original condition.
Lester Lundell, who has been battling health issues, made a late appearance and is shown here talking with Dan Simpson, who organizes this event, and Ben Crenshaw. Lundell, who won four Austin Men’s City Championships, two Austin Men’s Senior Championships, the Harvey Penick Invitational, the Firecracker Open and numerous other titles has been a much loved member of the Austin golfing community for decades and everyone was delighted that he made an appearance. Crenshaw once caddied for Lundell when Lester and Hal Underwood won the 1969 Austin Invitational Pro/Am tournament at Austin Country Club. Lester is also featured in the Austin Golf History and Player Profile section of this website.
Don Andrews, who played golf for Austin High School, proudly displays his PGA necklace for making a hole in one in 1965. At that time, if you made a hole-in-one you could send in your information and they would send you a necklace and medal. Andrews was a businessman in Florida and has recently moved back to Texas and lives in Houston.
All in all it was a joyous occasion with lots of pictures taken and friendships refreshed and renewed.
My apologies for not being able to post all the photos or mention all the great guys that were present or any misspellings of names etc.