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Brady Exber is the expert when it comes to the SNGA

Brady Exber is the most decorated player in Southern Nevada Golf Association history.

He’s won nine player of the year awards and been inducted to the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame and the National Senior Amateur Hall of Fame. He’s won at least a single SNGA tournament each year since 1991 and more than 100 overall amateur tournaments. He also has served as president of the SNGA, which was founded 50 years ago, and the Nevada State Golf Association.

When it comes to SNGA history and perspective, Exber is the expert. He reminisced last Friday, a few days after withdrawing from the first round of U.S. Senior Amateur match play because of a back injury.

Exber, 61, has a unique perspective on local history because he is a native and his father, Mel, was the founder of the Las Vegas Club. His mother, Doris, was a June Taylor dancer and also worked at the historic El Rancho Vegas Hotel in addition to being an active Las Vegas community member.

Exber didn’t start playing golf seriously until he was in college but improved quickly. He learned the game by playing in money games at Las Vegas Country Club and in the SNGA championship division.

“SNGA tournaments were where I started to get seriously involved with golf,” Exber said. “When I was in college I started playing a lot but I didn’t know anything about tournament golf and nothing about the structure of the game. By playing in the SNGA, I started to understand what it meant to play in tournaments and I really gained an appreciation for what golf is.”

The SNGA was operated as the Southern Chapter of the Nevada State Golf Association starting in 1967 and then officially became the SNGA in 1977. Longtime amateur Clyde Cobb, who died in 2000, is known as the SNGA’s founding father.

Other key names in SNGA history include Stuart Reid, Ernest Haupt, Jerry Belt, Don Welch, Charlie Teel, C. Pat Walker, John DiFloure, Jim Alexander, Lou Oliver, Eric Dutt, Larry McGovern, Sue May, Brady Exber, Nicole Dutt-Roberts, Jerry Clark, current executive director Ann Sunstrum, current president Tim Quinn and many others.

“It’s a little bit different in Las Vegas because we don’t have the traditions like other places do,” Exber said. “I feel like the SNGA is where the tradition we have really begins. If you view golf as a present, the SNGA is the gift wrap.”

Exber is still an active SNGA player and looks back fondly to days gone by when he competed against future PGA Tour players like Craig Barlow, Edward Fryatt and Robert Gamez in addition to top amateurs like his good friend and longtime playing Partner Frank Acker, Dutt, Doug Pool and many others.

“When I think about the SNGA I remember how Stuart Reid shepherded the organization in the eighties and nineties as president and when Eric Dutt was the executive director,” Exber said. “To me, those were the good ole days, even though these days are still good. Because of the camaraderie I shared with the other players, those days were my personal favorite times.”

The 50-year anniversary is being marked by the induction of the SNGA into the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame on October 27 and also with the kick off of a patron program. The induction and hall of fame tournament and tickets are available at LasVegasGolfHOF.com. To join the 50 Club, visit SNGA.org. Donors of at least $50 receive a special commemorative ball marker and bag tag.

Deal of the week

Through Sept. 15, purchase a range pass at Revere and get an additional $25 when you spend $75 and an extra $50 if you spend $100.

Stars on, off course

Anthem Country Club pros Travis Long and Troy Helseth played one another in the Southern Nevada PGA match play championship final at Coyote Springs. Long won 5 and 4.

The golf notebook appears each Thursday. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at bhurlburt5@gmail.com or @LVGolfInsider.

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