Being inducted into a hall of fame elicits a wide range of emotions.
While serving as the president of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame, I have watched as a previous inductee wept almost uncontrollably while giving an acceptance speech and another keep a smile on her face throughout the ceremony.
But Monday morning was the first time I witnessed tears start flowing from a future inductee. Such was the case as I spoke with Kerri Clark, an LPGA teaching professional at Wildhorse Golf Club and a former LPGA Tour player. She will be inducted into the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame in October.
Clark, 54, became emotional when she thought back to the 1987 Mazda Classic in Boca Raton, Florida, her first LPGA Tour event.
“I’m probably going to cry when I talk about this, but my dad caddying for me in my first event on the LPGA Tour is something I will always cherish,” Clark said. “He caddied for me when I qualified to make the tour and then in that first tournament. He’s no longer with us.”
Jerry Clark first introduced golf to Kerri and her brother, Rick, at Craig Ranch golf course and was a president of the Southern Nevada Golf Association. He would beam with pride as his daughter won local and national junior golf tournaments, then an individual Nevada state high school title in 1980 as a junior at Rancho.
Kerri then played at Weber State, where she was an All-American. She helped the school win Division II national championships in 1982 and 1985, then turned professional.
“My story is one of family,” Clark said. “My mom (Mary Ellen) and dad supported me 100 percent and never told me no, so I took it and ran with it. I remember as a little girl noticing that there were only two sports women could play and get paid for, golf and tennis, and I wasn’t a big runner. I really enjoyed golf, and I’m very thankful for the career that I have had.”
Clark is now a teaching professional and operates the Las Vegas Women’s Golf School with Jennifer Alexander. She teaches golfers of all ages, but has a soft spot for younger players.
“I tell them to have fun, and if it stops being fun, then it isn’t for them,” Clark said. “I had fun with it, and that is the most important thing.”
The rest of the Class of 2017: Tom Hartley, a longtime benefactor and UNLV Golf Foundation member; the late Bill Farkas, the longtime head professional at Las Vegas Country Club; and the Southern Nevada Golf Association.
Induction festivities feature a pro-am Oct. 26 at Las Vegas National Golf Club and the Night of Induction on Oct. 27 at The Hill at TPC Summerlin. The induction is the official kickoff of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Events are open to the public. Details are at LasVegasGolfHOF.com.
Deal of the week
A round of golf at Bear’s Best and two tickets to a 51s game is $51 for residents.
PGA Junior League
Junior teams captained by pros Jeff Gallagher and Tim Skophammer will play Aug. 4 at Reflection Bay to determine the Southern Nevada representative in the PGA Junior League all star regionals in Arizona.
Stars on, off course
Brady Exber, Edward Fryatt and UNLV golfer J.C. Chong comprise the SNGA team this week at the Pacific Coast Amateur at Chambers Bay in Washington.
The golf notebook appears Thursdays. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or @LVGolfInsider on Twitter.
Thursday: World Stars of Junior Golf, Angel Park
Sunday-Tuesday: Nevada State Match Play, Spanish Trail
July 28: WC Golf Channel Warm Up, Las Vegas National
July 29: Major Series of Putting, final qualifier, Red Rock Country Club
July 29, 30: Golf Channel Western Classic, Las Vegas Paiute
July 30-Aug. 3: Girls Junior Americas Cup, Reflection Bay
Aug. 7: U.S. Senior Amateur qualifier, Chimera
Royal & Ancient
What: British Open.
When: Thursday, Friday, 10:30 p.m.-1 p.m. (Golf Channel). Saturday, 1:30-4 a.m. (Golf Channel), 4 a.m.-noon (NBC). Sunday, 1-4 a.m. (Golf Channel), 4 a.m.-11 a.m. (NBC).
Where: Royal Birkdale Golf Club (7,156 yards, par 70), Southport, England.
Purse: $10.25 million (First prize: $2,160,000).
Defending champion: Henrik Stenson.
Last week: Rafa Cabrera Bello won the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
Next year: Carnoustie.
What: Barbasol Championship.
When: Thursday, Friday, 2-5 p.m. (Golf Channel). Saturday, Sunday, 1-4 p.m. (Golf Channel).
Where: Grand National Lake (7,302 yards, par 71), Auburn, Alabama.
Purse: $3.5 million (First prize: $630,000).
Defending champion: Aaron Baddeley.
Last week: Bryson DeChambeau won the John Deere Classic.
FedEx Cup leader: Dustin Johnson.
Next week: RBC Canadian Open.
What: Marathon Classic.
When: Thursday, Friday, 5-7 p.m. (Golf Channel, taped). Saturday, 4-6 p.m. (Golf Channel, taped). Sunday, 6-8 p.m. (Golf Channel, taped).
Where: Highland Meadows Golf Club (6,512 yards, par 72), Sylvania, Ohio.
Purse: $1.6 million (First prize: $240,000).
Defending champion: Lydia Ko.
Last week: Sung Hyun Park won the U.S. Women’s Open.
LPGA money leader: So Yeon Ryu.
Next week: Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open.
PGA Tour Champions
Last week: Scott McCarron won the Constellation Senior Players Championship.
Next week: Senior British Open.
The Associated Press