100°F
weather icon Clear

Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame inductee recalls debut on LPGA Tour

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 bhurlburt5@gmail.com or @LVGolfInsider on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Las Vegas golfers must endure overseeding at courses

It’s that time of year when many golf courses undergo the dreaded overseeding process. It’s expensive for course owners and a major inconvenience for golfers.

Vegas Juniors making impact at college level

Much like the ever-growing contingent of professional tour players who have strong ties to Las Vegas, the group of local high school golfers moving on to play in college is also evolving.

PGA Tour, Houston Open to honor Butch Harmon

Last week, representatives of the PGA Tour, Houston Open and the Houston Astros Golf Foundation announced that the tournament will be known this year as the Houston Open honoring Butch Harmon.

Wes Weston claims PGA chapter championship

PGA of America professional Wes Weston shot 1-under 141 at TPC Las Vegas last week to win the 2019 Southwest Section, Southern Nevada Chapter Championship by three shots over Las Vegas Paiute’s Tom Fischer.

Golfer Collin Morikawa making move to Las Vegas

A local PGA of America golf professional has confirmed that former Cal-Berkeley all-American golfer and current PGA Tour player Collin Morikawa, 22, is making the move to Las Vegas.

New Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame class revealed

The Night of Induction is Saturday, Sept. 28 at The Hill at TPC Summerlin, preceded by a golf tournament Sept. 27 at Spanish Trail.

Bragging rights on line during Shriners Clash of the Clubs

The event is the official Monday pro-am for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and features four-player amateur teams from golf clubs who are paired with a PGA Tour professional.

Jeff Gallagher goes home, hopes to win at U.S. Senior Open

Reflection Bay at Lake Las Vegas golf instructor Jeff Gallagher earned a fourth-straight trip to the nation’s senior golf championship that begins Thursday in South Bend, Indiana.

Las Vegas golf courses offer lower summer rates

Some golfers stay away from courses because of triple-digit temperatures, but others embrace the season because rates are drastically reduced.