September 10, 2019 - 10:32 am
Last week, Jeff Reid, Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort general manager, shared a vast photograph collection he and his wife, Miki, had preserved since Don Welch (Reid’s father-in-law and a 2019 Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame inductee) passed away in 2010.
The historic treasure trove revealed Las Vegas golf’s glory days and included an official anniversary book celebrating the first quarter century of the famed Desert Inn Country Club, which was the site of the PGA Tour Tournament of Champions from 1953-66 and other PGA Tour and LPGA Tour tournaments.
The Desert Inn was a PGA Tour playground in those days and the collection included photos of legendary golfers Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Laura Baugh and Cary Middlecoff, Vegas titans Moe Dalitz and Wilbur Clark, and celebrities Bob Hope, Walter Winchell, Bing Crosby, Mamie Van Doren, Elvis Presley and dozens more.
Welch, a native of Whitefish, Montana, was hired as a Desert Inn teaching professional in 1961 following a stint in the Army. He became the head professional in 1964 and then director of golf in 1967. In 1976, he assumed the same role at the legendary Dunes course, where he remained until 1990.
Welch’s career was defined by helping create the Southern Nevada PGA of America chapter and also his quiet and wise leadership. A few quality hires by Welch over the years included Joe Kelly and Jerry Roberts (both preceded Welch into the hall of fame), and also Eddie Kahn, who later created the international company La Mode golf apparel.
La Mode morphed into Golf Apparel Brands and celebrated 40 years in 2018. Under Kahn’s leadership, the company has been the official apparel provider for seven U.S. Open tournaments, hundreds of PGA Tour Events and in 1992 launched Fairway Blues with Phil Mickelson.
“I remember the first week I was in business, Don called to inform me that another company had dropped the ball on delivering an order of 1,000 cashmere sweaters for the Hughes Invitational and asked if I could come up with that many sweaters very quickly,” Kahn said. “I wouldn’t be telling the story if I couldn’t deliver, and that order was a springboard to my new business.
“I think of Don every day and was very blessed to have had the close friendship with him and his family. Don is most deserving and long overdue of being inducted into the Las Vegas Hall of Fame. I am so lucky to have had the mentorship, support and friendship of this terrific man for 40 years.”
Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame weekend is Sept. 27-28 at Spanish Trail and TPC Summerlin. Ticket information is at LasVegasGolfHOF.com.
Nevada Open taking entries
Registration is open at CasaBlancaResort.com for the $150,000 Nevada Open Nov. 5-7 at Palms and CasaBlanca golf courses in Mesquite.
Stars on, off course
Nicole-Dutt Roberts has been named youth instructor and joins professional tour players Jeff Gallagher and Craig Barlow as part of the High Performance Golf Institute staff at Reflection Bay at Lake Las Vegas.
The golf notebook appears Wednesdays. 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.
Upcoming area events
Monday: WSNGA Rise to the Top junior golf benefit, Topgolf
Sept. 21: Kiwanis Club 2 nd Annual 4 the Kids, TPC Las Vegas
Sept. 27: SNGA Stableford, Coyote Springs
Sept. 27: LV Golf Hall of Fame Classic, Spanish Trail
Sept. 28: LV Golf Hall of Fame Night of Induction, TPC Summerlin
Sept. 30: Shriners Clash of the Clubs Pro-Am, TPC Summerlin
Oct. 1: Kick Off Your Heels Shriners Luncheon, TPC Summerlin
Oct. 2: Shriners Hospitals Pro-Am, TPC Summerlin
Oct. 3-6: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, TPC Summerlin
Oct. 5, 6: SNGA Mesquite Amateur, CasaBlanca
Oct. 17: Better Business Bureau tournament, Rhodes Ranch
Oct. 18: Birdies and Bogeys for Youth, Durango Hills
Oct. 18: SNGA Tour, Las Vegas Golf Club
Oct. 19: Bower Golf benefiting School-Based Health, Wildhorse
Oct. 27: Share My Passion Annika Sorenstam Clinic, Southern Highlands
Nov. 1, 2: Audi Lake Las Vegas Classic, Reflection Bay
Nov. 11: Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, SouthShore
What: Solheim Cup.
Where: Gleneagles, Scotland; Gleneagles Resort (PGA Centenary) (6,434 yards, par 72).
When: Friday-Saturday, 1-10:30 a.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 3:30-10 a.m. (Golf Channel).
Defending champion: United States.
Last time: The U.S. team won for the second straight time with a 16½-11½ victory at West Des Moines Golf & CC in Iowa in 2017.
Series: United States leads 10-5.
What: A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.
Where: White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia; The Greenbrier Resort (The Old White TPC) (7,286 yards, par 70).
When: Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, Noon-3 p.m. (Golf Channel).
Purse: $7.5 million. Winner’s share: $1,350,000.
Defending champion: Kevin Na.
FedEx Cup champion: Rory McIlroy.
What: KLM Open.
Where: Amsterdam; The International (6,966 yards, par 73).
When: Thursday, 2:30-5:30 a.m., 6:30-9:30 a.m. (Golf Channel); Friday, 10:30-midnight (Golf Channel-tape delay); Saturday, 10:30 p.m.-3 a.m. (Golf Channel-tape delay); Monday, Midnight-3 a.m. (Golf Channel-tape delay).
Purse: 2 million euros. Winner’s share: 333,333 euros.
Defending champion: Ashun Wu.
Race to Dubai leader: Shane Lowry.
PGA Tour Champions
What: The Ally Challenge.
Where: Grand Blanc, Michigan; Warwick Hill GC (7,127 yards, par 72).
When: Friday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m. (Golf Channel-tape delay).
Purse: $2 million. Winner’s share: $300,000.
Defending champion: Paul Broadhurst.
Charles Schwab Cup leader: Scott McCarron.
— By The Associated Press