Lifetime Moment Occurs for Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame Inductees

Categories: Las Vegas Golf History.

Image October 14, 2008 {UPDATED Oct. 15}–Four golfers with strong ties to the Las Vegas golf community are being inducted into the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame in a ceremony that coincides with the playing of Las Vegas' PGA Tour event, the Justin Timblerlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Tommy Armour III, a PGA Tour player who is teeing it up this week, heads the list that also includes longtime Las Vegas golf professional Jerry Roberts, superb amateur player Louis Redden (pictured), and player and administrator Eric Dutt. All four attended a touching and inspirational ceremony October 14 at Las Vegas golf course TPC Summerlin.

The evening was attended by about 200 family and friends of the inductees, and representatives from many Southern Nevada golf associations including the Women's Southern Nevada Golf Association, the Southern Nevada Golf Association, the Las Vegas Chapter, PGA of America, The First Tee of Southern Nevada, Valley View Golf Club, the Southern Nevada Golf Course Superintendent's Association, and the Nevada Golf Course Owner's Association. Other notables in the crowd included Janet Gretzky, Pat Perez, Curtis Sifford, previous Hall of Fame inductees Jerry Belt, Chris Riley and Helen Cannon, among others.

Image Armour III, who has earned more than $8 million during his PGA Tour career including two wins, was presented by emcee Jack Sheehan, who detailed Armour III's great career, on and off the golf course. Sheehan said that Tommy was known as the "Nicklaus of nightlife" in addition to his stellar play on the course And commented that Armour III is "very loyal to friends and family". Armour III grew up on the third hole of the old Desert Inn Golf Club, and fondly remembers teeing it up with pros and celebrity legends. His father was a stellar Las Vegas surgeon, while his Grandfather, Tommy Armour, is a World Golf Hall of Famer. Armour III is humbled by his addition into the Hall. "Las Vegas will always be home for me, no matter where I might be living,” says Armour III. “The lessons that I learned there in junior golf and high school golf, and the great friends I have there that I still stay in close touch with are tremendously important in my life. To be included in the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame is a great honor that means the world to me."

Louis Redden was presented by longtime friend and Valley View Golf Club president James Epperson, who said that "any new player coming to Vegas has to go through Lou Redden". Redden was one of the most dominant amateur golfers during the 1970s and 1980s. Redden collected several major amateur titles, and also competed against fellow inductees Armour and Dutt. Redden won three-straight Las Vegas City Amateur titles beginning in 1973, and also won the event again in 1980. He also won the Southern Nevada Amateur in 1975 and 1977. "Being honored for what I have achieved is amazing and it just shows that if you work hard, you can be successful,” says Redden. "I did work very hard at the game. It didn’t come easy to me. But I really loved the game and didn’t give up. I never thought I would come this far but it’s amazing how far you can go with a lot of practice and hard work."

Image Jerry Roberts was presented by fellow longtime PGA of America professional Joe Kelly, who said that "Roberts is the best golf professional I have ever known in Las Vegas." Roberts served a long and legendary golf pro career in Las Vegas with dignity over the last several decades. Roberts held several positions in the area before settling in at Spanish Trail Golf and Country Club in the 1980s. He was the club's first pro, and served in that role until just a few years ago. He was key in bringing the PGA Tour to the course and also was a key founding member of the Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association, among other accomplishments. “This induction is the crowning achievement of my career,” says Jerry Roberts. “It is an honor that distinguishes and acknowledges a dedication to golf and my PGA of America profession.” Mac Davis, Tommy Armour III, and Eric Dutt are just a few of the golfers he has taught of the years.

Image Eric Dutt (pictured on the right with Johnny Miller) was presented by Butch Harmon, who operates the Butch Harmon School of Golf for Harrah's Entertainment. Harmon said that he "has always been impressed with Eric Dutt's dedication to the game of golf." Dutt was one of the best players in the area, and then turned that talent on the course into a career off the course by operating some of the best Las Vegas golf courses including Badlands Golf Club, Cascata, Rio Secco Golf Club, Las Vegas National Golf Club and others. He currently is the Vice President of Golf Operations, Las Vegas, for Harrah's. His playing career included wins at the 1976 Nevada State Amateur, the 1990 Southern Nevada Amateur and an MVP career at Purdue University. He also served as the executive director of the Southern Nevada Golf Association and has given his time to other worthy causes.

He currently is on the executive committee of the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. "I feel honored that the committee thinks my playing career, golf course management, and contributions to golf in Las Vegas are worthy of inclusion in the Hall of Fame,” says Eric Dutt. “To be included with the previous inductees is flattering and at this point probably the highlight of my career in golf. In the 45 years I've been involved in golf, whether as a player or later on the business side, I have had the opportunity to meet, work with and became friends with some of the best people I've known. I've known the other 2008 inductees for 25-40 years. I also hope that my involvement in the various areas of golf have allowed someone else to have an opportunity that they might not have had."

The mission of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame is to celebrate and bring awareness to players, administrators, benefactors, groups, instructors, teams, and other worthy golfers who have served the game of golf in Las Vegas in a positive and meaningful way, whether through performance on the course, volunteerism, financial support, promotion, or other dedicated service. A 10-person committee made up of Las Vegas golf professionals, media, amateur association leaders, and Hall of Fame members, oversees the voting process.

Current members of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame and class in which each was inducted are:  Jerry Belt, 1991; Helen Cannon, 2004; James Cashman, Jr., 1998; Clyde Cobb, 1991; James Colbert, 2002; Eddie Draper, 2004; Brady Exber, 2006; Las Vegas Founders, 2004; Robert Gamez, 2002; Butch Harmon, 2006; Ernest Haupt, 1998; Richard Huff, 2004; Stuart Reid, 1991; Chris Riley, 2004; Tom Storey, 2006; Charlie Teel, 1991; 1997-98 UNLV Golf Team, 2002; C. Pat Walker, 1998.

A committee made up of Sherry Corsello, Jerry Belt, Jack Sheehan, Bill Bowman, Joe Hawk, Chris Maathuis, Jerry Roberts, Joe Kelly, Brady Exber and Brian Hurlburt organized the evening and voted for the induction of the prestigious class.