June 9, 2009–The Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame is scheduled to unveil a museum-quality exhibit featuring classic photos and memorabilia from such Las Vegas golf champions as Jim Colbert, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam and many others at Las Vegas National Golf Club on June 29, 2009, in conjunction with the inaugural Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame Classic Pro-Am. Plus, the Class of 2009 will be recognized and is made up of Jimmie Bullard, Edward Fryatt, Dwaine Knight and Jack Sheehan.
On June 29, 2009, at 1 PM, the brand new home of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame will be unveiled during a special ceremony featuring members of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame, committee members, dignitaries, area golf professionals, tour players, and amateurs. The new home is in the clubhouse of the historic Las Vegas National Golf Club, a Las Vegas golf course that has hosted events on both the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour. The new home exhibit features a museum-quality exhibit designed by Las Vegas’ Cypress Architecture with input from current Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame committee members and other golf community leaders.
The exhibit becomes the first all-encompassing tribute to the long history and tradition of Las Vegas golf ever created. After June 29, the new exhibit will be open to the public during Las Vegas National Golf Club regular hours of operation.And the Class of 2009 will be announced and welcomed at the event, prior to the official induction ceremony that will take place in October in conjunction with the PGA Tour’s Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October.
The Class of 2009 is made up of Jimmie Bullard, longtime PGA of America and Las Vegas teaching professional who has taught many of Las Vegas’ best players; Edward Fryatt, former UNLV All-American golfer and PGA Tour player; Dwaine Knight, current UNLV Head Golf Coach and member of the College Golf Coaches Hall of Fame; and Jack Sheehan, nationally-known author and Las Vegas golf personality.
The exhibit area will feature an extensive Las Vegas golf timeline that brings to life such important Las Vegas golf dates and events as the PGA Tour’s inaugural Tournament of Champions that was played at Las Vegas’ Desert Inn Golf Club in 1953; the 1983 Panasonic Las Vegas Pro-Celebrity Classic, the PGA Tour’s first-ever tournament with a million-dollar prize purse; professional victories at Las Vegas golf events by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods, Mickey Wright, Annika Sorenstam, Greg Norman and Karrie Webb; and the 1998 UNLV NCAA Men’s Golf Championship.
Other highlights will be an area with photos and bios of Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame members including PGA Tour players Tommy Armour III, Chris Riley and Robert Gamez, former Champions Tour Player of the Year Jim Colbert, World Number One Golf Instructor Butch Harmon, standout amateur player and current Southern Nevada Golf Association President Brady Exber and community leader and amateur player Helen Cannon. Also, the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame Wall of Champions will feature photos and information from the more than 80 PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and Champions Tour events that have been played in the Las Vegas area. And a special tribute to local amateur champions, junior golf and area professionals will be included. Plus Tiger Woods’ first PGA Tour victory at the 1996 Las Vegas Golf Invitational is commemorated. Vintage Las Vegas Golf memorabilia will also be placed throughout the new exhibit.
“It is a thrill for the committee to reveal the new home exhibit that now lives up to the excellence of the Las Vegas golfers that are members of this prestigious hall of fame, and to honor the tremendous history of golf in the Las Vegas area,” says Brian Hurlburt, President of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame committee. “Las Vegas National Golf Club is a great choice as the home of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame exhibit because of the deep history of the course, plus the convenient location that is minutes from the Las Vegas Strip and in the heart of the Las Vegas Valley. But one of the most intriguing aspects of the exhibit is that it was designed to be mobile, and plans are for pieces of it to be displayed at major Las Vegas golf events and tournaments, and this exhibit will be shared and embraced by the entire Las Vegas golf community and other Las Vegas golf courses as the years go by. And we plan to continue to evolve and update the exhibit on a regular basis.”
The Hall of Fame was formerly known as the Southern Nevada Golf Hall of Fame, but committee members voted to change the name to best capture the essence and passion of the Las Vegas golf community. The new home will be unveiled prior to the tee off of the inaugural Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame Classic Pro-Am. The event is open to the public. For tournament information, please visit LasVegasGolfHOF.com. Area professionals will be competing for prize money and to earn the inaugural Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame Cup trophy named in honor of professional John Difloure. The Patrón Spirits Company is the official sponsor of the pre and post-tournament festivities.
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. The annual induction ceremony takes place at TPC Summerlin during the week of the PGA Tour’s Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Current members of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame and class in which each was inducted are: Tommy Armour III, 2008; Jerry Belt, 1991; Helen Cannon, 2004; James Cashman, Jr., 1998; Clyde Cobb, 1991; James Colbert, 2002; Eddie Draper, 2004; Eric Dutt, 2008; Brady Exber, 2006; Las Vegas Founders, 2004; Robert Gamez, 2002; Butch Harmon, 2006; Ernest Haupt, 1998; Richard Huff, 2004; Louis Redden, 2008; Stuart Reid, 1991; Chris Riley, 2004; Jerry Roberts, 2008; Tom Storey, 2006; Charlie Teel, 1991; 1997-98 UNLV Golf Team, 2002; C. Pat Walker, 1998.
The Class of 2009 will be inducted during a ceremony that coincides with the PGA Tour’s Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, during the week of October 12-18, 2009. For the first time in the history of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame, the Class of 2008 was inducted during the week of the 2008 Las Vegas PGA Tour event, and the ceremony was attended by PGA Tour representatives, players, and other Las Vegas golf community leaders. Class of 2009: Jimmie Bullard, Edward Fryatt, Dwaine Knight, Jack Sheehan.
The Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame committee is: Jerry Belt, Class of 1991; Chuck Bombard, PGA of America, General Manager, TPC Summerlin; Bill Bowman, Media; Sherry Corsello, President, Women’s Southern Nevada Golf Association, Eric Dutt, Class of 2008; Brady Exber, Class of 2006 and President, Southern Nevada Golf Association; Brian Hurlburt, President; Joe Kelly, PGA of America, President, First Tee of Southern Nevada; J. Rick Martin, Photographer; Louis Redden, Class of 2008; Jerry Roberts, PGA of America, Class of 2008; Jack Sheehan, Golf Personality and Author.
Las Vegas National Golf Club is located less than two miles from the Las Vegas Strip and is one of the most historic golf courses in Las Vegas. Las Vegas National Golf Club is past host of the PGA Tour’s Tournament of Champions, Sahara Invitational and Las Vegas Invitational, in addition to the LPGA Tour’s LPGA Championship. Las Vegas National Golf Club was one of three Las Vegas golf courses used during the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational when Tiger Woods won his first PGA Tour title. Las Vegas National is a resort course that is open for public play, and both visiting and local Las Vegas golfers are welcome.
Golf in Las Vegas has a rich heritage. Currently, there are more than 60 golf courses in the greater Las Vegas area that are designed by some of the biggest names in golf including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Rees Jones and others. In addition, Las Vegas is now the home of nearly two dozen touring professionals on the LPGA, PGA Tour, Champions Tour, and Nationwide Tour. And several tour professionals grew up in Las Vegas including 2008 inductee Tommy Armour III and 2002 inductee Robert Gamez, in addition to Craig Barlow, Stephanie Louden and others. Las Vegas is currently the site of an official PGA Tour event, the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, and events on the Champions Tour and LPGA Tour have been played here.
Tiger Woods captured the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational, his first PGA Tour win, and his charity event, Tiger Jam, is one of many star-studded celebrity golf events that are held annually in Las Vegas. In addition, the Las Vegas area is home to several high-end, made-for-television events including the Wendy’s Three-Tour Challenge, the World Series of Golf, and the Re-Max World Long Drive Championship. And the UNLV men’s and women’s golf teams are now annually ranked in the top 25. The 1998 men’s team captured the NCAA title, and currently there are several former UNLV golfers playing on the PGA Tour including Adam Scott and former Ryder Cup members Chad Campbell and Chris Riley, 2004 NCAA Champion Ryan Moore, and PGA Tour winner Charley Hoffman.