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Tuesday, January 21, 2020


By promoting the great game of golf and goodwill with members and visitors, we aim to be part of your “best day of the week” with every visit to our club. At Elk City Golf & Country Club we take nothing for granted and will always provide the best possible service and instruction with a smile.

It is easy to say, “I get to go to work”, instead of “I have to go to work” when you get to greet our members at the club, whether for daily play, a brunch, family play or a tournament. It is a club with so much enthusiasm for golf and for each other, that, over my now nine full golf seasons, I have found out that at Elk City Golf & Country Club, there are only two seasons a year, the “golf season” season, and the “waiting for the golf season” season. Simple enough.

Testimony of this, is that average member play per year increased from 38 to 47 rounds a year, despite not having a permanent building…. yet. While our city has shrunk by about 3,000+ since the middle of the last decade and therefore, our membership shrunk as well, those members who remain, and our local golfers, have been relentless in their support of this club, now in its 83rd season!

Internally, both in maintenance, club services and leadership, it has been everyone’s daily goal to make our members and visitors feel that we have a “grand-opening” every day.  It is our daily thought to take nothing for granted. We want you to feel “at home” at your club, and if you don’t, we want to know right away so that we can make the necessary changes.

This year, we were blessed with the unselfish help of several members and other people to tackle projects that will be long lasting for the benefit of the club. Many things are always done in the background, and more often than not, without fanfare. The end result is that people who have not visited in a few weeks, come as ask, “what happened here?”, “when was it done?”, “who did it?”, “how much did it cost?” I truly enjoy giving answers to these questions. Here are some of the things that sometimes go unnoticed by those who do not use the club as often:

  • Thanks to former Mayor Bill Helton and the City Commission of the end of 2018 (Jeff  Jackson, Allen Robinson, Larry Muck & Rick Shelton) along with City Manager Lee Litterell, the club’s maintenance department is now using brand new equipment for all maintenance at a low cost to the club, saving us several thousand dollars in yearly repairs of old equipment that not only was not in use as often due to constant repairs, but that was not as efficient as our new Toro equipment. 
  • We had two major projects that would have been impossible to tackle with the club’s resources alone, but that were worked on thanks to several members who have the equipment and skills, and/or who donated funds to get these two done:
                       1) Level and cover the dirt area where the clubhouse once rested, and
                       2) Fix the poor drainage on hole #3 and the practice area. 

These two projects were possible, and the only remaining work is do grow grass on #3 and some areas of the practice range, however, all the dirt work, including leveling #3, drainage pipe and ditch to the SFI/KECO bridge has been finished. Our deep gratitude goes to (alpha by first name) Andy Blankenship, Blake Brewer, Brad Gilbert, Darrell Dunn, Greg Dodson, Greg Mullens, Marte Mullens, Joe Wynn, Jordan Williamson & Fam., Josh Moran & Tate Finnell, all of whom donated time, equipment and/or money for these projects, all of which would not have been possible otherwise with the club’s resources alone. So, please, when anyone of you crosses paths with any of these members, PLEASE THANK THEM IN PERSON!
  • All 18 tee signs were sold as follows: #1 Josh Moran Equipment; #2 Weed Brothers; #3 KECO; #4 Interbank; #5 Mike Proctor Consulting; #6 Pizza Hut;  #7 Culver Electric; #8 Barber-Dyson Ford; #9 Aspen; #10 BVG Const;             #11 Great Plains Bank; #12 Dr. Pepper; #13 Great Plains Regional Medical Center; #14 First National Bank; #15 Finnell Construction; #16 C.U.D.D.; #17 Secret Garden; and,  #18 Great Plains Analytical Services (GAS)

More… member David Dyson and partner at Barber-Dyson Ford, donated three beautiful sets (Red, White and Blue) of long-lasting metal tee markers specially cut with our logo. Next will probably be orange markers for the senior golfers! A special thanks to Apache Corporation and the Elk City Chamber of Commerce for the donation of hundreds of trees!

Making the News…
There were seven Holes in One: Aden Schmidt #10, Kennan Henderson #17, Robert Lakey #7, Cody Kuriyama #7 (his ace won him a 2019 Mustang from Barber-Dyson), Drake Hughes #10 (during the Club Championship), Quintin Nichols #10. Also, John Partain, aced Hole #3 during the Oil & Gas Tournament when the hole was shortened due to extreme wet conditions… Congratulations to all!

Tres Hill (16), won the Club Championship (70-65), won the Elk City High School Invitational with a 65 that led his team to a record 270! He also won other events, including the AJGA Finale in Dornick Hills where he finished with a 69 on the famous and tough layout. Tres is also a great student, and continues to perpetuate Elk City’s tradition of a home to great golfers! Who knows, we may be soon cheering him on a Division I college team!

Ryder Cowan, whose love for golf began in Elk City, qualified for the Annual Drive-Chip & Putt hosted by Augusta National the Sunday before the Masters’ week. He took second in his age group. The last couple of years, even before he was a H.S. freshman, and after, he has consistently placed top 5, including several wins. He is another youngster, 2 years younger than Tres Hill, who could be looking into a great college career.

Elk City High School Boys Team set a scoring record in our local tournament with a 270 (to our knowledge, in any 4-A Tournament) as follows: Tres Hill-65, Baylar Barnett-66, Tate Trotter-67, Travis Poole-72, Drake Hughes-76! Great Play!

Elk City High School Girls qualified for the State Tournament for the fourth straight year, and won the Regional Tournament along with 4 other wins. In the Regional, Haylee Poole and Baylee Miller tied for medalist. In Regional play, there is no “share of first”, so the two girls had to decide first in a sudden-death playoff which was won by Haylee on #9. It would be Haylee’s last victory in high school, as she graduated a month after.

Three members shot their age or better: Doyle Munkres (75/86), Bob Miller (68/71) and Carrol Anderson (76/80). By far, the most under their age was Doyle Munkres, who at 86, shot a 75.

It was a great year for women’s and couples’ golf. We had more women’s play than ever; we had more couples on Thursday nights than in any of the previous 5 years combined, and we even had a “end of the year” couples tournament, which we had not had since I came to Elk City in 2011. It all reflected in the annual Tumbleweed Tournament (expanded 6 teams) and the second annual Diamond in The Rough. Kudos to our ladies!!!

The Annual KECO Tournament continued to be the most sought-after tournament for competitive golfers from around the state and parts of Texas, Arkansas, and Kansas. Some golfers came from as far as Louisiana. In 2019, KECO partnered with Moran Equipment for the first time as title sponsor, a partnership that will continue in 2020!
Our Junior Camp continued to be full as every year, and can’t give enough credit and thanks to Tim DeWitt and Ann Cowan who continue to help year after year; and yes, this year we had a record number of girls (here is a small sample of “golf friends”).

The “most Improved” Tournament award belongs to “Path to Miracles”, a fundraiser for a great cause, helping people with addictions. This tournament started with 14 teams just a couple of years ago, and now had 24… maybe 36 in 2020?

Our club tournaments like Father’s Day, Memorial, Tumbleweed, Labor Day, Firecracker and Diamond in the Rough, were, like every year, very popular and,
     of course, full!
And coming up… The Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Oil & Gas Tournament will have its Golden Anniversary, I am sure the Oil & Gas Committee along with yearly faces of Sussie Cupp and Debbie Smoot, who along with the Oil & Gas Board, will have one of the biggest parties planned for 2020 in Elk City!

Only one major purchase was made, a Toro Sprayer that replaced an 17-year old machine, and a piece of equipment that we can’t do without. Without a doubt, a sprayer is one of the most important pieces of equipment on a golf course…. In some ways, without it, you wouldn’t need mowers! (If you see anyone other than Ed Hughes using this “favorite” piece of equipment, it will be due to some sort of emergency!)

In Closing
Elk City Golf & Country Club has continued to operate, in no small part, thanks to every member who believes that this period of “post-tornado” months is only an obstacle, and not a permanent setback. We appreciate all of you for all your support. I want to thank Ed Hughes and his crew. There are times we have to close part or all of the golf course due to weather and/or repairs. It is all done with the health of the golf course in mind. I know of no other golf course is smallish cities that continually offers great conditions.  At the same time, I want to thank all for your patience and understanding!


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