Special to the Flash
(April 3, 2015) — The success of last year’s expanded Ben Hogan weekend has given birth to a new tradition: The Duals at Dublin — PAR vs Pasture.
This year marks the sixth time golfers will converge on the old Dublin-DeLeon Golf Course in celebration of the Hogan legacy in his hometown. It has been known as the Cow Pasture Golf Classic.
But the expansion of the activities last year to include PAR Country Club was so well received that it too has become a tradition.
So let the duals begin – June 5 and 6.
Both events are already filling up, weeks before official registration opens. Several things are adding to the excitement including the expected filming of the event by Bob Phillips and the award-winning Texas Country Reporter TV program, the participation of a Hall of Fame golfer, and free clinic by a LPGA instructor.
Among the early entries is an impressive team from Fort Worth headed up by Robert Stennett of the Ben Hogan Foundation, and Hall of Fame golfer Bruce Devlin, an Australian professional golfer, ESPN sportscaster and golf course designer. Devlin has designed and built more than 150 courses throughout the world, many of which have hosted all of the professional tours.
Stennett and Devlin will be partnered with entertainers Sonny Burgess and Jolie Holliday, both of whom are also expected to join local musician Layne Golden on stage at the Friday night party at the Fritts Farm. The party will be highlighted by trophy presentations, entertainment, introduction of the new Hogan clubs, games and casual dining.
Stennett plans to bring at least three teams via bus from Fort Worth’s Shady Oaks and Colonial Country Clubs. Terry Koehler, president and CEO of the new Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Co. in Fort Worth, expects to bring two teams and will unveil the new Hogan clubs at the Friday night party.
Many of the local and area teams are also expected to participate, some of whom have played every year since the Cow Pasture event started.
For the second year, a highlight of the two-day event will be a free mini-clinic by Jennifer Alexander, LPGA Class A teaching and club professional from Las Vegas. Jennifer, an advisor-director of the Ben Hogan Museum of Dublin, is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who was stationed at The Pentagon. Participants in her 2014 clinic indicate it was the best instructional time they have ever spent. Last year, her mini-clinic students ranged in age from 17 to 84 but several younger golfers are expected this year.
The Cow Pasture event, in its sixth year, is held at the old Dublin-DeLeon Golf Course which is now the Estes Ranch except for the one day a year when the golfers invade. The course is where 17-year-old Hogan won his last amateur event before turning pro the following spring. Only one tee box remains from the original sand-greens course which was probably not studded with cactus and cattle when Hogan played there.
Many of the players who have competed year after year refer to it as “the great equalizer” because good golfers are as bad as bad golfers in the rough terrain which has been known to claim a half dozen balls in a single round.
Pat Leatherwood, museum president who helps get the pasture golf-ready each year, said they found 140 balls last year. “We warn the golfers that not every ball is worth retrieving. After all, this is a cow pasture and all that that implies.”
All proceeds from the Hogan weekend benefit the Ben Hogan Museum of Dublin, the largest Hogan museum in the world. The museum was developed with the assistance of the Hogan Foundation and the Hogan family which named the museum its official archives on Mr. Hogan’s 100th birthday. The museum is located in downtown Dublin.
Each of the golf events is a 4-person scramble. Cost is $75 per person for each of the events or a discounted $125 for both. The Friday night party is free to golfers and children, or $15 for others.
For more information, email BenHoganMuseum@gmail.com and check the Facebook page. To register, contact Karen Wright, 254 977-4410. Registration is by credit card or check to Ben Hogan Museum, PO Box 104, Dublin, TX 76446.