The Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism publishes helpful guides full of information about the state. The free publications listed below can be obtained by calling Parks & Tourism at 800-NATURAL, or Arkansas State Parks at 888-AT-PARKS.
More than 10 years after the formation of the Natural State Golf Trail, the sport is struggling to regain its popularity, especially with a younger generation that seems more interested in smartphones than sand wedges.
Ron Whitten doesn’t throw platitudes around willy-nilly about every golf course he sees. Golf Digest’s esteemed expert on golf courses and architecture has to truly be moved, and to see his comments in national print about the new Mystic Creek Golf Course in El Dorado speaks volumes.
If a golfer hasn’t broken through with a first PGA Tour victory by age 44, it’s unlikely to happen these days, what with all the up-and-coming young whippersnappers with their monstrous drives and steely nerves. But Ken Duke, who had three career, second-place finishes on Tour, persevered and earned that victory, beating Chris Stroud in a two-hole playoff.
Dan Snider, a native Texan, considers himself an Arkansan, and the state and many of its golfers have embraced the easy-going Snider over the years. Last fall, it all culminated in Snider’s induction into the Arkansas Golf Hall of Fame.
The Arkansas State Golf Association’s Hall of Fame was created in 1994 and inducted its 19th class last October, which included Alotian Club director of golf Dan Snider. The Hall was formed to honor Arkansas amateurs and pros, course designers and superintendents and others who influenced the game in the Natural State. Here is a list of inductees and their years to enter the ASGA Hall of Fame
On Saturday, approximately 111 kids ages 7 to 17 will descend on the First Tee of Central Arkansas for the second Monk Wade Junior Classic. It's a two-day event that kicks off the junior amateur season, as well as bringing a lot of youths from outside of Little Rock in contact with a truly fabulous golf facility for children and adults. It's my guess that most of the youths, both boys and girls, entered in the tournament probably only know the name of Monk Wade thanks to a classroom at the First Tee of Central Arkansas eing named for him. Here's hoping that over the next few years they get to know a little about the man whose name graces the tournament.
Arkansan Bryce Molder, who performed at Georgia Tech to much acclaim — achieving rare four-tme All-American status — struggled throughout his professional career for 11 years before achieving his firat PGA Tour win the 2011 Fall Series Frys.com Open. He’s continued his solid play in 2012 by being in contention half a dozen times. The improvement in his game is borne out statistically in the greens-in-regulation number, where Molder has jumped from 108 last year to No. 7 this season, meaning he's had more looks at birdie. Molder is in New Orleans this weekend competing in the Zurich Classic along with fellow Arkansans John Daly and Ken Duke, who grabbed the early lead with a 7-under-par 65 Thursday morning.
The hundreds of acres once known as Rosswood Country Club in Pine Bluff sit idly by, waiting for the mowers to show up and restore it to a nearly forgotten glory. Many of the state’s top golfers remember it fondly, and its closing in 2006 still strikes at the heart.
Charles "Monk" Wade always appreciated when an Arkansas State Golf Association tournament went off with few if any hitches. He would have been proud of his namesake event at the First Tee of Central Arkansas last weekend.
In other circumstances, Saturday night's 5-3 lost to Florida might have been viewed as a heart-breaker for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Instead, when Hog coach Dave Van Horn met with the media at Baum Stadium afterward, he seemed somewhat satisfied. Considering Arkansas had lost five best-of-three SEC series coming in, that's understandable.
One golf course in Central Arkansas closed before Christmas and another facility with two 18-hole courses is in financial trouble. It's a situation not unique to Arkansas, but surely will impact the golf business in the area for a long time to come.