By Ken MacLeod
Maggie Roller was named the new director of instruction at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Broken Arrow, completing a shakeup in locations for some of Tulsa’s top teachers. She starts at Cedar Ridge today (Wednesday, March 1.)
Roller, a former University of Tulsa All-American and member of the 1988 NCAA champions, had built a successful teaching practice at South Lakes Golf Course in Jenks, where she also was deeply involved in the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf program and other grow-the-game initiatives.
Roller will offer lessons to Cedar Ridge members as well as outside clients at Cedar Ridge and maintain her relationship with the girls group. Tracy Phillips, son of long-time Cedar Ridge head professional Buddy Phillips, was splitting time between teaching at Cedar Ridge and being the director of instruction at FlyingTee in Jenks, but will now be nearly full-time at FlyingTee, though still teaching occasionally at Cedar Ridge.
Meanwhile Pat McCrate, who runs the Tulsa County-owned golf courses LaFortune Park and South Lakes, had already announced that Holley Hair had signed on to give lessons at LaFortune Park, replacing Roller. Hair is the former owner and lead instructor at now defunct Tee Town Golf Ranch in Broken Arrow.
Hair, who was part of the 1981 University of Tulsa national champion team and later coached at TU, has spent the past few years being a soccer mom to her children Gracie and Cora, both of whom are talented soccer players.
The connections between all the teachers run deep. Roller started her teaching career learning from Phillips and Hair, who were then a married couple, first at Golf World and then at the original Tee Town Golf Ranch from 1991 to 1995, when she was hired by McCrate’s predecessor Jerry Jones to work at South Lakes.
“I didn’t know anything about teaching when I first met Holley and Tracy and learned so much from just watching them,” Roller said. “I sat there for hours watching Tracy and Holley and Ron Branham teach.”
Although Phillips was a disciple of Hank Haney, the former University of Tulsa golfer who was then building a highly-successful teaching practice in McKinney, Texas, Roller said her influences include Haney, John Jacobs and Jason Hines, director of golf at South Lakes, among others.
Roller said she was beyond excited to begin teaching at Cedar Ridge, where she estimated she has given lessons previously to at least 50 members.
“I wasn’t even looking for this opportunity but it just plopped into my lap,” she said. “With the quality of the teaching and practice facilities, the caliber of the course, I’m just excited to get started.”
“Maggie will really add a lot for the club and for our members,” said Cedar Ridge Director of Golf David Bryan. “We are thrilled to have her.”
The same goes for Hair, who has dedicated decades to teaching prior to the demise of Tee Town in 2013.
“This is going to be a great opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it,” Hair said. “You’re talking about the premier location in Tulsa and the opportunity to teach men, women, juniors from advanced to beginners.”
“This will be wonderful for us,” McCrate said. “Holley still loves to teach. She has just as much energy and enthusiasm as she did 25 years ago when I first met her.”
Phillips has found his position at FlyingTee evolve from teaching into much more, including running golf leagues and helping organize events and consulting on customer experiences, particularly involving the golf aspects. He will continue to teach golf both at FlyingTee and other locations.