The famed Cherokee Strip Golf Tournament held annually in Ponca City will have extra significance this year, as event organizers are honoring the memory of long-time Ponca City Country Club head professional Gervis McGraw and his wife Pat.
Gervis and Pat were fixtures at the event from its early until he retired in 1982. It won’t be quite the magnitude of a Beatles reunion, but playing together for the first time since 1977 will be family members Mike McGraw, Patty McGraw Coatney and Tim McGraw, with the foursome completed by Patty’s husband Chuck Coatney, the head professional at Stillwater Country Club. Mike will be the featured speaker at the post-tournament dinner Saturday Sept. 8.
Mike, current golf coach at Baylor, former Oklahoma State coach and previously ultra successful high school coach in Edmond, and his twin sister Patty, a nine-time state amateur champion and member of the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame, were both strongly influenced by their dad’s love for the game, but went at it from different angles.
“I had the work ethic and she had all the talent,” Mike said. “I would be out there running three miles and doing my crunches before practicing. She would practice when she needed to and then go out and win the state championship. So although we get along great now, there was a little jealousy back then, at least on my part.”
Tim McGraw is another fine golfer in the family who later inherited Gerv’s club repair business in Oklahoma City. Also in attendance for the dinner will be sisters Debbie, Vickie, Sherrie and Sandy.
This year’s event has one team spot available. Contact tournament director Cynthia Wilson by email – firstname.lastname@example.org. Funds raised by the Cherokee Strip go to benefit the residents of the Opportunity Center in Ponca City, which provides housing and services for the developmentally disabled