Former OU coach Grost to receive Eddie Merrins Award from Ben Hogan Foundation

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FORT WORTH, Texas (March 27, 2024) – The Ben Hogan Award Foundation and Friends of Golf (FOG) have selected Gregg Grost, a former national champion college golf coach at Oklahoma and past Executive Director and CEO of the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA), as the recipient of the 2024 Eddie Merrins Award.

Recipients of the Eddie Merrins Award are to be highly regarded for their service, dedication and contributions to college and amateur golf while upholding the highest standards, values and ethics of the game.

“From a standout coaching career to directing the GCAA, Gregg certainly has put his stamp on college golf for more than 40 years,” said Harold Muckleroy, Chairman of the Ben Hogan Award presented by PNC Bank. “We are pleased to honor him and all of his contributions to the sport.”

Grost led the GCAA for more than two decades beginning in 2000. During Grost’s tenure (2000-23), GCAA membership doubled in size to more than 850 members. Along with the WGCA (Women’s Golf Coaches Association), the GCAA has also grown its national convention attendance from fewer than 150 to more than 340.

Additionally, the Arnold Palmer Cup expanded from a competition between eight US men’s college golfers versus their counterparts from GB&I to an event that includes men’s and women’s college golfers from around the globe.

Prior to heading up the GCAA, Grost spent two decades as a college head golf coach, helping his teams earn NCAA berths in 17 of his 20 seasons. In addition, he coached 19 players to a total of 33 All-America honors.

Fifteen of his years were spent at Oklahoma (1986-2000), where he led the Sooners to a national title in 1989. That season, Oklahoma won a school-record seven tournaments, including the NCAA Championships, and Grost was named the Dave Williams National Coach of the Year. In all, his teams won or shared three Big Eight Conference titles (1989, 1992 and 1996).

Prior to Oklahoma, Grost guided Lamar to three Southland Conference Championships (1982, 1983 and 1985) and he earned the first of his two National Coach of the Year Awards in 1985. He joined the coaching ranks as an assistant under Hall of Fame coach Dan Rogas at Lamar in 1981.

Grost, who was inducted into the GCAA Hall of Fame in 2005, has a long association in college golf, beginning his playing career at McLennan Community College under Hall of Fame coach Jimmy Clayton before playing for coach Mel Thomas and graduating from TCU.

Created in 2022, the Eddie Merrins Award is issued annually at the Ben Hogan Award Dinner to an individual who has made significant and lasting contributions to college and amateur golf. Previous winners of the award include Merrins (2022) and Bill Montigel (2023).

The founder of FOG, Merrins was instrumental in the formation of the Ben Hogan Trophy, which was first issued at Bel-Air Country Club in 1990. Affectionately known as “The Little Pro,” he stayed involved as a key figure in the award following its move to Colonial in 2002. Merrins passed away on Nov. 22, 2023.

Grost will receive the honor at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, on Monday, May 20. The winner of the 2024 Ben Hogan Award presented by PNC Bank, which honors the college and amateur golfer of the year, will also be announced that evening at the black-tie dinner featuring the award’s three finalists.

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