SAN ANTONIO – Former Oklahoma State golfer Lindy Miller and golf architect Joe Finger, who designed Cedar Ridge Country Club in Broken Arrow, were among the inductees into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame Monday night in San Antonio.
Also inducted were five-time PGA Tour winner Blaine McCallister and prominent amateur Robin Burke, captain of the U.S. Curtis Cup team. Memorial Park Golf Course in Houston was added to the Texas Registry of Historic Golf Courses.
“What a special night to honor the best of Texas Golf before their many peers and friends. This is the highest honor possible for a Texas golfer and we were thrilled to honor these deserving people,” said Jerry Smith, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Texas Golf Hall of Fame.
The inductees were presented in a special roundtable discussion Monday morning at historic Brackenridge Park where their names were added to the granite marker in the TGHoF Walk of Fame among with the greatest names in Texas Golf.
Later they were formally presented at the induction banquet at nearby San Antonio Country Club and received the formal, large Gathering of Eagles Trophy which goes to each inductee.
The induction was especially meaningful to Burke, as she joined her husband Jack, the co-founder of Champions Golf Club in Houston and past Masters champion, as the only husband and wife in the Texas golf shrine.
“I appreciate everything Jack has done for me, because without him I would not be able to have the amateur career I have had,” Burke said. “He is patient and kind and very intimidating and by working with him I learned to intimidate others and not be intimidated myself. I appreciate his work and effort and passion for the game of golf in Texas.”
“What makes Texas golf so memorable is so many major things happened here.”
said Miller grew up in Fort Worth where he worked for TGHoF member Ben Hogan at his home club, Shady Oaks Country Club.
“I had a great relationship with Mr. Hogan when I worked there at age 14-15, shagging balls for him on the practice range. Nobody hit it better than him ever in golf and probably (Dallas native, Lee) Trevino would be my second pick.
“He would come watch me and always be interested in how I was doing. I never told this story before, but I remember being told after he (Hogan) passed away, that he had bet $1,000 that I would win the Masters in five years starting in 1978. I’m sorry I let me down, but I glad I was able to do this (hall of fame induction).”
Miller was a four-time All-American selection playing college golf at Oklahoma State University while leading the Cowboys to a two national titles. He played a few years on the PGA Tour, before becoming the first head professional at Mira Vista Country Club in Fort Worth, started a junior golf program which became The First Tee of Fort Worth and now serving as Director of Instruction at Shady Oaks, where he started his golf career.
“None of us takes this journey on our own and I’m thankful for those who helped me along the way,” Miller said.
Finger was a member of the Rice Golf Team and lead the Owls to a conference title before becoming a chemical engineer. He turned to golf architecture later in life, designing hundreds of courses nationally and internationally including many in the Houston area,
He passed away in 2003, but his wife, Julia accepted the Texas golf honor on his behalf.
“This is just very special to see Joe recognized like this for his courses. Texas was always very special to him.”