By Ken MacLeod
EDMOMD – A vibrant mural covering the entire west wall of the new range entertainment pavilion at KickingBird Golf Course was unveiled today, courtesy of Valspar, title sponsor of the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship, won in 2023 by Edmond native Taylor Moore.
The mural tells the story of Moore and his upbringing at KickingBird where he took lessons from Director of Golf Brian Soerensen since he was 10, along with a nod to the history of the course and the city of Edmond and its relationship with the Kiowa tribe and chief Kicking Bird.
Valspar began the mural program three years ago during Covid and paints one around Tampa Bay and one at the home of each winner of the championship. Moore closed with a 4-under 67 to edge Adam Schenk by a shot and Jordan Spieth and Tommy Fleetwood by two shots last March to win his first PGA Tour event. The victory helped Moore finish the season inside the top 30 on the FedEx Cup standings and he is taking the remainder of the fall season off to recharge before the 2024 PGA Tour schedule begins.
The mural was painted by local artist Rhiana Deck after Moore consulted with representatives of Copperhead Charities and Valspar. Representing Copperhead Charities at the event was NFL Hall of Fame Ronde Barber along with John Astrab and Valspar tournament director Tracy West.
“We wanted to find a way to use our paint to connect with communities,” West said. “We wanted to inspire and find a way for people to enjoy the paint outside their homes in different ways. It’s really been a unique initiative for us.”
Valspar and the Valspar Championship not only donated the mural, it presented Soerensen with a check for $10,000 to be used to support junior golf at the course.
Among the many images in the mural the center shows a young golfer taking lessons, which is Moore and Soerensen. Elsewhere other youngsters are inspired by their parents and the game. The left side goes back to the history of Edmond and it’s first paper The Edmond Sun.
“It’s cool to see this come full circle,” Moore told a crowd of dignitaries and golfers who gathered for the unveiling. “From me spending many hours on that putting green behind you and working countless hours with Brian to being a PGA Tour champion.”
Moore said he saw one draft of the mural after consulting with Valspar and was highly pleased with both the final conceptualization of his vision and the painting by Deck.
The building is located right beside the 10th tee box at KickingBird and near the main putting green and should be viewed by anyone who plays. And that’s a lot of people. The course has been slammed since reopening this summer after a renovation in excess of $22 million. There were more than 7,500 rounds played in July alone and superintendent Brad Joliff said he was glad for the cooler weather having sent the Bermuda turf into dormancy so he can catch up on other projects.
“The reaction has been amazing,” Soerensen said. “The clubhouse and practice facilities have been a huge hit and they are loving the course.”