Bob Tway, four others named to OK Golf Hall of Fame

Bob Tway and Doug Tewell, are two of golf’s greats who will be inducted into the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame this year. Joining them in this year’s class will be Mark Hayes, Ernie Vossler and Joe Walser.

The induction ceremony will be Oct. 1 at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club and the Hall of Fame Classic fund-raising golf tournament will be held there Oct. 2. Tickets and sponsorships will go on sale in June.

All five inductees have ties to Oak Tree National, in Edmond, and have played crucial roles in the history of one of Oklahoma’s iconic clubs.

“This is one of the strongest classes imaginable,” said Nick Sidorakis, chairman of the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame board. “You have a major champion. The founders of Landmark Golf, the premier golf development company in the history of the game. Then two extremely talented golfers in Mark and Doug who not only won at the highest levels (a combined seven PGA Tour and eight PGA Tour Champions victories) but were amazingly consistent throughout their long careers.”

Tway won the 1986 PGA Championship by sinking a bunker shot on the 72nd hole of the tournament, to beat Greg Norman at Inverness Club, in Toledo, Ohio.

He also won seven other PGA Tour titles and is still competing on the senior circuit. Along with Tewell and Hayes, he was a mainstay of the famous “Oak Tree Gang,” a group of pros proudly displaying the iconic Landmark logo on tour that also included at various times Gil Morgan, Scott

Verplank, Willie Wood, David Edwards, Danny Edwards, Gil Morgan, Jim Woodward, Andy

Dillard and others.

Tway said in a statement released by the Hall of Fame, “There’s some great people in there already. It’s cool. We’ve been pretty fortunate in Oklahoma, haven’t we?”

An Oklahoma State alum, Tway was a three-time, first-team All-American, the 1979 Big Eight medalist, and he helped lead the Cowboys to national championships in 1978 and 1980 with a runner-up finish in 1979. He is a 2009 inductee into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

Tewell started out as a caddy for his father at age 12 in Stillwater. Soon he began playing and eventually played for his hometown OSU Cowboys (1969-71).

Tewell, said he was thrilled to be going into the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame with long-time friend Mark Hayes.

“From the time I took up the game of golf, it involved Mark Hayes because we lived around the corner from each other. He really kind of talked me into playing when I was 12,” Tewell said. “He was already a scratch player. I just kind of hung out with him and went to the golf course and that got me playing a lot of golf.

“My very first tournament was a little 9-hole tournament in Okmulgee when I was 13. I tied for second and had a playoff against a guy named Mark Hayes. I ended up beating Mark and I guess you could say that sort of started a rivalry. His summer career was 10 times better than mine. He just became such a great player. I chased him and chased him and chased him. It took me a long time to catch up.”

Tewell said he used to get some ribbing from the guys on the PGA Tour for being an “Okie.”

“While we were on tour, guys used to look at Mark and I and ask, ‘Why do you choose to live in Oklahoma? Why don’t you live down in Florida or somewhere?’ I’d always say, ‘Well, we’ve done all right in Oklahoma.’”

Known for wearing his signature bucket cap, Hayes turned professional in 1973, won three times on PGA Tour in the 1970s and also finished runner-up six times.

He placed no worse than 68th on the money list for eight straight seasons (1974-81). Hayes’ premier tour victory came at the 1977 Tournament Players Championship. Hecpicked up his fourth and final PGA Tour victory at the 1986 Tallahassee Open.

“I’m humbled to be included,” Hayes said. “I’ve been lucky to have two careers that I loved (tournament golf and designing golf courses).”

Walser and Vossler, were both successful club pros and former tour players when they co-founded Unique Golf Concepts, which in 1974 became Landmark Land Co.

Along with businessman and financier Jerry Barton, they built Oak Tree National in 1976, Oak Tree Country Club in 1980 and went on to transform California’s Coachella Valley with such landmark properties as LaQuinta and PGA West, not to mention Kiawah Island and many others nationally.