The saying that you can take the golf director out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the golf director certainly has been proven true by longtime Northern Texas PGA Executive Director Darrell Crall. He just completed his first year as Senior Director of Golf 2.0, a national golf expansion program based at the PGA of America headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Crall, 45, spent nearly 16 years in Dallas where he successfully oversaw a huge expansion of programs at the Northern Texas section office of the PGA of America.
After completing his first year in South Florida, with some Texan assistants, Crall thinks 2.0 and all of golf is headed in the right direction.
“There is such a can-do spirit in Texas and we enjoyed some great junior golf success,” Crall said. “I was humbled to get the nod here for Golf 2.0. I had a great platform for 16 years at the Northern Texas PGA, and I think we gained some credibility with the manufacturers and pros.
“We (PGA of America) are just a piece of the puzzle with 2.0, but I’m thrilled to be in a leadership role.”
To help him in his new national role, Crall tabbed two fellow Texans, former Plano golf pro Rich Richerson as his national director at Golf 2.0 and former Central Texas course owner Chuck Higgins, who serves as a player development manager.
“There is a ton of talent in Texas, some of which I saw up close and personal, but most of them want to stay there,” Crall said. “You never know what’s going to happen in the future, but we have an excellent staff here.”
To make sure his first year managing Golf 2.0 at a national level was a success, Crall concentrated on three main areas: Get Golf Ready, which helps develop new golfers, re-energize lapsed golfers and motivate core golfers; the PGA Junior League Golf Teams; and Tee it Forward, to make the game more fun and less overly challenging.
After a first year of national headquarters success, Crall already is rumored to be high on a list of candidates to replace recently departed PGA of America Executive Director Joe Stranka, a rumor he doesn’t actively try to deny.
“I’m hoping I’m here for a long time,” he said.
While his kids may have switched their allegiance from the former NBA champion Dallas Mavericks to the current champion Miami Heat, Crall’s not ready to give up on the Dallas Cowboys for the Miami Dolphins, and still hasn’t experienced his first south Florida hurricane.
“We’re really enjoying South Florida, but we certainly miss our friends in North Texas.” he said. “We had lot of fun and achieved a lot of success there, but we want to continue to work here nationally for Golf 2.0.”
A Texas-sized goal for a Texas golf transplant who is confident he can help bring success to a national level.
GameBook, which has U.S. operations based in Dallas, is using the upcoming Ryder Cup to promote its unique scorekeeping and stat compilation product.
Dubbed GameBook Cup 2012, it pits U.S. golfers who log into the website www.golfgamebook.com to log their scores against European golfers who do the same in a Ryder Cup-style competition.
They’ve even recruited longtime U.S. Ryder Cup team member Stewart Cink to captain the U.S. team against European Johan Edfors between now and just before this year’s matches begin next month near Chicago.
“We want to make it more fun and logging into this game and playing along does that,” Cink said. “The Ryder Cup is great, but there are only two outcomes: win or lose. There is no missed cut, or tie for 38th; it’s either victory or defeat.”
So far, the United States leads in the weekly contest 2-1, but like the actual Ryder Cup the final outcome is far from decided.
The game’s founders started GameBook in Finland and later moved U.S. operations to Dallas, along with their event sales. The addition of the Ryder Cup contest is only the latest evolution in the product, which can be used on a smartphone, a tablet or computer.
The Texas Golf Association has selected Aaron Hickman, of Tyler, Lucas Boyd, of Plano, and Clarke Kincaid, of Trophy Club, to represent the state in the 2012 USGA Men’s State Team Championship to be played Sept. 19-21 at Galloway National Golf Club in Galloway, N.J. Guy Mason, president of the TGA, will serve as team captain.
To select the representatives, the Texas Golf Association utilized a two-year cumulative points system based on top finishes in TGA statewide and USGA national championships. The points earning period for the 2012 USGA Men’s State Team began with the 2010 U.S. Amateur and ended July 31, following the TGA State Mid-Amateur Match Play Championship and 2012 U.S. Amateur sectional qualifying. Points earned after July 31, will carry forward toward qualifying for the 2014 team.
Texas is the only three-time champion of the event, winning the title in 1999, 2005 and 2007.
The Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa’s Wolfdancer Golf Club will host the 2012 State Senior Four-Ball, Sept. 12-14. The three-day state championship will feature two divisions, one for players 55 and older, and one for players 65 and older. For more information, go to www.txga.org.
Southlake’s Matt Gilchrest completed a rare three-peat with his third consecutive victory in a AJGA junior golf event, shooting a final-round 62 for an nine-stroke victory in the Goodman Networks Junior at his home course at Timarron Country Club.