At the end of a long, emotional weekend, Oklahoma State Athletic Director Mike Holder let his own emotions show when recalling how hard his parents worked and scrimped to save money to allow him the opportunity for a higher education.
Holder gave a gracious acceptance speech Sunday night during the first induction ceremony for the new Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame. His star shone particularly bright considering what he had gone through the previous 30 hours after the tragedy that killed four people and injured dozens more during the Homecoming parade for OSU in Stillwater Saturday.
Also inducted Sunday were Gil Morgan, Charlie Coe, Perry Maxwell, Bill Spiller and Bob Dickson.
More than 470 golf industry leaders and fans gathered at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City for the ceremony, which also included recognizing the 21 previous inductees into the Women’s Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame.
William Spiller Jr., an attorney in Los Angeles, spoke for his father Bill Spiller, who led the fight to end the Caucasian Only policy on the PGA Tour. Spiller and family members had played the famed but difficult Oak Tree National course in Edmond early that morning, and Spiller Jr. joked about how he was still in pain from the experience. He also talked about how proud he was of what his father had accomplished and grateful that it was being recognized in the state of his birth.
Morgan, winner of 25 events on the Champions Tour and seven events on the PGA Tour, thanked his three daughters and wife Jeannine for all their support through the endless miles he’s traveled over nearly five decades of competitive golf.
“We’ve been all over the world and to a lot of beautiful places, but at the end of the day we keep coming back to Oklahoma,” Morgan said. “There’s no place like home.”
Son Ward Coe spoke for Charlie Coe, recalling how gracious his father was, but also that he was a uncompromising competitor who thrived in the heat of match play.
Accepting the award for Maxwell was granddaughter Dora Horn. In the audience were tables from Maxwell courses Southern Hills, Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, Dornick Hills in Ardmore, Hillcrest CC in Bartlesville and Muskogee CC, in addition to Oklahoma golf architects Tripp Davis and Randy Heckenkemper, both of whom have great respect for Maxwell and have worked on restorations of his courses.
Dickson, who compiled a great record as an amateur, professional and administrator, also gave a gracious speech, remembering his roots as a young player at McAlester Country Club and Muskogee Country Club.
Clips from the induction speeches and more pictures from the event are on Golf Oklahoma’s Facebook Page here.
The induction videos narrated by Jim Nantz of CBS Sports can be viewed HERE. View more coverage of the event on the media tab as well.