Palmer, Elder, Johnson, Glanton, Adams and Houston CC to be inducted on Oct. 17
FRISCO, Texas – The Texas Golf Hall of Fame on July 19 announced six inductees for its Class of 2022.
The inductees are: Professional Player – Ryan Palmer; Amateur Player – Brad Elder; Golf Professional/Teacher – Gordon Johnson; Golf Professional/Teacher – Ronny Glanton; Lifetime Achievement – Barney Adams; and, Texas Registry of Historic Golf Courses – Houston Country Club.
The five individuals and one facility will be honored at the Texas Golf Hall of Fame’s traditional Gathering of Eagles golf tournament and marker unveiling at Brackenridge Park and with a formal induction dinner ceremony at San Antonio Country Club, both to be held on Monday, Oct. 17th. All festivities are open to the public.
“The Texas Golf Hall of Fame is adding an incredibly decorated and worthy group into its membership this fall,” Texas Golf Hall of Fame chairman Reid Meyers said. “We are so pleased to celebrate their achievements as representatives of Texas’ storied history in golf. The Class of 2022 undoubtedly deserves to be part of the greatest state golf hall of fame in the country.”
The 2022 inductees join 145 individuals and 13 facilities already in the Hall of Fame.
This will be the Texas Golf Hall of Fame’s 29th class to be inducted in its 44-year existence. The Texas Golf Hall of Fame biennially inducts individuals and facilities in five categories. The next election process will occur in 2024.
Professional Player – Ryan Palmer
A native of Amarillo, Ryan Hunter Palmer played collegiately at the University of North Texas and Texas A&M University, where he was a three-time All-Big 12 team selection. In his 19 years on the PGA Tour, Palmer has played in 465 tournaments and earned more than $31 million in career earnings. He has won four times – 2004 Funia Classic @Walt Disney, 2008 Ginn Ser Mer Classic, 2010 Sony Open, and 2019 Zurich Classic (with partner Jon Rahm).
He and his family established the Ryan Palmer Foundation in 2003 to create life-changing and brighter futures for communities and underserved families by offering access to education, self-care, and personal development. Initiatives include aiding in dental care, the Ryan Palmer Foundation Healing Garde, Palmer Playhouse and the Palmer Sportszone at Children’s Hospital of Northwest Texas, grants for children to participate in junior golf tournaments at no cost and supporting the Northern Texas PGA Foundation’s Golf Park at PGA Frisco.
A life-long Texan, Ryan, wife Jennifer and their two children Mason and Maddy, reside in Colleyville.
“I am a Texan through and through,” Palmer said. “To live my whole life in this great state and to be part of its incredible golf community has been amazing and I am beyond humbled to join the list of great players that have also been inducted into our Hall of Fame. It is truly an honor.”
Amateur Player – Brad Elder
Brad Elder, originally from Tulsa, grew up in Plano, Texas and began his amateur prowess by winning the 1994 5A Boys State Golf Tournament individual title and 1994 Western Amateur. Elder then headed to The University of Texas where he earned All-America Honors in each of his four years, including twice being named to the first team. Elder won the 1995 Texas State Amateur.
Elder’s banner year as an amateur was in 1997. He racked up undefeated showings in both the Walker and Palmer Cups and won the 1997 Northeast Amateur. As a Longhorn that year, he was under par in 18 of 37 competitive rounds played.
Elder was awarded the Jack Nicklaus Award, given annually by the Golf Coaches Association of America to the golfer who excels throughout the course of the entire season, and was the Fred Haskins Award winner, presented annually by the Haskins Commission to honor the most outstanding collegiate golfer in the United States. It is college golf’s equivalent to college football’s Heisman Trophy. He finished his collegiate career as the nation’s No. 1 amateur according to Golfweek/Titleist amateur rankings.
“It’s a dream come true,” Elder said. “I am beyond excited and so very appreciative.”
Golf Professional / Teacher – Gordon Johnson
Elected to PGA membership in 1986, Gordon Johnson has served the state of Texas almost his entire career. Assistantships at River Oaks and Oak Hills, then a PGA Head Golf Professional role at New Orleans Country Club propelled Johnson to the PGA Head Golf Professional role at Preston Trail Golf Club in Dallas from 1992 until 1999. For the past twenty-three years, Gordon has called Houston Country Club home, as its PGA Head Golf Professional.
During his PGA tenure, Johnson has mentored 17 fellow golf professionals to head golf professional roles, played in eight Texas Joe Black Cup Matches (and serving as a captain in 2010), competed in the 1990 US Open and the 1992 PGA Championship as a Club Professional. He has also qualified for 15 National Club Professional Championships.
He has received numerous honors including 1995 Merchandiser of the Year (Northern Texas Section), 2008 Merchandiser of the Year (Southern Texas Section), 2009 Bill Strausbaugh Award (Southern Texas Section), and 2013 Golf Professional of the Year (Southern Texas Section). Johnson’s service includes the STPGA Board of Directors, the Ronald McDonald Golf Tournament Board of Directors, and board member of the Will Erwin Headache Foundation golf event.
“The names on the list of golf professionals in the Hall is exceptional and to be included among them is a special honor,” Johnson said. “I am so grateful and will do my best to only improve the Texas Golf Hall of Fame.”
Golf Professional / Teacher – Ronny Glanton
Ronny Glanton, originally of Mineral Wells, Texas, has spent his entire career at Sherrill Park Golf Course in Richardson – as an assistant from 1981 to 1984 and as head golf professional for the past 37 years.
Glanton’s stellar playing record includes qualifying for the PGA Professional National Championship nine times, playing in seven AT&T Byron Nelson PGA Tour events, winning six NTPGA Senior Division Major Championships and three NTPGA Team Major Championships, representing the NTPGA 16 times on its Joe Black Cup Team (4th NTPGA all-time in individual points) and serving as Captain of the NTPGA Joe Black Cup Team three times.
Throughout his time as a PGA Member, he has served the Northern Texas PGA as Secretary and Vice-President, as well as President of the Section twice. In addition, Glanton represented the NTPGA as an At-Large Director on the PGA of America Board from 2010-2012, representing the NTPGA, STPGA and Sun Country PGA.
With the addition of roles on numerous section and national committees (including Chairman of the PGA of America Tournament Committee from 2010-2014) and awards received (including an unprecedented three-time NTPGA Golf Professional of the Year winner), Glanton was honored as the 2020 PGA of America’s Golf Professional of the Year.
He became just the fifth Texan to have won the Association’s most prestigious award, joining Ross Collins, Hardy Loudermilk, David Price, and Randy Smith (all of whom are in the Texas Golf Hall of Fame).
“This election is something I never thought I could achieve growing up in Mineral Wells,” Glanton said. “As a lifelong Texan, this means even more to me than being named the PGA of America Golf Professional of the Year. I will forever remember this day.”
Lifetime Achievement – Barney Adams
Barney Adams’ love affair with golf comes in many forms – player, entrepreneur, innovator, advocate, and leader. As founder of Adams Golf in 1990, after buying the remnants of Dave Pelz golf in 1988, Adams quickly grew the company to more than 100 employees and the leader in industry innovation. Adams’ sketches of a fairway wood design from notes he made during fittings that specifically addressed the challenge of getting the ball airborne from a tight fairway lie became the Adam Tight Lies Fairway Wood, the number one selling fairway metal in golf. Adams took the company public in 1998, at the time, the largest IPO in the history of the golf equipment industry.
Adams’ contributions to the game also include a fitting manual that became the foundation of the process the OEM’s use today and writing a story emphasizing moving to forward tees to derive more enjoyment and increase participation. The PGA and USGA adopted the principle, and “Tee it Forward” was born. Adams traveled the country as the organizations’ spokesperson to bring awareness to the project.
His philanthropy work is centered around The Ryan Foundation. Adams has been supporting the mission of The Ryan Foundation since its inception in 1992. His personal guidance and commitment to the Foundation has brought national awareness to finding treatment for MPS and LSD.
The account of his first meeting with Ryan Dant’s father was read by millions in nationally renowned sportswriter Dave Kindred’s two feature Golf Digest articles titled, “The Power of Charity Golf” and “How Golf and Charity Came Together to Save a Life.”
“It is an absolute honor and will be a moment that sinks in more and more as days go on,” Adams said. “I have so much admiration for Texas golf.”
Texas Registry of Historic Golf Courses – Houston Country Club
Houston Country Club was founded in 1908, at what is now Gus Wortham Golf Course, by Will Farish & Walter Fondren- founders of Exxon; Howard Hughes Sr.- founder, Hughes Tool Company, Captain James Baker- co-founder, Baker Botts law firm (grandfather of James A. Baker, III), Joseph Cullinan- founder, Texaco; Jesse Jones- Secretary of Commerce, Head of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and Houston businessman/philanthropist; and the estate of William Marsh Rice- founding entity of Rice University.
Houston Country Club’s current location was designed by Robert Trent Jones in 1955 and opened in 1957. Coore & Crenshaw redesigned the course in 1988.
One of the five founding members of the Texas Golf Association, the club has played host to eight Texas State Amateurs (1911 -first on an 18-hole golf course, 1913, 1916, 1920, 1933, 1981, 2001, 2008) and five Women’s Texas Golf Association Championships (1917, 1921, 1928, 1938, 1961).
The course has also held numerous famous exhibitions and USGA qualifiers and played host to the Houston Invitational from 1914-1954 with winders including Francis Ouimet (1922) and Doug Ford (1949). George V. Rotan was the first winner and won the event multiple times.
Over the years, Houston Country Club has consistently opened its course to PGA section events and was a primary practice facility for the prolific University of Houston Men’s Golf Team during its championship runs in the 1970s and 1980s.
Two golf inventions originated at Houston Country Club. The original sand wedge was invented and patented by member Ed MacClain (Bobby Jones used it at 1930 British Open). Gene Sarazen modified it later after he got the new design idea from spending time with member, Howard Hughes, Jr. In 1947, member Dick Jackson invented and received a patent for the golf cart by welding a park bench on a Cushman scooter and called it the “Arthritis Special.”
Notable Houston Country Club members include President George H.W. Bush (son President George W. Bush active at club growing up), James A. Baker, III (former Reagan Chief of Staff, Secretary of Treasury, and Secretary of State), and Denton Cooley (renowned heart surgeon and performed first heart transplant).
Houston Country Club is the 14th facility to be included in the Texas Registry of Historic Golf Courses.
“This means a lot to our membership,” Houston Country Club president Ira Green said. “We are so proud of our history and being able to add election into the Texas Registry of Historic Golf Courses to that history means the world to so many who are associated with the club.”