Texas top teachers Smith, Hardy among Hall of Fame inductees in Monday gala

SAN ANTONIO – Two of Texas’ greatest golf instructors, a former major championship and multiple PGA Tour winner, a top amateur and the daughter of Lone Star golf royalty were inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame Monday night at a lavish, sold-out ceremony.

Teachers Dallas’ Randy Smith and Houston’s Jim Hardy, who both guided their students, professional and amateur, to greatness and Austin’s Rich Beem who achieved greatness for himself winning the 2002 PGA Championship, were among the Lone Star individuals honored at San Antonio Country Club, capping a day of celebration including the dedication of the Walk of Fame at the new hall facilities.

“I was certainly always aware of the Hall of Fame, but to look at it now and the many inductees, I never thought I would be here,” Smith said. “I’ve been teaching in Texas for 40 years. I hope I’ve helped somebody out.”

Also honored was Fort Worth’s Marty Leonard, a multi-decade contributor to women’s and junior golf, whose father, Marvin, founded Colonial Country Club and first sponsored Ben Hogan on the PGA Tour. Longtime Dallas amateur Don Addington was also inducted.

Colonial was added to the Texas Registry of Historic Courses while architect Ralph Plummer from Fort Worth and golf contributor General Bernard Schreiver from San Antonio, both deceased, were also inducted into the reconstituted Hall of Fame at nearby Brackenridge Park.

Hardy, who moved to Houston in 1983 and is a part owner at Blackhorse Golf Club, said he was surprised and humbled that so many of his professional students, including Olin Browne and Scott Simpson turned out for the induction ceremony at San Antonio Country Club.

“I had tried so many different things, but I think there plan for my life and this was my plan,” an emotional Hardy said. “I’m absolutely floored and flabbergasted with this honor.”

Addington attended the ceremony with his son Rob, the executive director of the Texas Golf Association.

“I’ve won a bunch of amateur events, but this is very special to be inducted in the Texas Golf Hall of Fame. I never expected this,” Addington said.

Beem brought his mentor longtime El Paso pro Bill Eschenbrenner, who was inducted last year.

“It’s such an amazing journey to be in a group like this,” said Beem, who won two other PGA Tour events along with defeating Tiger Woods in a dramatic 2002 PGA Championship.

Earlier in the day, the Texas Golf Hall of Fame Walk of Fame was dedicated with multiple outside markers to Texas’ most historic players.

“It’s nice to see the Hall of Fame back in San Antonio, it’s nice to have it home,” said former TGHOF inductee and U.S. Open winner Tom Kite, who attended the opening ceremony.

Hall Executive Director Reid Meyers also announced a series of grants and contributions at the dinner to aid future hall expansion along with a challenge grant to endow the facility and preserve it as the permanent home of Texas golf history.

Alamo City Golf Trail Executive Director Jim Roschek said the continued improvement at Brackenridge Park, the first public course in Texas, will continue to build on the Texas Golf Hall of Fame legacy.

“This means this municipal course will continue to be the focal point of Texas golf and that makes us very proud,” he said.

Event photos are available. Call or e-mail with questions.

 

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