Let's go back in time. The year was Nov 5th, 2016 Jaime Villarreal became the first player inducted into the Hall of Fame. A player must have ten wins that
include two majors to be inducted into the Hall. In Villarreal's rookie season, he established himself as a force with 4 wins. This crowned him with the title for the most wins and money
earned in his first season as a rookie. He won his first major, the U.S. Open, in 2015 at Southwyck. He won 4 more times the following year which included a PGA Championship and Players Championship.
At this time, the nickname, "The Greatness," was bestowed on him.
So when I created the Hall of Fame, I questioned myself if the criteria were too low. I assumed it would take a player several years to accumulate 10 wins. Villarreal kicked the doors off in a span of three years. He became the exception to the rule. Well, fast forward to the present, and 11 seasons later, Villarreal sits in the Hall by himself.
There are many players aggressively banging on the door attempting to enter. The British Open at Wildcat could have been the place where two players would have that opportunity to do just that. It was not just two ordinary, run-of-the-mill players. It was the League's elite two players, Jose Sanchez AKA the "King," and Vincent Gilmore, the "Doctor," who has more wins than anyone since 2017. Sanchez and Gilmore have enough regular tournament wins to enter the hall but they need one more Major title to join Villarreal. Now, the stage is set, and the players are in place. Let's get into the action of the 2022 Open Championship.
Sanchez and Gilmore came out guns blazing, with six birdies between them. Sanchez was 2 under par while Gilmore was 1 under par as they made the turn. I assumed this would be similar to the Rumble in the Jungle where "The Greatness" would use his rope-a-dope tactics to wear them down. Nope, this was a center ring, toe-to-toe battle with three great heavyweights throwing haymakers. Villarreal landed a nice jab on 13 with a birdie. Sanchez countered with a cross on 14 with a birdie but a bogey on 15 sent him to the canvas. Gilmore's knock-out punch on 16 was a thing of beauty. A 3-ft birdie putt sent Villareal tumbling back. Vincent gave Villarreal a standing 8 count with a bogey on 17. Vincent and Villarreal were all squared up with -4 after the bell rang on 18. After a sniff of smelling salt under his nose, Sanchez jumped up and finished in third place. So this great bout was settled in a sudden death starting on hole number one.
While Villarreal was in the clubhouse, he made one of his bold and confident predictions. He stated that if it went to a playoff, he would win. Well, it went to a playoff and he won on the first hole. Congratulations, Jamie Villarreal. You are still alone walking in the hall hearing all the echoes of your own voice. Continue to relish in your solitude of greatness, my friend.
I obsessively keep my eyes on the numbers and the results from each tournament. I am in awe of the talent that you guys show. I know that sounds cliche possibly from
a PGA commercial but you guys are good. The league's net avg. score is 1.3 lower than last year's. Some of the veteran players like Ballou, Turner, Gilmore, Bulthouse, Villarreal, and Johnson are
playing their best golf this year. Although, I have enjoyed watching the new talent from players such as Haja, Williams, Richardson, and Neitzey. They have been fun to watch.
Last week at the West Fork was a prime example of some great golf. Jarrod Ballou elevated his game and took control of the tournament and won. Rookie, Casey Grimme, second-year player, Sean Hinton, and long-time veteran, Joe Hart, who was looking for his first win this season were all in a four-man tournament at the turn .
Let's start with Sean Hinton who has been hovering around the top of the leaderboard in several tournaments this season. He won last year's Players Champions at Coushatta Pines and had a perfect record in the Culture Cup but he has struggled closing out the tournament this year. He lost three shots on the closing two holes,17 and 18, which cost him the tournament. This earned him a moneyless, fourth-place finish.
Jarrod, Joe, and Casey played their butts off. All of them finished four under the whole tournament. It came down to one hole, number 17. Dun, dun, dun!! Joe and Casey missed the green and failed to get up and down. Jarrod fired it right in the heart of the green and two-putted. He walked away with his 9th career win. He joined the pack of players banging on the door of the Hall of Fame.
They're all clawing at Villarreal's feet and he can't hold that spot much longer. It will be interesting to see what happens in the Player Championship. This will be the last chance to enter the Hall this year. This is some good stuff. You guys are good! Congratulations on your well-deserved win, Jarrod Ballou!
Established in 2012, the purpose of the League is to provide amateurs of all ages, sexes and handicaps the opportunity to compete in stroke-play golf tournaments on a regular basis. The League concludes with a Player’s Championship in which the winner from each tournament. Through this competition, the Houston Golf League promotes the sport of golf by providing an atmosphere of friendly, fair, and well-managed competition for amateur golfers in the pursuit of excellence.
The Houston Golf League has an annual membership of $150.00
The cost of each regular tournament is 120.00 the majors are $200.00 The entry fee for each tournament includes green fees, cart, and range balls in most cases. A portion of the entry fee establishes the purse. Tournaments can be prepaid online or the day of the tournament.
Cash Money and Trophies are awarded to the first place winner of each flight. A purse is established from the entry fees, and depending on the size of the flight, money is awarded to the top finishers in each flight. Additionally, there are voluntary skins games, deuce game, and closest to the pin. Membership dues must be paid before any prize money awarded.
The players are flighted by handicap, then play a gross stoke-play format within their flight.
Base on the number of players
0-6……. A Flight 0-10……..A Flight
7-13……. B Flight 11-20 ……B Flight
14-20…… C Flight
The League uses the Callaway system if a player does not have to establish a verifiable handicap, and the league trumps all other handicaps of other leagues handicap. Callaway system 10 strokes max for A flight and 20 shot max for the B flight. The League will access your level of play based on your most recent scores, which courses you have played and the tees you used. Once you’re placed on a flight, your tournament scores and handicap index are posted on the web page
The League will establish your handicap index based solely on your scores posted in the tournaments. If your handicap index improves during the season, you will be promoted to the next higher flight if your index falls within the parameters of higher flight. If your index falls within the parameters of a lower flight, you will only be moved to the lower flight if you request it.
All the tournaments are played on the weekends, with most being played on Sundays. Tee times vary but are posted on the website. The tournaments are played at local courses listed on our website.
Play in as many or as few as you would like. Of course, the more you play, the more points you can accumulate toward qualifying for the Players Championship and Culture Cup.
No. You can join the League anytime during the season. The sooner you join, the more points you start accumulating towards the points race.
If you enjoy weekend golf at some of the finest local courses, if you enjoy competitive stroke-play golf, if you want to improve your game by playing under tournament conditions like the pros, and if you like the feeling of winning, collecting prizes and trophies, join the tour and enjoy all of these benefits. All tournaments are played by USGA rules and handicaps are tracked on each player to ensure the integrity of each flight.
The Houston Golf League format mirrors that of the PGA Tour. The tournaments will be held on the finest golf courses around the greater Houston area. The HGL will consist of four major tournaments and a “Players Championship”, Ryder Cup-type Event called the Culture Cup. Stats will be kept on putts, fairways, and greens hit. There will also be a money list leader from each flight. These leaders will be eligible for awards that will be given at the Tournament’s Awards Banquet
HOUSTON GOLF LEAGUE HAS STUDIO 18 WHERE YOU CAN CATCH HIGHLIGHTS, REPLAYS AND
INTERVIEWS FROM OUR LEAGUE PLAYERS, JUST LIKE ESPN AND THE GOLF CHANNEL THE
HOUSTON GOLF LEAGUE HAS IT ALL!
EVERY LEAGUE MEMBER WILL RECEIVE 10% TO 85% ON ALL PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
TWILIGHT RATES, DISCOUNTED RATES IN SOME PROSHOPS AND FREE ROUNDS OF GOLF WITH THE LEAGUE MEMBER CARD.
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