SWDGA OFFICERS FOR 2016-18
President – Stan Sudol
Vice President – Linda Bradford
Secretary/Treasurer – Mike Hummel
Hall of Fame Director – John Mills
Information Director – John Egbert
HISTORY OF SOUTHWEST DEAF GOLF ASSOCIATION
In 1958, W.O. Barton was hospitalized and recovering from surgery. During the hospital stay, he picked up a golf magazine and began reading it. When his visitors came to see him, he told his friends about starting a golf tournament for the deaf in the Southwest. They all agreed.
The word spread all over Texas among deaf golfers. The first SWDGA officers elected were Billy Collins, Sr. as President, Billy Gumm as Vice President, and Milan Butler as Secretary & Treasurer.
The first two-day tournament format that began in 1959 was at Knollwood Golf Course in Irving, TX where today lies the Texas Stadium that is the home of the Dallas Cowboys.
With help from the Knollwood management and professionals, deaf golfers were allowed to practice on their driving range free of charge. The pros also were knowledgeable and helpful in running the deaf tournament. The first committee members were W.O. Barton, Milan Butler, and Billy Collins, Sr.
In 1980, 14-year old Gary Morris was the youngest deaf golfer to win as the Open champion at the 22nd Annual held at Lions’ Municipal Golf Course in his hometown of Austin, TX.
In 1984, Kathy Carr was the first woman to participate against men and that was at the 26th Annual in her hometown of Dallas, TX. Her score was a commendable 222 (107+115) from women’s tees.
The three-day format began in 1991 in Dallas, TX and Bill Roberts of Missouri captured the Open championship with a tournament record score of 213 (70+73+70) that still stands to this day.
In 1998, after the first and only complete rain-out a year earlier, with the aging of our baby boomers, the Senior Division was created for those who are 55 and over to compete more equitably in their age group.
In 2008 at the 50th anniversary milestone, we added a new division called Super Seniors for those who are 68 and over. And we had a honorary golfer who played in the first event at Knollwood and lived long enough to play ably in this Golden event, too! Congrats to Billy Collins, Sr.