NCGA Golf

Winter 2018

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Pedigree Championship C L U B C H A M P I O N S The game of golf is very much the same. Countless proud moth- ers and fathers have passed the game along to their children and watched them bloom into golfers. Even at the game's highest level you can find examples. Justin Thomas, the 2017 PGA Tour Player of the Year, was first introduced to the game by his father, Mike, a PGA professional. Davis Love Jr. and Davis Love III. Earl and Tiger Woods. Jack and Gary Nicklaus. Old and Young Tom Morris. The list goes on and on. While most of us will never play a PGA Tour event, golfers at every level share a love for the game that, in many cases, was sparked by their parents. In this year's roundup of Northern California Golf Association club champions, we highlight two father-son duos and a father-daughter combination that each won championships at the same club years apart. In one instance, there was nearly a 70-year gap. As a parent, it's always special when your children follow in your footsteps—especially when that path ends with a championship. I f you're a parent, few things are as rewarding as seeing your children take an interest in your favorite pursuits. My father was a brickmason. He smiled widest when my brother and I were mixing cement and carrying cinderblocks. BY TONY L. STARKS After becoming a champion at their respective clubs, the torch has been passed 46 WINTER 2018 | NCGA.ORG Dick and Greg Wenzel T he Sunday morning skins game is an institu- tion at Washoe Golf Course in Reno. In its hey- day, dozens of guys from the men's club would get together to exchange laughs and a few dollars. Greg Wenzel, still a kid at the time, would tag along with his father, Dick. Since he was too young to partake in the action, Greg would generally take his cart a hole ahead where he'd chip, pitch and hit balls until the adults caught up to him. This was how the Wenzel's relationship started with Washoe, and it's now spanned more than 20 years. From the time that Greg turned 12 until he went to college at the University of Nevada, Reno, the Wenzels could be found at Washoe almost every weekend. They estimate that they've played more than 100 rounds there together. Little has changed, except now you can find Greg, 31, in the golf shop instead of on the course. After win- ning the club championship as an amateur in 2009, Greg turned pro, joining the PGA of America in 2013. He now serves as Washoe's head professional – which means playing privileges for Dick. On his 30th attempt in the club championship, the elder Wenzel finally broke through with a victory in 2017. "With as many times that I've played in the club championship, it is a little weird that he won it before me," Dick says. "I think he played in it two or three times, to my 30. He's such a great player; I'm in no way surprised that he won it first." Dick adds: "Around here, it used to be: 'Hey Greg, you're Dick's kid, aren't ya?' And now it's: 'Hey Dick, aren't you Greg's dad?'" In a moment both cherish, Greg had the honor of presenting his father with the club championship trophy. He may, or may not, have ribbed him by saying, "What took you so long?" Dick and Greg Wenzel

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