WSGA Hall of Fame
Dave Snyder began playing golf in Lander, Wyoming under the watchful eye of his parents, Blake and Barbara. Lander, at that time, was a nine-hole course with no driving range. He honed his skills by playing and spending hours chipping and putting.
After a successful Junior and high school golf career he went on to play golf for the Utah State Aggies from 1988 to 1993. After graduating from Utah State, he began his career as a PGA Golf Professional. He served as an Assistant Golf Professional at Riverton Country Club and Olive Glen Country Club in Cody.
He earned his PGA Class A card in 1996 and started his first head professional job in Green River in 1998. He returned to Olive Glen Country Club in 2004 as their head professional. During his tenure at Olive Glenn, he nurtured the talents of many junior golfers. In 2006, two boys, and two girls from Cody qualified for the Americas Cup Team.
He has served as the Executive Director of the Wyoming State Golf Association from 2014 to the present. Before he became the Executive Director, he served on the WSGA Board of Directors as the PGA liaison for five years. As Executive Director he started the Couples Championship which has become the most popular tournament of the season. Four years ago, he started the women’s division in the State Match Play, and it has grown to three flights and twenty-four players. The highlight of his tenure with the WSGA has been hosting the Girls’ Americas Cup at Cheyenne Country Club and the Boys’ Americas Cup at the Powder Horn in Sheridan. The fact that both of those events have become the standard that other state hosts strive to achieve is a source of pride to the WSGA.
Dave is currently a twenty five-Year Member of the PGA of America and has served on the Rocky Mountain Section Board of Directors for twelve years. He served on the Executive Committee for six years and served as President of the Section for two years. He continues to stay involved with the Section serving as the Hall of Fame Chairman since 2014.
His amateur highlights include representing the WSGA in two Pacific Coast Amateurs Events. In 1990 he played at Forest Highlands in Flagstaff, AZ and in 1991 at Kapalua, Hawaii.
As a professional, Dave took third place in the Yellowstone Chapter Championship in 2011; fourth place in the Section Championship in 2009; first place in the 2006 Yellowstone Chapter Championship and second place in the Rocky Mountain Section Championship in 2006. Dave qualified to play in the PGA Professional National Championship in Sun River, Oregon in 2007. He attended the Golf Professionals of the Year Conference in Bandon Dunes, Oregon in 2014.
Dave was named Rocky Mountain Section Golf Professional of the Year in 2011; Rocky Mountain Section Junior Golf Leader of the Year in 2012; Rocky Mountain Section Teacher of the Year in 2013; and Rocky Mountain Section Golf Professional of the Year in 2014.
In 2007 he was named the fundraiser of the year for the Cody Crisis Intervention Center and is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Wyoming Lottery.
As we celebrate our 100th Anniversary, it’s important to realize that our Association exists and excels because of our volunteers. There isn’t anyone who volunteers more of her time and resources than Rachelle. As we sit here tonight in this beautifully decorated room, it is thanks to Rachelle; and it’s just not tonight, she has done this every year we have had a banquet. The tee markers that are in the center of the table were purchased by Rachelle.
Rachelle ran the greatest Girls Junior Americas Cup in 2015 at Cheyenne Country Club. People still talk about what an amazing event it was 7 years later. Rachelle has been the GJAC captain for 24 years. She has been on the GJAC Board since 2010 and has been the President since 2016. Girls who are lucky enough to make the Wyoming team will be taking the trip of their lives.
Rachelle is an amazing supporter of Junior Golf. When she started on the Board, we had one Junior event annually. We now have 4 to 6 Junior events each year, and our juniors play in the State Match Play, State Amateur and our USGA Qualifiers.
Rachelle plays in all our events, she doesn’t care with whom she plays – what tees she plays, she just wants to support the Golf Association. Rachele is a great player, she has finished 1st place in the Mid-Am, the Winter Championship, and the 3 Person Scramble, 2nd place in the Seniors and the Couples. Rachelle is a supporter of Junior Golf and High School Golf in her hometown of Gillette.
Rachelle is an art lover; she sits on the board and is treasurer for the AVA supporting Visual Arts in Gillette. She chairs the annual fundraiser that supports artists throughout the community. She has been a board member and advocate for Court Appointed Special Advocates for the 6th Judicial District for 13 years and was named volunteer of the year in 2011.
Todd graduated from Rock Springs High School in 1991 and went on to play Division 1 golf for the University of Wyoming from 1991 to 1996. He was a 4-year letterman and graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Finance in 1996.
From there Todd went on to play professional golf……. playing on the Powerbilt Tour and the Tear Drop Tour, spending much of his time traveling up and down the East Coast.
Todd is a 3 times State Amateur Champion, won the State Match play in 1992, has won the Mid – Amateur 8 times in an 11-year span, has won the two person best ball 3 times and the State 3 Person
Championship 1 time. Todd has represented the WSGA at the Pacific Coast Amateur 9 times and has represented the WSGA in the USGA State Team Event 5 times.
Todd currently resides in Casper Wyoming where his two daughters live and attend school. His oldest daughter Megan is a senior in high school and a 4-year varsity golf at Kelly Walsh High School. His youngest daughter Madison is an 8th grader and loves to play volleyball and basketball.
Todd has worked as the Vice-President of Operations for Shane Griffin and First Choice Auto Group for the last 21 years.
Now that Todd’s focus has shifted away from competitive golf, he truly enjoys watching his daughters compete in their respective sports and Fly fishing with his friends whenever he gets a chance.
John graduated from Gillette High School in 1976. He played on Gillette’s Highschool Golf Team from 1974 – 1976 and was a member of the State Championship Team in 1976.
John worked as an equipment operator for Rosebud Coal in Hanna Wyoming from 1976-1998 then Black Butte Coal 2009-2011.
He is married to Pam and has two daughters, Brooke and Brandee.
He was the Sinclair Men’s Club Champion 1994–2004 and Rochelle Ranch Men’s Club Champion 2009-2013.
John’s WSGA wins include the Match Play Championship in 2011, Mid-Amateur Championship 2004, 2011, 2014, and 2018 and the Senior Amateur Championship 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2016.
He represented the Wyoming Golf Association in The Pacific Coast Amateur Championship in 2005, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016.
John also represented Wyoming in the USGA State Team Championship in 2005, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016
He competed in the USGA Senior Amateur Championship in 2014 (round of 32), 2016 (round of 8), 2017 (round of 16)
He played in the USGA Senior Open 2016 (missed cut), The North/South Senior Pinehurst 2015 (5th Place), 2017 (9th Place) and The Chanticleer National Senior Invitational 2017 (9th Place)
In 2018 John was the Colorado Senior Match Play Champion, and the WSGA Senior Match Play Champion.
Blake and Barbara Snyder
Blake and Barb have been married for 55 years, and both started playing golf at age 17. They are the parents of Dave Snyder, WSGA Executive Director; and proud grandparents to Nick and Jeni Snyder – both students at the University of Wyoming.
Blake served in the Air Force from 1966 to 1970 at Vandenberg AFB in California, at the same time Barb worked for Martin Marietta as an administrative and executive secretary.
David was born in Lompoc, California in December, 1969.
After leaving the Air Force and California, they returned home to Wyoming, and their long-time home of Lander.
Blake was President of the Board of the Lander Golf Club and a member of the Board for 20 years. He was instrumental in Lander building their second nine holes.
Blake and Barb were the Junior Golf leaders in Lander for years. Lander’s first 4A State Championship team was made up of 5 junior golfers from their program; four have gone on to be PGA Professionals.
Also, on that team was Joe Jensen, now the University of Wyoming golf coach. Joe’s parents didn’t play golf so Blake and Barb introduced him to the game.
Not only were they the Junior Golf Leaders, they picked rocks out of the fairway, installed irrigation pipes and ran the Lander summer tournaments. Barbara won the Lander Club Championship 15 times, while Blake won it 3 times. Blake has had 4 holes in one, and Barb has had 1.
After moving to Riverton, Blake served on the RCC Board for 3 years, Barb served on the RCC Board for 6 years and was the Secretary of the Board.
Most of us know Blake and Barb for their volunteer work for the WSGA. Blake has been on the WSGA Board for 23 years, and has been a Trustee of the Pacific Coast Amateur for 25 years. Both have been on the Scholarship Committee for 20 years and both have been volunteering at State Tournaments for over 10 years.
Blake and Barb have represented the WSGA at USGA meetings, and were instrumental in running the Girls’ Americas Cup when it was in Wyoming. They have dedicated their lives to the betterment of the game of golf in Wyoming.
Dr. Al Paulsen
Dr. Al Paulsen was active in the Wyoming golf community for almost 50 years and throughout that time, his passion for golf never waned.
Al loved to practice as well as play golf and did so up until his death at age 74 in 2007.
Al was easily recognized on the course for his side saddle putting technique and he became so proficient at it that many others throughout the state also converted to his unique style.
Al lived in Lusk and Gillette and won club championships numerous times in both communities. He won the Northeast Open more than once and he also won many events throughout the state of Wyoming. He was a well-known player sometimes competing in as many as 15 tournaments a year. In 1993, Al was the Wyoming Senior Golf Champion.
Al served on the Wyoming State Golf Association for years helping to grow the game of golf. He loved teaching the game to others and spent countless hours helping golfers young and old perfect their game. Al’s passion for golf has been passed on to his beloved family as they are all avid golfers.
Al took pride in being one of the leaders in creating the Gillette Country Club. His crowning achievement in golf was being the creator, designer and founder of Bell Nob Golf Course in Gillette. Bell Nob has continually been rated one of the best golf courses in the state of Wyoming.
Al was well known and respected in all circles of golf, locally and state-wide and will be remembered for his contributions to the game. He had a wonderful wit and enjoyed every day of his life on and off the course.
The Longpre Family
Anyone who played golf in Wyoming from the 1970’sthrough the 1990’s knows the Longpre Family.
John and Kathy along with their sons Kevin and Mike were excellent players and great promoters of the game of golf in Wyoming.
Mike lost a battle with brain cancer after five and a half courageous years.
He was quick witted and very positive throughout the many surgeries and treatments.
After playing high school golf in Laramie and a junior college stint, Mike played college golf at Rice University. He had a stellar amateur career with several WSGA top ten finishes including a win at the 1989 State Match Play tournament. He became a club pro in the Houston area and continued to give golf lessons throughout his illness.
Mike was the honorary chairman of the initial “Golfers Against Cancer” fund raiser that was started by the members of his golf course—Deerwood Club in Houston—which has raised more than $18 million for cancer research since inception.
A golf tournament in Laramie every Father’s Day weekend also bears his name. The Mike Longpre Silver Bullet tournament is a top flight stroke play amateur tournament that also raises money for cancer research.
Kathy’s father Chuck Allen was a golf professional and coached the University of Wyoming golf team for 17 years.
Kathy was indoctrinated into the game of golf at an early age and became one of the best players in the State of Wyoming for three decades. She won the 1972 Women’s amateur and the 1994 Women’s Mid amateur.
She was always in the mix for any amateur tournament in which she participated and won many amateur tournaments including 15 Jacoby Club Championships and 11 Laramie City Championships.
True to the family tradition, Kevin is an excellent player as well. After capturing many amateur tournaments including the Wyoming State High School championship, Kevin followed his brother’s and grandfather’s footsteps and is a golf pro in the Houston area. He is currently the head golf and manager of Raveneaux Country Club.
In between raising his three boys and busy work schedule, Kevin still competes at a high level and has won several Pro-Am’s and PGA sectional events.
John served as a WSGA board member for over 20 years and was a great promoter of the game in the State of Wyoming. An excellent player in his own right, John won the 1985 WSGA Match Play tournament, the 1992 WSGA Mid-Amateur, the 1999 Two Person (Four-Ball) tournament, and a host of other amateur tournaments.
While in Laramie, John and his Company established the Silver Bullet Amateur Championship. He sold his business with the stipulation that the tournament that now bears his son’s name continue.
John and Kathy moved to Houston in 2002 to be near their grandchildren and help Mike and his wife Sarah in Mike’s battle with cancer.
The Longpre family makes its annual trip back to Laramie every summer to participate and promote the Mike Longpre Silver Bullet Championship. The Longpre family golf tradition still lives on but unfortunately for Wyoming, they play most of their golf in Texas these days and not in the Cowboy State.
After a successful amateur golfing career that included the WSGA Men’s Amateur titles in 1953 and 1962 to go along with Wyoming Open amateur title in 1961.
Lew turned pro in 1965 and became the golf pro at Cheyenne Airport Golf Club. He continues to serve as the head pro at Cheyenne Airport to this day.
His teachings and passion for golf have been passed on to several generations in the state.
Lew was a driving force behind the establishment of high school golf and was a teacher and golf coach in Cheyenne for 29 years.
Lew is also a gracious host when Cheyenne Airport Golf Club hosts the annualWyoming Open, which celebrated it’s 50th anniversary in 2006.
In 2005 Lew was also honored by the Wyoming Sports Hall of Fame as he was inducted into the hall as one of the recipients of the Hall’s Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Mrs. W.F. Ott
Mrs. Ott won the inaugural Wyoming State Golf Association Women’s State Amateur in 1923. She followed by winning the 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927 and 1928 championships. Winning six consecutive championships is a remarkable feat in any generation.
Had the WSGA been established earlier, Mrs. Ott may have had more championships to put on her resume.
Dave BallingInducted 2014 The Wyoming State Golf Association welcomes four-time Wyoming Amateur Champion, Dave Balling into the Wyoming Golf Hall of Fame. Dave Balling’s golfing career has spanned decades and his impact on the game of golf and the people’s lives he has touched will last a lifetime. Growing up in Cheyenne, Dave was a member of the 1974 East High School State Championship Team. Years later his daughter Afton’s team would win the 2007 State High School Championship and son Thane’s team would win the 2009 and 2010 State High School Team Championships. Not only is this an amazing family accomplishment, Dave served as assistant coach throughout his children’s high school careers. Following his high school career, Dave played college golf for the University of Wyoming from 1980 to 1981. Dave’s amateur playing career took flight in the Mid 80’s. After a runner up State Amateur finish in 1983, Dave won the 1986, 1988, 1992 and 1996 State Amateur titles. Dave represented the WSGA at the Pacific Coast Amateur in 1987 and 1989. Dave was the low Amateur in the 1992 Wyoming Open. In 1995, Dave claimed the Wyoming Mid-Amateur title, and in 2017 Dave competed in the USGA Mid-Amateur held at Bandon Dunes in Oregon. Dave’s last State title came in 2009 claiming the Wyoming Senior Amateur title. Dave’s impact on golf in Cody is immeasurable. He has won the Olive Glenn & Country Club Championship 15 times and counting. He served on the WSGA board for a decade, has been an Olive Glenn Board Member for the last 10 years, and served as the Greens Chairman for 10 years. Dave’s accomplishments in golf are only out matched by his off course accomplishments as a wonderful husband, father and friend.
Jim Core, Greybull
Jim Core has been involved with the Wyoming State Golf Association, as a Board Member, President and Executive Director, since 1982 and has played a big role in the success and popularity of golf in the state.
In 2002, when the WSGA needed his services as executive director, Jim resigned from the board of directors as president of the WSGA. For the next six years he served as the executive director in charge of the day-to-day operations and tournament management for the WSGA.
While president of the WSGA, Jim was instrumental in increasing the number of WSGA tournaments from three to eight.
Any one who has participated in a WSGA event, no doubt know Jim well from his countless hours organizing, officiating and running a majority of the WSGA events. Jim remains involved in tournaments and continues to be a resource of knowledge for the WSGA board and executive director.
Jim Core helped lead the drive to computerize the handicap system for the WSGA throughout the state with the introduction of the Golf Handicap Information Network (GHIN). He helped install software and at WSGA Member Clubs throughout the state.
He has built a close relationship with the golf pros and club managers over the years helping troubleshoot errors and questions with the software and hardware.
Jim is a certified United States Golf Association Course Rater and has conducted countless workshops in the state to train volunteers. He was a United States Golf Association Regional Affairs Committee Member, International Association of Golf Administrators (IAGA) Member, and Pacific Coast Amateur Trustee. He still attends meetings to represents Wyoming on the national level.
With his vast knowledge and training on the rules of golf, he has served as a tournament rules official for not only for the WSGA events but for USGA events and other top notch amateur competitions. For most of his career, Core performed all of these duties for the love of the game without compensation.
Mary Ann Morrison
Already a member of the Texas Golf Hall of Fame for her stellar play in that state, the W.S.G.A. is proud to honor Marry Ann Morrison as an inaugural member of the W.S.G.A. Hall of Fame.
The winner of the W.S.G.A. Women’s State Amateur title in 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, and 1996, Mary Ann also has several W.S.G.A. Women’s Mid-Amateur and Women’s Senior titles to her credit.
Mary Ann continues to compete on a high level, and to this day is a threat to win any W.S.G.A. event in which she participates.
The winner of the W.S.G.A. Men’s State Amateur in 1954 and 1961.
Wally Goodwin was a great player in his own right. However, he may be better known as a great golf coach. Currently the Men’s golf coach at Northern Colorado University, Wally is a former coach of Stanford and Northwestern University.
One of his team members at Northwestern, Jim Benepe, is also a member of the inaugural class of of the W.S.G.A. Hall of Fame.
His most famous and prized recruit is the number one ranked golfer in the world and perhaps the best player in the history of the game, Tiger Woods.
Wally is a member of the Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame and was at the helm when Stanford won the 1994 NCAA Championship, a year in which he also received the National Coach of the Year award.
Wally’s wife, Nancy, is also a fine golfer as demonstrated by her 1955 and 1987 W.S.G.A. Women’s Amateur Championships.
The Goodwins split time between Colorado and their family ranch in Wyoming.
Mrs. Wm. Utzinger
Mrs. Utzinger followed in Mrs. Ott’s footsteps as the fellow Casper resident won the Wyoming State Women’s Amateur five times.
Mrs. Utzinger came out on top of her fellow golfers in 1930, 1932,1934, 1935 and 1937 to continue the early dominance of the WSGA Women’s Amateur by Casper ladies.
Ken has had a legendry playing career. He was an All-State Player in High School, he won the Colorado State Junior Amateur Champion, and also qualified for the US Amateur. A combination of great golf and a high GPA, earned him a full golf scholarship to Georgia Southern University. Ken was a 4 year letter-man and earned all-conference honors. His senior year he was selected to the College All American Golf Team.
As a Professional, Ken continued his fine play. He has played in the US Open 3 times, 1981, 1989, and 2000. He also played in the PGA Championship in 1993. He has been the Colorado Section Player of the year twice; in 1996 and 1997.
Ken has been the Head Golf Professional at Cheyenne Country Club for 30 years. He defines everything that is great about a PGA Professional. He’s a great teacher, he’s a junior golf leader, he does a wonderful job with merchandise in his shop, he’s a mentor, he’s a leader, and he’s a friend. Ken was responsible for running the finest tournament in the History of Wyoming, the 2015 Girls Junior Americas Cup.
Ken’s 30 years of service to the Cheyenne Country Club, his dedication to the game of golf, his contributions to the WSGA, these accomplishment alone would make Ken a Hall of Famer, regardless of his playing ability.
Keegan Bradley won the WSGA Men’s Amateur Championship in 2005 and represented the Wyoming State Golf Association in the 2006 Pacific Coast Amateur Championship at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. He placed 47th out of 88 of the top players in the western United States. Also in 2006, Keegan made it to the round of 32 in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Match Play played in Bremerton, Washington.
He won the WSGA Match Play Championship in 2006, and represented the WSGA in the Pacific Coast Amateur in 2007 at the San Diego Country Club. He led the tournament after the first two rounds and finished in a tie for 14th.
Keegan made the cut in his first PGA Tour event, the 2011 Sony Open in Hawaii. He finished T-7 the following week at the Bob Hope Classic. He added a second top 10 finish at the Valero Texas Open in April.
He won his first PGA Tour event at the 2011 HP Byron Nelson Championship. He defeated Ryan Palmer on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff. The victory gained him entry into the 2011 WGC-Bridgesto Invitational, where he shared the 36-hole lead and led midway through the final round before finishing T-15. The week after the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, he played in his first major, the 2011 PGA Championship. Keegan became only the third player after Francis Ouimet (1913) and Ben Curtis (2003) to win a major in his first attempt.
Keegan played in the Ryder Cup Matches in 2012. His record was 3 – 1 – 0. His record in the 2013 President’s Cup was 2 -2 -1.
Keegan is the son of Mark Bradley, Head PGA Golf Professional at Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club. His aunt is LPGA Professional Pat Bradley.
As a nine-year old, Maureen started playing golf with her mother, an avid and accomplished golfer in her own right. Golf was a tradition in her family, it was n her blood. Her father had been the golf pro at the Sheridan Country Club.
From the very beginning she loved the game and it became her life-long passion. In her early years Maureen was the only girl in Sheridan that played golf. She would spend as much time at the golf course playing with the boys as her school schedule would allow. When she could not make it to the course, she could be found hitting balls around her backyard. She remembers summer days filled with 45 or 54 holes of golf.
Her hard work paid off. Maureen has been a fixture in women’s golf in Wyoming since the 1960s when she started winning local club and city championships.
The peak of her golf game, her proudest achievements, came in 1998. That year, Maureen won the Sheridan Country Club Championship, the Sheridan City Championship, the WSGA Women’s State Amateur Championship, the WSGA Mid-Amateur Championship, and the Wyoming Senior Women’s Golf Association State Championship.
Other state wins include four other Wyoming Senior Women’s Golf Association State Championships, a WSGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship in2000, and two WSGA Four ball Championships in the women’s division in 2003 and 2004.
Her golf game hit the national scene in 1999 when she played in the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship at Desert Mountain Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. She then represented Wyoming in two appearances at the USGA State Team Championship in 2001 and 2003.
Maureen has served twice as a volunteer on the WSGA Board of Directors. She first served in the 1970s and early 1980s and most recently from 1999 until 2004.
Her advice to young girls interested in the game or given the opportunity to play: “Go for it. Enjoy it. Golf is a lifetime activity that can be played at any age. You’ll meet the nicest people and experience the most beautiful natural surroundings on the golf course.”
For Maureen, who travelled extensively in her career, golf allowed her to make new friends wherever she went. Today, you might find Maureen playing at one of her favorite Wyoming golf courses: The Sheridan Country Club, The Powder Horn, The Golf Club at Devil’s Tower, the Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club, or Paradise Valley Country Club.
Perhaps the best male golfer ever from the State of Wyoming, Jim Benepe used a dominating junior golf career in Wyoming to springboard himself to successful collegiate and professional careers.
Jim was a first team all-American at Northwestern in 1986 and had NCAA tournament finishes of 12th and 8th during his college career.
Jim became the first and only Wyoming native to win a PGA tour event with his victory at the 1988 Western Open by one shot over Peter Jacobsen. The tournament was his first event on the PGA tour which vaulted him to the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award.
Jim retired from professional competition after the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, but he continues his love of the game by teaching and working with junior golfers.
In 2006, Jim was inducted into the Wyoming Sports Hall of Fame.
Kandy (Holmes) Hartman
Kandy dominated Wyoming women’s golf from 1974 to 1983.
With W.S.G.A. Women’s Amateur titles in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1981 and 1983. Kandy was always in the hunt for the title.
Wyoming Women’s golf suffered a loss when she moved south to Fort Collins, Colorado. However, she remains a proud fan of Wyoming and the University of Wyoming and Kandy and her husband, Clayton, frequent UW sporting events.
With seven WSGA Men’s Amateur titles in 1930, 1931, 1935, 1936, 1942, 1946, and 1947, Jay Gaer was the premier golfer of in the state of Wyoming for two decades.
Mr. Gaer continued to compete well into his 70’s and was a golf icon in his home town of Laramie.