LV Golf Hall of Fame Induction Brings Community Together
When most are asked about the feelings they have after attending a Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame Night of Induction, “community spirit” are two words that are mentioned. For the first time since 2019, those feelings will be happening on Oct. 1 at The Hill at TPC Summerlin to honor the 2022 inductees in addition to bringing the golf community together.
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The event once again kicks off PGA Tour week in Las Vegas as the Shriners Children’s Open tees off the week of Oct. 3 and culminated Sunday, Oct. 9 at the historic TPC Summerlin. Among the inductees in 2022 is Dale Hahn, the longtime TPC Summerlin superintendent who will be pulling double duty as he oversees the tournament in addition to receiving the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame Silver Jacket.
The other inductees are Jeremy Anderson, a member of the 1998 UNLV National Championship golf team and PGA Tour player; Bob Coffin, the 1970 Nevada State Amateur champion and longtime politician who worked behind the scenes for golf; Dave Johnson, a PGA of America lifetime member and longtime Desert Inn director of golf who oversaw events on the LPGA Tour, PGA Tour, Senior PGA Tour and UNLV golf, sometimes all in one year; and Ann Sunstrum, current SNGA executive director and longtime golf executive and volunteer who led Mesquite, Nev. into become a popular golf destination.
Hahn shares the thoughts of his fellow and past inductees as he ponders what an induction means. In addition to his work at Summerlin, Hahn has guided the Southern Nevada Golf Course Superintendent’s Association (SNGCSA)and also helped created The First Green initiative that introduces local youth to the behind-the-scenes of caring for golf courses and the environment.
“I’ve been on cloud nine since I was told I was being inducted,” Hahn says. “A day hasn’t gone by that I haven’t broken into a smile at the thought. I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve had a lot of good people lift me up and support me along the way. I look forward to having an opportunity to thank them at the dinner. When we moved here from San Diego more than 20 years ago, like so many others, we thought it would only be for a few years. We immediately fell in love with Summerlin and have been here, in the same house, for 20 years. The sunshine, the clean air, but most of all the people, is what has kept us here so long. Especially the golf community. It started with Chuck Bombard who nurtured me through the PGA TOUR ways. The SNGCSA also played a big part. At the SNGCSA meetings fellow superintendents always made me feel welcome. But most of all the TPC Summerlin members who supported me early on with their smiles and their ‘thumbs up’.”
For Johnson, a life in Vegas and Southern Nevada golf was and is something special. He is now retired, but watching his grandsons play competitive golf.
“I was totally surprised when I was informed about my induction into the Golf Hall of Fame,” Johnson says. “I feel honored and I am truly humbled with my inclusion. I’m also grateful for the support I received from those who served on the selection committee. In 1967, I was a golf and tennis sales representative for Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corporation. My territory included Southern Nevada, Utah and Idaho, During my tenure with Dunlop, I made several good friends in Las Vegas. I turned professional in 1968 and took an assistant professional position at Coconino Country Club in Flagstaff, Arizona. Having some success playing in professional events in Arizona, prompted a call from Mr. Dell Webb’s office in Phoenix. He wanted to personally sponsor me to try to qualify for the PGA Tour. I entered into a contract with him in October 1968 to enter the Qualifying School in April of 1969 and October 1969, if necessary. A five-year contract would have kicked in if I had qualified at either attempt. I was unsuccessful in my two attempts and because of the friends I had made in Las Vegas, I decided to make Las Vegas my home. In October of 1969, I took an assistant professional position at Paradise Valley Country Club. I felt a strong connection to the Las Vegas Golf community. I saw the golf community explode along with the city’s growth. The Tournament of Champions at the Desert Inn Country Club, which began in 1953, provided a strong golf foundation for more meaningful professional events, which increased tourist interest and we became a golf destination.”
For Sunstrum, her golf journey has been long lasting and with family ties.
“It is amazing to have been in the Southern Nevada and Las Vegas golf community for so many decades, and to now have the committee select me for induction is a bit overwhelming, but I am so honored. My husband, John, is a golf professional and we have a love of the game and this recognition is not taken lightly. I have had so many wonderful experiences from starting with the Las Vegas PGA Tour event to helping and watching Mesquite blossom into a world class golf destination to now working with amazing staff and volunteers at the Southern Nevada Golf Association to help protect, grow and serve the game. Thank you to each of the people who helped me along the way. We did this together.”
Look for additional comments from 2022 inductees in the future.
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