When St. Joseph Country Club of Missouri played host to Omaha Country Club of Nebraska in a friendly challenge match, little did the players realize they were planting the seed for one of the most prestigious amateur golf associations ever organized.
Several of the participants agreed to attend a meeting on June 8, 1901 in Omaha to organize the Trans-Mississippi Golf Association, formulate a constitution and create a set of by-laws. In September 1901, fifteen charter clubs inaugurated the Trans-Mississippi Match Play Tournament, now heralded as one of the premiere amateur competitions. Jack Nicklaus won the tournament in 1958 and 1959.
The 112th Trans-Miss Championships was played between the 6th and 9th July 2015 at the Flint Hills National Golf Club in Andover, Kansas. Entries are open to male amateur golfers who have reached their 19th birthday on or before the 7th July 2015 and have a USGA handicap index of 2.0 or less.
Flint Hills National Golf Club is a private membership golf club formed in 1997 by Tom Devlin. The club has a Tom Fazio designed golf course with an 18,000 square foot log clubhouse and five log lodges for members use. It is one of Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses.
“It’s my gift back to Wichita and the surrounding community, to give the locals a wonderful place to play golf,” says Devlin, an entrepreneur, businessman and avid golfer.
The land was purchased by Tom Devlin in 1995 from William Graham who had owned it since 1949. Tom Devlin commissioned Tom Fazio, a nationally known architect, to design his dream course. Fazio said of Flint Hills, I have built a hundred golf courses. Everything I learned from the first ninety-nine went into this. Flint Hills is as good a course as I’ve ever designed.
Dozens of celebrities have played the course over the years. Some play when they are passing through. Others come back year after year to play what many consider to be one of the premier golf courses in the country.
Nick finished the tournament on 3 under par in a tie for 10th place with rounds of 71, 67, 68 and 71. Colin Morikawa from California won the tournament on 18 under par – 7 shots clear of the field. He shot the course record of 64 three days in a row.
In Nick’s words “I was extremely proud with how I handled adversity out there. There were plenty of occasions where the putts didn’t fall or I got some unlucky bounces or lies but I put emphasis on staying patient and keeping to my processes. There was an instance I was particularly proud of – I was 2 over through 6 holes in the second round but I knew that I was playing well. In the past I would have become frustrated and let my attitude dictate my shot selection but it was pleasing that I managed to steady the ship and play phenomenal golf for the rest of the round.
I hit the ball brilliantly during the week but was unable to put shot after shot together – I would get on a bit of a roll and then a silly mistake would halt the momentum.
The golf course was extremely demanding with thick rough and large bunkers lining the fairways and surrounding the greens which placed a premium on hitting fairways and greens. My statistics suggest I did this for the most part but made some uncharacteristic errors and had a few too many putts. I am looking forward to getting on the putting green this week to try and put right what went wrong during the tournament.”