NORMAN — After Lauren Diaz-Yi had one last photo taken with the Women’s Amateur Public Links trophy, those who work at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club could finally relax.
They successfully hosted their second United States Golf Association national championship in four years. Deciding what was next wasn’t a topic anyone was ready to tackle.
“We want to take a little time off,” Rodney Young, the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club director of golf, said. “In four years, we’ve hosted two NCAA regionals, the Big 12 tournament and two USGA championships. Were looking forward to operating in 2014 without any on-course capital projects or a major championship.”
However, the ability to conduct national tournaments like the Public Links has put the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club on the national map. It’s no longer simply known as OU’s golf course or one of the best courses in the state. It now has national recognition as a place where
championships can be held.
The course had already displayed that in 2009 when it hosted the men’s Public Links. If there had been problems, the USGA wouldn’t have awarded it the women’s Public Links soon after.
“They did a wonderful job hosting the championship,” said Teresa Belmont, director of the Women’s Amateur Public Links for the USGA. “It’s nice when you can go back to a facility that’s hosted it before because they know what to expect. They were great. They did a great job.”
Young said there weren’t many nervous moments during the week. Many of the kinks were worked out in 2009.
“We weren’t near as nervous as we were last time. We knew what to expect,” he said. “I think golf course continues to get better and that will help us get national events. You develop a volunteer base, and that’s that biggest thing — the volunteers.”