My Town: Bob Tway's Oklahoma City
This native Okie says "The Big Friendly" lives up to its name -- and then some
After a long (nearly 30 years) and prosperous ($15 million in earnings) PGA Tour career, Tway, 52, is in his third season on the Champions Tour. He is best remembered for his victory at the 1986 PGA Championship, where he holed a bunker shot on the 72nd hole to defeat Greg Norman, one of his eight career wins. At this week's Travelers Championship he will caddie for his son, Kevin, who is making his pro debut.
Fresh out of college in 1981 and excited about his pro golf prospects after a decorated four-year career at Oklahoma State, Bob Tway and his new bride Tammie had a decision to make on where to settle down. The deliberation, however, didn't take long.
"Oklahoma City and the Edmond area was an obvious choice," said Tway, who grew up there. "I could play out of Oak Tree GC, which was a great facility to call home. Living in the middle of the country made it easy to travel. We weren't too far from Oklahoma State, so we could go back for football or basketball games. And it was a great place to raise a family."
With more than five decades of perspective, Tway says the area is thriving like never before. "There's been a plan for the last 10 years to make Oklahoma City a much more fun place to go to," Tway says. "The Bricktown area in downtown is really a neat place, and with the Oklahoma City Thunder [basketball team] having come to town, I think there's a real sense we're a growing community."
We're fortunate to have many public courses that are a blast to play. One that stands out for me is Lincoln Park GC. It's a 36-hole facility that's been around for a while. I played it a lot as a kid, and my son, Kevin, played it frequently when he was in high school. The West course is very challenging. It's hosted college tournaments and other events. The East course is a little shorter, perhaps a little easier, but still really enjoyable.
Lake Hefner GC is another 36-hole place that's worth a visit. As you can imagine by the name, it runs around a lake. It's fairly wide open, which makes it challenging when the wind kicks up. And in Oklahoma, the wind kicks up a lot.
In Edmond, Kickingbird GC is a nice place that's open to the public. And then there's also Oak Tree CC, a private club I've played for some time. It's famous -- or maybe infamous is the better way to put it -- for the Oak Tree gang of tour pros, Gil Morgan, Doug Tewell, David Edwards, Scott Verplank, Mark Hayes among others, who play there.
WHERE TO STAY
Oklahoma City has several hotels with a lot of character. The Skirvin Hilton is an old classic that has been updated in recent years. Same with the Waterford Marriott. Both are in the Bricktown section of the city, where there are a lot of nice restaurants and places to spend time.
It's Oklahoma so a good steak is always in high demand. One of the best places to get one is at Mahogany Prime Steakhouse, which is north of the city toward Edmond. The place is just first-class in every way. If you're in Edmond, another one to check out is Boulevard Steakhouse. Also in Edmond, there is a restaurant called Cafe 501 that my wife and I go to all the time. I guess I'd call it a boutique-type place, with a little bit of everything on the menu.
The city is very proud, and rightfully so, of the Oklahoma City Thunder, our new NBA team. And in the summer, the RedHawks Triple-A baseball team is fun to go see. There's also Remington Park, which holds horse races regularly.
One of the things we have to offer, as well, is the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. There are a lot of neat exhibits, and they provide a unique history of what is now a bygone era.
Another convenience is that the University of Oklahoma is only about 20 minutes south and Oklahoma State University is 45 to 60 minutes northeast. If you like the college atmosphere, either campus is worth a look.