By Clair Goodwin
The Joplin Globe
Before the official announcement that Mark Tackkett had been chosen as the new head professional and manager at Briarbrook Golf Club, the 41-year-old former assistant at Crestwood Country Club in Pittsburg, Kan., knew that something good was happening at the Carl Junction course and wanted to be part of it.
Tackkett had heard about the pending opening for a head pro/manger at Briarbrook about a week before Jacob Hosp left the position for personal reasons and returned to Springfield. He submitted a resume and application and received words of encouragement from Crestwood members.
Actually, he had never played Briarbrook until a few weeks ago.
“I really didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “But this layout has so much to offer. I really believe the golf course could be the best in the area. Layout-wise, there is nothing around here like it, with the elevation changes and trees everywhere.”
Briarbrook offers unique challenges and great opportunities to achieve its full potential as a championship golf course that can attract golfers of varying abilities, from beginners and occasional players to low handicappers and tournament contenders.
Mark comes to Briarbrook after six years as assistant to Todd Casey at Crestwood and credits Casey with teaching him about the golf industry.
But Tackkett also has a solid background as a player. He lettered four times in golf at Pittsburg High School and had a couple of chances of winning the state before falling short.
He took up the game at 13 years old, using an old, old set of clubs. Quite a few of them broke. In 1988, he finally picked up some quality clubs. That year the Southeast Kansas Championship was played at Crestwood. Mark was four under going into the final hole and took a double bogey after hitting into the water. But his two-under was good enough to win by eight shots.
During his high school career, Mark and his teammates went to state four times. “I think we were runner-up a couple of times and third a couple of times,” he said. “We had a couple of chances to win, both as a team and individually, but never got it done.”
After high school, Tackkett pretty much gave up the game. He was working a ranch near Fort Scott, Kan., when his boss asked him to take his son to Crestwood to show him the course before an SEK tournament.
“That one round got my golf juices flowing again,” he said. “I didn’t even own a set of clubs.”
Within a year, he had got his game in decent shape and took the PGA playability test, but missed by three strokes. That was just a minor mishap along the way. Actually, Mark was working at a printing company when he applied for the assistant’s job at Crestwood and was hired.
“I wanted to do something that I really, really love,” he said. He did it.
Jay Mitchell reports that the Eagle Creek Men’s Golf Association has decided to forgo the annual Ben Pell Memorial golf tournament this year because of work going on at the course. He expects that the tournament will be revived in 2013.
2-man best ball
The sixth annual two-man best ball is scheduled June 2-3 at Peoria Ridge Golf Course in Miami, Okla.
Entry fee is $250 per team. Prizes valued at $12,000 will be awarded in four flights based on the number of entries. Entries and payment should be mailed to Peoria Ridge Golf Course, 10301 S. 600 Rd., Miami, Okla. 74354. The deadline is May 29. No players affiliated with any pro tour or PGA club pros will be allowed.
The Wyandotte Nation four-person scramble is scheduled Friday, May 18, at Eagle Creek Golf Course.
Prizes will be awarded for three places as well as longest drive, closest to the pin and longest putt.
Entry fee is $300 per team. Entry forms and fees should be mailed to Sherri Clemons, Wyandotte Nation, 64700 E. Hwy 60, Wyandotte, Okla. 74370.