Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame to welcome three new members

LAS VEGAS -- The Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame will induct three new members at a special ceremony and dinner, Oct. 19 at the Pearl Theater in the Palms Hotel.

Tournament of Champions - Las Vegas
The original Tournament of Champions was played in Las Vegas in 1953, and the event continues on the PGA Tour to this day.
Tournament of Champions - Las VegasJoe Kelly - PGA Professional

The honorees:

• Charlie Baron, tournament director of the Las Vegas PGA Tour stop for 22 years.

• Joe Kelly, PGA of America golf professional who opened and ran more than a dozen local golf courses and earned several honors for professional of the year and giving back to the game by assisting junior golf.

• The Tournament of Champions, a preeminent Las Vegas event from 1953 to 1968 that drew some of the biggest names in both golf and entertainment.

A who's who of the golf community are expected to attend to celebrate and recognize the achievements of the new inductees.

The celebration begins with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and the ceremony. Special emcees for the evening are Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame members Chris Riley and Jack Sheehan. Riley is a former PGA Tour winner who qualified for the PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs in 2010. Sheehan is a nationally recognized author and emcee.

Other speakers include Al Besselink, the 1953 Tournament of Champions winner.

Tables of 10 may be purchased for $1,250; individual tickets are $125. Dinner and wine are included in the ticket price. Limited seats remain. For tickets or information, call (702) 270-9630, e-mail or visit

The event coincides with Las Vegas' PGA Tour event, the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

About Charlie Baron

Charlie Baron spent most of 22 years as the driving force behind the PGA Tour's annual stop in Las Vegas. In that time, he helped the Las Vegas Founders raise millions of dollars for local charities and contribute significantly to the Las Vegas economy as some of the biggest names on the PGA Tour -- Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk and others -- roamed the fairways. Baron's top memories included Chip Beck's fabled 59 in 1991 at Sunrise Country Club and Woods' first PGA Tour victory in 1996. Baron also helped run countless men's and women's collegiate tournaments and was also involved in AJGA golf tournaments held around the Las Vegas valley.

"I am honored to be recognized as part of the golf history in Las Vegas," Baron said. "I had the pleasure of working with many Las Vegans during my 22 years in the community, and we accomplished many goals over the years that benefited numerous organizations."

About Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly has been a resident of Las Vegas for over 30 years. During that time, he has lent his considerable talents to many local golf courses, including Dessert Inn Country Club, Las Vegas Country Club, Desert Pines Golf Club, Sunrise Country Club, Stallion Mountain, Royal Links Golf Club, Bali Hai Golf Club and, most recently, Sun City Summerlin's three venues, Palm Valley, Highland Falls and Eagle Crest. Kelly has also contributed much of his time to the betterment of the community. He is a founding father of the Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association and sits on the boards of the First Tee of Southern Nevada and the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame. Kelly has received many awards and acknowledgments through the years, including Las Vegas Chapter Golf Professional of the Year in 1983, 1989 and 2009.

"As a PGA Club professional, it is probably the highest honor that can be bestowed upon you," Kelly said. "To be recognized by the Las Vegas golfing community is very special. It is a great honor for me and also my family."

About the Tournament of Champions

The original Tournament of Champions was played in Las Vegas in 1953, and the event continues on the PGA Tour to this day, now called the SBS Championship and played in Hawaii. Las Vegas champions of the event include Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gene Littler and many other golf greats.

"The Tournament of Champions was the preeminent Las Vegas and Nevada event for many years, bringing the eyes of the world to Las Vegas, right from the beginning when it debuted in 1953," said Jack Sheehan, Las Vegas golf author, historian and 2009 Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame inductee. "The event drew the biggest names in golf and biggest Hollywood stars to Las Vegas and was created by Las Vegas' movers and shakers, including Moe Dalitz, Irwin Molasky, Howard Capps, Merv Adelson, Wilbur Clarke, and Allard Roen, among others.

Roen served as the Director of the TOC for 38 years, including time after it moved to La Costa, the San Diego resort was built by the same group that operated the Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas.

"To this day," Sheehan said, "the event is played on the PGA Tour, but its roots date back to 1953, when Al Besselink collected his $10,000 first prize in a wheelbarrow full of silver dollars."

About the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame

The mission of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame is to celebrate and bring awareness to players, administrators, benefactors, groups, instructors, teams and other worthy golfers who have served the game of golf in Las Vegas in a positive and meaningful way, whether through performance on the course, volunteerism, financial support, promotion, or other dedicated service. An additional aspect of the mission is to help reveal Las Vegas as a great golf destination. A 16-person committee of Las Vegas golf professionals, media, amateur association leaders and Hall of Fame members oversees the voting process.

Current members of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame and class in which each was inducted are: Tommy Armour III, 2008; Jerry Belt, 1991; Jimmie Bullard, 2009; Helen Cannon, 2004; James Cashman, Jr., 1998; Clyde Cobb, 1991; James Colbert, 2002; Eddie Draper, 2004; Eric Dutt, 2008; Brady Exber, 2006; Edward Fryatt, 2009; Las Vegas Founders, 2004; Robert Gamez, 2002; Butch Harmon, 2006; Ernest Haupt, 1998; Richard Huff, 2004; Dwaine Knight, 2009; Louis Redden, 2008; Stuart Reid, 1991; Chris Riley, 2004; Jerry Roberts, 2008; Jack Sheehan, 2009; Tom Storey, 2006; Charlie Teel, 1991; 1997-98 UNLV Golf Team, 2002; C. Pat Walker, 1998.

The Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame committee: Jimmie Bullard, Class of 2008; Chuck Bombard, PGA of America, General Manager, TPC Summerlin; Bill Bowman, Media; Tim Cashman, Former PGA Tour Event chairperson; Nevada Senator Bob Coffin; Sherry Corsello, President, Women’s Southern Nevada Golf Association, Eric Dutt, Class of 2008; Nicole Dutt, Executive Director, Southern Nevada Golf Association; Brady Exber, Class of 2006 and President, Southern Nevada Golf Association; Scott Greer, PGA of America and GM Las Vegas National GC; Brian Hurlburt, Founding Editor,; Joe Kelly, PGA of America, President, First Tee of Southern Nevada; J. Rick Martin, Photographer; Louis Redden, Class of 2008; Jerry Roberts, PGA of America, Class of 2008; Jack Sheehan, Golf Personality and Author.

About Las Vegas National Golf Club

Las Vegas National Golf Club, one of the most historic golf courses in Las Vegas, sits less than two miles from the Las Vegas Strip. Las Vegas National Golf Club is past host of the PGA Tour's Tournament of Champions, Sahara Invitational and Las Vegas Invitational, in addition to the LPGA Tour's LPGA Championship. The facility was one of three Las Vegas golf courses used during the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational, when Tiger won his first PGA Tour title. A resort course that is open for public play, Las Vegas National is open to visiting golfers and locals from .

About Las Vegas Golf

Golf in Las Vegas has a rich heritage. Currently, there are more than 60 golf courses in the greater Las Vegas area that are designed by some of the biggest names in golf, including Nicklaus, Palmer, Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Rees Jones and others. In addition, Las Vegas is now home to nearly two dozen touring professionals on the LPGA, PGA Tour, Champions Tour, and Nationwide Tour.

Several tour professionals grew up in Las Vegas, including 2008 inductee Tommy Armour III and 2002 inductee Robert Gamez in addition to Craig Barlow, Stephanie Louden and others. Las Vegas currently hosts an official PGA Tour event, the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Events on the Champions Tour and LPGA Tour have been played here.

Woods' charity event, Tiger Jam, is one of many star-studded celebrity golf events that are held annually in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas area is also home to several high-end, made-for-television events, including the Wendy's Three-Tour Challenge, the World Series of Golf, and the Re-Max World Long Drive Championship. The UNLV men's and women's golf teams regularly rank in the top 25. Its 1998 men's team captured the NCAA title, and several former UNLV golfers play on the PGA Tour, including Adam Scott and former Ryder Cup members Chad Campbell and Chris Riley, 2004 NCAA Champion Ryan Moore, and PGA Tour winner Charley Hoffman.

Media Contact:
Michele Madole
Michele Madole Public Relations

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