UT Golf Academy features a major piece of history
AUSTIN, Texas -- The University of Texas men's golf program's history of success can best be exemplified with the success of its alumni. Texas is one of only two schools in the nation to have produced four different winners of all four of golf's Grand Slam Events.
Former UT standouts Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite, Mark Brooks and Justin Leonard combined have won the Masters, PGA Championship, the U.S. and British Opens. Crenshaw won The Masters in 1995 and 1984, Kite won the U.S. Open in 1992, Brooks claimed the 1996 PGA Championship title and Leonard crossed the big pond to win the British Open in 1997.
Only the University of Houston can boast this same accomplishment as the Longhorns. A number of prominent universities from across the nation boast two or more individuals including Stanford, Georgia Tech, Southern California, Florida, Wake Forest, North Carolina, BYU, Florida State and Ohio State.
UT's glowing achievement was etched in stone in the Texas Grand Slam of Golf Trophy created by Austin sculptor Don Davis that now resides in the breezeway of the UT Golf Academy. The sculpture was formally housed in The University of Texas Club of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
"It remains one of the finest additions to The University of Texas Golf Academy," said Texas men's golf head coach John Fields. "Don Davis is an amazing supporter of our program and of Texas golf. The sculpture is a true representation of the level of success we are striving for at Texas. When the next Longhorn wins a major tournament, that individual's name will be added to join the greats of our program's history."
Davis, an Austin attorney, created the sculpture in 1998 to honor the Grand Slam champions and show their place in Texas history. Davis' art, mainly comprised of bronze sculptures, can also be found displayed at the entrance to the Austin Children's Hospital and at the Austin Country Club.
One of the most visible sites at the ACC is a life-size statue of Harvey Penick and Tom Kite, positioned just steps from the main practice green. The two bronze statues serve as a lasting tribute to the immortal Penick, a former head professional at the ACC and one of the true legends in the game of golf.
Davis' connection to Texas Golf continued when he designed a sculpture for then-Ryder Cup captain Tom Kite and the entire 1997 U.S. Ryder Cup team. Davis created an American bald eagle swooping down on the Rock of Gibraltar and the Ryder Cup. Each member of the team was presented with a copy of the sculpture and a different Davis piece was given by the Americans to the winning European team.