EDMOND — Scott Verplank has spent an immeasurable amount of time on the golf course at Oak Tree National.
He’s seen the course in its prime during the 1980s and watched its redesign and transition in the 2000s. But Verplank said Monday it has never looked better than it does right now.
“No doubt about it,” Verplank said. “The golf course may be better than I’ve ever seen it. It’s taken the last couple of weeks with all this rain, and it’s fantastic. It’s going to be superb for (the U.S. Senior Open) here in a couple of weeks.”
Verplank didn’t have to wait until July 7 to show off his home course, however. He hosted the Verplank Foundation Invitational on Monday to benefit the fight against Type 1 Diabetes and showcased Oak Tree to several pro golfers and other local celebrities.
“I’ve filled more divots and fixed more ball marks and done more stuff for the golf course …,” Verplank said. “I go on the golf course every day and look for stuff to make better because I want the thing to be perfect when all these guys roll in here.
“The fact that I’ve lived here for a long time and live on the course, I have a lot of pride and want everything to be as good as it can possibly be to showcase our home.”
Oklahoma coaches Bob Stoops, Mike Stoops and Cale Gundy, former OU quarterback Sam Bradford, former OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden, North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora and several pro golfers and business figures gathered at Oak Tree on Monday for the third annual tournament.
“It’s a great cause,” Bob Stoops said. “I’m glad to do it, fun to be out here. I spent some time out here last year with Brandon Weeden. We played an extra round after the tournament. Had a good time. A lot fun.”
The Scott and Kim Verplank Foundation aims to help families who have children fighting Type 1 Diabetes. The foundation provides scholarships and other resources. Verplank was diagnosed with T1D at age 9.
“The people in our community have really helped me,” Verplank said. “I’m just thrilled that they are all here. The support is great, and I couldn’t be more thankful.”
Champions Tour golfer Michael Allen was excited to come to the tournament because his daughter has Diabetes. Allen said he relied on Verplank for support and help.
The chance for a practice round at Oak Tree before the U.S. Senior Open was a bonus.
“I’ve never played it,” Allen said. “I’ve heard so many stories, the original Oak Tree course. I’m looking forward to the day.”
Monday was all about a good cause, but players such as Willie Wood — an Edmond resident and Champions Tour golfer — had a hard time staying off the topic of an excellent course.
“They’ve done a great job,” Wood said. “And we’ve gotten a little bit lucky with the weather. Even had a nice, cool, wet June and our fingers are crossed that it doesn’t get into the 100s come July. But it is in great shape, and I’m happy about that.”