Oak Tree co-founder Ernie Vossler dies at age 84

by Michael Baldwin Published: February 19, 2013
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Oak Tree co-founder Ernie Vossler is best known for being one of golf's top developers. Few remember he started his career on tour, winning three PGA titles. Or that he was married to a LPGA pioneer.

Vossler died Saturday at his home in LaQuinta, Calif. He was 84.

“His unselfishness, not wanting anything in return, he would bend over backwards to help you,” said Oak Tree pro Gil Morgan. “He was my first real instructor in the '60s, something I'll always be grateful for. We had a neat friendship.”

Vossler is survived by his wife, Marlene Hagge-Vossler, a 26-time LPGA winner who was one of the founders of the women's tour.

Inducted into the inaugural class of the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame, Vossler and Joe Walser, Jr. built Quail Creek in Oklahoma City. They later teamed to form Landmark Land Co., which built Oak Tree Golf Club, which opened in 1976, and Oak Tree Country Club, which opened in 1981.

The Landmark logo would become one of the most recognizable emblems in golf. Vossler was involved in several prestigious developments including all three courses at LaQuinta Resort and the first four courses at PGA West in California.

In August of 1997, Golf Illustrated described Walser and Vossler as “two of the most important golf developers in the world.”

Vossler, though, was quoted several times what he valued most was relationships. He cherished mentoring Morgan, who has 40 professional wins, including 25 wins on the PGA Champions Tour. Morgan, from Wewoka, first met Vossler at Quail Creek.

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by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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