The Jim Hitch Memorial Golf Tournament has been a calling card for golfers from Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas Colorado and the central region for the US for more than four decades. Former participants of the Jim Hitch Memorial represent more than 30 PGA Tour wins. Some of the past and current PGA Professionals include Ryan Palmer, Bob Estes, Bob Tway, David Edwards, Greg Winter, Jim Woodward and Steve Braley, former Senior Director PGA of America.
Jim Hitch was the son of a prominent Oklahoma Panhandle rancher and farmer. Jim was also a proud member of the Guymon, Oklahoma Class of 1971. To say Jim was an outstanding young man is an understatement. He was an outstanding basketball player and very gifted musically. But Jim’s first love and greatest skill was on the golf course and he became one of the highest ranked junior golfers in the country in 1969 and 1970.
As a picture of health at age 17, Jim unexpectedly died in his sleep and left his family and friends devastated from this loss at such a young age. Jim Hitch’s parents, Lad and Lala Hitch, were not golfers but they understood Jim’s love of golf so in his memory they founded the Jim Hitch Memorial Golf Tournament and the first event took place in June 1972.
Mr. and Mrs. Hitch started this event in their son’s memory but also to give the junior golfers of the region a quality tournament to enjoy the great game that their son loved and excelled at. Almost immediately the tournament became very popular and attracted junior golfers from around the country. Today this is one of the oldest junior golf tournaments in the country and has been played consecutively for 45 years.
The Jim Hitch Memorial Golf Championships has become one of Americas most historic and prestigious junior golf tournaments.
To Jim, a friend that cannot be replaced.
I got to know you real well about the beginning of Junior High. You and I took guitar lessons for a long time together. We played our guitars together in school, and at home. I always admired you for your honesty, and leadership. Two very important factors of which you possessed. During our freshmen year we started playing golf, and that’s when I really got to know you. Out on the golf course you get to know a person real well, because you’re with them practically every day. It’s going to be hard to continue on in Golf this season without you there to help us. I really think that you would want us to keep going, and win State. That’s what you wanted most of all.
I suppose if there’s a Golf Course in Heaven, you’ll be on it night and day, “Striving for Perfection”.