Tulsa Rep. and Lt. Gov. celebrate the creation of Golf Day

May 19, 2022 | Sports

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Sheila Dills, R-Tulsa, and Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell on Tuesday celebrated the signing into law of legislation that will elevate the status of golf in Oklahoma.

Speaking at the Cedar Ridge County Club in Broken Arrow, the two talked about the passage of bills that establish Golf Day in Oklahoma and that create a commission to develop a list of golf courses to be designated as the Oklahoma Golf Trail.

“Oklahoma has a number of tremendous golf courses that deserve to be promoted,” Dills said. “This legislation allows us to preview not only our incredible courses but the sport itself, which is an economic driver in our state and one that improves our quality of life.”

House Bill 3646 designates the third Wednesday in June each year as Golf Day in the State of Oklahoma. The goal is to help the state golf industry promote the game and generate additional revenue.

House Bill 3647 creates the Oklahoma Golf Trail Commission that will be charged with developing a list of 15 to 25 golf courses to be listed as the official Oklahoma Golf Trail. The nine-member commission would be responsible for issuing requests for proposals for the marketing component of accepting courses to be located along the trail. They also would help solicit funding from public-private partnerships.

Both bills have been signed into law by the governor.

“Oklahoma has some of the best golf courses in the country,” Pinnell said. “After seeing the economic impact of the Alabama and Louisiana golf trails, Representative Dills and I knew it was Oklahoma’s turn to highlight our Top Ten golf scene. I look forward to the growth this trail will bring to our state.”

Dills and Pinnell spoke Tuesday evening during a celebration of golf in Oklahoma benefiting the First Tee program. The youth development organization integrates the game of golf with a life skills curriculum to create active learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that youth can carry to everything they do.

The event came after the second day of practice rounds for the PGA Championship scheduled Thursday through Sunday at the Southern Hills Golf Course in Tulsa. The tournament is estimated to bring $143 million dollars into Oklahoma and will have global media coverage.

Dills herself has won multiple golf championships and attended Oklahoma State University on a golf scholarship. She later had a successful career on the course and in the classroom. She served seven years on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association and as president of the organization for four years. She was instrumental in converting the 101-year-old organization from a social organization into a 501c3 public charity.

Dills also developed successful programs such as a scholarship program for high school seniors, a grants program for underfunded Oklahoma high schools and a grass roots program to introduce young girls to the game of golf. She also served on local, state and national boards of directors, including the First Tee and the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame.

Sheila Dills, a Republican, serves District 69 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Her district includes Jenks, South Tulsa and Bixby in Tulsa County.