TEE TIMES GOLF GUIDE Magazine December 2020 - Page 17

Since then , Towner and Williams have taken countless golf trips around the world . “ Normally four or five trips a year ,” says Towner . “ We ’ ve probably played 60 of the top 100 courses in the world , Augusta , Pebble Beach , St . Andrews , and met a lot of people . I ’ ve played with Michael Jordan a couple of times , and Mikhail Baryshnikov was just an awesome guy .”
The Towner-Williams relationship carried over to one of Towner ’ s playing highlights . The twosome took on KU basketball coach Bill Self and course designer and a four-time winner on the PGA TOUR , Notah Begay , in a 9-hole exhibition that officially opened Firekeeper in 2011 — an exhibition in which Towner birdied the first three holes . “ It was cold and windy but so much fun ,” remembers Towner . “ I played so well that day , four birdies in nine holes . It was so good to have Roy and Bill come and play .”
Competitively , Towner boasts an awesome resume . He ’ s been the Assistant Player of the year , the Player of the Year , and the Senior Player of the Year in the Midwest Section PGA and won the Section championship twice . He played in the Senior U . S . Open at Whistling Straits in 2007 , qualified for the PGA club professional championship five times , and the Senior PGA club Professional Championship six times .
Inducted into the Midwest Section PGA Hall of Fame in 2010 , he ’ s a two-time Midwest Section PGA Merchandiser of the Year . He ’ s currently serving his third year as president of the Section , an association he ’ s served in numerous capacities in his 42 years of membership .
( Above ) While he ’ s traveled the world , raising daughters , ( from left ) Libby , Katie , and Abby ( far right ), are No . 1 on the Hit Parade for Midwest PGA Section Hall of Famer Randy Towner and wife LeAnn .
( Below ) Roy and Wanda Williams ( left ) and LeAnn and Randy Towner flank a statue of Payne Stewart at Pinehurst Country Club , one of the many trips that have taken them to an estimated 60 of the world ’ s top 100 golf courses . ( All photos courtesy Randy Towner .)
Towner ’ s move from Alvamar to Firekeeper took his career to another level . “ In the twilight of a career , it ’ s pretty neat to start with a blank canvas ,” he reflects . “ Everything was pretty much established at the other courses , so it ’ s been fun to do a course the way I wanted to do it , like picking out flagsticks , decorating , and other things . It ’ s a fun business ; I can ’ t wait to go to work each day .
“ And I ’ ve got an awesome staff . Michael Powell has been with me since the beginning . I met Tarell Ramsey at the golf show , and he wanted to get into the business , and it worked out to perfection . And Jane Yi is a former Kansas State golfer from Topeka who worked for me at Alvamar .”
While he ’ s traveled the world and met countless celebrities , his greatest pride is found at home raising daughters Libby , Katie , and Abby , with his wife of 41 years , LeAnn , a nurse at Lawrence Memorial Hospital . Together , they have nine grandchildren . Libby and Jamie Lamberson have three girls ; Katie and Steven Davis have two boys and two girls ; Abby and Scott Wempe ( golf pro at Manhattan Country Club ) have two boys . All three were on the “ Classy Cat ” pom team at Kansas State .
“ With LeAnn working as a nurse and me working lots of hours , to raise three awesome daughters is the ultimate highlight ,” said Towner . “ I think that nurses understand having to work holidays and weekends , and we were able to somehow make it work . It takes a strong woman to be married to a golf pro , and LeAnn is certainly that .” �
Alan Hoskins , Golf Writer Lead Feature Writer since 2007 TEE TIMES GOLF GUIDE Magazine
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