By Pat Hanna
“It’s nice to see the other side of the cover,” Paul Moran of Charleston said Saturday.
It’s rare that Moran, president of the West Virginia Golf Association, has a chance to play in a WVGA event, but this weekend is one of them. He and his wife, Ann, are playing in the West Virginia Mixed Championship at Glade Springs.
“I’m so busy, my game has not been up to par,” he said. “I’m a better administrator than a player. Three weeks ago, I played in the (WVGA) Senior Four-Ball at Twisted Gun. And I’m playing in this tournament with my wife for the first time.”
The Morans shot a net 68 in Saturday’s opening round on the Cobb Course, which has been the site of a number of WVGA events this year, beginning with the West Virginia-Virginia Team Matches in April.
“Glade’s been great; we have a great relationship with them,” Moran said. “Mike James, Bill Gilmore, Keith Honaker and the staff have been very helpful to the golf association, and we’re very grateful.”
Moran also praised the work of Ken Tackett, who is completing his first year as the association’s executive director, and his staff.
“I’d like to compliment Ken Tackett,” Moran said. “He’s done an incredible job. He has his staff very well organized.
“He does a great job directing our tournaments, a great job of managing costs and expenses, and a great job of raising sponsorships and looking for outside funds.”
Moran said the WVGA is discussing a merger with the West Virginia Women’s Golf Association — “I think that’s going to get done” — and is working with Larry Martin, who directs the Top Flite Junior Tour in the state, on junior golf.
One project Moran wants to finish this year is the establishment of the West Virginia Golf Hall of Fame.
“We hope to do that in the next three or four months,” he said.
He said the hall of fame would likely be located in the lobby of a golf club, although a specific location has not been announced.
He did say the first two inductees would be Bill Campbell and Sam Snead, who made their marks in amateur and professional golf, respectively, both in the United States and abroad.
“West Virginia is a small state, but we have a great golf tradition,” he said.
Moran, a former assistant football coach at West Virginia under both Bobby Bowden and Frank Cignetti, will step down as WVGA president next year. He will be succeeded by Butch Freeman of Daniels. The association has added two new people to its executive committee, attorney Philip Reale and accountant Gale Gray.
The Mixed Championship is a two-day, 36-hole event that features four nine-hole formats with handicaps factored in.
Saturday, the first nine holes were a scramble, the second nine alternate shots. Today, the first nine holes will be combined scores, the second nine a four-ball format.
The team of Bobby Brandon of Barboursville and Natosha Brandon finished with a net score of 61 Saturday to take the first-round lead. Tied at 63 were Greg McGraw and Beth Keatley of Daniels and Donnie and Garnett Harris of St. Albans.
Stan Adkins and Ester Joo of Summersville were at 66, as were Ira and Alma Lee of Beckley.
Three local teams were tied at 67 — Terry and Claytina Shepherd, John and Linda Stroud, and James and Christine McGraw. Butch Freeman and Rosa Adkins of Daniels finished the first round at 69.
Larry Kaleskey III of South Charleston and Patty Maroney of Glen Dale had the low gross score of 2-under par 70. Greg McGraw and Beth Keatley had a 71, as did Gary and Betty Brandon of Barboursville.