Golf expert Ron Sitka writes a column for the Victoria Advocate to help residents improve their games.

What a pleasant surprise I received this past week. Golfing buddy Claud Jacobs called to ask me if I wanted to play a round with past PGA and Champions Tour professional, David Lundstrom. I could not pass up this opportunity.

David was in town visiting The Club at Colony Creek for a day and wanted to check out the latest conditions of the course that he is associated with. David is still an active teaching pro at the club when he is not traveling and playing on the Southern Texas PGA tour circuit. He placed tied for fourth at 6 under par in his last outing at the Lady Bird Johnson course in Fredericksburg recently.

David has been an athlete since an early age although golf was not his primary sport growing up in rural Galesburg, Ill. He was a star basketball player and received a college scholarship to Bradley University in Peoria.

He was an All-American there and helped his team get to an eight-place national ranking. In 1968, Bradley went to the NIT tournament at Madison Square Garden. David also made the golf team at Bradley, although he says he was not a particularly good golfer during his college years.

After college, David did not see much future in basketball, so he began to get more interested in improving his golf game and making a career out of it. Golf pro, Frank Stidele at Sunkist Country Club in Biloxi, Mississippi offered David a position and he took it.

David said he did every job you could possibly do at a golf course and for 2.5 years slept on the couch in the bar while practicing and improving his game whenever he could. He attributes Mr. Stidele with giving him the work and practice ethic he still has today.

David became a pro golfer in 1976. He has played in three PGA US Opens and three senior PGA Opens. In 1997 David won the qualifying school. He won the Texas Senior Open in 2004 and has won the Southern Texas PGA Section Championship four times.

Another highlight of his golfing career - he was the fourth oldest pro in the history of the PGA tour to make the cut at a tournament at the Valero Texas State Open in San Antonio in 2008.

In recent years David has successfully fought off three bouts with cancer. In 2018-2019 he underwent 38 radiation treatments. This is just another testimony to his fortitude. David can still play and compete. The day we played at Colony Creek, he shot 66 (way under his age.)

The nationwide pandemic has slowed the schedule on the South Texas PGA circuit slightly. They do have tournaments in July and August at Horseshoe Bay and Walden on Lake Conroe. The Senior Series Tour Championship is scheduled in October at The Clubs of Kingwood in north Houston. I wish David all the success he deserves. I know I will be following his progress.

Ron Sitka has been playing golf in the Victoria Area for the past 35 years. He resides at The Club at Colony Creek and can be reached at ronsitka@gmail.com or rsitka@vicad.com.

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