Seven Decades of Pokes on Par - 405 Magazine

Seven Decades of Pokes on Par

Nearly seven decades of Pokes on Par: celebrating the trailblazing accomplishments of OSU Cowboy and Cowgirl golfers.

Clemence Martin is now top five in career scoring average in OSU women's golf history.

Clemence Martin is now top five in career scoring average in OSU women's golf history. | Courtesy of OSU Athletics

With a tradition of excellence that spans nearly seven decades, Oklahoma State University’s Cowboy and Cowgirl golf programs have left an indelible mark on the college game, earning numerous accolades and producing some of the sport’s most remarkable talent. As the legacy continues, the program’s commitment to excellence and all-around development ensures that the next generation of OSU golfers will carry the torch of success for years to come.

Since its establishment in 1947, the OSU men’s golf team has enjoyed remarkable stability, with only four head coaches. Under the guidance of the legendary Labron Harris from 1947 to ’73, the foundation of success was laid. Mike Holder, a former player under Harris, took the reins from 1973 to 2005 before the head-coaching baton was handed to Mike McGraw for the 2005-06 season. In 2013-14, another notable alumnus, Alan Bratton, assumed the role.

The team’s striking success is exemplified by its 65 consecutive NCAA championship appearances from 1947 to 2011. During this incredible run, OSU claimed 10 national team championships. Its golfers also secured 16 runner-up finishes, 51 top-five and 55 top-10 finishes in those years.

Former Cowboy golfer Rickie Fowler won the 2023 Rocket Mortgage Classic on the PGA Tour.
Images taken at NCAA Mens Golf Regional at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla. | Brody Schmidt/

Nine Cowboys have received national honors as the top collegiate golfer, including Lindy Miller, Bob Tway, Willie Wood, Rickie Fowler and Alan Bratton. Four Cowboys have received first-team All-America honors three times. And for the ultimate collegiate trophy, OSU has produced nine NCAA individual champions: Earl Moeller (1953), Grier Jones (1968), David Edwards (1978), Scott Verplank (1986), Brian Watts (1987), E.J. Pfi ster (1988), Charles Howell (2000), Jonathan Moore (2006) and Matthew Wolff (2019).

In 2003, the Cowboys became the first team to capture four Big 12 championships, further solidifying OSU’s status as a golfing powerhouse. By 2006, it achieved its record streak of 60 consecutive NCAA championship appearances and clinched its 10th NCAA title. Oklahoma State’s most recent men’s championship came in 2018, when the No. 1 Cowboys capped off the season with a shut-out win at their home course of Karsten Creek Golf Club.

Oklahoma State University has also carved a path of dominance in women’s golf. With an impressive 25 conference titles in 48 years of competition, the Cowgirls have proven to be a force to be reckoned with on the greens.

As they continue to excel and redefine excellence in collegiate women’s golf, the Oklahoma State Cowgirls stand as a shining example of dedication, talent and success. Cowgirls head coach Greg Robertson has his sights set on continuing that legacy.

Maddison Hinson-Tolchard was the Big 12 Player of the Year for two years in a row.
Maddison Hinson-Tolchard was the Big 12 Player of the Year for two years in a row. | Courtesy of OSU Athletics

Tell us about your history with OSU and your interest in the sport.

GREG ROBERTSON: I graduated from Oklahoma State and played golf for Coach Holder on the men’s team from 1993 to 1997. Alan Bratton and I were teammates from 1993 to 1995, and his last two years on the team were my first two years on the team. I fell in love with Stillwater and OSU as soon as I came on my recruiting visit, and it has been a dream come true for me to come back here to coach. My wife also has ties to OSU: She grew up in Stillwater and graduated from Oklahoma State, and her dad was an economics professor at OSU. 

What are some of the achievements OSU Women’s golf is known for?

GR: The women’s team has won 25 conference championships (11 in the Big 12 and 14 in the Big Eight), and 27 times has been the individual conference champion. In addition to that, there have been 46 All-American selections. The team has finished second at the NCAA championship twice, and we are working toward getting that national championship. At the professional level, 19 former players have played on the LPGA Tour. Six of them have won on the LPGA Tour (a total of 10 wins), four have been selected for the Solheim Cup and two have represented their countries in the Olympics. Pernilla Lindberg won the 2018 ANA Inspiration, one of the five majors in women’s golf.

Where do you see the future of the team?

GR: Our goal is to continue to get better each year and ultimately win national championships. With the renovations to Karsten Creek, we will have one of the best facilities you will find anywhere. That will not only help attract the top junior golfers from around the world, but it will also help them develop their golf games to compete at an elite level in college and beyond.

Are there any current or past athletes you have worked with who have gone on to play professionally?

GR: Maja Stark, Isabella Fierro, Lianna Bailey and Michelle Forsland are all players who have been on the team over the last four years that I’ve been here and have gone on to play professionally. Maja has already won on the LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour, Isabella has full status on the Epson Tour, Lianna just won (July 21) on the LET Access Series, and Michelle is also playing on the LET Access Series. I’ve also been working with Emma Broze, who is playing full-time on the Epson Tour. She played on the team and graduated from OSU the year before I started coaching here.

Who is expected to be a top prospect this year, has the most potential, or is expected to advance professionally?

GR: Maddison Hinson-Tolchard is returning for her senior season after being named Big 12 Player of the Year for a second consecutive season. She also won the Big 12 Championship individually, was named First Team All-American and qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open. Clemence Martin has quietly worked her way into the top five in career scoring average in program history. However, she has been nursing a back injury that has lingered over the last year and a half, but we are hopeful that she will have a healthy junior year. We have three incoming freshmen that all have the potential to make the lineup: Ellie Bushnell and Sammie Miller are from California, and Marta Silchenko is from Latvia. Marta is the highest freshman at 457 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (as of July 19).

What are some additional things you can share with us about the team?

GR: In addition to the team’s accomplishments on the golf course, they also achieve at a high level in the classroom. The current team GPA is 3.65, and they had the highest semester team GPA out of every sport at OSU this past fall. Former players have not only done great things as professional golfers but have also excelled in the medical field, as a lawyer, college professor, club professionals, college golf coaches and so on. There is no doubt that Oklahoma State and this golf program are getting the members of this team ready for a successful life after college.