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Allen Simkins Honored at Utah Senior Open

Allen Simkins, a past president of the Utah Golf Association, was honored Wednesday night at the Allen Simkins Utah Senior Open at Wendover and the next day he won the Super Senior Division of the amateur side of the tournament.

The annual tournament changes the title name of the tournament each year to pay honor and respect for the contributions of individuals in Utah golf who are worthy of recognition and appreciation for their lifetime achievements and contributions.

The tournament, that includes professional and amateur competitions, is conducted jointly by the Utah Golf Association and the Utah Section of the PGA and has been held annually at Toana Vista Golf Course for many years.

Simkins, who took up the game of golf as an adult, has been an avid golfer at a highly competitive level and has earned the respect of his fellow golfers because of his intense competitiveness while at the same time maintaining closely held friendships with his fellow competitors.

At the dinner a video presentation created by Fairways Magazine included short remarks from some of his fellow competitors, including John Taylor, Bill Probst, and Mike Jorgensen. They praised his admirable traits of friendship , courtesy, and respect for others while remaining intensely focused on ‘beating our brains out.’

Almost to a man they praised his ‘focus on winning,’ and in accepting the award he said, “First and foremost is to focus on winning and when you do that all those valuable intangibles come along with it, but if you don’t want to win you won’t, and the game will be just another game.”

He reflected on his early tinkering with the game and he was not enamored of it in his youth. He was a basketball player and that was his life, and he was an all-stater at it.

One day a friend invited him to play golf and about half way through the round he hit a great shot. He saw the ball in ‘exquisite flight’ and was hooked. He suddenly understood the magnetic nature of the game. It’s a good thing it was golf and not drugs for he surely would have been an addict.

“I was fortunate to have some great mentors and role models in the Ogden area, including Mitch Hyer and Ken Cromwell, and I felt their passion and it infected me. Since then I’ve learned a lot from other players who became my mentors in various ways, including Bill Probst, John Taylor, and Mike Jorgensen and many other seniors,” he said.

 “After playing in a few tournaments I felt I it was important to test my game at a higher level and so I entered the UGA Senior Am at Rose Park. I was paired with Arlen Peacock and Vaughn Barker, and man, was it nervous time. I realized that the UGA was a whole new league and that’s when I fell in love with the UGA,” he said.

He was introduced by his ever-popular wife, Susan, who is another reason, probably the main reason, Allen has so many friends. They are Utah’s inseparable golfing couple.

In his speech of appreciation for the honor of having his name as part of the tournament title, he thanked his wife, his two daughters and grandkids, and then he gave some tips that he has observed from golf.

“First, you have to REALLY want to win.

Second, the only shot that matters is the next one. The last one doesn’t matter.

Third, respect the game and its rules.

Fourth, respect your fellow competitors.

Fifth, respect the course you are playing.”