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Arizona Golf Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2023

Arizona Golf Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2023


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The Arizona Golf Hall of Fame Committee is proud to announce the four inductees to the 2023 Class. Three modern candidates were selected by the Voting Delegates: Peter Kostis, Judy McDermott and Howard Twitty; and one Legacy candidate was chosen by the Selectors Committee: Wade Dunagan. The Legacy Division recognizes those who have made contributions to Arizona golf, but due to the historical nature and having occurred decades ago their impact is not known to modern voters. The dinner and induction ceremony will be held Tuesday, October 24, 2023.

Invitations and RSVPs to the ceremony will be available at a later date.

Peter Kostis - Golf Analyst & Instructor

Over the last three decades, viewers have tuned in to some of golf’s most prestigious events and been met by the voice of Peter Kostis- a world-renowned golf instructor turned award winning golf analyst, who educated fans for years with his expertise of the game and golf swing.

Kostis kicked off his analyst career in 1989, when he called The Ryder Cup for USA Network as they tried to break into early-round golf coverage; the first broadcast was a smashing success, and he went on to serve as the network’s 18th tower analyst through 2004. Also joining CBS in 1990, Kostis worked 30 straight editions of The Masters and 28 consecutive PGA Championships. To enlighten viewers during the broadcast, Kostis developed a cutting-edge slow-motion, swing analysis, Konica Minolta SwingVision, for which he won an Emmy.

Although he is primarily known as an analyst, Kostis’s teaching accomplishments rival those of his broadcasting career. Alongside Bob Toski, Jim Flick and Davis Love Jr., he started the Golf Digest Golf Schools, which changed the teaching landscape for all golf professionals. In 1982, he wrote “The Inside Path to Better Golf”- a best-selling instruction book.

His teaching career has taken him to over 30 countries and included well over 150,000 lessons. During his broadcasting career, he continued to teach major championship winning PGA and LPGA Tour Players from Arizona, including Paul Casey, Chez Reavie, Grace Park, Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Purtzer and Bernhard Langer. He has also taught several celebrities, including Kevin Costner, Dan Marino, Jim Rice and Mike Schmidt.

Kostis has been voted to the Golf Magazine Top 50 and Top 100 Best Teachers lists every year since the lists were created. A long-time resident of the Valley, Kostis now runs the Kostis Teaching Academy at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, with his son, John. Alongside Gary McCord and Andrew Magee, Kostis founded the Santa Claus Classic at TPC of Scottsdale. Known as “The Valley’s Best Golf Charity Event,” the Classic’s 10-year run raised millions of dollars for local Arizona children’s charities and The Salvation Army.

Kostis has lived in Paradise Valley since 1994 with his wife Sandy. Together, the couple have two sons- John and Adam.

Judy McDermott - Industry Leader

There are very few people who have made an impact on Southern Arizona golf comparable to Judy McDermott. Her influence over the last three decades has earned her the distinction of being the top female sports executive in Tucson’s history.

In 1992, McDermott made the move to Tucson, joining the Tucson Conquistadores as Marketing Director for the PGA TOUR Northern Telecom Open. Soon after, she was promoted to Tournament Director for PGA TOUR events and held that role until 2006 and eventually became Executive Director. She also oversaw the Conquistadores’ hosting of the World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play for eight years, and in 2015 took the lead in planning tournaments and operations for Tucson’s PGA TOUR Champions event, the Cologuard Classic.

Driven by a passion for golf – particularly junior golf, McDermott partnered with the City of Tucson and PGA TOUR in 2006 to establish The First Tee - Tucson. She seamlessly ran multiple organizations at one time and her leadership over the years has brought in millions of dollars to youth sports organizations in Southern Arizona, directly impacting thousands of lives across the region. She stepped away from professional golf and the Conquistadores in 2020, and now focuses her efforts full-time as the Executive Director of The First Tee of Tucson.

In 2015, McDermott was inducted into the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame, earned the Women of Influence Nonprofit Champion Award in 2017 and was named the AGA’s Champion of Golf in 2022. She has spent time as a member of the City of Tucson Greens Committee, was President of Women at the Top and currently serves on the Beacon Group Board of Directors. In 2021, she was named one of Tucson's 100 top sports figures by the Arizona Daily Star and in 2022, the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona named McDermott the "You Too Can Make a Difference" award winner at their annual Touch Awards Banquet. Currently, she serves on the Arizona Alliance for Golf's Board of Directors and as a board member of ACT ONE. 

Howard Twitty - Professional

A Phoenix, Ariz. native, Howard Twitty has represented the Grand Canyon State proudly over the course of his long and decorated golf career.

Staying local, Twitty played collegiately in Tempe at Arizona State University. There, he earned first-team All-American honors in 1970 and 1972 and was a third-team selection in 1971. In 1972, he was also the NCAA individual runner-up; his medals earned at ASU include the Tucson

Conquistadores in 1970, Corbitt Classic in 1971 and the 1972 Aztec Spring Invitational; he also shared the 1972 Arizona Collegiate title with Charlie Gibson.

Twitty turned pro in 1974 and racked up three PGA TOUR wins during his career- the B.C. Open, Sammy Davis Jr.-Greater Hartford Open and United Airlines Hawaiian Open. A regular competitor in major championships, Twitty’s highest finish at a major came at the 1980 PGA Championship, where he finished T5. Twitty also earned the PGA TOUR Comeback Player of the Year award in 1993- a season highlighted by a T17 finish at The Masters and T34 at the Open Championship.

While playing on the TOUR, he served as Vice President of the PGA of America in 1980 and Player Director on the PGA TOUR Policy Board from 1981-82. After his PGA Tour Career and a stint on the Nationwide Tour, Twitty turned to the Champions Tour; his best finish on the Champions Tour was a T2 at the 2000 Toshiba Senior Classic.

Although Twitty’s playing career is behind him, he has continued to make an impact on golf in the Valley and beyond. Among his ventures, golf course design consultation. He worked with Roger Maltbie on the well-received redesign of the TPC at River Highlands in Connecticut, which went on to host the Buick Championship; he also collaborated with Tom Weiskopf on TPC Scottsdale’s redesign before it hosted the FBR Open.

In 2010, Twitty also co-authored “There is More to Putting than Meets the Eye”—a study of more than 200 PGA TOUR strokes and developed and patented the “Twitty” Putter. Most recently, Twitty has turned his attention to coaching; his five-year tenure as an assistant coach at Chaparral High School included four state titles and he joined the ASU coaching staff as a Volunteer Assistant Coach in 2018.


Wade Dunagan - Club Manager

When Wade Dunagan first stepped foot on campus at the University of Arizona, it was hard to imagine the impact he would have on golf in southern Arizona.

A standout golfer for the Wildcats, Dunagan’s career in the golf industry began in 1985 as an assistant golf professional at TPC at Star Pass. Dunagan’s impact at Star Pass was recognized as he worked his way up the ladder and quickly promoted to the club’s head golf professional. In 1986 and 1987, he also assisted with the PGA TOUR and Tucson Conquistadores with the Tucson Open.

Dunagan briefly left the Grand Canyon State, spending three years in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, as TPC Sawgrass’s head golf professional. During his tenure in Florida, he worked three PLAYERS Championships. He returned to his roots in 1990, when he was appointed as the Director of Golf at Tucson National Golf Club. He went on to be selected as the head golf professional at Tucson Country Club and was involved in the planning process of the Gallery Golf Club, which opened in 1998.

Dunagan has a strong track record of utilizing his strong relationships in the golf industry to put his clubs on the map. Thanks to his relationships with the TOUR, Dunagan helped to make Tucson National the home of the Tucson Open in 1991 and 1992. He developed a bond with the World Golf Championships during his time at the Gallery; the club went on to host two WGC-Accenture Match Play Championships. In 2009, he was hired on to be the Executive Director of the WGC Championships, where he coordinated and oversaw all aspects of the event until 2011.

In 2014, he was tapped by OB Sports Golf Management to oversee the daily operations of the Randolph Golf Complex. He briefly went north in 2015 to work as the general manager of the Golf Club at Chaparral Pines, but Tucson always called him home; he was appointed Tucson Country Club’s general manager in 2016 and has resided in Tucson ever since.

About the Hall of Fame Committee:

The Hall of Fame Committee consists of representatives from six of the allied golf associations serving golf in Arizona: Arizona Golf Association, Cactus & Pine Golf Course Superintendents, Club Managers Association, Junior Golf Association of Arizona and Southwest Section PGA.

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