Director of Golf, PGA of America Member
Started working seriously in golf in 1984. Started in the cart barn at Sweetwater Country Club in Sugar and, Tx. The golf professional at Sweetwater was Hank Haney, who teaches many PGA Tour golfers including Tiger Woods.
I was surrounded by many great golfers who taught me what it takes to be a world class golfer. I became an instructor with Gulf Coast Golf Academy. I gained a wealth of knowledge from the owner James Smith. I have given thousands of lessons over the years, and have taught every level from beginners to tour players. I have taught players who have won state amateur championships and kids that have competed at the major collegiate level.
I became an assistant golf professional at Inwood Forest Country Club in 1989. I continued to teach golf while learning the intricacies of running a golf business.
While at Inwood Forest I became a much better player. I finished near the top in many tournaments in our Southern Texas PGA Section and played in several Texas State Opens, while winning several pro-pro and pro-am tournaments.
I went to work as an assistant professional at TPC at The Woodlands in 1997. While there, we hosted the PGA Tour tournament the Shell Houston Open. It was a great education in the operation of running a PGA Tour event.
I came to Memorial Park Golf Course in 1998 as the head golf professional. At Memorial Park I have continued teaching all levels of golfers. I have instructed the Mayor of Houston, City Council members, State Congressmen as well as numerous professional athletes.
Head Golf Professional, PGA of America Member
Chuck Silva is a PGA Golf Professional who has been teaching the golf swing for over 20 years. He has spent his last 18 years at Memorial Par Golf Course, one of the finest municipal courses in the country. Chuck is a Class-A member of the Southern Texas PGA - Eastern Chapter. He is a two time recipient of the Junior Golf Leadership Award and was nominated for Golf Teacher of The Year in 2008. Chuck has held several industry certifications including Houston Junior Golf and Little Linksters certified instructor. Chuck is also a certified club fitter for the industry's leading brands of golf equipment, such as Ping, Mizuno, and Titleist.
Chuck's love for the game started at the age of 13. He was a four year letterman at Katy High School. At the age of 16 Chuck received golf instruction from the late Harvey Penick; known in the golf industry as one of the greatest teachers of all time. After high school Chuck joined the United States Air Force where he served his country for four years. Chuck won several tournaments representing the Dyess Air Force SAC (Strategic Air Command) Base Team.
Shortly after returning home Chuck began working on his golf game and attended Houston Community College and later transferred to the University of Houston.
In 1994 Chuck accepted his first job as Assistant Golf Professional at Greatwood Golf Club in Sugarland, Texas. At the time, Greatwood was known as one of the best daily-fee golf courses in the region. Shortly after, Chuck registered and passed his PAT (player ability test). Upon completion Chuck applied and was granted membership in the Professional Golfers Association.
In 1996 Chuck accepted a position at Memorial Park Golf Course where he worked his way up from Assistant to First Assistant and is now the Head Golf Professional.
In 1997 Chuck co-founded the Memoria Junior Golf Program, to help ensure the growth the growth of the game. His dream was to teach the kids a game of a life time. The Memorial Junior Program has grown bigger than he could have ever imagined, and currently introduces the fundamentals of golf to over 300 juniors each summer.
On July 23, 2023 Chuck will have completed 27 years of teaching and working at Memorial Park Golf Course. Over the years he has taught golf to men, women, boys, and girls of all ages. The golf instruction from Harvey Penick left a lasting impression on Chuck, which has helped him develop a simplistic teaching style. Chuck's students have had success on all levels. Some of his former and current students' accomplishments include HGA Player of the Year, Texas High School Regional Champion, collegiate players, mini tour players, and PGA Qualifying School contestants.
Jay Thomas, PGA
Assistant Golf Professional
I started playing golf when I was 13 years old a little linkster at Cinco Ranch in Katy, Texas. I played competitive tournaments when I was 15 years old in the Houston Golf Association and was on the Cinco Ranch High School Golf team as a sophmore. Lettered my senior year of High School and was accepted to the University of Nebraska Professional Golf Management Program.
I attended al business and teaching seminars from the PGA Checkpoints. Passed all PGA level checkpoints and received my PGA Class-A membership at the age of 24. I have a Bachelor of Science in Professional Golf Management from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I have extensive experience teaching all skill levels in golf. Also was Assistant Junior Camp Instructor for one year during my summer internship. I have been in the golf business for seven years and I look forward to keeping the integrity of the game of golf through the teaching my students for years to come.
Teaching Professional, PGA of America Member
Transplanted from Michigan, Todd Eccles has lived in Houston since 1979. Before starting at Memorial Park, Todd sold men's clothing at Norton Ditto, and was a four time champion at the River Bend country club in the 1980's. In 1994, Todd began working at Memorial Park in the pro shop. He gained membership into the PGA in 1998, after which he began to teach professionally, and started teaching full time in 2000.
In college at Saginaw Valley State University, Todd obtained a BA in Business Administration with majors in Management and Marketing and a minor in Economics. In addition to his academic endeavors, he was on the golf team where he played in the NAIA National College Golf Tournament in 1974 and 1975. His lowest score in college was a 68, which included an out of bounds penalty and a water ball on the same hole. Even before his success in college, Todd played in high school and learned the game through caddying at a country club in Midland, Michigan. Todd attributes his dedication in golf to developing an honest love for the game and a development of skill the old fashion way, attention to the fundamentals.
Along the with his dedication to golf, Todd is a loving parent of two children who he has helped flourish into young adults. It is this achievement as a father that has helped Todd to accomplish what he considers his greatest professional success, the establishment and thriving of the Memorial Junior Golf Program.
Since 2000, Todd has been teaching students of all ages this wonderful game of golf full time (mostly 6 days a week). He is truly thankful and proud to be a PGA Golf Instructor at Memorial Park Golf Course; it has been the fulfillment of his childhood dreams.
John W. Gibson Jr. (Gibby)
PGA Golf Professional
I am a teaching professional at Memorial Park Golf Course. I grew up playing junior golf in Dallas. I hen played for the University of Arkansas. (I can tell you some crazy John Daly stories, since he was my roommate for a while). After graduating I traveled for several years on the Mini Tour and played in South Africa. I had the privilege of playing and learning from Ernie Els and Retief Goosen. I then settled in Houston and began my teaching career. I started teaching full time in 1995 and receive my Class A PGA Teaching Certification in 2001. I still play as much as I can, including 2 Shell Opens and 7 PGA Professional Championships.
Teaching Professional, PGA of America Member
Willie is a graduate from Texas Southern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Affairs with a concentration in Administration of Justice and a minor in Psychology. After choosing golf as a career, Willie served as an Assistant Professional at Memorial Park Golf Course in Houston, Texas where the Dave Marr Learning Center is utilized for golf instruction. He is currently the Head Golf Professional at Sharpstown GC and a Teaching Professional at Memorial Park Golf Course both in Houston, Texas. Willie has been a Golf Professional for Twenty years and a Class A PGA Member since 2005.
Willie is a strong player, accomplished teacher and a consummate promoter of the game of golf. He creates a welcoming atmosphere for family and friends to enjoy the game of golf. His well-defined curriculum for juniors of instruction, etiquette, and rules give his young students a firm footing in how to play and enjoy golf. Willie personally instructs the youngest juniors in all of his clinics because he enjoys the honor and responsibility of introducing young golfers as well as beginner golfers to the game. His commitment to making golf a family experience is further displayed by his creation of Junior Fun Day, as well as a Grandparent/Parent Child tournament at Glenbrook Golf Course.
Willie is a sought after golf instructor to golfer of all levels and a professional club fitter. He prides himself in keeping up with the latest developments in golf equipment and also continually looks for better ways to communicate and teach his students with the use of digital video and computer technology.
Willie played high school golf at Ross Shaw Sterling in Houston, Texas. As a four year letterman, he competed with distinction in district and local golf tournaments. While attending TSU on a full golf scholarship, Willie was selected First Team All-SWAC two years. During this formative time he received professional instruction from numerous Professionals including Calvin Pete, Lee Elder and Charlie Sifford, Ron Saathoff and Ed Sehl.
Teaching Professional, LPGA Member
Born and raised in Orange, Texas to .C. Roberts and Ruth Roberts 1946, in a family of five girls, I became the outdoors one expressing myself in all areas of sports.
Stark High School had many opportunities for a female but not in sports, but I was awarded the most athletic female of my school, cheerleading, softball in summers, and volleyball wherever we could play. Stark had a male golf team, playing at Sunset Grove Country Club, a Donald Ross design course. The "times" before Title VIIII, did not provide sports opportunities for women until 1972, at which I graduated in 1964 and enrolled at North Texas State University in Denton, Texas. I attended school for one year and had to return home due to an illness in the family. While at home I attended Lamar University and took a job. I married in 1967. As fate would have it the Army came calling and Donald Carroll was drafted and off we went to Fort Hood, Texas. Our lives were put on hold until his release in the the winter of 1970.
Christopher Carroll, my only child was born October 1, 1970 in Houston to Donnie and Peggy. After a few years Donnie had a wonderful opportunity to move to Lufkin, Texas and develop a brand new insurance company, join the country club and set up life. Hence, the beginning of my love for golf.
We were members of Lufkin Country Club thru 1979, joined Crown Colony Country Club in 1979 until 1995. During my time in Lufkin I won the Club Championship at Lufkin Country Club, played many a game, provided special opportunities for growth in golf, for me and Chris. In 1979 Arthur Temple ask a few men to find and interest to build a new country club in Lufkin on a beautiful piece of land he owned, Crown Colony.
My love of the game was developed, special friendships, and responsibilities building the game, travelling throughout Texas, winning a lot of amateur tournaments. I played in the WA State Championships throughout the years, winning the Crown Colony Club Championship against a fine payer, Martha Mahan. I entered and won the Babe Didrikson Memorial Tournament in Beaumont, Texas, a surprise. I enjoyed many years of competition throughout Texas.
Teaching at Memorial is a dream come true. Ron Saathoff, Teaching Professional took a special interest in me and my abilities and shared his knowledge helping me become one of the successful teachers at Memorial Park. Golf and its "stories" are a par of life and I am fortunate to be a part of the golf life Memorial has given me.