When the PGA Champions Tour arrives at the Fields Ranch East Golf Course at the new PGA headquarters in Frisco for the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship next weekend, a local golf professional will be joining the field.
Cameron Doan, a golf professional from Preston Trails Golf Club in Dallas, has qualified for the event after placing in the top 35 during the 2022 Senior PGA Professional Championship last October at Twin Warriors and Santa Ana Golf Clubs in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico.
As a golf professional, Doan is a member of the Northern Texas PGA and spends most of his days managing golf operations at Preston Trails, teaching golf and developing assistant professionals into future directors of other golf clubs. Other days are spent playing on the PGA Professional Tour, which gives golf professionals a chance to compete with each other in the game they love.
“All of us who are involved got into it because we played as kids and we loved it, so it gives us a chance to keep doing what we love doing,” Doan told The Dallas Express in an interview.
Doan grew up in small-town New Mexico, where he observed his father’s love of golf. That passion inspired Cameron to take up the sport, and he played at the University of Texas-El Paso on a scholarship.
Upon graduation, the younger Doan worked with his dad and eventually wound up working at El Paso Country Club before moving to Dallas and Preston Trails in 1999.
“Between my dad being a great mentor and the guy I went to work for, they got me going in the business and pointed me in the right direction,” Doan reflected.
That guidance has placed Doan in many tournaments, but none more significant than the one he will play in next week. Doan will represent the Northern Texas PGA as one of 41 sections of PGA Professionals throughout the country at the very first tournament held at the PGA of America’s new headquarters in Frisco.
As the representative of the NTPGA, Doan has been tapped to hit the first shot of the tournament at 7:10 a.m. CT Thursday.
“I’m not hitting the shot for me,” Doan told The Dallas Express. “We’ve got over 800 members of our section; I’m hitting it for them…I’m not worried about how I stack up [with the other golfers]. I’m just honored to get a chance to hit the shot to represent the 800-plus section members.”
NTPGA CEO Mark Harrison knew he wanted a member of the Northern Texas section to take the shot.
“We sort of worked with the PGA of America to make sure that he would be the PGA member hitting the first shot,” Harrison told The Dallas Express. “We felt very strongly that it should be a golf professional from northern Texas who gets that first tee shot, being this is the first major championship being played here…I felt very strongly that it needed to be Cameron or whoever it was that had qualified from the NTPGA.”
Harrison will serve as Doan’s caddy on the first hole as he takes the high-pressure shot.
“It’s certainly an honor,” he said. “If I could pick any of the PGA members in that section, he would be the guy that I would want to hit that shot. He’ll be ready to go regardless of where it goes. It’s pretty special he gets to hit it, and he’s meant so much to the section over all these years. It’s fantastic.”
After the first hole, Harrison will turn the caddying over to Doan’s son.
“He understands me,” Doan said of his son. “To get a chance to do this with him, hopefully, he’ll remember it for a long time. I know I will.”