Once upon a time, there were eight Texas golfers who wanted to play together as a group of two foursomes, but they were having a tough time setting it up. They didn’t belong to a club, for starters. They also weren’t part of an organization that played regularly and didn’t know how to go about playing in a group the way they wanted.
The same eight golfers realized they didn’t have or keep accurate handicaps, either. That was something else they wanted. They found all their answers in a TGA Type 2 membership.
A Type 2 Member Club is a way for groups of likeminded golfers who live somewhat near each other to enjoy the benefits of being a TGA Member and establish a USGA Handicap Index via GHIN without joining a private club or securing their membership through a public facility.  Members of Type 2 clubs have common bonds, such as business, fraternal, religious or social connections.
And so that’s how it came to pass that those eight frustrated golfers became the founding members of Vernon’s Royal & Ancients Golf Club, one of the largest and most popular TGA Type 2 Member Clubs in the state.  
The relationship that exists between the TGA, Type 2 Member Clubs like Vernon’s Royal & Ancients Golf Club and the courses they play is mutualistic. All parties benefit from each other. Type 2 clubs help the TGA by promoting the game of golf. They’re not limited to hold their events at any single course; instead, they can use any course that is properly rated by the TGA. The idea is to get more people playing more golf – a tenant of the TGA’s mission – and that stimulates the economic revenue that courses bring to their surrounding areas.
In order for Type 2 clubs to put on competitions, their members need valid GHIN Handicap Indexes. That’s no problem, either. By virtue of the TGA Membership, those clubs have access to GHIN numbers and can secure handicaps for all their players. The club can host their tournaments and use cutting-edge tournament software from the TGA.
Vernon’s Royal & Ancients is just one of 51 Type 2 TGA Member Clubs. From their original eight founders, the club has grown to more than 125 golf-obsessed members. The club is on a mission to get to 200 members, said Handicap Chairman Lochwood Larson from Dallas.
The club meets collectively a few times a year. They also play golf together in some fashion at least 30-35 times a year. In the early days, the group met at an Addison bar called Vernon’s Gastropub. That establishment has since closed, but it lives in perpetuity through the Type 2 Member Club’s name. The club members now do their mingling at Logie’s in Addison.
“Even though we don’t have a golf course, we do have a 19th hole,” Larson joked.
As for golf courses, Vernon’s Royal & Ancients in a typical year will conduct outings and events at 16-18 different venues. Members always are welcome suggest new courses, too. That’s part of the fun.
Larson handles all of the handicapping needs and any technical parts of managing the club. He and his wife, Brandy, were frequent customers of Vernon’s Gastropub. The pair met at a Vernon’s Royal & Ancients Golf Club event by chance in February of 2014.
Before this interaction, Lochwood and Brandy Larson considered joining a country club but decided against it.
“The thing that drew us to this club was that we could play at a different place every weekend,” Lockwood Larson said.
Vernon’s Royal & Ancients boasts some members with notable competitive accomplishments, such as 2016 Texas Women’s Super-Senior Champion Louise Davis. She’s an active golfer and has played in several amateur competitions throughout the U.S. Before joining this club, Davis did not have a group to play with on Sundays.
Through this group, Davis has been able to learn from others as well as help others with their golf game. In Vernon’s tournaments, members can play from whatever tees they want. The group is focused on everyone enjoying the game and having a good time.
“I am an equal opportunity golfer,” Davis said. “Vernon’s has high handicaps and low handicaps. Everyone can play.”
Vernon’s Royal & Ancients Golf Club hosts four major events a year. There are three important meetings for members: a kickoff party to start the year, a mid-year meeting and an end of year party. The Club Championship is the largest meeting of the year. It is a two-day event that rotates to a new venue each year. This year it will be held at Heritage Ranch Golf & Country Club in Fairview on Oct. 19-20.
Vernon’s Royal & Ancients Golf Club is accepting new members. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more, contact Lochwood Larson [LINK “Lochwood Larson” to the email address [email protected]] or call 214-686-5011.