BOERNE, Texas – The party was on at Jimmy Walker’s home club of Cordillera Ranch long before Walker’s three-footer on the 18th hole of Baltusrol clinched his first major championship.
“I’ve already been in contact with the city manager in Boerne about having a Jimmy Walker parade down Main Street with the trophy,” said Charlie Hill, president and COO of Cordillera Ranch and an occasional golf partner of Walker’s.
Hill was actually at Jack Nicklaus’ Muirfield Village Golf Club, in Ohio, Sunday preparing for an amateur event when Walker began to make his move. Hill rushed inside after nine holes of a practice round to cheer on his man at the 19th hole.
“I can tell you one thing,” he said. “We’re going to need a much bigger rock now.”
That would be “Jimmy Rock,” a stone set just outside the clubhouse and at Cordillera Ranch, on which all of Walker’s PGA Tour wins are inscribed.
“It started as a joke when he won his first event [at the 2013 Frys.com Open] and somebody went out with a Sharpie and scratched the date on a blank rock,” Hill said. “Since then we’ve done it for every win, but we may need something more official now.”
Rounds among friends at Cordillera Ranch are a secret to Walker’s success. Money games with buddies may have toughened him after years of struggle for some success at golf’s highest level.
Trey Hallmark, a former college golfer at TCU who is a realtor in the area, tees it up with Walker several times a week when they are both in town.
“You don’t ever want to lose a money bet with us because we always take a photo of him handing over the money,” Hallmark said. “I got $20 from him a few weeks ago. You have to have a tough skin to play in our game. Jimmy brought Rickie Fowler up this spring to play and I’m not sure he was ready.”
Hallmark has already started working on plans for a celebration at Cordillera Ranch to honor the newly minted major champion this week.
“I’m sure it will last all week long,” Hallmark said. “It will start at somebody’s house and just keep going. I just want to see that trophy next to Jimmy’s Ryder Cup bag and the one he’s going to get this year as well.”
The good times for Walker and his friends might be just getting started. Another of his friends, Barry Denton, said Walker deserves every bit of his recent on-course success.
“It’s a great story of a journeyman player who paid his dues at every level and never forgot where he came from,” Denton said. Not that Hallmark and Hill and the guys at Cordillera Ranch would ever let him forget.