In June of 1950, a man named Raul Sandoval, moved his business to Corpus Christi from San Antonio. He was a golfer and had been a member of the Pan American Golf Association in San Antonio. Raul had some dental problems and went to visit Dr. C. G. Oliveira and it was during this visit, the conversation of golf came up. Dr. Oliveira told Raul about their group of about 12 guys who were really into golf. He introduced him to Dr. R.R. Barrera and some of the other golfers. They all became friends and talked about organizing a golf group.
Dr. Barrera, organized the first official meeting at his office in 1951 and from there our group was chartered as the Pan American Golf Association of Corpus Christi. The attendees at the first official meeting were Oscar Acuna, P. L. Acuna, Fred Andrade, Dr. R. T. Barrera, Alfred Cuevas, Eddie DeAses, Tony Fuentes, Al Gomez, Fred Gonzales, Sabas Gonzales, Dr. C.G. Oliveira, Cefe Valenzuela, Richard Villarreal, and Manuel Zepeda. Mr. Sandoval was elected as the first Corpus Christi PAGA President.
It was through the efforts and acquaintances of these members in Corpus Christi and San Antonio that other cities with similar golf groups began to organize. In 1955 Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston joined PAGA, which became a state organization. The Pan American Golf Association went National when Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was admitted into the PAGA golf family. Today we have a total of 42 Chapters in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. Our organization grew larger than any of the founding fathers ever thought possible. However, none has grown as large in membership as the Corpus Christi chapter.
In 1968, the late Faustino Acuna initiated the scholarship program. That year two $500 scholarships were awarded. Within five years, the scholarship program grew to five $1,000 scholarships. To help more students get their chance at a college education, the scholarship program was changed to ten $500 scholarships. In 1972, our PAGA Junior Golf Program was started and the first two-day tournament for children ages 8 to 18 was held. The participation age changed in 1980 to include kids from 4 to 18 years. In 1996, the Junior Golf Clinics were started. The City Parks and Recreation provided the facility and range balls. Our PAGA members provided all the manpower and instruction. Our Junior Golf Program continues to be free of charge and they are held on every Saturday in June from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, with lunch afterwards at our clubhouse at 801 Horne Road. Several of these children have been awarded golf college scholarships.
In 1989, we started the “Meet and Greet Santa”. Each elementary student from the West Oso Independent School District is invited to come, meet Santa Clause and pick up a goody bag from Santa. Over 1000 students participate each year.