2014 Board Candidates



2014 Candidates for the Board of Directors
Society of Hickory Golfers


Dear Members,
The election for three new board members runs from April 1-30.
Voting will be open from April 1-30. SoHG members will be sent a ballot via email for on-line voting.


Barbara Kopec
   I was born and raised in the heart of the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York. I was a tomboy and always athletic. I have a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s degree in acquisition. I have worked for the Department of Defense for over 27 years, and in the acquisition field for the past 13 years. My husband, Ted, and I have been married for more than 30 years and currently live in Niceville, Fla. I love the outdoors as you can tell by my hobbies, which include golfing, biking, running, and skiing. I also do arts and crafts and love home-improvement projects. I know the Society of Hickory Golfers (SOHG) has helped popularize hickory golf and has provided guidance and support to hickory players around the world. As a member of the SOHG, I’d love to see hickory golf more accessible to everyone. We need to find ways to give “regular” golfers the chance to feel the challenge and the joy of hitting hickories. By doing this we can help grow the number of hickory players and we allow golfers everywhere to understand, if only for a moment, why we are so passionate about the experience of playing hickory golf.


Bill “Ernie” Ernst
   I have been an avid hickory golfer for more than 15 years. I enjoy both modern era hickory golf and pre-1900 “gutty” golf. The mission statement of the Society of Hickory Golfers states its goal is to  promote and encourage the playing of hickory golf. That is how I have approached my involvement in this sport. Over the years I have had many trial and errors in both acquiring authentic hickory clubs and repairing them. For me, this is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game – the hunt for the next club to go in my set. I have introduced hickory golf to many friends and made many new ones. I have had the good fortune to play in tournaments across the country both for modern era and gutty golf. I have met many wonderful people and played some hidden gems of golf courses. I believe regional or state play is the key to expanding our group at the national level. In our Wisconsin area, we now have 35 golfers in our second year as a group, and are hosting the fifth year of our regional tournament, the Kummel Cup. All these experiences and the organization of these events has taught me the importance of the SoHG in both the support and resources provided.  If elected, I’d like to expand on the concept of how the SoHG can support and help grow the regional tournaments. So many people pour so much time and effort into running these outings. Having participated in many events I know it is done out of the love of the game because we all know how much work they are to run. That’s where we need to focus our efforts.
   I am now retired from building and running my own business from the ground up. I have an extensive background in sales and marketing. I’m a father of three and have been blessed with two beautiful grandchildren. My wife, Shirley, and I have been married for 30 years. She has attended many hickory outings with me over the years, supports me in my obsession with hickory golf and has been a huge help in the organization of our Kummel Cup and our now famous morning of creativity for our lady guests.
   Thank you for your consideration in this position. Please know that, if elected, I will listen and do my best to continue to grow and improve the SoHG.


Eddie Breeden
   My wife, Darcie, and I reside in Southern California. On the west coast I have founded and organized  the Pacific Coast Hickory Golfers, a regional playing group that gets together regularly and features two tournaments each year. Regional playing groups are the key to promoting hickory golf and helping SoHG grow and I feel confident in my abilities to help. I have served as a regional director of the Golf Collectors Society. I enjoy restoring clubs for play, and most of all playing hickory golf all over the country. I teach physical education and am a devoted fan of the Los Angeles Angels baseball team. The west coast is a large opportunity for SoHG to grow. Regional play will be key to that growth, and I would like to serve and make that happen. Thank you or the opportunity to promote hickory golf. I would be proud to serve on the Society of Hickory Golfers board as a director.




Jim Clawson
   I caught the hickory virus at the 2005 Mid Pines tournament. Since then, it’s been a constant learning curve. While not a historian nor single digit handicapper, I’m an avid enthusiast. I offer the board a background in leadership and organizational behavior, positive energy, an interest in both original and gutty golf, an inclusive approach, and a sober democratic philosophy.
I’ve been a professor of leadership and organizational behavior for 36 years at the HBS and Darden Business School, Univ. of Va. I am retiring from this post in May 2014. I also consult on a worldwide basis. For more, click on http://faculty.darden.virginia.edu/clawsonj/index.htm




Jim Wilhelm
   I have been a stock broker for 35 years and still love my job. We live in the small town of Paris, Ontario and I am a member of the 4th oldest golf club in North America, the Brantford Golf and Country Club. I have been an avid golfer since I was 8 years old and am still waiting for that break-through year when you actually become good. I purchased my first set of hickory clubs (Forgans) about 18 years ago, but only played with them occasionally. I was surprised at how nice they felt hitting a good shot. In 2007 I began playing a lot of hickory golf with modern hickories. Then I found out there was another, older, level with pre-1900 clubs and gutty balls, which I absolutely love. I am a big believer in trying to support the few North American club and ball makers, plus the people who repair clubs. Without them we would have a very difficult time playing this game. My wife, Lynn, and I have been married for 33 years. We have one son and three granddaughters all under 5 years old.