The 2011 All American Hickory Open concluded on Saturday, July 23 at the Downers Grove Golf Club in Chicago. Organizer Connor Lewis called it a “tremendous success.” Record heat continued to dominate as it did during the U.S. Hickory Open. Chicago recorded the hottest day in its history – 112 F – during the practice rounds. Then, Mother Nature dropped 7 inches of rainfall the night before the final round. “What we learned,” Lewis said, “is that CB Macdonald chose his location very well. Not only did the course absorb a record rainfall in one evening, but other than a small river running through the fairway on No. 7, the course was dry just hours later.” The rain cooled things down to the mid-80s.
Lewis said that there were some glitches, which can be forgiven for a first-time event, but he promises to work them out for the 2012 version, the most important of which is a probable date change to May 18-19. Cooler, perhaps? Others under consideration are a new scoreboard, additional medals and, perhaps, rivalry matches between the SoHG, Hickory Golf Assoc. and the Carolina Hickory group.
“I would personally like to thank all of you who attended and did my best to remind you at every turn how much I value your trust in me in this inaugural event,” Lewis said. “The folks at Downers Grove Golf Club were very impressed by your play.”
At the conclusion of the event, the All American Hickory Open donated a complete pre-1900 set of clubs to one of the players who had rented a set. The lucky recipient was Ramesh Gupta of Downers Grove, Ill. Mike Just of Louisville Golf donated a driver to complete the set. Lewis said the donation of pre-1900 set will continue to be a integral part of the tournament. “I hope that these donations spread the goodwill of hickory golf and bring more to the game of hickory golf.”
The SoHG applauds Mr. Lewis for his energy and devotion to launching and delivering a very enjoyable hickory event. He undertook the considerable task of organization with his usual eye for detail and came up with a winner. We look forward to the 2012 event and will sharpen our guttie games in anticipation of a fine challenge.
- The 18-hole scoring record has been set by Randy Jensen at 76. By this year’s standards that represents a round of -2.
- The 36-hole scoring record is shared by Jim Wilhelm and Randy Jensen at 158.
- The longest drive contest was won by Jim Wilhelm with a drive of 162 yards. The All American Hickory Open donated an original long nose driver to the Downers Grove Golf Club. It will be set on a plaque to record the longest drive every year of the championship.
- The All American Hickory Open also had the first play-off in a modern day gutta percha championship. Jim Wilhelm defeated Randy Jensen in the first play-off hole.