John Berggren, left, is all smiles after winning the 2014 Heart of America title. At right is Tournament Director Bill Reed.
The Grand Daddy of modern hickory golf was conducted July 18-20at the Bright-Grandview Golf Course in Des Moines, Iowa. This flagship hickory tournament, begun in 1978 by past GCS president Warren Ole” Olson, has been held in GCS Region 7 ever since. Grandview was originally built in 1902 as a 9-hole layout and was redesigned with 18 holes of play in the spring of 1911.
Fifty-two players and guests converged at Des Moines to experience this hickory players delight. Friday’s play got under way with a preview round that included 2-man better ball play. As the pairings were by choice with very diverse handicaps involved, the results were computed by a combined reserve formula.
The Friday winners were as follows:
- 1st Place – Gary Trapani (Lincoln Park, Mich.) and Lloyd Slinglend (Trenton, Mich.) with a reserve score of 55.
- 2nd Place – John Roth (Mills River, N.C.) and Jim Jeselnick (Chesterton, Ind.) with a reserve score of 56.
- 3rd Place – Russ Fisher & Bob Baldus (both of Des Moines) with a reserve score of 60.
Friday evening’s reception and entertainment was at the nearby Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino, where the Hickory Golf Association reserved the Trackside Pavillion on the final turn of the thoroughbred race track. The 7th race was sponsored by the HGA in honor of this long standing hickory tournament of the GCS Region 7. One player stated that this was the first time he was able to place a wager on a racehorse as an official function of a hickory event. His horse won by four lengths going wire to wire.
The 36-hole results from Saturday and Sunday play are as follows:
Scramble Division – 2-Man Team
- 1st Place – Rives McBee and Corey Miller (both of Irving,Texas)
- 2nd Place – Dean Townsend & Jerry Reed (both of Des Moines)
Jeanne Swenson of Kelley, Iowa, won the Gold Medal in the Ladies Division.
Open Division Medal Play
- 1st Place: John Berggren (Kingwood, Texas) 78/76 =154 medal
- 2nd Place: Richard Bullock (Clearwater, Fla.) 79/79 = 158 medal
- 3rd Place: Dan Chand (Carrolton, Texas) 81/83 = 164 medal
Open Division Reserve
- 1st Place : Chris Hardy (Port Byron, Ill.) 64/65 = 129 net
- 2nd Place: Larry Krebsbach (Lincoln, Neb.) 65/77 = 142 net
- 3rd Place: David McDonald (Wasugal, Wash.) 72/74 = 146 net
Senior Division Medal
- 1st Place: John Piffer (Indianola, Iowa) 78/76 = 154 medal
- 2nd Place: John Hutton (Lakewood, Colo.) 76/81 = 157 medal
- 3rd Place: Bobby Jones (Urbandale, Iowa) 78/80 = 158 medal
Senior Division Reserve
- 1st Place: Ed Ronco (Wyandotte, Mi.) 63/68 = 131 net
- 2nd Place: Jim Jeselnick (Chesterton, Ind.) 66/66 = 132 net
- 3rd Place: Mark Larson (Rushford, Minn.) 64/68 = 132 net
- 1st Place Bill Reed (Des Moines, Iowa) 81/83 = 164 medal
- 2nd Place: Max Hollon (Evansdale, Ind.) 81/84 = 165 medal
- 3rd Place: Russ Fisher (Des Moines, Iowa) 85/87 = 172 medal
- 1st Place: Kelly Gay (Cumming, Iowa) 66/66 = 132 net
- 2nd Place: Peter Herrington (St. Louis, Mo.) 73/67 = 140 net
- 3rd Place: John Roth (Mills River, N.C.) 67/79 = 146 net
Members of the Golf Collectors Society, the Society of Hickory Golfers, and the Hickory Golf Association joined hands and forces to welcome all of the players and guests to the 37th Heart of America Hickory Championship. God Speed and we hope to see you next year for the 38th edition of this event.