Five Are Up for 2015 SoHG Board Positions

   Three board members are vacating their posts this May – Tad Moore, Mike Stevens, and Matt Dodds. The SoHG thanks them for their service and their continued commitment to the growth of hickory golf, as well as their continued service on various committees.

   The SoHG nominating committee has offered the five candidates, listed below, for election this spring. SoHG by-laws state that the membership at-large have seven days from the time of this posting to add their name for consideration to board election.

   If you would like to submit your name, please do so by May 6 to nominating committee chair Dave Brown at mashie.golfer@gmail.com.

   The election for three new board members will  close May 28.

   Ballots and instructions for voting have been sent via email. SoHG members may cast their votes online.

Candidates for 2015 SoHG Board Election

William Geisler
   I was an avid golfer from the age of 10, spending every free day at the course from dawn until dusk. I played for my high school and community college teams and then enjoyed competing in amateur tournaments in Florida while raising a family and pursuing a career. As I entered my 50s, I decided I couldn’t compete with the young guys anymore. Inspired by my love of golf history and the book The Greatest Game Ever Played, I was drawn to hickory golf. I ordered reproduction clubs from Louisville Golf and, through the kindness of Mike Just, played in the 2009 Mid Pines Hickory Open. That was my first opportunity to become familiar with the Society of Hickory Golfers. I received such a warm welcome from the members, and I loved the story-telling and cocktail hour debates after the rounds as much as I loved the golf.
   I now play with the Florida Hickory Golfers on a monthly basis and travel to as many SoHG and regional tournaments around the country as I can manage. I have recently begun learning the techniques of refurbishing original clubs and have started to play with the clubs I have brought back to life. I play with only hickory clubs now, much to the consternation of my home course cronies. They were especially annoyed when I won both the Member-Member tournament and the Senior Club Championship while playing my hickories.
   I am semi-retired and live in Winter Springs, Fla., with my wife of 36 years, Elizabeth. We have two daughters and two granddaughters. I am in my ninth year as coach of a local high school golf team, which has also involved hosting and organizing invitationals as well as district and regional tournaments.  
   In addition to my experience in organizing golf tournaments, I have had considerable experience on the boards of regional and national associations in the wireless telecom industry. My wife and I also currently work with our church on many fund raising projects. In addition, I was a member of Rotary International for over 30 years and served as secretary, treasurer, and club president as well as assistant district governor.  
   My hope is to further serve the SoHG in its mission to promote and grow the play of hickory golf on a national and international stage. I would be most grateful to serve the members of this association and to help grow this wonderful game.

 

Joe Hollerbach
   Golf has been a significant part of my life for over 57 years. I competed at the state, regional, and national level for over 30 years, highlighted by my time on the University of Tennessee golf team. In all likelihood, my greatest golfing accomplishment was the raising and coaching of my two sons to a high skill level in their own right; but more so, by introducing them to the character building, socialization, and traditions that this great game of golf offers.
   My 38-year career in manufacturing and sales of large scale electrical distribution and control equipment has taken me all over this country, working with many large corporations. I have lived in Knoxville, Nashville, Washington D.C., Asheville, Tulsa, and now Fort Worth. My career has taught me self motivation, structure, process & procedure, and the value of teamwork. I have been very fortunate to have seen this beautiful country of ours and to have had the opportunity to play such beautiful golf courses over the years.
   I’m honored to have the opportunity to run for a position on the SoHG Board of Directors. I believe the skill sets described above will enable me to continue much of the outstanding work and accomplishments of previous boards. If I am elected, it is my goal to campaign for expanded visibility of this great game of hickory golf. By working with and developing more regional exposure of this game and working with the various SoHG resources, I hope to better get our message out to the golfing public and help develop and organize additional regional chapters.

 

Tad Moore
   Tad Moore, a founding member of the SoHG and its first president (2000-08), is recognized around the world as a premier club designer. He has won many hickory championships across the USA and is a respected authority on the equipment and game. In 2010, he and the late Frank Boumphrey were the first recipients of the SoHG’s Mike Brown Award. Though his SoHG term of office ends this May, Tad is standing for re-election.
   He is the founder and organizer of the popular Southern Hickory 4-Ball Championship, one of the events on the SoHG’s Championship Series.
   An Ohio native, he won the Sylvania Club Championship in 1972, 1975 and 1977. He won the Toledo District Golf Association Team championship and Fourball Championship and in 1970 the TDGA Stroke Play Championship.
   After moving to Georgia in 1978, Tad won several Senior Georgia State Golf Association championships. He served on that body’s board as well as the executive committee and in 1988 established what is known today as the Yates Scholarship program. This was modeled after the Evans Scholars program in which Tad was active in Ohio.
   The list of his innovations and designs is a long one. In brief: An early partnership with Dunlop/Maxfli/Slazenger Corporation, produced several winning designs and putters. Time and again, his designs for putters and clubs produced winners on the PGA tour and elsewhere. In June of 2003 Tad resumed independent design work. Since then he’s worked with Cosmo Golf of Canada, Direct Golf UK, Orlimar, and, with Dick’s Sporting Goods, reintroduced a Walter Hagen line of clubs.
   In 2005 Tad introduced a line of hickory shafted clubs similar to early MacGregor and William Gibson clubs. His Tad Moore line of hickory clubs are popular on the hickory tour and approved for play by the SoHG.
   Prior to Tad’s golf design career, he designed and manufactured the shaft seals that were used on the axles of the Lunar Rover that landed on the moon.
He and his wife, Carol, make their home in Selma, Ala.

 

Bill Reed
   Bill Reed, of Des Moines, Iowa, is widely known as an ambassador for hickory golf. He is the founder and organizer of the Hickory Golf Association, a past president of the Golf Collectors Society, and a long-time member of the Society of Hickory Golfers. He also is the long-term tournament director of the Heart of America Hickory Championship, now in its 38th year, the oldest continuously held hickory tournament in the world. The Heart of America was originated in 1978 by Ole Olson, the same man who introduced Bill to the GCS. Bill has played hickories for 29 years, exclusively so for the past 15 years. He travels extensively, playing in numerous hickory golf events from the east to the west, and is a fixture himself at many golf collecting trade shows.
   As a young buck, Bill participated in track and field, basketball, football, and began playing golf in his freshman year. Later, Bill played golf during his extensive travels across the USA on business trips and sales calls. He began to develop a keen appreciation for the architectural nuances of Bendelow, Ross, and MacKenzie courses.
   By his own admission, never a “championship level” golfer, Bill says “I was born a 10 handicap and got worse from there.” He plays in the “Statesman Divisions” (70 and over) and says he plays it forward “not as a concession to age, but to help speed up the pace of the game.” As of this writing his handicap index is 19.2.
   He and his wife, Penny, have been married for more than 50 years.
   “I’m blessed with wife, family, health, and thousands of friends in hickory golf and in collecting the artifacts of the grand auld game,” he says. “Golf is a young man’s vice and an old man’s penance.”
(Excerpted from his member profile in the Spring 2015 Wee Nip.)


Richard Schmidt
   I am deeply honored to have been asked to serve on the SoHG board. I’ve been playing hickory golf since I first stumbled upon the Mid Pines Hickory Open in 2006 and, due to some divine intervention, was paired with our late, good friend Frank Boumphrey – what a wonderful gentleman! I was hooked before I took my first swing – probably was the wee nip we shared on the first tee.
   As I think about why I would want to serve, the question is, “What can I bring to the SoHG and how can I help it grow and/or change for the better?” The answer for me is an ability to gain consensus, something I hope to do among the numerous elements inside and outside of the Society.  What we do is a hobby – it is not a business, nor is it a matter of life and death. To those who hold firm opinions about a one ball rule, or original over replicas, or where we play, how we play, handicaps, net or gross, whether you are a Grail member or a newcomer – all these things – I believe we need to realize that the true spirit of why we play hickory is each other. Yes, we all love to hit that perfect shot, but we are gentlemen and gentle ladies first and foremost and we need to be able to disagree without being disagreeable.    
   The Society should be about instilling in its members a spirit of fun and camaraderie first and foremost. We should do everything we can to remove any semblance of elitism (whether seen, or unseen – spoken or not) that either exists today or that might exist. Golf is hurting right now, and even though hickory golf is healthy and growing, we should take steps to ensure it stays that way. That includes opening the tent to all, welcoming back old friends who may have left for one reason or another, embracing current members who have fresh ideas and opinions, and extending a warm welcome to future players who will one day take up this mantle.  
   We are neither the USGA nor the PGA, we should remember that always, and not take ourselves or each other too seriously. Let’s find a game, enjoy it and our fellow man, and enjoy a wee nip after. That’s what Frank taught me that day, and why I love this so much. Somehow we’ve lost that a bit, and I’d like to help find it again.