Hickory Golf Association

40th Edition of the Heart of America Hickory Championship

July 31, 2017
40th Edition of the Heart of America Hickory Championship Image
The Heart of America Hickory Championship began in 1978 with Warren "Ole" Olson the tourney originator. Warren was from Denison, Iowa and was a previous President of the Golf Collectors Society. This year's tournament was the 40th Edition and another GCS past president and Iowa resident, Bill Reed, keeps this staple of GCS Region 7 history alive and well.
 
The Open Division was hotly contested and Jeremy Wright, the new owner and President of Louisville Golf Company traveled from Kentucky and edged last years winner, Gary Youngberg of Ames, Iowa by a stroke.
 
Mr. Wright, formerly of the Houston,
Texas area shot 72 - 76 = 148. Mr. Youngberg shot 74 - 75 = 149.
Kirk Watson, also of Ames, Iowa shot 79 - 78 = 157 to claim the Bronze.
 
The Senior Division had Mike Harding of Terre Haute, Indiana claiming Gold with 70 -78 = 148.
John Hutton of Blackhawk, Colorado shot 76 - 75 = 151 to capture Silver and Jim Fisher of Boone, Iowa garnered the Bronze Medal with a 79 -76 = 151.
 
The Statesman Division had impressive numbers as well proving that tourney competition doesn't end for those of 70 years of age and older. The Statesman Champion was Bob Jones of Des Moines, Iowa shooting 79 - 79 = 158. ( yes, you read that correctly: Bobby Jones, who won the Bob Jones Open in 2016 held at Hyperion Field Club in Des Moines, Iowa ).
 
Max Hollon of Evansville, Indiana shot 80 - 80 = 160 for the Silver and Kelly Gay of the Des Moines area shot 79 - 90 = 169 to gather the Bronze.
 
The Open Reserve (net) Division had the following players in the top three spots:
Gary Swenson of Kelley, Iowa in first place with 69 - 67 = 136
John Berggren of Kingwood, Texas in 2nd with 67 - 70 = 137
Chris Palar of Ankeny, Iowa at 3rd place with 68 - 70 = 138.
 
The Senior Reserve (net) top three finishers:
Chris Hardy of Port Byron, Illinois won the Gold with 65 - 64 = 129.
Dennis Olson of Long Grove, Iowa claims the Silver with 61 - 70 = 131
David Rasey of Des Moines, Iowa won the Bronze with 67 - 68 = 135
 
The Statesman Reserve Champion was Lloyd Slinglend of Trenton, Michigan shooting 65 - 69 = 134.
 
Jeanne Swenson of Kelley, Iowa kept her continued hold on the Ladies Open Division winning the Gold shooting 89 - 90 = 179.
 
There were Men's and Mixed Scramble Team Competition as well and the team of Russ Fisher of Des Moines, Iowa, Mike Enich of Pengilly, Minnesota, and Ray Walton and Chuck Collins, both of Indianola, Iowa shot lights out and garnered the Gold with a 2 day total of 124, 16 strokes under par.
 
The 2nd place team of Region 7 Director Ron Luster of Bellevue, Nebraska, Duanne Baylor of Ralston, Nebraska, John McKenzie of Des Moines, Iowa was joined by Chris Howe of Encino, California, Mr. Howe a Representative of PBA Galleries enjoyed his first ever Hickory Tournament.
 
The 3rd place team didn't get much help from the tournament director ( Reed ) but Clayton Copple and John Ausen both of the Des Moines area was joined by Ms. Patti Pittenger of Blackhawk Colorado and those three players combined their talents to claim the Bronze.
 
The Tournament Committee thanks all of those in attendance, and gives a loud shout out to the City of Des Moines and the entire professional staff that made our stay at Bright-Grandview Golf Course enjoyable and memorable. All of the meals were received eagerly and the course was in great condition in spite of near record high temperatures and heat conditions. This report is submitted by your humbled Tourney Director and I personally want to thank the many players that assisted me in my efforts to " Honor the Game".