News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Rub of the Green

August 15, 2009

Rub of the Green: One of Terre Haute’s longest hitters made his mark at Firestone


Goeller continued, “Mark listened to my advice and went back to a three wood, and he rifled his shot to within eight feet of the hole.”

Although he missed the putt, he had done what only two had done before.

When the group reached the clubhouse, they told the professional on duty what Mark had accomplished, but the pro refused to believe them. The unknown pro advised that only Arnold Palmer and Bobby Nichols had hit the 16th in two shots.

The Terre Haute golfers were certainly unhappy about the pro’s reluctance to accept what they had just seen. Perhaps if that same pro had witnessed Fisk’s shot at the National Intercollegiate Driving Contest that measured 3431⁄2 yards, he would have been a believer.

Many feel that with today’s “hot” golf balls and modern clubs, Fisk could have eclipsed the 400-yard mark with a swing that often split the heads of persimmon drivers which were standard in the 1950s.

In addition, Firestone’s 16th now plays much easier than it did in the ’60s. Tee shots now play downhill and several pros get home in two.

Like many golf stories that take a life of their own, some say that the Firestone pro was Bobby Nichols, but Goeller is quick to repudiate that. Although Dave doesn’t recall the pro’s name, it was definitely not Nichols, who was a big winner in professional golf.

Nichols actually accepted the Firestone job at a later date. Playing golf with Fisk was always a treat, as was playing in the company of Goeller, Bopp, and Bill Mitchell.

Fisk’s golfing buddies at Country Club of Terre Haute nicknamed him “Big Man”, although in college he was far from the “giant” category at just under six feet in height and 175 pounds in weight, but make to doubt about it, Mark could hit a golf ball “out of sight”.

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