News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 9, 2010

RUB OF THE GREEN: Excursions are a tradition for many Terre Haute golfers

Bob Arnett
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Many divot diggers enjoy excursions to play golf courses that offer new and different challenges. Terre Haute can certainly testify to the truth of that with some groups having hit the road for many decades.

Ray Sumner initiated golf trips to Biloxi, Miss. more than thirty years ago that have included among others, his wife Lu, daughter Cyndi with husband Mark Roman, and son, Junior and his wife Carol, as well as a host of local players.

They are: Les Brown, Mac McCalister, Joe Bukovack, Mike Wagle, Bob Mann, Steve Nicoson, Gary Turner, “Joz” Jozwiak, Mike Wilson, Jack Myers, Mike Harden, Lyman Dusard, Mose Nasser, Tim Tennant, Lowell Smith and Bob Arnett.

Some of the courses they have played are: Diamondhead, The Bridges, St. Andrew’s, Shell Landing, Golf Resort at Casino Magic, and President’s Broadwater.

Jim Roberts is a member of a group that has been active for more than 50 years. Originated by Al Richmond, Dick Richmond, Mike Miller and Bill Miller. Roberts remembers that several years back players went 36 holes each day, but now they settle for 27. Other members of their entourage include: Larry Groth, Ron Amos, Gary Switzer, Mike Trendelman, Danny Williams, Larry Scott, Lowell Smith, Vern Keller, and Gary Switzer, Jr.

By the time the players have completed their circuit they will have played courses named Boots Randolph, Miller Memorial, Paris Landing, Arrowhead, Links at Nova Del, Western Hills and Cambridge. The players will have traveled to Evansville to Murray, Ky. , Cadiz, Ky. and then back to Evansville. During the trip they often stay at a state park called Land Between the Lakes.

Former Terre Haute City golf champion Tim Tennant has shepherded a pair of foursomes to a course named Hawkshead located at Southhaven, Mich.

“It’s a really good golf course that usually catches strong winds from Lake Michigan,” Tennant said.

Players making the trip in addition to Tennant include: Tim Clements, Herb McConnell, Dick Meneely, Mark Roman, Tommy Cain, Brent Hults and Floyd Shassere.

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Not to be outdone, lady golfers from Terre Haute also have enjoyed outings. Carrie Werneke, one of the best distaff golfers Terre Haute has produced, recalls that Grace McBride first organized a group that enjoyed “Go-Go” trips to various locales.

After 10 years McBride handed the Go-Go job over to Werneke who was also a past president of the Indiana’s Women’s State Golf Tournament.

Werneke recalls that there were problems back in those days in that women were not allowed to play many courses that were known as “men only” clubs. Through various business pursuits and with the assistance of Mary Jane Baxter, Werneke’s Go-Go excursion was allowed to play Crooked Stick and Meridian Hills, two of Indiana’s finest courses, provided a member of those clubs was in each foursome.

Carrie recalls that Terre Haute’s Helen Bembridge, Mary Doherty, and Babe Wisely were active members of the Go-Go lady golfers.

Several years ago the group traveled by bus to their venue and the bus had a sign which read “Go-Go Trip”. Many at their destination thought the bus was loaded with go-go girls. This misrepresentation led to the group becoming the Three G’s, standing for Go-Go Golfers.

Carrie Werneke has won many tournaments in local, state and regional competitions and a more talented and gracious individual would be most difficult to find.

Next time we’ll take a look at more excursions and leagues that attract the interest of local golfers.

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Congratulations to a half dozen long ball hitters who braved some devilish pin placements during Rea Park’s Two Man Tournament recently. Gregg Kluesner and son, Charlie managed a one shot win over Tom Jones and Terre Haute Golf Association President, Chris Keen. Blayd Horrall and Ryan Roscoe were third at two strokes behind the winners.

There is no one among these six players who can’t rip a tee shot some unbelievable distances. How about a driving contest in conjunction with the city tournament?

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Chad Collins continues to “make cuts” and play well on the PGA Tour. In the recent Quail Hollow Tournament he not only added a nice chunk of cash to his bank account, but also beat Tier Wood’s second round score by nine shots, 70 to 79. With three top three finishes and five top 25’s, Chad has won $614,428 in prize money. He has also made 10 cuts in 12 tournaments thus far. His 70.05 scoring average is tenth on the PGA Tour.

Congratulations Chad, you’ve got a huge number of “well wishers” behind you throughout Indiana and beyond.

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Kudos are in order for Dr. Jerry Baker, a retired dentist, who popped his seven iron into the cup on the eighth hole at River Bend at The Landing recently. It was witnessed by Duane Klueh, Don Tyler and Jon Rhodenbaugh. This was Baker’s fifth hole-in-one. In his younger days, Baker was a regular on the Indiana State Teachers’ College golf team, which annexed the 1952 Indiana Collegiate Conference Championship.

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With scoring averages from 81 to 100-plus, some golfers are content to stay on their home course and play in a league. Dale Perdiew heads a group who tees it up at Rea Park each Monday and Friday. Perdiew has the low average with 81 strokes per round, whereas, Frank Rowe admits to 104, but then that’s not bad for a golfer who has seen 91 birthdays.

Other league participants include: Dave Myers, Dave Bays, Loren Lidster, Charlie Cardinal, Bob Hilton, Terry Jarvis, Vern Tincher, Charles Williamson, Jim Higgins, Ed Morgan, Alex Maxwell, Mike Crowder, and Ray Collins. Also, Art Meadows, Bob Oxendine, Marvin Mericle, Oscar Huntwork, Paul Cherepkai, Tom Weger, Dick Kackley, Dave Laycock, Bernie Ridens, Frank Rowe, Wayne Osburn, Bob Buckingham. Bob Boyer, Fred Myers, Don Gehring and Hershel Allen.

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It’s not too late to sign up for the 19th Annual Sherriff’s Shootout slated for Friday at Rea Park. Enter electronically at hamiltoncenter.org as an individual for $100 or as a team for $350.

Those opting for a morning starting time will be eligible for a drawing featuring a 19-inch flat screen TV and a workout package from Stan’s Nautilus.

If you have questions phone David Kennedy, head professional at Rea Park at (812) 232-0709.

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TIP OF THE WEEK: When playing in the wind, play the ball back a couple of inches and try to make a “flatter swing”. Don’t try to kill your shot. A normal swing with good tempo will work best.

Keep your head down and your shoestrings tied. We’ll be back.

Bob Arnett is a golf columnist for the Tribune-Star.