4th Annual Thornberry Creek at Oneida Recap

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Historic Hickory Golf Fun Event

On Saturday, August 26, a brilliant, sunny morning, steeping hot coffee, and fresh, warm pastries greeted twenty-four hickory & post-hickory contestants at the home of hosts, Jim & Judy Koss. Contestants were treated to “knee caps”, “crullers”, and USY Slovias.

The club swap began immediately and, within minutes, was akin to a European Bazaar. Trading was furious and great bargains were had by all.

The morning 9 was contested on the original nine-hole course, which features either historic double greens or mammoth greens with two pins. The course is a throwback to the heart of hickory players, bump-and-run.

Steve Simer threw down the gauntlet by nearly driving the first hole, a 262 yard 2-shotter. But “Big Ernie” Ernst bristled and proceeded to scorch the course. After four holes, Big Ernie’s card showed 3-3-4-3.  In todays’ terminology, he was three-under. At the end of the round, both Steve and he had obliterated the previous hickory course record, a fine 37 held by Greg “The Enforcer” Smith. Steve posted a stupendous two-under 34 only to have been beaten by two, by “Big Ernie’s” 32. Ken Holtz posted 38 and new-to-hickory (and considered a force in future competitive events) was Rob Retzlaff at 39. Greg Smith and Denny “Arthur” Lane totaled 40 to round out the top five.

Contestants reconvened at the Koss household, where Master Chef Wally grilled tasty Balson bangers and photo historian, Jenn Koss-Hansen, served homemade mash and Irish soda bread.

To a standing ovation (as Big Ernie remembers it), Big Ernie graciously accepted the Yuengling Traveling Trophy, followed by hole awards and priceless prizes. Every contestant left with at least one golf treasure.

The afternoon was wee-nip time for 18 on the Championship Course, home of the Green Bay Packers and the LPGA Classic, held annually in July. As the groups headed to the tee, Kenny Holtz successfully  invoked the Scottish weather spirits. Contestants played from their choice of tee, agreed upon ferocious side bets, engaged in counter chatter as the wee-nips flowed. At the end of the day, a great time was had by all.

We thank the entire staff at Thornberry for a well-run event. The course was in beautiful shape. We particularly appreciate the enthusiastic support of Josh Doxtator, General Manager; Mark Becker, Director of Golf; and Steve Archibald, Course Superintendent. We have confirmed our 5th Annual Event for Saturday, August 25, 2017.

Hickory Contestant Totals: Ernie Ernst 32; Steve Simer, 34; Ken Holtz, 38; Rob Retzlaff 39; Greg Smith and Denny Lane, 40; Ray De Roche and Dan “Bulldog” Norstedt, 41; Howie Nelson and Don “The Godfather” Madelung, 44; Paul “Pre-Oakhurst Founder” Savidas 45; Thomas Kerckhove, 46; Bill Murphy, 47. Post-hickory leaders were Dave Miller, 40; and Ron “Chico” Fernandez, 42.

 

 

 

 

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About Author

Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com. When he is not traveling, golfing and writing about amazing golf destinations, he is moonlighting as a novice hickory golf enthusiast. He started off playing replicas (Louisville and Tad Moore) and now plays originals (Stewarts). Brian was hooked on hickories after puring his first shot in 2015.

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