Pittsburgh, Pa. – The Golf Heritage Society announced that the 10th edition of the Michiana Hickory Open golf tournament will take place Aug. 21 at the historic South Bend Country Club, in South Bend, Ind., with longtime GHS member and immediate past president Jim Jeselnick serving as tournament organizer.
“I’m excited about this year’s event,” said Jeselnick. “I started the Michiana Hickory Open ten years ago, when I was the GHS region six director, because at the time there wasn’t a hickory event in Indiana.”
The history of the tournament is part of its allure. The University of Notre Dame hosted the first event on its golf course, a Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore links-style design. The victor was Bert Coghill, who went on to win the tournament four more times.
In 2018, the event moved to South Bend CC, thanks to the help of club member and GHS member Spike Abernethy. The South Bend Country Club course, designed by George O’Neil, opened for play in 1916 and has hosted numerous significant golf events. The greens superintendent is GHS member Nick Nate.
Last year, the MHO attracted 39 golfers from seven states. The winner was Joey Piatek, a first-time participant who edged Bert Coghill by one stroke. And, for the past several years, the MHO has welcomed a foursome from the Indiana – Michiana First Tee Chapter. Jenny Zimmerman, chapter director, each year brings a coach and two students, who are always wowed when they play with real “hickory sticks.” This year, a sponsor will pay for their golf and lunch.
Entrants can choose to play in the Open division, the Senior division (age 60-70), the Statesman division (age 79+) or the Scramble division. The tee boxes are marked with small American flags, a tradition that started with the 2012 event.
At the close of the tournament, beverages will be served on the patio while the winners receive their medals. The champion golfer’s name will be inscribed on a plaque that hangs in the SBCC grill room and features a hickory club made for Bert Meyering, a previous SBCC professional.
New this year will be a collectors’ golf memorabilia trade fair, held in the parking lot in participants’ trunks.
The tournament welcomes GHS members as well as non-members to participate. The entry fee of $80 includes golf, cart, range balls and awards. An entry form can be found on the GHS website, or contact Jim Jeselnick at 219-928-5585.
About the Golf Heritage Society
Founded in 1970, the GHS is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring and preserving golf’s history. The annual membership fee is $50. To join the GHS, visit GolfHeritage.org.
Sally J. Sportsman