TROY — Tickets will be available at the gate for the Troy Bicentennial Golf Classic Monday at the Troy Country Club.
Three-time U.S. Open champion Hale Irwin and two-time tour winner Frank Lickliter will be the featured pros. They’ll conduct a clinic at 1 p.m. and play 18 holes with various area pros and amateurs.
The public is invited. Tickets are $20 with proceeds going to Hospice of Miami County.
This is the second golf exhibition celebrating Troy’s history. Fifty years ago grand slam (U.S. Open, Masters, British Open, PGA) champion Gary Player and 1964 PGA champion Bobby Nichols were at Miami Shores for the city’s sesquicentennial.
They played 18 holes with Miami Shores pro Dixie Rutherford and Troy CC pro Jim Geram.
“We hope to make this an annual event and bring in various regular and senior tour players,” said Joel Walker, chairman of this year’s event. “We would have different types of formats with proceeds going to Hospice and other local charities.”
The annual event will be known as the Bicentennial and Beyond Golf Classic and will honor long-time Troy golf pros Rutherford and Paul Fobian.
An appropriate plaque will be created and be on display as a part of the Troy Hall of Fame exhibit at Hobart Arena.
“We’ve had tremendous response from sponsors for the event this year,” Walker said. “We hope we can bring in big name pros like Irwin and Lickliter and make it a significant annual attraction.”
One of the key people involved with the effort is Dave Shedloski, an award-winning national golf writer. He’s a Troy grad who now lives near Columbus, covers the tour events on a regular basis and has strong contacts with the players. He’s written several books, one with Jack Nicklaus.
Troy CC pro Kyle Courtright and Piqua CC pro Mark Robart will join Irwin and Lickliter along with TCC club champs Gareth Johnston and Michael Walker for the inaugural event.
Others who will play include Piqua club members Doug Eakin and Jeff Schaffner along with Ryan Groff from Miami Shores, Caroline Elsass-Smith from the Troy High School girls’ team, past Troy CC president and two-time club champion Brad Nimer and Bob Cooley, director of golf and head coach for over 25 years at Ohio University.
There will be two foursomes on the front nine (Irwin, Cooley, Walker and Robart and Lickliter, Schaffner, Smith and Courtright) and two foursomes on the back nine (Irwin, Johnston, Eakin and Courtright and Lickliter, Groff, Nimer and Robart).
“We’ll try to get Arnie or Jack next year, vary the format and keep it interesting,” said Shedloski “It will be great to honor Dixie and Paul for their efforts on the local level and for their contributions to the game.”
Shedloski, Walker, Rob Harrelson, Dr. Jim Sims, Kees Scarff and Tom Cairns will be a part of the Bicentennial and Beyond committee that will develop the plaque honoring the two pros.
Monday’s event is expected to draw a big crowd, but plenty of tickets are available, parking is free and the players will sign autographs and pose for pictures.