Welcome to the Ohio Blind Golf Site

Home of the 2014 Match-Play Championships of American Blind Golf

The McCulloch Memorial

Posted Sunday, September 28, 2014

 

The link below will take you to a video of Retired LCPL Sal Gonzalez's presentation at the 2014 "Fore" the Warrior Blind Golf Scramble.  He performs his heartfelt tribute to fallen soldiers, Heroes.

LCPL Gonzalez Performance

 


The Tournament has concluded and was an incredible success!  Our sincere appreciation to all our sponsors and supporters!

Click on the link below for Details

2014 Summary & Results

2014 Tournament Donations

 

 

 

Links of Interest

 

Video Introduction Page

McCulloch Tribute

Inaugural Tournament

Denny's Dedication Page

Scholarship Recipients

Past Champions

SGT Schei & SGT Elliott

2010 McCulloch Cup

2013 Tournament Results

American Blind Golf

Mark & Mike's Page

Contact Ohio Blind Golf

 

 

Our Mission Statement

Through our unique talents as blind/visually impaired golfers

We strive to

"Motivate, Inspire & Serve"

all those who deal with the loss of sight

 

We are an official sanctioned tournament of 

American Blind Golf

 

Official ABG trademarked logo

 

Thank you for visiting the home of inclusive blind/visually impaired golf in Ohio.  This page, as all of the pages of the site, have been constructed through the use of assistive technology.  We hope the site is accessible to those who depend on magnification and screen-reading software, while still remaining appealing to the general surfing public.

 

 

Links from the 2014 Tournament

Post Raffle Article  Spring Raffle Photo Gallery  Freedom Scientific Interview  Post ABG/WWP Reception Article

Fox 8 Spot ESPN Golf Spin Show  Brian Oglesbee Interview Tuesday's Champions Dinner Video Champion's Dinner Photos "Fore" the Warrior Scramble Photos

2014 Closing Ceremony

 

 

 

2014 Tournament Donations to Date

$35,500!

$19,000   Wounded Warrior Project

                It should be noted that approximately $1,500

                came directly from the NTB Tire Raffle,

                approximately $3,500 through a golfing

                exhibition held at Tam O'Shanter GC

                and$560 from the American Legion/ VFW

                Auxiliary raffle/commemorative plaque sale

$6,500   Adaptive Technology Scholarship Fund

$4,000   VFW/American Legion Fund

$1,000   Foundation Fighting Blindness

$2,000   EOD Foundation

$1,000   Building Homes for Heroes

$2,500   Support to attending Wounded Warriors

 

The tournament committee would like to once again thank the players and coach's of American Blind Golf for attending the Championship and assisting the McCulloch Memorial in raising an incredible amount of money for our charities.  Your efforts have truly touched the lives of numerous individuals, particularly those who deal with the loss of sight and those who deal with the effects of battle.

 

Summary and Results

 

The week's festivities began on Monday afternoon at Tam O'Shanter GC when 8 ABG players and coaches participated in a 9 hole scramble exhibition with area sponsors.  Many thanks to Doug Mills for all his efforts organizing the event.  His hard work netted the tournament over $8,000!

On Tuesday evening following the practice rounds, the annual player and coaches meeting was held at Marie's restaurant.  At the dinner several special awards were presented.  The coveted "Blue Hats" were presented to all past champions and the Coach & Player Awards were announced.  Pat Murner, coach of Ron Murner and the 2013 awardee, presented the 2014 Coach of the Year Award to Joan Moss.  It was great that several members of Joan's family were in attendance.  Mark Arnold, the recipient of the 2013 Player of the Year Award, presented the 2014 honor to Joe Hojnicki from Wisconsin.  It was only fitting that Joe made the finals later in the week.  Two additional awards were presented in memory of Denny McCulloch and Dennis Smith.  These two gentleman were instrumental in bringing the event to Ohio back in 2005.  Their Honorary Blue Hats were accepted by Linda Smith and Doug Penner.  They will be forever remembered in tournament history!

This year 20 blind and vision impaired golfers traveled to Ohio to compete in the 10th annual Match Play Championships of American Blind Golf, the McCulloch Memorial.  Players from the US and Canada competed for the prestigious titles in each sight category including the coveted Super Senior Division.  

Weather was a major issue for the first time in tournament history as Northeast Ohio was somewhat cool and rainy.  The first day of competition was reduced to a nine hole cut-down as the back Nine at Ridge Top Golf Course had several holes under water.  Our sincere thanks to Jack Emery and his staff for working so diligently to prepare the course for play.  We were fortunate that no more rain fell after early Wednesday morning and our championship rounds on Thursday went off without a hitch!

Competition Summary

B1 Sight Category

First time major champion Brian Oglesbee & his coach Alex Oglesbee from Georgia defeated the 2014 Player of the Year, Joe Hojnicki from Wisconsin and his coach Chet Babcock.  The match was well contested with both players winning holes at the onset.  On the back nine, Brian stretched his lead to a few holes and held off a comeback by Joe to win the match.  Congratulations to both players for an outstanding championship round!

B2 Sight Category

This division was a hard fought battle just to make the championship finals.  A single Stableford point separated Bruce Hooper from Texas, Rick Kush from Canada and tournament host Mark Arnold from Ohio.  Mark finished one point ahead to make the finals against 2 time defending National Champion Charles Adams from Texas.  The match between Mark and Charlie was well contested on the front nine but Charlie pulled away on the back nine and won the match going away.  Congratulations to both Mark Arnold and his coach Randy Forrer and Champion Charles Adams and his coach Todd Mohler!

B 3 sight category

Our current national stroke play champion Scott Aughtry and his coach Mickey Aughtry from Arkansas squared off against first time competitor Tommy Marks and his coach Bob Marks from Pennsylvania.  This match featured two of the finest B3 golfers in the world.  The match went back and forth all day with Tommy prevailing in the end.  It appears these two players will be competing against each other for years to come!

Super Senior Division (over 80)

Congratulations to William (Uncle Bill) Forrer and his coach Steph Forrer from Ohio.  They defeated Gill Moss and his coach Joan Moss from Illinois in a back and forth match.  These titans of American Blind Golf dueled all day with Bill coming out on top.  Their rivalry is one of the most intense in our sport.

Stableford Champion

This year's overall Stableford Championship was decided by the smallest of margins.  In the end, Bruce Hooper and his coach Judy Hooper from Texas finished on top.  It was somewhat special as Bruce had called a penalty on himself earlier in the week for hitting the wrong ball that cost him a spot in the B2 finals.  Thank you Bruce for demonstrating the true sportsmanship of American Blind Golf to all who attended the Championship.

 

Tournament Highlights

The Championship raised over $35,000 for its affiliated charities.  Proceeds went to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the Wounded Warrior Project, and Scholarships for adaptive technology for blind and visually impaired students.  At the banquet following the charity scramble, 3 year old Payton Schafrath, one of the scholarship recipients, received a Ruby magnifier from Freedom Scientific.  The unit will greatly assist her in seeing numbers and letters as she prepares for preschool this fall.

LCPL Sal Gonzalez was our honored Wounded Warrior representing Wounded Warrior Project.  His presentations both at the American Legion reception and the BBQ following the scramble were incredible!  Words cannot express the tournament's appreciation to Retired LCPL Gonzalez, Retired SGT Deven Schei and Retired SGT Stetson Elliott for attending our event and assisting us with our fundraising efforts.  They will be forever honorary members of American Blind Golf.  As was stated following the lowering of the flag at the tournament's closing ceremony, "The greatest tragedy for our Wounded Warriors is being forgotten."  Tournament Director Mark Arnold stated, "The citizens of Wadsworth will never forget; the folks attending this tournament will never forget; and American Blind Golf will never, never, never forget!"

 


 

In Tribute to our Friend

In the spring of 2006 Denny lost his two year battle with cancer.  In his memory, the members of the Rittman Lions, along with the Blind Golfers, decided to honor him by naming the tournament the McCulloch Memorial Match Play Championships.  In 2010 we hosted the Ryder Cup of Blind/Visually Impaired Golf, The McCulloch Cup.  We returned to the match play format in 2011 and look forward to hosting the Match Play championships for years to come!

Denny McCulloch Dedication Page

 

Picture of Denny McCulloch & his long time coach Art McKenzie

 

 

the Boys

Following a chance meeting between Tournament Director Mark Arnold and SGT Deven Schei and SGT Stetson Elliott during the 2011 American Blind Golf National Championship in San Antonio, these two inspiring men have become integral parts of the McCulloch Memorial.  They are responsible for our partnership with Wounded Warrior Project.  Our sincere hope is that they will continue to attend our event for years to come.

Thank you again my adopted sons,

Mark Arnold

 

Photo of Schei & Elliot in front of the Bill Arnold monument at Ridge Top GC

SGT Schei & SGT Elliott 

The picture on the left was taken at Ridge Top Golf Course prior to the start of the 2012 Championship.  Tournament Director Mark Arnold & Roger Cline wanted Schei & Elliott to play Ridge Top, the host of the very first Match Play Championship in 2005.  Having their pictures taken in front of Bill Arnold's monument was extra special.  SGT Arnold, Mark's father, was a WW II veteran that landed on the beaches of Normandy on the third day of the invasion.

 

A great time was had by all!

 

 

Links from the 2013 Tournament

WTAM Radio Promo   Tournament Champions   Podcasts from the Scramble   2013 Tournament Donations

 

The link below will take you to the American Blind Golf YouTube channel and the video of SGT Schei's keynote address at the Tournament Banquet following the "Fore" the Warrior Blind Golf Scramble

SGT Schei's Speech

 

 

Congratulations Champions!

2013 Summary & Results

 

B1 Phil Blackwell & his coach

B2 Bruce Hooper & coach Judy Hooper

B3 Scott Aughtry & coach Mickey Aughtry

Stableford Champion Doug Penner & coach Dave Emberley

Twenty blind and vision impaired golfers traveled to Ohio to compete in the 9th annual Match Play Championships of American Blind Golf.  Players from the US, Canada, and Scotland competed for the prestigious titles in each sight category.  Many of the players described the RAWIGA Golf Club as a Merion style golf club because even though the course is relatively short, it is a classic design that requires shot placement, approaches to small bunkered greens, and tricky putting.  You do not want to hit the ball right or left or over the greens.  The chip shots back to the crowned greens are very difficult.

 

Northeast Ohio was blessed with considerable rain in 2013, so the course was soft, and played longer than it measured.  If you hit the ball in the rough, the grass was deep and difficult to move the ball forward.  Although rain was predicted each day, both competitive rounds were contested with no delays!

 

Competition Summary

B1 Sight Category

Phil Blackwell & his coach Sybil Blackwell from South Carolina defeated the defending champion, Mario Tobia from New Jersey.  Phil now holds both the stroke play championship that was held in San Antonio last October, and now the match play championship.  Mario is a two time winner of both events.  Recently Mario Tobia was awarded the most courageous sportsman of the year by the Sports Writers of Philadelphia.  This award has honored many notable athletes such as Ben Hogan.  The match was well contested with Phil prevailing in the end.

 

B2 Sight Category

This division was a hard fought match between Bruce Hooper from San Antonio and Charles Adams from Breckenridge, Texas.  Charles Adams was up for most of the match but Bruce Hooper mounted a comeback on the back nine.  In the end, Bruce won the match 1 up after 18 holes.  Congratulations to Bruce and his coach Judy Hooper.  Charles Adams is the current national B2 stroke play champion which he won last year in San Antonio.

 

B 3 sight category

Our current national stroke play champion Scott Aughtry and his coach Mickey Aughtry from Arkansas prevailed over Art Beauregard in a hard fought match.  Scott, who is a young man in his thirties, defeated Art Beauregard, a great player and defending champion from Tennessee.  Art and his wife Sue should be commended for putting up a great match against one of our youngest competitors.

 

Stableford Champion

This year's overall Stableford Championship was decided by the smallest of margins, one point.  In the end, Doug Penner and his coach Dave (Poppa Smurf) Emberley from Canada prevailed.  This was a special victory for Doug as the past year has presented him with numerous physical challenges.  All the players in attendance were thrilled for Doug as he has worked very hard in the past few months to regain his strength and rebuild his golf swing.  Congratulations Doug, all of us at ABG are glad you are back and competing once again!

 

The tournament raised $27,000 for charity.  Proceeds went to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the Wounded Warrior Project, and Scholarships for adaptive technology for blind and visually impaired students.  The interesting thing about the scholarship awards this year is that it was divided between our youngest awardee, a 5 year old, and a graduate student at Carnegie Melon, our oldest awardee since the beginning of this American Blind Golf event.  The tournament also honored SSGT Aaron Hale who lost his eye sight trying to diffuse an IED in Afghanistan.  SSGT Hale, originally from Ohio, is now preparing to be a competitor in our ABG tournaments, as he completes his rehabilitation.  He and his wife and children, supported by sponsor Morton Salt, were flown from Florida to Ohio for our event.  He was greeted by the veterans motor cycle group called the Rolling Thunder and was escorted to our hotel upon arrival, and ended his visit by throwing out the first pitch at the double A Akron Arrows baseball game.  It was a great week, one that ABG was proud to organize.

 

Donations for the 2013 Tournament

$27,000!

        $13,400   Wounded Warrior Project

                It should be noted that $1,400 of the above donation

                came directly from the Wadsworth American Legion,

                Sons of the American Legion, Wadsworth VFW and the

                Members of their Auxiliaries

        $5,300   Adaptive Technology Scholarship Fund

        $6,000   VFW/American Legion Fund

        $1,000   Foundation Fighting Blindness

        $500   Honor Guard Uniform Fund

        $500   Trinity Rose Foundation

        $500   Challenge Golf Center Sponsorship

 

Logo of Sports on Tap

 

Interviews from the "Fore" the Warrior Blind Golf Scramble

 

Sports on Tap Interview #1

The folks from Sports on Tap discuss the tournament in general and speak with Jim Gales from Scotland & his coach Norrie

 

Sports on Tap Interview #2

The crew from Sports on Tap interview sponsors attempting to hit a drive with blinders.  They also interview players Tim Jackson & B2 Champion Bruce Hooper.

Sports on Tap Interview #3

The crew from Sports on Tap wrap up the day at the "Fore" the Warrior Blind Golf Scramble.

 

Sports on Tap will be posting videos from the scramble on their YouTube channel in the next week.  A link will be listed soon...

 

 


Pictured below is SSGT Aaron Hale as he spoke at the American Legion Welcome Reception prior to the tournament.  Aaron stated that he was looking forward to improving his golf game and joining American Blind Golf as a competitor in the near future.  To view additional photos from the reception and read the article that ran in the Post Newspaper, please visit:

American Legion Welcomes Blind Golfers & Wounded Warriors

 

SSGT Hale speaking at the American Legion Welcome Reception

                 SSGT Aaron Hale

 

Below are photos taken at Military Appreciation Night at the Akron Aeros game where our 3 Wounded Warriors through out The First Pitch!

Photos during the entire week were taken by Tom Stugmyers.  ABG is greatly appreciative!

To view our Dropbox, please visit:

The 2013 Tournament Photo Gallery

 

Scoreboard from Canal Park home of the Akron Aeros

 

Retired SGT Schei throwing out the first pitch

Retired SGT Schei

Retired SSGT Hale throwing out the first pitch

SSGT Hale

Retired SGT Elliott throwing out the first pitch

Retired SGT Elliott

Jim Smith from Rolling Thunder throwing out the first pitch

Jim Smith Rolling Thunder

 

 

 


 

History of Tournament Beneficiaries

 

 

 

 

Scholarship Awards

2005

Austin Erne

Mary Krumwiede

2006

Amanda Hilty

Nick Jones

Nick Carter

2007

Jered Butts

Kelsey Nicolay

The Carter Family

Lizabeth Carter

2008

Griffin Miller

Nate Brantley

Kelsey Nicolay

Mary Krumwiede

Tia Pertee

2009

Samantha Bragg

Breanna Wadel

Nick Carter

Ryan Carson

2010

Griffin Miller

Jaxon Takis

Iver Manning

Kaitlyn Mullins

David Ziegler

2011

Sarah Bullington

Kiarra Roberts

Ben Serafinchon

Josh Serafinchon

Lizabeth Carter

2012

Amaya Nutter

Naudia Lenhart

Alexis Lange

Nathaniel Brantley

Austin Erne

Tricia Bartram

Nick Carter

2013

Russell Hinderman

Sarah Murphy

Jaxon Takis

Ryan Carson

2014

Payton Schafrath

Faran Boymurodova

Anthony Andolek

Amaya Nutter

Total to Date

43 Scholarships!

Over $50,000!

  Scholarships & Donations to Date

As of the 2014   tournament, 43 Adaptive Technology Scholarships have been awarded for a total of $50,000 plus!  Numerous other charities have benefitted, and will continue to benefit through the support of all American Blind Golf's incredible sponsors.  They include: Wounded Warrior Project, The Foundation Fighting Blindness, EOD Warrior Foundation, Building Homes for Heroes, Local American Legion/VFW Initiatives and other sight related causes.

 

Pictured below are Mary Krumwiede & Austin Erne with Lion Dave Simpson

They were the initial  recipients in 2005

Picture of Mary, her parents and Lion Dave Simpson          Picture of Austin and Lion Dave Simpson

 

 

A Very Special Presentation

The picture on the left shows Bruce Hooper from San Antonio, Texas (on the left) and Rittman Lion Todd Mohler (on the right) as they presented the donation check to Joe Tait, long time radio voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers and close friend of Mr. Gordon Gund.  The picture on the right was taken at Westfield Country Club during the 2007 event.  From left to right are coach Steve Donaldson, player Brian MacLeod from Canada, Mr. Gordon Gund and tournament director Mark Arnold.  It was an honor to personally meet Mr. Gund the founder and CEO of the Foundation Fighting Blindness.

 

Photo of the donation check from the 2008 tournament          Photo from the 2007 Foundation Fighting Blindness charity auction

 

A Special Contribution

In 2008 Nathaniel Brantley was in desperate need of experimental iris replacement surgery that was not covered by his family's insurance.  The members of the Blind Golf Association, along with the Rittman Lions, donated $2,500 to be used towards the surgery.  Special thanks to the late Blind Golfer Dennis Smith and his wife Linda for their contribution in this regard.  They were the winners of the 50/50 Raffle at the Awards Ceremony and donated all $500 to the family.  Their demonstration of true Lionism will never be forgotten!  

Following the 2014 tournament our total charitable donations now exceed

$125,000!

 

Many thanks to our Major sponsors!

 

Wadsworth American Legion Post #170

Wadsworth American Legion Ladies Auxiliary

Wadsworth VFW Auxiliary

Premier GMC

Wadsworth Holiday Inn Express

Medina Eagles Club

Forrer Lawn Service

Kramer/Goyette DDS of Medina

Medina Exteriors

The Brew Kettle

Care Center Akron Children's Hospital

Fox Den GC

Golf Improvement Center

PGA Charities

Pine Hills GC

Ridge Top GC

Silver Lake CC

Tannenhauf CC

CELL O CORE

Fox Construction

Kelly’s Auto Service

Rowsburg Lions

William Halter Charities

CJ Dannemiller Company

Hilliard Rospert Inc.

Mark Huscroft Charities

National Tire & Battery

Sandridge Food Corporation

Sysco Cleveland Inc.

Quarry Lake GC

Wadsworth Sons of the American Legion

Wadsworth VFW Post #1089

Wadsworth VFW Ladies Auxiliary

Doug Mills Charities

Pepsi of Wadsworth

Wadsworth Towing

Wadsworth Lions

White's Auto Body

Challenge Golf Center

Bunker Hill GC

Loyal Oak GC

Medina CC

RAWIGA Golf & Swim Club

Rustic Hills CC

Spring Hills GC

Advanced Auto

Wooster CC

Seville Veterinarian Clinic

Steel Plate

Eagle Creek GC

Fox Meadow CC

Riceland GC

Robert Marks Trust

Royal 10 Cigar

Shale Creek CC

Sterling Paper Packaging

Westfield Group CC

Silver Lake CC

Tam O’Shanter GC

 

 

Additional 2014 Sponsors

 

 

AAA of Wadsworth

Advanced Wellness

Akron Civic Theatre

 
 

Akron Rubber Ducks

Amazone of Medina

Apple America Group

 
 

AutoZone Wadsworth

Cedar Point Park

Cincinnati Bengals

 
 

CJ Woodworking

Clay’s Park

Cleveland Browns

 
 

Cleveland Cavs

Cleveland Indians

Columbus Crew

 
 

Cosi Museum

Cuyahoga Valley Railroad

Dave & Busters

 
 

Funny Stop Comedy Club

Rittman Rec Center

Goodyear of Wadsworth

 
 

Great Oaks Theatre

Green Bay Packers

Pro Football HOF

 
 

Kings Island Park

Kent State University

Lake Erie Monsters

 
 

La Placa Jewelers

Lebron James Foundation

The Melting Pot

 
 

Mohican Adventures

Panera Bread

Pickwick and Frolic

 
 

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Pirates

Galaxy Restaurant

 
 

Rinky Dink Golf

Sherwin Williams

Sluggers and Putters

 
 

Stan Hywet Hall

Pittsburg Steelers

Target

 
 

Thomas Limousine

Bill Doraty KIA

Thurber’s Jewelers

 

 

 

 

Contact the Tournament Director

 

2 computers exchanging mail


Posted

Sunday, September 28, 2014