This page contains a collection of many events held throughout the years. It features several media links covering past tournaments and fundraisers. You will also meet the various Wounded Warriors that we have honored since 2012. We are in the process of updating this page...
Page updated March 14, 2022
Highlights from the 2019 Memorial
Blind Golfers once again traveled from around the U.S. and Canada to compete in the 15th Annual Memorial Match Play Championships of American Blind Golf. The staff at Hawk's Nest GC prepared the course for the tournament which was no easy task after all the rain in Ohio in the spring of 2019.
Following the cut down round on Wednesday, June 26th, the Match Play Championships were conducted on Thursday, June 27th. The Champions were as follows:
B1 Sight Category (Totally Blind Division)
Phil Blackwell & his Coach Sybil Blackwell from South Carolina closed out Brian Oglesbee & his Coach Jason Hogan from Georgia after 14 holes.
B2 Sight Category (5% Functional Vision)
Bruce Hooper & his Coach Judy Hooper from Texas closed out Mark Arnold & his Coach Randy Forrer from Ohio after 17 holes.
B3 Sight Category (10% Functional Vision)
Art Beauregard & his Coach Sue Beauregard from Florida closed out Doug Penner from Manitoba & his Coach Steve Donaldson from Ohio after 16 holes.
George Thirkill from British Columbia & his Coach Roger Cline from Ohio closed out 91 years old Gil Moss & his Coach Joan Moss from Illinois in the Championship Match.
Overall Stableford Champion
Glenn Babcock & his Coach Rick Mackiewicz from Ontario were the Stableford Champions in a closely contested round.
Media Coverage from the 2019 Tournament
The Kick off event for the 2019 Memorial Championship begins with the Military Appreciation Night that takes place during the first home football game of the Wadsworth Grizzlies. Retired LCP Sal Gonzalez from Wounded Warrior Project took part in the festivities including the "flip of the coin." Click on the links below to listen to the radio & television interviews that Sal did during his visit.
Donations for 2019 Have already Begun!
Adaptive Technology Scholarships
Veteran Organization Support (Wounded Warrior Project, EOD Warrior Foundation, Greater Cleveland Fisher House and Newbridge Veteran Place
Various community Organization Support
2018 Tournament Summary
The 2018 event officially begins in the fall of 2017. Wadsworth High School contacted Ohio Blind Golf and asked if they would assist them in securing a representative from Wounded Warrior Project to take part in a Military Appreciation Football Game. Retired SGT Schei gladly obliged and the event was a great success! The link below is the interview Deven did prior to the event.
Deven Schei's Military Appreciation Game Interview on WCTV
The 2018 Tournament moved to beautiful Hawks Nest GC. PGA Professional Chris McCormack welcomed ABG golfers and coaches with great anticipation as his facility hosted our National Match Play Championships.! Although the course was dealing with a cool and wet spring, the superintendent and his staff did an excellent job putting the course in playing condition.
The first round of competition was shortened to a 9 hole cut down as the rain moved in to Northeast Ohio once again. The final round went off without a hitch and the following Champions were crowned:
B1 Phil Blackwell & his coach Sybil Blackwell
B2 Bruce Hooper & his coach Judy Hooper
B3 Art Beauregard & his coach Sue Beauregard
Senior Net Champion George Thirkill & his coach Roger Cline
Overall Stableford Champion Rick Kush & his coach Eugene Jaworski
Following the final round, a reception was held to honor Champions at the American Legion Hall followed by a presentation by Jeremiah Paulie of the Wounded Warrior Project. The links below ran in the Wadsworth Post following the Tournament.
Post Article #1
Post Article #2
The "Fore the Warrior" Charity Scramble was a great success! Players were treated to a day of sunshine and a great barbeque dinner sponsored by Mission BBQ.
The highlight of the event was the drawing for the painting donated by Retired Combat Engineer & Wounded Warrior Eric Schei. The winner of the painting was ABG Coach Roger Cline. In an emotional demonstration of his appreciation to ABG Co-Director Mark Arnold, he presented the painting to Mark. Roger stated, "This painting needs to be hung in Mark's office and that is where it belongs."
Thank you Roger I will be forever grateful! Mark Arnold
As many ABG Members know, Erik was severely wounded in Iraq. He was able to create this beautiful piece of art by holding the brush in his mouth. The links below are photos of Erik's art work in various stages of development. What an amazing accomplishment by a man facing so many challenges. His efforts raised almost $1,000 for ABG's Adaptive Technology Scholarship Fund for area blind/ visually impaired students. Thank you Erik you have truly impacted the lives of numerous individuals who deal with the loss of sight.
Erik's Painting Photo #1 Erik's Painting Photo #2 Erik's Painting Photo #3 Erik's Painting Photo #4
Erik's Painting Photo #5 Erik's Painting Photo #6 Erik's Painting Photo #7 Erik's Painting Photo #8
Erik's Painting Photo #9
The link below is the WWLP radio interview that was done prior to the "Fore" the Warrior Blind Golf Scramble featuring Wounded Warrior Jeremiah Paulie
Adaptive Technology Scholarships
Veteran Organization Support (Wounded Warrior Project, EOD Warrior Foundation, Greater Cleveland Fisher House, Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, Newbridge Veterans Place as well as our Local American Legion)
Various local community initiatives; Challenge Golf Center, Marian's Closet & participation in numerous golf outings
2017 Tournament Summary
Congratulations to our Champions
B1 Sight Category
Phil Blackwell & Coach Sybil Blackwell
Runner Up Jack Hansen & Coach Russ Hansen
B2 Sight Category
Charlie Adams & Coach Nate Cline
Runner Up Bruce Hooper & Coach Judy Hooper
B3 Sight Category
Tom Marks & Coach Bob Marks Jr.
Runner Up Art Beauregard & Coach Sue Beauregard
Senior Champion George Thirkill & Coach Roger Cline
Overall Stableford Rick Kush & Coach Chris Tolton
THIS YEAR WE HAVE TOPPED THE QUARTER MILLION DOLLAR MARK IN TOTAL DONATIONS SINCE 2005!
Student Adaptive Technology Fund $8,500
Veteran Organization Support $16,000 (Wounded Warrior Project, Newbridge Veterans Place, Greater Cleveland Fisher House, EOD Warrior Foundation and Wadsworth American Legion Auxiliary , Legion Riders & SAL
Trinity Rose Foundation $500
Mission BBQ Charity Cup Program $500
Local Community Support Wadsworth Student Trip to Arlington National Cemetery, Challenge Golf Center etc. $2,000
Summary of the 2017 Event
The tournament matches themselves were closely contested and all Champions were deserving of their titles. Unfortunately the "Fore" the Warrior Blind Golf Scramble was rained out. Although there was no golf, several of our sponsors generously donated their entry fees to the tournament's designated charities! This enabled a donation of $10,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project!
Finally, Cindy Parsons, the mother and caregiver of her severely injured son, was our honored speaker from Wounded Warrior Project. The link below will take you to a video of her address at the Reception Dinner.
American Legion Address by Care-Giver Cindy Parsons
Memorial Tournament Wrap Up 2016
Congratulations to our 2016 Scholarship Awardees!
Pictured on the left is the Madi Weaver Jordan Family & pictured on the right the Sophia Underhill Family
Congratulations to our 2016 Champions!
B1 Phil Blackwell & Coach Sybil Blackwell Runner Up Mario Tobia
B2 Bruce Hooper & Coach Judy Hooper Runner Up Charles Adams
B3 Art Beauregard & Coach Sue Beauregard Runner Up Glenn Babcock
Senior George Thirkill & Coach Roger Cline
Overall Stableford Doug Penner & Coach Steve Donaldson
All of the final matches were tightly contested and the champions were deserving of their titles.
The week began with a benefit concert by retired Navy Corpsman Spencer Elliott on the Square in Downtown Wadsworth, and concluded with one of the most successful charity scrambles on Friday.
Retired Corpsman Spencer Elliott Benefit Concert
A note from the Memorial Tournament Committee:
Mark, Roger & Randy would like those who attended to know that through their collective efforts the tournament once again raised over $30,000 for our affiliated charities! We trust that you do not find the below figures boastful but your efforts truly impact the lives of others. We are so proud of each and every one that continues to support our event. See you all next June!
Charities Supported in 2016
National Organization Support: Foundation Fighting Blindness, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Foundation, Greater Cleveland Fisher House & Wounded Warrior Project $11,500
Adaptive Technology Scholarship Fund $7,500
Local Veteran Support: American Legion Post 170, VFW Post 1089 & their Auxiliaries $5,000
Direct Soldier Support: SSG Aaron Hale's Initiatives & Soldiers Attending the Tournament $3,500
Additional Charities: Trinity Rose Foundation, Challenge Golf Center... $2,500
2015 Tournament Recap
Tournament Donations to Date 2015
Charities Supported for 2015
Wounded Warrior Project $15,000
Adaptive Technology Scholarship fund $7,500
Iron Will PTSD Project $1,500
Greater Cleveland Fisher House $1,000
Support for visiting Wounded Warriors $1,500
Donation to the Foundation Fighting Blindness $500
Donation to the Walk/Run on behalf of Payton for $500
2015 Summary & Tournament Results
In 2015 20 blind and vision impaired golfers returned to Wadsworth to compete in the 11th annual Match Play Championships. The week began with the Player/coaches Dinner where the Player and Coach of the Year honors were presented. The atmosphere was somewhat subdued as 2 long time players were unable to participate in the tournament due to illness. Sadly, both Joe Hojnicki from Wisconsin and Brian MacLeod from Nova Scotia passed away later in the year from cancer. Their contributions to the game of Blind Golf will never be forgotten
Linda Smith was awarded the Coach of the Year Award for an unprecedented second time. Joan Moss, who was the 2014 awardees, stated that Linda deserved the honor as she has coached players in all three sight categories. Joe Hojnicki, who was the 2014 Player of the Year, asked Mark Arnold to present the award on his behalf. A tearful Brian Oglesbee from Georgia accepted the 2015 Player of the Year honor. It was emotional for Brian as the two squared off in the finals in 2014.
B1 Sight Category
Returning champion Brian Oglesbee & his coach Alex Oglesbee from Georgia defeated long time competitor Brad Eaton and his coach Mike Nugnes from Massachusetts. The match was well contested with Brad fighting back from early deficits. On the back nine, Brian stretched his lead and closed out the match on the 14th hole. Congratulations on a well contested match!
B2 Sight Category
The match was well contested on the front nine with Bruce Staying in the lead between 2 and 3 holes. Bruce pulled away on the back nine and won the match going away. Congratulations to both Mark Arnold and his coach Randy Forrer, and Champion Bruce Hooper and his coach Judy Hooper from Texas.
B 3 sight category
Our current national stroke play and match play champion Tom Marks and his coach Bob Marks from Pennsylvania squared off against former match play champion Tim Jackson and his coach Carey Dean from Ohio. This match was a tough battle for Tim as Tom was on fire and won the contest going away.
Champion Dan McDonald and his coach Dan McDonald Jr. from Canada
Champion Charles Adams from Texas and his coach Todd Mohler
Champion Jim Hamilton from Canada and his coach Linda Smith
2015 Spring Golf Raffle
Wow! What can be said about our 6th Annual Golf Raffle? The food was awesome, the beverages were great, the evening was completed in record time and the prizes were fantastic as always. Congratulations to ABG Coach Steve Donaldson who won those incredible custom fit set of Titleist Clubs!!! And, the best part of all, we raised over $13,000 for our affiliated charities! Donations were made to Wounded Warrior Project, The Greater Cleveland Fisher House, The Iron Will PTSD Project and the Adaptive Technology Scholarship Fund for area blind and visually impaired students. Thanks to all who supported the event!
The photo on the left below shows Tournament Director Mark Arnold presenting American Legion Commander Joe Rogers with a commemorative putter honoring POW's & MIA's as a token of appreciation on behalf of American Blind Golf. The photo on the right shows Tournament Director Mark Arnold placing a $20 contribution to the Wounded Warrior Project at a recent fundraiser sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce in Wadsworth. The picture illustrates the partnership between ABG and WWP! The ABG bracelet with the words, "Motivate, Inspire & Serve" and a WWP Survivor Strap are proudly displayed in the photo.
Spring Raffle 2015 Photos
2015 Fall Raffle
Our Annual Thanksgiving Dinner was held last November and was an amazing evening. A great time was had by all and we raised a lot of money for the upcoming 2015 tournament. Donations were made to the Wounded Warrior Project and the Greater Fisher House being constructed near the VA Hospital in Cleveland. The link below will take you to a video from the evening...
Fall Reverse Raffle Video
The 2014 Tournament was an incredible success! Our sincere appreciation to all our sponsors and supporters!
The highlight of the "Fore" the Warrior Scramble was a performance by LCPL Sal Gonzalez. He Spoke of his experiences in Iraq and performs his heartfelt tribute to fallen soldiers, Heroes.
LCPL Gonzalez Performance
2014 Tournament Donations
$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!
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.
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.
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!"
Links from the 2013 Tournament
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
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!
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.
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 SSG Aaron Hale who lost his eye sight trying to diffuse an IED in Afghanistan. SSG 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
$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
Pictured below is SSG 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:
SSG 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!
Retired SGT Schei
Retired SGT Elliott
Jim Smith Rolling Thunder
Monday, March 14, 2022