Let’s begin with a little review. I have several goals on this mission. In order of importance they are the following:
1. Raise money for cancer research.
2. Enjoy fellowship with old friends as we tour the state courses.
3. Meet new people and make new friends.
4. Play lots of golf courses I have never played before.
5. Eat at a local restaurant after each round.
6. Write a column on each trip.
7. Compile all information in a book on Kentucky’s golf courses and legendary local restaurants.
8. Achieve something that has never been done before in our state.
Accompanying me on the first trip was David Shore, Wayne Taylor, Mike McGill, Matt Ladd and Jonathan King. We set out at 1 p.m. for one of the westernmost counties in Kentucky. Our destination was Hickman County and the town of Clinton.
The first thing that should be noted is this. When six men set out on a trip, there are at least six different opinions on the best way to get there. It never fails. We finally settled on a route and made the 95-mile journey to Clinton.
Clinton is a town of 1,400 people in Hickman County. Hickman County has a population of nearly 5,000. The largest employer in Hickman County is the school system. As far as industry goes, Clinton has Harper’s Hams and Peerless Premier. Peerless makes appliances for apartments. There are two banks in Clinton, First Community and Clinton Bank. Some of your best dining options are Ruby Fayes, Grogan’s and Kountry Kafe. Hickman County is also known for Columbus Belmont State Park. This is the site where the Confederates built their northernmost fort on the Mississippi during the Civil War. The park is most famous for the giant chain that the Confederates stretched across the river in an attempt to try and stop the Union’s supply ships from traveling down the Mississippi.
Enough facts, now on to the golf.
The people of Clinton are proud of their golf course, and rightly so. Oak Hill is a nine-hole course with two sets of tees on some of the holes. Therefore, you play two rounds and obviously have an 18-hole experience.
We began our outing by meeting Dale “Catfighter” Terry at the clubhouse. Mr. Terry ran the pro shop at the course. I did not learn his nickname until after we left the course. After making calls back to some local folks, nobody seems to know the origin of the name Catfighter. Irregardless, Mr. Terry was super nice and personable.
We then met the two local folks that would be playing with us. They were Mr. Kenny Wilson and his 12-year-old son Ben. Kenny is the superintendent of Hickman County Schools.
Let me give you some advice right now. NEVER TRUST A 12 YEAR OLD. As we walked to the first tee, Ben pronounced that he was not a very good golfer. Ten minutes later, he walked off the first hole with a par and his dad with a birdie. They both continued to play solid golf the entire round. Hickman County couldn’t ask for better ambassadors than Kenny and Ben.
As for our golf crew, Jonathan King, Wayne Taylor and Matt Ladd pounded the ball all afternoon. They all were impressive on the links. Although, I must mention that one of those three almost took our lead group out with a shot that hit the tin roof of the clubhouse just inches from our heads. They yelled “Fore” – we just didn’t hear it from 200 plus yards away.
Mike McGill played very impressive golf for someone that hadn’t played in four years, and what about Mr. David Shore? Age is just a number for David. Age 75 must be the new 45 for him as he played from the same tees as us and played well. Although he says it wasn’t his best, we all left impressed. As for yours truly, well, let’s just say it was the worst round I have played in 20 years, and several of the other five guys didn’t let me forget it. Thanks, fellows!
Hey, refer back to my reasons for this venture.
I want to thank all the people in Hickman County that made this trip possible. The course was in great condition. On nearly any hole, you could look out over miles of green fields teeming with corn and soybeans. We also saw a big cottonmouth snake on the back side of the course. As a matter of fact, we almost drove out carts right over it.
We closed our night with a fine meal at Ruby Fayes. Oh yeah, we took a different route home than the way we went. Remember, it is a man thing, always looking for a better way. This route did take us by Belews Dairy Bar. So you know we had to stop!
Most importantly, we arrived home with money to go into our Golfing For A Cure account, which will go to cancer research. That makes everyone on the trip a winner, even someone who shot a 99. OUCH!
For more information on Golfing for a Cure or to make a donation, give me a call at (270) 350-0767.
OT: Special thanks to Clinton’s Josh Bailey, Richard Puckett, Catfighter, and Kenny and Ben Wilson for making it all work.
Double OT: You can’t beat the cost of $18 to play Oak Hill, which includes cart and green fee for 18 holes. I believe it is $14 with a cancer card. Give it a try and tell them Coach Wright sent you.
Triple OT: While you are there, if you find a new Bridgestone Ball on Hole ... oh, just forget it.
Quadruple OT: Very shortly after last week’s “Help Wanted” column was released, a sponsor emerged. The sponsor, who has asked to remain anonymous, has provided enough money to establish a Trigg County High School Athletics Hall of Fame. More information on the Hall of Fame will be available soon.
Enthusiasm Makes the Difference Mike Wright is the head coach of boys basketball and cross country at Trigg County High School. Emails concerning Coach’s Corner can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.