June 26, 2020
As the coronavirus prevented its customary June gathering in Ohio, the National Hickory Championship came up with its own solution. Host Pete Georgiady allowed contestants to “play in place,” as it were, using their own local courses, with McIntyre gutty balls, and to a length that as much as possible matched that of the original Oakhurst Links, the first home of the NHC. It was a novel solution for a Novel virus and yielded the following results, as reported by Mr. Georgiady himself:
Three divisional champions played in the “remote” NHC at three different sites from among the 24 sites in use.
John Lavendoski, Bainbridge Island, Wash., was crowned the Champion Golfer of the Year when he carded a 71-75 = 146 to win the Open Division.
In Miamisburg, Ohio, at the Mound Golf Course, where the NHC had been contested the past two years, Dave Shultz, Portsmouth, Ohio, recorded a net 134 after handicap.
Women were led by Rylee Stovall, Litchfield Park, Ariz., with a net 165. In all three cases the winners were playing in their first NHC.
The Championship was contested for the 23rd time this year. Playing on 24 different courses the equalizing factors were the use of McIntyre balls, exclusively, and course set-up template that simulated the nine holes measuring 2,235 yards at Oakhurst Links in West Virginia, the birthplace of the NHC.