The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


April 10, 2013

Caddies return to reminisce

Former Ashtabula Country Club caddies, Harbor High School players plan reunion

While to some golfers, it might be a distant memory, or to the younger generation, a non-existent memory, there was a time when players using a caddy was as common as a three-putt from an amateur.

Many of those caddies that occupied their posts at the then Ashtabula Country Club were members of the Harbor High School golf team, which had an incredibly successful run under coach Bill Walsuko from 1960-73 as he compiled a 173-30-5 record.

This summer, Harbor Golf Club will honor both the Harbor golf team and former caddies of the AAC with a weekend of events.

On Thursday, July 25, Jim Nyland, a former Harbor player and caddy, will host a HHS team reunion for players from 1955-77 at his house then the following day the former caddies will return to Harbor Golf Club at 10 a.m. for a round with a lunch provided at the Elks Club.

The cost for the reunion is $10 while the golf will be $20 and the lunch $20. Those at the lunch will receive a copy of “ACC History” written by HHS player and caddy, Mark Shaughnessy.

On Saturday, there will be the Ed Armstrong Scholarship Fund Golf Outing at Hickory Grove Golf Club. An HHS class reunion will be held at the Elks Club from 7-11 p.m. that day.

The weekend will conclude with a final HHS reunion dinner at the Crow’s Nest from 6-8 p.m. on Sunday.

“We’re excited about the golf team reunion on the 25th,” Nyland said. “Then the next day, we’ve got the caddie reunion. Anyone who caddied is welcome to come play. We’ve got so many great memories.”

Those memories were rekindled for Nyland when he began to reminisce with Shaughnessy at an HHS 50-year class reunion.

“We were talking about old times and the HHS teams were very strong in that era,” he said. “We went back and looked at copies of some of the golf teams in the HHS yearbook pictures and it’s surprising the phenomenal success we had.

“It was a pretty good program and a lot of good players went through it.”

While the HHS program was successful, Nyland said the experience he and his teammates gained caddying was important to that success.

“We had a ball caddying, we learned a lot of life lessons that we couldn’t get anywhere else,” he said. “Kids from all the high schools caddied at the country club then, but it was a little more Harbor-oriented. There’s just a lot of good memories, it was a great first job.

“I think the caddies learned to work hard and have fun. We just have a lot of fond memories.”

Nyland, who graduated from HHS in 1962, said his team set a lot of school records at the time, during the successful run under Walsuko.

“I played from 1960-62 and my sophomore year, the golf program was only six years old, but we were setting record, we set a record with a score of 156 that year,” he said. “My senior year in ’62, we were even better. We should’ve gone to state, but we missed it by one stroke. We had a talented player who shot a 33 on the front nine and a 47 on the back, and we missed by one stroke.

“That stuff really stays with you forever and Mark writing the book about the history of the ACC, mostly through the eyes of a caddy, but it pieces together a lot of that stuff.”

The 1960s were a particularly important time in the history of golf.

Arnold Palmer was in his prime, Jack Nicklaus was coming onto the scene and golf was beginning to be televised.

“Golf sort of came to age in the early ’60s,” he said. “They started televising major tournaments, Palmer was in his prime and Jack was evolving. It was really increasing in popularity and we were having a great time around here.”

Speaking of Nicklaus, there is an interesting connection between the “Golden Bear” and the HHS golf team.

In the 1950s, you didn’t have to qualify to play in the Ohio high school state golf tournament, you just had to be able to make it to the course to play in the event.

“The caddie master at the club was Jim Redmeyers, he was a 1955 graduate, at that time the state tournament was an open so if you could get a ride, you could play,” Nyland said. “So Jim goes down there and he’s paired with Jack Nicklaus. He gets there and Jack has his own caddy, an advisor. Jim joked that it was the slowest round of golf he’s ever played.

“There’s a lot of interesting, significant stuff like that that happened around here. I’m saying it’s saying significant because a lot of us have it stored in our memory bank. They were some pretty cool times and it’s certainly worth a reunion to reminisce.”

As far as expectations for the weekend, Nyland, who now lives in South Carolina, said he’s hoping for around 25 for the HHS reunion and 40 for the caddy reunion.

“We’ve got a lot of emails out, it’s hard to say what kind of turnout we’ll get, but I would guess the HHS will draw 25 and for the caddy reunion we’re hoping to get maybe 40,” he said. “We’re making contacts with brothers and sisters still in the area and working pretty hard on it.

“It’s been a lot of fun calling people and talking to them. Mark and I are doing most of the phone calls and it’s fun reconnecting with everyone. It’s gonna be a good deal for everyone.”

Those looking for more information or to reserve a spot at the reunion can call Nyland at (803) 788-0393 or email him at They can also contact Shaughnessy at (404) 435-0070 or email at

Text Only
  • Maruna headed for Mount

    LeeAnn Maruna never really expected to play collegiate golf. She was so taken aback when the opportunity presented itself, she didn’t know how to respond. After all, the Grand Valley graduate had only been playing the game for a few years.

    July 23, 2014

  • Crate Late Models featured

    The Evergreen Lake Park Campground Crate Late Models, the premier class at Raceway 7, will be featured Friday night as they race for $1,000 to win.

    July 23, 2014

  • Norm He’s the Norm

    In the early part of the 20th century, as golf was taking off in popularity, it was not uncommon for boys to take up the game after becoming caddies.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: The journey is what’s most important

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard over and over and over how it’s been a half-century since one of Cleveland’s big three professional sports teams have won a championship.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Murdick wins as Big Block Modifieds return

    The BRP Big Block Modifed Tour returned to Raceway 7 with 21 of the region’s fastest Modifieds turning out for the scheduled 35-lap event, the first for the Modifieds at the northeast Ohio speedplant since 2005, an event won by Todd Burley.

    July 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Chances for controlled waterfowl hunting

    Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The drawing dates and times are as follows:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsville gets it done

    In a rematch of a previous softball clash between the Kingsville 9-10-year-olds and those from Conneaut, Kingsville had settled thing quickly and decisively in a mercy-rule triumph.

    July 20, 2014

  • TD Club golf A Chris Larick column: TD Club hopes to score

    Though its life was never seriously threatened, the Ashtabula County Touchdown Club has suffered in recent years.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Don A Don McCormack column: A heartfelt plea to curb violence

    Like everyone who loves soccer — and the rest of us whose interest level rises dramatically every four years when the World Cup comes around — Kevin Meier was appalled at the recent attack of soccer referee John Bieniewicz in Michigan by a player that resulted in Bieniewicz tragically dying.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • valor A valiant effort

    Paralympians from all over the United States experienced three days of competition, education and fun during the Valor Games Gold Medal Camp at Spire this weekend.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video