It’s going to be a festive atmosphere on Aug. 13 when Shelby Oaks hosts the annual Area Energy & Electric Outing. For on that day, the course will celebrate its 50th anniversary.
But there are some significant events that will take place before that day, highlighted by the annual Shelby County Open that will take place on July 18 and 19.
Again, the tournament will be played on both local courses, the Oaks and the Moose, with the first flight finishing on the final day at the spectator-friendly Moose layout.
“The first flight golfers will play at Shelby Oaks on Saturday (July 18) and at the Moose on Sunday,” said Shelby Oaks club pro Rob Fridley. “Where the other three flights play will depend on the number in each flight.”
Nate Fridley is the defending champion, but the field will likely be full of former champions, including three-time champ Brad Goffena along with Luke Kindelin, who is also a recent winner.
There have, over the years, been suggestions that the entire Open tournament be played at Shelby Oaks. But Fridley, the club pro for 33 years, is determined to keep the format the same.
“It’s special and the guys look forward to it,” he said. “You have to have the whole game, short, long… And you have to be able to sleep and go at it again the next day. You can be down by five strokes or so, and still go to bed thinking ‘if I can shoot 62 Sunday at the Moose, I can still win it.’ I remember when Jason Wendel dialed in a round at the Moose on the second day and won it.
“We always have members out here who would like to play it all out here,” he added. “But I think it would take away from the uniqueness of it. And I’ve always said, as long as I have a hand in running it, it will stay the same.”
Nate Fridley, Kindelin and Zach Yinger are the last three champions, and Rob Fridley says his son and Kindelin will no doubt challenge again. He said he didn’t expect Yinger to compete this year, however.
“We always have the guys who practice hard and are just waiting to win that championship,” said Fridley. “Guys like Barry Godown and Justin Richardson. Justin is a member at both. Mike New has been playing more golf the last couple years and he’s a very talented golfer. And I’m sure Brad (Goffena) will have his game ready. And he loves to play in the Open.
“We have a nice abundance of good golfers,” he added.
Neither course has lacked for water this season, with last month seeing rain just about on a daily basis.
“We’re going to be basically in about the same shape we are year in and year out,” Fridley said. “The Moose has a tendency to get a little firm around the end of July, and when that happens, you get some goofy bounces. But with all the rain, I don’t think you’ll have that, and the scores will be low.”
Womens Open — On the same Saturday that the men’s open starts, the Shelby County Womens Open will take place. It will be 18 holes and be played at Shelby Oaks on July 18.
The big question going into the women’s tournament is can anybody stop the Fort Loramie dominance of the event? Fort Loramie High School standout Emily Knouff won the tournament last year, and in the previous two years, the champions were Ashley Ordean and Brooke Albers, also from Fort Loramie.
“The ladies sign-ups are not complete yet, but I’m assuming that all of them will be back again this year,” Fridley said.
Father/Son, Mother/Daughter — The annual Father-Son/Mother-Daughter outing will be held Sunday (July 12) at the Oaks. It’s actually any combination of parent and child.
It’s a 9-hole event featuring alternate shots. And, Fridley promises, it will be filled up.
Wilson Hospital Fundraiser — The very next day, next Monday (July 13), will be the annual Wilson Memorial Hospital Foundation fundraiser.
“They raise a boatload for that foundation,” said Fridley.
It will be a shotgun start Monday morning, and Fridley expects around 150 golfers.
Bob Fridley Junior Golf Tournament — Fridley said he expects 35 or 40 golfers for the annual Bob Fridley Junior Tournament, set for July 20.
The tourney is nine holes for ages 10, 11 and 12, 18 holes for ages 13 and 14, and 18 holes for ages 15, 16 and 17.
Registration will start at 8:30 a.m., followed by a chipping and putting contest at 9. The golfers will tee off after that.
“Dad and I started it,” said Fridley. “And he put some money into a pot to keep things going. A little foundation, and we’re running it off that.”
Senior Open — Then on Aug. 1, the Shelby County Senior Open will be held, an 18-hole tournament at the Oaks.
There will be two age divisions, 50 to 60 and 60-and-over. Fridley said he expects about half of the golfers to also play in the County Open .
The writer is the sports editor of the Sidney Daily News. He can be reached at 937-538-4818.