Greg DelPrince recently retired and relinquished his share of Jefferson’s Hickory Grove Golf Club after 35 years, but his mark is much more indelible than a deep dimple on a green.
A conglomerate of owners takes care of Hickory Grove.
Its annual youth golf clinics have attracted many aspiring players for over three decades, including 38 at this year’s camp which normally takes place the second week after leaving school for the summer.
“Me being from this region, playing golf at [Ashtabula] Harbor [High School], I thought it would be a great way to give back to the region, ”said DelPrince, 63. “It would give the kids an opportunity for the fundamentals and see how many future golfers we could keep here.”
The clinic begins with etiquette, fixing bullet marks, replacing divots, where to stand and raking sand traps and considering the people behind you.
This ranges from putting, chipping, halfpipe swings and full swings with medium and hybrid irons and finishing with drivers.
So how long will he continue teaching these summer internships at Hickory Grove?
“As long as they get me,” DelPrince said. “I like to do it.”
DelPrince came to the course after a five-year stint at Aurora Golf and Country Club, where he earned his professional status.
He then became the owner, taking care of many facets of the place such as outings, golf leagues and promoting internal events. He also served hot dogs, served drinks, looked after the carts and was even the keeper.
“I wore a lot of hats there,” DelPrince said.
What will people be missing about his absence?
“Knowledge of having the same person there, for about a generation – knowing what to expect day in and day out from Greg,” said Scott Barber, who is the boys’ golf coach at Jefferson High School. for 29 years.
The two have worked together at Hickory Grove to shape golfers over the years.
“Scott, for as long as I’ve known him over the years, he’s had a lot of great training with the kids,” said DelPrince. “He also encouraged the kids with questions about him or myself. “
Barber said DelPrince has always supported children and the community – proud of their work. Young players were comfortable talking to him, playing golf the whole time.
“He treated them like one of the regular members,” Barber said. “They really enjoyed it. Freedom on the course and play golf on their own. The children took advantage of it. This is why the children succeeded.
DelPrince said Jefferson is a thriving and tight-knit town with a lot of support for Hickory Grove.
“Everyone helps everyone in whatever way they can,” he said. “In terms of golf outings, we had a good number of members supporting the concerts.
“Every outing we’ve had, there were three, four or five quartets that would support any given event. There was a lot of support within the golf course.