Published on 27 June 2023 at 06.06
Last updated on 27 June 2023 at 08:08
Written by Millie Lange
The first course was in Henderson, Ky. The group is, from left to right, Mike Walker, Rod Wiethop, Terry Baum and Kyle Stortzum.
There is a group of men associated with the Effingham area who are a little suspicious when it comes to doing various things.
They have taken a group to the Hoosier Gym in Knightstown, Indiana to play basketball, where the movie Hoosiers was filmed in 1985.
They have traveled to Dyersville, Iowa to play on the baseball diamond used in the 1989 movie Field of Dreams.
This time their attention turned to golf and they had a goal to achieve. . . play seven golf courses in seven states in one day.
“It came from a story I saw in Sports Illustrated about 25 years ago,” Rod Wiethop said. “The story had the golfers playing 18 holes in five states in one day. We have a coffee group and were talking about it one morning. We came up with the idea of how many states you could play in a day.”
“I looked into it,” Kyle Stortzum said.
“We were supposed to do it three years ago, but Covid came. I checked with Guinness about a record, but they didn’t have a record per se for most states in one day,” Wiethop said.
So Wiethop, Stortzum, Mike Walker and Terry Baum, Rod’s cousin, recently hit the road to see if they could hit seven golf courses in seven states in one day.
“We played in Henderson, Kentucky around 6:20 and then we played Evansville, Indiana, Carmi, Illinois, Carruthersville, Mo., Blytheville, Arkansas, Memphis, Tennessee and South Haven, Mississippi,” Wiethop said.
“We finished in 13 hours and 10 minutes, playing three holes or more on each course,” Stortzum said. “It was a total of 26 holes”
“I make that trip from Carmi to Oxford, Miss., all the time, and that’s how I knew we could do it,” Wiethop said. “We were inspired by my cousin Terry, who is 76 years old. He started golfing about two months ago and plays softball four days a week and works out. He’s in better shape than I am. I hope we make it to 76 years. to do what he does. He was also the entertainment. He’s set in his ways and he didn’t understand why we did things a certain way.”
Walker flew in from South Carolina and Baum is from St. Louis.
“We talked to somebody at all the courses and a lot of them didn’t know if we were legit or not,” Stortzum said. “Once people knew we were legit, they thought it was pretty neat.”
“We went over the day before and we played 18 holes at Cambridge Country Club in Evansville,” Wiethop said. “It’s a Scottish links course. It was our warm-up. We stayed in Henderson. Some courses took us nine holes and other courses let us play for free. It ended up being $60 per person to play all the courses.
“On the last one, we played five holes. They had no carts, so we had to walk it,” Stortzum said. “It was a long day and we had to go the last one. We finished the seventh state on the seventh hole.
“A couple of funny things, one was the course we played in Memphis was an intercity golf course called South Links. We didn’t know we were coming in. We were the only white people. Everyone there was so nice. They let us play for free When it was over, the girl asked if they could take a picture of us.
“The inside was closed around the course. We loved it and we want to come back to play again. They told us to play for free because they said we were developing the game. It was the best. We wanted to play that course again in a heartbeat.
“One of the funniest things, the last course, our oldest member, when we played our third hole, thought we were done. We had to play eight and nine to get back to the parking lot, but he didn’t see it. on that way and was ready to be done.
“We hadn’t made a hole all day. We were 12 feet from the hole and Mike, Kyle and I missed it. It came down to Terry, who was mad anyway. It rolled around the cup, went past the cup, sat in two seconds and then it fell in the back door. He didn’t even see it. We started jumping up and down. We played four-man best ball.”
The round trip was 832 miles as the foursome hit the seven states.
“Getting to the area and getting back was over half the trip,” Stortzum said. “Carruthersville, Mo. we played it in 12 minutes. We were supposed to go to Sikeston but they had a tournament. We got in touch with Carruthersville and we were 30 minutes past Charleston. They heard what we wanted to do and told us , you can play, but we went on to Carruthersville and it was under construction, they had temporary greens everywhere.
“They cut a short spot. Mike drove almost every green we played. Nobody was there. We put money in an envelope, grabbed a cart and it took us 12 minutes
“We gave ourselves 10-15 minutes per hole to get in and out of the golf course in about an hour.”
“Carmi and Memphis were our two favorites and two nicest,” Wiethop said. “They were the two who didn’t target us.”
“When we got to Henderson the night before. I called and talked to the pro, but he didn’t tell the people,” Stortzum said. “He stopped in and they got it fixed.”
The foursome went on the longest day of the year, June 21. The sun was up at 5.30 to 8.20 that night.
“We think we can take Alabama to Memphis next year,” Wiethop said. “That way, we do eight courses in eight states.
“We’ll know better next time. I have an aunt who can solve mysteries five minutes into the show. We stopped there. My aunt said, ‘Why are you doing it like that?’
You should have started down there and then gone back home.’ Mike’s wife said she thought the same.”
“I definitely think we can do eight courses,” Stortzum said. “Mike says he’s in and Todd Schuette wants to be in. He couldn’t come this year.
“As far as how many states you played in one day,” Wiethop said. “Guinness didn’t have a record. Now I want to check back and we’ve done seven. We have to check it.”
Next up is the Nick Nosbisch Golf Outing, they’re putting on Saturday, July 22nd at Foreway Golf Course.
“You can start at 8 o’clock or noon,” Wiethop said. “Ten groups will have a shotgun start and 10 more groups will have an afternoon shotgun start. We wanted to do something to remember Nick Nosbisch and that we could give back to the community the money we raise. The money goes to the Nick Nosbisch scholarship fund We want to keep doing that and give Birdies for Brittney, the White Lily Society in Teutopolis for mothers who have lost children, the American Cancer Society or Lou Gehrig’s disease, we want to give back to things like that.
“The morning group is EJHS or EHS athletes. The afternoon is for friends and family to play. But that can vary. It’s a great chance to see all the kids that played. The coach’s group has lost the first few years, it was close on.
“We’ve had a lot of support from local businesses and that keeps Nick’s memory alive.”
The cost is $200 per foursome or $50 per player. They take individual players and put them on a team. They can contact 217-663-6068 or can email: [email protected] to participate.
The foursome had to push to get through all seven courses in seven states in one day.
The foursome played their final course in seven courses in one day. Left to right, Mike Walker, Terry Baum, Kyle Stortzum and Rod Wiethop.