There were several emotional moments during the induction ceremony for the first group of individuals to be ushered into the Fayette County Golf Hall of Fame Sunday, Nov. 13.
The Hall of Fame is brand new and the first of its kind in Fayette County.
The ceremony was held at The Greens, still affectionately known and referred to by many as the Washington Country Club.
It was a fitting way to mark the 100th anniversary of the institution, founded in 1922.
The first class of inductees are: Jerry Mount, Pat Denen, Joy Heiny, Rob Herron, Bill Beatty, Eddie Fisher, Rick Bartruff and Bill Martin.
“This place means an awful lot to me,” inductee Jerry Mount said. “I grew up here. I spent countless hours as a kid out here. My dad (Bill Mount) fueled the passion that I have for the game of golf. This was my home away from home.
“It’s nice to see these guys have been able to continue this facility for what it is now,” Mount said, referring to managers Jason Mongold, Todd Wallace and Dustin Pfeifer. “Hopefully, it’s here for a lot of years to come.
“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame, it’s a tremendous honor,” Mount said. “To be thought of in that way. I’ve done some things that allowed me to do that. I’m in it with great people. It means an awful lot to me.”
“This is just a great honor for me,” inductee Rob Herron said. “There’s no one that got more from this country club than I did. From being able to play well enough to go to college, to playing in the British Amateur representing the United States, to being a two-time All-American (at Ashland University, where he is a member of their hall of fame).
“It’s just been everything,” Herron said. “I’ve enjoyed a lot of good friendships here at the country club. It’s been well worth it and I’m just glad it’s still here.”
“This club has been here for a hundred years,” inductee Bill Beatty said. “As many people have said, it’s still a club and I hope it always stays that way. People out here are friends and comrades. They enjoy being together and that’s the purpose of golf. It’s a great social activity.
“This new ownership that has taken it over has just been phenomenal,” Beatty said. “The course is in great shape.”
That the golf course is now a public facility is a key factor moving into the future.
“I’ve seen people out here playing and I don’t know who they are,” Beatty said. “(My wife) Jane and I have been in this community since 1975. I knew most of the people for a long time but I don’t know them anymore, which means it’s enlarging and people are enjoying it. It’s been a blessing to our community. Our community needs things that reach out and make it a community and this golf course is a part of that.
“And it’s public now and everybody can play and that’s a good thing,” Beatty said.
“I was really surprised and honored when they gave this to me,” inductee Pat Denen said. “I was never a great golfer, but I enjoyed it immensely. I made a lot of friends out here, met a lot of people. It’s really great that it’s survived and going on.
“I’ve had it all torn apart and put back together,” Denen said. “I’ve worked some in the kitchen and helped fix the kitchen up when they needed it. It’s just a great place. I hope more people in the community will get to enjoy it. I’m really happy with what they’ve done. I just wish I could still play golf.”
“When we came here, I had never played golf,” inductee Joy Heiny said. “My husband (Dr. Robert Heiny) wanted me to have lessons. I took lessons from Tony Capuana and I kind of got the bug. I’ve spent a lot of good times out here. I played a lot of ladies golf and we had scrambles with husbands and wives and different events. I made a lot of friends that I probably never would have known if I hadn’t been out here.
“My son brought me out here today and my daughter-in-law and two of my grandchildren are here,” Heiny said.
“It’s a beautiful evening here,” inductee Eddie Fisher said. “When I got the call for this award, I had five or six names I was going to mention because I thought I was the only one who was going to receive this honor. The ones I was going to mention in my induction speech were inducted with me into the hall of fame of golf here in Fayette County. So, it was a double pleasure.
“All of the people who worked here and came here deserve all of the credit for this,” Fisher said. “The people who voted to keep this a green space. It’ll always be a green space, thank God, for the people of Fayette County. We were very fortunate to have the right people doing the research work and knocking door-to-door to get this accomplished.
“As far as the city is concerned, this is to be a green space forever,” Fisher said. “It may not be golf 40 years from now, but it will still be a green space for the citizens of Fayette County and Washington.
“We’ve been very fortunate with the Record-Herald giving us publicity, printing articles about our progress,” Fisher said. “That means an awful lot for us, to be able to bring the issues to the people that do the voting. We’re very happy that we have the golf course and we’re going to do everything we can to keep it up. The people of the city of Washington, it’s their facility. It’s all public and we want everybody to come out.
“We have the golf at reasonable prices,” Fisher said. “This beautiful lounge with prices people can afford to bring their family.
“It’s too bad we didn’t get the closing in 1980 for an additional nine holes,” Fisher said. “The powers that be voted that down.”
“Thanks for this award,” inductee Bill Martin said. “I loved helping young people through the years learn to enjoy the game of golf.
“I enjoyed every minute on the golf course with those kids,” Martin said. Martin was formerly the golf coach at Washington High School.
Martin ended his remarks with a phrase he is known for saying: “It’s a beautiful day, something great will happen.”
“It’s an honor to be selected,” inductee Rick Bartruff said. “I’m just so glad for the city and county, their involvement in taking it over. I’m just glad it’s still there for the community. For the future kids that are coming up. Both high school teams play there, that’s the thing. I’m glad the youth have some place (locally) to play.
“I’ve probably been there for 40 years,” Bartruff said. “I’ve had the opportunity to work there for Dave Stanton and Marvin Larrick. Now it’s Jason, Dustin and Todd; I appreciate what they are doing.”
There will be another induction ceremony with more people being installed in the Fayette County Golf Hall of Fame on Feb. 26, 2023, according to Jason Mongold.
“It was very important for us to keep the golf course a viable option for the community,” Mongold said. “Dustin (Pfeifer), Todd (Wallace) and I felt very passionate about it. Today, with the inductees, it’s about honoring the past and the tradition, while still focusing on the future.
“The Washington Country Club is a special place, but we’re embracing The Greens Golf Course and what it can bring to the community. We appreciate all the support we’ve had from the community, the members and our families.”