In this file photo, originally published in the Times-Union in 1995, former Rozella Ford golf pro Don Dicken gives instructions to local junior golfers. File photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
In this file photo, originally published in the Times-Union in 1995, former Rozella Ford golf pro Don Dicken gives instructions to local junior golfers. File photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
Don Dicken has never had an official title with the Warsaw Community High School golf program.
The way current boys coach Ben Barkey sees it, however, Dicken is very much a part of the Tigers’ historic tradition of success.
Dicken is a PGA Master Professional.
He was the first pro Rozella Ford ever had, and he held that position from 1961 until his retirement in 1995.
During that time, he worked with an uncountable number of local junior golfers, including Barkey and others who played for the Tigers.
As a way of saying thank you to Dicken, this weekend's 18-hole Warsaw Invitational will now be known as the Don Dicken Classic.
“He's our No. 1 fan,” Barkey said of Dicken. “He's done so much for the program over the years. He’s a PGA Master Professional, which in itself is pretty amazing. He was the first pro at Rozella Ford, and for years he worked with junior golfers in our community. A lot of the kids that came through the Warsaw program over the years took lessons from him. He's done so much for the Warsaw golf program, and we want to thank him.”
Saturday’s tournament at Stonehenge will feature 11 teams and five individuals.
Among the teams in the field are second-ranked Columbus North, 11th-ranked Warsaw and Triton.
The host Tigers will begin teeing off at 11 a.m.
In an interview Tuesday afternoon, Barkey said he’s heard the arguments about who belongs on the Mount Rushmore of various sports.
Barkey said it made him think about who would be among the important faces of Warsaw’s golf program.
“My job is to keep the legacy going of people before me,” said Barkey. “The history of the program is important to me. I’ve heard the Mount Rushmore arguments about pro sports, so I started thinking about who would be on the Mount Rushmore of Warsaw golf. We already have the Bob Turner Classic and the Joe Harris Shootout. Honoring Don Dicken is definitely the right thing to do, and I think the next step would be doing something for Denny Hepler. Those four have done so much for the program.”
Prior to working at Rozella Ford, Dicken was the assistant pro at The Elks Country Club in Richmond and Point O’Woods Country Club in Benton Harbor, Mich.
While serving as the pro at Rozella Ford, Dicken was honored by the Indiana PGA as Golf Professional of the Year, Teacher of the Year, and Public Merchandiser of the Year.
Dicken’s best career score is a 64, which he shot in Richmond, and he has made 12 hole-in-ones.