Long drive champion visits BHCC

Just imagine hitting a golf ball more than 500 yards.

Not many people can do it, or, have done it.

Mike Ziegler is different. He does it for a living.

The 39-year-old Canton native, who lives in Canal Fulton, is the national long-drive champion with a yeoman effort of 504 yards.

“It came on the No. 18 hole at Snow Mass Golf Club in Aspen, Colorado,” Ziegler said while performing his art during the 8th annual Showalter Memorial Celebrity Golf Classic last week at Belmont Hills County Club in St. Clairsville.

Ziegler said he does about 60 exhibitions a year.

“Me and my wife raise probably $60,000 yearly for charities,” he added. “We also work with Vince Gill and Amy Grant alot.”

Ziegler was at Belmont Hills for the first time, but it was his second outing in the Ohio Valley in the week. He appeared at the Health Plan Scramble on Monday, which was staged at Wheeling Country Club.

“I love this course,” Ziegler said of BHCC.

Ziegler was set up at the No. 3 hole and challenged anyone to outdrive him.

Just about every linkster that passed the hole, which was all of them, tried their luck.

“Nobody even came close,” Ziegler proudly stated. “I was driving the ball into the base of the hill. It was only going about 360 today”

Ziegler is also a standout of long driving with his putter. Yes, I said his putter. He also holds the longest drive with a putter … an amazing 342 yards.

Showalter Leftovers

The Pike Island Dental fivesome of Chuck DeMatte, Gary Schrickel, John Becca, Eric Coe and Brock Woods captured the ‘A’ Flight with a 20-under-par 52, while Costanzo & Associates team of Mike Costanzo, Jeff Thomas, Joe Doerr, Jeff Knight and Gerry Myers captured the ‘B’ Flight with a 55.

Finishing second in the ‘A’ Flight was the Clayton Engineering (53) team of Bill Snodgrass, Rich Bubenchik, Chris Haidet, Jason Farrar and Claudio Relsono. Team OADA (54), Zach Doran, Matt Wolf, Chris Cimosi, Chris Pagnoffo and Jake Olsavsky, was third.

Taking runnerup honors in the ‘B’ Flight was Team Blair (57), which was comprised of Don Blair, Kevin Marlin, Greg Williams, Greg Levy and Rich Minto. Third place went to Ohio/W.Va. Excavating (58), Herman Weaver, Rico Simonetti, Dale Lewis, John Clark and Gary Cunningham.

Ron Edwards recorded the shortest drive on hole No. 1, while Jason Adkins had the straightest drive on hole No. 9. Kyle Scherich had the longest putt on hole No. 9. Terry DePew had the closest shot to the snack shack on hole No. 15.

The 50/50 winner was Kerri Gessler of Wheeling who pocketed a cool $3,200.