The History of Golf

Ohio Wesleyan has won 23 conference championships in men’s golf. The Battling Bishops have three different runs of four consecutive conference championships: 1969-72, 1986-90, and 2001-05.

The men’s golf team achieved varsity status in 1926. Playing without a coach, the Bishops went 1-2-1 in match play during their first season. After going 1-7 under Red Glancy, the men’s golf team went on hiatus for eight years in 1939. Returning as a varsity sport in 1947, Les Michael ’40 was named men’s golf coach and the team won a school-record of nine matches. In 1948, Bob Strimer took over as the new golf coach. The men’s golf team won its first OAC championship in 1951 and successfully defended its crown the following year.

In 1954, Dick Gordin ’52 became the new men’s golf coach and guided the Bishops to win the OAC championship. The men’s golf team won the OAC championship again in 1969 for the first time since 1955, starting a string of four straight conference championships. In that same year, Ohio Wesleyan advanced to the NCAA College Division tournament for the first time. In 1979, the Bishops won the OAC championship and placed fifth in the NCAA Division III tournament, the Bishops’ best finish ever at the time.

The golf team won the NCAC championship for the first time in 1987, starting a string of four straight conference championships. Ohio Wesleyan finished ninth at the NCAA Division III tournament and Gordin was named NCAA Division III Coach of the Year. The Bishops tied for second in the team standings in 1990, then the best finish ever by an Ohio Wesleyan golf team. In 1993, the team won five tournaments, including the NCAC championship, and placed second in the NCAA Division III tournament. Gordin was named NCAA Division III Coach of the Year for the second time. That same year, he stepped down as men’s golf coach after 39 years, the longest coaching tenure in Ohio Wesleyan history.

Jon Whithaus ’91 took over as men’s golf coach in 1997. In 2002, the Bishops finished seventh at the NCAA Division III championship tournament; Ohio Wesleyan’s best finish since 1993. Earlier, the Bishops won their second NCAC title in three years. The men’s golf team won the NCAC championship in 2003, the team’s second in a row and its third in the last four seasons. Ohio Wesleyan and Dornoch Golf Club hosted the NCAA Division III men’s golf championships, and led by All-Americans Chad Poling ’04 and Jay Tilton ’03, the Battling Bishops put together a strong finish to wind up in a third-place tie in the final standings. In 2004, Ohio Wesleyan finished in seventh place in the national team standings.

Oakhaven Golf club is home to Ohio Wesleyan’s golf program. It is a public golf course that features not only an 18-hole championship golf course, but also one of Central Ohio’s premier practice facilities. Oakhaven Golf Club is open year-round for all golfers to play and practice. Oakhaven features an 18-hole, par-72 championship golf course, premier 50-acre lighted driving range with 33 heated covered tees and 60 grass tees, two practice chipping greens with a sand bunker, a 5000-square-foot putting green, and a new indoor putting facility.

Men’s Golf