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The 2003 Soller Memorial Champions

Christ Flickinger, Rich Leonardo, Lee Hoelscher and Joe Soller Hoist the Championship Cup

Clutch Putt Wins Championship!

Clear skies, a gentle breeze and temperatures in the low 80's made for a perfect day for the 13th Soller Memorial Golf Outing. The first drive of the day, by 7 yr. old Kevin Vannatta (believed to be the youngest official competitor in Soller Memorial history), hit the sweet spot perfectly, sailing true down the middle of the fairway. While the admiring throngs roared their approval, the notice was served that the younger generation was serious about their golf.

In addition to Kevin and his 10 yr. old brother Eric, Aaron Lane brought three of his Coffman Cronies in their quest to capture the cup. Matt and Steve Soller and his buddy Justin paired up with the 50th Birthday Boy Jim. Other members of the Pepsi Generation included long-ball hiters Eric Soller and Charlie Hoertz from the Lane team, Chris Jones from Linda's team, Mary and Kyle and the defending champions Ben Soller, Brendan Burgert and Jeremy Applegate.

Alas, even though two of those teams (Aaron's and Ben's) posted fine rounds of two-under 28's which was good enough for second place, experience won out. Rich Leonardo drilled a 15 ft. birdie putt on the 9th hole, much to the chagrin of the crestfallen Coffman team, who were hoping for a playoff. Rich's putt, which also won the longest putt award, put his team at 3-under 27, good enough for his first championship! The other members of the winning foursome included past winners Joe Soller and Lee Hoelscher and another first time winner in Chris (Chip) Flickinger. Their performance was highlighted by Lee's drive on the par 4 4th hole when his drive reached the green while the outing chairperson was waiting to putt! The subsequent eagle putt was drained by Chris who hereby forfeits his title of "Chip" and henceforth will be known as "Putty" from Seinfeld fame.

Boomers Charlie Hoertz and Marty SollerKim the Pro and Cathy Lane

The longest drive contest this year was a shocker for two reasons. The first surprise came when Charlie Hoertz blasted his Titleist XV over the creek, a 320 yd. drive!!!! Never before in Soller Memorial history has there been such a prodidgous stike. Nearly as surprising was Cathy Lane's drive on the same hole which sailed nearly even with the two ponds squeezing the fairwary. The mystery to her performance was revealed when she was posing for pictures at the awards ceremony. No sooner did we announce the winner of the Ladies Longest Drive than her golf pro Kim took a double take, spotted Cathy and whooped a holler of surprise. Turns out Cathy has been secretely taking lessons at Ables Golf twice a week for the last 3 months in preparation!

Rich Leonardo shows off his gold putter for winning the longest putt award.

The closest to the pin on #2 this year was a first time entry, Ron Dunwell. Ron came all the way from Michigan to play in the tournament with his son-in-law Mark Vannatta and his grandchildren, Eric and Kevin. His shot to the green was about 10 feet away and none of the nine following teams could beat it! As I mentioned earlier, the longest putt on 9 was made by Richard Leonardo to win both the contest and the tournament! Both players won putters for their efforts.

A Great Day In Many Ways

Thanks to the generosity of everyone who played and others who donated prizes and money, we were able to raise $550 for Adventures for Wish Kids. Jeff Damron, the Executive Director, told me that they really appreciate our efforts. They are preparing to take 3,200 kids to Kings Island on July 9!

Jeff sent me an e-mail that said, " Keep up the GREAT work Marty! In good years we appreciate it. In tough ones it is ESSENTIAL! I am sooooooooooooooooo proud of your efforts for the kids. What a wonderful thing you do!

Thank you again and God Bless all the Sollers!


Jeffrey D. Damron , CFRE, Executive Director, Adventures For Wish Kids,

6863 Oak Creek Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43229 (614) 797-9500 Phone (614) 797-9600 Fax


Their website is http://www.afwkids.org/

Thursday, June 26 2003

The BIG day is almost here!

With the tighter entry requirements this year, not as many teams qualified. That means the competition will be tougher than ever! There are 10 teams battling it out for golf supremacy this Saturday. The Vegas oddsmakers have installed the Joe Soller team as the favorite with past longest drive champions Rich Leonardo and Lee Hoelscher on his team as well as Mr. Chip himself, Chris Flickinger. However, last years champions aren't giving up without a fight and have recruited a ringer by the name of Jerry Applegate (Jeremy's dad). Stacy picked up Charlie Hoertz from the Dublin Coffman Golf Team to make his first serious run at the cup and Aaron has recruited his Dublin buddies in the hopes of bringing home a Rocks victory.

Bill's team, with the tenacious Chuck Lamb, could surprise people if Drew's putter starts cooking. Jim and his crew have been uncharacteristically strangely silent this year which makes me think he's crafted a new "Super-Titanium, Piston-Driven" driver in his basement. The dark horse team is the Vannatta's with a recruit from that state "up north" and two young Scioto Country Club hardened phenoms by the name of Eric and Kevin. I'm betting that Mark's sore neck is too much of a burden for his father-in-law Ron Dunwell to overcome. Falling into the "just want to have fun" category are the Vermillion, Powelson and Linda Soller teams so hope you don't get stuck behind them (remember 8 strokes maximum per hole). Sunny skies are predicted!

Mark your calendars for June 28!

To accommodate many of the people who have their priorities out of whack (a Las Vegas vacation, graduation, college entrance exams, even a wedding, cheez!), we have rescheduled the 13th Annual Soller Golf Outing for Saturday, June 28 at 10 a.m. at Wilson Rd. Golf Course.


Last year's winners, Ben and Matt Soller, Brendan Burgert and Evan Horton, are poised to repeat as champions. However, tour experts predict the heavy college workload both Ben and Brendan are carrying will have a deleterious effect on their games. In addition, Evan's recent marriage to the lovely Natalie Lepley is expected to limit his practice opportunities and lessen his competitive spirit as they honeymoon in the Caribbean.

The Defending Champs

The 2002 winning team shows off the Soller Cup.

(l to r: Ben Soller, Evan Horton, Matt Soller, Brendan Burgert)

2002 Winners

Grip it and Rip It

Last year's women's longest-drive champion, Becca Lane, has announced that she plans to pull an Annika Sorenstam and play from the men's tees this year!  When interviewed by Golf Digest at the othe Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Becca said, "I don't see why I shouldn't play from the men's tees. I hit it is just as far as Aaron (her 15 yr. old brother)."

Becca with the Longest Drive

Water Boy

Jim Soller, known as "Water Boy" for his past exploits around the creeks and ponds on Wilson Rd., has taken his prediliction for aqua and made it an occupation. Anyone considering installing a backyard pond should check out his new website at www.backyardponds.net.

Jim "Water Boy" Soller

Are You Talking To Me?

Chris "Chip" Flickinger made a rather startling announcement at Mary Soller's recent 17th birthday party. While encouraging his wife Laura to participate for the first time, he stated to all present that, "I am known as a great chipper. I usually chip one in nearly every round. It's easy man, you just take out your 9-iron, line it up and knock it towards the hole. Nothing to it."

(Picture not available. Chip is currently in the witness protection program)


Event Information

  • The tournament will be a 9-hole, 4-person scramble. Each player's drive must be used at least once.
  • The fee is $25/person which includes greens fees, prizes, drinks and food (donations are appreciated) and a $5 donation to Adventures for Wish Kids.
  • Please submit your application by June 14. Late entries may be subject to an adverse pairing.
  • Prizes will be awarded for Longest Drive (M&W), Closest to the Pin and Longest Putt.
  • In case of a tie, tiebreaker procedures will be capriciously applied by the tournament chair (Marty)to maximize his chances of winning.  If Marty's team is not in the lead, arbitrary policies and procedures may be applied to improve his team's position.  Appeals or voiceferous opposition to said policies may result in suspension of playing privileges.