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Hiland Golf Course big on gatherings

Family affair
Ed Somerville, of Clearfield Township, prepares to swing at Hiland Golf Course on Thursday in Summit Township. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle

SUMMIT TWP — Looking for a sizable extended family? Check out Hiland Golf Course.

“Everybody here seems to know everybody,” course general manager Terry Rottman said.

And “everybody” is a lot of people.

Hiland is home to 14 golf leagues Monday through Friday. It also houses 20 to 25 tournaments each year, many of them benefiting charitable organizations.

A new tournament — taking place this Sunday — is the Donald “Duck” Young Memorial golf outing. Proceeds from that event will benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

A former mailman, Young also was an assistant groundskeeper at Hiland for more than 15 years.

“He was part of our family here and was an extremely popular man,” Hiland owner Sarah Zediker said. “This event filled up pretty quickly. There’s 144 golfers in the field. I’m sure this will become an annual event.”

Hiland hosts Operation Sandtrap, an annual tournament June 25, a tourney in which only veterans or active military personnel may play. Proceeds go to the Legion Riders and Bradys Bend Legion for distribution to needy veterans.

Denny Witt is organizing the tourney this year, Buck Ridley got it started in 2010.

“It’s $300 per team and it’s a tremendous event,” Witt said. “We’re expecting to have 23 to 25 teams playing.”

Among the other tournaments at Hiland this year are the Michelle Krill Memorial on July 9, the O’Donnell Open July 16, Karns City High School Roundball July 23, the Shane Heinle benefit July 30 to help with his medical expenses, the East Butler Fire Hall outing Aug. 13 and the Tyler Barger Tee-Off Sept. 10 for suicide awareness.

Another new event this year is the Tana (Willetts) Frangioni “Make Good Choices” Golf Tournament on Aug. 21. Frangioni was killed in an automobile accident just days before her retirement from the United States Air Force, where she served 27 years.

Proceeds from that event will go toward the establishment of two scholarships at Moniteau High School, where Frangioni graduated from in 1994.

The 2022 Butler Eagle Amateur Open will be at Hiland Aug. 7.

“We’re privileged to be able to host golf events like these,” Zediker said. “We’re a neighborhood golf course and we take pride in it.”

The staff takes pride in it as well.

Danny Croyle has been bar manager on the grounds since 2004. Dave Cavalero, 72, has been tending bar at Hiland since 1976,

“Oldest bartender in Butler,” Rottman joked.

“I keep working here because I enjoy the people,” Cavalero said. “These people are like family to me.”

Rottman agreed.

“There’s never been one case where we look at somebody and think , ‘I hope that guy doesn’t come back here again,’” he said. “That just doesn’t happen. Nobody fights or argues around here. It’s an enjoyable place to be.”

The golf course itself is improved on annually as well. This year’s upgrades include new tee boxes on hole No.’s 4 and 16, 25 trees taken out on No.’s14 and 15 to widen the fairways, and old pine trees taken out with new trees planted on No.’s 7, 8 and 12. A new fence has been put in on No. 14.

“We try to do a little bit more each year,” Zediker said of course improvements.

Hiland offers a seniors discount for ages 60-over and for active military personnel.

Open golf is generally available before 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 1 p.m. or later Saturdays and Sundays.

Golfers play in a league at Hiland Golf Course on Thursday in Summit Township. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle 5/5/22
Chippy Laskowsky watches Gary Rhodaberger take a swing at Hiland Golf Course on Thursday in Summit Township. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle 5/5/22
Chris Swick and Chippy Laskowsky, both of Elwood City, complete the sixteenth hole at Hiland Golf Course on Thursday in Summit Township. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle 5/5/22
Owner Sarah Zediker poses for a portrait at Hiland Golf Course on Thursday in Summit Township. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle 5/5/22
Owner Sarah Zediker poses for a portrait at Hiland Golf Course on Thursday in Summit Township. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle 5/5/22