For the third out of the past four years, Heartland Senior Games golfers played at the Sebring Golf Club to earn the right to compete in the Florida Senior Games, which will take place in Fort Lauderdale in December.

The Heartland Senior Games, organized by South Florida State College, have been running for more than 20 years as a qualifier for the Florida Senior Games. They were established to provide a local event where residents of DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands counties could earn the right to play in the statewide Senior Games.

It was chilly on Saturday morning when 19 women and 47 men teed off at the Sebring Golf Club. Despite plenty of sunshine, a cool wind kept the temperatures low even as the competition heated up. They competed in five year age groups, from 60 to 84 for the women and 55 to 89 for the men.

The six golfers who drove to Sebring from DeSoto were Bill Bless, Pam and Russ Clevenger and Ken Thomas from Craig's RV Resort, Arcadia Village's Herb Dickey and Mike Woodall of Oakview Estates.

Hardee County was represented by a pair of golfers from each of Zolfo Springs and Wauchula.


Players were greeted at the Sebring G.C. by Travis Kennedy, assistant golf pro. Kim Best, head pro, gave the final instructions before the carts headed off to the starting holes.

Gabriel Mendoza and the staff at the Caddyshack restaurant prepared and served four lunch options; cheeseburger, chicken wrap, Italian hoagie and spring mix salad, while scores were being checked and final standings determined.

When the medals were awarded, the only Arcadian to receive one was Pam Clevenger, who won silver in the women's 70-74 age bracket. Although they went home without medals the other locals did enjoy the chance to compete and to meet new people.

Jack and Jan Woodall, both competing in the 80-84 divisions, returned home to The Bluffs with gold medals. Jack's 79 was the third lowest score of the day, while Jan carded an even 100. Pat Colglazier and Steve Vance from Crystal Lake Village both earned the right to play in December's Florida Senior Games. Colglazier placed third in the 60-64 age group, while Vance tied for fourth in the 70-74 bracket.

Sebring G. C. will be the site of the 2021 Heartland Senior Games golf tournament which has already been booked for Feb. 6, 2021. Information will be widely distributed throughout the Heartland. Those interested in competing are asked to visit the South Florida State College website www.southflorida.edu/heartlandseniorgames.

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