Three golfers with Green Pond connections are inducted at the 15th annual Lehigh Valley Golf Hall of Fame induction dinner
November 2, 2018
2008 INDUCTEES – Ed Kluemper & Jason Wilson
BETHLEHEM TWP. — The Lehigh Valley Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2018 was a Green Pond Country Club sweep.
Three amateur golfers with ties to Green Pond — Dan Horner, Jason Wilson, and Ed Kluemper — were inducted on Wednesday, October 31 during the evening’s 15th annual Lehigh Valley Golf Hall of Fame induction dinner at Green Pond Country Club.
The Class of 2018 brings the hall to 69 members in it’s 15th year. With three members per year slated to be inducted the next 10 years, the hall of fame will have 100 members after 25 years.
Horner, 40, grew up across the street from Green Pond, learned to play golf at the facility; and worked for Lehigh Valley Golf Hall of Fame pros Jim Muschlitz and John Kulhamer at Green Pond.
Horner was the 1994 & 1995 District 11 runner-up while starring in golf at Freedom High School (1996). Now a resident of Salt Lake City, Horner lost in the 1995 Lehigh Valley Amateur championship match, and is one of only five high school golfers to play in a Lehigh Valley Amateur championship final.
Since moving to Utah after graduating from Rutgers University in 2001, Horner has qualified for 17 USGA national championship events, won the 2008 Utah State Amateur, and the 2011 & 2017 Utah State Mid-Amateur Championship.
Horner, who could not attend the induction dinner due to business commitments, was grateful for the honor.
“I wish I could be there in person to thank everyone,” Horner said. “Congratulations to Ed and Jason for also being inducted; two great guys that I’ve enjoyed playing with in the past. It’s an honor to be recognized with so many of the players that I grew up admiring and still admire today.”
Horner credited former Freedom High golf coach Wayne Marish for asking him to play golf instead of football, and for his support.
“Going into my freshman year at Freedom High School, I planned on playing football,” Horner said. “But one summer afternoon before freshman year I got a message from the golf coach, Wayne Marish, asking me if I’d consider playing golf. If it weren’t for Wayne and that call, I would have ended up playing football. Needless to say that call changed the direction of my life. I can’t thank him enough for that call, but also all the support he showed me over those four years. Wayne was always so helpful, driving me to and from practices and tournaments. Wayne recognized my enthusiasm for the game, and always made time to give me the extra help I wanted.”
Wilson, a 44 year-old South Whitehall Township native and resident, recently won the 2018 Lehigh Valley Amateur at Green Pond, and won the 2017 Pennsylvania Mid-Amateur title.
Kluemper, a 1975 Freedom High School graduate, was one of the region’s dominant senior amateur golfers from 2007 to 2013.
Wilson and Kluemper have won multiple men’s club championships respectively at Green Pond. They have also teamed up to win five Lehigh Valley Regular-Senior Better Ball of Partners titles at the course.
Cole Miller, a star golfer at Northwestern Lehigh High School (2014) and Penn State (2018), served as the guest speaker.
Miller, a 23 year-old Lynn Township resident, just completed his season as a member of the MacKenzie Tour PGA Tour Canada, where he finished 25th on the tour’s money earnings list. Miller will compete November 6-9 in Florida in the second stage of the Web.com Tour three-stage qualifying process. The Web.com Tour is the developmental circuit for the PGA Tour.
Miller, who began his competitive career when he was 9 years-old in a Lehigh Valley Junior Golf Tour event at Green Pond, recounted a key moment in his career.
His parents Carl and Jenny asked him after his sophomore year at Penn Stare what he wanted to do with his life. When he told them professional touring golf, they reminded him that he had not yet won a collegiate golf tournament.
“They looked at me sideways,” Miller said. “At that point I hadn’t done enough to show them that I could play at that level. That was the hard truth that propelled me to five wins my junior year.”
Miller earned a record five Lehigh Valley Player of the Year awards in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, and in 2017.
The Moravian Academy golf team was recognized for their District 11 record fifth consecutive team title. In 2018, the Lions captured their fifth straight District 11 2A and Colonial League titles, and have compiled a 65-1 record the past five seasons.
Emmaus was recognized for winning the 2018 District 11 AAA team championship. The Green Hornets golf program has won four district titles in the past six years,
Also recognized were District 11 boys champions Mitch Machulsky of Emmaus, and Notre Dame of East Stroudsburg senior William Mirams; and national championship qualifiers Dave Blichar (U.S. Senior Amateur), Matt Mattare (U.S. Mid-Amateur), Cole Miller (U.S. Open), and Amy Loughney Hajjar, who qualified for sixth consecutive U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur.
Mirams won the PIAA State Golf Championship AA boys title; becoming the fifth boy from District 11 to win a PIAA title. He received a plaque to commemorate becoming the first boy to win four consecutive District 11 boys golf titles.
Three player of the year awards were handed out.
Liberty junior Joseph Altemose earned the Lehigh Valley Junior Golf Tour Player of the Year award. Altemose finished second place in three multi-round Lehigh Valley Junior Golf Tour events this season.
Former Parkland (2014) and Old Dominion (2018) golf standout Chad Hess of Upper Macungie Township was the 2018 Lehigh Valley Player of the Year. Hess, 23, won the 2018 Lehigh Valley Medal Play Championship and 2018 Eastern Pennsylvania Amateur titles.
Dave Blichar of Upper Macungie Township received the John Kunda Memorial award as the 2018 Lehigh Valley Senior Player of the Year. Blichar, 55, advanced to the round of 32 in the 2018 U.S. Senior Amateur, and won the Lehigh Valley Senior Inter-Club Championship and Lehigh Valley Senior Amateur Medal Play titles in 2018.
Wilson, an advertising executive, has also won the 2017 Lehigh Valley Medal Play Championship, and the 2010 Lehigh Valley Inter-Club Championship.
Already an established amateur on the regional golf circuit when he began to call Green Pond his home course in 2012, Wilson realized that he needed to to get better after his tendency to hook the ball got him into trouble at Green Pond. He turned to Bethlehem Golf Club head pro Paul Viola, who has taught several championship golfers during his hall of fame teaching career.
“I realized hitting a 25-yard sweeping draw is not the best shot shape at Green Pond,” Wilson said. “Left here is bad. He (Paul) has been so instrumental in the success I have had. He helped me realize the physical swing changes. He has brought a level of performance out of me I didn’t think I had.”
A 61 year-old Bethlehem Township resident, Kluemper is a three-time champion of the Lehigh Valley Senior Medal Play Championship (2011-2013), and Lehigh Valley Senior Amateur Match Play Championship (2007-2009).
Kluemper enjoyed a banner 2008 season which included winning the Lehigh Valley Senior Amateur Match Play Championship and Lehigh Valley Senior inter-Club title en route to earning the 2008 Lehigh Valley Senior Player of the Year award.
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