Jim Hegarty, the oldest of seven children, got his first set of golf clubs for Christmas when he was 12.
He’s never looked back since. He has almost 1,000 golf shirts to prove it!
“I crushed my first full shot with my driver that spring, and I’ve been chasing that drug-like high ever since,” said Hegarty, who grew up in Mansfield, Ohio and is a (mostly) retired civil engineer at Prein & Newhof. “I began competing at an early age. I played in as many local events as I could find and afford, and played in both high school and at college.”
Hegarty, a third-generation degreed engineer, earned a civil engineering degree from The Ohio State University after three years of an intense education at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana. Later, as the president of Michigan’s Civil Engineering Society, Hegarty helped raise $250,000 to create the Mackinac Scholarship, scoring a trip to the top of the Mighty Mac in the process.
“I moved to Grand Rapids in 1981 and joined Green Ridge until it became a shopping center. After a long hiatus, I joined EVCC in 2001,” said Hegarty, whose wife of 39 years, Pam, joins him at the club periodically for dinner. “While what I really wanted was to join a golf-only club, I decided on EVCC for two reasons: We had over 200 men with single-digit handicaps, and we had two nice golf courses.”
Hegarty enjoys the challenges presented by each of Egypt Valley’s courses and likes to play with people who love the game, including his brothers when they come to town.
“I’ve won two club championships, though it would’ve been one if Mike Brown didn’t graciously go away on vacation one of those years, and two senior club championships,” said Hegarty, who has also won the championship flight of three EVCC member-guest tournaments with three different partners in three different decades. “Twice I was the host and once the guest. I still compete, but at 66 years old most of my competition is as a Super Senior.”
Hegarty plays about eight national and state events each year.
“I ended up ranked in the top 30 Super Seniors in the country this year and last. Each of those years I’ve won one national event,” said Hegarty. “Egypt Valley’s value to me is all about the quality of the golf courses and the people with whom I play. Those are the real attractions that I find at EV and can’t find anywhere else.”
Hegarty holds the nine-hole course record of 28 on the front Ridge and had a hole-in-one on the back nine.
“I know of only one other round in the 20s, including the tour pros,” Hegarty said.
When not on the courses at Egypt Valley, Hegarty could be found on the practice facilities, hanging after a round with his golf buddies on the porch or in the Trophy room.
Other members may not know Hegarty has been to all 50 states, with the 50th being Delaware.
“My wife needs four more!”
If you see Jim around the club, be sure to say, “Hello!”