By Duane Cochran
Times West Virginian
To say Green Hills Country Club holds a special place in the heart of Dewey Delovich might just be a bit of an understatement.
He first learned to play the sport of golf there at a young age under the tutelage of his late father Homer Delovich, who was widely regarded for years as one of the best amateur golfers in the area.
The younger Delovich also spent countless summer days there during his youth playing golf with his friends which eventually led to him winning the individual Class AAA state championship in the sport during his senior year at North Marion High School in the fall of 1986.
Years later Delovich met his wife Adrienne (Tetrick) at the course, who at the time was in college and was working at the facility’s restaurant and bar. The couple married in 2000 and are the parents of one daughter Marley, who is 8.
“I honestly have so many wonderful memories of that course and of the time that I spent there,” said Delovich. “I literally grew up there. The people there are and always have been very special. That’s what sets it apart from other places I think. There’s great people and great members at Green Hills.
“You know I’ve left and have been away for a while now, but every time I come back not too much has changed and I’m always able to re-connect with so many of the great friends and the memories that I’ve made there. There’s not too many places like that left and like I said I honestly believe that’s what makes it so special.”
Delovich has gone on to accomplish bigger and better things in his life. He’s currently the PGA assistant golf professional at Kiawah Island Club’s Cassique Course. This weekend, however, he’s returning to his home in Monongah in hopes of making one more special memory at Green Hills Country Club when he
takes part in the annual Green Hills-Homer Delovich Memorial Golf Championship, which will be played Saturday and Sunday at the course.
To date, victory in the event which bears the name of his late father has eluded the younger Delovich, but he’s certainly been close the past three years finishing tied for third in 2010, tied for second in 2011 and fourth last year.
“I love coming back and playing in this event,” said Delovich, who made the trip from his home in South Carolina to West Virginia Wednesday. “Taking part in the Green Hills Open, which now has my dad’s name on it, always means a lot to me.
“Right now I’m not sure how my game is. I’ve been pretty busy and haven’t had a whole lot of time to play, but when I have had the opportunity to play I have played pretty well. Obviously I’d love to win this tournament. That would me a lot to me.”
It would also mean a lot to his family, friends and many of the Green Hills members who have fond memories of watching Delovich growing up and playing countless rounds at the course.
“It would be monumental for Dewey to win this tournament,” said longtime Green Hills member Jim Manzo. “He’s a great guy, and there’s a lot of people around here who would love to see him win it. I remember watching him growing up and playing at the course all of the time.
“When he comes back now it’s like he never left. He always shakes your hand, gives you a hug and takes time to talk and catch up. There’s a lot of us pulling for him because he is so well known and so well liked here.”
Unlike most golfers who will take part in this weekend’s tournament the popular Delovich has to deal with the added distraction of numerous people who are anxious to see him, speak with him and watch him play. He, however, considers that to be much more of a blessing than a hindrance.
“You know that’s part of why I love coming back here and it’s a reason I want to come back here,” said Delovich. “I never consider that a distraction for me. I love West Virginia and the Monongah area. I have a lot of family and friends there and it’s a blessing for me to be able to come back and spend time visiting with them.
“It’s fun for me. To have 10 or 12 golf carts following you is pretty special. It shows me that people care about me and I’m thankful for that. If it is a distraction it’s a good distraction. Sometimes the game of golf is so mental that you need a little distraction. It loosens you up. At the end of the day I know no matter how I play, when I come in there’s going to be people there I want to see and talk to and they want to see me and talk to me. That’s a good feeling, and that’s really what it’s all about.”
To date. 140 golfers have registered for the 2013 event. The field is limited to 144. To enter the tournament, contact the Green Hills pro shop at 304-287-7439. Cost is $65 for members and $110 for nonmembers.