Don Conn was having one of those rounds of golf where he made sure to count every stroke — even though it was in match play at the Cass County men’s championship.
It was 1983 and Conn, who was 50 at the time, fired an 8-under 62 to tie the course record at Dykeman Park.
Now 80, Conn still remembers the round vividly that occurred 30 years ago.
“I made a bogey on the fourth hole but made nine birdies after that,” he said.
It is believed that three other golfers have shot 62 at Dykeman, but Conn is the last to do so.
During his record-tying round, Conn defeated Mark Muehlhausen at the county championship.
“He was making everything. I didn’t give him any,” Muehlhausen said. “I think I played from 7 to 18 2- or 3-under par myself. If we would have started the round then I still would have gotten beat.”
Muehlhausen said he had to talk Conn into finishing his round as their match-play match was over early.
“He had the match won at 12. He was going to quit and I said ‘You got to play on, Don, you’ve got a chance at the course record.’ He didn’t kind of want to and I said, ‘You’d be crazy not to. Plus, if you get the course record, it won’t look so bad me getting beat by you.’ And he kept making them. He made a six-foot birdie putt on 18 to shoot a 62.”
Conn picked up the game of golf when he was 26 and has enjoyed a career that has included five hole-in-ones to go with his course record at Dykeman. He still can shoot in the high 80s and low 90s on a consistent basis despite having Parkinson’s disease.
He was a standout athlete at Logansport High School. The 1951 grad was an MVP in football and baseball for the Berries.
In baseball his batting average of .423 his senior year was the school record for 25 years until Mike Dimmel broke it in 1976 at .425.
In football Conn stood in at just 5-foot-7, 150 pounds but was one of the best players on the team.
“I wasn’t very big, but I was mighty. Coach [Don] Crain always said that dynamite comes in small packages.”
Conn remembers one hit in particular he delivered on a Fort Wayne Central player.
“Tiny Joe Jordan said you could hear it from the Berry Patch all the way to Third Street. He said you could see sparks fly. He couldn’t get over it,” Conn said.
But Conn was on the receiving end of one of those hits against Indianapolis Howe.
“He did the same thing to me. He showed me I wasn’t the only one who could do that,” he said.
Conn played one year of baseball at Wittenberg College in Ohio before returning to Logansport, where he has lived the rest of his life.
He was a barber in town for 10 years before getting a job at Chrysler. He left the Chrysler job to take a job in Mexico in Miami County before returning back to Chrysler where he retired. He said he got the Chrysler job back right after his record-tying round at Dykeman which was huge for him.
He added he is still feeling good at 80.
“I feel pretty good. I’ve got a good doctor and I pray a lot about my health,” he said. “A lot of it is having a positive attitude. When you have a positive attitude you do a lot better than when you’re sitting around moping feeling sorry for yourself.”
Beau Wicker is the sports editor of the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.