HiPhotosBuckhorn TriviaRemember Our BudsMessage BoardIn the News
 
1979

Back in the late 70’s, K.T. Anderson held a yearly 4th of July celebration called the “K.T. Lake Festival.” In 1979 the festival was held in Marionville, MO, located just outside Springfield. This festival can be remembered by the photograph of K.T. and his friends posing in front of a barn with an NBC Sports sign hung from the loft. The barn also had 4 butts protruding from the loft, the identities of which probably wouldn’t be recognized today.

Speaking of “buttheads,” that was the year that Big “E” almost broke his neck while doing a double inverted moon with Rollo. In mid-execution Big “E” jumped up as Rollo pulled him forward and the result was akin to a WWF move called the “pile driver,” with E’s head pile driving into the dirt. Everyone heard the “pop.” Thank God for lots of liquor!

Part of the 4th of July weekend festivities that year was a 9-hole golf tournament in which the winner was awarded a STAG Bock Beer. I don’t think the beer is even brewed anymore. Anyway, K.T. Anderson, the festival’s namesake, moved away so a new format was needed.

 

1980

Rob Kite, Steve Trame and Steve Zimmerle bought property in Mound City, KS solely for weekend camping parties. The first party was on Memorial Day weekend and the First Buckhorn Open was part of the festivities. The tournament was an 18-hole contest at Osawattamie golf course.

There were eight men originally slated to play but Buzz Dietrich had to leave before tee off. Since there were seven left to play, Steve Busby agreed to take on the rest of the field by himself...AND he won!!! Mike O’Neill and Ed Rea won low team as Busby, who really had the best team score, didn’t have a partner so therefore was disqualified.

Buzz Dietrich, who left before the tournament started, was known for drinking Buckhorn Beer (99¢ a six-pack). He was named Grand Marshall in absentia and the first prize was a case of Buckhorn Beer, (and you had to take it!), hence the name “Buckhorn Open.”

An additional note:
Buzz Dietrich has never, to this day, played in a Buckhorn Open golf tournament.

 

1981

There was a Buckhorn Open played that year and according to a most reliable source, it was played at Tomahawk Hills Golf Course. Steve Taylor won the tournament. For 1981 the trophy was a pipe cleaner trophy. Very unique, stylish and expensive gold leaf pipe cleaners were used in its construction.

 

1982

This tournament will forever be remembered as Buckhorn Open number three and the first year at Olathe Country Club. After two years of playoffs, threats of bodily harm to the golf pro and abuse of golf carts, (an incident that almost ruined Frank Bonura’s chances of eventually becoming a buckeroo), we were asked to find a new home.

Not a lot of information is available about this year other than Rollo was named Grand Marshall because, in February, he had driven his car into a bridge abutment at 50 miles and hour and fractured and dislocated his right hip. So, he was not off injured reserve by the Memorial Day event and the Buckmasters felt sorry for his dumb ass so they made him Grand Marshall. Another significant event in 1982 was the fact that Rollo created the first “Bucky” for our tournament mascot.

Pierre Simonpietri won the tournament.

One of the most memorable items of 1982 was the creation of the Buckhorn Open Traveling Trophy. Beautifully crafted using 2 X 4 chunks of wood, deer antlers and, of course, Buckhorn Beer cans. Our founding father, Steve Zimmerle, was the creator and craftsman. The traveling trophy was retired in 1990 but it remains safely ensconced in Zim’s home.

1983

This year is pretty much a blur as well. What we do know is that the tournament was played in Olathe and Jay Housh won. Ed Rea was Grand Marshall and that distiction was due to the fact that Ed had blown out his Achilles tendon playing basketball and was probably still in a walking cast. Rumor has it that he is still suspicious of Mike O’Neill today of having been the culprit who kicked him from behind in the achilles tendon causing it to rupture. (Actually no one was near Ed when it blew out it just felt like someone had kicked him).

 

1984

Again we played in Olathe and this year was memorable only because the tournament was won by Vince Fabrizzi and Steve Busby was Grand Marshall. Other interesting facts from this year were:

Ben Crenshaw won the Masters.
Fuzzy Zoeller won the U.S. Open
Seve Ballesteros won the British Open.
Lee Travino won the PGA.
Tom Watson was money leader on tour - $476,260
Men’s amateur winners:
British Amateur - José María Olazábal
U.S. Amateur - Scott Verplank

 

1985

A memorable year for the fact that the Kansas City Royals won the freakin’ World Series in 7 games against the Saint Louis Cardinals in what was termed the “I-70 Series.”

The other great memory was that Jeff Weishar was the winner of the Buckhorn Open and Steve Trame was the Grand Marshall.

 

 

1986

The Buckhorn Open officially moved to Stayton Meadows, (now known as Royal Meadows), which allowed us to officially have a shotgun start. This was important as the fame of the tournament was spreading out far and wide and the number of players had increased beyond what individual starts on the first hole would accommodate. We even had put up the TV rights for bid and almost got one from ESPN8, “The Ocho.”

Our awards ceremony that year included, besides the many prestigious trophies and cars, the awarding of the much coveted green jacket for best Rookie performance. 1986 was also the first year of the pre-buckhorn festivities at Paul and Deb Turpins. They included large quantities of alcohol consumption, drunk volleyball and the famous MotleyQ Barbeque.

The winner of the tournament was Greg Glienke and the Grand Marshall was Gary McGinnis.

 

1987

Held again at Stayton (now Royal) Meadows with a shotgun start. The tournament has grown from its humble beginnings to approximately 56 golfers. This year was memorable for two things. First this was the first year that play was allowed to proceed without the requirement of 1st drinking a Buckhorn Beer! And 2nd was the fact that we gave the original Bitch Brother, Mike Welch enough handicap it allowed him to win. He always disputed it in only the way a Bitch Brother could, by bitching his ass off.

Another notable was the fact that Frankie Ford was the Grand Marshall and truly had the whole tournament in stitches. Shown at right is Mike Welch accepting the traveling trophy from Mike O’Neill while being humped from behind by the comedian extraordinaire Frankie Ford.

 

1988

Held again at Stayton (now Royal) Meadows with a shotgun start. The tournament has reached monumental proportions, 64 golfers! We put out bids for broadcast rights and got some interest from ABC, CBS, NBC, Golf Digest, ESPN and Sports Illustrated. Unfortunately with the Indy 500 taking place the same weekend we lost out.

This was also the year that Mike O’Neill (stat king) put the Buckhorn Open stats on floppy disc and made them available for $99.99. For more info you needed to call, 1-800-BUK-HOLE. Also the winners of the PGA tournaments were:

April 7-10 - Masters Tournament - Sandy Lyle
June 16-20 - U.S. Open - Curtis Strange
July 14-17 - British Open - Seve Ballesteros
August 11-14 - PGA Championship - Jeff Sluman
May 28 - Buckhorn Open - Steve Hotojac & Marty Gibbons
Grand Marshall - Don Looney

1989

Held again at Stayton (now Royal) Meadows with a shotgun start. We celebrated the 10th year of the Buckhorn Open with the updated look for our beloved Mascot “Bucky” in top hat and tux. Appropriately anniversary gifts were plentiful and everyone who played in the tournament received a new set of Ping irons, custom Ping golf bags and a commemorative coffee table book in black and white of a pictoral history of the Buckhorn Open. These books today are sellling on ebay for $5,000.

This was also the last year we played at Stayton Meadows as the owners got greedy and wanted huge money for our tournament.

The winner of the tournament was John Winchell. The winners of the two man division was Tim Mc-Clure and Don Looney.

 

1990

This year was the first year away from Stayton Meadows in 4 years. The new tournament location was Oak Country. The change in venue worked really well for our founding father Steve Zimmerle because he won! Since Zim won and it pissed everyone off the format of the tournament was changed and the famous Traveling Trophy was retired for the new Buckhorn Cup.

Since Zim won, we lost television rights with ESPN 8 because they said he was not enough of a draw and viewership dropped off.

 

1991

This was the second tournament held at Oak Country and it was not very memorable. But the winners were: Tim McClure, Don Looney, Tom Smith and Steve Zimmerle. Without television rights, thanks to Steve Zimmerle's win the year before, sponsorship interests waned and without the great prizes to offer most “good” golfers opted for other tournaments. Besides the Buckhorn Cup I think the only other prizes were a bucket of range balls, 1 McDonalds gift certificate and a free life insurance evaluation donated by some local insurance agent. It is rumored that the party was held at Ed Rea's.

1992 - 1993

1992 marked our return to the Olathe Golf Course. For the uninformed we remind you that our tournament was thrown off the Olathe course because we trashed a few golf carts, threatened the golf pro with physical harm and created general mayhem. Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for him, the golf pro was killed in a car accident so the new people knew nothing about our history and let us back on the course. We kept the tournament at Olathe for 2 years. Again, it wasn’t very eventful because we can’t remember who won either year.

On the good side, we did get some local TV coverage from a public access channel located in Osawattamie at the State Mental Facility, called “The Enchanted Kingdom.”

 

1994 - 1995

In 1994 we moved the tournament again. This time to lovely Gardner KS. Again we are not certain who won the tournament but we were delighted to have a celebrity Grand Marshall. None other than professional PGA golfer, John Daley. He agreed to participate because he was a disciple of Buckhorn Beer and a fan of “Bucky.” Daley was quoted as saying, “Fucker looks like me.”

In 1995 it was the first and last year for the Buckhorn “Bucks” the funny money that was awarded for various achievements during the tournament. ‘95 was also the first year for the pre-tournament party at the Welch’s home.

One particular memory of that year was that Tim McClure’s son Sean played for the first time at age 11. He also set a record for eating 15 hot dogs that day.

 

1996 - 1997 - 1998

In 1996 we returned to Royal Meadows with the largest tournament field in history. 72 golfers. It almost was the demise of our BuckMeister Mike O’Neill. There were whiney golfers, complaints and it even moved our Button Buck Frank Bonura to offer some suggestions. Whereupon Michael P. simply said to Frank, “Here,” and shoved all the materials for the tournament towards Frank. Frankie learned a valuable lesson that day. “Shut the fuck up or do it yourself.” One more notable event was the fact that Lynn Jones was Grand Marshall.

In 1997 we moved back to Oak Country for our “Unified Shank Attack” which held 36 golfers divided into twelve 3-somes. We almost awarded television rights to KMBC-TV9 that year but Lenny Dawson refused to cover it.

In 1998 we returned to Royal Meadows for the last time. The format that year was again divided into twelve 3-somes.

 

1999

In 1999 the Buckhorn almost didn’t happen. At the last minute Steve Zimmerle was in town and called Mike O’Neill and said, “You want to play golf?” They rounded up two other players, Mike Welch and Rob Kite, divided into two teams for a Ryder Cup format and played. Mike Welch and Mike O’Neill won. They all later partied at Chooch’s house.

 

2000 - 2001 - 2002

In 2000 the Buckhorn was moved to the Manhattan KS area. For the first two years of the Mahattan era the tournament was played at Colbert Hills. Both of those year’s tournaments were won by Tim McClure and Don Looney. That pissed everyone off so they moved the tournament to Stag Hill in Mahanttan. And no one can remember who won there.

 

2003 - 2004

In 2003 the Buckhorn moved to Ozawkie, KS. for the next two years. Located near beautiful Lake Perry, I am assuming a good time was had by all. The first year was won by Frank Bonura’s team. Frank, Danita, Matt and Dan Larrick.

Also in the first year, Ed Rea won the fishing derby in the pond as well as the most bug bites. Terri Zimmerle came in a close second. We were asked to move our party outside to the back of the patio because of too much noise. Shortly thereafter we were asked to take it to our rooms downstairs for the same reason.

2005 - 2006

2005 signaled a new location change to Eagle Bend. No one remembers who won in 2005 but we know that Zim, Steve A., Matt and Frank B. won in 2006. 2006 was also the first year of the return of Rollo. After an absence of 10 years he came out of retirement to provide comic relief to all of the serious golfers.

 

 

2007 - 2008

The tournament was moved in 2007 to the northern suburbs of Kansas City. The pre and post Buckhorn festivities were held at Ainsworth Acres a well-known resort outside Excelsior Springs. The tournament itself was held at Hidden Valley golf course in Lawson, Missouri. A beautiful 18 hole course built in some of the finest pasture land in northern Missouri. Fairways of clover, sour grass and fescue made for some good golf ball wackin’ and baling. The winners of 2007 were McClure, Tunes, Matt Zimmerle and Dan Larrick.

A shift to Ryder Cup format in 2008 made for some interesting play from team to team. The eventual winners were The Red Team. Since the Blue Team lost, all of their members had to walk home backwards with their pants down and “junk” exposed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2009

We celebrated our 30th year of the Buckhorn Open. We've outlived the actual beer itself (No great loss), but have managed to keep the tournament alive. This also was the year that every participant received a commemorative book marking the history of the tournament and two of the founding fathers were named co-grand marshalls. Mike O'Neill and Steve Zimmerle were awarded the honor and given unique ball caps that said 2009 Grand Marshall on the front with "Buck On" on the back of one and "Buck Off" on the back of the other.

We had 28 players this year which was the largest turnout in many years. In addition Rollo was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of moving the Buckhorn into the 21st century by developing the Buckhorn Open website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tournament was won by the team of Ed Rea, Steve (Chooch) Trame, Susie O'Neill, Scott Shales and Anthony (some italian name).

 

2010
In our 31st year we celebrated by making K.T. Anderson the Grand Marshall. K.T. returned from Las Vegas where he has resided for many years. He was included in all of the pre-tournament festivities such as the practice round, indoctrination into the annual visit to the Excelsior Springs Eagles Club for the pairings ceremony and pool tournament. (Not to mention the beer drinking and people watching… best mullet, most number of teeth, coolest t-shirt/undershirt and most cigarettes smoked in an hour.

This was the year of the memorable "Cheese Dip" episode by Mike O'Neill. Upon returning from the pre-tournament rituals of drinking and playing pool at the Eagles Club, drinking and bowling games at Victory Lanes, Mike, upon arrival at Ainsworth estates, face-planted getting out of the car. He rallied and when snacks were served including chips and queso dip, Mike dipped his chip and his hand up to the wrist in the dip and tried to eat it all nonchalantly. Next morning he discovered cheese dip on his reading glasses. See photos.

The tournament was won on a scorecard playoff by the team of Frank Bonura, Steve Zimmerle and Paul Turpin. The team lost on the scorecard playoff was Lynn Jones, Ed Rea and Pat Nichols.

2011
The 32nd year was fairly eventful with the return of Greg Glienke who hadn't been in the tournament for probably 20 years. He came back from Houston to attend and was made the 2010 Grand Marshall. Greg presided over the tournament and all the festivities following.  The festivities were held at Ainsworth Acres a prestigious resort outside Excelsior Springs, MO.

This was also the year for some unique awards such as The Buckmaster award which was given to Deb Turpin for her golf shoe blowout, losing not one but both soles off her golf shoes and she finished playing the round. Her husband, Paul Turpin, won The Shithead award (AGAIN!) which solidifies his standing as the BuckBitch Brother.
And, what would be the tournament without another O'Neill event. Seems he fell on his butt in the mud. Claims it was not alcohol related...

And the tournament finally got great media coverage by NBC Sports.

The tournament was won by the team of, who else, Frank Bonura, Danita Bounds, Paul Turpin, Dennis & Mike Whorton. The second place team,  Linh Vi Lam, Ed Rea, Mike Loudon and Alex (Linh's son), claimed a unique historic record in that Alex was the first Asian male to play in the Buckhorn Open.

2012
Our 33rd year in existence and one we thought we'd never see. Beautiful weather for the whole tournament, slightly windy but otherwise a great day for golf. Steve Ainsworth was named this years Grand Marshall and received a really cool ball cap emblazoned with the American Eagle from the Excelsior Springs Eagles Club. It was hand lettered with silver marker to make it the official Grand Marshall cap.

In the practice round, he presided over one of the most memorable events in Buckhorn History.
It occurred on the 11th hole when one of the participants (who's identity won't be revealed here, because we don't want Matt Zimmerle to get mad) violated the cardinal rule of Old Men and  against better judgment decided to fart while leaving the green. He filled his drawers with hershey squirt and as he duck waddled to a stand of bushes of to the back of the green he exclaimed, "Whoa! I just shit my pants!" Where upon Rollo filmed the event for posterity.

The individual used 4 to 8 napkins, his own underwear and socks, golf towel, hat, his partners handkerchief and a passing rabbit  to make himself presentable. He played the rest of the round barefoot and in his stylish plaid shorts albeit with minimum stainage on the back. This person received the most unique award  for "the Shittiest Round of Golf." He receive 2-pair of Iron Man Underwear to carry in his golf bag and a small toilet trophy.

The tournament was won by the team of Frank Bonura, Donita Bounds, Deb and Paul Turpin and brother Dave Bryant who came in from Houston for the tourney. Dave has fully recovered from a heart attack and double bypass surgery and we were very glad to see him.
 

Home Our History Photos Remember Our Buds Message Board In the News Buckhorn trophy Pierre