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15 Minutes With: Bill Hermanson

(March 7, 2021) – In our latest 15 Minutes With conversation we are joined by Bill Hermanson. Over the last five decades, few players have been more prominent in Connecticut golf than Hermanson. He has been playing in CSGA events since the late 1970s and he has been winning them since the 1990s. He was bested by Jerry Courville, Jr. on the 36th hole of the 1981 Connecticut Amateur, and ten years later in 1991, he won the title on his way to Dick Tettelbach Player of the Year honors. 

In 1990 Hermanson won the first of four straight Connecticut Mid-Amateur titles at Black Hall Club, his home course. He added a record fifth Mid-Amateur title in 2001. As time has marched on the competitors have changed but the results have remained the same with Hermanson still finding his way into the winners circle on a regular basis, most recently at the 2020 Connecticut Senior Four-Ball alongside his friend Dave Szewczul, and before that, in 2019 he captured the Connecticut Senior Amateur for a second time. 

During our conversation, we talk about how Hermanson first got into golf, what his go-to golf historical fact is, his long-time friendship with Dave Szewczul, and the plaques they award each other for less than stellar shots, among many other topics. 

When did you start playing golf?

My first few rounds were as a young kind, probably 10-years old. They were very casual rounds up at Goodwin Park in Hartford. I grew up in Wethersfield, I was always a baseball player so a couple of my buddies that I played baseball with started playing golf and I was sort of left on the outside looking in and I decided to join them for a few rounds. So I might have played a half a dozen times, nine holes with a mixed bag of clubs at Goodwin Park. But probably I really started playing more once I moved to Old Saybrook when I was a freshman in high school.

What do you remember from the day you won the 1991 Connecticut Amateur?

First of all Joe Dennis was one of the finest players that Connecticut has ever seen. He was a phenomenal player. The other thing I remember from that day was the extreme heat [at The Patterson Club]. I remember I made a lot of 3-4 footers over 36-holes and usually I am good for a few misses along the way on those little shorties, but that day I didn't miss them, I made them. I remember being 3-up on Joe with 8 [holes] to go, and Joe birdied 11, 12, and 13 to even the match and it turned out when we came down 18, we were all even and I rolled in an 8-footer for par to win 1-up. I remember before I hit the putt I said to my caddie Greg Kelly who was another Black Hall guy, this is what all the practice has been for. I got up, I don't know what came over me, but I hit one of the purest putts I ever hit in my life and it went in.