COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Eveleth native Dave Delich never spent that much time playing golf when he was growing up on the Iron Range.
He and his brother Chuck could usually be found playing hockey in Eveleth, which they both turned into successful hockey careers.
Dave recorded 285 points on the Colorado College hockey team, while Chuck tallied 279 for Air Force, both over four years.
Their priorities eventually changed and Dave Delich decided he wanted to learn how to golf properly after he quit playing hockey and went to work.
He has done pretty well in the sport, too, for playing just 35 rounds per year and 30 of those being tournament rounds.
Delich, a former member of the U.S. national hockey team, won the Colorado Golf Association Senior Match Play title last month with a 4 and 2 championship match victory. The win was Delich’s third CGA title. He also has victories in the 1997 Mid-Amateur and the 2007 Senior Match Play.
The 54-year-old’s involvement in golf has also paid off with some high level duties as a member of the Broadmoor Golf Course in Colorado Springs.
Just last week he spent four days with female golfer Hee Young Park at the U.S. Women’s Open, which was played at the Broadmoor. With his experience and success on the course, he showed her how to get around on the different holes.
According to Delich, the Broadmoor’s director of golf made a commitment to help Park with the course. “We kind of hit it off,’’ he said. Park and her caddy “understand the golf course now.’’ Park finished tied for 45th at 13 over par.
Delich, who now owns a commercial real estate company, said his success on the golf course is somewhat of a surprise because summers and time on the links is limited when living up north.
In his younger years, he played baseball and golf and spent summers beating around the nine-hole Eveleth Golf Course.
He also had a neighbor, Ernie Hill, who was a wonderful golfer. Hill gave he and his brother Chuck a set of clubs and showed them both how to hold them.
Delich never played seriously, though, and just monkeyed around after college usually in friendly, social golf outings.
After his hockey playing days ended, he started competitive golfing when he was almost 40.
Competing at a high level was never a problem, said Delich, who just had to develop a swing he could trust and work with. He says he’s still working on that, but his current swing is “simple enough’’ that he doesn’t have to spend six months a year on the practice range.
The man who says he is “a better athlete than I am a golfer’’ is even looking forward to turning 55. That means he will be eligible to play in the U.S. Senior Open.
Despite winning three CGA titles in his career, Delich says his favorite tournament to win is still the Eveleth Shortstop.
“It’s always been fun to get up there and compete with the local players.’’