Don Gresh has been known around town for decades for his talented accordion, friendly and generous personality and his golf prowess. The 88-year-old from Port Clinton moseyed on down to the Oak Harbor Golf Course recently, where he had already collected a trio of hole-in-ones in a stellar golf career.
Playing with friends John McIntire, Paul LaCourse and Bill Webb, Gresh added his fourth ace.
“I was using a 24-degree hybrid golf club, but it was unique because it was kind of a slam. I’d finally aced each of the four par 3 holes at Oak Harbor,” said Gresh. “I’d also had a hole-in one at Sycamore Hills Golf Club, and a couple of them at Fremont Country Club.”
Gresh, who was born in Marblehead, is a Korean War Veteran, and is a long-time Port Clinton resident, remembers when he started playing the Oak Harbor Course. A 5-handicap golfer, which only about 1% of golfers achieve, Gresh was retiring as purchasing agent for Biro Manufacturing, where he worked for one of his best friends, Elmer Biro.
As a retirement gift he was given a gift certificate for the Oak Harbor Course, which he had never played.
“I enjoyed the course so much, friends and I created the Oak Harbor Senior Golf League. Over the years, I managed to ace three of the four par 3 holes, and now I’ve got them all.”
Gresh was also well-known at the bars and social halls around Ottawa County. When he was just 8 or 9 years old, he picked up an accordion, the perfect instrument for a Slovak boy living in Marblehead. He played with the Polka Dots band from 1972-1994, and also entertained at nursing homes, family parties and even Put-in-Bay during his long career.
In 2012, though, his wife Margaretta, who had worked for years with the Ottawa County Municipal Court, suffered a stroke. Gresh put away the golf clubs and the accordion, and devoted himself to her care until Gretta died in 2018.
In his mid-80s, Gresh decided to see if he could revive his golf skills.
“I didn’t want to play if I couldn’t hit it well any more. So I grabbed some scrub golf balls, headed for the range and pretty soon I was playing golf with friends again.”