Most people know Don Dimoff as the very successful girls' basketball coach at Red Lion High School.
Another sport that Dimoff is equally passionate about, however, is golf.
One thing that ties both sports together for him is his fierce determination to win. The same guy who yells out plays and opinions during basketball games on the sideline is just as emotional when he makes or misses a putt.
While he probably will never accumulate the number of victories in golf as he has as a basketball coach — which is well north of 400 — the Red Lion coach was able to get one tiny step closer on Sunday afternoon.
Competing in the York County Amateur Golf Association Senior/Super Senior Championship at Heritage Hills Golf Resort, Dimoff was cruising through the first 13 holes at 1-under par. A bogey and a double bogey, however, quickly put some pressure on the 52 year old, playing in a tournament for golfers 50 and older.
Dimoff, however, rallied back for a birdie on No. 16, which proved to be pivotal when he earned the title by a stroke over John Lowder Jr. to capture his first YCAGA solo title with a 1-over-par 72.
“Luckily 72 was good enough," Dimoff said. "I hit a nice tee shot on 16 and got up and down for birdie, so that was big. But I still thought I needed one more birdie to finish and get back to even.”
Dimoff, who teed off in a threesome at 10:10 a.m., had to wait around a bit for the final three groupings to finish. One of those groupings included Lowder, who barely missed a birdie put on the back nine that could have created a tie after 18 holes.
Defending champ Chris Borge, who played in the final foursome that started at 10:40 a.m., was listed at 1 over after the first nine holes. Dimoff paced around the pro shop at Heritage Hills a bit nervous about competing in a possible playoff. Borge, however, finished at 4 over for the round, giving Dimoff a chance to exhale a sigh of relief.
“When you win, it doesn't matter," Dimoff said shortly after venting about missed birdie putts on 17 and 18. "I'll take it. It was good enough.”
Just more than three years after he reclaimed his amateur status, Dimoff is off to nice start this season in the YCAGA. Nearly two months after he teamed with Bob Ruby to capture the Spring Better Ball Tournament at The Bridges Golf Club, Dimoff claimed his second YCAGA title on Father's Day.
For the past four years at Red Lion, Dimoff has been able to coach his daughter, Courtney, on the basketball court. While those two share a love for basketball, the feeling isn't mutual when it comes to golf.
“She's doesn't like doing that," Dimoff said about Courtney possibly being his caddie. "She thinks coming out here and spending 4 1/2, five hours to play golf is silly.”
What wasn't silly was the course layout on Sunday. In a field with three former Senior Champions — Bill Brenner, Scott Knouse and Borge — Dimoff was able to add his name to the list after surviving the greens and fairways.
“The course played tough," he said. "The greens were very nice but the pin positions were very challenging. If you didn't put it in the right part of the green, you could have a birdie putt but still have to work hard for par due to the position of the pin and I think that's where a lot of people struggled today.”
Super Seniors: While Dimoff was able to avoid a playoff, 70-year old Robert Topper finished play tied with Lester Varner at 6 over in the Super Seniors Division (60-plus). Fortunately for Topper, who is a regular at the scorers' table during YCAGA events, Varner left the course after his round. After trying to call Varner several times, tournament director Sherm Keeney stepped in at 3:50 p.m. to declare Topper the victor by default.
“I was a par machine," Topper said. "Especially on the back nine. The front nine I was a little shaky. A couple of holes it was hard to get the ball close to the hole and hard to make putts. But the back nine things got a little easier. I started to strike the ball better and started to putt better.”
While waiting nearly half an hour to see if Varner was going to return, Topper helped retrieve banners and signs from the course, putting them into the YCAGA's trailer. Once done with that, Keeney declared Topper the victor, presenting him with his trophy.
Asked about how he plans to celebrate his first YCAGA title, Topper was pretty quick with a response.
"I guess I could celebrate and buy Sherm a drink," he said.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.