On Thursday, November 21, 2019 the Indiana Golf Foundation was proud to welcome three inductees into the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame. Friends and family gathered at Fort Wayne Country Club to celebrate the induction of Brian C. Chalifoux, Cathy Gerring and Erika Wicoff.
Brian C. Chalifoux
Brian C. Chalifoux was born and raised in North Adams, Massachusetts. He first became interested in golf as a young adult, after participating in a golf league as an employee at General Electric. His newfound interest in the game sparked his love of agriculture and prompted him to enroll in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts, with a degree in Turfgrass Science.
After graduating from Stockbridge, Chalifoux became an Assistant Professional at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York, under the leadership of Richard Bator. After serving as an assistant from ’78 to ’80, Chalifoux went on to become a golf course superintendent at South Bend Country Club in South Bend, Indiana for two years (’81-’82). He then went on to work as a superintendent at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Illinois from ’83 to ’87. His career then took him back to Indiana in ‘88, where he served as superintendent for 31 years at Fort Wayne Country Club.
Throughout Chalifoux’s career, a huge emphasis was placed on mentoring his assistants and helping them become superintendents or other promotions within the industry. In total, 18 of his former assistants have gone on to become superintendents.
Chalifoux also prides himself on his involvement with the Hoosier GCSAA, serving as both Vice President and eventually President (’90). In 2018, Chalifoux was recognized with the Midwest Regional Turf Foundation Distinguished Service Award. His career motto was to, “work hard, lead, train, and keep your eye on the prize.”
He currently resides in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and is a consultant to Fort Wayne Country Club and honorary member. He lives with his wife Carol, and has two daughters, Laurie Chalifoux (married to Paul Slater), Jennifer Saban (married to Pablo Saban), and son Brian John Chalifoux (married to Wendi Chalifoux). He also has eight grandchildren: Oscar, Cameron, Fabiana, Vivian, Sarah, Benjamin, Carter and Rowan.
Cathy Gerring was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She learned the game of golf from her father, Bill Kratzert, at an early age. During her junior golf career, Gerring won two Indiana State Junior Championships (’76, ’77) and went on to play collegiate golf at Ohio State University.
There, Gerring was a two-time medalist at the Big Ten Conference Championship (’82, ’83), an NCAA First Team All-American (’83), and was named Ohio State University’s Athlete of the Year (’83).
In 1984, Gerring took her shot on the LPGA Tour, finishing 12th at LPGA Qualifying and earning an exempt status for the 1985 tournament season. Throughout her LPGA career, Gerring was a three-time LPGA Champion (the Lady Keystone Open, Stratton Mountain LPGA Classic, and the Trophee Urban World Championship).
After giving birth to her first child, Zachary, Gerring only competed in six events in 1988, but went on to grab four top-20 finishes in 1989 and was named the 1990 LPGA Bounce Back Player of the Year.
That same year, Gerring was selected to participate in the Inaugural Solheim Cup at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando, Florida. Led by Captain Kathy Whitworth, the United States defeated Europe 11.5 to 4.5 points. This is one of Gerring’s most proud career moments to date.
In ’92, Gerring suffered severe burns on her face and hands during a fire incident in April. She did not return to competition until ’96.
In ’97, Gerring was inducted into the Ohio State University Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2004, she was also inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence as the first female inductee.
Gerring still resides in Fort Wayne, Indiana with her husband Jim. She has two sons Zachary, 31, and Jayme, 25. Her brother Bill Kratzert III is also an Indiana Golf Hall of Fame member, making them the first-ever sibling duo to be inducted.
Erika Wicoff was born in Joliet, Illinois and was raised in Hartford City, Indiana. She began playing golf when she was only four years old. Wicoff had a successful junior golf career, winning the Indiana State Junior Championship back-to-back years (’88, ’89), finishing runner-up the following two years (’90, ’91), and also adding two runner-up finishes at the IHSAA State Finals to her junior golf resume (’90, ’91).
She went on to play collegiate golf at Indiana University, where she was a Big Ten Conference Champion three years in a row (’93, ’94, ’95), Big Ten Freshman of the Year (’93), three-time Big Ten Player of the Year (’94, ’95, ‘96), two-time NCAA First Team All-American (’95, ‘96), and Indiana University Athlete of the Year (’96). Wicoff also finished fourth at the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship in ’95.
During her summer breaks, Wicoff was busy succeeding in state and national events, adding three consecutive Indiana Women’s State Amateur titles to her credit (’93, ’94, ’95), a win at the Judy Schock Ohio Girl’s Championship (’93), and medalist honors at back-to-back USGA Women’s Amateur Championships (’94, ’95).
In 1996, Wicoff decided to further her golf career by turning professional and won the Futures Betty Puskar Championship that same year. In 1997, she earned an exemption for the 1997 LPGA tournament season. Throughout her LPGA career (’97-’01, ’03), Wicoff had five top-ten finishes, and participated in five US Women’s Open Championships.
In 2006, Wicoff was inducted into the Indiana University Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2014, she was also inducted into the Blackford High School Hall of Fame, and in 2018 she was inducted into the Indiana High School Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Wicoff, still thriving in her golf career, has been teaching golf for over 12 years and now serves as the Lead Instructor at the Golf School of Indiana. She resides in Fishers, Indiana.