Columbus, OH — 0-for-26. In baseball that is a slump, for hockey that is a power play which would made headlines for all the wrong reasons, in basketball that would be a benching and in football that is a release. When it comes to Dennis Dachtler though, it is his track record of qualifying for USGA events.
The 27th time proved to be a charm for Dachtler when he qualified for the U.S. Senior Open Championship.
“I was giddy most of the time and crying the rest of the time,” he said. “It was unbelievable and beautiful here.”
For a long while it did not look as though this would ever happen as Dachtler gave up golf to start a family shortly after graduating from the University of Oregon.
As a result, Dachtler got in to the family and individual financial-planning firm business.
“When I got out I played eight months and then I quit golf for 21 years,” said Dachtler. “When I quit golf, I started my company and this was 35 years ago. Because I have a staff that’s able to work together I’m able to see clients I need to see, service people I need to service and I don’t have to do as much as some people do. I’m not retired yet and I’m not planning on retiring.”
From age 23 until age 51 Dachtler did not play in a golf tournament but still in the back of his head was the voice which has been there since age 18. That voice contained the desire to play in a USGA event.
That opportunity finally came when he earned medalist honors at the Rancho Murieta Country Club’s North Course. The course, located in Rancho Mureta, Calif. and two qualifying spots for the U.S. Senior Open were available there.
It was a goal that Dachtler fulfilled and everyone was happy for him.
“My clients knew that this was what I was talking about and dreaming about for over 40 years since I was 18,” he said. “They just knew that it was a dream come true.”
On Wednesday, Dachtler was walking the course with David Frost and Steve Lowery trying to pick up some last minute tips for the tournament.
“One of the things I learned from David Frost is that he’s very confident and very positive,” Dachtler said. “All of the golfers out here have positive attitudes and if you hit a bad shot you’ll get it back. It’s really how positive they are.”
If the experience was solely judged by score, Dachtler did not fare well finishing 153rd of the 154 golfers who were able to complete two rounds of play.
But it was not about results for Dachtler, instead it was about the experience. So while Dachtler recorded one birdie in the two days and several over par holes, this gives him an idea of what the USGA experience is and how he can improve.
“It makes me hungry for more,” said Dachtler. “I now have a feel for it and this is unbelievable. Walking inside the ropes, I had a caddie who was more excited than I was. I had a lot of friends that came up from the mid-West that all showed up.”
This all goes back to why Dachtler even came back to the sport of golf, what made him so passionate about it
and what keeps him returning for more.
“It gets my brain thinking,” Dachtler said. “It gets me out of my comfort zone. Golf gets me uncomfortable and that’s what I need.”