Pro football had its Fearsome Foursome. Batesville has its golfing Friendly Foursome.
Four friends have golfed – weather permitting – each week for about nine years. The four are within one year in age and all shoot about the same score.
And they all have been married for more than 50 years.
Bill Fisher, 78, Andy Weisenbach, 78, Al Geis, 77, and Ham Struewing, 77, have known each other for most of their lives. All grew up and still live in the Batesville area.
They have played more than 150 times on 26 different courses, most in southeast Indiana, including Lawrenceburg; Westport; Greensburg; Brook Hill Golf Club, Brookville; and North Branch Golf Course, New Point, where the interview was conducted.
The men also take an annual trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, with their wives that includes golfing.
Of the weekly outings, Struewing said their wives “don’t mind since we have a lot of fun. Sometimes they encourage us to get out of the house.”
The four pair up by twos each week and play for a hot dog – the losers buy. That is, unless they play close to Greensburg and then it’s tenderloin sandwiches at Stories Restaurant.
The scores they post are usually close.
Their favorite course outside of the Batesville area is Brook Hill. “You can score good. It’s a challenging course,” observed Weisenbach.
Struewing is the quartet’s statistician. He figures what the pairs are, how many strokes the partners get and who drives.
But some of the fun is not just the play. Struewing said during the drive to the course is when the four catch up.
“We have nice discussions about what is going on around town,” he said. “We talk about volunteer work we’ve done, and keep ourselves up to date.”
A former Batesville City Council member, Struewing is still involved in the Ripley County Community Foundation, and he, Geis and Fisher are active Kiwanians. Geis still works part time at Geis Electronics on George Street, and is traveling to Las Vegas soon to sing with the Southern Gateway Chorus of Cincinnati in the Las Vegas International Barbershop Contest. He’s been a part of the group for more than 30 years.