A State Am fixture since 1975, Concord’s Bob Mielcarz prepares to bid farewell to New Hampshire golf tournament

Concord’s own Bob Mielcarz hits his drive on the first hole at Concord Country Club on what could be his last round at the State Am tournament on Tuesday.

Concord’s own Bob Mielcarz hits his drive on the first hole at Concord Country Club on what could be his last round at the State Am tournament on Tuesday. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

Bob Mielcarz gets ready to tee off a the first hole at Concord Country Club at the State Am on Tuesday.

Bob Mielcarz gets ready to tee off a the first hole at Concord Country Club at the State Am on Tuesday. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Concord’s own Bob Mielcarz watches his put on the first hole with his grandson, Wes Geiselman as his caddy at Concord Country Club on what could be his last round at the State Am tournament on Tuesday, July 9, 2024.

Concord’s own Bob Mielcarz watches his put on the first hole with his grandson, Wes Geiselman as his caddy at Concord Country Club on what could be his last round at the State Am tournament on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Concord’s own Bob Mielcarz hits his drive on the second hole at Concord Country Club on what could be his last round at the State Am tournament on Tuesday, July 9, 2024.

Concord’s own Bob Mielcarz hits his drive on the second hole at Concord Country Club on what could be his last round at the State Am tournament on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Concord’s own Bob Mielcarz (right) gets ready to tee off at the New Hampshire State Am with his grandson, Wes Geiselman serving as his caddy on what could be his last round at the statewide tournament on Tuesday, July 9, 2024.

Concord’s own Bob Mielcarz (right) gets ready to tee off at the New Hampshire State Am with his grandson, Wes Geiselman serving as his caddy on what could be his last round at the statewide tournament on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Concord’s own Bob Mielcarz hits his approach shot on the first hole at Concord Country Club on what could be his last round at the State Am tournament on Tuesday, July 9, 2024.

Concord’s own Bob Mielcarz hits his approach shot on the first hole at Concord Country Club on what could be his last round at the State Am tournament on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

By ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL

Monitor staff

Published: 07-09-2024 4:54 PM

Few New Hampshire golfers are as synonymous with the annual State Amateur Championship as Concord’s Bob Mielcarz. 

He’s played in the State Am 43 times, beginning in 1975, and he won the championship nine times, most recently in 2000. But he’s decided that the 2024 event will be his last hurrah.

“I’ve had my day in the sunshine and had much more success than any one person deserves,” said Mielcarz, who turns 75 next month. “I just think it’s a good time to step down. Doing it on my home course with two grandsons caddying for me, it’s going to be a cool week.”

The event, run by the New Hampshire Golf Association, is being held this week at Concord Country Club for the fourth time in history.

Golf has always been a family affair for Mielcarz. His father introduced him to the sport when he was around 5 years old, and he loved it so much that at night he’d sneak out onto the course near their home in Salem, Mass. 

His father and brother used to caddie for him, as did all three of his kids. And now, two of his grandsons, Henry and Wes, make it four generations of Mielcarz’s family giving him a hand on the course. Meanwhile, his wife Elaine, he added, has been his biggest supporter through all the years he’s played in this event.

There’s a beauty to the sport for him. Whether a 5-year-old boy or a septuagenarian, he’s always found outlets to play.

“The thing I love about the sport the most,” Mielcarz said, “you can play golf competitively at a lot of different levels. … I played football and hockey, but at 74, I’m not going to be playing any football or hockey, but I’m still playing competitive golf which is great.”

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He shot 4-over-par 74 in the first round on Monday, but his results from Tuesday were not available as of publication deadline. He’ll need to be in the top 64 to advance to the third round on Wednesday.  

While his game might not be at the level it was 24 years ago when he last won the State Am championship, the golf course has been Mielcarz’s home. From his first tournament at Waumbek Country Club in Jefferson through this week, it’s been nearly five decades of Mielcarz and New Hamsphire golf being remarkably intertwined.

“I hope my legacy is that I made a lot of friends, even among the people who maybe I’ve beaten,” he said. “I’ve said many times, I love our small state because you just get to know the golfers so well. I liken it to a large fraternity where you’re making a lot of friends over the years, and friends that I’ve had for four or five decades. It’s just so great to see them year after year at tournaments.”

But, he continued, this is the moment for him to step aside after a distinguished run.

“It’s a little bittersweet because leaving something I love is going to be difficult,” he said. “But I know it’s the right time for me.”