By Russ "Tweed" Beckner

One of the events that first attracted me to Prodigy, was the Prodigy Golf Tour. Prodigy ran this event. The Jack Nicklaus Signature Edition software was used, Prodigy chose the course to be played, set the conditions and scored the event. It was a lot of fun, but somewhat impersonal unless you participated on the bulletin board, which I did. There were other golf tournaments run by individuals who would make the rules for their event. These were called Ad Hoc tournaments, meaning unsponsored or unofficial. One of the first of these was Ken William's Senior Tour where a player had to be 50 or older to participate.

When it was obvious that Prodigy was going to drop their official tour, I started thinking that there should be away to keep the fun going without Prodigy's direct participation. Someone wrote a note on the bulletin board asking what an ad hoc tournament was because there was such a Subject posted. I made one of my smart a** replies that ol' Walker Thomas (God rest his soul), as a Member Rep, should answer that question. However, ol' Walker didn't know an ad hoc from a hamhock! I decided to name the new tour The Ham Hoc Tour and named the players Ham-sters..."just a little bit of silliness."

I had been talking to Scooter (aka David Shires) about the idea of a new tour. He liked the idea and volunteered to help. We decided a team event might be popular since one didn't exist at that time. Players would be divided into teams. Each player would play and the best score for each hole would be the team score for that hole. The game was set.

We announced the new Ham Hoc tour on the bulletin board and... as they say....the rest is history! The tour was a big success, with as many as 80 players participating. Our first tournament was held in April of 1994. We played Scooter's Beausoleil Bayou Golf Club, one round per week for four weeks. We played a different course each month. We later added the Skins Game, the HH Honors Tour and the Ace Chase.

The Ham Hoc Tour was an amazing experience for me. It gave vent to a silly, creative side of me that was fun to "take out for a walk". It also brought that same almost childlike exuberance out of others. There was Fern, the tour vamp, Uncle Earl her Hoosier pappa, Cyr Cyd, "crossdresser to the stars" who provided our outfits when we played off the ladies tee, all those wonderful T'weeddarlin's, and other fantasy folks who visited briefly or became HHonorary Ham-sters.

In short, we all became family. We had marriages, births, deaths, sickness, and we had opportunities to meet face to face. I was fortunate to meet many Ham-sters at a reunion in Las Vegas and later in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. There have been so many who contributed greatly to this "little bit of silliness". Doc B, Sarge Pierce, Walker Thomas, Scooter, Paul ?Treefrog? Conrad, feebee, Kay Ryan and many others who kept score, kept records, kept the chatter up and without whom the Tour would not have been as much fun.

Many of the best JNSE course designers, Steve Holden, Paul Conrad, Paul Harris, Brian Silvernail, Randy Muzny and Dennis Petrak, designed courses that premiered on the Ham Hoc Tour. To every one who played, designed a course, kept the score, provided chatter and support, told a joke, lent a helping hand, said a needed deep and sincere thanks for being part of something that was truly fun!

Russ "T'weed" Beckner, 8/6/99

UPDATE by Doc B with help from many Hamsters ...

Russ T'weed Beckner and David Scooter Shires are credited with creating the Ham Hoc Tour as a spinoff of the Prodigy Network Golf Tour (PNGT). T'weed was the tour director and it gained in popularity and had several tour-types going.

Walker Thomas (RIP) created and ran the ACE CHASE Tour using JNSE. That tour basically fell by the wayside with the newer JN games because it was no longer so easy to get an ACE.

I believe Iceman ran the SENIORS Tour under the HH Tours via Prodigy.

I think T'weed ran the HONORS Tour. I got involved when I offered to assist with posting scoreboards.

After JN4 came out, I stayed with the Ham Hoc JNSE Tour for a long time... too long I guess on Prodigy.

I believe it was at that time that Iceman basically took his tour to his site using JN4. He had an online Honors Tour and a Match Tour. I played on Iceman's tours for awhile but found it difficult to run a tour and play in two of them.

T'weed stepped down as HH Director and I took over at that point.... I never played JN4... I got JN5 but didn't like it, and when I got JN6, I added that to the Prodigy Ham Hoc Tour, continuing with the JNSE option. Soon after that, I left Prodigy and opened the HH Tour on my own webpages using only JN6.

Paul Pawlie Harris kept the JNSE Tour running on Prodigy for a couple of years. That seems to have faded away now.

We had a Skins Tour too when JN6 came out. The leaderboard was based on the total dollar amount of '$kin$' won. I don't remember the details here but have some old results. Can anyone bump my memory?

We had a "RUSH" Tour run by Joey Rush Vincent.

========== UPDATE by Randy On Nov. 2004, Doc B steps down as TD and OZ takes the helm as TD to May 2008... Galen takes over for OZ and adds the SET Tournament, the Champions Tour, and brings back Best Ball to the Ham Hoc. The Ham Hoc Tour' due to family illness' Galen takes a leave of absents. After a year' Randy with the help of Dave "Snuffy" Smith bring the Ham Hoc Tour back to life in Feb. of 2012.

1991: Prodigy initiated the Prodigy Network Golf Tour (PNGT) and ran it.
1992: Dec ... Ken Iceman Williams began an "ad hoc" tour thru Prodigy called the Senior Tour where a player had to be 50 or older to participate.
1994: April ... the Ham Hoc Tour's first tournament
199?: Honors Tour (JNSE) by Iceman
199?: Ace Chase Tour (JNSE)
199?: Rush Tour (JNSE) later changed to Tour
199?: Iceman moved his tours to his website (The Icehouse)
1999: Doc B left Prodigy and moved to his site; Paul Harris kept the JNSE Honors/Ace Chase going on Prodigy
1999: Pawlie initiated the JNSE World Tour
1999: Sep ... Inaugural JN6 HH Honors Tour by Doc B(verified)
1999: Oct ... Inaugural JN6 HH Skins Tour by Doc B(verified)
1999: Oct ... Inaugural JN6 HH Honors Tour (verified)
2000: Jul ... Skins Tour changed to Match Play (verified)
2001: Nov ... Last JNSE Honors, Ace Chase & World Tours on Prodigy run by Paul Harris
2002: Jan ... HH Honors Handicapped option initiated (verified)
2002: Feb ... HH Match Play Consolation Bracket initiated (verified)
2004: Nov ... Doc B steps down as Tournament Director
2004: Nov ... Oz Takes over for Doc B as Tournament Director
2007: Aug ... Inaugural Par 3 tournament
2008: May ... Oz steps down and Galen 'Alegan' Geier becomes TD
2008: Jun ... Inaugural single elimination tournament run by Brad "Tarheel" Hurst.
2009: Jul ... Inaugural Team Skins Game - one round challenge.
2011: Feb ... Galen steps down as Tournament Director.
2011: ....... Feb. 2011 to Feb. 2012 ... Break in action.
2012: Feb ... Randy Grant Takes over for Galen as Tournament Director.
2012: Sep ... Randy steps down and Galen returns as Tournament Director.
2013: Jan ... Inaugural HH Team Series initiated by Randy Grant.
2014: Mar ... Ham Hoc Tours acquires a proprietary domain on the WWW.
2015: Jan ... New Honors Tour goes live and shares space and services with the World Tour at
2018: Jan ... Honors and World Tours merge to form the new GBC 1 Tour. Ham Hoc Tours continue to host best ball and match play tournaments.
2018: May ... Best Ball and Match Play discontinue due to a lack of interest.
2018: Jul ... JN6 Season Play being organized and instituted for the Ham Hoc Tours special competitions.