There was no local golf news last week so I thought I would remember some golf news from the past.
Some of you may remember when Ted Blofsky was the sports editor of Chico Enterprise Record and when he wrote the local golf column he called Chips ‘N’ Putts. Blofsky left the Enterprise-Record in the mid-1980s and became editor and publisher of the Northern California Golf Association’s quarterly publication, NCGA GOLF, which through his efforts and expertise in sports writing has grown into the premier golf magazine for NCGA members in Northern California. I have copied several of his columns, written in 1965, dealing with the brand new Butte Creek Country Club. I hope I’m not the only one who knows most of the names in his articles.
Circa February 1965: “Members of the Butte Creek Country Club will hold their second annual general meeting at Elks Lodge at 8 am. This will be an extremely important meeting as the club will soon be open to members and their guests, and we are putting our programs and schedules in place with that in mind, ”said club president Clay McGowan.
“The club plans to open the course to play in the spring or early summer. Keith Eynon was recently announced as the club’s pro and he is expected to report on April 15th. Construction on the clubhouse including the pro shop, snack bar, lounge and locker rooms, began shortly after the first of the year after being delayed by rainy weather. However, the building is expected to be finished by mid-April. McGowan reports that there are now 130 members in the club. This means that there are 70 memberships available for a price of $ 1,400.
March 1965: “Butte Creek Country Club officials had planned to open the golf course on April 20, but that target date may not be reached. Some details about the clubhouse need to be taken care of first. Professional Keith Eynon will take office the week of April 15. Eynon will give lessons and run the practice until the opening of the course. An Easter egg hunt is scheduled for members and guests on April 18. The hunt will start at 1 p.m. and continue until 4 p.m.
April 1965: “The first nine holes of the Butte Creek Country Club will be open on Saturday, according to an announcement made yesterday by board representative Bud Hanna. However, the grand opening of the new routes will not take place until the beginning of June. The par for the first nine is 36. This writer was lucky enough to play the entire course when rated, and we think the first nine are just as nice as the back. Precision will be required on most holes. There are several nice holes and although the footage is shorter than the last nine, scoring won’t be an easy chore.
“BCCC members and guests will be having a BBQ steak on Sunday. The barbecue is managed by Gene Valla. Cocktails will start at 1 p.m. and the barbecue is expected to start at 3 p.m. ”
April 24, 1965: “The last nine of the Butte Creek Country Club opened for play yesterday. And, if that gives any indication of the entire course, Chico could have one of the most beautiful and challenging golf courses in California when the full game begins in June.
“We had the opportunity to play all nine holes. Of course, the course is not yet in excellent condition. The grass on the fairway is long and smooth, but with the help of the sun it should come back quickly. There isn’t really an easy hole in the last nine (we didn’t find any anyway.) The three pars are very difficult. There are water hazards on almost every hole and if you go past them there are pitfalls to face at every green.
“A golfer will have the chance to use almost every bear in his bag. Each hole presents a different challenge. No two holes in the last nine are the same. Greens are big. Some of them are bumpy, but that’s to be expected so soon. The course is very interesting to play. We are sure that if anyone has the chance to visit the course, they will find it enjoyable.
“Professional Keith Eynon put on a nine hole tournament for the 37 members and 23 guests who played yesterday. Guest Tex Rutledge found the course to his liking with a par 36. Second place in the raw department went to fellow guest Ken Fitzgerald who had a 40. Member Rufus Rucker was third with a 42. Le Net winner was Pat Gainer who was 36. Gainer is a member. Member Al Flock and guest Fred Landis are tied for second with 36 nets. For players without a handicap, the Galloway system was used. Gil Leonard, a member, finished with a goal of 35. The member, Jack Wendell had a 36 and guest, Plez Guynn a 37.
Note: I might also have to innovate next week if we don’t get a bit of sunshine, although I will be writing the golf column from London, like in UK Happy Holidays.