Looking back — way, way back to 1965 | Tee to Green

There was no local golf news this past week, so I thought I would reminisce of some golf news from the past.

Some of you may remember when Ted Blofsky was the Chico Enterprise Record sports editor and when he used to write the local golf column he called Chips ‘N’ Putts. Blofsky left the Enterprise-Record in the mid 1980s and took over as the editor and publisher of the Northern California Golf Association quarterly publication, NCGA GOLF, which, through his efforts and expertise in sports writing, became the premier golf magazine for NCGA members in Northern California. I have copied several columns of his, written in 1965, dealing with the newly developed Butte Creek Country Club. Hopefully, I’m not the only one familiar with many of the names in his articles.

Circa, February 1965: “Members of the Butte Creek Country Club will hold their second annual general meeting in the Elks Lodge at 8 o’clock. This will be an extremely important meeting since the club will soon be open to use by the members and their guests, and we are setting up our programs and schedules with this in mind”, said club president, Clay McGowan.

“The club plans to open the course for play some time in the spring or early summer. Keith Eynon was recently announced as the club professional and he is slated to report April 15. Clubhouse construction consisting of the pro shop, snack bar, lounge and locker rooms, started shortly after the first of the year after being delayed by rainy weather. However, the building is slated to be finished by the middle of April. McGowan reports there are now 130 members in the club. That means there are 70 memberships available at the price of $1,400.”

March 1965: “Officials of the Butte Creek Country Club had planned to open the golf course on April 20 but that target date may not be realized. Some details on the clubhouse must be taken care of first. Professional Keith Eynon will go on the job some time the week of April 15. Eynon will give lessons and run the driving range until the course is open. An Easter egg hunt is planned for members and guests April 18. The hunt will begin at 1 o’clock in the afternoon and run until 4.”

April 1965: “The first nine holes at the Butte Creek Country Club will be open for play Saturday, according to an announcement made yesterday by board representative, Bud Hanna. However, the grand opening of the new links will not be held until sometime the early part of June. Par for the front nine is 36. This writer got a chance to play the entire course when it was rated, and we think the front nine is just as nice as the back. Accuracy will be needed on most of the holes. There are several nice holes and even though the yardage is shorter than the back nine scoring will be no easy chore.”

“Members of the BCCC and guests will hold a steak barbeque Sunday. The barbeque is being handled by Gene Valla. The cocktail hours will begin at 1 o’clock with the barbeque slated to begin at 3.”

April 24, 1965: “The back nine of the Butte Creek Country Club was opened for play yesterday. And, if it’s any indication as to the entire course, Chico could have one of the finest and toughest golf courses in California when full play begins sometime in June.

“We had the opportunity to play the nine holes. Of course, the course is not in excellent condition yet. The fairway grass is long and soft, but with some help from the sun it should come around fast. There isn’t a real easy hole on the back nine (we didn’t find one anyway.) The three pars are very tough. There are water hazards on nearly every hole and if you get by them there are traps to contend with at each green.

“A golfer will get a chance to use almost every cub in his/her bag. Each hole presents a different challenge. No two holes on the back nine are the same. The greens are big. Some of them are bumpy, but that is to be expected this early. The course is very interesting to play. We’re sure that if anyone gets the chance to tour the course they will find it enjoyable.

“Professional Keith Eynon staged 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 gross department went to another guest, Ken Fitzgerald, who had a 40. Member Rufus Rucker was third with a 42. The net winner was Pat Gainer who had a 36. Gainer is a member. Member Al Flock and guest Fred Landis tied for second with nets of 36’s For those players who did not have handicaps the Galloway system was used. Gil Leonard, a member, finished with a net of 35. Member, Jack Wendell had a 36 and guest, Plez Guynn a 37.”

Thank you Ted.

Note: I may have to get innovative next week as well if we don’t get some sunshine, albeit I’ll be writing the golf column from London, like in the U.K. Happy Holidays.

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