In early September, I had the privilege to visit the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Fla., with my fellow field staff colleagues. This was our annual department meeting in which we get together as a team for a strategic planning session. Tony Parker, Ph.D., the WGHOF historian, gave us a personal tour of the museum. The first thing we saw as we walked in was Jim Furyk's score card from the Travelers Championship depicting his record 58.
Over the years, I have been lucky to view a few private collections including Waverley Country Club's collection of its steeped history in Portland, Ore., and the collection at Ganton Golf Club in North Yorkshire, England, which contained items from the 1949 Ryder Cup and the legendary Harry Vardon.
When I worked at Stone Creek Golf Club, I had the privilege to view one of the largest private golf collections in the U.S., one that rivals that of the USGA and the World Golf Hall of Fame. Our PGA Pro, Ted Westling had told me about Dick Estey's golf collection and he managed to arrange a tour. No words can describe everything that I saw. I attempted to blog about the experience.
...we need to keep an eye on where we came from in order to keep our compass pointed correctly to our future.
I believe the preservation of golf history is one of the most important components of the game. Especially today as many courses start renovation projects and look back to the original design for inspiration. Such was the case with superintendent Joel Kachmarek and Tacoma Country Club. Joel was able to dig through his clubs archives to find some old aerial photos that depicted the original layout and design of the course. Working alongside the late John Harbottle, they were able to perform a complete renovation which brought back the original romantic design of the club. Read Joel's blogs on his club's history.
|Tacoma CC's 1923 irrigation as built was useful in their renovation|
As superintendents, we can play a large role in our club's history. Many of you are already doing so in the form of blogs, but if that's not your thing, keeping a secure archive of photos that document major modifications would be the next best thing. Is your pro shop keeping old score cards and items that have been updated? Are you displaying photos and trophies in a case that members and patrons can look at? All of these things are important: it's like keeping a living time capsule at your club.
I truly believe that we need to keep an eye on where we came from in order to keep our compass pointed correctly to our future. It doesn't matter if you are at a daily fee, municipal, resort or private club; keeping some account of where your club has been will be appreciated by those well after our time.