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The Evolution of Golf in The North Coast Chapter

by Henry Buder

Chapter golf, in my era, started in about 1975 when State President John Redman, and future State President Jay Tripathi, decided to have regular golf in the CLCA North Coast Chapter. So they starting calling members to play golf once a month at various places in the Bay Area, and sure enough, people signed up to play. This is where I first found out that I was not too good at golf. This went on for about a year, then interest declined, and wasn’t worth the effort to put it on. Some time later, smaller groups formed and started playing regular golf. Randy Tavenner, Dan Fix (pictured left) and Chris Hill started a weekly group, every Thursday at noon, at Rooster Run in Petaluma. One day I got a call from Chris Hill to join their weekly group, and I did. This is how I learned to play golf, plus watching the Golf Channel and reading Golf Digest. This went on for six or seven years, every week, rain or shine. It was Randy Tavenner that came up with the idea to turn golf into a source of funding for our scholarship fund, LEAF. Unfortunately, interest declined and economies worsened, and that group plays no more. But scholarship golf lives on. We have been giving money to Leaf for five or six years, not huge money but 4 or 5 thousand dollars at least. Well, interest in scholarship golf started to fade, and I thought it might go by the wayside, as attendance was too low to go through the effort. At the Chapter Championship last year, in the bar, I announced that maybe we should take a break from our tournaments. To my surprise, the die-hards would not have it. Golf was fun and giving to LEAF was important. What if we changed the format? And that’s what we did. We formed a golf committee, we decided to play scramble golf, with lunch included, give out prizes, and offer sponsorships to our Associates. The Spring Fling had new energy. And the idea worked as planned, with over 30 golfers and almost 20 sponsors. Ewing Irrigation fixed lunch for everybody. We gave away a ton of prizes, and we added a new member to the Hole In One Club. Mike Davidson of Gardeners Guild got a hole in one on the par 3 13th hole, about 185 yards. Way to go Mike! You are in a very elite group, and may you forever be known as ACE.

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