I read the article, "A bad divorce," in the Independent Review of Jan. 13 with a good deal of interest. I was president of the golf club during the transaction period of the golf course from 9 to 18 holes. Since that time, a good number of people have been involved. Bill Stewart was very involved. In fact, he drew a sketch of a projected 18 holes, and he did a lot to assist in getting it accomplished.
I moved to Litchfield from North Dakota in September of 1972. During this time, the golf course in North Dakota had a golf course contractor redoing their golf course and were very satisfied with his work. I was able to contact him and he was available to do ours at a cost of $110,000, complete with a watering system. We needed a loan to do this. Gerry Gloege and I were appointed to talk with the power company board. A few of the board members were Dr. Fred Schnell, Dr. Bob Ferrish, Louis Nelson, plus others. The board agreed to lend us $100K, interest free and paying $10,000 annually.
After the course was laid out, many people were involved in cleaning out brush, picking rocks out of the fairways and removing other debris. John Streed was in charge of maintenance of the course and also managed the pro shop. He worked many hours for keeping our golf course in top shape, and he received very little pay.
We had some good golfers over the years. Steve Spreiter was in charge of tournaments. We had very good participation from the Spreiters, Kadelbachs, Klimstras and Tom Costigan, and Todd Hamilton, just to name a few. Todd Hamilton won our invitational in 1987 (and yours truly won the Vice President's bracket at age 60). Todd Hamilton went on to the PGA Tour and eventually won the British Open.
In those days, we didn't deal with the city. I believe it was a good move and it should work. The golf club and city should have the same goal, to present a good golf course to the most people at the lowest cost. We are fortunate to have people like Pete Kormanik and Mayor Johnson working together for the benefit of Litchfield.
It has been so interesting to see the enthusiasm and participation of our boys and girls playing golf. People come to Litchfield for family reunions or class reunions, and golf is one of their fun things to do. We thank the many volunteers who have helped to make Litchfield a better place to live.
Please excuse me if I have not included all of your who have done so much for the golf club. I'll be 94 in June, so my memory is still good, but sometimes it's a little short!
Les Herzog, Litchfield