La Plata Golf Course History
This information has been obtained from Bill Bullock, Clarence "Corky" Thomas, and Tom Phillips.
The George Hastings family donated 40 acres to the City of La Plata. In 1932, a group of citizens came up with the idea to build a golf course on the land. 6 holes were laid out and mowed with push-types mowers. These holes wound around gullies filled with old car bodies and junk, the city sewer treatment plant, an occasional milk cow, and through trees and brush. It's been said that bricks were manufactured in what is now the 5th fairway.
In 1933, a 9-hole course was laid out. Par was 31 strokes, Local men drew numbers from a hat to see which hole they would construct. Clarence Thomas and his brothers, Gail and Leland drew #1; Wayne Shinn #2; Herb Sears #3; Frank Elliott; Raymond Flinchaugh and Dale Frye #4; Floyd Dedman, Charles Womack, Watt Johnson and Dr. E.R. Adams #5; Otto Shinn #6; Dr. Clarence Buckley #7; Leon Tansil #8; and Herb Holmes, Walter Wilderson, Edward Fenlon #9. A building was brought in from Love Lake to be used as a clubhouse until it was razed in the 1980's. Water lines were laid to the greens to keep the grass alive in the summer. Sometime in 1939, a bent grass green was seeded and maintained by Dr. Buckley and Leon Tansil (#7). Around the parking lot were tennis courts, a playground, and the baseball/football field. Most of the golfers marked their golf balls with an identifying mark. If you found a marked ball, you were to return it to a box in the clubhouse so the rightful owner could reclaim it. Also, one gentleman (who didn't like to lose anything) would tie a string around his tee and put the other end of the string under his foot so he wouldn't lose the tee.
Some of the early players were: Dr. Buckley, Leon Tansil, Herb Sears, Deacon Green, Ray & Mildred Bruce, Owen Bullock, John Meeks, Clarence "Corky" & Pauline Thomas, Worth Lindley, Floyd & Mary Dedman, Royal and Rosalie Peterson, Carl Peterson, Delores Peterson Kanan, Frank Elliott, Dr. Newell, Jay Newby, Wayne Shinn, Dr. Reavley, Don & Virgie Crawford, Walter Wilderson, Bruce McGee, Jim Naughton, and Paul Wright.
There was a different layout being used in 1965 when Claude and Tom Phillips started working at the course. It was also a short layout, around 2150 yards, with 4 par 3's and 5 par 4's for a total par of 32. This layout was used until around June 19, 1967.
On June 20, 1967 another layout was opened. This layout was longer (1825 yards), par 35. We used 6 or the existing greens and volunteers and course employees helped construct 3 new ones. The new greens were #'s 4, 5 & 6. This design had 7 parallel fairways. This meant golfers had a lot of shots flying into neighboring fairways possibly toward other golfers. Two of our more resourceful members came to play wearing "hard hats."
In 1988, 36 acres to the west owned by Doug Bragg was purchased to allow for another design. The added acres allowed the new layout to be longer and much safer. The new layout was built due to the efforts of many volunteers, organizations, and course employees. This layout was opened September 4, 1990 with Clarence Thomas and J.W. Bragg hitting the first shots off of #1 tee. This design had watered fairways, greens, and trees.
Due to increased play 50 acres was purchased from Mike and Cindy Moore in 1998 to allow for construction of a second 9 holes. Local contractors, many volunteers and course employees began working the new 9 holes. This design was a short, tight layout with 6 ponds, 11 sand traps, and mounding along some of the fairways and greens. This layout was opened on June 10, 2000.