Sunday, October 27, 2013

History Lesson #4

Today the folks at the pro shop were adding some shelves against a wall that hadn't been disturbed in a very long time.  While moving some old stuff away, an old scorecard was found and they just chucked it in the garbage.  Luckily I walked in for lunch and saw it in the trash.  I immediately snatched it up.  I know, I know I'm a total geek about the cool, old history of this Club.  But, this scorecard was very unique and a great little piece of the Club's past.  Check this out.  Here is the side of the card for the holes going out.

This is the only scorecard I have ever seen at Tacoma that shows a diagram or image of the holes.  It's kind of interesting because I know from the history of the changes to the course that this card must be from the early 70's.  Let me explain, I know that today's 5th hole (which used to be the 15th hole as on this card) was a straight par 4 originally.  On this scorecard, you can see that the 15th hole is a straight hole.  That hole was redesigned into a dogleg in the mid 70's.  In addition, as you can see from the scorecard, Gerry Mehlert was the Club's Professional at the time.  Gerry started as the Pro in 1969, so this card was printed around 1970.   Since it was under some old shelving, it never saw any light and therefore has not faded at all.  Really it is like brand new.  Truly an awesome find.  Here are the in holes.

As I said earlier, today's 5th hole was once a dead straight par 4.  When this hole was redesigned, someone really knew what they were doing.  Our current 5th hole, or the 15th back then, is one of the best short par 4's I've played.  It is a beautiful, slightly raised green complex with very little room to run it up, so the lofted "fly in" shot is usually played which is appropriate since the hole is short and a wedge is usually in hand after a good drive.  I guess the reason I think it's a good par 4 is because I don't always par it.  It may be short, but there is a lot of trouble to get in off the tee if your not careful.  Another interesting thing about this short par 4 is its position in the routing.  It follows a very difficult stretch of opening holes that closes with what may be the hardest hole on the course.  Since the renovation, the 4th hole, which used to be the 14th, has become the hardest hole to par (in my opinion).  So when you reach this short par 4, you are ususally in need of a par and a confidence booster.  At the same time, if you play the opening 4 holes well, this tricky little par 4 always seems to bite you and threaten the opportunity of shooting a good round.  There's a couple things I learned from this card.  For example, at one point, the only two tees available where blue and yellow.  I have a seen a card where they where black and yellow, but this is the first evidence to support that at one time the two tees where blue and yelllow.  Secondly, I never knew the old 18th hole (which is now part of the driving range) was a par 5 for the ladies making the course a par 74 for the gals.  When I first came to the course in 1993, it was a par 73 for the ladies and in fact I built the new tees which finally made it a par 72 for them.  I've heard that at one point the ladies par was 78.  Over the years, many tees have been built and really it's nice to see that finally we have a course with many teeing options making it an enjoyable experience for all sorts of different playing abilities.  If you're realatively new to Tacoma C&GC, you may not even know that the routing was ever different from what is today.  If that's the case, you may find it interesting to see the old routing as a whole.  The following diagram is from the 1984 USGA Women's Senior Amateur.  I think it was the spectator's map but really I'm not sure.  What I do know is that it is very cool, and it does a good job of showing how the nines where once reversed and what the routing was like before the major renovation of 1989.

below is the back of the same document

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