"Golf keeps me strong minded "- Elise Deschaine, 15 year old freshman at Central Catholic, who will compete at the Drive, Chip and Putt contest at the 2018 Masters!
Eastmoreland 100 is proud to present to you our favorite daughter, Elise Deschaine. She is one of the top junior golfers in Oregon, 2017 OGA tournament of champions winner, freshman on the Central Catholic girls golf team, and.... wait for it... a finalist for the Drive, Chip & Putt hosted by The Masters at Augusta National Golf Course!
Not only did Elise earned her entire family an expenses paid trip to the hottest ticket in pro golf, she will get to make putts on the 18th hole! According to Elise, she's most excited for this opportunity because "so many champion golfers putted on this green." As Elise adds her name to this legendary list on golf's hallowed ground, we are delighted to share that Eastmoreland is where it all began.
Here is Elise's story:
"I first started golfing with my Dad at Eastmoreland driving range when I was 10 years old."
Rob and Clark Cumpston have long supported junior golfers... though often the best way to encourage junior golfers is make it welcoming for parents and their kids. Ronny Deschaine, Elise's Dad grew up skateboarding with only some experience golfing here and there. As he got older, and no doubt with many a busted knee or bruised arm he found himself at the local golf range like many other sports minded adults who need to discover a new passion - without the toll on the body.
Ronny enjoyed going to the driving range just to hit balls after school and work for "Daddy Daughter time." Elise didn't like golf at all because she "was freezing" going to the golf course in March when the temperature is in the 40's. Elise was very frustrated with golf because she couldn't hit the ball (welcome to the club and read about the how these struggles date back to the very start of the course and that players-should-approach-golf-with-philosophy-1922.html) She thought that "this sport isn't for me" but she kept coming back (hat tip to Daddy Daughter time) getting better each day and soon enrolled with the 1st Tee of Portland at The Children's Course.
First I thought "this sport isn't for me, I can't even hit the ball!"
Elise's first took lessons with Eastmoreland local pro Michael Charles. She made a connection with longtime pro and champion junior golfer in his day, Ray Comella. Ray invited her to join the Eastmoreland PGA Junior team and this is when Elise's game jumped up a level. The PGA Junior events match up players in local competitions paired with a teammate, similar to how we set up Four-ball games in our weekly Sunday match. She learned how to control her mind to execute delicate short shots on the challenging Eastmoreland greens.
Elise couldn't ask for a better mentor. Ray Comella learned the short game for the local master Benny Hughes, UofO golfer from 1938 and City Champion. Ray, in turn, imparted this sage wisdom to Elise. Having a great short game is essential in golf, and no more so than Eastmoreland, which also requires players to deal with unforgiving lies and think creatively. No surprise that she's looking forward to the Chipping portion of the competition the most. Like a young jedi we can imagine the timeless advice of Ray Comella and Benny Hughes whispering in her ear as she approaches the green of Augusta National.
She will also be able to lean on her mom, Jasmine and dad, Ronny. Most of her golfing practice is spent with her dad close by and his game has improved as he listened in to the lessons. Together they would challenge one another to competitions, like closest to the pin, and putting contests. They would work on the same new shots together. This made Elise's goal of beating her Dad a bit more challenging as he improved from a GHIN 12 handicap all the way to a 6. Though Elise has recently jumped a step ahead with a GHIN rating of 4!
What is the "Drive Chip & Putt" and how did you qualify?
Drive, Chip and Putt is an event pioneered by the The Masters in partnership with the USGA and PGA that focuses on the key fundamentals of the game. Players compete in three seperate competitoong:
Below are some photos by Elise's mom Jasmine Deschaine from the Regional Qualifier in the Olympic Club in San Francisco. Note how Elise placed second in both the Drive and Chip portion of the competition with 3 shots behind the leaders. Her flatstick helped confirm the adage "putt for dough" as she pulled ahead by the slimmest of margins with a single point better than the runner-up. she quite literally won this competition by just inches.
Golf Channel and local TV stations flock to interview the Eastmoreland's champion entry into the 2018 Masters
"I'm just honored to make it to the final group" says Elise to the TV newscasters of KGW who interview our local entry to the Masters. For those that read this and are not aware, going to Augusta to compete really is a huge honor. There are many touring PGA professionals who competed in the Drive Chip and Putt when they were juniors. Simply the ability to be a competitor and meet the Pro's will do immeasurably benefit to Elise as she continues on with competitive golf. As she says, she values golf because "you have to be strong minded."
"I like setting goals for myself and in golf you are constantly doing that to get better."
Below are some photos from Elise's day with the Golf Channel as they toured Eastmoreland and played golf. Elise talks about how she is inspired by Lexi Thompson and participated in a golf clinic with Tiger Woods. She's already ready for primetime with her poise in the interview.
Everyone at Eastmoreland will be cheering for our favorite daughter at The Masters' Drive Chip and Putt. While we may not be up at 4am to watch the event live, we will be sure to have a watch party when it the airs in the West Coast!
See the Golf Channel Interview: Deschaine's Drive, Chip and Putt motivation, beating her dad
Build a butterfly garden to attract "the flowers that fly and all but sing"
What earthly creature best captures the beauty and magic of each precious moment of life? Why the butterfly of course : ) Even the hardest of hearts will pause in joyful awe when the butterfly flutters and dances across the Eastmoreland municipal links even if, as humorist P.G. Wodehouse once joked, the golfer "missed a short putt because of the uproar of the butterflies in the adjoining meadow."
Every golfer I know at Eastmoreland will fondly welcome the approaching butterfly with a childlike wish that the butterfly would land on his hat, or perch on her driver, even for just a moment, as luck and fortune of incredible golf shots might soon follow.
And so it comes as a stroke of luck that Eastmoreland golf superintendent and caretaker Kathy Hauff decided to build a butterfly garden to attract "the flowers that fly and all but sing."
Grow butterflies? Yes, you see a butterfly garden involves planting native plants and flowers that will attract adult butterflies to lay eggs, provide the right plant nutrients for the young caterpillars and eventually the right type of plants for cocoons to be formed and mature. Each of the plants that are best suited for these roles typically live in close proximity, though with so much interference from humans, much of that natural habitat and perfect combination
The project began as part of Kathy effort to obtain Audubon certification for Eastmoreland Golf Course in 2016. She had already participated in the Johnson Creek Watershed reclamation for the Salmon and would leverage bird lover and men's club golfer Jan Knott for birdhouse cleaning. The Butterfly garden was one of the other key volunteer projects and she helped scope the project location near the 10th tee by the clubhouse. Kathy begins by asking for volunteers from the women's club. Two longtime members Bonnie Freistone and Donna Lindell volunteered. I remember meeting with Kathy on one of the volunteer days as they tore out weeds and arranged rock on a rainy Portland afternoon. The following is an interview conducted by women's club leader and Eastmoreland 100 project volunteer Patsy Pitts.
Butterfly Garden - Thoughts from Bonnie Freistone and Donna Lindell
>>>> How did you first get involved in this project?
Kathy Hauff, the golf course superintendent asked members of the women's club for volunteers. We thought at first was supposed to be a Hummingbird project and it turned into a butterfly garden. We enjoy working in the yard and gardens so we marked one day a week to help with construction.
>>>> Were you involved in an of the design aspects of this project?
Yes. Kathy showed us the spot alongside the 10th tee. She planned to use a ton of recycled rock from another public course and she would start hauling it over to us and place it where we thought it should be. We had no idea how big the rock was or how much material would be provided. So Donna and I drew out a design to begin. We changed it a little over time as we saw how much rock and boulders were brought in.
>>>> What was your favorite part?
Being creative while the garden was a work in progress. Because we did not know what was in the next load, we would just rely on our imagination as to how we thought the spot would turn out. We also enjoyed all the golfer comments as they saw us working taking the weeds away, rock come in, make make something new.
>>>> Did your background in any other garden projects help you in any way?
Just a bit from what we had both done in rock and garden projects in our private homes.
>>>> On a personal level, what are your favorite views, holes, shots, or rounds at Eastmoreland?
Holes 12 and 17 are favorites because of the gardens and water, but in the spring with the blossoms and then the maple trees bloom there is not a prettier course to play in Oregon. I have many good and poor scoring rounds on the course, but I keep coming back after playing there for twenty years. The ladies group is special with players that I feel I have grown up with. I think when we all started we were in the high twenty and thirty handicaps. The course is tough but the saying with many golfers that play here are " If you can play Eastmoreland you can play anywhere!!"
>>>> As we celebrate the first 100 years, and look forward to the next 100, what do you think makes Eastmoreland so special?
The trees and that it is still the true "Old style course.” The location is easy to get to from any part of time, parking good, and staff at club house is great.
With the rock garden construction complete, the volunteers planted local fauna donated by Jan & Diantha Knott and loved by butterflies
Our local wildlife expert Jan Knott who was recruited to help with the bird houses also provided some guidance and advice to Kathy and the butterfly garden volunteers. He pointed the team to the Xerces Society dedicated to invertebrate (insect) preservation. According to Jan, most birds love bugs, and so he and his bird loving peers will also pay mind the restoring natural flora that help attract the bugs that keep the ecosystem healthy. Just note, we are not growing "the flying flowers" for bird consumption, as butterflies are poisonous, a result of their milkweed diet and advertise this to birds in bright colors.
In the photo above you see a variety of wild flowers - here's a quick rundown of all the plants he and his wife collected and donated.
The plants my wife and I planted were:
Weigela - red flowers in summer (attracts hummingbirds and butterflies)
Cape Fuscia (Phygelius) - orange flower spikes in summer.
Echinacea - look like daisies
Portulaca - low growing succulents with colorful flowers
Helianthemum - called sunrose
I wish there were more places to place flowering plants. Unfortunately they take more maintenance than other areas of the course.
The bees were all over the flowers last summer and they should be back this year. Probably not enough flower mass for many butterflies but we can hope.
Anna's hummingbirds were around the hedge too and they should still be around.
To learn more about butterflies, I suggest the readers visit the Elkton Butterfly Garden in southwest Oregon, which I happen to drive pass every year on our annual pilgrimage to Bandon Dunes. You'll learn the story of Carol Beckley, a retired teacher with a passion for mentoring young people, cultivating native plants and promoting the town of Elkton.
As the ECEC describes above, the monarch butterflies that we would delight us all as children on warm summer days are at great risk. The population is decreased by 90% in just the last 30 years. Imagine a summer without the joyful dance of butterflies? This is why we as a community volunteer to preserve the habitat and help give back to the gifts of nature.
And while I wax poetically about the blissful butterfly, you may be surprised to discover that the Monarch butterfly completes a arduous journey across multiple generations from the mountains in central Mexico all the way up to the great plains of Canada and back down to Mexico. The last generation born in Canada and the NW (like here in Oregon) will then make a final flight home some 3000 miles long back to Mexico, an instinctual journey that scientists have yet to understand just how this last generation of Monarchs even know how to return to their ancestral winter home in Mexico.
Yes, you read that right! The Monarch butterfly that typically lives but a few short weeks, will in it's last generation of the season - travel all the way south to Mexico, to survive the winter and then start the cycle anew in the spring.
Take a look below at some golf balls many of the Women's Club members may remember. THese pastel golf balls hit the market in 1990 from Tommy Armor and I recall them standing out more than any other brand at the time. Women's balls actually have more differences than just brand and color. The compression is usually lower to account for different swing speeds. The covers as a result are often harder to counteract the balls compression and prevent cuts and damage from regular play. I thought I would complete this post with the blast from the past that many long time players will remember.
How a Chicago Socialite's serendipitous whistle stop train tour inspired championship golf in Oregon
This piece authored by Portland's own John Strawn was first published by the USGA’s monthly magazine, Golf Journal, in May, 1993. John served as CEO of the Robert Trent Jones II from 2000-2008 and President of Hills + Forrest, Golf Course architects until 2014. He is currently a Dirctor of Global Golf Advisors.
When Mrs. Potter Palmer of Chicago, on a sojourn of the west, left Portland, Oregon’s Union Station for San Francisco at the turn of the last century, she could not have imagined that a delay several hundred miles later would contribute, in a curiously roundabout way, to the building of Portland’s first municipal golf course on a nondescript piece of land adjacent to the tracks her coach had passed by on its way south. Mrs. Palmer was held up for a day in Medford, a small town near the Rogue River, and was so taken with the scenic beauty of the Klamath Mountains and the economic prospects of the Rogue River Valley’s orchard industry that she inspired a migration of wealthy young Chicagoans to southwestern Oregon. Among them was H. Chandler Egan.
The satirist Finley Peter Dunne’s Mr. Dooley captured the Palmers’ place in Chicago’s social world with his fanciful explanation of the rules of golf, written in 1898. “If ye ‘er necktie is not on sthraight, that counts ye’er opponent wan •••• Ye have a little boy followin’ ye, carryin’ ye’er clubs. Th’ man that has th’ smallest little boy it counts him two •••• Thin ye’er man that ye’re goin’ aginst comes up, an’ he asks ye, ‘Do you know Potther Pammer?’ Well, if ye don’t know Potther Pammer, it’s all up with ye: ye lose two points.”
Chan Egan, playing Dooley’s rules, started life up two. Herbert Warren Wind described him as a “strapping, clean-cut young man” who was extremely long off the tee, and if that weren’t enough, he had money. Egan moved to Medford in 1910, one of ten Harvard graduates to settle in the Rogue Valley. Before their arrival, Jackson County was known more for the rough manners of its miners, drawn by the county’s gold, than for its gentility.
The Rogue country produced wonderful fruit, especially pears, and its tidy orchards created an agreeable counterpoint to the mountains and rivers of Jackson County. The well-off transplanted midwesterners like Chan Egan were known among the locals as “remittance men”–they lived, at least until their orchards matured, on regular checks from home.
There weren’t many golf courses in Oregon when Egan arrived in Medford. Not much more than a drive and a wedge from his own orchard, Egan designed a course for the Rogue Valley Country Club. He was hired to layout a course for the Tualatin Country Club in suburban Portland. Soon after, he was called upon to remodel Waverley Country Club, the oldest of the city’s trio of pioneer courses, creating a set of famously treacherous greens. Portland Golf Club, site of the 1983 Senior Open, was the only early Portland course Egan’s hand didn’t touch.
In the fall of 1913, the great British professionals Harry Vardon and Ted Ray, recently dispatched by Francis Ouimet in a playoff at the US Open, played against Egan and C. Harry Davis in a thirty-six hole match at Waverley. According to Waverley’s club history, Egan and Davis “were four up after the morning round and continued to play well, until Egan’s final putt failed to drop. Over 1,000 people watched the afternoon match. It was the closest match” on Vardon and Ray’s western tour.
On the eve of World War I, a shrewd land development company in Portland offered the city 148 acres at a very good price as a site for a municipal golf course, stipulating only that the course take as its name that of the neighborhood under development– Eastmoreland. A committee of prominent golfers recruited from the city’s three private clubs supervised the development of Eastmoreland Golf Course, recommending their old friend, Chandler Egan, to design it. Aside from performing their civic duty, the committee members hoped a public course would eventually supply a pool of potential recruits to their clubs. The committee raised three thousand dollars to build the golf course, on treeless ground previously used for pasture and truck gardens.
Eastmoreland Golf Course was adjacent to the Southern Pacific’s right of way, so it was not only an amenity for the neighborhood, it provided a visual and sonic buffer between the train tracks and the houses. Eastmoreland was an instant success. The first nine opened for play in 1918, the second in 1920. By 1923, according to the annual reports of the city’s park commissioner, 75,000 rounds were played annually. Season passes were available for $12.00, while a daily pass was thirty cents. Two years after it opened, players were complaining about “weekend congestion.” “Last Saturday,” one writer griped, “it required four hours and twenty minutes to play eighteen holes, as compared with two hours and twenty-five minutes on Sunday morning.”
Demand was so great that two more city courses were soon added, and one of them, which no longer exists, was also designed by Egan. In the city archives is a copy of his invoice, dated May 18, 1922. “For designing the first nine holes of Canyon Road Golf Links, and submitting map of the same, including expenses $350.00.” As a resident of Portland, I’m proud to report that the city paid up in three weeks.
Egan was then a member of the USGA executive committee, playing out of Waverley, where he had set the course record with a 67. He was the best golfer in the Northwest, as well as its leading architect.
Ed Francis, Waverley’s historian, recalled Egan’s preference for playing his practice rounds with good players. “He was serious on the golf course,” Francis remembered, “and didn’t have much patience with duffers.” He smoked a pipe as he played.
Portlanders so took to golf that by the time the USGA selected Eastmoreland as the site of the 1933 National Public Links Championship, the city’s boosters were calling it “The Golf Capital of the United States.” Golf was a popular game in Portland, played, as in Scotland, by ordinary folk. The city made the game cheap and accessible, and with Egan’s help, created in Eastmoreland one of the country’s very best municipal golf courses.
Egan also laid out the Oswego Lake course, and added nine holes to Riverside, a country club built along the old flood plain of the Columbia River, not far from Portland International Airport. Today, four courses in all skirt the perimeter of PDX, built on the drained wetlands of the Columbia slough–two private clubs and two privately-owned daily-fee courses.
PDX was constructed on bottom land reclaimed by earthen levees to hold back the Columbia, a once great river that now glides like a dowager through lakes and dams on its way to the sea. But before commercial jets came along, this ground was covered not by runways but by fairways.
Planes arriving in Portland touch down on what was once the Alderwood Country Club, a course so highly regarded that it hosted The US Amateur in 1937. Egan won the Pacific Northwest Amateur there the year before he died, his last important championship.Though originally designed by the Canadian architect A. V. Macan, Alderwood had been remodeled by Egan, who brought to the task his special skills at shaping greens. Alderwood offered wonderful views of Mt. Hood, its perpetually white peak framed by the high dark walls of the Columbia Gorge. Streams bisected the airways. Photos of Alderwood evoke the feeling one has looking at the portrait of a long-departed ancestor. Alderwood is a course that you can visit only in imagination, and for a golfer there’s a kind of sorrow in its loss.
Portland’s golfers also nearly lost Eastmoreland. Play dropped precipitously as hard times hit after the 1933 Public Links Championship. In desperation, the city offered lifetime passes–good not just at Eastmoreland, but on any municipal course–for one hundred dollars. About 200 players managed to come up with the cash.
Ted Westling, formerly an assistant professional at Eastmoreland,says his father played so many rounds at Eastmoreland on his pass that his lifetime best ball–the total of his lowest scores on each hole–was 36. “He played often enough” Westling says, “to have eagled every hole.” The city tried occasionally to buy the passes back, but there were never any takers, and a dozen or so were still in use in 1993.An even more serious threat arose at Eastmoreland in 1940, when the Women’s Game Protective Association proposed turning the back nine, no longer crowded with golfers, into a wildlife refuge for migratory water fowl, threatening, in the words of one horrified golfer, to destroy “the finest muni golf course in anybody’s city.”
The back nine surrounds a spring-fed lagoon, and thousands of ducks and geese touch down on its waters. Today there’s a peaceful coexistence between golf and the birds, though the ground is occasionally thick with goose droppings. The birds and a famous rhododendron garden tucked around the impounded water give a peaceful air to the back nine. Players standing on the eleventh tee or the seventeenth green can see children feeding the ducks and citizens strolling among the large and colorful rhododendrons.The Ladd Estate Company’s decision to cede land to the city for the Eastmoreland Golf Course may have been shaped by the dictates of commerce, but it made Portland a mecca for public golf, as it remains today. Chandler Egan’s design of Portland’s first municipal course was of such an enduringly high quality that the USGA chose Eastmoreland for the Public Links Championship again in 1990. Chandler Egan’s legacy endures in the Pacific Northwest. He designed the Bend Country Club in central Oregon and Indian Canyon n Spokane, Washington, site of the 1941 Public Links Championship. In all, five courses Egan either designed or remodeled hosted USGA championships, an achievement any architect would take pride in.
Egan was working on a course in Everett, Washington when he was taken ill with pneumonia and died suddenly in 1935. Bobby Jones, no longer playing competitively, and the writer Grantland Rice were among the guests who came to honor the memory of the Northwest’s finest golfer when the Rogue Valley Country Club erected a monument in his honor. No one had done more to stamp his character on the golf courses of the Northwest than H. Chandler Egan.
Today's article represents the dream of the Eastmoreland 100 project and the mission of community storytelling. These pictures come from family albums of Michael Willan - the grandson of Dr. Ralph K. Strong, who in 1933 purchased a beautiful home beside the Eastmoreland Golf Course and Reed College, where Dr. Strong taught chemistry.
The lovely photo here is Michael's mother, Patti (Strong) Willian, who was born just after the family moved into their new home. You can see the golf course off in the distance along with a few players lining up putts on the 6th green.
For you pleasure, please enjoy Michael's family history as a glimpse into the lives of the people who shaped the neighborhood in 1933 and the home and view today.
Michael lived in Indiana and Illinois his entire life and never played Eastmoreland. He has a passion for history and golf like myself, and for that we are all grateful. Here is his story:
The photo was taken in October 1932 from the house my mom was born in at 7705 SE 28th Ave, so a block east of the course on the hillside between 27th and 28th. Her parents had just finished building the house and moved into it in early September from nearby Reed College faculty housing -- my grandfather, Dr. Ralph K. Strong, was a chemistry professor there. My mom was born a few days later. The house is still there, largely unchanged. Not surprisingly they picked that lot for the amazing setting and unique composition of course, trains and hills.
It seems this part of Eastmoreland was still filling in. In the foreground is an empty lot directly west and below them, then 27th Ave, then a view across the southern portion of the course.
One with adult (my aunt) is from March 1933. It's in rougher shape and obviously wall blocks quite a bit, but I like it for the additional insight on the original open course feel and how the growing neighborhood interfaced with the course. I am able to match up trees -- particularly the evergreen -- with the ones on the right side of the first photo. Maybe some bunkering details in there but hard to tell.
The one of the little girl (my mom) is from Sept 1934. Again the wall maddeningly blocks much of the course, but I can see at least one maybe two golfers walking off the same green as in the first. The trees line up with trees on left side of first pic.
The green Michael is referring to is the 6th hole. I was able to verify that using Google Maps (an amazing resource) by using the street maps and satellite views to get some perspective. See below for my estimate of the perspective of the course beyond their backyard wall. This photo is taken pointing due west towards the top.
A Reed College professor? Did your grandfather Dr. Strong happen to know Dr. Knowlton - the physics professor and first President of the Eastmoreland Club?
Regarding Dr. Knowlton, he actually hired my grandfather, Dr. Ralph K. Strong.
Knowlton hired him away from Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State) in 1920 to head Reed's Department of Chemistry.
My grandparents were friends with the Knowltons -- my grandmother's diary mentions dinners with the Knowltons and a baby dress bought by them for my mom.
So I don't think it's a stretch to say the Knowltons would have been encouraging my grandparents to buy that lot. Dr. Knowlton was probably thinking how nice it will be to have a visit with Ralph while viewing his home course, and guessing he did so a time or two!
Reed was a great fit for my grandfather -- a bit of an enigma himself. Super smart/talented chemist and educator (had Linus Pauling as a student at Oregon State). Smoked a pipe and had a stern, intimidating demeanor.
The Reed students apparently enjoyed poking fun at his ways. Here's one tongue-in-cheek yearbook entry:
"Mr. Strong is the most lenient member of the faculty. You can just see his mild and gentle disposition in the way he strolls slowly across the campus. He is always so patient about having his picture taken, too."
Through the Reed oral history archives - I found one of his star students, Betty Hines, who anxious to atrend Reed and study chemistry, was interviewed by Dr. Strong during her senior year of Jefferson High.
"The entire top floor of the Arts Building (Eliot Hall) was set up for chemistry. "On the left [west] would be the upper class labs. Then to the right [east] would be the lower class labs. In between was the library and Dr. Strong's office." She considered Strong to be the individual most critical to her success at Reed—"a very severe taskmaster, but a very fine person."
My grandmother, Mary Brown Strong, was a music teacher at Catlin Gabel School.
Both were from Nova Scotia and were set up via a dinner party by a mutual friend who was convinced that two Nova Scotians living so far away from home had to meet each other!
My grandmother was part of the 1920s golf craze -- I have photos of her somewhere posing with clubs back in Nova Scotia.
She sent that first pic to her family back home proudly describing on the back of the photo Eastmoreland's two-part layout, and to her dad extending an invitation to come west and play: "How about an early morning game on Christmas Day?" She would have walked the course often and may have played it.
While I don't think my grandfather played golf, he was a train fanatic, having worked as a young adult for the Canadian Pacific Railway.
So I'm sure that while my grandmother was drawn by the course and golfers he was thinking train whistles and train smoke from the line west of the course, and I'm sure that sealed the deal on the house.
Unfortunately, the dream set up did not last long. My grandmother passed away the next year and in 1936 my grandfather and mom moved to Terre Haute, Indiana for his new job as head of the Chemistry department at an engineering university, Rose Poly. Years later my dad enrolled at Rose and ended up in Dr. Strong's first-year chemistry class. He was one of Dr. Strong's favorite students, that is until he showed up one night on Dr. Strong's doorstep to pick up his daughter for a date! Luckily for me, my dad perservered.
While my mother, Patti (Strong) Willian, grew up in Indiana she was a Portlander at heart and returned every summer as a child for visits with family and friends and camp on the coast.
I grew up in Winnetka, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, went to undergrad at Miami of Ohio, am a huge Cubs fan, have been an in-house tech lawyer for the last 15 years (just recently left Lenovo/Motorola Mobility) and enjoy writing (several years ago published a book on the film It's a Wonderful Life).
And of course I love golf. I definitely want to play Eastmoreland this year for obvious reasons! Unfortunately I have only seen the course and neighborhood on Google Maps.
Michael for sharing your family's story and photos, the Eastmoreland 100 Project would like to extend you an open invitation to you come play golf with us any time. If you like, consider joining us for the June 16, 2018 Centennial where the festivities will include the NWHickory Sticks are organizing a tournament. We would be honored to have you come play 18 and walk the fairways your grandmother may have strolled on Christmas Day! Hopefully with a new niblick or mashie in the bag : )
If you find that photo of Mary and her golf clubs, we would love to include that in the story of Eastmoreland 100.
There is nothing in the world equal to the beginner's joy
Here's a fun article I discovered in the Oregon Journal from 1922. The author explains "the beginner at golf is the only one who can enjoy the game," because otherwise we follow the "fatal path" of the novice golfer "who loses all hope" spending hours endeavouring "how to drive" and "how to putt."
It is a good antidote to players who are flummoxed one Sunday morning declaring "I lost my swing!"
As Vinny DiGiano says "Do not pin your happiness to the state of your golf game, you will only bemiserable." No worse advice has ever been offered.
Be hopeful and optimistic at every moment of the round. It will not only help you, but it will greatly annoy your opponents if their luck is poor.
Did you enjoy the article?
My favorite line: "He [the novice] spends hours learning to drive, then he is put to the next weapon of offence [irons, chipping putting], only to find when he has grasped the intricacies he has forgotten how to drive!
Who doesn't know that feeling? Stripe the ball down the middle one round, missing greens right and left. This leads to hours of short iron approach shots, dialing in the wedges to exact yardages. Then just when the golfer is ready to finally conquer the course like never before, she pull hooks the first drive deep out of bounds.
The alternate, as advocated in this old editorial is to show up without a care in the world. It reminds me of our Club Champion Todd Downes, who spent most of the 2017 holed up in his apartment doing god knows what? He played less than 5 total rounds since February (other than the Eastmoreland/Olympic Club grudge match at Bandon and the May SunRiver Shootout). So I called him up suggesting he come play a practice round. The club championship was just a few weeks away in August and we want the 2015 champion to be there! He already skipped the City Championship in July for the first time in 5 years. Some of us were beginning to wonder if he might have truly given up the game forever. Thankfully, he shows up for the Sunday game, but, as it turns out shoots an 80 which is a pretty rare blow up for Todd. However, there was a ray of hope after the damage of 7 over on the front 9, he shot even par on the back going 1 under on the final 5 holes. Still I had to wonder as we shook hands on 18 if he would scratch out his name for club championship the following weekend.
He did show up... really show up. He said he "figured something out last week" as he apt to say before shooting lights out, then turns in a scorecard for 74, one shot off the lead. He goes on to back it up and shoot 73 the next day against Byron and Jack winning the Club Championship by a stroke.
"I was just having fun" he remarked with very little emotion and only a hint of smile.
BTW: Are you perhaps so golf addicted that you furrow your brow that the last bit of wisdom is cut short for the article above?
Would the author dare to hold back the secret wisdom hidden way back in time from 1922?
Of course not - as the subheader gem explains: "patience necessary"
December 6, 1931 Sunday Oregonian
Events of the week in sports by Cartoonist Lee
Vinny Digiano, an Eastmoreland 100 founder, like myself, often find ourselves fairy addicted to the news from 100 year old papers. We are last of Generation X, the cusp of the millenials, so we remember a time when people read the morning papers. There's something nostalgic reading the century old news, and surprisingly informative on the daily life of people from a long, long time ago
This cartoon discovery was pure luck. I'm working an an article about Paul C. Murphy, president of the Ladd Estate Company the developer of Eastmoreland. The process involves reading through dozens of articles, one on December 6, 1931 pictured to the right is typical in that's it's not particularly informative or useful. The election of "Mr Lake Oswego" to the Oswego Lake Country Club is no surprise. Afterall, he literally built the entire town around Chandler Egan designed golf course. and the engineered Oswego Lake.
So even though this was a bust, I dug a bit further and look over the rest of the Sunday's Sport Section and found this cartoon gem.
The "Which Size" cartoon caught my eye because it references a anomaly in golf history. Namely, in 1931 the USGA and the British Royal & Ancient Golf Association briefly had different set of rules for the size and weight of golf balls.
What's fascinating is the controversy is similar to the current debate on the future of the golf ball.
"I want some new size golf balls"
With the development of golf balls progressing at an alarming rate the U.S.G.A, fearful of the skill level required to play golf being continually compromised by the golf ball manufacturers, decided to standardize the weight and size of golf balls. In 1931 the U.S.G.A ruled that no ball played in their championships could weigh more than 1.55 oz, or was smaller than 1.68. in diameter. These new sizes were not popular with the British golfers, as the windswept links of yesteryear required different flight characteristics in a ball.
The USGA and the R&A have been dueling for more than a century on who is the leader in adding more pages to the rules of golf, than the tax code. The equipment rules are an important part of the game though often controversial. In 1918, only hickory sticks were legal and remained so for almost another decade before steel. The evolution of the golf ball was just as essential, and shows the importance of technology impact on how the game is played.
Here's a quick recap of the history of the golf ball for your pleasure.
The "Feathery" Balls Era: 14th century to 1860's
The first 400+ year, golf was played with a hand woven leather ball stuffed with feathers or animal hair. This was the era of "colf" the ancient game developed in the Netherlands, which the Scots transformed into early version of golf. The "feathery" balls required resources and artisan technique. Most of the early golf professionals into the 19th century were in fact club and ball makers, who toiled away in workshops making the tools of the trade. Each craftsmen could only produce a maximum of three or four featheries a day, As a result, the golf ball was a very expensive luxury.
According to Scottish golf history, finding a golf balls was akin to finding gold coin!
Sebastian van Warendorp, a Spanish army commander, demanded a ransom from Tilburg of 12,000 balls or he would burn the village down. The Tilbergers were not ball makers, but they prevailed upon the neighbouring village of Goirle in the south to help. After rummaging behind the sofa, the ‘ballefrutters’ of Goirle produced 6,500 balls as a down payment!
The ancient game of colf was a tiresome game, a cold game, a dangerous game, a muddy game and an uneconomic game. Geert and Sara Nijs Games for Kings and Commoners
In the 1860's the gutta-percha arrived, a solid rubber, which was cheaper and less cut-able. It's no surprise then that golf as an organized sport flourished with the new ball. With the ability to manufacture balls with molds and machines, the costs went from what would be the equivalent of $100/ball to $10/ball. Balls were still a valuable commodity, just more available and affordable. The Vardon Flyer represented the premier guttie of golf ball and the first ever manufactured in the U.S. by Spaulding in 1899 and the first ball represented by a pro golfer, none other than Harry Vardon. His first trip to the U.S. where we won the 1900 U.S. Open was sponsored by Spaulding and included many showcases in department stores across the country to promote the ball and golf clubs.
However, Vardon Flyer very soon replaced by the new "Mesh Balls" a compressed, wound-rubber-core ball, that flew much farther. By 1902 all professionals were using the new mesh "Haskel" ball
Mesh Balls 1910's - 1930's
Since there was a patent on round dimples, the ball manufacturers began creating mesh balls with all sorts of dimple patterns. This is an very cool period for the golf ball where the patterns are as much about adornment than science. As with all things golf, performance will always trump style, and the round dimple proved the best through experimentation and research.
1931 - "Which new size?" the punchline
In 1919, the R & A, the British equivalent to the USGA, announced its intention to
“to limit the power of the ball, in order to retain the special features of the game”
While there was disagreement in the regulation size and weight (a debate driven no doubt by the ball manufacturers themselves) In 1921 was a compromise wby USGA and R&A, based on 1.62oz maximum weight and 1.62 inches minimum diameter.
In 1929 the USGA broke away from the R&A and announced “From extensive and constant research, the conviction has grown that a 1.68 inch minimum and 1.55oz maximum ball, best meets all requirements of play." for debut in 1931.
3-piece Hard fairways are an issue in Portland for about 5 weeks, maybe, so I wonder if the lighter ball was total flop here in Portland right from the start. The new 1931 ball was nerfed as my friend Justin Ball would say, and was likely very unpopular with players as it loses distance and accuracy.
So this cartoon poked fun at a invented controversy frustrating golfers and retailers alike. The USGA changed the rules in time for the 1933 U.S. Public Links held in Portland, OR. So my guess is many of the local players were faced with the real dilemma of having to prepare with the new conforming ball, only to have that changed in time for the tournament.
The USGA, we know you are doing your best, sometimes less is more. This debate rages on led by Jack Nicklaus, the greatest golfer of the 1960' & 1970's who will often remark that the USGA needs to change the ball. He played in the era of the modern 3-piece "wound dimpled ball" and benefited year after year from slight improvements - though relatively unchanged for over 50+ years
When I was young, there were two sets of balls. Pro balls were round with Balata covers. Not the longest off the tee, though essential for a good short game, as the softer covers could react to the club and make the ball "dance" and spin. They were also prone to cuts and damage, rarely lasting even a full 18 holes. The other option was hard synthetic covers of Surlyn and solid ball that were less expensive, resisted damage, and most of all longer. The were like rocks for chipping and putting so rarely used by the Pros. Into the early 1990's the soft covers of Urethane improved to the point that by 2005 almost all Pros were using Urethane balls solid core balls.
Will the USGA change the ball? Since 2005, the ball has not really changed much in performance. If we get another 50 years from this design, and I'd say most amateurs are very pleased with modern balls. I like both bombing drives distance and soft spin fortouch around the greens.
For the Pro's it might be fun to see them try persimmon woods a throwback era like major league baseball. Hey that gives me an idea for Eastmoreland 100 ;)
This past March, I volunteered to help Kathy Hauff in her efforts to achieve Audubon Certification. And by "volunteer" I promised to wrangle up Eastmoreland Men's Club very own bird expert and photographer, Jan Knott, and tag along as his helper.
Jan started birding when he was a child, receiving his first pair of binoculars to explore the bird habitats of South Africa. Birding is a little like hunting, you have to know the species and get lucky to catch a glimpse. All of his shots are with very beautiful long range digital cameras. He returns every so often with his wife Diantha. She is also a bird enthusiast and together the made documentary film Malheur: Seasons of Change a project taking over 10 years. Malheur National Bird Refuge, which made news by the ridiculous militant standoff, "supports anywhere from 5 to 66 percent of the Pacific Flyway’s migrating birds, not to mention 58 mammal species like deer, antelopes, elk and coyotes." Founded in 1908 by Teddy Roosevelt, many of us wished his ghost would have risen up for the birds and animals and taken those pretenders to the woodshed with his big stick. Diantha and Jan just laughed and decided to take the publicity as an opportunity to showcase their documentary.
Playing golf with Jan I now know so much more about the bird populations, their migratory patterns. I enjoy taking photos of birds that I don't recognize to share with Jan and he can identify them with ease. I once saw a flock of birds high in the air, doing a intricate dance in V-like formation, just not resembling geese at all. When I return to turn in the scorecard, I do my best to dutifully recount the description to Jan.
"Brown Pelicans!" he exclaims.
"Pelicans!?" What a surprise. "They live in the Northwest?"
"Oh yes, the Brown Pelicans migrate south from Alaska." he smiled "You are lucky to see them."
Well, we are lucky to have Jan along in our foursomes. He's one of the longest running men's club members who played alongside many of the Wolves like Benny Hughes. Of course, he has been known to lose patience when he shoots a low score, anxious to collect the winnings. I guess now that he's retired, he needs that payball cash to fund more canvas hats and bird feed.
The Mission Begins: The emails
Jan and I would like to clean out the birdhouses this week. Do you have any advice? Perhaps a map of were they are all located.
We plan to go Tuesday evening and see what we can accomplish in one evening, then come back again as needed.
You are awesome! I have been so busy lately that I completely forgot to get together with you guys but I still would like to have a meeting with you and Jan.
I would bring a small step ladder because some of them are a little higher than an easy reach. I will attach a document with the locations and a map (red dots are the boxes). Please let me know if they are in the right places or if we might want to move some of them. Some of them might have come down so don’t count on them all being where the kids placed them.
Golf Course Superintendent | Eastmoreland Golf Course
Portland Parks & Recreation
NOTE: The "kids" that Kathy is referring to are boy scouts who for an eagle project helped construct some birdhouses along the sanctuary. According to Jan, it's in this wetland area labeled Restoration Project (past the driving range to the West of the 18th hole and East of the 16th hole dogleg, where the best places to look for songbirds and nesting waterfowl. The image below identifies birdhouse locations with a red dot.
Billy and Jan agree to meet Tuesday.
I will try to get in 9 holes and see you on 18 at about 5. I will get a cart and have a ladder so just walk over to 18.
I printed the map but it is black and white so the red dots don’t show up. I will try to make a color print.
Jan brings a special drill cleaning brush and his stepladder. Billy drives the cart and navigates.
It was fun working with you. Thanks for persisting when I was ready to quit. It made a big difference.
We successfully cleaned quite a number of boxes. Spider webs and pill bugs were the most common occupants.
A partial list of the birds we saw:
Great Blue Heron
Common Canada Goose - in pairs.
Small Canada Goose - large flock
The usual ducks, I didn’t count.
It was late, dark and stormy so I am not surprised bird activity was low.
The birds that will possibly use the nest boxes are:
Black-capped Chickadees, Chestnut-backed Chickadees,
House Wren, Bewick’s Wren
I think the holes are too small for starlings, bluebirds or swallows.
At least four of the boxes had remains of a nest in them No idea what bird built the nest and whether it was successful.
One box was occupied by a large black spider, another by a large black rat. You evicted them both.
The wood duck nest boxes over the water were not accessible to us. Too high and over water. One had fallen down, one had a roof missing and the others appeared to be stuffed with leaves, probably by squirrels. Servicing these boxes should be done by someone on the landscape staff with tall ladders or a tree trimmers lift.
For future we may consider trying to attract violet-green swallows. They use nest boxes with oval shaped holes. I have a couple of these boxes I can bring and place next Sunday.
The golf course has a large number of barn swallows in the summer.
They nest under the eaves of buildings in a mud cup. Maybe the addition of flat planks under the eaves of the cart shed would work for them.
The swallows show up later in the spring so there is time.
Your idea of having bird walks and bird counts is a good one. Maybe times could be allocated on weekdays to avoid conflict with golfers. I don’t see how a path could be made that would avoid conflict during golfing hours.
Thanks for the fun time,
Thanks Jan - it was a blast
Don't forget, we also saw
Giant brown recluse spiders
Hungarian Black Rat
Brown Recluse spiders don’t live in Oregon. It was most likely a false black widow. No bitey.
The rat could have been Serbian but he sure did look hungary. ODFW calls them black rats and they can climb and build nests in holes. Exterminators are calling them roof rats as opposed to what?, underfloor rats?. They mostly live in warmer places so this may be another indicator of a warming Portland, if you believe in that kind of thing.
You guys are amazing! Thank you so much for doing this and taking the pictures. I am going to include all of this in my Outreach and Education section of my Audubon certification that I am now about to turn in.
The boxes on 14 are really old and I didn’t include them because they are too high and hard to get to. The rest of the boxes were put up by the scout troupe.
Jan-anything you would like to do to continue either monitoring the boxes or putting up new ones would be wonderful. If you need anything or if we need to move something from a tree and put it on a pole just let me know and my crew can do that. I am a very handy woodworker so if there is a type of structure you think we might put up for other types of birds or bats just let me know and I can make it.
Golf Course Superintendent | Eastmoreland Golf Course
Portland Parks & Recreation
The dentist and toastmaster Dr. Millard Holbrook is the only member of the Committee who as Oregonian from cradle to the grave. He was born September 1, 1876 to Philo and Hannah (Wilson) Holbrook. His father Philo was a seafaring man from Connecticut and came to Oregon the long way, by way of Cape Horn around the southern tip of South America. Phile then settled in the Dalles and became the first registered pilot on the upper Columbia. A pilot is a specially trained sailor, who captains the ship through shallow, dangerous, or congested waters. My grandfather William T. Shea was trained as harbor pilot in the Philippines and would be called out to skipper in Destroyers and Aircraft Carriers into the Docks. Hannah, Millard's mother, was born in the great plains while her parents were en route to Oregon by wagon train in 1849. Millard would have grown up in what appears a stable home in Stumptown, graduating from Portland High School in 1895 and going on the University of Oregon and then Philadelphia Dental College, before returning to Oregon to start his practice..
Dr. Millard C. Holbrook also played football for M.A.A.C. team just like James C. Conville. He played fullback and punter, and considered one of the stars in the M.A.A.C. One of their greatest victories against the University of Oregon teams.
He also served briefly in Company H of the Oregon National Guard for drills based out of the Armory building constructed in 1891. He played fullback and punter, and considered one of the stars in the M.A.A.C. One of the more thrilling victories came against the University of Oregon teams. What's interesting is that in 1900, the year of this game a touchdown was worth 5 points! The missed the extra point after running in the only touchdown in the second half.
Dr. Millard C. Holbrook played football at PDC and then for M.A.A.C. team just like James C. Conville. He played fullback and punter, and considered one of the stars in the M.A.A.C. One of their greatest victories against the University of Oregon teams. One of the more thrilling victories came against the University of Oregon teams. What's interesting is that in 1900, the year of this game a touchdown was worth 5 points! The missed the extra point after running in the only touchdown in the second half.
I hoped to find a photo of Holbrook and the M.A.A.C. football team from his playing days 1900-1905. Perhaps there are more photos in the Multnomah Athletic Club archives, since I came up blank online. In the "Legend of the 26" I did find one reference to Mrs. Millard C. Holbrook as members of the Ladies Annex Fencing team. I think those heart emblazoned blouses would be quite a hit with the hipster culture of modern Portland.
Before college Millard served in Company H of the Oregon National Guard for drills based out of the Armory building constructed in 1891. I found a newspaper article about the 25th reunion held at the Holbrook farm (probably the farm inherited from his wife's father) in which there were barbeque and games managed by Holbrook himself. Baseball is listed separately, so my guess is the games were likely tug-of-war, and perhaps some track and field type events and plenty of refreshments.
What about his Golf game?
Millard may have been a star athlete, though almost every published record of his golf game showed rounds that he was a high handicapper (shooting 126 in Portland G.C championship). It's worth noting in the photos of the foursome both Millard and Victor are not shown with golf clubs. He and Victor Johnson would have been able to give themselves a decent match, though Victor might have the upper hand and Ms. Johnson would have taken them both to the cleaners.
Why the "Toastmaster"?
Dr. Holbrook was first noted for giving a toast for Portland High School. Either he was a natural or just loved giving a rousing speech, because thereafter he is mentioned as either the "toastmaster" for a great many events, both at Portland Golf Club, Columbia Edgewater, where he was a founding member and the Oregon Dental Association which he served as President. I assembled a collection of these articles for your pleasure.
I can only imagine the glorious and memorable toast that Dr. Millard Holbrook would have offered to mark the grand opening of our sporty Eastmoreland municipal links.
Toast for Job Well Done
The effort Paul J Keyser by to build this municipal links has deeply impressed myself and the entire Golf Committee. Paul J. Keyser had to follow in the giant lumbering footsteps of James "Dad" Conville. As a fullback my entire career I understand the grit required to take the ball and follow Dad's lead as he blocks up field. Once Dad was called to patriotic duty last fall, Paul carried the load.
He built vision of the Olympic champion Chandler Egan. (applause)
What a good sport! And what a sporty links! We here in Portland may not have been the first city to build a municipal links, by golly, we built the best! (loud applause + cheering)
This links even on it's opening day is equal to my own Portland Golf Club, and if I may say, quite and easier walk for a old gridiron man with these rickety knees. (laughter)
Paul came in early, left late, and listen to an absurd number of change orders with an insane deadline. Now that we've accomplished some great work, I can say this: Paul your only job now is to enjoy a toast to your success.... and be the keeper of the coins for the very first foursome and match between T. Morris Dunne for the Winged M and Portland Golf Club against Victor Johnson and Rabbi Jonah Wise a representing Waverley and Tualatin.
Nickel game gentlemen? 5 in the front/5 on the back/5 overall.
Victor Johnson - automatic presses with 2 down
Rabbi Weise - agreed
Morrie - amateurs should play for sport alone.
Millbrook - lighten up Morrie - it's for nickels! and Keyser make sure no wooden ones are thrown in that hat!
(Laughter and cheering)
Paul Keyser - Gentleman - I should note, gambling is illegal in PP&R according to the CIty of Portland laws
Millbrook - and so is the consumption of alcohol - which is why I brought along a flask of Single Malt Scottish Hair Tonic
Millbrook lights up a pipe or cigar and takes another swig
Victor Johnson - wait 'til the day they make smoking illegal on parks too.
In 1933, Eastmoreland golf course hosted the USGA Public Links Championship. That year a handful of Eastmoreland players vied for the championship, though came up short in the final matches. It would be 3 years before Bill Wright would be born, and another 23 before he crowned Champion in 1959 at Wellshire G.C. in Denver Colorado.
Through the years many other Eastmoreland players have played what's affectionately called the Publinx, from Benny Hughes in the late 1930's to Jack Schneider as recently as 2000 at Great Blue at Heron Lakes. However we have only one champion in Bill Wright.... and though I say "we" he was in fact an adopted member. He should have been representing Franklin Park Golf Course in Seattle but because of the segregated clubs, he came to Eastmoreland where he was welcome to establish a handicap.
I first learned about Bill's story from Portland's own PGA professional Vincent Johnson, winner of the 2010 Long Beach Open and now assistant director of the Portland Parks golf program. Vincent has had an opportunity to speak with Bill during his early years as a PGA professional. From these beginnings, I started to research and came upon a terrific article by Golf Magazine titled "Wright & Wronged" published on October 9, 2009. That very same day he was honored by the USGA, First Tee and Franklin Park in Seattle as "Bill Wright Day" in recognition of the 50th anniversary of his historic win.
For Bill, who at the age of 73 at the time still had the buttery smooth swing of a that could knock drives 275+, competing at golf was a matter of individual accomplishment. While he is very proud of being black american and a champion, his real focus was just getting an opportunity to play and showing he could compete and win. Given the racial prejudice of America getting into the roster required Bill Wright to do far more than just play champion level golf. He had to scale the walls of racial prejudice.
He had a good mentor too, as Charlie Swifford, the PGA tour player who played alongside Joe Lewis was a close family friend, staying with the Wright's when he played tournaments in Seattle. It was Joe and Charlie who fought the PGA's "caucasians only" clause installed in 194. By 1959 that overt discrimination would would be dealt a knock-out blow by none other than Joe Lewis.
Bill Wright had to face the more challenging barrier of passive discrimination. While the USGA did not have overt discrimination policies, the clubs which governed local membership were often segregated in many cities, including his home course of Franklin Park in Seattle
The ultimate measure of a player is the flight of your ball