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NEWS NCGA


End of an Era: The Spyglass Founders Club


A


big chapter in the history of the Northern California Golf


Association has ended. Fifty years after the offi cial opening of Spyglass Hill Golf Course on March 10, 1966, the Spyglass Founders Club has ceased to exist. On March 10, the club’s head-


quarters—Spyglass Hill’s original clubhouse (and former home of the NCGA) that overlooks the 10th tee and green on No.9—was turned over to the Pebble Beach Company. Why were the members of the


Spyglass Founders Club so impor- tant? Because it was with their help that Spyglass Hill was created. As part of the agreement between


Pebble Beach Co. founder Samuel F.B. Morse and the NCGA, the NCGA would fi nance the construc-


tion of Spyglass Hill while Morse provided the land. In their attempt to raise funds, the NCGA’s Bob Hanna and Fran Watson created a group of 250 Founders who each paid a $2,500 membership fee for a total of $625,000—the estimated cost to build the course. They’d get some help from Morse,


who underwrote around 65 member- ships, but the Founders got it done. “Without Morse’s help, there is


no Spyglass Hill,” said Robert Trent Jones Jr., who worked with his father Robert Trent Jones on the course. “Without the Founders Club, the NCGA would not be the most pro- gressive golf association in the nation and true pioneers in eventually own- ing their own course.” Less than a year after opening,


Samuel F.B. Morse and Robert Trent Jones, Sr.


Spyglass Hill joined the course rotation for the annual Bing Crosby National Pro-Am (today the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am), replacing Monterey Peninsula Country Club. It’s been there ever since. In the meantime, Spyglass Hill has hosted hundreds of NCGA competitions, produced six decades worth of amateur champions and established itself as one of the great venues in the game. In 2018, the course will co-host the U.S. Amateur Championship. So here’s a “goodbye” and a big


“thank you” to the Spyglass Founders Club. It was a great run.


–J.S.


See the Shag Bag Blog on NCGA.org for a more detailed story on the Spyglass Founders Club.


The Spyglass Founders Clubhouse 56 / NCGA.ORG / SPRING 2016


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