Durand Eastman Women's Golf Club, established in 1931, is the first women's golf league in Rochester. Read the history below, written by Mabel Bubel in 1971, of how this club got started.
On assuming the role of secretary of our club, I became the custodian or trustee of two very valuable books; namely, the minutes for many years of our club, they make for wonderfully fascinating reading. I came across a history of our club written by a former secretary and past member Eleanor Ries. I really think it’s worth passing on. Shall we go down memory lane?
History of the Durand Eastman Women’s Golf Association
35 Years of Golf
Mabel Bubel, Secretary 1971
Perhaps you have wondered how our Women’s Golf Association was organized! Back on April 17, 1931, the first meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Adele Taylor. Eight members were present and Mrs. Taylor was made the first president. The dues were $2.00 and they were known by the name Lakeshore Golf Association of Durand Eastman Park.
Their third meeting on June 15, 1931 was held at the club house at Durand by permission of the City. Each member wore a celluloid button made in colors green and white. One of their early tournaments was called the Kicker’s Tournament held on October 12, followed by a Steak Roast. The 1st Championship Tournament was held on August 28, 1931, a dollar prize was awarded for each winner, gross and net, for each class, a putting contest was also included. So went the first year.
By the second year 1932, the Club’s name was changed from Lakeshore to Lakeside to Durand Eastman Women’s Golf Association. Two reasons for the change were: another club already had the same name (Lakeshore) and Men’s Association wished to become affiliated with the Women’s Club. Emblems on the ladies’ golf bags were similar to the men’s. Dues were reduced to $1.00 per year. Wednesday was their golf day with “Sweeps” every week. Tournaments were held once a month and they were anxious to get new members. A prize of 50 cent golf balls was given to a member bringing the most new members by June 1st. John Nunan was the Pro.
By the third year, 1933, the Golf Club had 23 members and was very well organized. John McGrath, the Pro, spoke on golf rules to the ladies at their meetings. Golf day was every Tuesday with a business meeting held the 1st Tuesday of every month. Rainy Tuesdays they played Bridge at the club house, cost per person was 25¢ with a prize for each table. The 1st outside golf event was in 1934 at Sodus. Their championship was played in Match Play. To raise money for their treasury they raffled golf balls at 5¢ per chance.
In 1935 the Women gave $10.00 to help pay for furnishing the Recreation Room at the club. They also appealed to the Men’s Club wives and lady-friends to join their club, they needed new members. Their Executive Committee consisted of present and past officers. They played at Canandaigua, voted to purchase rack for scores and to give the card party proceeds from the Rainy Day Tuesdays toward furnishing the club room. They abided by U.S.G.A. rules and had a match with Women of Genesee Valley Park. They also had a Harvest Tournament, held social meetings once a month during the winter, had a Christmas Party. Their committees were Golf, Finance, Publicity, Social, Membership and [Original article cut-off]
April 6, 1936, Rochester Women’s Golf Association, invited the D.E. to join them, requirements being a handicap of 28 or lower acquired from 3 Durand cards and 2 cards from outside courses. Dues were $3.00 per year. Each member kept her handicap card at Starter’s Office and figured her own handicap. Group lessons were 50¢ given by Pro John McGrath). In September 1936, Janet Geyer was runner up in the Beaten 8. Luncheon in May became New Members Luncheon
1937 They had automatic 2 putts on temporary greens and a free lift on the 11th hole.
1938 Abided by PGA rules. Lois Patchin tied course record of 84.
1939 Lois Patchin scored 79 to break course record.
1940 Rains in May delayed opening the course. October luncheon catered by Johnsons (40¢)
1941 No written record.
1942 Armond Lanuti became Pro.
1943 – 1946 No written records.
1947 Names, such as Marion Kuntz, Gen Stone, Stella Salt, Betty O’Bine were on the membership list.
1950 Dues were raised from $2.00 to $3.00. Betty Ward was Secretary. Chris Struck arrived in 1951. By 1957, dues were $4.00.
So, in 1966, we have grown from 8 to 80 members. Our dues are now $6.00. The course record was broken by Jean Pinckard in September 1965. She scored a 72. Our grateful thanks go to those women 35 years ago, who organized such a dedicated program of golf for us all to follow. God Bless them All!!!!
We can all say Amen to Eleanor. Now in the year of our Lord 1971 (and inflation), we are 40 years of age as of April 17, 1971. Our membership has grown to 90 members with a waiting list. Our dues are $7.00 plus $1.00 for the District, plus 50¢ for the Sunshine Fund.
Over the years we have lost many members for different reasons, death took Stella Salt in 1966, there was a tree planted in Stella’s memory on the 10th hill path going to the club house, we also have the Stella Salt Tournament every year. In 1969 Jean Pinckard moved to Florida, her course record still stands, she is an Honorary Life Member of our club and her influence will remain with us always.
During the year we have 18 hole and 9 hole guest days, also two Scotch events in which our husbands participate, our tournaments throughout the season are many and varied. The Spring and Harvest Luncheons, also Awards Banquet are held every year. There is a monthly meeting and luncheon ever month of the golf season and we are busy, busy, busy.
This chain of golf stretches back many many years, let us hope that in the years that are to come it will be as strong or even stronger than it is today, and maybe someday another secretary will read of our time and say God Bless them all!!!! They kept the Durand Eastman Women’s Golf Club going strong for us.
Mabel Bubel, Secretary, 1971