By GARY TRAYNHAM 7/13/22
Tales of sand greens turning to fast grass and past tournaments and parties abounded at the recent Arbuckle Golf Club's 100th Centennial Celebration.
A full house enjoyed the camaraderie built up through the generations. Highlighting the festivities was a presentation by Emmy Moore Minister to the club from the California Alliance for Golf (CAG) for its historic passion for the game. The award highlighted the club's membership for its continued passion in stepping up in volunteering its time and providing resources for special projects.
In addition, Minister, recently elected president of Women In Golf Industry, cited the dedication of the employees who have proven they really care in providing an enjoyable experience every time golfers tee it up. CAG is a non-profit corporation serving as the unified voice for the golf industry in California. The honor also saluted the Arbuckle members who have kindly "reached into their pockets" to support community-based activities from youth sports to local educational programs.
In the event's scramble tournament, Rick, Valerie and Derick Strain plus Taylor Davies combined to shoot 13-under par to start the festivities.
President Mike Voorhees, assisted by event chairperson Andi Armstrong, gave a special tribute to the membership for its continued and unselfish support for club activities that began in 1922.
(The California Alliance for Golf (CAG) is a non-profit corporation serving as the unified voice for the golf industry in California.)
Derick Strain, Mike Voorhees, and Andi Armstrong hold plaque presented by CAG's Emmy Moore Minister.
By GARY TRAYNHAM 6/30/22
Arbuckle Golf Club, often referred to as a hidden gem in the Sacramento Valley, will hold a Centennial Golf Tournament and Remembrance Dinner on Saturday, July 9. The public is invited to participate in an 18-hole scramble format tournament, which includes golf, refreshments and dinner. Golf begins at 11 a.m. Players are encouraged to sign up in foursomes. Fee is $100 each. (contact Andi Armstrong 530-682-1614). Dinner tickets are available for $40 (530-476-2470). Signup deadline is July 7.
Cherished memories of Arbuckle golf have spread since druggist LaMotte Stinson spearheaded development of a nine-hole course in the scenic Whiskey Creek area, drawn by the appeal of three creeks. Stinson, who joined Yolo Fliers Club in Woodland a year earlier, was ably assisted by Ray Caldwell and others in 1922 in development of the layout. Sheep were regularly moved off the property on Fridays for weekend play.
Within three years, the club moved up the hill to its present 80-acre site, purchased from S.S. Eakle of Williams for $800. Membership cost was $80 and the nine holes included sand greens.
Women were encouraged to play to avoid widowhood. Among the first to tee it up were Mmes. L.G. Johnson, M.H.Griffin, Gordon Patton. F. W. Schutz, B.C. Hughes, L.L. Ayers, Loretta Schutz and J. N. Boles (Colusa).
Among an early work crew were Bob Coy, "Coon" Myers, Will Porter, Phil Molter, Fred Schutz and Stinson and Alex Atrain.
Fritz Erdman, Woodrow Clasby, Rodly Wilkins, Doug Mathews and others donated equipment to restructure the golf course and build grass greens approximately 35 years later. The layout initially started near the current No. 9 green and went east.
Betty Koch, now 100, remembers those days. Betty, who owned The Villa restaurant with her husband in Williams, played at the club over 50 years, recently giving up the game at 96.
"None of my friends were left," she quips.
She laughs about the sand greens: "If you wanted to play golf, you had to do a little housekeeping. The course was definitely a different shape then. "We had lots of dinners and dances. One night we had a good band and almost everybody left early. There was just Doug and Eleanor Mathews and my husband and me. We kept on dancing. It was a good band." She remembers Lilia Johnson being a top woman player then.
Golf professionals Keith Eynon, Dan Price, Carl Funk and Ross Farley later bolstered the quality of play for several decades after the makeover.
Former PGA Tour regular Pat McGowan and Fresno State standout Brady Myers, both of Colusa, cherished Arbuckle experiences in their youth before homegrown Ben Geyer became a St. Mary's College champion.
Geyer, a former club champion in his only try, has shot 11-under-par 61 six times, one stroke off Dave Carr’s course record. He continues on the pro circuit. “The club means everything to me,” Geyer says. “It’s not just the golf but for the community. It’s important that we have it.”
Myers concurs. "I was fortunate to have access to that club," says Myers, a current member who once held the course record at 63. "It made me a better player. Pat told me the greens are every bit as good as Augusta."
Myers savors sitting in the clubhouse and looking out at the Sutter Buttes. "That's the most pleasant place on earth."
Senior member Bill Werry agrees, having commuted from Sacramento for 35 years. He's spanned 230,000 miles to play there. The 85-year-old recently shot 1-under par 71.
"I love the golf course and the people," says Werry, who lives five minutes from the Bing Maloney Golf Course in Sacramento. "It's relaxing and you can play quicker than any place else. It's well worth the drive."
Currently, Marc Engellenner of Lincoln, a former touring pro, is club champion, one of many titles he holds. He was drawn to Arbuckle’s greens and ambiance.
Mike Voorhees is the club president, assisted by fellow board members Derick Strain, Andi Armstrong, Thomas Steinhoff, Jeff Thomas, Kevin Wood, MIchael Sisto, John Scheimer and Nic Weber. Marta Martin is manager and Gilberto Gutierrez is greenskeeper. "We just want to say thanks to all the members," says Voorhees, extending an invitation to the entire community. "They have been amazing. The club has always been a vital part of the community and it's because of the continuous help from the membership."
Team Strain Wins Tourney with a 59!
By GARY TRAYNHAM 6/23/22
An enthusiastic Arbuckle Golf Club trio raised $6,422 for charity at the recent second annual Summer Solstice golf event.
Derick Strain and Jake Spooner played 162 holes and Kevin Wood endured 108 at Arbuckle in fund-raising for junior golf and brain tumor research at UCLA.
Strain targeted the Uncle Kory Foundation after learning that one of his Cal Poly golf teammates underwent two brain tumor surgeries. 'We were lucky enough to have volunteers to keep us hydrated," said Strain, who notched 87 pars.
"It's amazing how you can play 18 holes and remember every shot and then play 162 and can't remember any." Spooner made 41 pars.
"After awhile, you don't take any practice swings because it takes too much energy," Strain said. "You just keep playing and hope you don't hurt yourself."
Monies raised also will support an Arbuckle junior golf camp July 19-21. More than 30 juniors have already registered and openings remain. Juniors ages 6 to 14 can call the club (530-476-2470) to register.
Strain, Spooner and Wood welcomed the challenge to raise the funds but the former admitted that after the 13-hour round, he skipped the next day's Tuesday Twilight play.
By GARY TRAYNHAM 5/2/22
Kent Myers, Brad Guynes, Jay Gordon and Teri Payne gained top honors in the 2022 Arbuckle Revitalization Committee golf tournament at the Arbuckle Golf Course.
Approximately $5,700 was raised at the annual event through golf and sponsorships.
Dodd Ranches, headed by Robert Simpson, placed second in the team event, followed by Jim Borchard, Mike Miles and Ruben Savedra.
Valley Restoration and Construction, Sticky Trees and Succeednet were the major sponsors.
Money from the event will be used for several downtown projects. Bids have been accepted for dismantling the old train depot, which includes preservation of the original wood, and building a new foundation. ARC volunteers will soon remove graffitti while repainting old vacant buildings downtown and place historical pictures in windows of the refurbished buildings.
Diana Lytal, president of ARC and golf tournament chairperson, says many other projects will be coming soon, including the Watermelon Festival in July, the Pumpkin Festival and annual car show in October, and the holiday tree lighting and holiday stroll in December.
Other sponsors were Better Body Fitness, Arbuckle Hotel Bar, Martin's Dusters, Valerie Ehrke Designs, Daurice Myers, Delgado Construction, John Scheimer, Umpqua Bank, Diana Lytal Realtor, Gimples Copies, Jeff Charter Farming, Blossom Farm Vintage Rentals, Elijah's Sweet Treats, McCullough Excavating, Jim and Nancy Uhland, High Noon Guns and Ammo, Sun Valley Rice, Schaefer Aviation, Mary Ann Boles and JRL Smokin.
By GARY TRAYNHAM 3/8/22
In a seemingly more predictable outcome than death and taxes, the Arbuckle Golf Club kept a stranglehold on the Colusa County Cup this past weekend. The champions ran their winning streak to 16 over the Colusa Golf Club by a whopping 26-10 margin after rounds on each golf course.
New Arbuckle member Steve Rammazini summed up the ease of the victory, knocking his first putt off the green (No. 7) and four-putting the last (No. 6) but he and son Eric swept Christian Cowsent and Perry Taylor 3-0 in match play Sunday at Arbuckle.
Arbuckle eked out a 10-8 lead at Colusa before the finishing typical 16-2 dominance on its home links. When the dust cleared, Colusa pro Dave Hanson pointed to the Colusa Cup trophy and the 26-3 Arbuckle lead and quipped, "That says it all."
The teams of John Rotteveel-Thomas Steinhoff, Derick Strain-Brady Myers and Johnny Mike Vawter-Kevin Wood also swept Sunday's matches. Steve Razo-Steve Cribari, Mike Zoller-Perry Taylor and Doug Austin-Joe Bowers picked up 2-1 wins for host Colusa on Saturday. Austin and Bowers did the best for Colusa on Sunday with a draw against Jeff Thomas and Thomas Bement.
"We left lots of putts out there," Eric Ramazzini said after Sunday's play.
Wood and Vawter joked about their challenging Arbuckle greens. "We played slightly less worse than our opponents (Blake Davis-Eric Long), " Wood reviewed. "We four-putted three or four times. After playing Colusa, it's hard to adjust here."
In the featured pairing, Hanson and partner Cody Beckley lost by a 5-1 margin to former Yolo Fliers champ Rotteveel and former Arbuckle champ Steinhoff. "Make more putts," Hanson lamented after his loss. "I'd like to see more players participate. The more the merrier. It's a fun event...if I'd made five or more putts today, I'd have had a chance."
Myers, who grew up on the Colusa links and now belongs at Arbuckle, isn't sure more players would make a difference. He shot under par both days. "There are better players over here," said Myers, a former collegiate and pro golfer. "This course asks a lot. I've played here a long time. This course makes you a player. I always get excited about playing it."
And all of his Arbuckle teammates seem to get excited about the Colusa Cup too.
By GARY TRAYNHAM 2/22/22
Jeff Thomas of Arbuckle and Scott Bement of Elk Grove repeated as net champions in a bizarre annual Almond Blossom Golf Tournament at the Arbuckle Golf Club this past weekend.
After winning the first flight net prize in 2021, the twosome gained the $600 first prize net in the second flight. They scored 9-under-par 69-66-135 for a two-stroke edge over 2021 second-flight winners Eloy Garcia of Woodland and Pete Rominger of Yolo.
'I didn't play well," Bement said, " We ham-and-egged it, and the greens were amazing. I had to lean on Jeff pretty hard."
Thomas deflected the praise when he said, "It wasn't easy."
It seemed easy for Tom Crowther of Sacramento, who made his third lifetime hole-in-one with a perfect 7-iron at the 180-yard seventh hole Sunday on the way to repeating as overall champions with his father Doug Crowther.
"I got lucky," Crowther said of his ace. "The ball flew in the hole, out and back in."
The Crowthers scored 6-under 71-67-138. Tom, who shot 68 on his own ball Sunday, was 5-under-par on the three-pars in two days.
Father Doug was a former Sacramento City champion who competed often against future PGA Tour pro Pat McGowan of Colusa in his youth.
"These are as good a greens as you will find," he said. "They're better than on the coast. This is a hidden secret, just a good golf course. If you can putt here, you can go anywhere."
Rominger almost aced the second hole, being inside two feet, and his partner Garcia putted well with birdies at the second and 17th hole Saturday on the way to a $400 team prize. "Pete played real well," Garcia said. "He carried us through."
Jason Hatanaka and Michael Sharp of Woodland won the $450 top prize in the first flight net division with 6-under 69-69-138.
"I had to ride Jason hard," Sharp said. "We were just steady. We ham-and-egged it."
Hatanaka countered, "It wasn't easy."
Tyler Ward of San Jose didn't find it easy either. He five-putted the final hole for a triple-bogey seven after his partner Nic Weber of Arbuckle went out of bounds. They finished at net 139, one stroke behind Hatanaka and Sharp.
"I don't think I've ever four-putted," lamented Ward, who set the course record at Gold Beach, Ore., with an 11-under 61 two decades ago. "I might change my license plate to '5-PUTT.'" he said, "But we'll be back next year."
Scott Burnum and Derk Ricketts placed third in the first flight a stroke behind Ward and Weber.
Bert Chandar and Merlyn Carver placed third net in the second flight at 140, followed by Dominic Gulli and Heath Pritchard at 142.
Former Sacramento Bee golf writer Steve Pajak, a 6-handicapper who shot 78-82, conceded, "I'm still learning the greens."
So is his partner Kent Silvester, who three-putted 13 greens the first day, He smiled and said, "Oh, I love 'em. They're such a challenge."
Arbuckle will host the second round of the Colusa County Cup on March 6 after the first round at Colusa.
The club will celebrate its 100th anniversary in July.
Jason Hatanaka and Michael Sharp of Woodland and Jeff Thomas of Arbuckle.
By GARY TRAYNHAM 8/19/21
Marc Engellenner of Lincoln made a smashing success in his Arbuckle Golf Club championship debut Sunday.
The one-time professional used his wealth of experience to shatter par and enhance his crowded trophy case. He dethroned defending champion Thomas Steinhoff of Arbuckle, 4 and 2, with a 5-under blitz in Sunday's 18-hole finale to complete a dominant weekend. "He was in command," said Steinhoff, winner of five of the previous six championships. "I didn't put up much of a fight. Hats off to Marc."
After a blistering 3-under-par 69 in qualifying Saturday, Engellenner ousted Bobby Martinez, 2 and 1, with subpar golf in the semifinals. Steinhoff qualified third at 75, behind former champion Derrick Strain at 72 and ahead of Martinez at 77.
Engellenner is the reigning champion at Catte Verdera in Lincoln, has won two titles at Morgan Creek in Roseville, one each at Turkey Creek in Lincoln and Rio La Paz in Nicolaus plus two titles on the Pepsi Tour. The 43-year-old insurance agent, who works in Grass Valley, turned professional a year after high school and played minitour events from 1997 to 2009 before regaining his amateur status. He marvels at the caliber at the pro level. "I've done significantly better as an amateur," he says. "I love the game. It's easy now with no pressure. The Arbuckle greens are my favorite. They are the best within 100 miles. It's so reasonable and a fun place to play."
He met some of the Arbuckle golfers in Sacramento area events, accepted an invitation to come north before joining the club three years ago. In Sunday's finale, Engellenner birdied all four 5-pars with his booming 300-yard drives. "It's always fun to see good golf," Strain said.
Johnny Mike Vawter won the net title for first time since high school five decades ago. The 21-handicapper topped Jeff Thomas, 5 and 3, in the finals.
By GARY TRAYNHAM 5/17/21
Colusa County Omega Nu netted approximately $30,000 for scholarships at its recent Swing for Scholarships fund-raising golf tournament at the Arbuckle Golf Club.
This year $20,000 in scholarships will be awarded to deserving seniors in Colusa County. Sponsors donated about $40,000 to make this year's event an overwhelming success. Sarah Keeley and Betsy Weber were co-chairpersons.
N&S Tractor (Bob Barsotti, Cody Beckley, Geoff MacPherson, Christian Cowsert) and Vann Family Orchards (Blake Vann, Ted Kingsley, Christian Vellanoweth, Sam Meek) tied for first place in the scramble format in a full field of 18 teams (72 golfers) with a score of 12-under 60.
The foursome of Mark Sutton, Ben Geyer, James Marshall and Patrick Carmen placed third. "We were a little skeptical for this year's turnout as we were preceded by a cancellation due to Covid in 2020 and a rainout in 2018 but the response was tremendous," Keeley said.
Platinum sponsors, among many donors, were Alsco Geyer Irrigation/ACE Hardware, Brennan, Jewett & Associates, Cross Electric Co., Colusa County Advocates for Parents and Children, Colusa County Farm Supply, DePue Warehouse, LJ Farms, Sunrise Landing and Western Nut. C&C Engineering sponsored the event dinner.
Omega Nu returns 100 percent of its net proceeds directly back to the community through scholarships and special projects.
By GARY TRAYNHAM 3/22/21
Like death and taxes, the annual Colusa County Cup golf tournament has become quite predictable. The Arbuckle Golf Club made it 25 wins in 28 matches against the Colusa Golf Club by a whopping 44-22 advantage this Sunday.
After building a big lead Saturday on their home course, the winners breezed through the final round at Colusa. Robert Bement and Justin Travis led the way Sunday with a 3-0 win over Steve Cribari and Alan Walker. In a featured match, Arbuckle leaders Thomas Steinhoff and Derick Strain avenged a home loss with a 2-1 win over Colusa pro Doug Hanson, who was under par Saturday, and Braden Lyss.
"I think it's pretty evident. You almost root for it to be close," said Strain, feeling the plight of the Colusans. He matched par Sunday. "After playing these greens and our greens, it's really not fair."
Both sides concurred the camaraderie far outweighs the results.
Benji Gil and Mark Anderson paced Colusa in the final round with a three-point sweep of Bryan Shadinger and Todd Nelson, but they realized the overall challenge. "Both of us played horrible," Gil said. "We got lucky."
Rick Strain, who helped start the event with Dave Nelson in 1993, smiled about his team getting its usual round of drinks from the losing captain. He and Andy Geyer won over Steven Razo and Eric Rasmussen 2-1 Sunday. "They're good sports," Rick Strain joked. He noted it's a difficult chore for the Colusans to adjust from their flat greens to the hilly Arbuckle terrain.
Maybe that explains why five who belong to both clubs - Greg Weber, Nic Weber, Mike Herrick, Scott Spurgeon and Steinhoff - all choose to play for Arbuckle.
In the final round, Nick Weber and Willy Travis won 2.5-0.5 over Peter Tor and Dino Nicholau, and Mike Herrick-Kevin Wood topped Christian Cowsert -Thomas Quiring and Carlos Garcia-Danny Morrow beat Matthew Reische-Doug Austin by 2-1 margins.
The games matching Jake Geyer-Spurgeon vs. Frank Davison-Taylor, Luther Slack-Greg Weber vs. Stephen Sanderson-Jeff Ferraiuolo, Johnny Mike Vawter-John Scheimer vs. Matt Purcell-Morgan Bressler, and Mike Iannone-Ronnie DeMarchi vs. Milford Noles-Edison Long were halved Sunday.
Andy Geyer summed up the event: "We have a good time every year. The get-together is the main thing"
By GARY TRAYNHAM 2/22/21
Jeff Thomas of Arbuckle and Scott Bement of Elk Grove thought a chance to win slipped away when both four-putted the 18th green Sunday in the annual Almond Blossom Invitational Golf Tournament at the Arbuckle Golf Course. But two earlier birdies and a bunch of pars by Thomas lifted the twosome to the $400 first flight net prize at 6-under-par best-ball 138.
Bement laughed, "I'm glad we didn't five-putt."
Thomas interjected, "I knew we were in trouble."
Bement has been an Arbuckle member for 30 years. "I joined when Sacramento golf was really busy," Bement said. "I could play all the golf I wanted here and faster than in Sacramento."
Overall, Tom and Doug Crowther of Sacramento won the $600 prize with a 3-under 141 gross score.
Pete Rominger and Eloy Garcia of Woodland led a local dominance in the second flight at 12-under 132. "I tried to stay inbounds, nothing flashy," said Rominger after battling the blustery conditions Sunday. "Our biggest advantage was its our home course. We had homefield advantage."
Garcia concurred, "We kept the ball in play and made some good putts."
They won by a whopping seven strokes, ahead of Andy Geyer of Arbuckle and Pierce High School basketball coach Scott Burnum.
The teams of Steve Anderson-Mark Razo, Thom Stocking-Billy Cobb and Brandon Ottenwalter-Jordan Brainard pocketed $150 for third place.
Dan Juberg of American Canyon, a former greens superintendent at Auburn Valley Golf Course, was happy to keep his streak of having played in all but two Almond Blossom events since 1979. He only plays a couple rounds a year and was elated to shoot 94 Saturday. "It's incredible," he said. "I love this golf course. It's always in great shape. It's pretty fabulous."
Bill Anderson of Loomis, Juberg's partner, joked, "This has been a tradition for us for a long time. I played just terrible. The wind made it crazy,"
Dan Orovich, former Yolo Fliers Club champion in Woodland, likewise wasn't disappointed in not playing well. He said, "This is the friendliest golf course in Northern California."
Other first-flight gross leaders were Tyler Ward and Nic Weber at 143 and the teams of Tyler Raber-Jeff Middlekauf and Thomas Steinhoff-Jason Sweet at 144.
Join us for the Arbuckle Golf Club annual Spring Concert, Rock'n the Range, featuring The LC Diamonds! You do NOT need to be a Club Member to attend. Tickets are available for sale at the Clubhouse and at the New Attitude Salon on Mina Street in Arbuckle. We hope to see you there!
The 2021 Almond Blossom Golf Tournament is scheduled for February 20th and 21st. The tournament is open to all men and women with a current World Handicap System (WHS) index. Men's, Women's and Mixed teams are welcome to compete. If the tournament must be postponed due to inclement weather, it will be played on March 6th and 7th. Entry forms are available at the Club or can be downloaded from the "Calendar of Events" page. We hope to see you there!
Happy 2021 all! COVID has reached into the new year and compelled the Board to postpone the Annual Meeting to February 9th at 7PM. We hope to see you there!
The Summer Solstice Marathon was a great success! Despite COVID-19 and all of the other obstacles faced leading up to the event, the 6 participants were able to raise a combined $13,936, with $6,969 each going to ALSA and Arbuckle Youth Golf!
Incredibly, Thomas Steinhoff and Nic Weber were able to play an astonishing 198 holes, a full 11 rounds. They tee'd off at 5:30a and played non-stop through 8:40p to complete the feat. They were joined by Bob Martinez, who completed 108 holes before being sidelined by an injury. Each member of the second group, comprised of David Henriquez, Jake Spooner, and Kevin Wood were able to make it though 7 complete rounds, a total of 126 holes.
Rounds: Holes: Strokes: Eagles: Birdies: Pars: S/H:
T. Steinhoff 11 198 819 0 37 109 4.14
N. Weber 11 198 878 0 12 101 4.43
B. Martinez 6 108 474 1 16 47 4.38
D. Henriquez 7 128 624 0 0 37 4.95
J. Spooner 7 128 600 0 6 49 4.76
K. Wood 7 128 620 0 2 32 4.92
49 total rounds = $278.69 per round,
882 total holes = $15.38 per holes,
4,014 total strokes = $3.80 per stroke!
A huge "THANK YOU!" to all of you who donated!
And finally, a special thanks from all the players to Derick Strain for both organizing and managing the marathon, but also for all of the on-course support throughout the event.