Monday, November 19, 2012

1921: Golf comes to Kerrville

 In 1921 J. E. Grinstead published an interesting edition of "Grinstead's Graphic," his monthly magazine about Kerrville and the hill country.
Grinstead, who served Kerrville in many ways, from editing the Kerrville Mountain Sun, to serving as mayor, as president of the school board, and representing this district in the Texas Legislature, where he was elected poet laureate, was a serial publisher.
After selling the Kerrville Mountain Sun, he settled down to write pulp westerns, and periodically published magazines. His "Grinstead's Monthly," and "Grinstead's Graphic" magazines are quite collectible, and over the years I thought I'd seen every issue.
Recently though, while trolling through listings on eBay, I ran across a title I'd never seen before. It has a title on the front that tells it all: "Golf Number."  Please don't tell Ms. Carolyn, but I bought the magazine.
"Some of the Graphic's readers complained last month," Grinstead writes, "because I used a word several times that the preachers talk about every Sunday. Well, you won't find it in this number. The worst word I'll use is Golf."
The little booklet measures about 6 3/4 by 10 inches and had, at one time, 32 pages. My copy is missing the middle four pages, and is thus incomplete. It is illustrated with twelve photographs in the story pages, plus five more in the advertisements. (As you know, I'm particularly keen on old Kerrville and Kerr County images.)  Like most of Grinstead's magazines, this one includes some "booster" copy, extolling the unblemished virtues of our neck of the woods,  and also a short piece of fiction.
"...Golf has come to Kerrville. It seems strange that in this mountain retreat, where so short a time ago smoke was rising from the campfires of the Comanche, such a modern thing as golf links should be at hand. Fifty years ago [from 1921, that is, 1871], a golf course here in these mountains would have been quite a curiosity. Yes, and fifty years ago a woman with bobbed hair, or a man wearing bell-bottomed pants would have been shot for a new kind of varmint. Fifty years ago, if just one automobile had run through Kerr County at night, the population would have been reduced by those who broke their necks trying to get away.
"The world has progressed, and Kerrville has progressed with it. As a step in that progress, the Kerrville Chamber of Commerce, the liveliest civic body I know anything about, decided that Kerrville needed a Country Club and a Golf Course. When the Kerrville Chamber of Commerce decides that their town needs a thing, they go get it."
Looking over the photographs, I believe this "country club" and its golf course were spread out over the same acreage as today's Scott Schreiner Municipal Golf Course. Of the images in the little magazine, I have the negatives to two, which helps me know approximately how old they are.
The golf course had been completed only a few months before the "Golf Number" was published. The early board "of governors" of the Kerrville Country Club were Scott Schreiner, president; E. Galbraith, vice-president; Cecil Robinson, secretary; A.C. Schreiner, Jr., chairman of the golf committee; Ally Bietel, chairman of the finance committee; E. H. Prescott, chairman of the entertainment committee; Dr. J. D. Jackson, chairman of the house committee; Dr. A. A. Roberts, chairman greens committee; and S. H. Huntington, A. B. Williamson, and Hal Peterson rounding out that first board.
"Through the course runs Quinlan Creek," Grinstead wrote, "a brawling mountain brook, which affords no less than seven water hazards. No matter where the player may look, he is confronted by natural scenery, mountain, valley and stream. This sporty nine-hole course was designed by John Bredemus, well-known golf engineer and architect. The designs were carried out under the supervision of O. J. Dobkins, who is at present professional in charge of the course. Mr. Dobkins was assisted in the work by Hal Peterson."
Grinstead predicted, accurately, that other courses would be built here.
I will post the photographs of the course on my blog Monday morning -- -- they're quite interesting.
Until next week, all the best. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Joe Herring Jr. is a Kerrville native who is looking forward to seeing his kids this holiday week! This column originally appeared in the Kerrville Daily Times November 17, 2012.

1 comment:

  1. The Kerrville Country Club and the Scott Schreiner Municipal Golf Course are one and the same. A history of the golf course was in the April 8,2006, Daily Times. According to the article, the Kerrville Country Club went bankrupt and closed during the Depression and was "given a deed by the Schreiner family to keep running as a public golf course." The name was changed at that time to the Scott Schreiner Municipal Golf Course.


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