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Sports from the week of April 26, 2000Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880


Panthers host track invitational

The Panther girls finished in first place and the boys were fifth in the Panther invitational held at Tracy Tuesday.

MACCRAY, Panthers split 212 twin bill

The Panther baseball team split a double header with MACCRAY Tuesday night at MACCRAY. The Wolverines took the first game, with the help of three runs in the last of the seventh inning, by a score of 6-5 but the Panthers came back and won the second game 14-6.

Tracy golf course idea took root in late '40s

Golf has reached an all time high in popularity in the United States today. The interest is equally high here in Southwestern Minnesota with membership increasing steadily until now there are 308 membership unitsat the Tracy Country Club A membership unit can be a single membership , a couple or a family.

Back in 1945 the Tracy City Park Board was planning an expansion of the city cemetery and consulted with a twin cities landscape architech named Hugh Vincent Feehan. On one of his trips to Tracy a local committee interested in developing a golf course contacted him to design a nine hole course on land east of Tracy. That was the beginning of the present Tracy Country Club. While working on the Tracy course Mr Feehan also landed the contract to design the golf course in Tyler.

Work began on the Tracy course in the fall of 1945 when the greens and tees were shaped with road construction equipment manned by Leo Gilb of Walnut Grove. In the next few years a piping system was developed to get water to the greens, a well was dug as a source of water , the greens and tees were planted and a 24 X 42 club house was built.

In the early days playing golf was much different than it is today. The fairways were hard and the ball rolled a long ways. Even the greens, because they were watered with the hard water from the well and were not spiked so often with sand, were harder and had to be approached by hitting short and letting the ball roll onto the greens. Most people carried their clubs and a few had pull carts. The trees were small and did not come into play as they do now.

A system of marking your golfball with your name was initiated and recovered balls were turned in at the clubhouse where they could be reclaimed for a dime. Hired help was kept to a minimum and the men took turns tending the bar (in the basement) and the ladies cooked and served the meal for men's night plus keeping the clubhouse ceaned up.

One year it was suggested that the residue from the city sewage treatment plant be used for fertilizer. After it had been spread on the fairways it was found that it contained many rocks, nails and other debris. Volunteers were called upon to rake, by hand, all nine fairways!

Later a pond was constructed to serve as a source of water for the greens and in 1975 a second pond was formed when the club began watering the fairways.

The clubhouse has been improved and added to several times, including a big improvement in 1975 but the biggest changes have been an increase in membership and the proliferation of mechanized golf carts. Storage facilities for the carts have been expanded in 1979, 1983, 1990 and in 1997 and there is still a waiting list for space. There are now 146 carts used on the local course.

The course itself is greatly improved with the growth of the trees ( it was discovered that new growth was stopped for many years by spraying for dandelions too close to the trees), the development of new tees to give variety to the play of the nine greens, the watering of the fairways and the addition of the driving range.

All in all we are fortunate to have such an excellent facility available to us.