Once Upon a Time – A Brief History of the Niners

On July 10, 1986 the Rossmoor Women’s Golf Club made an important decision at their general meeting. They voted to authorize separation of their club into two clubs. They would be called the Rossmoor Women’s 18 Hole Club and the Rossmoor Women’s 9 Hole Club. The action was to become effective January 1, 1987 under the direction of Kay Vinton, the first Niners’ captain.
The Niners started with 169 members and ended the year with 184. The first dues were $3.00 plus $5.00 for using the IDC handicap computer. The Niners applied for and were granted membership in the Women’s Nine Hole Golf Association (WNHGA) in January 1988.
There were regular Thursday Coffees held at the Junior Dollar Club House with the social chairwomen of both the 18ers and the 9ers alternating hostess duties.
Play days involved turning in two signed and attested scorecards. If there were any irregularities, the player was disqualified.
Instructions to the Golf Course Superintendent were that on Thursdays, “tee markers have to be in correct position and that flags may not be changed on the greens during play.” (Information taken from Vinton’s notes, 1987)
In 1987 the nine-hole course at Rossmoor was known as the North Course and suffering from a drought with restricted water usage.
1987 saw the first arrival of Canadian geese who thrived despite later attempts to dislodge them. A big improvement was the covering of the large drainage ditch on hole #1 in front of the green. This project lasted from February through May. During that period Niners played only eight holes.
In 1988 the Niners initiated the idea of having a shelf in the posting room so that players could sign in for the day’s play, or to play next week or to post scores. Early tee times were set for golfers with low handicaps. Those golfers with higher handicaps played later.
In 1989 the Niners participated in Rossmoor’s 25th Year Anniversary by entering 12 golf carts complete with cheerleaders and pom-pom girls in the parade around the North Course. Early in the year a check dam had been built on the sixth hole to prevent erosion into the ditch. A new event was the July Jamboree. Lastly, “there was no damage done to Rossmoor by the October earthquake.”
In 1991 small stuffed birds were given to golfers scoring a birdie. The start on construction of our new Creekside clubhouse was delayed many times. After it was begun the following year, Niners took up residence in the hallway of Junior Dollar until they could move to the new facility in October.
In 1993 Rossmoor golfers welcomed our new Head Golf Professional, Mark Heptig, and his staff. “His enthusiasm is infectious”. The USGA imposed Equitable Stroke Play.
In 1996 we celebrated our 10-year anniversary. Prior to 1986 we were affiliated with the 18ers. We sat in at their board meetings and had our own officers with the status of “little sister”.
El Niño ruled the golf course in 1998 with little golf and much rain. Regular play didn’t really start until April.
In 1999 the names of the golf courses were changed to Creekside and Dollar. The name of Margaret Coffee was added to the name of our annual championship tournament. A request made by Niners of the Golf Advisory and Golden Rain Committees to let the golfers play nine holes on the Dollar course for nine-hole rates was denied. .”
The first chore facing the board in 2000 was to adjust to the refurbishing of the nine-hole course. Draining and refilling the lake on hole #1 produced a vulnerability for months. The location of tees on other holes might be changed weekly. Handicaps could not be posted for months. Tournaments had to be altered to accommodate the condition of the course.
In 2001 the GRF board brought in a restaurant to occupy the Fairway room. This left the four Rossmoor golf clubs without a room for social and business events.
In 2002 Niners expanded their leadership role in the golfing community by heading up the Spring Fling, assisting with the Men’s Pumpkin Pairs tournament, being the only women’s group that participated in the Golf Master Plan and serving on the nominating committee for WNHGA. Our workshop on golf etiquette and pace of play was enhanced by a great skit featuring Mark Heptig and Wayne Weckerlin.
Our manual score posting was converted to the GHIN Handicap System. Shotgun starts, which had been confined to spring and fall play days, were expanded to January through November.
There were local rule changes made official for holes 1,4,6 and 9. The GRF board hired “Goosebusters” to help control the geese population from.
In 2003 the Women’s Nine Hole Golf Association (WNHGA) came to Rossmoor to present a rules seminar.
The captain for 2007 passed out a survey asking members what they wanted. “Throw out Old Yellow Ball tournament; Relieve tournament chairwomen so that they may play in their own tournament” were two of the suggestions. Match Play had a low turn out, so a mini-workshop from Mark Heptig was initiated. Niners won the Bay Area division of WNHGA Team Play.
Because Niners had the most restrictive requirements for membership of any WNHGA club in the Bay Area, it was decided to change the scores needed on each of the cards submitted for membership from 63 to 70. Every Thursday the Captain made herself available after golf to have lunch in Café Mocha with members.
Members were inventing unusual creations for Hat and Visor day. Photos appeared on local television Channel 28. Safeway donated three turkeys for those making birdies during our Turkey Shoot. No birdies, we had a drawing to determine recipients.
In 2008 the chairwoman for the Summer Jamboree requested that next year we eliminate the dinner on the day of the tournament and make it a luncheon instead.
In 2011 we were able to use the new Creekside facilities. The double-wide trailer which had housed the Pro Shop for two years became a beautiful Pro Shop in the building which included the Creekside Grill and five meeting rooms.
Our season started in February with both 18ers and 9ers trying to sign-in in the dark, cramped area set aside for all the golf clubs. Adjustments were made. Creekside was closed Match 17-30 and was best-described as “under water”. The captain assembled an email list of members. Only 20 of our 144 members did not have email addresses.
Her second goal was also achieved: to update the By-Laws, Standing Rules and Procedures. A storage shed was purchased to be assembled
We had tables at two Rossmoor Flea Market events enabling us to donate $1876, to Corena Green, our charity. We again welcomed our two tournament sponsors, Prudential Realty for the Jamboree and Better Homes for Guest Day. We continued the custom of inviting past captains to our Holiday Luncheon as guests and there were seven present.
In 2012 Niners had two new activities: we hosted twelve of The First Tee girls for a play day and lunch after play. The Pro Shop waived green fees and the Niners’ provided lunch. More than $2,000 was raised and donated to Corena Green.  This year we used the Creekside Grill for catering.
Niners welcomed 33 new members in 2013. Some of our tournaments featured over 60 golfers which caused some concern about pace of play. The board voted to allow members only one guest per member at the Jamboree and Guest Day tournaments. We joined with the other three golf clubs in supporting a website for Rossmoor golf.  We hosted a WNHGA Open tournament for 26 golfers and lunch, in addition to a farewell party for immediate past Captain, Sylvia Landgraf, and made a contribution to the Winemaker dinner to benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society.