Senior golf league enters 37th year at Deer Track, seeks few new members

By Chris Chaney
Sun staff

Necessity is the mother of invention, so when a Thursday night golf league made up of seniors and retirees became too crowded, a group of golf-loving senior citizens decided it was time to start their own league.

Over its 37 years of existence, the Tuesday night league has called two different courses by three different names home, beginning at Fairacres Golf Club located on State Route 28, east of Milford.

Originally hosting around 40 members, the league’s membership has fluctuated over the years, dipping as low as 35 and maxing out at 56. In an effort to keep a good number, the league has even had waiting lists over various seasons.

When the decision was made to break from the Thursday league, a new leadership emerged that laid the foundation for a successful operation. Under its early officers Gene Grill, Al O’Connor, Al Haberer, Al Martin and Al Benzinger, the league thrived from its inception. The additions of Buzz Blankenship and Carl Philhower ensured that the league would remain on solid footing in the years to come.

The first change of scenery for the league only came with a new sign out in the parking lot in the late 1980s. The Fairacres Golf Club was sold to a group of investors who chose to change the name of the course to Eagles Nest Golf Course, a name that still holds today.

Under the new name, the seniors continued to tee it up at Eagles Nest through the next decade and a half, eventually holding their final season at the track in 2005.

When the next year’s winter gave way to spring, the Tuesday night league moved their game to Deer Track Golf Course in Goshen because of instability at their longtime home course.

Once again, the property that Eagles Nest Golf Course lay on was sold, this time to a land development company. And while the course still remains open today, the insecurity and uncertainty of how long the course would be open for play caused the league to search for greener fairways.

Over the past seven years, the Tuesday night league has called Deer Track home and will begin its 37th year of play towards the end of April. The course has been upgrading and improving the playing conditions of the course throughout the offseason and the seniors are excited to peg it up beginning on Tuesday, April 22.

While the yearly membership has shifted, around 125 golfers have taken part in the weekly league with one member who will be returning for his 21st year in a month’s time.

Always looking to welcome a fresh face with a love for the game, the league has openings for some new members for the upcoming season. Any retiree interested in joining the league can contact the golf professional at Deer Track, Jim McDonough, at (513) 625-2500 or Bob Knuth, the president of the league, at (513) 248-0288.