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LONGTIME MEMBER PROFILE: Brenham Country Club

0818
 2014


Ron Mills, retired Brenham High School football coach and athletics director, is a regular on the links at Brenham Country Club. The club opened in the 1920s, and changed its location once, in 1950. In addition to the 18 holes, members enjoy the clubhouse and pool. (Jay Godwin photo)

For more than eight decades, a popular place pairs with a passion for golf


By Ed Crowell
 
It’s tough to improve upon the natural beauty of the gently rolling hills around Brenham. But one tract of 150 acres of trees, ponds, sand swales and an abundance of grass stands out.
 
At this home of the Brenham Country Club the features of most interest are 18 cup-size holes tucked into that acreage. That’s where the club’s outdoor enthusiasts want to drop the little dimpled white balls they keep knocking around.
 
They’ve been knocking those balls around for quite a long time, too. Golf has been a passion and pastime for the club’s members since the 1920s, when they bought a smaller site off U.S. 290 east of town and established a nine-hole course. In 1950, they moved to the present location at 4107 Texas 105, a few miles to the north. The course was expanded to 18 holes in 1996.
 
Some trees were cleared for fairways and greens, but the club planted 100 pine trees from Bastrop. Today, those towering pines at two holes supplement the oaks and cedars that line the grassy straightaways and doglegs.
 
About half the holes contain a challenging “water feature,” said Herman Roy, an employee of the club’s pro shop who enjoys playing most afternoons after his morning duties. He’s watched more than a few players lose a ball to one of those wet graves.
 
General Manager Angela Crocker said the par 72 course was improved in recent years after a new well was drilled and a consultant recommended several maintenance and herbicide changes.
 
She said the club has about 500 members with an average age of around 50. The members get priority on tee times, but the course also is open to the public for  $40 per round. 
 
Among the more active club members is Ron Mills, a former head football coach and athletics director at Brenham High School. Since his retirement in the mid-1990s, he has come out nearly every Tuesday and Friday for a foursome with friends.
 
Mills, who everyone calls “Coach,” said his group usually takes about four hours to play 18 holes. “It’s our second marriage,” he said.
 
As he whirled around the concrete cart paths, Mills noted, “One of the best things about this place is members get to keep personal carts in that big garage over there. They are always well stocked with food and drink.
 
“That’s why we’re a real country club, not just a municipal course with rentals,” he said.
 
After the round and a payoff in small bills to the winner of the foursome’s kitty, Bill Reeves reflected on the many times his friends have gathered on this course. 
 
“You’d think we would play better after all these years,” said Reeves, an orthodontist who moved to Dallas but manages to get back to Brenham regularly for games. “We’re out here for the fellowship and friendship,” he said.
 
Crocker, who has worked at the club for 12 years, the past three as general manager, said the Bluebonnet-powered facilities continue to attract new members. 
 
Families with youngsters enjoy the club’s swimming pool. Some of the older members favor an array of social events, from bridge games and book clubs to dinners and dances in the large clubhouse built in 1999. A 300-yard driving range supplements the host course for the Brenham High School boys and girls golf teams. UIL tournaments are played here as well.
 
“What’s most special to me about our club is the people,” Crocker said. “The members are friendly, caring and fun loving, while the employees are eager to make the club the best it can be.” 
 
Throughout  2014, we are spotlighting some of Bluebonnet’s earliest commercial accounts — businesses that still get their power from the co-op.

 

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