Our Factual Story
Established in 1966
The Land was acquired in 1960 from the Baird Family to be turned into the beautiful 9 Hole Course it has become.
Once upon a time there was a man, named Joe Eagle who lived on a farm. One day he was chopping wood in his field. With each swing the axe would come crashing down splitting the pieces of wood in random sections scattering them in all directions from the chopping block. Some were close by, some were a couple steps away and some went flying off in the distance. He got tired of gathering the blocks of wood each time they scattered so with a lackadaisical saunter he swung his axe hitting the blocks of chopped wood closer to the chopping block.
As he hit the blocks he noticed some would hit the chopping block and others would land in the green grass beyond the block. With a fervent, concentrated swing he lined himself up for the next piece of wood and aimed to hit the block again.
His stance was solid, his swing was steady and 'whack', the piece of wood hits the block! He lines up and swings for another one and again, he hits the block! Again and again! He yells out, "not just once, not just twice but four!"
Now this became a real challenge. Some swings he'd just chip his block of wood, other swings would send divots of grass flying in the air and some swings he missed all together so he began to count. He also reasoned, "If I'm so many feet away from the chopping block there is no way I can send that piece of wood that far and hit the block the first try?" So he started to pace off the blocks of wood and put flags up with all the different distances. On the flags he wrote, #1 is = to 3 swings at 25 feet. He carried this through the scattered blocks of wood around the chopping block until he had 9 flags, each one numbered, equaling the amount of swings it took and the distance from the block.
Early every morning he would go out in the field and start chopping wood so fast placing a stack of wood at each flag. Then when he had enough wood at each flag he would start at #1 writing down how many strokes it took him, this time, to hit the chopping block.
One day as he wound up for a long drive he chips off a chunk so hard that it flies into the air so high that it seems to take forever for it to come down. It goes far beyond the chopping block and is hard to see against the blue sky. He keeps his eye keenly on the round chunk of wood as it falls down to the ground, it lands and he watches it roll a short distance until it disappeared.
He scratches his head and runs toward the only evidence of where it landed, an indent in the grassy field. He searches and searches until he notices a hole in the ground. He walks over to the hole and looks inside and there is his chip of wood, smack in the middle of the hole. As if a light bulb goes off in his head, he understands that a round, smaller chuck of wood would not take as much muscle power to send it long distances and it could roll into a hole.
So he began to carve out small, round pieces of wood until he had a bag full.
Then at each flag he dug a hole. He thought, "since I'm not hitting the chopping block any more perhaps I should start at that point?” He then leveled out a square area to begin his first shot into Hole #1. He forgot how many strokes it took him to hit the block so he walked over to the first hole took that flag back to the square but then he couldn't see Hole #1? So he proceeded to move all the flags so he could not only see each hole but know how many feet and how many strokes it would be to the next hole.
He sets his round wooden ball in the middle of the cleared square, takes his stance, lines up and swings. He doesn't see a thing? He looks into the blue sky, the sun blinding him and nothing. He looks down at his feet and the ball is still there, buried slightly in the mud he stirred up with his swing. He scratches his head again and again. Looking around his surroundings he notices a bird sitting on a fence post that is placed in muddy ground. He knows exactly what he needs to do.
He takes a stick of wood and with a bit of trial and error he has a sliver on one end and a cup like shape on the top end, sticks it in the ground and puts his wooden ball on top. Takes his stance, lines it up and swings. The wooden ball soars through the air, whizzing by the first flag, beyond the hill heading toward the trees. A flock of birds swarm away in all directions from the branches and he sees a larger black figure fall to the ground. The ball flew so far away he jumps on his horse cart to go find it. As he get's closer, he notices a dead bird lying on the ground and says to himself, "I just killed a birdie in one less stoke then it took me on the first flag!? However, my axe is far too heavy for my new wooden balls so I need a lighter club".
He finds his ball and rides back to the house where he starts making a club out of some spare wood. He knows he needs it to be easy to handle for how tall he is, it needs a butted end on the stick to drive the ball and he needs a pair of gloves so he doesn't get slivers in his hands. After he is all done, he heads out to the first square to try all over again.
He takes his sliver of wood, sticks it in the ground, takes his stance, lines up and swings. "Wack!" a sharp sounding crack echoes over the field of green as he watches his ball soar through the clear blue sky. As it starts to take a downward slope he notices his neighbor walking to greet him with a couple of Beer. With great enthusiasm and sheer panic he shouts out through cupped hands around his mouth with the last word he remember shouting with such vigor, "Four!!". His neighbor, Jim Caddy looks up, sees what’s coming and ducks toward the ground.
The ball lands close to the first flag. Joe is extremely excited as it worked like a charm! Jim not understanding what Joe is doing, walks by the wooden ball and picks it up continuing to bring it back to Joe. Joe yells, "Damn you Caddy, leave that ball alone!". Jim drops the ball farther from the flag then it landed in the first place and yells back at Joe, "What do you mean damn me? Damn you, you Bogey!”
At that, they met on the first hole, sat down on the greens and drank their beer. Joe proceeded to explain what he was doing and how it was supposed to work. Jim is quite intrigued and asks if he could play along. Joe says, "Hell ya! It would be more fun with another person and besides, if you bring more beer with you, you can play with me any time!" Soon others were to join them.
After long hours of playing in the field, some broken clubs and wet pants from the long grasses, they would jump in their carts and congregate back at the house. Joe would make new clubs for the next day as they would dry themselves by a warm fire and drink the rest of their beers.
And that folks is how the game of Golf began in Nakusp, BC.
You may still wonder, why or how did it adopt the name of "Golf"? That may remain a mystery as in some texts it is spelt 'Ralf'' in others 'Rolf'. Some say it was the players who were 'Rolfing' which was a common word used for one who is annoyingly showing off. However the folk lore that is passed down through Nakusp generations has the involvement of too many beers being drunk. Where on one or more occasions a player had to ralf (common word used to say regurgitate) at a hole. It is said that they made a box at each hole for the players to ralf into. It is also told that one evening a man stumbled into the box and became handicapped for the remainder of the game. So a T shaped lid was created to cover the box. The purpose of the shape was to catch the players ralfing but prevented them from falling in the trap.
And so the legend plays on as to, 'How the game began in the small town of Nakusp'?
story by Barb Murphy © 2016