Hershel (Hut) Eaton became the Pro at the newly opened Harpeth Hills Golf Course. "Hut" started caddying in March 1927 at Shelby Golf Course at the age of 15. He became the foreman of the green there at 19. In 1937 he started building Percy Warner's nine holes. Continuing at Shelby in 1939 he helped build McCabe and when in 1941 it was complete, he moved to McCabe Golf Course. In 1955, he built Cumberland Golf Course which later became Ted Rhodes. "Hut" worked on Harpeth Hills Golf Course from 1962 until 1965: and he became Pro here when it opened in June 1965. During this time, Ray, "Hut's" youngest son, was foreman at Shelby. Herschel Eaton operated Harpeth Hills from 1965 until 1981 when he retired and turned his job over to his son Ray.
Bonnie Gregg and Jackie Barnette organized a meeting to form the Harpeth Hills Ladies Golf Association. Brentwood Country Club's golf course was closed for remodeling so those women played at Harpeth Hills and helped to establish our league. Many continued with the league even after their golf course was reopened.
Juanita Shaver heard about the organizational meeting and came dressed in her business suit; and, as the story goes, the look on her face was priceless when she went into the meeting with all the other women dressed in their casual golf clothes! Juanita is the only charter member of HHLGA who remains a member to this day.
Ray Eaton encouraged the league and guaranteed 12 tee times on Thursday mornings from April through October.
The first membership book was 16 pages long, had 48 members, no Constitution, only 6 rules and an Executive Board. The Board was: Bonnie Gregg (Chairman), Mary Ann Mott (Vice Chairman), Helen Bowers (Sec. Treasurer), Peggy Faimon (Handicap), and Jackie Barnette (Tournament Rules).
The membership fee was $11.00. 'A ball fee of 50¢ shall be paid before teeing off to be eligible for the day's prizes.'
The 3-day Club Championship was played on September 24 and 25 and October 1.
No new membership book was given in the spring; only a revised membership list from the year before.
During a regular league play day, Jackie Barnette and Karen Hale were putting on what today would be the 15th green. Karen was addressing her putt when Jackie noticed a naked man coming towards them from the woods. The "streaker" laid down in the "cold wet grass". Jackie didn't say a word because she didn't want to distract Karen from her putt. What a great example of golf etiquette!! They continued to play; however , the police were called and a search was made of the woods.
The front cover of the handbook changed from a single lady golfer to three scenes of ladies playing golf.
The league adopted a constitution and added the Membership, Nominating, Hospitality, Publicity, Telephone and Sunshine Committees to the league organization.
The B-List was created.
The Handicap Tournament was introduced.
The Lad 'n Lassie Tournament was established.
On May 11, the Memorial Tournament was introduced to remember the women who had played golf in our league and are now deceased.
During league play on June 8th, Jean Walls had a hole-in-one on the#12 hole (currently #3).
Nanci Irvin selected the permanent Club Championship Trophy.
We introduced our Member/Guest Tournament
Harpeth Hills Golf Course got a remodeling during which the greens were changed from Bermuda grass to Bent grass.
The nines were reversed and Hole #1 became Hole #10.
There was no Club Championship held this year. The league decided to contribute all the prize money in the treasury to a fund for Nancy Holmes to help with her medical expenses. Nancy was a great amateur golfer in Tennessee and her mother, Carol, was a member of the Town and Country Association.
At the Spring Meeting, a hilarious skit was performed to explain the rules of golf and to emphasize etiquette. Juanita Shaver, now dressed in golf clothes wrote the skit and some of the mimes were: Donna Zak, Anne Nelson, Imogene Harper and Charlotte Hellerquist.
The Penny Putt Tournament was introduced.
The Cancer Tournament was established by Juanita Shaver.
The Harpeth Hills Golf Course became a member of the Audubon Sanctuary Cooperative Program.
The golf season began with a Rules of Golf Workshop and a Fashion Show.
The Lifetime Membership was created and the first inductees were Bonnie Gregg, Imogene Harper and Betty Gardner.
The hardcover membership book with replaceable pages was introduced.
The HHLGA and Metro participated in the remodeling of the ladies lounge.
The HHLGA Newsletter was introduced.
Sister Finch was granted a Lifetime Membership.
Our shot gun start was initiated.
The Closest-to-the-Pin Contest was introduced for our weekly play days.
On May 21st Bobbie Lindsey had a hole-in-one on the 15th hole during league play.
A computer was donated by the Harpeth Hills GC staff and Peggy Falmon, Handicap Chairwomen, taught us how to record our score on it. The old paper system was discarded
HHLGA hosted all of Middle Tennessee women at a Rules and Handicap Seminar in March. Mark Hill and Lynn Howd from TGA were the speakers.
The Bluebird was adopted as our logo.
The President's Cup Award was introduced and the recipient was Beth DiMaggio.
Mary Gaston was granted a Lifetime Membership.
HHLGA began a handicap service for ladies outside the league who wished to establish a USGA handicap.
A trophy case, commissioned by Bobbie Lindsey, was built and dedicated to Pro Ray Eaton in July.
HHLGA volunteered their services on Audubon projects. They maintained the hummingbird feeders, helped construct a nature guide for the golf course, and prepared a bulletin board of educational materials in the Harpeth Hills Clubhouse.
A Granite Tee Marker with our logo was erected on Hole #17 through donations from members of the league.
The American Cancer (Rally for the Cure) donation was $655. This was the first year we had a silent auction on jewelry by Jay King.
Jean Walls was granted a Lifetime Membership and our charter member, Juanita Shaver, was named "Most Improved".
Our memorial statue on Hole #6 was stolen. Two of our league members anonymously purchased and replaced the statue.
The Vanderbilt-Ingram Breast Cancer Fundraiser donation was $2,618.50. This was our first year to be affiliated with Vanderbilt. We also generated a cookbook that included recipes from our members. The proceeds from the sale of the cookbooks were part of the donation.
Carol Glasgow was granted a Lifetime Membership.
Bette Lancaster (2015), Judy Duncan (2016), Mary Marble (2016) and Elaine Saltsman (2018) were granted Lifetime Memberships.
In 2017, Harpeth Hills replaced all of their greens which required us to split our season between Harpeth Hills, Percy Warner and Ted Rhodes.
Peggy Bates had a hole-in-one at Percy Warner on Hole #1 during league play in 2017.
The Davis Cup was established as a Ryder Cup-style tournament between Harpeth Hills and Town and Country Ladies Golf Associations. It was decided that we would rotate hosts each year, with Harpeth playing host the first year. Unfortunately, we fell to a solid Town and Country team.
2020 proved to be an interesting year for all. Due to the COVID restrictions in Davidson County, we were unable to begin league play until May, a full month after our scheduled start. In addition, women were asked to ride one to a cart and our shot gun start was replaced with tee times. It proved to be a challenging year, especially for the volunteer hostesses who had to be at the course 30 minutes prior to the first tee time and then were often there 6 hours later completing their duties. However, with all that, membership actually grew and we looked forward to a more "normal" year in 2021.
We did have a bright spot at the end of the year as we were able to bring home the Davis Cup Trophy.
Another "COVID" year in the book, although not as disruptive as the previous year. We were mostly back to normal with the hostesses and games of the day. However, both the Richland Country Club and Westhaven courses were closed for green replacement so many of their ladies chose to join us, bringing our membership to a high of 95 women. For the first time, we moved from supporting the Vanderbilt Breast Cancer Research effort to choosing another charity that serviced women. This year we supported the Sexual Assault Center of Nashville.
In a repeat performance, we won the Davis Cup but it was by a very slim margin.
Back to normal golf and a full golf calendar. Our membership topped out at 101 and we averaged nearly 50 women on each play day. Our Golfing Fore a Cause event went to support the Tennessee Breast Cancer Coalition this year where we were able to contribute $5,000 to their cause. On August 18th, during the Handicap Tournament, Unchu Kim got a Hole-in-One on #11. Unfortunately, Unchu had not signed up for the HOI Club.
Once again, we came out on top in the annual Davis Cup.