Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Why do we have a Golf Course?

You know when you live in Catasauqua there are some things you just take for granted like airplanes overhead and you think every town has a golf course. While I was googling around for something to write about I started with the Charotin Fire Company history. I then wanted to see if there is such a word as Charotin, so I googled, checked the online dictionary and then wikipedia. Wikipedia brought up North Catasauqua so I was reading that and then something caught my eye, and that was the history of the golf course, or better yet, why we have a golf course.

Wikipedia says:

The Willowbrook Golf Course has played an important role in the borough’s (North Catty) development. The golf course was originally a private five-hole course built by Colonel James Fuller on the Willowbrook Farm Estate to entertain personal friends and executives visiting the Fuller Company in Catasauqua. In 1932, the golf course opened as a private nine-hole course leased to Dr. Calvin Miller from Mrs. Dorothy Fuller, the Colonel’s widow. The golf course was open to the public in 1934 as a way to pay for expenses. The golf course has grown over the years and has become a popular course for local residents and area golfers. Today the golf course offers 18 holes, a driving range, clubhouse, and pro shop.

James Wheeler Fuller, III (1873 - April 4, 1929), known as Colonel Fuller, was an American industrialist known for manufacturing conveyor belts used for cement production.

Colonel Fuller became sole owner of the Lehigh Car, Wheel & Axle Works subsequent to the death of his father in 1910. In 1918, Lehigh Car, Wheel & Axle changed its name to Fuller-Lehigh. In 1927 it was sold to Babcock & Wilcox.

Colonel Fuller started the Fuller Company in 1926, which specialized in manufacturing conveyor belts used in the cement production process. The company also manufactured the Fuller-Kinyon pump, which are still in use today. They are heavy-duty pneumatic screw pumps that are able to convey dry, free-flowing, or pulverized materials.

Colonel Fuller became V.P. & General Manager of Allentown Portland Cement Company, as well as the President & Director of Emoire Steel and Iron Company, the successor to Lehigh Crane Iron Company.

On the Willow Brook Golf site is continutes with the following: The front nine offers both beauty and challenge. The beautiful Catasauqua Creek comes into play on five holes along with some exciting elevation changes. The back nine is slightly more open with sweeping doglegs (huh, what's a dogleg?), which call for a diversity of shot making (which I could understand if you have to shoot around some dogs legs). The course fairways are fully irrigated and the greens are bent grass (is this opposed to straight grass?).

I walk to the golf course and back a lot and I like taking a moment to pause there and watch the golfers, but I never thought much about who built it, now I know and with that....it's another day in Catasauqua.