May 25, 1972 - "Grant’s Farm" - The golf course was played for the first time in the summer of 1973 and our first Deer Run Western Illinois Golf Association Champion was PGA professional D.A. Weibring, formerly of Quincy, Il.
Instant golf course? That was the thought of many when you take 86.5 acres of ground so beautiful that it looked like a park to begin with, then stir it with $200,000 worth of heavy equipment donated by local contractors and add a group of dedicated volunteers to donate their sweat equity and before long, there is that “instant golf course”. Grant’s farm was soon to become Deer Run. Initial clearing of the land next to Wild Cat Springs Park took a few months with the ground shaped and smoothed and lakes dug, then dicing and harrowing of the ground, putting in the watering system, and the planting of blue grass and rye for the fairways and tees plus bent grass for the greens and it’s all the group of volunteers could do to not get out their clubs and yell “fore”. With the next year to let it grow, the game was on.
Hats off to W. L. Miller Company Road Construction, Jim McMahan Building Construction, Alman Meyers, Walter Frey, S.C. Hopson, and Junior VanAusdall for the equipment. Larimore and Coulter Services and Don Bricker Standard Service for fuel and Dave Nixon, Frank Kavanagh, Don Rottman and George Delozier for various services such as refrigeration, electrical and wrecker services. In addition, countless others such as Jim Hunter, Jim Taylor, Bill Schone, Tommy Inman, Jack Kerr, Fred Buckert, Bill “Red” Rogers, Tom Ross, and Joe Asbury (the guy behind the idea to begin with) plus the Hamilton High School Ag department for soil testing and this track called Deer Run became a reality. There are others that helped with work and financing such as Security State Bank of Hamilton or donated towards the cost of seed, etc. and we are in their debt for what they have done.
The Back 9
On January 26, 1990, 68 acres of additional land adjust to the front nine was purchased from the family of Alma Dougherty. The ground was a perfect layout for a golf course with hills, hollows, creeks and a natural spring flowing thru the pasture and woods once part of Daugherty Farm. For the first couple of years many trees were transplanted from different areas covering this ground to begin to form some general ideas as to course lay out and some to be placed in strategic places on the front 9 that had either lost trees or need additional.
During the summer of 1993, McCubbin Golf Course Builders were hired to carve out the back nine. The back was designed by a committee headed by Gil Day who also over saw the day to day work that McCubbin’s crew was doing. As with the front nine many volunteers donated their time and energy to complete the project. McCubbin was tasked to build the tees and greens to PGA specifications, shape the course in general, and put down the bent grass and peat, but the volunteers were responsible for the water system and plant the driving range and fairway grass. Folks like Ed Campbell, Bub Campbell, Troy Heath, John Holcolmb, Brad Greenslaugh, Doug Clark, Gail Baker, Jim Hunter, Dan and Joe Asbury, Alman and Ann Meyers and others too many to name contributed. The Hamilton High School golf team pulled out fence separating the front from the back under the guidance of coach Bill “Red” Rogers, Gary Uland and Hill Dodge Bank provided most of the financing and on September 16, 1995 the back nine was opened to play.