About The CCGA

The Beginning Of Capital City Golf Association

FoundersIt started back in 1960, when a group of people, including Joe Roper, John Bibb and others, returned from playing in a golf tournament in one of the small towns around Nashville, like Murfreesboro, Dickson, Springfield, etc. Back in those days, these tournaments were called “Fried Chicken” tournaments, because they always served Fried Chicken for lunch after everyone played just nine holes, then you had to finish your round after lunch.

The group discussed whether or not they could have a tournament in Nashville, play on an 18 hole course and play the full 18 holes prior to any eating, etc. As the talks progressed, it was mentioned that serveral years before, there had been a McCabe Field Golf Association, which had tried to have a tournament. It was not successful, as those in charge were only asking particular people to participate and the goal was to select one person to be eligible for the National Amateur tournament and be a member of the United States Golf Association.

Discussion by those interested in forming a new group determined they were not interested in that approach, indicating they wanted to play on weekends, possibly at McCabe, and perhaps courses like Henry Horton, and have competition and fellowship and not have to go to surrounding towns and stay all day long.

As time went on, it was decided to have a meeting of those who had been talking about starting an organization. It was decided to have the meeting at a place that is no longer there, Three Gables Restaurant on Bth Avenue South. A number of people showed up and all attending were enthusiastic. It was decided we would form an organization and charge $5.00 to join. This was in late 1960 or early 1961.

From that meeting, it was decided we needed a charter and another meeting was held to get some definite ideas as to where we were planning to go with the group and what was needed in a charter. The charter meeting was held in an office building on 5th Avenue. Some of those who attended that meeting were:

  • Joe Roper
  • Raymond Morris
  • Bill Allen
  • Joe Shapiro
  • Bill Bass

Joe Shapiro was the leader in planning the charter that night.

Later on, we got some legal help from Perry Nochlin, an attorney, now deceased, a graduate of Vanderbilt, in drafting the document. The Charter was signed by the following who were original members of Capital City Golf Association:

  • Joe Roper
  • Jim Burns
  • Larry Genovese
  • Joe Rowan
  • Raymond Morris
  • and formally acknowledged by Joe C. Carr, Secretary of State of Tennessee, on May 18, 1961.

The Constitution and By-Laws (a four page document) of rules and guidelines, was also drafted in 1961. This document has been followed over the years, with only a few changes being made to the original.

In early 1961, after officers of the newly formed organization had been elected, who were:

  • Joe Roper – President
  • Raymond Morris – Vice President
  • Joe Rowan – Treasurer
  • Robert Sain – Secretary

Tournaments were held that spring and summer, such as blind nines, match play, etc, much as today; however, at that time we were making history and did not have previous results to gauge our progress. We discussed, in the spring of ’6l, having an Invitational Tournament. One of our members, General McCoin, said that he would try to get someone to assist financially in holding such a Tournament, and he was successful in getting Mr. Johnny Beazley, local businessman and former Major League Baseball Player with the St. Louis Cardinals, to assist by donating $1,000.00 for the organization to use in holding the Tournament.

It was decided then, a tournament would be held and every member of the organization would be given a starting time in the tournament, if they entered. The first entry fee was $10.00. We initially limited the field to 200 players, although we did not want to do this, but felt it would be hard to get more than that number around the course in a given day.

Also, it was decided that if we were going to have the tournament, that we desired to have the local Press and Top Amateurs to play, if possible, in order to get coverage of the same in the papers, etc.

The first format we played, was such, that the first two rounds of the 5h hole tournament would be held at McCabe Golf Course, and the final round (with the permission of the Board of Directors of the Old Hickory Country Club) was played at Old Hickory Club, on Friday. Following play on Friday, a banquet was held and prizes awarded, etc. This format held for the first two years of the tournament, but in 1965, all three rounds were played at McCabe Golf Course.

The first tournament in 1961 was won by Brock Stokes, a local amateur and member of the newly formed Capital City Golf Association, who played mostly at Richland Country Club. Stokes shot a final round 68, to end up with a three day total of 205.

Professionals Herschel Spears and Leon Butler finished 2nd and 3rd; Spears at 209 and Butler at 211. Bobby Greenwood, amateur at that time, from Sparta Tennessee, finished second low amateur at 212. Joe Roper, first president of Capital City Golf Association, finished in the Championship Flight, shooting 229.

Highest score in the initial tournament, and still a tournament record, was Q03, with a 140 on the last round, shot by CCGA member Bill Bauer.

The Johnny Beazley Trophy, in honor of first sponsor, was awarded to winner Brock Stokes. The Trophy is still being awarded to the winner of the Tournament each year, to be kept for one year, then returned to the Association for presentation to the next winner. A replica of the Trophy is awarded to each winner winner for his keeping.

Some of the Media, Pros and Top Amateurs, who played in the original tournament in 1961, were:

Pros
Pete Grandison, Pier Morgan, Jerry Duff, Ronald Hickman, Billy Joe Patterson, Wayne Woodard, Dave Grisham, Peck Leslie, Leon Butler, Bob Renaud, Luther Hickman, Herschel Spears, Melvin Deitch, Harold Eller, E. E. Johnson, Hubert Smith, John Ferguson, Chip Felts, George Johnson

Media
John Bibb (Nashville Tennessean), Edgar Allen (Nashville Banner)

Amateurs
Richard Eller, Elmer Odom, Danny Gibson, Dan Lewis, Boots Scott, Bobby Greenwood, Walton Smith, Jr., Johnny Beazley, Lew Conner, Joe Cardenas, George Creagh, E John Deal, Fred Smith

Capital City Golf Association will forever be grateful for the help in the early years of the organization by the following;

Mr. John Beazley, local Businessman
Mr. John Bibb, Nashville Tennessean
Mr. Raymond Johnson, Nashville Tennessean
Mr. Dudley Green, Nashville Banner
Mr. Edgar Allen, Nashville Banner
Mr. Luther Hickman, Pro at McCabe Golf Course