It was first known as the Municipal Course, then Pine Oaks, some have even dubbed it "little Augusta by the parkway", but by whatever name it's known, Pine Oaks Golf Course has shown that it can stand the test of time by turning fifty this year.
The year was 1963, and voters in Johnson City were heading to the polls, to vote on a referendum to build the city's first public golf course.
According to P. C. Snapp former Johnson City Commissioner and avid golfer, "Before this golf course was built...people had to go to Bristol to play or Elizabethton to play or Rogersville is where I went to play years ago because there was no course here. So we were all excited when they opened the golf course here."
Voters okayed the Municipal Course as it was first known.
David Walker was on the City Commission then. The 88 year-old is one of the few visionaries left, whose name is on the course's original dedication plaque
I asked Walker, "When you think back to what you all did...do you think it was the right thing to do?"
Walker replied, "Oh yeah...there's no question about it...and it wasn't real expensive...I forgot...we got an option on the property...and it wasn't real expensive to build."
The back nine at Pine Oaks was originally the only nine...now this municipal golf course is 50 years old, but it's not hard to find golfers who played here the very first day.
"Well actually I was the very first person to play out here.",said Gary Scheuerman. "Of course there's a lot of golf courses that have grown since this golf course...so the competition for golf is a lot greater now than it was in the beginning but as long as Johnson City has this public golf course...I think a lot of people will be very happy because they love to come here and play."
According to Mike Jennings, Head Golf Professional at Pine Oaks, "It's just so neat to see what impact this golf course has had on people's lives...everybody's got some story to share about Pine Oaks...and it's really a lot of fun catching up and talking to those folks and seeing what we've been able to accomplish."
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