By Pat Hanna
For The Register-Herald
If there has been one constant with the BNI Memorial Tournament, which now spans more than three decades, it may well be Grandview Country Club.
From its inception in 1980 through 1984, the BNI was a two-day tournament played exclusively at Grandview. The present format of three days on three different courses was adopted in 1985, and Grandview has remained one of the venues.
The 32nd annual BNI is scheduled for Aug. 6-8 at Grandview, Pipestem and Glade Springs, and this year’s event is being dedicated to Glenn Scott, the Grandview patriarch who died Aug. 22, 2009, at the age of 92.
“He was really a good father,” his son and current Grandview owner Randy Scott said. “We worked well together. We were on the same page. I had a good run with him, and I miss him.”
The Grandview golf course was built in the 1970s on the Scott family farm, where Glenn Scott had worked since childhood — raising crops and beef cattle, and running a dairy operation for 35 years.
By around 1970, his son said, dairy prices had started to decline, “and it got harder and harder to make a living at it.”
That’s when a family friend and an avid golfer, the late Bill “Goose” Andrews, suggested to Glenn Scott that a portion of the property would make an ideal golf course.
“Bill convinced him that he would be better off with a golf course,” Randy Scott said.
So in 1971, the work began.
“I had just finished up at Marshall (University), and Dad asked me to come back home and work for a year,” Randy said. “So I did. And I never left. Dad and I worked together since we started this thing.”
Golf was something new to the Scotts.
“Dad was a farmer,” Randy said. “Bill did the design work on the front nine. Dad was good at designing equipment. When we would ask what we needed to do, he would figure out how to do it.
“Dad had an agricultural background. He knew the soil. He knew the lay of the land. He knew how to make it all work.”
The front nine opened for public play in 1973. After the Scotts bought Andrews’ share, they turned their attention to the back nine, with Randy applying the design knowledge he had acquired during construction of the front nine.
By 1976, seven holes on the back nine had been completed.
“I asked the golfers if they wanted to wait another year until the back nine was completed, and they said no, that they could play two balls on two of the (seven) holes,” Randy said. “So for one year, we had a 16-hole golf course. Then in 1977 we opened the entire back nine.”
By that time, Glenn Scott was nearing 60, an age when most people are looking forward to leisure and retirement. But not this gentleman. He knew only one way of life — work.
“Dad was such a tireless worker,” Randy said. “He was here at 6:30 or 7 o’clock every morning. He mowed the greens for 30 years, every morning, seven days a week. Then he would get off that mower and get on another one. Then he would water (the course) at night. He baled hay. Every winter he would get out every day and feed the cattle.
“He quit watering when he was 80 and he stopped mowing greens when he was 86. His eyes were failing him. He did other mowing, but he couldn’t mow the greens. He certainly wanted to, but he just couldn’t see well enough to do it.
“He worked hard all his life. He had five hip replacements from walking behind those horses and plowing for months at a time (when he was younger).”
Glenn, in a 2008 interview, recalled his early days on the farm, saying, “There were no tractors, and wasn’t any machinery, much. Just a team of horses. You cut hay with an old mowing machine and a team of horses with an old hand rake.”
Randy said his father never had any regrets about building and maintaining the golf course. Once the course was completed in 1977, a driving range, clubhouse and an automated watering system were added.
Over the years, Grandview has hosted a variety of local tournaments, as well as West Virginia Golf Association events.
“I think he liked the way the place looked, always nice and green,” Randy said. “When people would compliment him about the course, it made him feel like all his work was worthwhile. I remember him going out and looking at it on Friday evenings, after the work was done and the course was ready for the weekend.
“He enjoyed being around the course and talking to the golfers. He was always in a good mood and always positive about everything.”
The Grandview property now totals nearly 500 acres. When Glenn’s father Clayton acquired the land in 1905, it was 144 acres.
“Dad added some acreage and I added some,” Randy said.
In addition to the 130-acre golf course, the property includes woodland and pasture.
Glenn Scott becomes the fifth BNI Memorial honoree since 2007, when the tournament was renamed to honor late local golfers or those who made significant contributions to golf in the area. Previous honorees include Chuck Smith, Larry Hickman, Jeff Davis and Ben McGraw.
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