Posted by: randyhaaggolf | April 7, 2011

ALAMEDA COMMUTERS GREAT HISTORY

This weekend begins the second major of the season the very well run Alameda Commuters. With all the rain we’ve had the course has been hit hard with standing water and very long and wet rough. On Monday Darryl Donovan the 2000 & 2001 champion played a practice round to get a feel for the course and conditions. With 5 days to prepare the course I’m sure the conditions will be greatly improved over what we saw on Monday.

I usually don’t like to copy and paste, but it well worth it to read about the history of this great event, and see some of the legendary names that have won this prestigious event. No finer a person will you find than 6 time champion Bob Blomberg. See the comments on Bob below.

Later I’ll post photos of the Earl Fry Course (the North course) where 3 of the 4 rounds will be contested. I’ll have my thoughts on how I play each hole under the heat of battle in the Commuters- STAY TUNED

History

Almost as long as there has been golf in Alameda, there has been a “Commuters”

On May 27, 1927, Mr. James Hunter, the Starter of the Alameda Golf Course said, “Gentlemen, you are on the tee”, and when Mr. George Rose hit his tee shot, golf had arrived on the island city of Alameda.

Since 1927, many golf tournaments have been held in Alameda. The oldest and most important is the Alameda Commuters.

The first Alameda Commuters was held in July of 1928 – the first prize was a keg of nails and the last place was a sack of manure. By 1936 the tournament grew to a field of 21 handicap flights of 16 players, a total of 352 entries.

By 1937, it was necessary to hold qualifying for the Championship flight to determine the low 32, who advanced into match play. That format lasted for 22 years, when in 1959 the Championship became a 72-hole, medal play event as it remains today.

The Commuters has had the staying power to survive part of a depression, prohibition, World War II, and more. The strength of the Tournament Committee, sponsors, and the desire of top amateurs to compete have all factored into this longevity.

While many contenders over the years have gone forward into the professional ranks, many often return as sponsors. Top competitors seek out the highest quality events, and the Commuters Championship and Senior divisions have been awarded high point values by the Northern California Golf Association.

Each year, the task of chairmanship is given to a new leader, he and the other 39 Committee members share in the time, effort, and sacrifices required to run such a prestigious event (For more information on the Tournament Committee, click here).

Past Champions
1928 J. Charles Jordan 1929 Ralph P. Freese 1930 Howard C. Stovel 1931 Howard C. Stovel
1932 Stuart Heatley 1933 Stuart Heatley 1934 Roland B. Wagner 1935 Howard C. Stovel
1936 Walter Tebaldi 1937 R. C. Graham 1938 Einar Hansen 1939 Phil Gordon
1940 Matt Palacio, Jr. 1941 Talbert Smith 1942 Earl Fry, Jr. 1943 Ralph Hall
1944 Elmer Cities 1945 Henry Suico 1946 Talbert Smith 1947 Talbert Smith
1948 Don Whitt 1949 Bob Rosburg 1950 Talbert Smith 1951 Talbert Smith
1952 Talbert Smith 1953 Aldo Galletti 1954 Talbert Smith 1955 Elmer Cities
1956 Robert Snelling 1957 Jack Luceti 1958 Robert Unthank 1959 John Lotz
1960 Richard Lotz 1961 John Lotz 1962 John Lotz 1963 Richard Lotz
1964 Jim Johnson 1965 Terry Small 1966 Bob Smith 1967 Ray Leach
1968 Forrest Fezler 1969 Forrest Fezler 1970 Kelly Moser 1971 Rod Velasquez
1972 Sandy Galbraith 1973 Bob Berg 1974 Bob Blomberg 1975 Doug Poole
1976 Mike Powers 1977 Tom Costello 1978 Bob Blomberg 1979 Bob Blomberg
1980 Milt King 1981 John Susko 1982 Bill Malley 1983 Ally Trompas
1984 Bob Blomberg 1985 Aly Trompas 1986 Bob Blomberg 1987 Ken Webb
1988 Gary Vanier 1989 Gary Vanier 1990 Gary Vanier 1991 Ken Webb
1992 Mark Sear 1993 Bob Blomberg 1994 Randy Haag 1995 Rob Martin III
1996 Dong Yi 1997 Jeff Burda 1998 Ryan Wilson 1999 John Ellis
2000 Darryl Donovan 2001 Darryl Donovan 2002 Matt Bettencourt (266)* 2003 Rick Reinsberg
2004 Rick Reinsberg 2005 Carlos Corona 2006 Rick Reinsberg 2007 Rick Reinsberg
2008 Michael Jensen 2009 Taylor Travis 2010 George Gandranata

* Tournament record

Seniors’ Champions
1988 Jim McMurtrey 1989 Earl Forbes 1990 Hank Lucente 1991 Jim McMurtrey
1992 Jim McMurtrey 1993 Fred Strebel 1994 John Cranston 1995 Bob Callan
1996 Bob Olds 1997 Dan James 1998 Bob Olds 1999 Bob Olds
2000 Bob Heaton 2001 Jay Guerin 2002 Roly LaMontagne 2003 Bob Callan
2004 Mike Butler 2005 Merton Goode 2006 Jeff Early 2007 Gary Vanier
2008 Mark Miller 2009 Jim Knoll 2010 Jim Knoll

Below is a photo of 6-time “Commuters champion, Bob Blomberg, dressed in his Alameda Commuters Committee “greencoat”. In 2001, Bob was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Northern California Golf Association, for his 30 years of stalwart play, great golf sportsmanship and for always behaving like a true gentleman.  Bob’s on-course demeanor and the way he relates to his fellow competitors exemplify the true spirit of the dedicated amateur golfer.

Bob is a great ambassador for golf and for the Alameda Commuter’s Golf Tournament.


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