Teeing it up—How the Bend Golf Club got started.
The names on the Bend Golf Club’s original charter as well as its first tournament scorecard on May 3, 1925 read like a who’s who of Bend’s founding fathers. Joseph Hixon, Jr. of the Shevlin-Hixon Lumber Company and P.R. Brooks of the Brooks-Scanlon Lumber Company were both on the Bend team that defeated a group from Redmond. C.L. Isted, manager of Shevlin-Hixon, was the club president and drove the first ball off the tee when the course re-opened with turf in October of 1927.
But perhaps the most famous name associated with the Club from way back when was none other than H. Chandler Egan, who dazzled the nation with his golf skills in the early 1900s. After leading the Harvard Golf Team to three NCAA Division One Championships, he won the team Gold Medal at the Olympics in 1904 and took Silver in the individual competition.
While Egan continued to compete until around 1935, he bought an orchard in Medford in 1911 and began designing golf courses, adding the Eugene Country Club, the Oswego Lake Country Club, the Tualatin Country Club and the Waverly Country Club to his resume.
Egan later went on to partner with legendary Scottish course architect Alister MacKenzie in renovating Pebble Beach Golf Links in time for the 1929 U.S. Amateur Championship, in which he reached the semifinals.
In the year 1925, Egan visited Bend and was commissioned to design the first nine holes at the fledgling Golf Club. However, much of the credit for the original course belongs to William Hanley, who was the head pro at Portland’s Alderwood Country Club at the time. Hanley integrated Egan’s sketches into a full 18-hole layout similar to what exists today.
But certainly, Egan’s involvement gave the Bend Golf Club a great deal of credibility, which helped it thrive in the early days. And his contribution to the design helped the course attract more than its share of celebrities through the years, including the great Jack Benny in 1956.