A Brief HERstory of CNWL
Most members know that the history of Cape Neddick Country Club from the Cape Neddick website.
It starts in 1900 (121 years ago!!!!) when a man named John Pickering gathered his family and friends for summer fun on his Cape Neddick estate. John’s golf course had three holes.
Topping the charts in the music world that year was the song, Little Brown Jug. A loaf of bread cost 5 cents and a new car might put you back $450; a new house $3,500. A stamp was 2 cents.
John’s little club was incorporated as Cliff Country Club in 1919 with plans for Donald Ross to lay out a full 18 hole course. The course was completed in 1925; complete with Caddies at who earned 75 cents for 18 holes.
But what about the women of CNCC? The history (HERstory ?) isn’t so easy to piece together.
I learned this information from a sack full of binders that Sally Brogan graciously dumped on me this year; same sack that Tina Virgin had dumped on her for safe keeping years earlier. Here’s what I’ve been able to piece together:
On May 25, 1971 (50 years ago)
A woman named Jean Shaw wrote the following handwritten letter to Dr. Campbell the President of the Club:
“A group of women, some members of Cliff Country Club, as am I, and some of the wives of members of the Ogunquit Twilight League, have expressed an interest in golf. They are interested in improving their play, developing confidence and establishing a golfing relationship with other ladies…
We would like to express an experimental program limited to the current season… our thought is to limit it to a small group who would get together to play one afternoon a week on a somewhat regular basis this summer.
As I understand it, a number of these wives are contemplating an increase to a complete family membership. if both they and their husbands are actively involved. "
The letter goes on to suggest the financial benefits to the club were women to have, as they say, “a league of their own.”
One month later the Club’s Board approved the Cliff Country Club Women’s League. referred to as The Ogunquit Women’s Twilight League also known as QWTL.
How does one pronounce that?
Jean Shaw sent out a letter to a select group of potential league members (mimeographed) inviting them to join the league stating that the aim of the league was “to improve our play and scores, establish golfing relationships.” She noted - Proficiency is not a requirement.
Just a few highlights from OUR story:
In 1971 the fee for joining the league was $5.
Of course, you needed to be a member of the club at a cost of $130 full family membership for the season.
The league was limited to 36 members.
By this time a first class stamp was 6 cents and a gallon of gas cost 36 cents. Top songs that year where You’ve got a friend by James Taylor and Just my Imagination by the Temptations.
The first league Constitution and Bylaws was signed on May 9, 1972.
By the second year of the league there were 16 women on the waiting list
When you called someone you didn’t need an area code.
In 1976 League President Beulah Wynne called the spring business meeting to order.
During this meeting the membership agreed to purchase water coolers, chairs and umbrella tables, kitchen utensils, for the club, and fan in the ladies’ room since it was hot.
In 1978 dues were raised to $10 (Makes sense because stamps now cost 13 cents).
The membership established that “the league will begin play annually on the first Thursday of the first week in June.” And so it has been.
In 1980, the membership approved doing away with mulligans on the first tee. (Darn).
In 1983 there were 15 league committees: Twilight League, Scoring, Rules, Banquet, Regular and Weekly tournament,
Project committee, trophy committee, auditing committee, Pro Days Committee, nominating committee, waiting list, hospitality, By laws committee, parliamentarian and publicity.
This is also the year that Lauren (Welch) Clark joined the league!
At the1984 Business Meeting, Kay Calo moved that Captain’s be chosen based on their handicaps rather than by elected by popular vote. The motion passed. And so it is today.
In 1985 dues were raised to $20.
(I know you want to know this, the stamp cost 20 cents)
The first record I found of the end of the season banquet was on Sept 14, 1985. It was held at the club and music was provided by Fred Manzi’s Sound of Music Band.
In 1987 a new member was introduced to the group… Becky Capone… aka Becky Colwell.
This year, the Tournament Committee changed their name to Souse & Spouse. Becky, Lauren and Pricilla Dargan all served on this distinguished committee.
The #1 song was “I want to dance with somebody” by Whitney Houston.
In 1988 Jill Knowles came on board.
In 1990 the club was renamed Cape Neddick Country Club.
• New league members that year were Pricilla Dargan and Wendy Pruell
In 1991 – The OGWTL celebrated its 20th anniversary with
• First typed meeting minutes
• The league got together and donated toiletries and a hair dryer for the locker room
• Incidentally, the notes reflect that Jill had chicken at the banquet and Wendy and Becky had Fish
• This year Becky is listed as Becky Colwell on the roster.
In 1995 Sally Brogan arrived. She was paying .32 cents for a first class stamp
In 1996 the league started using substitutes
1997 Joan Dupont joined up She was still paying .32 for a first class stamp.
(The minutes Mentioned the use if an egg carton to save a spot in a foursome prior to starting play.)
In 1998 our league changed its name to Cape Neddick Women’s League and Kathy Calo arrived on the scene. She was paying .33 cents for the stamp. And still scoring in the low 80s!
In 1999 there were 14 people on the waiting list to join the league.
In 2002 a herd of great golfers joined the league, including
• Sandy O’Brien
• Vicki Bram
• Melanie Hoey
• Janet Scott
Who all paid .34 cents for the first class stamp.
In 2003 Robin Staples and Rica Shepardson came on board.
(postage was up to 37 cents!) Not to be confused with a new singing artist called 50 cent!
In 2004 the league welcomed
• Michelle Freni
• Marj Jacobs
• Kathy Mullin
• Hilda Wynne
• Helen Shadlick
(FYI, the price of a stamp hadn’t changed).
Mariah Carey topped the chart with “We belong together”
Loaf of bread $2.36
And then a sad thing happened.
The notes ended.
I you can help to fill in some blanks, please contact Susan Hansen at email@example.com.