ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Watertown Country Club



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After his retirement as master mechanic of the G. B. Lewis Company, Lobegott Mollart began playing golf at Watertown Country Club, where he soon found the need of some, practical device for quickly cleaning Silver Creek mud and grass stains from his golf ball.  The Lewis golf ball washer is the result of his inventive genius, which he later licensed to the Lewis Co.







08 11       PAUL HIBBARD

Paul Hibbard cracked par on the first nine and finished with a par 68 in his 18 hole intra-club tournament match with Lee Hefty on the Watertown Country Club links Friday afternoon. Hibbard took the match, 5-4. Hibbard birdied No. 4 to finish with a one par 33 on the outgoing nine. He came home in 35 for an even par 68. Hefty posted a 78. Hibbard’s 18-hole par was the first shot on the links by a city golfer in many seasons.


08 15       PAUL HIBBARD

Paul Hibbard cracked par on the first nine and finished with a par 68 in his 18 hole intra-club tournament match with Lee Hefty on the Watertown Country Club links Friday afternoon. Hibbard took the match, 5-4. Hibbard birdied No. 4 to finish with a one par 33 on the outgoing nine. He came home in 35 for an even par 68. Hefty posted a 78. Hibbard’s 18-hole par was the first shot on the links by a city golfer in many seasons.


08 15       DOUG HILLS

Doug Hills took first place in the director’s tourney which was held at the Watertown Country Club over the weekend, figures released at Tuesday night’s Men’s Night show.  A field of 73 entries competed in the 18 hole event which was on low net scores.  Hills had a 74 gross.  Other winners were Les Herro, Les Kaercher, John Salick, Barney Kiefer, Art Grosnick, Frank Engelbrecht, Harold Dakin, Chuck Johannsen, Fred Pagel, Erv Bilse, Tony Robina, Ed Dobbratz, Jim Wade, Gary Ponath, Ken Usher, Kurt Timmel and Jerry Derleth.



04 26       GARY FENDT

Gary Fendt, who is beginning his 12th year as the bartender at the Watertown Country Club, last night was the guest of honor at an appreciation dinner held at the club.  The dinner, in recognition of his faithful and loyal services, replaced the regular Men's Night dinner held at the club.



06 10       A HOLE IN ONE 

Mel Damrow achieved what all golfers dream of when he scored a hole in one in men’s night play at the Watertown Country Club Tuesday.  Damrow counted his ace with a three iron shot on the 198-yard No. 5.  A regular golfer for eight years, Damrow was pleased that the first hole in one he ever witnessed was his own.  His shot “landed on the green, took two hops and disappeared.”  Damrow was playing in a foursome with Gary Ponath, Joe Richter and Gene Rooney.  He finished with an 80 after a shaky start in the two rounds.  Damrow is principal at Lincoln School.


06 25       Plans to speed the development of an additional nine holes will be discussed at a special meeting of members of the Watertown Country Club Thursday evening at 7:30 at the club.  Tentative plans for the construction of the additional nine holes to be located north of the present layout have been approved by the new course committee of the club and the club's board of directors.  The directors and the committee now are seeking the approval of the plans from the club's full membership.  Additionally, a projected operating statement measuring the potential of the expanded operations will be presented to the members for study.


06 29       The additional nine holes at the Watertown Country Club will be ready for play by July of next year, providing the weather this fall and spring is favorable. At last night's membership meeting of the club, held at the clubhouse, unanimous approval was given to the proposed layout, and unanimous approval was given to a new finance plan which has been worked out by the finance committee and the board of directors of the club. The added nine will be located directly north of the present nine hole layout, and will be built on a 70 acre site which has been part of the Hinze farm. The site was acquired from Country Club Estates, Inc., which purchased 115 acres from the Hinze family. The remaining 45 acres is being turned into a real estate development. The club bought the 70 acres for $18,000, of which $1,000 has been paid, with a promissory note issued for the remaining $17,000.



06 16       JIM CLIFFORD

Jim Clifford came back to win the junior championship of the Watertown Country Club Sunday with a two stroke decision over Jim Oiler.  Clifford won the title in 1958, then lost it by a stroke to Lee Larson last year.  Larson was ineligible by age to compete this season.  The tourney is limited to players under 19-years of age. Clifford shot a shaky 46 in his first round but then came back nicely with nine-hole scores of 41, 37 and 42 to grab the trophy. Oiler shot a first round 40 and added 47, 38 and 43 to his total. Clifford finished with a total score of 166 while Oiler had 168. Thirteen golfers participated in the meet. They were Clifford, Oiler, Tom Hibbard, Larry Christensen, Gerald Goff, Tom Havlicek, Nelson Kading, Tom Lees, Rickey Parish, Chuck Stellbrink, Dick Knope, Mike Mooney and Ron Strege.


09 07       JIM TIMMEL

Jim Timmel, a slow and methodical golfer who practice swings each shot a half dozen times before attempting it, won the 1960 championship of the Watertown Country Club with a convincing 6 and 4 victory over Ken Usher in the 36-hole title finals played on the links Sunday.  Usher, a step-up- and-swing guy, stayed even with Timmel for the first three holes, then got into trouble on No. 4 when he stuck his second shot in the creek and had to lift out.  He went one down and never did get even through the next 28 holes of play.



01 14       MEL DAMROW

Mel Damrow is the new president of the Watertown Country Club.  He was chosen by the new board of directors who were elected at the club's annual meeting held Sunday at the Elks Club.  Other directors chosen by the members and their chairmanships are: Floyd Shaefer, vice president and house chairman; Roland Freitag, secretary-treasurer; Del Hinze, greens chairman; Jim Wade, sports chairman; Ken Usher, grievance chairman; and Lee Block, public relations and membership chairman.  Damrow succeeds Clark Derleth as president.  Derleth headed the club during the recent years of its course expansion.



01 11       MEL DAMROW

Mel Damrow was re-elected president of the Watertown Country Club for his second term.  He was chosen by the board of directors who were elected by the membership.  Other directors from last year were re-elected with the exception of James Wade who is with the 32nd Division.  James Timmel, newly elected to the board, was named as the new sports chairman by the directors.  The holdovers are Floyd Shaefer, vice-president and house chairman; Rolland Freitag, secretary-treasurer; Del Hinze, greens; Ken Usher, grievance; and Lee Block, membership chairman.


09 04       ROGER SIMDON

A former champion, Roger Simdon, captured the 1962 championship of the Watertown Country Club with a 3 and 1 decision over Mel Damrow in the club’s tourney finals Sunday. A championship match should be tight and this one was all the way. Neither contestant was able to take any more than a two hole lead at any time until the closing nine when Simdon broke a 0-0 deadlock by winning three straight holes to end the match on the 35th hole. Simdon, a former titlist in 1959, won the first hole of the 36-hole title grind and then parred the next one for a 2 up lead over Damrow. But Damrow fought back time and again and forced the match into a deadlock after 14 holes.



01 18       DEL HINZE

Del Hinze is the new president of the Watertown Country Club.  He was chosen by the board of directors who were elected at the club’s annual meeting held at the Elks Club Sunday.  Hinze has been the club’s greens chairman for the past two seasons and has been a member of the board of directors for several years.  He succeeds Mel Damrow, club president for the past two years.  All other directors from last year were re-elected.  The holdovers are Floyd Shaefer, vice president and house chairman, Rolland Freitag, secretary-treasurer, Ken Usher, grievance, Jim Timmel, sports, and Lee Block, membership chairman.  Each of the directors gave a report on the operation of the club for the past year and discussed plans for the coming year.   WDT



Mrs. Bill Kusel accomplished almost the impossible in golfing on the Watertown Country Club links while playing a tourney match recently.  She completed nine holes of play with only seven putts.  Playing the "old nine," Mrs. Kusel needed only one putt apiece on the first seven holes and then chipped in from off the green on the final two.  She finished with a 56 for the nine holes of play.  Her opponent in the match was Mrs. Wilmer Hoof.   WDT



06 20       RON DEMUTH

Watertown retained its grip on the East Central Golf Association’s individual championship when Ron Demuth defeated Gerry Moore, Fort Atkinson, 1 up, in the 36 hole finals at Stoughton Sunday.  John Weaver of Watertown held the title last year but was beaten by DeMuth in first round play in the 1964 tourney.  DeMuth, out of military service only a month, hasn’t played in a stateside tourney but did compete in two meets while stationed with military forces in Germany.  He placed second in one meet and third in another.   WDT




Earl Maas was elected president of the Watertown Country Club at the annual election meeting of the club Sunday afternoon.  Club members first elected a board of directors and the directors then selected Maas to head the organization.  He succeeds Del Hinze who declined to seek a second term in office.  Floyd Shaefer was named vice president and Rollie Freitag was chosen secretary-treasurer.  Chosen as committee chairmen were: Shaefer-house, Jim Wade-sports, Al Maas Jr.-membership, Lee Block-ass’t. house and grievance, and Mel Damrow-greens.   WDT



Bob Grosnick, operator of the West Side Lumber Co., is the soul of consistency on the golf links.  On Tuesday, Aug. 3, Bob shot the first hole-in-one of his career on the 167-yard no. 15 and finished with an 85 total.  Yesterday, just one week later, Bob posted another ace, this time on the 150-yard No. 7 hole.  He again posted an 85 total score.  Bob Rousch and Clarence Schmidt were his golfing companions on both occasions, with Chuck Hertel as the fourth player yesterday.  A week ago Dick Behling rounded out the quartet, at 8:30. Creek and Watertown are Rock League rivals. Lake Mills is a member of the Central circuit and Oconomowoc is out of the Land O’Lakes.   WDT


08 26       18th ANNUAL GOLF JAMBOREE

A Watertown Country Club team accorded little chance of winning came through against a field of competitors that included eight former state champs to win the team tourney title of the 18th annual golf jamboree at Jefferson Sunday.  The tourney field of 15 teams listed most of the top golfers in this section of the state.  The Watertown team of Ron Demuth, Jim Wade, and Roger Simdon tied Madison Maple Bluff team for first place after 18 holes, then won the event in a sudden-death play off on the 19th hole when DeMuth sank an eagle three chip shot.   WDT



Del Hinze scored a surprisingly easy 8 to 7 victory over Ed Dobbratz Sunday to win the championship of the Watertown Country Club.  Both contenders for the club’s top honors were newcomers to the championship finals but both played good golf despite cold winds and soft fairways.  Hinze particularly was effective, playing unspectacular but steady golf all the way and pitching and putting with deadly accuracy.



A petition circulated locally and signed by 400 individuals was filed with the common council last night requesting the council to establish a municipal golf course in the city.  A petition was received and filed and will be taken up informally at the next meeting with golfers who want to speak on the matter invited to appear.  The petitioners point out that a municipal golf course would be an asset to the community, that it will aid in attracting new industry and provide wholesome opportunities for recreation.  WDT




Earl Maas was elected to a second term as president of the Watertown Country Club at the organization’s annual meeting held at the Elks Club Sunday afternoon.  An excellent turnout of 56 members attended the elections and business session.  Elected as directors along with Maas were Floyd Shaefer, Mel Damrow, Al Maas, Clarence Schmidt, John Weaver and Gene Rooney.  Shaefer will serve as house chairman; Damrow as greens chief, Al Maas as director of memberships, Schmidt as club secretary-treasurer, Weaver as sports chairman, and Rooney as head of the grievance committee.   WDT



The Watertown Country Club at a special meeting Thursday evening discussed proposed club house and power cart storage improvements. Members heard reports from committees appointed by the board of directors to study improvement plans. Three proposals were presented to the membership for their consideration. By a vote of 2 to 1 members favored a plan to remodel and improve the present club house. The two other proposals presented were: 1. — To continue the operation of the club house as it now is, and 2. — To abandon the present club house and construct a new club. As a result of last night’s vote the board will appoint a committee to start preliminary plans for the remodeling program. It is planned to hold another meeting in the future at which time the members will have an opportunity to give their final approval to the project.   WDT




Art Huebner is a teacher and like all good teachers he is happiest when his pupils show progress.  So he felt particularly rewarded recently when one of his pupils reported a 50 per cent improvement following some instruction from Art.  Huebner is the new pro at the Watertown Country Club and though he’s been here only a short time, he already fits into the country club scene like a part of the fixtures.  The club took a bit of a flyer in signing a pro but Huebner is almost certain to reward both the club and area golfers well.  He has taught and operated pro-shops at large clubs in several states and knows the game of golf inside and out.  And he can teach it.  He conducted winter lessons for the rec department here and had over 40 persons turning out consistently.  Though the season has hardly begun at the club, he has already instructed 35 persons.



Two Watertown golfers, Bruce Larson and Bruce Simdon, won the open division of the Jaycee junior golf tourney here Monday and will represent this district in the state meet at the Greenfield course in Milwaukee July 19-20.  Larson fired rounds of 73-78 for 151 and Simdon had 76-81-157.  A field of 19 youngsters participated in the one-day affair on the country club links here.  Rick Parish was in charge of the event for the Jaycees.




Ted Freitag was elected president of the Watertown Country Club Sunday at a meeting of club directors held Sunday at the Elks Club.  He succeeds Gene Rooney who was not a candidate for re-election.  Freitag was chosen to head the club after members elected a seven-man board.  The new board includes Freitag, Clarence Schmidt as secretary-treasurer, John Weaver, vice president and sports chairman, Bruce Frey, house, Joe Richter, greens, Wayne Kressin, membership and Don Richards, grievance and assistance house. Freitag, Frey. Kressin, Schmidt and Weaver were all re-elected.



Mrs. Rudy Hackbarth won her third Watertown Country Club women’s championship by defeating Debbie Maas, 3 up, in the finals Friday.  Mrs. Hackbarth had won titles in 1957 and 1967 and was a runner-up in the 1966 title round.  Mrs. Hackbarth built up a three-hole lead on the sixth hold of the first round, then cooled off and Miss Maas came on to square the match by outshooting her rival on the 16th and 17th holes and then halving the 18th.  Mrs. Hackbarth had 51-4798 while Miss Maas was 50-46-96.



Jim Wade put his seventh Watertown Country Club championship trophy on the mantle Sunday as he decisioned Ed Dobbratz by a 6 and 5 score in the 36-hole finals of the annual club tourney.  Wade, who won the last of six previous titles in 1958, knocked off Lou Kuckkan, 3-1, and Dobbratz beat Augie Hafenstein, 1 up in 18, in the 18-hole semi-finals matches Saturday to reach the title match.  Soggy grounds hampered both contenders in the trophy rounds on Sunday but Wade was equal to the soft going and came on strongest in the second round Sunday afternoon to outdistance his foe.




If city officials can’t reach an agreement with the town of Emmet over the annexation of the Watertown Country Club area, the annexation process may have to be completely redone, according to Mayor David R. Lenz.  Thursday, the finance committee directed City Attorney Robert Bender to work with the town’s attorney in an attempt to reach a settlement out-of-court.  The Emmet Town Board filed a lawsuit against the city over the procedures used in the annexation process, which was adopted late last year.  The suit claims that the petitioners and the city did not follow state code correctly.   WDT



Rather than fight a lawsuit filed by the town of Emmet, city officials are recommending that residents of the Country Club Estates subdivision file another petition for annexation.  Emmet officials filed suit in Dodge Count Circuit Court on March 16, asking the court to declare the annexation of the 258 acres “invalid and void” because they believe legal procedures were not properly allowed.  The territory annexed by the city in December 1988 includes the Watertown Country Club, the subdivision and other residences.  The annexation removed about $2.4 million in assessed valuation from the town’s total tax base of about $35 million.   WDT


09 05       1989 MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

Greg Hinze fired a 68 in the morning round and just had to hold on as Mark Sellnow gradually ran out of holes in the afternoon to capture the 1989 men’s championship at Watertown Country Club Sunday.  Hinze’s morning round included birdie putts of 12, 8 and 11 feet.  Sellnow bogeyed the last hole and found himself 6-down at the intermission, despite a respectable 74.  Sellnow chipped to within a foot to save par at No. 1 and halve the hole the second time around, but needed three putts to get home on the second hole while Hinze made a routine par to go 7-up.   WDT




Ray Seibold, 611 Labaree St., has been elected president of the Wisconsin Senior Golf Association.  As president Seibold will head an organization which has over 500 members statewide, including 17 who are members of the Watertown Country Club.  The association operates eight senior golf tournaments each year.  They are held at locations throughout the state. A year ago one of the tournaments was held at the Watertown Country Club.   WDT




Three individuals will be inducted into the Watertown Country Club Hall of Fame Saturday evening. Fred W. Kehl and Rollie F. Dierker will be inducted for significant services and enduring contributions to the club and golf, while Dr. Norman T. Sundby is being honored for personal golfing achievements.  Sundby was the first male golfer to achieve a hole-in-one.  Dierker is the “oldest” active male golfer at WCC and Kehl was an official of the club for many years.   WDT



10 09       COURSE WAS EXPANDED IN 1958

The movers and shakers behind the second nine holes and one of the best female golfers in the history of Water town Country Club will be enshrined in the club’s Hall of Fame at ceremonies Sunday.  Members of the Golf Course Construction Committee and the Country Club Estates Corp. back in 1958 who were responsible for expanding the course will be honored in the Significant Services and Enduring Contributions category.  Ramona Hackbarth, not only an excellent player but someone who has served the club and in state circles as a promoter of the game, is to be honored in the Personal Achievements category.


The age-old problem of golf — slow play — inspired Herb Lange and Ed Dobbratz to seek a way to expand the course.  It was taking up to six hours to play the existing nine holes twice in the mid’50s.  They contacted Del Hinze about his father’s farm, which was located north of the club.  George Wolff and Al Hinze became part of the group that led the purchase of 70 acres for the club from Ed Hinze for $18,000 in December of 1958.




Watertown Country Club has hired a new golf professional who brings a combination of experience and enthusiasm to the position.  Michael Wietor succeeds Jim Handy, whose contract was not renewed.  Wietor, 41, has been the head pro at Riverside Country Club in Menomonee, Mich., since 1981.  Before that he served several stints as an assistant, including twice at South Hills Country Club in Fond du Lac.  He’s also been an assistant at Tomoka Oaks Country Club in Ormand Beach, Fla., and at Marco Island Country Club and Marco Shores Country Club in Florida.  “I’m really excited about coming to Watertown,” said Wietor in a telephone interview recently.  “We were looking for a little larger club, and Watertown seems to be a very active club.”



09 15       JIM WADE PROFILE, club history.      WDT




The first major renovation of the front nine since it was built in 1922.  Project included new bunkering, eight additional forward tees, one new back tee, the creation of collection area around several greens and a continuous cart path.   WDTimes article   




Madison Golf and Development Group of Middleton, the owner of Windwood of Watertown, have announced they will be closing the 110-acre, 18-hole golf course and banquet hall as of Dec. 31.  Madison Golf and Development Group has owned Windwood since approximately 2003.  In addition to the golf course itself, there is a 15,000-square-foot, two-story clubhouse and banquet facility with commercial kitchen, seating for 500 people, maintenance facilities, a cart storage building and driving range.


Cross Reference note:  WINDWOOD COUNTRY CLUB OPEN IN 1994.  Local golfers now have an additional nine holes to challenge their skills in the Watertown area.  Windwood Country Club, located on County Highway CW just northeast of Watertown, opened its second nine to the public Friday.  The back nine will provide more of a test for golfers than the front, which opened in 1994.  Dan Fredrick, who owns Windwood along with Barry Draeger and Tom Godfroy, said the progressively more difficult layout was by design.  “That was our goal . . . we wanted to make it (back nine) tougher, more challenging,” Fredrick said.




David Henry Leiknes, with family by his side, and after a long and brave battle with Parkinson’s disease, left this world to be with God on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.  David was born March 23, 1935, in Chippewa Falls, the second of six children, to Henry and Dorothy (nee Kohler) Leiknes.  David is survived by his loving wife, Helen; his five children, Jane (Willy) Schomaker, Susan (Leo) Frentzel, Lynn (John) Graff, Jeffrey (Barbara) Leiknes, Kristin Jones; sisters Naomi (Donald) Tietz and Elizabeth “Susie” Zweig and brother Richard (Jean) Leiknes; grandchildren Bethany Loppnow, Jessica Jameson, Ryan Schmidt, Annika Leiknes, Daene Leiknes and Mary Graff; great-grandchildren, Payton Loppnow, Jayla Levay and Elise Schmidt.


David was a good man, a good soul and a good provider.  David, being enamored with the sport of golf and a member of the golf team, had the honor of being the first person at Watertown High School to earn a letter in golf.  After high school at age 18, he joined the U.S. Air Force.  David, Airman First Class, Administrator and Revenue Agent, Agent at OSI, was stationed at Lackland, Keestler and ultimately Itazuki Air Base in Tokyo, Japan, between the years of 1954 and 1958.  David was honorably discharged after his tour and returned home.  He married the love of his life, Helen Schlefke, on April 8, 1961, started a family, career and further pursued his love of golf.  Dave worked for Carnation in the canning division, as office manager for many years before becoming a local agent with the state Internal Revenue Service.


David was a truly gifted scratch golfer and had many notable moments he liked to share with family and friends.  He played all over the world as part of the USAF golf team, noting an incredible round of 67 while in Japan for his all-time best score.  David participated in 35 semi-professional golf tournaments during his life and took top honors in many of them.  He even shot a “hole-in-one” during one of them.


The world of buck skinning, black powder and “Rendezvous” brought him much joy.  He quickly became a highly respected figure in the area as he made and traded authentically crafted knives, hatchets, clothes, accessories and decor.  David enjoyed camping in a teepee with the rest of his aficionados and reliving life in a fashion that brought back the century before our own.  While at many of the Rendezvous, he competed in knife and hatchet throwing matches and scoring highly.  These memories carried him through his later years.


Heaven has received a great man, and without a doubt, if there is a golf team there, he will be on it and once again smiling!


A funeral service with military honors was held at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Watertown.



Cross References:

File on Windwood maintained by Leigh Larson



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History of Watertown, Wisconsin