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The Township's 9-hole Brooktrails Golf Course opened in 1974. Designed by Robert Muir Graves and set in the redwoods, Brooktrails Golf Course measures 2574 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 86 and a 55.7 USGA rating. The course features 2 sets of tees for different skill levels.

For more information and tee times, contact the Pro Shop at 707-459-6761.

Brooktrails Golf Course celebrates its 50th this weekend

By Jennifer Poole/TWN Staff Writer                                            July 27, 2012      

The Brooktrails Golf Course is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend, with a day full of golf events, "almost 1960s" prices on burgers and hot dogs at the Brooktrails Grill, and fun for all ages.

The main golf tournament, a three-person "blind draw" scramble, starts at 9 a.m., and there will also be putting and chipping contests, and a closest-to-pin contest, all day.

"Fifty years is a milestone," said Brooktrails golf pro Ron Runberg. "It's a beautiful place, a unique place. We've had a bunch of PGA pros and apprentices who've come here, and they just can't believe it. They touch the redwood trees as if they might be fake. It's like Disneyland to them."

The golf course has been open continuously since the opening day, July 21, 1962, Runberg said. "We're open 364 days a year, every day except Christmas."

The course started as a nine-hole course, as it is today, and as it has been for 25 or 30 years, Runberg said. But for a while it was extended to 18 holes, some of them across the road: "We used to have to walk across Sherwood Road twice to play the 18 holes," Runberg said.

The number of golfers enjoying a round under the redwoods is increasing in recent years, despite the bad economy. Close to 15,000 rounds of golf are played on the course each year. "Most weekends in the eight or nine big months without much rain, it's very busy," Runberg said. "The course is also used so much for fundraisers. If we do 45 tournaments a year, 40 of them are some kind of fundraiser."

Runberg has been running the course for 21 years, and his parents managed the course for five years before that. "The Brooktrails Golf Course has been in the Runberg family for 26 years. We've had it half the time it's been open," he said.

A number of Brooktrails residents are retired people, and there's a core group of golf lovers who moved to Brooktrails because the subdivision offered the amenity of golfing in the redwoods.

But, Runberg said, "I think what we're most proud of is our junior golfers and high-school golfers, as well as the fundraisers. It's such a community asset. Other league coaches ask why Willits kids do so well in golf. Well, we've done junior golf here at Brooktrails for more than 25 years."

There is a wall of photos of junior golfers at the Brooktrails Grill. "I have a junior camp every summer," Runberg said, "and we do it at a super cut rate. If the kids don't have the money, we give them shirts, clubs, golf balls . And then the junior kids transfer right over to the high school."

The Willits High School golf team has won varsity golf league pennants for eight years in a row, from 2005 to 2012.

Runberg also said the 50th anniversary event was to celebrate "all the people who help" keep the golf course alive. "It's driven by volunteers, by people who care," he said. Without the people who are part of my team, this place would fold up. The volunteer and community support has been phenomenal."

For more information about the course, Golf Shop or Brooktrails Grill, call 459-6761.