One Country Club Drive weaves humorous and heartwarming stories about growing up and working on a private country club; a behind-the-scenes look at the course and its history from three generations of Greenskeepers living on club grounds.
The “Preface” section introduces the reader to a child growing up with a golf course as backyard, and three generations witnessing history from the family home’s setting on course grounds. We see the house and its quirks from a kid’s perspective, along with its curious origin as part of the Post (cereal) estate, wonder about a mysterious bullet hole, and set up a coming of age conflict about following a father’s footsteps.
“A Third Generation” section begins the author’s humorous tales from early childhood, becoming a golf course brat and relating dozens of stories from gopher hunting, building a spy HQ and a casino to tennis ball cannon wars, cruising in a customized golf cart, and meeting the Beverly Hillbillies. After becoming a junior archeologist, that section finishes with a discovery of family and golf course history and a transition into the next section about the past.
The “Early History” section details Grandpa Andy’s work with his horses to build and maintain the course, and Grandma Rena’s work to run the household and raise seven kids. Stories include negotiating the sale of the grounds from the Post family, the care of the historic club during the depression and the war, streetcar damage, harvesting lake ice for drinks and saving the horse that fell through the ice, a national scandal, and father Harold’s tales growing up and meeting his wife.
In “A Second Generation Takes Over”, we hear stories in Harold’s own words about taking over operation of the course and learning the ropes, his many side duties and quirky bosses, club parties and social life. He tells of tending bar, some unusual club employees and members and one brush with a member’s wife in a see-through negligee. Famous club golf pros are detailed, along with slot machine con artists.
“Another Generation Starts Working” has insightful stories of the author finally getting to work with his father on the course, operating various machines and learning humbling lessons. Driving the three-wheeled Trucksters becomes an addiction, with dare-devil tales of jumping bunkers, playing polo and flipping over. Antics are told around working at club tournaments and comical jamborees, harassing the rent-a-cops, dodging lightning, and engineering an automated water system. The Peck family golf legacy is explored with the author finally deciding between a career in golf or engineering.
“End of an Era” and “Epilogue” tell of Harold’s retirement, his Alzheimer’s diagnosis and his recorded stories that are transcribed in the book. Father and son build a commemorative replica of the home as a dollhouse. As closure, the author justifies his career decision, and summarizes numerous comparisons between his childhood antics and resultant adult life. The book closes as the author hears of the beloved family home being torn down.