PLAINVIEW — For the past 94 years, golfing has been a convenient and popular recreational activity for the community of Plainview.
The current board of directors at the Plainview Country Club is determined to keep it that way, including plans that are underway to establish a Nebraska 9-hole Club Championship that would be hosted by the Plainview course.
“Running a golf course has become very challenging and clubs like ours are constantly trying to come up with new ideas to stay afloat,” said Tim Knaak, tournament director for the Plainview Country Club. “This idea fits a couple of our goals — a way for the club to make some money and help us keep membership fees as low as possible, and a way to recognize some of the best 9-hole players in the state.”
The inaugural tournament, restricted to members of the state’s numerous 9-hole courses, is set for Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14. The stroke play event will be limited to the first 120 players. Assuming there is a full field, it will pay back 20 places.
“Most of the tournaments conducted by the NGA (Nebraska Golf Association) and the Nebraska PGA are open to everyone and therefore tend to draw some high-profile players,” Knaak said. “But there are a lot of good golfers in the state from 9-hole courses.”
Knaak is a 1980 graduate of Plainview High School and played on three state-qualifying teams for the Pirates.
“Unfortunately, it coincided with the beginning of Oakland-Craig’s run of 11-straight state championships,” Knaak said.
The Knaak family is part of a rich Plainview golfing tradition. His father, Larry, has been the high school golf coach for 40-plus years at Plainview High. Tim’s son, Tucker, the 2017 Nebraska junior amateur champion, currently golfs for the Creighton University in Omaha.
Sam Meuret, who played for the University of Iowa before graduating in May, is the younger brother of Plainview Country Club PGA professional Matt Meuret. Both are natives the Plainview/Brunswick area, as is Tom Johnson, PGA professional at the Norfolk Country Club.
“We host a couple of events that are very popular … the Plainview Open at the end of June, and the Best-of-the-Best 4-person scramble at the end of July, so this 9-hole championship tournament will fit right in the middle of those two,” Knaak said. “It also doesn’t conflict with any NGA or Nebraska PGA events as far as I know.”
Knaak said the entry fee amount is still undecided, but it will include a practice round prior to the tournament, two days of golf and a steak supper on Saturday night.
“I’ve been in contact with Ben Vigil, manager of the NGA, and he said his organization won’t be able to make our event a “Points Tournament” because we are restricting it to 9-hole club players,” Knaak said. “However, Ben and the NGA have been very helpful providing support, some promotional suggestions, and contact information for other 9-hole clubs in the state.”
Built in 1925, the Plainview Golf Course had sand greens until 1965.
“Our course is challenging. One where you can make birdies and even some eagles on, but if you mess up it can be tough just to par a hole,” Knaak said. “Currently, our board members are trying to land a corporate sponsor, rent an electronic scoreboard and get golf sale representatives to set up shop. We believe we have the makings of a top-notch event.”