I wasn’t disappointed. It was a great time as everything went smoothly. There was plenty of golf and just the right amount of “visiting” and getting acquainted time. It’s easy to be appreciative of a concerted effort. I recently heard a football broadcaster say “it doesn’t take any talent to hustle.” The staff at Picacho — from the bag boys to the golf shop personnel to the wait staff and kitchen crew — was absolutely on top of their game. I didn’t see anyone from the maintenance crew, but that in itself is testament to their good work — and the course was beautiful. They all certainly hustled, but they all were skilled in their respective tasks as well. And I shouldn’t forget the volunteers. There must have easily been a total 15 or 20 male member volunteers out driving players to the range and spotting errant shots on several holes.

The theme this year was “A Ladies’ Classic”. The logo: a silhouette of a Victoria era golfer replete in long skirt and hat. Golf in the borderlands may not go quite so far back as the Victorian era, but recently I was surprised to learn that The Border Women’s Golf Association has been in existence for over 50 years. In fact, in 1957 a small group of dedicated players from the Las Cruces/El Paso areas gathered in Anthony, NM to establish the organization.

Those committed and insightful women were: Mrs. Winnie Ikard of Anthony, NM; Mrs. Wade Bates of Las Cruces, NM; Mrs. Frank Blum of Fort Bliss in El Paso; Mrs. F.L. Koons of El Paso Country Club; Mrs. Nathan Waldrop of Ascarate, El Paso; Mrs. Fred Baldwin of Ascarate, El Paso; and Mrs. Raymond Reed of Deming. None of the founding mothers are still with us.Winnie Ikard of Anthony was a prime mover in the organization. She is survived by daughters Mary Salopek of Las Cruces and Catherine Odette who recently moved to Arizona.Clubs were added, while sadly, others left. The Juarez CC was one example. Members loved to make the trip into Mexico as the Juarez group had a good gathering. Even today members discuss the fun in Juarez “back in the day.” In chronological order, the following Clubs joined:1958 — Alamagordo Country Club, Holloman AFB, and Coronado Country Club of El Paso1963 — NMSU (Las Cruces), Emerald Springs (Horizon, Texas); and Juarez Country Club (Juarez, Mexico)1964 — Dos Lagos CC (Anthony, NM), Silver City Golf Course (NM), and White Sands Missile Range Golf Course (NM)1979 — Picacho Hills Country Club (Las Cruces, NM), Alto Country Club (Los Altos, NM), and Vista Hills Country Club (El Paso, TX)The addition of Picacho Hills in 1979 apparently coincided with the first Kactus Kapers — must have been a busy year out there! The Border group has grown steadily and today includes 12 clubs: Alto Country Club, Anthony Country Club, Cree Meadows Country Club, Desert Lakes Golf Course, Las Cruces Country Club, NMSU Golf Course, Picacho Hills Country Club, Rio Mimbres Country Club, Sierra del Rio Country Club, Silver City Golf Course, Santa Teresa Country Club, and Vista Hills Country Club.Two of the most noteworthy members have been the Kretek twins from Deming. Gertrude and Geraldine are 80 years old and have been members for over 50 years. When Geraldine was a PE teacher in Anthony, Winnie Ikard’s daughter, Catherine, was her student. Gertrude and Geraldine were at each event I attended this year. Their participation is testament to their commitment to golf and the Border organization, but I sense that the friendship and sense of belonging that stems from the organization are just as important to them.The competitions are held monthly from March through October with a final celebratory play day and awards luncheon in November. The November meeting features the election of officers for the following year as well. Each monthly event features team and individual competitions in gross and net categories, but it mostly results in fun and goodwill. This year, the Association is featuring a new “traveling trophy” for the winning team.Special thanks to Jane Spruiell, Judy Baker and Mary Salopek for sharing historical information about the Border Women’s Golf Association.A golf architect in New Hampshire for over 20 years, Armstrong brought her craft to Las Cruces last January. She is the founder of Armstrong Golf Architects, which provides planning, designing, permitting and construction monitoring services for golf course projects. You can comment on her writing and view past articles at her blog: https://roadholeshorts17.wordpress.com/.