For the last five decades, golf has been connecting Boulder City Women’s Golf Association members. The Boulder City Golf Course opened in 1973 as nine holes and the group has been playing together since 1974, including Marla Effertz from day one. –By Brian Hurlburt, Founder
According to Effertz, 82, one of three founding members, the incorporation papers were filed in 1973, but the group officially began hitting the course on Tuesdays in 1974.
All of these years later, Effertz still plays with the group.
“Tuesday play has always been good, but when we first opened, we only had nine holes and our original clubhouse was a trailer that somebody pulled down there until we built a clubhouse, which was probably a year or so later,” Effertz says. “Our pros were and still are always helpful and it started with our first pro, Hugh Jeffries. I always encouraged our membership to not complain about the times we got because this is a public course, but the pros have always allowed us to have a shotgun start on Tuesday. I have so many great memories.”
Other founders were Ann Stebbins, the club’s first president, and Vivian Russell, who served as the second president. Effertz was the club’s third president. Also involved was Mel Clark.
“What I think has been important is that we have always honored the rules of golf,” Effertz says. “Our ladies’ events on Tuesdays are always ‘count your score and keep track of things.’ It isn’t just come out and play silly little games. The other clubs and golfers around the valley have always recognized that.”
A main tradition for the association is the Boulder City Women’s Invitational. The 31st annual event was held in October 2022 when 64 teams from all over Southern Nevada and some other states teed it up.
Deanna Imboden has been the chairperson of the Invitational for six years and enjoys carrying on the tradition.
“This is one of the best women’s invitationals around,” Imboden says. “It is a two-person, better ball and we run it efficiently. When we put our applications out, we fill up in about two and a half weeks because it is so popular. We have a wait list because as soon as the invite goes out, we get people from Arizona, Utah, all over the Las Vegas Valley, and they try to get in as quickly as they can. We have a raffle, prizes in different flights, a lunch and we make sure to keep things moving. The ladies love it.”
Club president Ronda Henderson, one of the top women golfers in Nevada, says there is a reason the Invitational and the club are so popular.
“We are a very welcoming group and it doesn’t matter what your handicap or skill level is,” Henderson says. “What is also neat is that we all play together. Sometimes the lower handicaps play together in a group, but a lot of the times, a low handicap player will be with a higher handicap. I don’t think there is anyone in the group that I haven’t played with.”
Being a member is also more than golf for Henderson.
“Off the course, we are friends,” Henderson says. “I recently lost my father and the group really took me in and supported me. The ladies are always taking care of each other and that is special.”
As the Boulder City Golf director of operations, Andy Schaper is the caretaker of not only the two courses in the city, but also the history of the layouts. He appreciates the women’s group.
“They are dedicated to their yearly golf traditions and functions, and that has been cool to witness through the years,” Schaper says. “They are also always very organized and well run. My staff and I really appreciate that.”
Effertz knows her fellow founders would be proud about how the group continues to thrive. While Birdie Hurst was not a group founder, the 94-year old member is still active.
“Birdie plays in the summer and winter, and is an awesome person,” Effertz says. “I keep telling all of our members; she is our inspiration.”
Hurst cherishes her time and isn’t putting the clubs away in the near future.
“I’m not thinking of stopping anytime soon,” Hurst said in a recent Las Vegas Review-Journal article. “I guess when the time comes, the time comes, but the thought hasn’t crossed my mind. The game is still fun for me.”
The same could be said for each Boulder City Women’s Golf Association member.
The Boulder City Women’s Golf Association always accepts new members and information is available online.
Both Boulder City Golf Course and Boulder Creek Golf Club are Las Vegas Golf Insider course partners.