GAPStract Glenmaura National’s Native American statue GAPStract, a new feature segment, will investigate and unearth Member Club antiques and items throughout he region. If you’ve got a unique relic at your club, we want to hear about it. Send all recommendations to email@example.com.
AS YOU APPROACH THE 9TH GREEN
at Glenmaura National Golf Club, take cover.
There’s a native eye watching over your game.
The Native American statue that sits perched
on the par 3’s right ridge has become an urban
legend around the grounds. Its very existence,
and new home, involve a tale worth telling.
A member in the club’s beginning days
was a part owner of a local hotel, now part of
King’s College in downtown Wilkes-Barre, Pa. It
was there a historic glockenspiel clock housed
large, rotating figurines. The resident ringers
included a pilgrim, Santa Claus and what is
now Glenmaura’s famous Native American.
In 1994, after a late night in the clubhouse
bar, it was decided the statue would be
brought to the club to honor a member who
went by the nickname, “Chief.”
“The hotel owner said to the guys one
night, ‘I know where we can go get ourselves
a real chief. I’ll have it delivered,’” said Phil
Mahasky, Glenmaura’s general manager.
A few wanted to see the “Chief” in person
and took a late-night road trip to check it out.
Since the figurine was no longer in use, a
few brave (and unnamed) Glenmaura souls
retrieved the 300-pound statue, pedestal
included. The retrieval story is mostly unclear,
but ultimately, the new Glenmaura member
arrived that fateful night. It was originally placed
on top of a manhole cover overlooking No. 18.
“The next day everyone loved the statue
and its new home. They were all yelling and
excited about it,” recalled Mahasky.
No one was sure where it came from until
they heard the story later that day in the grill
room. Two days later, a founding member
came inside to the then-manager’s office and
said he didn’t think it was appropriate and
asked that it be moved.
The statue found a temporary home in the
cart barn. A couple days later, the original retriev-
ers asked, ‘What happened to our statue?’ The
next day during the Member-Guest – and after
some time spent in the grill room – the crew
decided the Indian would reemerge, this time
technically not on Glenmaura’s grounds. Instead,
a neighbor who owns the overlooking ninth-hole
property volunteered to house it in his backyard.
Chief still stands there to this day, 24 years later.
“[Chief] really adds to Glenmaura’s lore.
When you first play here, the first time you
come down No. 9, you almost feel like some-
thing is watching you,” said Mahasky. “First
you get scared, then you realize that it’s not
real but you can swear it’s moving. It honestly
takes a little while to get over it.”
Once you do get accustomed to it, the
statue can actually serve as a beneficial aiming
point on the par 3, which plays 196 yards from
the back tees. Glenmaura has had multiple
players record aces after sending their tee shot
right, getting a lucky bounce (or two) and the
ball trickling down the slope. As the Glenmaura
legend goes, “it was the Indian throwing the
ace into the hole.”
“THE FIRST TIME YOU COME DOWN NO. 9, YOU ALMOST FEEL LIKE
SOMETHING IS WATCHING YOU… YOU CAN SWEAR IT’S MOVING.
IT HONESTLY TAKES A LITTLE WHILE TO GET OVER IT.”
BY DAN SCOFIELD