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By Tony Regina
USUALLY THIS SPACE IS RESERVED
for abstract objects spotted at GAP Member
Clubs. Hence the title.
The following Bala Golf Club items don’t
necessarily qualify. The abstract lies in where
Mike Viscusi, the club’s director of membership and marketing, found an invitation and a
check of significance.
“I was looking to find anything historical.
There aren’t too many pieces here,” Viscusi,
39, of Collegeville, Pa., said. “I had been up
in our attic. There really wasn’t anything up
there, just a lot of dust. The basement had
some stuff, but not as much as you would
think. So, I started digging around here and
saw a stack of things against a wall in a storage
room. I started picking through. [The invita-
tion and check] were two items of note to the
Viscusi, to his surprise, found both framed
and a bit frayed. Strips of Scotch tape patch
an envelope containing an invitation to Bala’s
clubhouse opening. It’s dated May 11, 1901
and signed by then secretary George Straw-
bridge. Bala, in the name of foresight perhaps,
D. Wright, Jr. Dated Dec. 6, 1902, received
March 27, 1903. Here’s the cost breakdown:
$10 initiation fee, $2.50 annual dues.
“Our dues are obviously quite a bit higher
now but we still pride ourselves in offering a
great value as Center City’s closest private golf
club,” Viscusi said.
A storage room near Bala’s kitchen is an
abstract location for items of such historical
significance. Random relics also arrive by
happenstance. For example: a piece of rustic
hardware with the inscription, “Bala Golf Club,
Presidents Cup 1927 won by C. Carroll Baxter.”
“Someone donated this trophy to the club
last year. I don’t have all of the details, but
I think it was found at a random yard sale,”
Viscusi said. “Our annual Member-Guest is
called Presidents Day. I don’t know if the two
Fortunately, Bala spared any storage room
a less abstract location: a trophy case at the
clubhouse entrance. That scorecard shows
the course record: an 8-under-par 60 by
Doug Adam in 1960.
“He was certainly an accomplished player
and one of the best in Bala’s history. It’s
pretty cool that Doug Adam still has the
course record,” Viscusi said. “It speaks to
how good of a player he was and how tough
the golf course is. It’s stood the test of
Adam, a two-time GAP Tournament of
Champions winner, holds 11 men’s cham-
pionship titles at Bala. Most all-time? Not so
fast. Bala’s board only dates back to 1940.
Add three decades’ worth of champions to
the list of missing memorabilia.
“Who knows where all of these historical
items went?”” Viscusi said. “There are some
depths of the basement that could still be explored. I’ll have to bring in some old clothes
and not mind getting dirty down there. For
the most part, I’ve been through most areas
where anything could be hidden. This, right
now, appears to be all we have.” m
(From left to right): An invitation to
Bala’s clubhouse opening, a dues check
from 1903, a 1927 trophy and a 1960
scorecard represent rare relics.