ALSRI – A Look Back
Over 10 Years
Back in the early 90’s when I was still in El Monte I got a call from Luis Zapata. He had heard I was a golfer (just a rumor) and said a bunch of IRS guys were getting together to play on a Friday. At that time, the only IRS sponsored event was the annual tournament down in Laguna. Luis said that around 20 guys just wanted to get together, play some golf and have some fun.
continued to play golf over the next year and 2 significant events
impacted our little group in a way I could never have imagined. First, the IRS softball league was an aging bunch and needed
another outlet to display their awesome power (I’m still waiting to
see that display). They
decided to give golf a try. The
second event was the arrival of 3 energetic Revenue Agents in the
Mid-Wilshire POD by the names of Kirk Boswell, Larry Taylor, and Victor
Vannukul. This threesome took on the responsibility of organizing
the events and became the impetus behind the formation of the actual
1993 / 1994
initial board of directors had a vision of the group as an organized
club and soon placed us under the welcomed umbrella of the Southern
California Golf Association where we had official handicaps (besides our
swings). We started out as
a small group of 30-35 members in 1994.
club also needed a name. Realizing
that having the starter announce the “IRS Golf club” may not have
been such a good idea, Victor and company simply reversed the acronym
for IRS LA into the current name of the club – ALSRI.
Victor realized that the club needed a form of media to communicate tournament dates, tee times, and miscellaneous news to the members. Thus our newsletter – Eagle, was born in 1995. If I remember right it started out as two pages with no fancy graphics or pictures. But it served the purpose of keeping the membership informed. Soon after, Golfnut was born passing on gossip in the grand tradition of Rona Barrett.
club established consistency in the scheduling by having one tournament
every two months. In 1996
ALSRI had its first Tournament of Champions at Rancho Park.
Jimmy Henson was our inaugural winner with no one having won it
twice since its inception.
club also began to venture outside the cozy confines of Los Angeles.
Around Memorial Day 12-14 members traveled south to Carlton Oaks
in San Diego where we spent two days grinding out two rounds a day (we
were very young back then) to settle who had the most endurance.
As it turned out, Wayne Nakama earned his nickname “The
Negotiator” by setting his own terms for tees and handicaps and
winning the two-day event by a mile.
June our membership reached 80 and we were still growing at an
incredible rate. Our
turnout for each tournament was increasing also.
20 groups for a tournament was not unusual.
saw ALSRI move into the computer age (well, sort of) by purchasing
it’s first notebook computer that allowed for faster and easier
tournament results (for which Mr. Taylor will be eternally grateful).
It also enabled us to use the SCGA’s EHS system of posting
tournament scores electronically as a group rather than having each
member post scores individually.
same year ALSRI began its tradition of special year-end tournaments
which included a dinner and raffle after the round.
El Rancho Verde was the year-end tournament and we celebrated
with a buffet dinner at The Country Harvest Buffet.
Crab legs were the specialty that night. James Rhodes was our Tournament of Champions winner that year
and the only board member ever to have won.
1998 Ben Hogan took over as President of ALSRI and continued the
leadership Victor had started. The
annual Primm Tournament held near Las Vegas was initiated with the help
of Golfing Guru Al Valentine. It
was a wonderful trip as we played two brand new challenging courses with
great facilities. My
fondest memories lie with a slot machine at the Primma Donna Hotel.
(About 1600 memories to be exact).
Augusto Rodriguez was our Tournament of Champions Winner that
1999 Ben left for the cold weather of the East Coast and Stephen Klotz
was elected President taking the club into the new millennium.
That year we caught Ryder Cup fever as we initiated the ALSRI Cup
– a Ryder Cup type competition, which featured teams from each Post of
Duty competing against one another. The teams included Downtown, El Monte, Glendale, and Van
Nuys/Woodland Hills. El
Monte and Downtown tied for the Cup in the inaugural year in a very
spirited contest. Tom
Veatch took the last Tournament of Champions of the old millennium.
same year saw ALSRI take significant steps toward “Customer
Klotz initiated the first ALSRI member survey to determine whether the
general membership was satisfied with the courses, prizes, fee rates,
etc. Based on the survey
the club initiated several changes we hope were for the better.
Club made technological moves forward by taking the newsletter Eagle
on-line allowing clearer graphics, type, and pictures.
It also enabled faster delivery times via E-mail.
It was also in this year that our website was created with the
help of Earl Estrada and George Murphy.
ALSRI.COM continues to post relative information regarding
tournament results, board meeting minutes, upcoming tournaments, past
newsletters, and much more.
year 2000 saw our membership top 3 digits with many members being non-IRS employees who saw our club as a great way to have fun.
This was the first year of “Monterey Madness” which saw 12
members and guests play a magnificent set of courses, which included the
famous Poppy Hills. Endurance
was again the key as we played 4 courses in a 3-day stretch.
Jimmy Henson proved to be too tough as he ran away with the
event. Rod Ammari
supplanted Tom Veatch as the Tournament of Champions Winner that year.
Present / Future
the year 2001 winds down we look for bigger and better things.
We experimented with a new type of event – The Survivor Series.
This allowed individuals to team up as partners in an exciting
single elimination type event. Chris
Olson and James Rose outlasted 17 other teams and were
crowned champions for this year. We
are also planning another outing back to San Diego under the direction
of Al Valentine, which should prove to be quite exciting. Nick Castro is our reigning Tournament of Champions Winner
and hopes to be the first back to back champion ever.
The ALSRI Golf Club continues to grow with a bright outlook toward the future. IRS retirees continue to play to visit old acquaintances while our ladies membership is the largest and most competitive since our inception. We are adding courses that are more scenic and challenging while maintaining many of the old favorites that we have come to enjoy so much. As it was when we first started 10 years ago we just get together, play some golf and have some fun.