History


In 1959 Bob and Jean Sanford and their four children, Rod, Laura, Craig and George moved to the property where our golf course is located. Bob’s brother-in-law and sister, Monroe and Kathleen Everett had purchased the property on Casserly Road as well as the Silva Ranch off of Smith Road that is now Spring Hills Golf Course. Bob and Jean moved here to operate a cattle ranch and avocado orchard with Uncle Monroe. Bob and Jean also owned the 40 acres to the north of our golf course. That property was later sold. For a number of years our family raised cattle on the properties where our course and Spring Hills golf course are today. We terraced the hill above our course and planted almost 800 avocado trees there. The four children attended Salsipuedes School and later all graduated from Watsonville High School. Chores started early on the ranch each day. Feeding the livestock and other farm animals before school each morning and then feeding and cleaning each evening. For a while Bob not only worked the ranch but also worked as a mechanic at Moriarty Chevrolet and operated a small auto-shop at the ranch on weekends. As the avocados matured the family pitched in to pick, pack and ship Watsonville Avocados.

In 1964 Uncle Monroe sold the Silva ranch to Hank and Dorie Schimpeler. Bob and Jean traded their 40 acres with Monroe and became the owners of the 31 acres that is now Casserly Golf Course. In 1965 Bob called Rod and asked him to come to the ranch and help on a surveying project. Rod figured that he would be helping layout another fence line. Much to Rod’s surprise his father told him that they were going to layout a golf course. To our knowledge Bob had never played a game of golf, much less built a golf course, but he had decided to give up cattle ranching and open a golf course. Rod helped layout the course and Bob and Craig began moving dirt, laying underground water and sprinkler lines and planting grass for the fairways and greens. In March of 1966 Bob and Jean opened Casserly Par 3 Golf Course.

For many years to come Jean would work in the pro-shop while Bob maintained the course and picked avocados. Each evening after dinner you could find them both in the big barn that is still there today sorting, polishing and packing avocados. Each morning Bob would deliver the fruit to local stores and then return to work on the course and in the orchard. Throughout the years Rod, Craig and George would occasionally work with their Mom and Dad on the course and in the avocado orchard. In the early ‘80’s the family built two homes on the hill overlooking the golf course. Rod and George moved in and worked on the course. Eventually Rod moved on to run his two businesses in Soquel, Rod Sanford’s Traditional Martial Arts and Pacific Institute of Defensive Tactics. George stayed with his parents and was the greens keeper on the course for many years.

After Bob’s death the golf course passed on to his wife, Jean. The decision was made to honor Bob and Jean’s wishes that the business and property remain in the Sanford family. Rod is now running the golf course business. He and his wife, Bedelia, and their youngest daughter, Sonora, will be living on the hill over looking the course. Craig, who now lives in Missoula, Montana makes the trip out to help work on the property as needed.