By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Colfax native Kevin Snyder was the golfer selected to make the “last putt” on the ninth hole to close Whitetail Golf Course October 30.
The event was the fourth annual official closing of Whitetail for the season.
And what a difference a year can make.
When Whitetail Golf Course held the last putt ceremony November 1, 2016, the weather was absolutely perfect. Warm. Sunny. With a temperature of 52 degrees Fahrenheit that eventually climbed into the 60s.
This year, the weather was cold, with temperatures in the 30s and a 10 to 20 mile per hour wind that felt raw and damp. Although the sun came out briefly a few times, when the sky was clouded over, occasional snow flurries whirled through the air.
Because of the cold weather, the Colfax High School band played most of their selections inside the building in the dining room.
When it came time for the last putt, Snyder, his wife, Liberty, band members and guests hurried outside for the closing ceremony.
The band played one song outside, Snyder made his putt, and then everyone hurried back inside to get out of the cold wind.
Actually, since the weather was so cold and blustery, Snyder said he thought it was to his advantage for the last putt of the season.
“I figured I’d have an excuse if I missed,” he said with a laugh.
Snyder did not miss, however.
When Whitetail is planning for the closing of the golf course for the season, “Bobbie and I look for the characteristics they all have,” said Scot Miller, who owns and operates Whitetail with his wife, Bobbie Jo.
“The best one I come to is they are (outstanding) individuals. They’re nice, caring, compassionate people,” Scot Miller said.
“The other comment I have about this year’s person is, the guy who started it was John Arntson. I read on his plaque on the bench up there. It says, ‘For the love of game.’ The person who is making the putt this year, that’s what it is. For the love of the game. He enjoys it — Mr. Kevin Snyder,” he said.
Snyder, the vice-president of operations at Woods Run Forest Products in Colfax, says he has been golfing for about 20 years and mostly at Whitetail.
“We hit a few other courses during the year, but this is home. It’s wonderful people and a great facility,” he said.
“I always played softball all of my life. Then I blew my knee out. I couldn’t play softball any more, so I switched to golf,” Snyder said.
“I’m not a great golfer, but I have fun doing it. We come out here and have a great time,” he said.
“There’s just great people out here. Everybody who works here is wonderful. It’s awesome to call this course my home course. It’s always in great shape,” he said.
Whitetail is “family oriented, and the golf course is maintained wonderfully,” Snyder said.
“It was a privilege to be able to do this,” he said.
Whitetail, an 18-hole golf course, opened in 1969 and was designed by Lyle Pelke of Colfax.
John Arntson, an avid golfer who was a member and shareholder of Whitetail since 1973, made the last putt for the first annual official Whitetail closing ceremony November 4, 2014.
Artnson served on the Whitetail board of directors from 1978 to 1984.
He died at home June 12, 2015, from pancreatic cancer at the age of 68.
Snyder has worked at Woods Run for 25 years.
Former Colfax resident David Haugle closed out the season at Whitetail last year.