It was summer sometime in the early 1970s.

I was a know-it-all pre-teen with lots of time on my hands and the unlimited energy of youth.

It was a potentially dangerous combination.

In an effort to channel that energy in a somewhat positive direction, my parents would occasionally allow me to spend a hazy, lazy summer day playing golf. They even bought me a set of clubs. Anything to keep me busy and out of trouble.

I had some friends who were similarly unoccupied and they'd join me on these little boyhood excursions.

The course we played was always the same — Little Creek Golf Club on Route 116 just outside of Spring Grove in the village of Nashville.

The humble little par-59, 18-hole track was the place where a lifelong links addiction was born.

I haven't played a round at Little Creek in decades, having long-since graduated to more "grown-up" courses with longer holes, more trouble and higher greens fees.

Still, Little Creek always held a special place in my memories. The greens sometimes had blotchy brown patches, the fairways occasionally had more weeds than grass and there weren't any carts.

But we didn't care. For a 12-year-old boy, Little Creek was a perfect place to learn the game and have a blast without getting on the nerves of the older guys on the full-size courses who took the activity much more seriously.


It was low key, friendly and cheap. You could play the shorter, flatter front nine with two irons and a putter, while the more challenging back nine required a full bag of clubs and provided the perfect stepping stone before advancing to more substantial public courses. And the women who worked the snack bar treated us like their own children, while also dishing out delicious cheeseburgers, frosty cream sodas and friendly banter.

For a young boy, it was almost like heaven. It was where dozens of childhood memories were made.

Closing down: Soon, however, Little Creek will be no more. It was news that flattened me like a runaway steam-roller.

The course, which was a York County institution for more than five decades, was recently sold to Jackson Township for $850,000 and the supervisors plan to make it into a park with athletic fields, a playground and hiking trails.

Right now, the course is still open, but it probably won't be for much longer.

From my own selfish perspective, that's a true shame.

The township supervisors are probably doing the right thing. Government entities generally shouldn't be in the business of running for-profit golf courses. And a park with various fields and hiking trails will likely serve many more township residents than a golf course. According to a recent survey, a recreational park was the No. 1 request by citizens.

So most local residents likely won't lament the loss of Little Creek. In fact, they'll see the new rec park as an improvement.

But for an older golfer with a growing waistline, thinning hair and a still-sharp memory, Little Creek will most definitely be missed.

Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at