MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
The sun has set on Torii Pines Golf Course. As its final day of play, April 1, 2012 concluded with the final two golfers to lay claim to her fairways.
Col. James C. Stewart, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni Commanding Officer, and Sgt. Maj. Steven L. Brown, MCAS Iwakuni Sergeant Major, had the honor of playing the final round.
As the two made their way from hole to hole, they recalled fond memories of the course. It appeared as if each hole held its own memory, from its 53 years of service, not soon to be forgotten.
“It’s bitter sweet having the last round of golf as the shadows grow long on the course today,” said Stewart.
The two golfers did not focus on keeping score on the final day of the course. They focused on playing their best and enjoying the course for what it had to offer.
According to Stewart and Brown, they recalled a time when the Eagles Nest was alongside the first hole, back when the course had a different arrangement. They recalled hecklers and other shouts of encouragement from those inside the Eagles Nest.
As the day drew to a close, the final shots on the 18th hole approached. Reagan Harrell,11, a young golfer and son of course superintendant Lane Harrell joined the sergeant major and colonel.
The three played the final hole for the final time together as the old breed of golfers openly welcomed the young man.
“It was great to have our superintendant’s son join us on our last hole,” said Stewart. “To share golfing with the next generation, that’s what it’s really all about.”
After putting out on the 18th hole, the final game was over. The course had seen its last day of play, and the two men will recall the final game their own. Both say they’ll never forget it.
Whether it was a colonel or sergeant major who played the final game on the course, or an 11-year-old kid, all who have played on the Torii Pines golf course shall recall their games for years to come.