Spartan Profiles: Chuck Werle
45-YEAR ROAD TRIP
On the day after Christmas, 2005, he finally completed a lifelong quest that began 45 years earlier. On that day, he putted out on the 18th hole at Santa Ana Golf Club in New Mexico, thus completing his quest to play golf in all 50 states.
Chuck Werle, ’58, owner of Carolina Image Builders, a public relations agency in Asheville, NC, played his first round of golf in 1961 at a place well known to golfers—Augusta, Georgia. “No, it wasn’t at Augusta National (site of the Masters tournament),” Werle says. “It was at a military course.” But he quickly fell in love with golf.
Working as a sportswriter, and then as a publicist for Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, WI, he had opportunities to travel and play golf at different courses. “Years ago I was reading Golf Digest magazine and they listed the top 100 public courses, and I realized I had played about 32 of those,” recalls Chuck, a 19-handicap player. “I figured out that it wouldn’t take too much for me to play in all 50 states.”
A native of Lapeer, Chuck came to MSU to study journalism and mentored under legendary MSU sports information director Fred Stabley, for whom the press box in Spartan Stadium is named. “He was a great guy,” recalls Chuck. “He helped me get a job in sportswriting and everything fell into place.”
Chuck made a trip to the Northwest and played golf in nine states in 10 days, leaving only Alaska and New Mexico. Finally he planned a trip to golf in Anchorage, Alaska. “On the third hole, out of the woods comes this red fox with a huge tail that had to be three feet long,” he recalls.
After that, came the final piece of the puzzle, New Mexico. He played such icons as Pebble Beach, Crooked Stick, Butler National, Cog Hill’s Dubsdread, Harbor Town, and the Doral “Blue Monster.” His favorite course? Coeur D’Alene in Idaho, a course famous for having a movable island green.