Chippewa Valley
Golf Association

2015 Hall of Fame Inductee

Bill Rolland

Bill Rolland was born on Saturday, March 2, 1935 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  Bill was introduced to the game of golf at an early age at the Eau Claire Country Club.  He became the youngest club champion at the ECGCC at the age of 19 – a record which still stands.  He turned professional in 1953 at the age of 18 and played in many professional tournaments including the Texas Open and the St Paul Open.

 When Bill was the head golf professional at the Elks Country Club in 1958 he brought together eight other professionals and owners to organize a tournament schedule which would eliminate event conflicts at courses which occurred from time to time.  This inaugural meeting  consisted of Art Tangen of Hallie, Abby Fehr of Hillcrest, Gordy Hetzel from Bloomer, Jack Richards of Ladysmith, Pete Witkowski of Chetek, Bill Amthor from Menomonie, and George Fautch of the Eau Claire Country Club.  Out of that meeting a sound foundation was formed for tournament golf in the Eau Claire area.  Bill Rolland became the first president of the Chippewa Valley Golf Association on this day and continued in that capacity until 1967.

He was the Head Professional at Hillcrest Country Club in 1960 and 1961 where in ’61, he thought it would be a good idea to have a year-end tournament that would feature the best players in the area.  He called it the “Tournament of Champions”.

Also in 1961, Bill was called back to the Army Medical Corp and played on the US 5th Army golf team based in Colorado Springs, CO.

Returning to Eau Claire in 1964, he ran the Black River Falls and Neillsville golf operations until he took the Head Teaching Pro at the Hallie Golf Course from 1967-75.

In 1975 the Bi-Laws were written for the CVGA; the organization became enormously popular in the upcoming decades.  In these years, the CVGA had as many as 23 Open tournaments.  In the late 70’s and 80’s, the Tournament of Champions was televised by WEAU and made stars of local players: Greg Dick, Steve Jensen, Rick Norman, and Joe Springer, to name a few.

 From 1977-1982, Bill leased the newly opened Princeton Valley golf course.  Some of his more noteworthy employees were Greg Dick, Fred Hancock, and Jeff “Cupcakes”  Michealson.   Many memorable and lasting relationships were formed in those early years.

From 1968-2011, Bill served as Secretary and Tournament Director of the CVGA.

Bill married Beth Aschenbrener in 1963; they have two children: Cameron and Laurel.  Anyone associated with the CVGA in those days knew Beth, and Beth knew them; she was as visible as Bill and it was truly a partnership.  Beth was in charge of the scoreboard and what a great job she did.  As time went on, you could see this was really a family affair as both Cameron and Laurel helped out as well.  Regrettably, Beth Rolland passed on Feb 13, 2014.  It was through Beth’s support that Bill served the CVGA for 55 years.

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