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.
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
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.
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.
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.