The China Lake Golf Course loses two legends

The China Lake Golf Course loses two legendsSubmitted by BRUCE AULD, Exclusive to The News Review

The year was 1964 and the China Lake Rocketeer, in two consecutive editions chronicled the achievements two multi-talented athletes, consummate professionals, great personalities and genuinely fine individuals. In the early summer of 1964, Jane Bracken (Brooks) would break 90 as a senior at Burroughs High School and Earle Roby with teammate Gary Stevenson would win the Hollister Cup, Partners Best Ball Tournament, both at the China Lake Golf Course.

Jane passed away of cancer on January 17, 2021, in Sun City, Arizona. Jane arrived at China Lake as a four year-old in 1951. Following her graduation from Burroughs High School, she attended the University of New Mexico as a Division I golfer. While there, she was the New Mexico Ladies Amateur Golf Champion. Jane returned to Ridgecrest in 1984 to accept the position of secretary to the Sierra Sands superintendent and was promoted to Administrative Assistant to the Board of Education.

After breaking 90 as an 18-year-old in 1964, Jane was the first female to break 80 at China Lake. Her best round at China Lake was 74.

By happen-stance, Jane’s husband, Ed Brooks, was paired with “The Perfect Yankee,” Don Larsen at a tournament in Pebble Beach. They became fast friends. Don would visit Ridgecrest every year to spend a week with Ed and Jane on the China Lake golf course. Jane considered Ridgecrest home.

Earle passed away on February 2, 2021, in Newport Beach, California of natural causes. Earle arrived at China Lake in 1952 after graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree Electrical Engineering. In early June 1964, Earle and teammate Gary Stevenson competed in the Fourth Annual Hollister Cup, Partners Best Ball Tournament at the China Lake Golf Course. The first round was played on Saturday morning. At end of the first round, Milt Wolfson and Sam Someson lead at 61. Earle and Gary were in a five-way tie for second at 62. The second Saturday round was suspended, due to high winds. Sunday, June 14 dawned calm and the second round was played. Earle and Gary won the trophy with a score of 122. Earle considered Ridgecrest home.

Both Jane and Earle played golf courses across the country, but to both, the China Lake Golf Course was home.

Pictured: Gary Stevenson left, and teammate Earle Roby display awards in the Fourth Annual Hollister Cup, Partners Best Ball Tournament at the China Lake Golf Course. (Courtesy photo)

Story First Published: 2021-02-19