A MILLION-DOLLAR LAYOUT FROM “BUCK” BLANKENSHIP.
When Longview Golf Club opened in 1968, it was the debut of yet another golfing gem from architect Clarence Riley “Buck” Blankenship.
A native of Somerset, Blankenship was a longtime PGA Member and built a legacy as a golf course designer (over 35 golf courses to his credit, primarily in Kentucky), golf course owner/operator, and promoter of the game.
As a teen, his father, a sharecropper, moved his family from Kentucky to California in search of work. “Farm boy” Buck landed a job on the grounds crew at the exclusive Hillcrest Country Club in Beverly Hills and spent the next 21 years working there, eventually becoming the course superintendent.
Even though he had a good job in California, Buck moved back to Kentucky in 1944. He bought a small farm outside of Hustonville with ,000 in savings; sold it for ,000 and bought 110 acres in Mercer County for ,500 that today is Bright Leaf Golf Resort.
Blankenship learned to love golf courses in California.
Love of the land and farming brought him back to Kentucky.
In addition to farming, Buck found time to design and build golf courses. In 1963, he decided to build one for himself. Mr. Blankenship designed and developed Bright Leaf. He first built a nine-hole regulation course and a lighted nine-hole, par-three course.
The Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame calling Buck Blankenship.
He designed dozens of courses, including Kentucky courses at Fort Knox, Owen County, Casey County, Frankfort, Nicholasville, Georgetown, LaGrange, Ashland, Lexington, Taylorsville and Versailles. Many of the golf courses were built partially because of a federal program that allocated money to small towns without golf courses.