A collection of ambitious card players created the Liberty Country Club in 1927, as an effort to give something back to the community.

Of course, they wanted somewhere to practice their golf game too, so they never stopped expanding. Those expansions were strategically sustained from one leader to the next. Club pro Bruce Gregory said it was important to note, LCC would have never become a professional-style golf course without the constant volunteers who have given their sweat, over the decades. Some did it for pay, but others helped because they loved the game and they had pride in their club. This tradition still holds true, today. LCC has an assortment of volunteers - young and old, male and female, donating their time generously.

When I asked, "How many volunteers do you have?" Bruce chuckled and shook his head. "Way too many to name." Since the 2000s, the most noteworthy history highlight is how much people in our community have chipped in to keep the Liberty Country Club a beautiful and fun experience.
There is one group that stands out amongst the volunteers. They call themselves the Nipper Lassies. Just as Union County always does, the Nipper Lassies keep the old-town traditions alive. Inspired by the course architect, and one of the club's earliest members Alec "Nipper" Campbell, the Nipper Lassies donate their time beautifying the golf course whenever it needs the work. This mainly involves taking care of the many flower duties the course entails. Not to mention, the Nipper Lassies are responsible for the murals you see painted on the shelter/restroom between holes 12 & 13. Deceased Lassies' member Rebecca Fallet was instrumental in their creation. She drew the designs, then with help from students at Miami University, painted the art.

The Nipper Lassies will have their first official tournament at LCC this year, June 16th. The tournament will be sponsored by the Liberty Ladies Golf Association. I reached out to Vicki Snyder, retired UCMS principal, Nipper Lassies member and avid golfer at LCC. She had this to say, "Union County is very fortunate to have such a beautiful golf course and practice facility. Liberty Country Club is truly a diamond in the rough." The Nipper Lassies were created in 2008. The group is an offshoot of the LLGA. Their founding members were: Judi O’Dell, Sharon Locke, Janet Halloran, Bonnie Raisch, Barb May (deceased) and Joy Abernathy; several others joined shortly after. I was told that the Lassies were started because the ladies simply wanted to do more - even though, they were probably already doing plenty.

The Liberty Ladies Golf Association was founded in 1986 by Dora Bennett. Dora was a close partner of Glade Montomery, and all through her life, she was a constant presence at the golf course. Dora was instrumental in unifying the lady golfers into an independent influence to assist the club. I recently spoke with Joy Abernathy, longtime member of the LLGA. She told me, the ladies raise most of their money selling food during the men's tournaments. This includes; preparing food, grilling hamburgers, selling baked goods, drinks and beverages, and being darn friendly while they do it. She also mentioned, they fundraise at the club-hosted high school and college invitationals. "We raise a lot of money selling our food at the men's tournaments," Joy said, "people like us cooking for them, and they are so friendly." A portion of the money raised by the Ladies Golf Association goes back to the club every year. Joy said the amount was usually between $1000-$1500. Most of the tournaments hosted by the Liberty Country Club are community themed events. Bruce said, the club likes to center all their events around some kind of fundraiser or benefit. LCC raises money for almost all the municipal organizations in Union County, as well as several other local charities.

One of the most recent, and largest, donations given to the Liberty Country Club came from out-of-town. In March 2021, Michael Rogers, CEO Synergistic Arboriculture, donated roughly $4000 worth of labor to remove a series of ash trees infected with Emerald Ash Borer. EAB is a small green metallic-looking beetle that will burrow into an ash tree and destroy it from the inside. Synergistic Arboriculture endures a tireless effort to remove EAB infested trees from the TriState Area. His company was doing a job nearby the golf course and some of his associates started taking lessons with Bruce Gregory. It wasn't long before these professionals noticed the ash tree problem then reported it to Mr. Rogers. In a phone interview, he stated that he knew the importance the golf course has to the community and wanted those trees taken out, right away. Mr. Rogers had nothing but nice things to say about the Liberty Country Club and Union County, "They (LCC) have worked nonstop to benefit the community. Just a great group of people and its run by a great board and great staff. Bruce works day and night to make its the best experience possible. It is an under-used resource."

Just like the courthouse, our churches, J's Dairy Inn and Woodruff's Supermarket, The Liberty Country club has solidified itself as a nostalgic staple in Union County. However, you might not know it, but the golf course operates more like a church than a business. LCC registers as a state nonprofit. Nearly all the money made from the clubhouse, memberships and course play is reinvested into the organization.A small portion of funds goto paying wages, salaries and stocking the clubhouse. Bruce noted, maintenance on the golf course is almost a constant endeavor. "The main reason the club has been around for over 90 years is because the contributions made by the community. Not just money, but pitching in and doing the hard work needed to keep-up the golf course. That's what Union County is known for best." If people from out of town can chip-in, instantly seeing the club's importance, we should go all-in, and never forget the traditions its created. Union County residents aren't ones to be outdone and there's plenty of time left to do your part. Anyone associated with golf in the community can find their home volunteering at LCC. Bruce has plenty of work to do. He wants to keep the course looking professional and could always use your help.

I ended my two week long interview with the club pro asking him what is on the horizon at Liberty Country Club. Bruce said this, "Time, tradition and talent has been key to keeping the place going. I am optimistic about the future.” He went to say that they were thinking about expanding LCC to accommodate weddings and other events. Also, the club has future plans to turn part of the grounds into a camping area; providing tourists with a camp and golf experience. Another important tournament upcoming is the, Hero Event. This is open tournament that will be held sometime in June. The benefit raises money for local fire, police and health care workers. Money will also fund the Shop With A Cop program. Shop With A Cop is where a member of the Union County sheriff’s office will take an underprivileged child on a shopping-spree during Christmas.

Yesterday, the LLGA had their opening day at the Liberty Country Club. Joy Abernathy participated in the event which involved a scramble and pizza afterward. The LLGA also had a meeting to discuss their upcoming invitational this year. She wanted me to highlight that the Nipper Lassies are always looking for new members. “We are just a small group of ladies and we are getting old... there is a lot of work to do and it takes a lot of people.” The Lassies could use some fresh faces, if any young lady golfers are interested.