I think it is safe to say that we are probably the only golf course in possibly the world to have the name Toad Valley. It isn’t exactly what you envision when you think about a golf course. Most have a serene name that brings a mental picture of gently rolling hills and flowing creeks that wind through the property. Sure. We have hills and we have creeks, but those names didn’t come out on top when it came time to naming our golf course.
The story of how we got our name isn’t really all that glamorous, but it’s our name and over the years, we have come to realize that it definitely fits our family. We’re a little quirky. A little different. Our golf course is in a valley and we really do have many toads. So many toads that they (the toads) are frequently taken home in cups by children who play miniature golf and want to take home a “souvenir”. (Those poor mothers).
Enter the main Toad.
This guy was placed in honor of my Uncle Dan Brady who passed away in November 2002. In the fall of 2003, this granite toad and marble base finally arrived to our golf course after a long journey from China.
Forrest and Associates built the marble base for the massive toad and he was placed complete with a plaque in honor of the man who many of our golfers adored.
They spent several days getting the base just right.
Then, it was time to drill the hole to place Dan’s Toad. It’s always so scary to drill a hole into something that was so expensive, isn’t it? I can just hear this guy’s maniacal laugh. Can you?
Once the toad was in place, our family had a revealing ceremony.
We gathered around and shared memories of Uncle Dan. His boisterous laugh and ability to remember everyone’s names. He was the outgoing actor in the family and had been Toad Valley’s “face” for many years. The tarp was uncovered to reveal the toad.
Some of his Dan’s ashes were spread at the site while the rest went to his wife’s family farm in Thurman, Iowa.
When Dan worked in the clubhouse, he was always coming up with crazy marketing ideas. He had some pretty funny slogans. The most long running slogan was for our logo-ed Toad Valley golf balls. The sign he created for the toad balls read that the Toad Balls were rumored to provide long, straight drives and bring good golfing luck. It only seemed appropriate that his toad would have a similar affect on your golf game.
Here Dan’s Toad sits today. Watching over the golf course.
Ten years later, the Toad’s nose has been rubbed so many times that it has a different texture than the rest of the body. Our family loves that! It’s so fun to watch golfers rub his nose before beginning their golf game.
I can guarantee that the man our toad honors would love it! I can just hear his laughter.
How about you? Do you rub the toad’s nose before playing your game? Did you play Toad Valley when Dan was behind the counter?