In 1963, a loaf of bread cost 22 cents, and a shiny new car cost about $3,200. The top music hit was Surfin’ USA by the Beach Boys, and the No. 1 television show was The Beverly Hillbillies.
It was a year of societal change, business and scientific invention, and shifts in popular culture – from fashion to music to sports.
It was also the year that a dedicated group of women golfers founded the first women’s golf club in Rancho Bernardo, a North County community that had been annexed by the City of San Diego just the year before.
The Rancho Bernardo Inn Women’s Golf Club is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year with several events, including paying tribute to past members and former Club presidents and hosting golf friends from around Southern California at the annual Invitational Tournament on May 9.
“We all owe a debt of gratitude to the women who built this Club, dating back to 1963,” said Kathy Christopher, 2023 RBIWGC president. “They had challenges of their own and conquered them, as we do today. We are here because of each of them, and we honor the foundation they created and nurtured.”
The RB Women’s Golf Club had its first formal organizational meeting on January 21, 1963, at the Poway Bowl. Membership numbered 84 that first year, and members lived in a variety of communities throughout San Diego County. Annual dues were $5, and “Ladies’ Day” was every Thursday. (See more details about RBIWGC’s history here.)
The history of RBIWGC is inextricably tied to the history of Rancho Bernardo Inn, which opened its doors with 30 rooms in 1963. Room rates started at $8, and an all-you-can-eat fish fry cost $1.50.
The resort course opened the same year with 18 championship holes, designed by William Bell, architect of both Torrey Pines Golf Course and the La Jolla Country Club Golf Course.
RBI hosted the PGA San Diego Open in 1964 and the LPGA Honda Classic in 1978, 1979 and 1980. In 1978, golfer Sally Little won the tournament with a score of 282, defeating Nancy Lopez with a par on the first extra hole.