Volunteering for 43 of the JDC's 47-year history

Bill Anderson has spent most of those years as a marshal

The John Deere Classic is celebrating its 47th tournament and it's certainly evolved over the years.

No one knows that better than the volunteers who have been working the event year after year, volunteers like Bill Anderson.

Anderson has been volunteering for 43 of the classic's 47-year history.

Most of those years have been spent as a marshal, he's one of 900 volunteer marshals that make the JDC a success each year.

Here's a little history behind the course that host the annual event.

The John Deere Classic started in 1971 as the Quad Cities Open and was played at Crow Valley Golf Club.

After the first four years, the tournament moved to Oakwood Country Club and had a 25-year run there.

In 1997, John Deere signed the title sponsor agreement with the promise of moving the tournament to the area that is now TPC Deere Run.

It would take three years before the brand new course welcomed golfers but that time span is just a drop in the bucket compared the rich history of the property.

"The land actually goes back 5,000 years and there's Native American burial mounds on the property," said tournament director Clair Peterson.

In the 1850s, the property was owned by farmer Erskine Wilson.

Wilson built a home on the property that is still standing today and is now used as offices by John Deere Classic employees.

In the early 1900s, Wilson sold the land to Katherine Butterworth, the granddaughter of John Deere.
The land remained in the John Deere family for decades before it was turned into a golf course that could be enjoyed by the Quad Cities community.


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