The Patriarch: Moon Mullins
Moon Mullins was a fixture at the Half Moon Bay Golf Links since it was nothing more than a vision. Nicknamed for a popular cartoon character of the 1930s, Mullins first saw the property in 1970, when he was hired not only as its first head golf professional, but also as its first good-will ambassador.
While construction of the Old Course was underway, Mullins gave lessons at a nearby driving range to promote the game in an area that didn't have a golf course.
He was also on hand to work with Arnold Palmer, a co-designer of the original layout, and get to know the people in the community. It was the start of a relationship that has lasted 35 years.
"You meet so many nice people on the golf course," says Mullins, who has teed it up with legendary figures like Bob Hope, Jackie Gleason, Willie Mays and Joe DiMaggio - ironic, since golf was the last thing Mullins ever thought would become his profession.
Clyde Everett Mullins was born on Nov. 3, 1931, in Cabin Holler, Tennessee, a coal mining camp in a rural area where Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee intersect.
Mullins did not learn to play golf until his 20s, he was in the Marines, stationed at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, Calif. "I was just a natural," said Mullins, who within eight months of seriously taking up the game went from a 13-handicap to shooting 68 to win the All-Marine Championship.
Upon release from the Marines in 1955, Mullins headed home, but lasted in Kentucky only two months. "I made a U-turn for California," he said. Mullins got a club pro job, met a girl named Lois, and they have been married since 1957.
He headed for the PGA Tour in 1961, but with a wife and two children, it was not as lucrative for him as a club pro job. So he settled into a position in Palm Springs, where he met a member with some farmland he wanted to develop south of San Francisco. It was, of course, Half Moon Bay Golf links.