ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – It was a passionate and exciting celebration of family, tradition and sports during APG ’s Exton Golf Course Centennial Celebration May 13.
The tournament celebrated the life and legacy of Col. Chares Wesley Exton, who the course was named after, with a ceremony, round of golf, marching band and recognition of more than a dozen Exton family members in attendance.
Exton was a U.S. Military Academy graduate who served in the U.S. Army from June 15, 1894, until his retirement on December 31, 1936. He served in various roles throughout his career, including on APG as commander of Edgewood Arsenal in 1923. He was the APG golf club course president while stationed here. Exton was also the father of retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Hugh M. Exton.
Exton’s grandson, Hugh Exton Jr. said most of Exton’s immediate family played golf and served in the military, which made the ceremony even more memorable.
Hugh said the most important thing is the tribute to Exton as a man, husband, father, leader and Soldier.
The Exton family was grateful for the celebration, but most importantly, knowing their grandfather’s legacy was preserved through a sport he cherished, said Hugh.
Leslie Exton recalled the time she began playing golf from an early age with the help of her grandfather.
“[Exton] asked me what I like to do, and I told him play golf,” said Leslie. “I would putt around the living room with [Exton] when I was eight or ten years old.”
Golf wasn’t the only memory of Exton the family carried, but his care for the Soldiers he served with.
“I once asked granddad, ‘Who do you love most,’ thinking he would say it was me, but instead he said, ‘I love my troops the most,’” said Leslie.
Exton’s love of troops led him to have the golf course built for Soldiers returning from World War I.
“He put the golf course here for his troops,” said Leslie. “They didn’t need another parade field. [Exton] just wanted them to be happy and taken care of.”
Hugh said he was very excited to see the course has survived these 100 years through base closures, realignments and the pandemic.
“Based on my Army installation experience, anything in morale and recreation has to be self-sustaining, but time passed, and it is still here,” said Hugh.
Hugh said his hope is one of the Exton great-great-grandchildren can participate in the 150-year celebration.
Joe Moscone, director of the APG Family & Morale Welfare and Recreation – the organization that operates the golf course, said the employees and families of APG were overwhelmed by the support from the Exton family in helping make the tournament a success.
The APG MWR honored the occasion by providing the Exton family with some memorabilia showcasing the Exton logo and history of APG.
Approximately 46 golfers participated in the tournament. The winning foursome comprised Chris Daigle, Bernie Holly, Dave Heilmann and Rodney Sample.
|ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, MD, US
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