No golfers or passengers were seriously injured when a small airplane crash-landed during a busy day at the Herndon Centennial golf course last Sunday.

Shortly after noon, pilot Clifford Butler and four passengers, headed for Dulles International from Gaithersburg Airport, were forced down because of a mechanical problem.

The plane landed near the 11th tee, but no one was playing that hole.

"The pilot was originally going to land on the 13th fairway," said Herndon pro shop assistant Jack Woodell. "But there were two foursomes playing that hole.

"So he opted to come between two clumps of trees, ripped part of a wing off and landed about 20, 30 yards from the 11th tee. You bet it was fortunate that no one was playing the 11th hole."

The back nine was closed soon after Virginia State Police arrived. Butler, of Derwood, Md., and Bradley Wimsatt, 3, of Laytonsville, were treated and released at a Reston hospital.

Butler returned to the course Monday to survey the damage to his plane. The engine was a total loss and the plane had to be sawed to extricate it from between trees. Butler completed his visit by hitting a bucket of practice balls at Herndon's driving range.

"He said he'd drop in again sometime," Woodell said, "But not the same way."

People in the News

"In five years, you will have a hard time finding a white golf ball," Jack Nicklaus said earlier this month at his Muirfield Village course in Dublin, Ohio. Nicklaus, who recently bought controlling interest in the MacGregor Golf Co. for $17 million, said colored golf balls are here to stay: orange, lime green, optic yellow (which his company will market in August) and even pink. Jerry Pate and Wayne Levi have won PGA events this year using colored golf balls.

The Metro Schoolboy team semifinals match De Matha against Good Counsel Monday at Chevy Chase Club, while the Prince George's final is between Bowie and Surrattsville at the University of Maryland. The winners play Thursday at Manor for the championship . . . Chantilly and Fort Hunt are the Northern Region representatives in the Virginia AAA high school championships Monday and Tuesday at Leesburg. Paul Hiskey of Washington-Lee was the Northern medalist, 74 . . .

The parents of Steve Fellin- ger, who died on a golf course two weeks after winning the 1978 Belle Haven Four Ball, were on hand at the awards presentation of that tournament last Sunday. The Fellingers presented the Steve Fellinger Memorial Trophy to brothers John and Doug McMahon for winning the qualifying medal. . . Poolesville Golf Course--formerly Potomac Valley Country Club--is officially open to the public. The course was purchased by the Montgomery County Revenue Authority.