What's The Oldest Golf Course In Your Neck Of The Woods?

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BuckNasty

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Around me I think it is Lakewood Country Club (1896) and Atlantic City Country Club (1897). Oldest in NJ looks to be Essex County Country Club (1887)
 
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The_Dude

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William J Devine Boston, Ma. 1896. Played there yesterday.
 

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Apparently they were really creative back then. Columbus Country Club was 1903, and The Country Club in Cleveland is 1889. Those are the two for my "home towns"
Never played the Cleveland one but I do believe it's the oldest course in NE Ohio (or least in CLE area).

The oldest course I've actually played is probably The Fairways at Twin Lakes (formerly Twin Lakes CC): Built in 1923 by Sandy Alves, one of Donald Ross's lieutenants.
 

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The interesting thing to me is realizing that very few public courses were built (or converted from private to public) until the 1920's or later. You start to realize why golf has the reputation as an elitist sport - because it was only for the ultra rich of the 1880's & 1890's. And it sounds cliche now that the movie is out, but golf as a sport for the average Joe didn't really take off until Francis Ouimet won the US Open in 1913.

A lot of the local old public tracks were built originally as private clubs that only became public much later. The oldest public course I've seen in Ohio is in Toledo: Ottawa Park Golf Course (1899): But I still don't know if it opened in 1899 as a public course.
 

J.B. Cobb III

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Cape Fear CC 1896 Hosted a PGA event from the 40s-60s. Hogan and Palmer won it.18BC22CA-360D-4844-9D4D-1695D57B5E14.jpeg
 

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Another tidbit I discovered today: I had already heard of the Haskell ball which was the first really modern golf ball. Turns out it was invented here in Akron:

"It is also interesting to note that at about this time in 1899, Mr. Bertram Work (one of the founders of Portage CC in Akron), together with Coburn Haskell (a prominent Cleveland businessman and sportsman), received a patent on a golf ball that greatly helped accelerate the popularity of the game. Specifically, they invented the early form of today’s modern golf ball, a solid core wrapped tightly with rubber threads covered with a harder rubber cover known as the “Haskell golf ball” (allowing for both better distance and greater wear). The balls were first made at B.F. Goodrich Company. "

From: https://www.portagecc.org/About_Us/History.aspx

This is kind of personal for me because my dad worked most of his adult life for B.F. Goodrich, and at least one of the plants he was at made golf balls (not sure for what golf ball company though). I guess it makes sense that a rubber company invented/made wound rubber core golf balls.
 

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The oldest continuously operating course is the Del Paso Country Club which opened in 1916. There were muni courses that opened in 1902, 1904, 1905 that had all closed before Del Paso CC opened. The Arcade Golf Course, another muni, opened in 1916 and closed in 1933.

The oldest continuously operating muni course was opened in 1932 and originally called the Sacramento Municipal Golf Course (later renamed Alister MacKenzie Golf Course). It was designed by Alister MacKenzie, who was the architect of Cypress Point, redesigned Pebble Beach and participated in the design of Augusta National.

Fun fact, the course hosted the Sacramento Open in 1936, 1937, and 1938 with such notables as Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Walter Hagen and Ben Hogan playing for the $750.00 purse.
 

olperfesser

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Linville (1895) is the oldest in NC. The designer then did Cape Fear.
 

TwoStepsUp

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I believe it is Normandie Golf Course. It is supposedly the oldest public course west of the Mississippi River (In it’s original location) . 1901 was the year it was established.
Them's fighting words! :rolleyes:

The little 9 hole muni a block from my house has a similar claim. IIRC, it's called the oldest continually operated public course West of the Mississippi. I drive by the sign every day, but can't recall the exact year. I think it's 1900. This link indicates 1899.


Anyway, it was the Austin Country Club for decades, and Harvey Penick started as a caddie there when he was a kid. The CC has since moved twice, and a shopping center took over the back 9, but it's still a fun little practice course.

If I sit on my living room couch and fire up my GPS watch, it tells me I am 178 yards from the first green.
 

The Milk Man

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The interesting thing to me is realizing that very few public courses were built (or converted from private to public) until the 1920's or later. You start to realize why golf has the reputation as an elitist sport - because it was only for the ultra rich of the 1880's & 1890's. And it sounds cliche now that the movie is out, but golf as a sport for the average Joe didn't really take off until Francis Ouimet won the US Open in 1913.

A lot of the local old public tracks were built originally as private clubs that only became public much later. The oldest public course I've seen in Ohio is in Toledo: Ottawa Park Golf Course (1899): But I still don't know if it opened in 1899 as a public course.
Ottawa Park is one of my favorite tracks. It was built by SP Jermain and is believed to be 2nd oldest public course in America. Ottawa Parks held the first US Pub Links in 1922. All told Jermain developed 7 courses in the Toldeo area. He was the first president of Inverness, helping to secure the sight and gaining permission from the Village of Inverness to use the name and village Crest.

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Dorset Field Club in Dorset, VT 1886

Never played but want to check it out for the history.

Kebo Valley Golf Club in Bar Harbor ME Claims to be the 8th oldest GC in America - founded in 1888.

Had the fortune of playing it and it was a well conditioned course with a fair, but challenging layout. Would love to play it again.

Also have the The Country Club (1882, course was built in 1893 (first six holes))

Newport Country Club in Newport RI 1893
 

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I wasn't sure, but found this:

Gus Wortham Park Golf Course: Originally designed by Houston Country Club member A.W. Pollard (Gus Wortham Park started as Houston CC), the course opened in 1908, making the oldest continuously operated 18-hole facility in the state. It was also once the site of a 1931 match between Howard Hughes and professional golfer Walter Hagen. Francis Ouimet, who won the 1913 U.S. Open at The Country Club at Brookline, and the legendary Bobby Jones have also played the course. In 1973, the course was sold to the city of Houston and renamed. It almost closed a couple of times in recent years, but thanks the Houston Golf Association, this unusually hilly course is currently being renovated by Baxter Spann and scheduled to reopen Nov. 1, 2017.


I've never played it and always heard it was in terrible shape. Maybe the recent partial renovations helped, but it looks like they are still planning on more work.
 

mpeterson

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Dorset Field Club in Dorset, VT 1886

Never played but want to check it out for the history.

Kebo Valley Golf Club in Bar Harbor ME Claims to be the 8th oldest GC in America - founded in 1888.

Had the fortune of playing it and it was a well conditioned course with a fair, but challenging layout. Would love to play it again.

Also have the The Country Club (1882, course was built in 1893 (first six holes))

Newport Country Club in Newport RI 1893
Vesper is 1895 I think - same deal, 6 original holes
 

golfinnut

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The Old Course is 1 of 3 courses at the Omni Homestead Resort was built in 1892. Still has the oldest 1st tee in continuous use in the United States.
Cascades Course - 1923
Lower Cascades Course - 1963 - RTJ design
Sam Snead had a home in Hot Springs & played a lot of golf here.

 

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Not sure, but I'd have to guess the oldest near me is Grover Cleveland Golf Course. It was built in 1889 as the Country Club of Buffalo and hosted the US Open in 1912. The country club later relocated and the course became county owned. I've never been there but it's on my list to try because of the history.
 

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Ottawa Park is one of my favorite tracks. It was built by SP Jermain and is believed to be 2nd oldest public course in America. Ottawa Parks held the first US Pub Links in 1922. All told Jermain developed 7 courses in the Toldeo area. He was the first president of Inverness, helping to secure the sight and gaining permission from the Village of Inverness to use the name and village Crest.
Thanks for the info! I'll have to try it sometime. Maybe another Toledo Outing soon!
 

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Now that is so cool! I can't think of very many courses I've played that didn't have houses nearby. And playing in NYC & never seeing signs of civilization would be fantastic! Thanks for posting.
 

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