Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick says that the cash-strapped city is considering selling the Rackham Golf Course to housing developers.
What a shame. The course was built in 1924 and was designed by the legendary Donald Ross. It is a shadow of its former self, having been reduced by the building and expansion of the I-696 expressway, but it’s still a Ross. It also has one of the neatest looking clubhouses I’ve ever seen—a large brick and tile structure with a super wide porch. I’ll try to get a picture of it in the near future.
Rackham apparently was one of the few places in the area where black golfers were welcome, and Joe Louis is said to have spent considerable time there. Rackham Pro Ben Davis was one of the first African American course instructors in the country.
As I remember it, the course was very wide open, and friendly off the tee. I was able to reach most of the greens in regulation. But, like all Ross courses, the greens were small, tricky and well guarded.
I hate to see the city selling off its heritage to solve its short term financial problems.