Earliest Reference To The Washtenaw Golf Club – 1899
The Washtenaw Golf Club is by all accounts the third oldest in the state of Michigan. According to club history, the club was incorporated July 18, 1899. Detroit Golf Club had been incorporated in 1889, while Saginaw Country Club started its course in early 1899.
While doing some research on the early history of the Washtenaw Golf Club, I ran across a reference in the August 7, 1899 Detroit Free Press — barely a month after the club was founded. It reads:
Would Have Them In Stock
A new summer school student came across the walk from the law department and the first place on State Street he struck was a book store; there was a sign in the window stating that golf sticks were for sale within.
He belonged to the Lakeview Club, Chicago, says the Ann Arbor Argus, and after looking over the different sticks, he asked: “Where are the links? “Oh” replied Tom or John whatever the clerk’s name was “we will have them in tomorrow with our complete stock. You see we have just ordered a lot for the Washtenaw Country Golf Club.”
The clerk evidently had no idea what a golf “links” was. And why should he? Golf was new to the area.
Washtenaw was a private golf club for most of its history. Your friendly neighborhood Golf Blogger was a member for a number of years.
Recently, however, the club was purchased by Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member Dave Kendall and is open to the public. I play there regularly and find that it has the same country club conditions I remember.
If you think you’d like to play regularly, Washtenaw Country Club still ahs season passes, as well as a program called the WGC 1899 Club, which includes discounts not only on play at the club, but also with the nearby Kendall Academy and Miles of Golf.