Join me as I play the oldest public golf courses in the US. With each round played
we will learn why these historic jewels are the best courses no one's ever heard of.
The Oldest Public Golf Courses
The List will reveal the golf courses I plan to play on my quest.
OAKHURST LINKS GOLF COURSE
WEST VIRGINIA - 1884
You can take a peek at living history at the Oakhurst Links golf course at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV. The Scottish game of golf found new enthusiasts here when it was first introduced to West Virginia in 1884.
It is the oldest known golf course in the US with its original routing still in use.
FOXBURG GOLF CLUB
FOXBURG, PA - 1887
Foxburg Golf Club is the oldest golf course in the US in continuous use. The course is a USGA Member Course, open to the public from April 1 to October 31. The clubhouse was built in 1912 as a private residence, and it was acquired by the country club in 1942. It houses the American Golf Hall of Fame on the second floor, where visitors will find a priceless collection of golf clubs and other exhibits depicting golf’s rich, 400-year history.
The exact year in which the golf course opened is not definite, but 1889 is the earliest year that golfing has been confirmed. That makes the course the oldest continuously played course in the United States and the second oldest course in the nation. The course has had several names over the years. The original name was Kentucky Golf Club, later Middlesboro Golf Club, and the current name of the Country Club of Middlesboro.
DUTCHER GOLF COURSE - 1890
Dutcher Golf Course is recognized as the oldest 9-hole public golf course in the US
The golf course, to say the least, presents unique challenges to this day in the form of 18th-century stone farm walls that intersect the property. Aside from other standard traps and obstacles, golfers must navigate around the walls, which were never removed.
GRINDSTONE NECK GOLF COURSE – 1891
WINTER HARBOR, ME
KEBO VALLEY GOLF CLUB -1891
BAR HARBOR, ME
Established in 1888, Kebo Valley Golf Club is the oldest golf club in Maine, and eighth oldest golf club in United States.
Kebo is a very well conditioned Links style course. Rich in tradition, endless in surprises, incapable of being mastered, once played, never loses its attraction.
HIGHLAND LINKS - 1892
CAPE COD, MA
Highland Links Golf Course has celebrated over a century of golf. More significant than its age is Highland’s heritage. Deep natural rough, Scotch broom, heath, non irrigated open fairways, and spectacular ocean views keep the course a genuine links, as close to the Scottish tradition found anywhere in the eastern United States.
Legend has it that Gearhart Golf Links began life in about 1888, starting out as three holes of true links-style golf amongst the seaside meadows that characterize the North Oregon coast. By 1892, golf was a regular pastime for guests of the Hotel Gearhart on the three-hole course just across the street. With this history, Gearhart Golf Links is The Oldest Golf Course West of the Mississippi River
VAN CORTLAND PARK – 1895
Van Cortlandt Golf Course is located in the North Bronx close to the Yonkers border. It is the oldest public golf course in the USA. Known as "Vanny" by the locals, it is the most easily accessible NYC course to mass transportation. The # 1 train leaves you just a short walk to the course. Over the years many famous people have played at Van Cortlandt. They include Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Joe Lewis and the Three Stooges
OVERLAND PARK C.C.-1895
Overland Park Golf Course is steeped in Denver history. The original Denver Country Club, this is the oldest running course west of the Mississippi. Conveniently located minutes from downtown, you can enjoy views of both the city and the mountains. Narrow fairways and small greens that are well-bunkered offer a challenge to golfers of any skill level. Plus there is Night Golf available.
William J. Devine Golf Course at Franklin Park is the second oldest public golf course in the nation behind Van Cortlandt Park. The player who won America’s first professional match became the first head professional here (Willie Campbell); the youngster who ushered the American game to the forefront of the world stage honed his craft here (Bobby Jones); the world’s premier golf architect re-designed the layout here (Donald J. Ross)
The oldest continual golf course in California. Today, only two of California’s earliest golf courses remain in operation: Del Monte Golf Course and the course at the Presidio in San Francisco, built in 1896. Because the Presidio course was temporarily converted back into a practice drill field during the Spanish-American War, Del Monte Golf Course holds the distinction of being the oldest golf course in continuous operation west of the Mississippi River.
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
Patty Jewett Golf Course, the third oldest public course west of the Mississippi built in 1898, has been city-owned since 1919. The entrance sets the elegant mood, complete with a wonderful wrought-iron gate and a drive down a narrow road lined with a canopy of 100-year-old trees. The 18-hole course has a par of 72 and can challenge even the most experienced golfer.
The Ottawa Park historic golf course is not only beautiful but is historic as well. S. P. Jermain, the man who established the Toledo Park System, is also known as the “father of public golf in Toledo.” Toledo’s parks were from the beginning open to the public. But in the 1890’s all golf courses were private. Mr. Jermain set out to do something about this, and in 1899 established a 9 hole course in Ottawa Park—the second oldest public course in the US.
WAVELAND GOLF COURSE - 1901
DES MOINES, IA
NORMANDIE GOLF COURSE - 1902
ST. LOUIS, MI
Built in 1901, historic Normandie Golf Club is the oldest Public golf course still in operation in its original location, West of the Mississippi River. Designed in St. Louis by Robert Foulis, a disciple of Old Tom Morris of St. Andrews, Scotland fame. With its unique routing and throwback style, Normandie is a true golfing gem.
AIKEN GOLF CLUB - 1903
The Aiken Golf Club is a throwback to the time when wealthy Northerners would "winter" at the luxurious Highland Park Hotel (destroyed in 1940) and play its 5,734-yard, par-70 course. Donald Ross, renowned for Pinehurst No. 2 and hundreds of other courses, laid out 11 holes in 1903; his protégé, John R. Inglis, completed the course in 1912 and remained as head professional until 1939.
Stay tuned for more...
March / June / September 2019
Start checking your calendars and clean up the clubs because the 2019 Fore Stories golf trips are here. After staring at my destination map for days on end, measuring my work obligations, and counting my vacation time I have three journeys planned for the year.
Arrive Friday in Portland, OR and drive to Seaside, settle in, and head out at about 3pm to play Seaside Golf Club. On Saturday at about 9am I will be teeing off at Gearhart Golf Club, the next course on my list of the oldest public golf courses in the US. I can't wait to see what this course has to offer. At about 2pm after the round I'll be sitting down with Jason to learn a little bit more about the history of this great course. Stop by and say hi...
03/15/19-Mare Island Golf Course-CLOSED!
03/16/19-The Shag Back Radio Show (9:00am)
This journey begins Friday in Vallejo with a warm up round at
Mare Island Golf Course, then it's a short 2.5 hours drive to Monterey. Saturday morning I have the pleasure to be a guest on The Shag Bag radio show and then it's off to play Pacific Grove Links. Sunday will officially kick off of the Fore Stories quest at;
TWO FOR ONE WEEKEND
Who's ready for a road trip and mile high golf. The plan is get out and play two of the oldest golf courses west of the Mississippi before the snows arrive in Denver and Colorado Springs!!