Thursday, December 13, 2012

2012: The Woodmere Club Centennial

In interviews after the $3 million purchase of Woodmere from Robert Burton, Maximilian Morgenthau, the Manhattan real estate developer who created the Woodmere Realty Company, stated that the construction of a clubhouse and tennis courts for local residents was imminent and that the establishment of a private golf club was also in the near future.  In 1910, the Woodmere Club, with its nine clay tennis courts, was erected near the Woodmere LIRR station and opened in May of that year.  Plans to acquire frontage and build a waterside casino and boathouse began almost immediately.

The new clubhouse, built closer to the shore, was an adaptation of Dutch Colonial style designed by Ralph C. Lynch in keeping with the architecture already existent in Woodmere.  Dedicated in 1912,  the building, built at a cost of $18,000 featured a first floor of exterior stucco with massive pillars extending the width of the building and a second story of painted white shingles.

The golf course soon surpassed the tennis club in popularity and became a major venue for tournaments.

According to the Club's web site:
Without questions, the fourth hole was the center-piece of the old course. It was a par-4 of about 400 yards, with a 20-foot-high cross bunker in the drive zone. Beyond the bunker, the fairway sloped right, and the three-tiered green featured a "valley of sin" through the middle, with out of bounds close to the right side. The club offered a $500 prize to anyone who could carry the bunker off the tee and stay in the fairway!
 The Woodmere caddies of 1925 were trailblazers of sorts, being the first in the Met area to carry with them on the course envelopes filled with grass seed to plant wherever divots were taken.
The Woodmere golf course underwent a major facelift in 1947, when the club bought a large parcel of land from the Rockaway Hunting Club. The land was the former site of several golf holes which the latter club had discarded in 1939. Although Woodmere rejuvenated those holes for a short time, in 1949 Robert Trent Jones was commissioned to build an entirely new back nine. That land had been purchase outright from the White family that same year.
A new seventeenth hole was built in 1952, again the direct result of a (smaller) land purchase from Rockaway Hunting. And the greenside bunkering, perhaps the distinguishing feature of the course, was remodeled in 1986-1987 by architect Brian Silva.
Over the 2012 Memorial Day weekend, the Woodmere Club marked its centennial with both club members and dignitaries coming together for celebration, refreshments and the dedication of a plaque.  Two weeks later the Club was the recipient of the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association's Club of the Year Award.

Further Information:

1 comment:

Atlantic Development said...

Really thanks for this !!!!!