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HISTORY

Just thirteen years after the City of Cortland was incorporated, Cortland Country Club was founded on September 1, 1913.  Judge Nathan L. Miller (former governor of New York State) and Theodore H. Wickwire, inspired by their experiences playing golf in the South, called a group of men together to organize a club for Cortland and the vicinity. The Club’s purpose was “to be a means of building the physical body and to promote the social life and activities of Cortland County”.

Seventy-six men who became interested in the project subscribed a sum of money sufficient to purchase two farms, the Hon. Lawrence J. Fitzgerald and Thomas Mourin properties, lying between the Main and the Back roads to Homer.  The tract contained some 80 acres set in the midst of the beautiful hills of Cortland County and in the Valley of the Tioughnioga (Laughing Waters).  Well-known professional Jack Bret was engaged to lay out a nine-hole golf course.  The lie of the land was such as to present many natural hazards, and the result of Bret’s efforts was the building of an exceptional course that quickly became one of the best in Central New York.  


 

The Clubhouse was erected in 1914 and still stands as the majestic centerpiece of the Club.  It was designed by C.E. Vosbury, a prominent architect from Binghamton, New York.

Cortland Country Club © 2014 |  HOME

Cortland Country Club: Our Place In History

100 Years of Friendship, Fairways and Festivities 

Cortland Country Club: Memories

Vintage golf footage from the early days of our Club

GETTING STARTED

THE FIRST 25 YEARS

The original membership was 221.  It became, as was originally planned, a center of social and sporting activities in Cortland County.  The Club’s first golf professional, William Grassick, served from 1914 to 1919, followed by William and George Dunn (1920), Allen Towne (1921-1923), William Ryan (1924-1929), and Roy Jones (1930-1936).  The cost of Saturday night dinner at the Club in June 1916 was $.75.  It was not until October 6, 1919 that the livestock, owned by the Country Club, was sold.  In 1916 the first reciprocal club relationship was established; it was with Ithaca Country Club and continues today.

 

During its first twenty-five years, the Club weathered World War I, The Great Depression, Prohibition, and a recession. With indomitable spirit, the Club celebrated its first twenty-five years with a Silver Jubilee on September 3, 1937, under the chairmanship of Chairman George A. Brockway and a committee including Miss Ethel L. Moxie, Miss Sarah Hernon, Mrs. C.R. Lusk; Mrs. E.H. Clark, Mrs. Walter A. Ford, Mrs. C.P. Dunbar, Mrs. C.W. Winchell, Mrs. John Wattenberg, Mrs. M.S. Higgins, Mrs. Duane Hollister, Mrs. Harold Burgess, Mrs. Justine Corcoran, Mrs. Henry Hinchcliff, Mrs. Henry Lucy and Miss Helen Wickwire.

HALF A CENTURY

On September 12, 1964, the Club celebrated its 50th Anniversary.  By then, the Club boasted a championship 18-hole golf course.  With the completion of our second nine holes in 1948, Willard Wilkinson boarded his 100th course design.  The events experienced from 1937 to 1964 were indeed historic on every front from the horrors and heartbreaks of World War II, The Cold War and the Korean War, to the turmoil and triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement; from the tragic assassination of a U.S. president to the innovation and hope of the Space Race.  

 

Allen Towne served as golf professional from 1937 to 1940, followed by the long and beloved tenure of Aldor Jones from 1941 to 1979.  The Club’s lovely, tree-lined road, Aldor Jones Drive, is named in honor of this well-respected member of the Cortland Country Club family.

THE SECOND 50 YEARS

Following Aldor Jones’ long tenure as golf professional, Bob McCarthy served from to 1980 to 1990, followed by Anthony Saraceno from 1991 to 2007.  Eric Manning joined us in 2008 and ushered in our second century of golf.

 

From 1966 through the 1990s, the Clubhouse underwent multiple renovations and expansions.  The first expansion included the Grille Room and Porch, the Men’s Locker Room, the Golfer’s Entrance, and the Pro Shop.  Karl Wendt was the architect of record as a partner in the firm of Conrad L. Arnold. Karl continued to serve as the architect for subsequent renovations and expansions, as well as becoming a long-term member of the Club.  Board of Governors member and professional engineer, Gus Anthony, was actively involved in overseeing the original expansion and we have his efforts to thank for the gorgeous cherry wood that graces the Grille Room to this day.  With members Thomas Barden, Peter Griswold and Karl Wendt at the helm, the original Clubhouse porch was enclosed to create the Griswold Room and the Barden Pavilion was erected.  Construction of the Griswold Room was donated by Peter Griswold and dedicated to the memory of his parents, Nancy D. and Lewis E. Griswold in 1994.  The Barden Pavilion was a gift from the Barden family and named in their honor.        

 

The fifty years leading up to our Centennial were filled with remarkable changes in our local, national and global world: The Vietnam War, Watergate, the United States Bicentennial, the Computer Revolution, the collapse of the Soviet Union, Globalization, the New Millennium, the at-home realizations of terrorism from the Oklahoma City bombing to 9-11, and Global Warming.  We learned from the losses and grew with the changes.  And throughout the decades, we supported one another as only friends and family can do.

THE CENTENNIAL

In 2013, the Club embarked upon a year-long celebration of 100 years of Friendship, Fairways and Festivities. Starting with a Centennial Kick-Off Celebration & New Member Welcome in May, centennial events culminated on September 28, 2013 with a Centennial Anniversary Gala.  The Centennial Clock was unveiled at the Gala and dedicated as a “tangible reminder of Cortland Country Club’s longevity and strength for current and future generations in the decades to come”.

 

THE NEXT 100 YEARS

We’re stronger than ever and surging forward with enthusiasm, innovation and an everlasting commitment to the family that is The Cortland Country Club.

HISTORY

Just thirteen years after the City of Cortland was incorporated, Cortland Country Club was founded on September 1, 1913.  Judge Nathan L. Miller (former governor of New York State) and Theodore H. Wickwire, inspired by their experiences playing golf in the South, called a group of men together to organize a club for Cortland and the vicinity. The Club’s purpose was “to be a means of building the physical body and to promote the social life and activities of Cortland County”.

 
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