a country club of distinction for over a century
Our nine founding members and their families share the same values as our membership today. Learn more about the history of the Kalamazoo Country Club that has preserved not only the incredible landscape that makes up the grounds, but also the tradition of leadership and excellence.
January 13th: Country Club Realty Company filed Articles of Association with the State of Michigan. The original 9 members included C.A Blaney, C. S. Campbell, B.C. Dickinson, Chas. B. Hays, H.B. Hoyt, Dumont Shepherdson, C. H. Stearns, A.J. Todd, E. P. Wilbur
March 12th: Twenty more charter members join, and each pledge to purchase a $500 bond to fund improvements to the Whites Lake property. The members entered into an agreement with Albert R. White to purchase his farm for $12,000. The farm extended from Whites Lake to Whites Road and included the property that is east of the current entry road as well as much of the area along the west shore of the lake.
1909 – ?
George Knox is hired as the club’s first golf professional and stays until after 1915.
Renowned golf-course architect Tom Bendelow of Chicago was hired to design the original 9-hole course. Measuring 3,380 yards of very straight holes, all located north of the clubhouse.
Architect A.E. Rose was engaged to design what was referred to as an “appropriate summer clubhouse.” The original facility, with many upgrades, alterations and renovations, served members until the current clubhouse opened in 1988. During the initial construction, the White farmhouse served as both the clubhouse and the pro shop.
Members expressed an interest in improving the original golf course design. In the fall KCC Golf Pro George Knox and William Watson, a golf course architect from Los Angeles, spent a week walking the course and making improvement plans.
? – 1921
Morris Wells is hired as the club’s second golf professional
The new course opened, and the old farmhouse is torn down. The pro shop moved into the southwest corner of the clubhouse basement.
In the interest of creating an 18-hole course, KCC purchased 25 acres of land from Maude E. Kendall on September 11th. The new property extended west from the entry road to Oakland Drive.
1922 – 1932
Andy Robertson takes on the role of the head golf professional.
Additional land is purchased in August from Gordon, Edith, and Donald Stewart, as well as property from Sarah A. Fuller Nichols
The legal name of the club is changed to Kalamazoo Country Club.
The Caddie Program was developed during the 30s, and is still a point of pride for KCC members today. It has served as the first job and first introduction to golf for thousands of area young people over the past 75 years.
Also during the 1930s additional winter activities were introduced. A ski tow rope was installed on the number 10 fairway that brought out those on skis and sleds.
1932 – 1950
Frank Kennett, a native of England, becomes the fourth golf professional at KCC.
The board agrees to change the organization from a stock ownership club to a membership club.
The membership votes to winterize the clubhouse and convert KCC into a year-round operation. They also move ahead with plans to build a swimming pool and pro shop. The plan is very controversial, and several members resign in protest.
1950 – 1951
George Wells is hired as the head golf professional.
Land is acquired from S. Rudolph and Florence Light.
1951 – 1978
Walt Biber takes on the role of lead golf professional. He is instrumental in developing golf events, including Friday Twilights, a junior golf program, Friday morning clinics, a Wednesday ladies’ golf program, the Invitational Tournament, Ladies’ Member Guest, Men’s Member Guest, and a Junior Invitational.
The first Kalamazoo Country Club Invitational Better Ball Tournament is held.
The Stewart property that ran north along the entry drive to White’s Road is purchased.
A 66-foot by 330-foot piece of property along Oakland Drive is acquired which allows for the redesign of what is now the 5th green.
A temporary ice-skating rink complete with freezer / compressor was erected. The location, between the first tee and the 18th green proved to be too windy, and the rink was only open for one season.
The final piece of the short-course puzzle fell into place when the club purchased the east end of the Oakwood Junior High School athletic field from Kalamazoo Public Schools.
The Short Course begins construction, and opens for play in 1968.
Two Platform Tennis courts are constructed and the sport is an instant success – so well in fact that a third court is built. These were all located on the roof of the maintenance building.
A new tool shop is constructed to accommodate the growing number of carts.
The first million-dollar operating budget was adopted.
1979 – present
Dick Stewart comes on board as the head golf professional at KCC, and goes on to teach multiple generations of members.
The decision is made to build a new clubhouse and swimming pool
Clubhouse and pool projects completed.
Tennis courts rebuilt.
1909 Room refurbished to provide a more casual dining experience.
New grounds building is completed.
The new pro shop is built.
The wall along Oakland Drive is added when the city widens the road.
Whites Lake Tavern & Grill added, as well as new locker rooms, a new and larger kitchen, a children’s play area, lounging areas for both men and women, and a casual, family dining area.