Saturday, June 23, 2007

hidden amenities: Mayfield Country Club


GolfStyles Ohio Edition -- Private Matters: Mayfield Country Club, An American Classic.

I came across this today when somebody sent me a free magazine subscription, and I thought the story of the course's beginnings was interesting:

Mayfield is one of those great places that’s nearly hidden in the middle of a thriving metropolis. “Most people don’t even know it’s here,” Wood says.

It began with Mayfield’s founder, Samuel Mather. Along with 300 charter members, he acquired a 235-acre plot of forest and farmland along the then-unpaved Mayfield Road in the early 1900s. In 1909, under the leadership of Benjamin E. Bourne, Malcolm B. Johnson and W.H. “Bertie” Way (who was the former Euclid Club head pro and a man who designed several other courses in the area), the building of the golf course began. “Bertie Way was the first golf professional and the architect,” says Wood. “Mayfield was a spin-off of the Euclid Club that was in downtown Cleveland. It had been designed by Bert Way (the first nine) and a second nine belonged to John D. Rockefeller. He wouldn’t let the members play the second nine holes on Sunday because he was religious. So they went to the end of the trolley line and bought a piece of property and hired Way to design and be its first pro.”

On July 15, 1911, Mayfield Country Club opened its doors. Prominent members of the time included Cyrus Eaton, Harvey S. Firestone and Dr. George Crile, co-founder of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. In the next two years, Way’s contemporary, Donald Ross, came to Mayfield to install the bunkering, which largely remains to this day.

Way was head pro at Mayfield for 51 years, during which time the club hosted the 1915 and 1919 Western Opens, the 1920 Women’s National Championship, the 1927 Ohio Women’s Championship and the 1929 Women’s Western Championship. The 1990 Women’s Ohio State Amateur Championship was also held at Mayfield. Legendary professionals such as Chick Evans, Walter Hagen and Byron Nelson all played there.

In 1935, a swimming pool was added, something new for country clubs at the time. With the growing popularity of curling, the club added first an outdoor sheet, and later, a state-of-the-art indoor facility. Platform tennis was added in the 1960s. In 1987, a cross-country skiing program was inaugurated.

Two fires have destroyed Mayfield clubhouses, and the last one was rebuilt in 1948. In 2001, the club added a new dining room and put an addition onto the clubhouse for casual dining and a fitness center. There are locker rooms for men, women, junior boys and junior girls.

But the central lure for Mayfield is the golf course. “It’s an old-style golf course where the nines don’t come back,” Wood says.

2 comments:

  1. Golf courses on my mind today, too. Not history, but other present day questions. This is fascinating!
    Here's my golf entry for the day:
    http://realneo.us/blog/susan-miller/golf-inquiry

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  2. Hey, I recently added a news widget from www.widgetmate.com to my blog. It shows the latest news, and just took a copy and paste to implement. Might interest you too.

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