Fore the Love of Golf: Part 3 - The Birth of Golf in Wenatchee, WA

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Established in 1552, The Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland is considered the oldest golf course in the world.

I'm going to switch gears in this part of my golf series and share the history of the first golf course established in the Wenatchee area.

Not nearly as old as the Old Course at St. Andrews, Wenatchee Golf & Country Club was the first golf course founded and developed in this area of central Washington State. The year was 1923.  We are having our Centennial celebration this year with lots of special events.

The Wenatchee Golf & Country Club was established on September 7, 1923, by a group of local businessmen. This group was led by Rowland S. Ludington (1869 - 1927), a local attorney, W. M. Anderson, John A. Gellatly, Clyde Merchant, N. W. Moggs, and others. They held a series of meetings in 1923, culminating in the formation of the Wenatchee Golf and Country Club.

The course didn't open until August 30, 1924, though, because there was still a lot of work to be done. Land needed to be secured and an architect needed to be found.

After an extensive search, the committee settled on a 70-acre piece of ground in East Wenatchee. The parcel of land was described as nothing more than a bramble of sagebrush and sand dunes. This was the site for the construction of the first 9 holes of the new course. It was purchased for $10,000 from the owner D.J. Dyer. He was probably laughing all the way to the bank, thinking those businessmen had more money than sense buying his "wasteland."

In the meantime, there was a search going on for a course architect.  Surprisingly, they settled on William W. Baker who was a banker, not a course architect.  Baker was the President of Baker-Boyer National Bank in Walla Walla, Washington. He also happened to be the chairman of the Greens Committee of the Walla Walla Golf Club. When he was approached about the efforts to build a course in Wenatchee, he agreed to design the course and consult regarding maintenance.  He must have done a great job since the original design has changed little.  Historical documents indicate that Mr. Baker did not charge a fee for his involvement in developing the course.

In the year I was born  (1952), the club decided to double the fun and purchased the property across the road to the east to expand to 18 holes. In 1956, they hired A. Vernon Macan, a golf course architect from British Columbia, to lay out the second nine. The back nine opened for play in 1958.

The original clubhouse suffered a devastating fire in 1963 resulting in the loss of many documents and much memorabilia of its early history.  The clubhouse was rebuilt and underwent a major remodel a few years ago.

The Wenatchee Golf & Country Club is a fun and challenging course to play and when it comes to tournaments and other events, it is one of the best venues and values anywhere.  I've had many friends who play tournaments all over the state say the Wenatchee G&CC offers up the best events they've ever attended.

The picture to the right is my friend Mary and me at the 100-year Roaring 20's Happy Hour event after their annual Spring Fling women's tournament in May. Mary was dressed for the occasion but I had just come off the golf course. I threw some beads around my neck, put on a headband, and called it good.

Wenatchee Golf & Country Club is a private club. The only way to play there is as a member or as the guest of a member. There are other public options in Wenatchee now, however. I will be writing more about those in another edition of this series.

This is my third entry into the ActiveRain September Challenge, hosted by Dr. Paula McDonald and Kathy Streib, but I am enjoying writing the series and will probably continue to share more reviews of golf courses in central Washington and beyond.

Posted by

Carol Williams

"Information is FREE.
Knowledge, Experience & Integrity Are Priceless."

- Carol Williams

Retired: Real Estate Broker/Owner, Property Manager 
Coaching, goal setting, and marketing consultant

Active: Golf & Travel Blogger
"Golf isn't a sport. It's a lifestyle."

Whatever You're Doing, Make It Fun!


Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Oswego, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Carol. Always nice to know some history of the courses you play. Thanks! Enjoy your day.

Sep 19, 2023 04:08 AM
Carol Williams

I learned a lot doing the research, Wayne Martin 

Sep 19, 2023 07:33 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Carol - this year plays a significant part as a milestone for Wenatchee.  Thank you for sharing its history.    So many puns come to mind but I will refrain from using them for a reason.   Kinda like why I don't participate in any form of golf beyond the putt-putt course.   🏌️‍♀️⛳ 🏌️‍♀️

Sep 19, 2023 04:21 AM
Michael Jacobs


Sep 19, 2023 10:02 AM
Carol Williams

It's been a fun year at the club, Michael Jacobs 
Golf pun? I have a slew of them, Michael. 😂

Sep 19, 2023 07:34 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I loved reading the history of this golf course! I am not into golf at all, but I look forward to reading more about the golf courses in your state. You never know, someday.....

Sep 19, 2023 04:50 AM
Carol Williams

It's been a fun series to do, Kat Palmiotti and it has inspired me to keep it up. I may not do a lot in the next month because I have company and will be traveling but I will pick it up again.

Sep 19, 2023 07:35 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Carol,

I really like your series and think you should continue on. What a significant year for Wenatchee. I loved reading the history of this golf course, thank you for the back story. 

Sep 19, 2023 05:54 AM
Carol Williams

Thanks, Dorie Dillard Austin TX 
I have enjoyed doing the series and will continue after I get back from some planned traveling over the next month.

Sep 19, 2023 07:35 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Carol... 100 years is nothing to sneeze at! Now you have me wondering just how many golf courses in the USA are 100 years or older.

Sep 19, 2023 06:04 AM
Carol Williams

That's a good question, Nina Hollander, Broker. I do know I played a couple of them on my trip in 2021. I'll do some research and maybe include those in the continuation of my series.

Sep 19, 2023 07:37 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

WOW Carol Williams this is a wonder post on the birth of golf in Wenatchee, WA

The photo of the golf course is breathtaking.  So plush, green, and beautiful! 


Sep 19, 2023 10:04 AM
Carol Williams

Thanks, Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist 
I think the frame I put around the picture really makes it pop!

Sep 19, 2023 10:36 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

That is a stunning golf course scene, Carol.  Just looking at it, is so very tranquilizing.

Sep 19, 2023 02:31 PM
Carol Williams

Thanks, Myrl Jeffcoat 
I think the frame around the picture really makes a difference too.

Sep 20, 2023 09:46 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Beautiful golf course Carol!  And reading about it's history is really interesting. 10K was a good price on that 'useless' land!  And I'm sure you and all your friends have been enjoying the festivities in 2023.  Fun!

Sep 19, 2023 03:55 PM
Carol Williams

Yes, we have Anna "Banana" Kruchten 
It was interesting for me to do the research on it. My next post will be about the first public course in the area, where I play most regularly.

Sep 20, 2023 09:46 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Carol that is an interesting history.  Are you a member there???

Sep 19, 2023 04:16 PM
Carol Williams

Hi George Souto 
I am a social member which means I have all the benefits of the club except unlimited golf. I can play there once a month. I go to lunch and dinner there a couple of times a week. I can also bring guests to play golf or enjoy the dining room and lounge.

Sep 20, 2023 09:49 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Carol- I loved reading this. We had a large course purchased by our Flood Control District. It's been sad driving by it and seeing the once pristine course being overgrown. The course in our community is closed for now as they are making adjustments for flood control as well. Hurricane Harvey had a lasting impact. 

Sep 19, 2023 07:22 PM
Carol Williams

There have been more than a few courses across the country go to seed for various reasons, Kathy Streib.  I suspect the land will eventually be developed for housing. It has definitely affected the value of the homes that were there when it was a golf course community.

The flooding is definitely an issue in some places. The Palm Springs area of California has many courses will part of their course inside the Arroyos and clean up is a regular thing.  One of my favorite public courses in Palm Springs was abandoned. I feel sorry for the owners of homes in that community. I'm not sure what the back story on that was.

Sep 20, 2023 09:54 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Carol:

I really enjoyed reading the history of the Wenatchee Golf and Country Club, and seeing the photos. 2023 is certainly a year of celebration for all the members! I look forward to reading more in your series.


Sep 23, 2023 12:26 PM
Carol Williams

Thanks, Jeff Dowler, CRS 
I'll be gone until the middle of October, so I'll resume the series after that.

Sep 24, 2023 08:50 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

I enjoyed your series. You live in a beautiful area. I was just out there a few weeks ago and loved every minute.

Sep 28, 2023 11:55 AM
Carol Williams

Thanks, Joseph Domino 480-390-6011 
It was a fun series to write!

Sep 30, 2023 06:02 AM