Late in the 1800’s golf became a popular sport in tourist destinations such as Philadelphia, North Jersey, New York and New England and many visitors arriving to Atlantic City by rail had played golf. At the time, Atlantic City offered fine beaches, a boardwalk and exceptional hotels but no golf course. With a decline in business in 1897, the community turned to golf to lure new business.
On Sept. 11, 1897 wealthy businessmen, mostly made up of AC Hotel owners, met at the Brighton Hotel to discuss the best options for catering to guests arriving to the resort. It was decided that the new game of “golf” was deemed the best plan of action. The name, Country Club of Atlantic City was chosen and land in Northfield was selected as the site. Its easy accessiblity to and from the boardwalk hotels via a trolley line that ran from Atlantic City to Somers Point and Ocean City made it the perfect location. Money to purchase the land was raised thru the issue of certificates. One of which was issued to Warren Somers that is still in possession of the club today and can be seen on display in Taproom Bar & Grille.
The founding fathers determined that the course would be 18 holes in length and that a clubhouse would be started. Two-hundred members would be admitted. John Reid, the professional golfer brought in to survey the land decided that the bayside property would make the best holes and the subsequently, the first nine holes were completed rather quickly. While still under construction, the course and clubhouse officially opened on June 18, 1898, just in time for the summer season. There was great interest in the club from the beginning and golfers began to play before all 18 holes were completed.
As one of America’s oldest and most prolific golf clubs, Atlantic City Country Club has been home to many firsts, including being the “Birthplace of the Birdie.” The earliest traditions of this seaside links course are still evident today. Finely manicured fairways and large sloping green complexes protected by deep sand bunkers remain the course’s signature as it did more than a century ago. Long carries over natural ponds and salt water marshes also make the course a formidable challenge for any golfer. Shifting breezes, the distinct scent of saltwater, and windswept fescue only add to the total experience. It's no wonder Atlantic City Country Club is named the #1 Public Golf Course in the State of NJ by Golf Week, Golf Magazine and Golf Digest.