Bethpage Black. Photo by Larry Lambrecht

Glens Falls Country Club

USA, New York
10 (1)
Designer: Donald Ross
Course Opened: 1912

For over 100 years, Glens Falls Country Club has been providing a premier golf experience for golfers of all capabilities. Designer Donald Ross created a true masterpiece destined to test all who dare to play its challenging holes while providing opportunities for relaxing, friendly golf in a breathtaking setting.

The First Decade (1912-1922)
In 1912 Donald Ross visited Glens Falls and strongly advised the Round Pond site for a location of the Glens Falls Country Club.  Other sites were under consideration but offered land for a dull golf course.  He insisted the. Round Pond site would be best for an exciting course. Furthermore, the founders all agreed the club should be located on a trolley line.

The Club's 9-hole course opened June 2, 1914.  0n June 3, 1921, Donald Ross returned to complete a design for the 2nd nine holes, and the Club opened the ninth season in the spring of 1922 as an 18-hole course.

The next time you are enjoying "Fireside Dining", please observe the fireplace andirons.  On the front of each is a large horseshoe.  These were used on the workhorses that pulled the early fairway mowers.  Leather boots were fitted over the shoes to prevent turf damage.

Between 1913-1914, the Board decided that he Club flag may be in the form of a cross of white on a green background.  The Secretary was authorized to purchase one dozen records for the use of the Victrola in the Clubhouse.  New rules: no bicycles or dogs allowed in the Clubhouse, and no gambling or playing cards for stakes are allowed in the Clubhouse.  The Board approved screens for doors and windows for the Clubhouse with an expenditure not to exceed $75.00.

The first golf tournament held at the Glens Falls Country in May 1914 was a handicap event.  John H. Derby had a gross score of 123 and his 48 handicap gave him a winning net total of 75.  The highest handicap in 1914 was 72 and belonged to John J. McCabe.  The course consisted of 9 holes and handicaps were based on 2 rounds on the same course on the same day.

The Second Decade (1922-1932)
The stone entrance to the Club was built in 1926 in honor of Walter Price "Puffer" Leavens who died in 1922.  He was missing an eardrum and worked out a way to blow smoke from his cigar out his open ear, thus earned his nickname "Puffer".

On the morning of April 14, 1923, the golf course was scheduled to open for the season.  The Club Steward started a fire in the coal- burning furnace at 6:30 in the morning in anticipation of a large number of golfers soon to arrive.  A crack in the chimney caused the fire to start near the roof, and as a result the clubhouse was totally destroyed.  Temporary repairs were made to provide some dining for members and assist the Club through the 1923 season.  By August 1924, a new Clubhouse was almost complete.  To see a part of the original Clubhouse you can inspect the benches in the men's locker house.  They are made from the original floorboards and contain the spike marks of our founding fathers.

The Third Decade (1932-1942)
On June 29, 1938, Donald Ross visited the Club.  He explained that the 4th, 10th, and 15th greens had not settled.  They were designed for hit and run approaches - not pitch shots.  He agreed the 16th could be made into a par 3 and a par 4.  By doing that the short 18th would be eliminated, and the 17th would become the 18th.  The estimated $1,300 cost was not affordable.

Extract from golf club website.


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