The History of the Williamsport Country Club

 

Williamsport Country Club was founded in 1909 with the original 9-hole course located in the city of Williamsport, just north of the present day hospital. At the annual meeting in 1910, the Board of Directors approved the purchase of the Hepburn Farm located east of the city in Loyalsock for $25,000.

On April 11, 1910, HH Barker, the winner of the 1908 Irish Open turned course architect, was paid a sum of $74.50 to lay out the original nine holes. These holes consisted of what are now our #1, #2, and #12 through #18. In the years to follow, membership grew and the demands to play increased. As a result, the Board of Directors devised a long range plan to purchase land northeast of the original property to create another nine holes. The Neece farm was purchased for $5,511 and the Rothfuss land was purchased for $2,220 to accomplish this development.

The Board then set its eyes on finding the right person to build their new course. Recognized as one of the premier course architects of the time, AW Tillinghast was contracted in 1923 to redesign the original nine holes and build the “new” nine which consisted of present day holes #3 through #11. He was paid a sum of $2,286.08 up front and a daily wage of $25 while he was on site throughout construction. His design utilized the natural terrain to present challenges and created greens that demanded the utmost focus with their simple complexities. These features can be evidenced at his other legendary courses such as Aronimik, Baltusrol, San Francisco Golf Club, and Winged Foot, to name but a few. His creation here in the Pennsylvanian northern tier of the Appalachian Mountains is considered one of his “hidden jewels” and continues to challenge players of all levels.