Monday, March 26, 2012

Florida history: Fort Lauderdale tees off at first golf course in 1921


By Jane Feehan

Fort Lauderdale embraced golf as a way to promote the city and draw tourists as early as 1921.  The city’s first course, a nine-hole affair, was built off Dixie Highway (today the site of the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport) to attract visitors on their way to Miami. President-elect Warren Harding played a round there shortly after the fairway opened (see: http://janesbits.blogspot.com/2011/05/florida-history-fort-lauderdale-makes.html ).

Golf expanded in December 1926 with construction of the
Westside Golf Course. A tournament between Miami and Palm Beach pros opened the two-course  attraction (one was 18 holes, the other, nine). Reporters of the time described Westside as providing 6,410 yards to play with a par 71. There was one long hole of 830 yards, several of 500 yards, and others of 200. Greens fees were $1.50 per day or $30 per month. Memberships were offered at $50.

The clubhouse opened January 1927. Fort Lauderdale architect Francis L. Abreu* designed most of it. The Miami News listed the golf course architect as Capt. H.C.C. Tippett.

Today, Westside is the beautiful 36-hole Fort Lauderdale Golf and Country Club, four miles from
downtown. Its clubhouse underwent a $4.8 million renovation in 2007. It stands as the oldest private country club in South Florida.  Copyright © 2012. All rights reserved. Jane Feehan.

*Abreu left Fort Lauderdale after the 1926 hurricane a few months prior. See a list of his designs at: http://janesbits.blogspot.com/2011/07/florida-history-fort-lauderdales-1920s.html   
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Sources:
Gillis, Susan. Fort Lauderdale: The Venice of America. Charleston: Arcadia (2004).

Weidling, Philip J. , Burghard, August. Checkered Sunshine. Gainesville: University of Florida Press (1966)


Fort Lauderdale Golf and Country Club



For golf in South Florida, the Fort Lauderdale area, visit:  http://www.sunny.org/sports/golf/


Tags: Fort Lauderdale golf history, West Side Golf course, Fort Lauderdale in the 1920s, first golf course in Fort Lauderdale, South Florida golf, golfing in Fort Lauderdale, South Florida golfing, film researcher

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