History

The Links 1st president, George Larson.

The Links Founder & 1st president, George Larson.

Founded in 1936, The Links Country Club was the first 27 hole golf course in the United States. There are several other “firsts” attributed to The Links.

halfwayHouse

The Links Country Club is home to golf’s first known “Halfway House” in U.S.

The first “halfway house” was operated at The Links. It was originally a small hunting house with outdoor plumbing. The Club added a concrete and stone patio with a drinking fountain and latched cupboards inside (to keep the animals out) stocked with jars of pickles and other preserved items, along with an ice chest. There was also a secluded table in the back where it’s said that wagers were “managed.”

The original structure still stands in the woods between the 5th green and 6th tee box on the Black Course. (Although the outhouse was demolished in the late 1950’s.)

flags

Just some of the early flags

The Links also was the first course to have flags of different colors to indicate hole placement, difficulty level, conditions, and then some. White flags meant the hole was cut in the middle of the green. Yellow flags warned golfers that the flag was at the back of the green. A blue flag indicated a front pin placement while a red flag attached below any other flag meant the hole was on a slope. If the pin had a silver/gray flag below another flag, it meant the hole was considered the “most challenging” of the day as determined by wind conditions and hole placement. Black and white striped flags indicated that the green was particularly soggy with mud or puddles. Miscellaneous checkered, triangular and patterned flag designs were also used over the early years for various tourney events and “gimmick bets.” The growing variety of flag colors and patterns was eventually halted in the 1953 when The Club leadership decided “this flag situation is terribly out of control and impossibly hard to keep track of.”

The first golf ball washer at The Links.

The first mechanical golf ball washer in the U.S. was used at The Links.

The Club’s world-class reputation was innovatively built into a 20-year strategic plan created in 1935 by our founder and first president, George Larson, who wanted The Links to represent the best characteristics of golf, the area and the country. The Guiding Principles for Members authored by Mr. Larson were simple:

  • Respect the land and all of nature.
  • Remember that all here are only of one ethnicity: Golfers
  • Always play by the rules.
  • Be good and you’ll be happy.
The Links course designer, Zane James (photo circa 1922)

The Links course designer, Zane James

Mr. Larson brought in Zane James, a hall of fame course designer, to create our 27-hole championship layout, which often appears on its list of ‘Top Ten’ courses. With a new home and invigorated Membership, The Links Country Club flourished.

The Links was also the first highly integrated country club with the men having a wide range of races and ethnicities. By 1951, The Club’s Membership recorded ancestry roster was composed of 64 men:

  • 19 Scandinavian
  • 12 German
  • 10 British or Irish
  • 5 Italian
  • 2  Negro
  • 2 Filipino
  • 2 Cuban
  • 2 Canadien
  • 10 Undetermined
CLUB_PHOTO

1951 Membership Photograph

In 1969, The Club replaced the seasonal clubhouse with the impressive building of today.

In 1999 and again in 2012, the clubhouse was remodeled in the modern craftsman style, with quality design elements that provide pleasure to all of those who appreciate the finer little things. With the last renovations in 2012, the entire clubhouse with its Grandview Ballroom, Lakeside Meeting Room, and Grille Room & Bar underwent a spectacular renovation bring the building to a new level of class and comfort.

As an increasingly family orientated club, The Links Country Club offers a heated swimming pool where many families gather to enjoy daily activities. With the rise in popularity of tennis, The Club updated the existing tennis courts, where tournaments are played at both state and local levels.

course_layoutToday, our magnificent and challenging course, with mature tree lined fairways and winding Trout River, blends character and beauty for a unique country club experience.

From our James golf course, to our lighted tennis facilities, heated swimming pool, and inviting clubhouse banquet facilities, activities here are as diverse as our Membership. As we celebrate our 97th year, The Links Country Club, privately owned by its Members, invites you to enjoy all we have to offer.