Oakwood Country Club in North Canton, Ohio began when a group of friends gathered to hunt and fish, but transformed into a nine-hole golf course after being granted land. In 1924, founding members built the first three golf holes, and by 1929 had a nine-hole golf course—including the signature “mote hole.”
Oakwood Country Club in North Canton, Ohio didn’t start off as a golf course, but when the Firestone family granted a group of friends a stretch of land on his farm in 1922, the transformation began, The Canton Repository reported. Founding members paid $100 each, then used the money to buy materials and build a clubhouse.
In 1924, they built the first three golf holes, and by 1929 had a nine-hole golf course, The Repository reported. A century later the private club still exists. Grandchildren of some of the original founders are club members.
“When you come out here, it’s just fun,” said Tim Franta, a member for 17 years and club president the past three years. “We get to know each other. It’s like a family.”
The club follows a constitution created by the charter members and is managed by a seven-member board, The Repository reported. Currently there are 58 memberships—families, couples and individuals—and generally the number doesn’t rise beyond 75 memberships.
As with most clubs, there is a fee to join and annual dues to help cover costs, The Repository reported. Members strive to hold true to the founders’ desire for a club that provided “social entertainment, good fellowship and healthful recreation.”
There are no regular employees and grounds maintenance is contracted, The Repository reported. Members, their families and friends built the clubhouse and golf course. Through the years members have expanded and maintained the property.
Bill Leed, a retired veterinarian from North Canton, said members reclaimed wood paneling and light fixtures from the old First National Bank building in Canton and used the materials in the ballroom at the clubhouse, The Repository reported. Members added a grill room in 1947.
Leed’s grandfather, William H. Leed, was a founding member who helped build the club and golf course, and his father, Robert, also was a member, The Repository reported.
Founding member Bill Clark is credited with introducing golf to the club. Other members liked the game and decided to roll swampy pastures and build the first three holes, The Repository reported. Another founder, George Wade, is said to have hit the first drive on July 4, 1929, when play started on the present nine holes.
The course is a par 30, with six par 3s and three par 4s, The Repository reported. Hole No. 4 is considered the signature hole because it’s the only “island green” in Stark County. Or has Franta noted, it’s the moat hole that offers two chances to hit into water.
There are no tee times at Oakwood Country Club, although Wednesdays are set aside as men’s day and Thursday is ladies’ day until 4 p.m., The Repository reported. Members just show up and play.
Jesse Pittman, a member since 1968, told The Repository he often would stop on the way home from work to play three holes. Play is casual and low key, Franta said.
In addition to golf, members enjoy weekly card games and monthly euchre tournaments, The Repository reported. Theme parties are hosted though the year.
Through the years, members considered adding other amenities and discussed buying property nearby to create an 18-hole course, The Repository reported. But they opted to keep things small.
Historically, members have belonged to other clubs while playing at Oakwood because it’s fun, Franta told The Repository.
“We’re a social club with a golf course.” He said.