A Centennial Outdoor Gala featuring vintage cocktails from 1916 was the first of eleven events planned for the year that will all feature a 100th-birthday theme.
One hundred years ago, The Blade of Toledo, Ohio reported, a group of men who played golf at what was then the Toledo Golf Club (and now the Ottawa Park Golf Course) and dined at the Commerce Club on the downtown Nicholas Building’s 16th floor coveted their own club where they could golf and socialize.
They settled on four tracts of land in Sylvania, outside of Toledo, totaling 160 acres at a cost of $26,031. Soon after, S.P. Jermain, known as the “father of Toledo golf,” suggested that Willie Park, Jr., who twice won the U.S. Open Championship, design the course, The Blade reported.
Upon seeing the land — corn fields, swamps, trees, and tree stumps — Mr. Park said it was the finest piece of golf property he had seen in America, The Blade reported. The Sylvania Golf Club, as it was known then, was incorporated on Nov. 16, 1916, with a capitalization of $30,000.
A century later, Sylvania CC has planned a year’s worth of events dedicated to its centennial, The Blade reported
“We have added a number of activities that are all themed about the 100th anniversary,” said Carrie Serber, Sylvania’s Director of Membership Sales and Marketing.
The special schedule kicked off with a Centennial Outdoor Gala, held on Friday, June 10, that featured vintage cocktails from the 1916 era, The Blade reported. In all, the club has 11 events planned in 2016 that relate to its 100th anniversary.
The celebration follows a Second Century Campaign that included $2.3 million in improvements to the club’s grille room, swimming pool and golf course that were completed last year (http://clubandresortbusiness.com/2015/07/30/sylvania-ohio-to-hold-ribbon-cutting-for-aquatics-center/).
Sylvania CC’s original clubhouse was constructed in 1919 for between $6,000 and $7,000, The Blade reported. In January 1955, a fire tore through the current members’ clubhouse, causing extensive damage. It was fully repaired four months later.
The course is also the birthplace of the Golf Course Superintendents’ Association of America, which was founded in 1926, The Blade noted, and the club has hosted the prestigious Ohio Amateur tournament three times.
It was at the 1954 Ohio Amateur at Sylvania that a 14-year-old Jack Nicklaus first saw Arnold Palmer, who would become an enduring rival, The Blade reported. As legend goes, a rainstorm chased golfers off the course except for Mr. Palmer, who continued practicing on the driving range.
“I stopped and watched this fellow hitting balls. I said, ‘Boy, is this guy strong,’” Mr. Nicklaus recalled this year at The Masters.
“He had these Popeye forearms and he was just hitting these 9-irons about 8 feet high. I watched him for about 10 minutes and he didn’t know I was there. I walked into the pro shop and I said, ‘Who in the world is that on the driving range?’ ‘Oh, that’s our defending champion, Arnold Palmer.’”