Old Country Club is now College Hill Park
Editor’s Note: Information in the following article has come from The Wichita Eagle and the Tihen Notes.
Established in 1900, the Wichita Country Club is the longest running private club in the state of Kansas, however it’s in its fourth location since its inception.
The golf club started life as a very non-regulation setup with fewer than nine holes and cups made of tomato cans laid out on a plot of land near Fairmount College.
But in 1901 the members voted to move to a location near the eastern end of the Douglas Avenue street car line, where they laid out a nine-hole sand green course on land that is now occupied by College Hill Park.
They rented a house for two years and leased 80 acres of land for the golf course for 10 years.
The house they leased was Hillside Cottage, 303 S. Circle Drive, currently owned by WSU historian Craig Miner. On Nov. 21, 1976 it became Wichita’s ninth listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
The club soon outgrew that house, so a new building was constructed on the north side of the golf course.
Tihen Notes say it was "near what is now the corner of English and Hammond Drive," but since that time streets have been renamed. English and Hammond run parallel, with Hammond turning north into Bluff, which does intersect with English.
To help pay for new projects, membership dues were raised from $10 to $25, but membership was limited to 275. In late 1903 there were already 270 members.
The new club house was finished Nov. 23, 1903.
By December 1904 the club decided to build a dancing pavilion for about $1,500, to accommodate 200 people.
They also decided that a portion of the golf links would be re-arranged during the winter or early spring.
By 1906, the dining room had to be enlarged. In addition, four more rooms and a bath were added for the keeper and his family.
While the Wichita Country Club owned the clubhouse and the five acres on which it sat, their lease on the golf course land was due to expire in 1912.
The Country Club also needed larger quarters once again, so the decision was made to buy a tract of land and build a new golf course and club house in the area known as "Frisco Heights."
The land selected was bounded by Thirteenth, Yale, Murdock and Crestway, and the new club house was completed in the spring of 1913 a short distance north of Yale and Murdock.
It served as the club house until 1950, when the Wichita Country Club moved to its present location at Thirteenth and Rock Road.
The golf course left behind when Wichita Country Club made its final move is now city-operated MacDonald Park, but the old club house is no longer in existence