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Winter Park Country Club  Built in 1915 and renovated in 1990, the clubhouse continues to charm

Beginning with an organizational meeting of the Winter Park Golf Club in 1900, the history of golf in Winter Park (much like a golf course itself) follows a rather winding path, full of twists and turns. And, as with most things in early Winter Park, Charles H. Morse was at the forefront of developing a golf course in his adopted city.  In 1900, he hired a Scottish gentleman to design a 9-hole course that was situated in the area between Interlachen Avenue and New York Avenue, and south from Lyman Avenue to Lake Virginia.

In 1914, Charles H. Morse, William C. Temple, E.W. Packard, Nathan Follett, Witt Johnston, and W. C. Comstock formed the Winter Park Country Club. Harley A. Ward and Dow George were commissioned to install a 9-hole course at the north end of town and it was built on woodland that was owned by Mr. Morse's The Winter Park Land Company.  It opened in the autumn of 1914. Later, this course was extended by 18 more holes. This longer course was opened for play in the fall of 1915.  A permit was granted for the erection of a golf clubhouse as well, and the building was erected in 1915. In 1916, Charles H. Morse was elected President of the WP Country Club, which opened for its first full season.

In 1926, the Winter Park Country Club discontinued activities due to the opening of the grand Aloma Golf Club, which was situated on Lakemont Avenue, near Aloma Avenue (which as originally called Oviedo Avenue). When that facility went out of business in 1936, the Winter Park Country Club was re-organized at the old site. The golf course and clubhouse were rehabilitated and the course was officially opened on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1937.

For those members that did not play golf, a very active social committee was formed. A social membership afforded non-golfers clubhouse privileges. Activities such as parties, luncheons, dinners, bridge parties, and contests were carried out by the club. Later, the club organized year-round men's and women's golf associations and held seasonal tournaments and play days.

In 1990, the clubhouse underwent a massive renovation that was made possible through the Orlando Opera Guild. As a part of its fund-raising drive, the guild put the clubhouse on its Designer Show House tour. The opera guild arranged for interior designers to donate their services, and other donated materials and services from outside sources were also obtained. Since then, the clubhouse has been rented for wedding receptions, banquets, and other large private parties.

The ownership of the land on which the golf course and clubhouse sit also provides an interesting history. Partially owned by the city, partially owned by the Winter Park Land Company, a decades-long lease . . . the question of ownership of these properties was finally decided in 1996, when the issue was decided by referendum. The results? An overwhelming number of Winter Park voters decided that the city should purchase the land in order to "protect the character of the city and to preserve a rare piece of undeveloped land in an urban area."

 

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Item: Paid political ad
Organization: The Keep It Green For Tomorrow Committee

Source: Vertical files: Clubs, Organizations & Events: Winter Park Country Club
Date: 1996

Item: History of The Winter Park Country Club
Author: Frederic H. Ward

Source: Vertical files: Clubs, Organizations & Events: Winter Park Country Club
Date: 1972                                  

Item: Photograph
Source: Photograph Collection: Historic Homes & Buildings:
761 Old England: Winter Park Country Club
Date: undated

Item: Photograph
Source: Photograph Collection: Historic Homes & Buildings:
761 Old England: Winter Park Country Club
Date: c. 1914

Item: Postcard
Caption: Scene at Country Club, Winter Park, Fla.
Source: Postcard Collection
Date: undated

Item: Article
Publication: The City of Winter Park Update
Title: Winter Park Golf Course

Caption: Holes 1 & 9 owned by the City of Winter Park

Source: Vertical files: Clubs, Organizations & Events:
Winter Park Country Club Greenspace
Date: April 1996
Item: Photograph
Source: Photograph Collection: Historic Homes & Buildings:
761 Old England: Winter Park Country Club
Date: c. 1925
Item: Photograph
Caption: Golf at Winter Park Country Club
Source: Photograph Collection: Historic Homes & Buildings:
761 Old England: Winter Park Country Club
Date: 1924
Item: Photograph
Source: Photograph Collection: Historic Homes & Buildings:
761 Old England: Winter Park Country Club
Date: 1916
Item: Photograph
Source: Photograph Collection: Historic Homes & Buildings:
761 Old England: Winter Park Country Club
Date: 1916
Item: Photograph
Source: Photograph Collection: Historic Homes & Buildings:
761 Old England: Winter Park Country Club
Date: undated
Item: Postcard
Source: Photograph Collection: Historic Homes & Buildings:
761 Old England: Winter Park Country Club
Caption: Golf links, Winter Park, Fla.
Date: undated
 
Item: Article
Publication: The City of Winter Park Update
Title: Golf Course Green space could be included in the National Register of Historic Places

Caption: Over 55,000 people played at the Winter Park Country Club this year and enjoyed the natural beauty surrounding the 24-acre course.

Source: Vertical files: Clubs, Organizations & Events: Winter Park Country Club
Date: April 1996
Item: Newspaper article
Publication: The Winter Park Herald
Title: Little Country Club Popular Gathering Spot for Social, Recreational Activities

Source: Vertical files: Clubs, Organizations & Events: Winter Park Country Club
Date: December 13, 1951

 
Item: Postcard
Caption: Country Club
Source: Postcard Collection
Date: undated
Item: Article
Publication: The City of Winter Park Update
Title: Country Club and Golf Course represent a significant historic site in Winter Park.

Caption: The Pro Shop at Winter Park Country Club is both an historic and favorite social gathering place for players and visitors alike.

Source: Vertical files: Clubs, Organizations & Events: Winter Park Country Club
Date: April 1996
Item: Postcard
Caption: Flame Vine at Winter Park Country Club, Winter Park, Florida.
Source: Postcard Collection
Date: 1939
Item: Article
Publication: The City of Winter Park Update
Title: Contributing to the sense of time, place, and historical development in Winter Park

Inset:  "It contributes to the sense of time, place and historical development of Winter park through its location, design, material, workmanship, feeling and association."

Source: Vertical files: Clubs, Organizations & Events: Winter Park Country Club
Date: April 1996 
Item: Article
Publication: The City of Winter Park Update
Title: 92-Year-old golfer plays 7 times a week at Golf Course

Caption: John McMillan, 92, plays seven days a week at the Winter Park Golf Course

Source: Vertical files: Clubs, Organizations & Events: Winter Park Country Club
Date: February 1996




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