Your Golf Club Historian

Why do golf and country clubs create commemorative histories? Only a select few ever host major championships or important professional events, yet today it is the rare exception for a club that has reached 50, 75 or 100 years of age to not create one. The answer is really simple; all people like to remember the happy times they’ve enjoyed, and a golf or country club is a place where many wonderful memories are created. Bringing these back to life in this manner keeps them alive for those who enjoyed them and for those who will follow. So how does a Club go about creating its own Club history? This is a question that can only be answered by first considering a number of other questions.

What type of Club are you?

      Why is this question being asked? There are really three types of Clubs that have golf as the major feature enjoyed by its memberships. The first is the Golf Club. This is quite different from the Country Club which in turn is very different from the Athletic Club.
      It seems as if the Club considering creating a history book would already know what type it is, yet the real point in asking it is to recognize what type of Club you are not. Remember, this commemorative will be a history of YOUR Club and so you want to see it designed in a manner that highlights the times, tournaments, features and people that have special meaning for your Club.  
      Although you might want to see the history produced to be similar in look, size and content to others that you have seen and enjoyed, what is of paramount importance is recognizing that it is YOUR STORY that you want to tell, and that you want to tell it in the manner that best highlights it.
What should be included?

      Consideration should be given to a balanced telling of the history. Those events that the members recognize as being seminal moments should be represented that way, regardless of when in your history they occurred. Likewise some events, simply because of when they occurred require more information than others so that the tale of them may be preserved and passed on. An example of this would be the founding and stories of the founders of the Club. Likewise the story behind a move the club may have made from one location to another. Has the Club been used for important events such as tennis of golf tournaments? What about those special days where members pulled together to aid a common cause outside of the day-to-day activities of the Club? What should be included are all of those times and events that the membership wants to recall and see recalled by future ones with pride, for those are what have made your Club distinctive and worth being a part of.
      Secondary, yet nearly as important, should be details about the golf course and its evolution. Who originally designed it and what was their vision for the course and how it should play? What changes were made through the years and why they were made, as well as by whom. In other words, the story of how the course you’ve enjoyed playing on these many years has grown from a vision in the mind of the course designer to the one whose challenges and how you conquered or were defeated by them, are tales you enjoy telling over and over.
      This same aspect of your history should be shown for the other features that your Club has enjoyed having throughout the years. 

How much does it cost to produce one?

      This is a matter of budget rather than formula for there are many “hidden” costs that often surprise Clubs when they give consideration to producing one. For example, if you choose to use a non-member, maybe even a “name” author to write it, there will be a cost matching that one’s reputation. Photographs professionally done, especially of the golf course, can prove to be more costly than some anticipate. 
      What should be done is to plan for the history book just just as the Club would plan for any other major expenditure. In order to help your Club to prepare for this and show the many options that should be given consideration in the developing a “master plan” for creating a Club commemorative history book, we at Golden Age Research have prepared a publication detailing these that we will gladly send to you. It is titled appropriately enough, “Planning Your History.” There is no cost whatsoever to receive a copy. Simply contact us at 

When should a club begin preparation for creating one?

      It is never too early to create a history committee, club archives or simply to begin clipping out articles about the Club and its activities and storing them in a file at the Club; with scanned back-ups to preserve them in case of any untimely loss, of course!

Who should write it?

      Whether it is someone specifically hired for the project or a member of the Club, it should be someone who the Club can place its absolute trust in. It should be a person who will have a passion for the project and in the case of a non-member hired for it, the ethics to recognize that they are now in a “doctor/patient” relationship with the Club. In other words, it is the Club’s history and no one else’s. Nothing should ever be published elsewhere without both prior Club approval and total cooperation.
Club Histories