May 1, 2018
We are now a 9 hole golf course. The back 9 are still open. The bar area is still open for snacks and beverages.
Here is a brief timeline outlining the chartering of the club, the planning, construction, remodeling, and expansion. This information was gathered from various news articles from the mid 1920’s and also the Brodhead Historical Society.
- The original course was chartered in 1926 as a six hole course with temporary greens and only a plan for a club house. The first club champion was H.G. Plumb.
- September 1st, 1926 – It is assured, the Brodhead Country Club (as it was called at the time) will be built with the hope of opening in the spring of 1927. Attempts to choose a location and secure land are also underway. The initial movement for membership gained almost 60 people.
- September 7th, 1926 – By this point in time, there are already 75 members for the golf club. Meetings are organized and experts are consulted to choose a location for the course, as it is still undetermined.
- September 14th, 1926 – It is agreed upon by experts that the site on Decatur Lake is ideal as “the course will be fast and there is no doubt to the scenic interest of the place”. By this point in time there are 90 members and the incorporation of the club is set to take place in a few days. The hope is the club will generate enough revenue in memberships to build a club house in spring.
- September 21st, 1926 – Charter memberships have been limited to 100 but the hope is to reach 125 total memberships to ensure the erection of a clubhouse. Ground work for the greens had been laid; however, it was not be seeded until the following spring. Six to eight men were kept busy doing this as well as constructing two rustic bridges for players to cross the lake. Plans for a pump house were also completed but that also wasn’t installed until the following spring.
- September 21st Cont’d – The slogan is now official. (“The Sportiest Course by a Dam Site”). The claims are backed by the natural lay of the land; other courses spend bundles of money to erect ponds and other artificial hazards, but the land here supplies all that is necessary to make this the sportiest in the area.
- In 1928, the course was expanded to nine holes and a club house finally built. Also, later in 1928 the first hole-in-one was recorded by F.D. Gardner.
- In 1934 the original clubhouse was destroyed by high winds during a large storm. A first hand account recalls the day:
“My family purchased a cottage on the lake in 1927. Our neighbors, the Carrols were from Chicago and their son, Herb, would come most weekends. We prayed he would take us for a ride in his boat, a big launch. One afternoon he picked up my mom, sister Kay, a cousin and me from our pier. There was no room for our dog, Teddy, but that didn’t keep him from following us.
We took off for the Dam and Teddy followed us along the path and across the dam, barking all the way. He was barking more than usual and we realized that he was trying to warn us of something. We got to the head gates and Teddy swam to us… That is when we saw the funnel cloud!
I climbed to shore and hung onto some bushes. The adults were on top of Teddy and me so we wouldn’t blow away. Herb, our hero stood and held onto the boat.
Once the funnel passed, we headed back to the cottage. We noticed the roof had blown off the clubhouse of the golf course and debris covered the fairway! My dad was at our home in town and had no idea what had happened.”
– Memories from Ann Olmstead Palka Preston; Decatur Lake, Mill Race, Too Nice to Let Go!
- In 1938, the clubhouse was rebuilt and along with it came the first appearance of electrical lights.
- In 1956, upgrades took place to the clubhouse as the South deck was covered and then screened.
- In 1989, a full remodeling of the clubhouse took place and nearly 80 acres were purchased for the future addition of a second nine.
- In 1993, construction started on the second nine bringing the total to 18 holes.
- June 5th, 1994 – Back nine opens in exciting fashion for a members only play day. The back nine is relatively flat and open in comparison to the rather undulating front nine.
- In 2001, Decatur Lake Golf Course celebrates in 75th anniversary
- In 2006, the course was re-routed to its original layout and to what it is today.