Member Login

Washington Golf & Country Club Logo

History

The Club was incorporated as the Washington Golf Club on January 1, 1894, although evidence exists that it was organized over a year earlier in December 1892.

Members of the Metropolitan Club headed by Col. Henry May (the first President of Washington Golf Club), Mr. Edward F. Riggs (Riggs Bank) and Sir Julian Pauncefote (the British Ambassador), were among the prominent Washingtonians that founded the Club. The first course (nine holes) and clubhouse were constructed on land leased from the Hoover family located near the present Colonial Village Apartments on Wilson Boulevard, in the area known as Arlington Heights in Alexandria County, VA. Although there were plans for adding nine additional holes, it appears they were never built. Play was on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the golfing season, which was May through October. An omnibus transported the golfers from the city to the Rosslyn site. The lease was terminated on the property in 1907 and a group of the members searched for a new location for the Club.

The present land was bought from Admiral M. Preston Rixey (Surgeon General of the Navy and White House physician). The first course (nine holes) was laid out by the Admiral on the ninety acres and a temporary clubhouse was erected. The next year a new 18-hole course was designed and a permanent clubhouse was built. The Club’s name was changed to Washington Country Club and retained this name until 1915 when the Club was incorporated in Virginia when it became Washington Golf and Country Club Incorporated. An additional 40 acres was purchased (the Grunwell Tract) and a new course was laid out with the help of Donald Ross and builders Toomey and Flynn. The new layout was opened for play in 1922.

These were the years that the Club became known as the Club of the Presidents. Theodore Roosevelt, Taft, Coolidge, Harding and Wilson were all active golfing members of the Washington Golf and Country Club.

A fire destroyed the original clubhouse on September 15, 1936, however, a new one rose out of the ashes the following year and was dedicated on October 14, 1937. The present modern clubhouse was built in 1958, completely renovated in 2004, and has served the membership ever since. The Club enters its second century as a leader, the first golf club in Virginia and the ninth club to join the U.S.G.A.