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.