History

Founded by a small group of Memphis business leaders in 1913, Colonial Country Club has established itself as the premier country club in the Mid-South. In December of 1913, 90 acres of land was purchased for $50,000 cash on the Southern Railroad about two miles east of the West Tennessee Normal School (now The University of Memphis) in White Station, Tennessee. Ground breaking ceremonies took place on December 29th, 1913 and work began at once on the 18-hole golf links with plans for a clubhouse to follow later. The 18-hole course was opened on August 7, 1914, and was officially dedicated on September 4th, 1914. The news of the day in the Memphis Press Scimitar stated that “new members would be driven to the course in automobiles!”

On July 23rd, 1915, the golf course was followed by the first clubhouse appropriately structured in the Colonial style. It was called one of the most complete clubhouses in the South, possessing its own light and power plants and even a printing press for the printing of menus. At that time, the membership numbered over 240. According to the book, Members of Clubdom, Colonial was comprised of "the younger and most progressive business men in Memphis, who are taking an active and keen interest in the club's welfare and success."

Tragedy struck Colonial Country Club during the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday, December 16th, 1919, as the grand clubhouse burned to the ground. Defective wiring was blamed for the disaster while only the foundation and the chimneys were left standing. Just two days following the devastation, plans for the new clubhouse were announced. Work commenced on the new clubhouse in July 1920 and by the summer of 1921, the second and much larger clubhouse opened.

Colonial Country Club kept this clubhouse until the late 1960's when a plan for a new location and clubhouse altered Colonial's history forever. In 1968, over 385 acres were purchased in the Memphis suburb of Cordova, Tennessee near Interstate 40. Two 18-hole championship golf courses and a 300 yard practice area were developed along with a massive 40,000 square feet clubhouse and pro-shop. This club would also include an Olympic-size swimming pool, 6 tennis courts, a snack-bar, and dressing facility. Both courses were designed by Joe Finger. The new clubhouse and courses opened in 1972 and Colonial Country Club has been located there ever since.

Many wonderful tournaments were held at Colonial’s East Memphis location, but in 1958, the premier golf event in Memphis had its beginnings at Colonial Country Club by seven Memphis businessmen who hatched their plan in the grill. The "Memphis Open" later evolved into what it now known as the FedEx St. Jude Classic. With an initial purse of $20,000, the founders had little idea that their creation would one day become the national event it is today. Billy Maxwell won that inaugural event and collected $2,800. In the two decades that followed, the event would emerge as one of the mainstays on the PGA Tour and provide some of the richest history in the game. This event would soon be called the "Memphis Invitational Open" and would continue on at the East Memphis location until Colonial Country Club's closure and relocation in 1971. Colonial Country Club and the Memphis tournament moved to Cordova, TN on the eastern edge of Shelby County before the start of the 1972 tournament. Lee Trevino claimed victory in the first tournament played at the new par-72 layout.

In 1977, two huge events made national news at the now titled "Danny Thomas Memphis Classic." First, President Gerald Ford made a hole-in-one during Wednesday's Celebrity Pro-Am and this renown event is now referred to as the "Shot Heard 'Round the World." Two days later, Al Geiberger shocked the golf world with his record low round of 59 on Friday of the tournament. The 13-under par round still stands as a PGA TOUR record. (Chip Beck and David Duval have since tied the mark.)

The last time that Colonial Country Club held the FedEx St. Jude Classic was in 1988, when the tournament moved to its current location of the Tournament Players Club at Southwind.

Today you can still play where all those greats played! Since 1988, Colonial members have enjoyed "walking in the footsteps of legends" on a daily basis. Colonial enjoys a long history in the city of Memphis and the surrounding areas and we would love for you to join our family. Call today about Membership Opportunities!

 

About

March 2017
S M T W T F S
26 27 28 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
Website Development & Hosting by Mellon Consulting Group