Westmoreland Country Club was founded in 1911 when a group of men from Evanston Golf Club, located on the canal banks of Evanston, became dissatisfied with the space limitations of their course as the City of Evanston expanded. David McCurrach Jr. and John N. Welter, Westmoreland's first President, arranged financial backing from their friend William S. Mason, and then sold 300 memberships in the new club before work had begun on the new golf course.
The men received options from farmers on all of the real estate from Golf Road to Glenview Road and from Ewing Avenue in Evanston to what is now Skokie Boulevard. The committee selected the 128-acre rectangular site on which Westmoreland now stands because it was underlaid by a 25-foot bed of gravel, which provides ideal drainage for turf.
Scotsman McCurrach was assigned to name the new club, and he decided on Westmoreland because the group had indeed moved West-for-more-land.
In 1912 our beautiful Colonial Williamsburg Clubhouse was built. The original entrance to the Clubhouse was in front of the present 18th hole, from a road off of the now "Old Orchard Road." Stately elms soon arched over the driveway where most members arrived in chauffeur-driven cars. As the gentlemen alighted, their chauffeurs would hand them their shoe bags as they headed for the locker room.
The Ladies' Locker Room was originally upstairs in the Clubhouse with five lockers and one shower. An early publication states: "Westmoreland has been noted for its effort to promote an interest in golf among women and junior members of the family and its liberal attitude in the arrangement of time for women's golf events." The new Ladies' Locker Room was built in 1957.
Tennis came to Westmoreland in 1939 when two courts were built and members could play one set of singles or two sets of doubles. The newer courts were added in 1982. In 1994 lights were installed on two of six courts allowing for night tennis. The Skeet Range, also developed in the 1930's, has experienced several stages of modification as Westmoreland continues to provide Skeet Range facilities that are consistent with changing village codes.
In the 1940's the Cocktail Lounge and original swimming pool were constructed. Members paid for these improvements over a five-year period with an assessment of $2 per month. The Cocktail Lounge was later renovated and reopened in early 2003.
During the 1980's, under the direction of interior designer Larry Peabody, extensive improvements were made to the Clubhouse, including the remodeling of the Living Room, Library and Windsor Room to restore much of their Williamsburg architectural style, as well as a complete renovation of the Men's Locker Room. Finally, in 1999-2000, the Club completed the largest facilities improvement initiative in its history, commonly referred to as the "West End Project." This project included a new aquatics facility with poolside cafe, new tennis complex, renovation and expansion of the Grill Room, development of the Monticello Cellar, complete renovation of both the banquet and grill kitchen facilities, expansion of the Bluestone Patio, completion of the Crab Apple Patio, and many other exterior and interior improvements.
Over the years Westmoreland has hosted a number of prestigious golf tournaments--the Western Open in 1917, won by Jim Barnes (283) with Walter Hagen (285) second; the Western Amateur in 1921, won by Chick Evans; the Western Golf Association's Junior Girls Tourney in 1924 and again in 1934; the Chicago District Golf Association's Women's Championship in 1936; and the 42nd annual U.S.G.A. Women's Amateur Championship in 1938. This was to be Miss Patty Berg's first National Championship victory. She was 20 years old at that time.
The golf course has undergone many changes since the original design by William Watson in 1912. He supervised the construction along with the first Golf Professional and Superintendent, Joseph Roseman. Numerous changes were made to the course starting in 1920/1921 when Wiliam Langford and A. W. Tillinghast executed a redesign of the course. In 1963 work was begun on the ponds on #13, #15 and #17. The pond on #8 was added during the major renovation supervised by Arthur Hills in 1993. Many prominent professionals and amateurs have been tested by the course including Bobby Jones, Chick Evans, Frances Ouiment, Walter Hagan, Jock Hutchison and many others. We continue to enjoy a great test of golf which is true to the original routing developed by Mr. Watson.
Westmoreland now offers swimming, golf and tennis during the summer; skeet, paddle tennis and cross-country skiing in the winter; and year-round social activities. Westmoreland is a club of great tradition, yet it's ready to make changes to meet the future needs of its members.
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