The sport of golf came to Bath, New York in 1925 on a course located opposite Lake Salubria on what is now Rt. 415. The course stayed open until the beginning of WWII when membership dwindled to the point the club couldn't meet it's mortgage obligations and defaulted.
In 1946 another attempt to provide a country club for Bath, NY was started by Melvin Stewart. The course was built on what is now called upper Maple Heights in the town of Bath. The dream only lasted until 1948 when the clubhouse burned and the land was sold to a housing developer.
Jack Nicklaus demonstrates a sandtrap blast when he visited the
Bath Country Club after he won the National Amateur.
1953 marked the beginning of what is now the Bath Country Club. The course was the brainchild of a number of interested citizens of Bath, New York including Dr. Frank Nicklaus, uncle of the renowned Jack Nicklaus. (Jack played the course at the time he was National Amateur Champion.)
The course was designed by Tom Bonner, a pro from Elmira, and Bath's own James Hawk. At that time there were plans for only nine holes. (The original 9 holes are the back 9 today.) Interested parties and small Bath businesses did most of the work. Local high school students helped pick stones from the fairway. Slowly the 80-acre farm was turned into the first nine holes of the Bath Country Club.
The first annual report was presented on Dec. 3, 1953. Total Debentures sold at the time numbered 116. The opening of the course was slated for July 4 1954 and in fact the course opened that day. It was reported, "the greens were bumpy and the fairways sparse but we had a lot of fun" (Grover C. Bradstreet an original planner and club president)
The clubhouse was started later in July of 1954 and again was a product of volunteers.
Reported in the Table of Expenses June - December 1953 was $17.50 for 5000 trees and $93.05 for beer! The 5000 trees were planted by volunteers and are the stately pines one sees on the course today.
The course and membership proceeded nicely. The usual golfing programs were available. In July of 1963 cows from the adjacent farm were jumping the fence at number nine, so it was necessary to build a higher fence.
By 1965 land was purchased for an additional nine holes. Implementation of this did not become a reality until 1993. Which brings us to the beginning of the 18-hole course we know and love today. Robert Tallman, of an Ithaca architectural firm, designed the new nine holes.
Construction on the new nine was mostly done with cooperation of local high school Juniors and Seniors that were enrolled in Ag-Mechanics Conservation, a course of studies at Coopers Center Boces. This not only benefited the club but also provided the student with "live work experience." The development of the second nine was completed in 1994 and opened to the membership in July of that year.
For those of you who have played golf at the Bath Country Club know that it is challenging course. The foresight of the original founders provided a place for golf, fellowship and community.
Bath Country Club
330 May Street
Bath, NY 14810