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Blackard Developments > Pirates' Galveston > About Galveston > Galveston Country Club

Recently celebrating its 100th anniversary, the Galveston Country Club has the distinction of being the first chartered country club in Texas. In the late 1890s, Galveston's financial prosperity and sophisticated atmosphere made it an ideal place to import this "gentleman's game," popular in urban and cosmopolitan areas on the country's east cost at that time. With a flourishing port, the city's business district thrived and Galveston attracted some of the wealthiest and most influential people in the country.

The early years of the Country Club were marked by numerous storms, fires, and financial crises, paralleling the tumultuous history of the island itself. But, like the great storms which have swept through the island, it continued to survive. When faced with difficult times, members drew on their love of the game and their strong bonds of friendship to force themselves to rebuild again and again.

Founded in March of 1898, with a membership of just 30, the club’s first course sat on the beach west of Fort Crockett, just west of present-day 53rd Street. It was also the first course in Texas to be designed by a professional golf course architect, Scotsman Mungo Parke. Oddly enough, all of the greens at that time had two-foot high barbed wire fences around them, to prevent cows from grazing on the course during play.

Host to a number of professionals, including Byron Nelson, “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias, Jackie Burke, Butch Baird and Jimmy Powell, the Galveston Country Club has also entertained past U.S. presidents, celebrities, and some of the most influential figures in Texas and the United States. President and Mrs. George Bush are honorary members of the club.

The Galveston Country Club is an integral part of the community and hosts a number of professional matches, including the National Super Seniors and the Senior Series, as well as numerous state matches-even the inaugural tournament for the Texas PGA. In addition, the annual Rudy T Golf Tournament, benefiting university scholarships for students who have overcome adversity, is held at the Country club each year. In four years, the tournament raised more than $330,000, and features NBA and Houston Rockets celebrities such as Clyde Drexler, Maurice Lucas, Bill Worrell, Allen Leavell, Matt Maloney, Mike Newlin and Jim Peterson.

Having weathered the storms of its tumultuous past, the Galveston Country Club looks forward to its second century – one certain to be filled with promise and success.

 


 


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