Downers Grove Golf Club Celebrates 125th Anniversary

Thu September 7, 2017

The Downers Grove Park District will celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the Downers Grove Golf Club from 5 to 7 pm on Wednesday, Sept. 13. This free open house will include hot dogs and refreshments as well as commemorative golf balls to the first 125 guests. During the event, guests can view a special temporary exhibit highlighting the last 125 years of the course’s history. The event will be held in the Dan A. Cermak Clubhouse at the Downers Grove Golf Club located at 2420 Haddow Ave. in Downers Grove.

The historic and treasured Downers Grove Golf Club holds a significant place in U.S. history. The golf course was established on this site in 1892 as the original Chicago Golf Club, when Charles Blair MacDonald, who was, according to Golf Journal, "a true and imposing pioneer of golf in America" persuaded thirty of his Chicago Club colleagues to contribute ten dollars each to design and construct a nine-hole golf course.

The golf course was completed and ready for play in the late spring of 1892. Thus, America's first golf course west of the Allegheny mountain range had been established. When the inaugural season had ended, Macdonald convinced Chicago Golf Club members to add nine more holes to the course. Therefore, in 1893, the first eighteen-hole golf course in the United States was established on this site. (Chartered by the State of Illinois in 1893.)

By 1895, Chicago Golf Club members had become so taken with the sport that they decided to build a new eighteen-hole golf course on two-hundred acres of land located near Wheaton, Illinois. The Chicago Golf Club is still in existence there today. Shortly thereafter, the Downers Grove site reverted back to 9 holes. In 1968, the course was purchased by the Downers Grove Park District and was renamed the Downers Grove Golf Club. Many changes to this course have occurred over the last 110 plus years, however, much of the original course remains including holes 2, 4, 7, 8 and 9.

Today, the Downers Grove Golf Club offers a unique and challenging course to the community. The course features a driving range with 24 permanent and turf hitting stations, a large practice putting green, sand trap and chipping area. The course is proud to offer a wide variety of private and group lessons, leagues, tournaments, outings and summer camps each year.

In August, the course achieved the designation as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” by Audubon International. The Downers Grove Golf Course is one of 54 golf courses in Illinois and 912 in the world to hold this title.

To learn more about the Downers Grove Golf Club and the 125th anniversary event, visit