Featured Chamber Member, Dunedin Golf Club Steeped in History
One of my favorite places to visit in Dunedin, outside of Honeymoon Island, is the Dunedin Golf Club. A couple years back I visited with Ken Nyhus, the marketing director for the links. We sat and spoke about the history of the club and how it housed the PGA headquarters for years. He looked at me and said , “Right about where you are sitting is where Babe Ruth used to smoke his cigars while visiting.” I could not only see that the club was special, I could feel it. So join with me in taking a little jaunt through time and revisit the clubs amazing journey through time.
In 1926, Donald Ross, was hired to design the 18 hole golf course in conjuction with the development of the Dunedin Isles subdivision. The Scottish-born Ross, who honed his game and course design skills at Dornoch, has long been credited with laying the foundations for American golf.
He designed around 400 golf courses in the United States, Canada and Cuba. Ross began his work at Dunedin in 1926. The course took ten months to complete and opened on January 1, 1927. and at the time named ‘Dunedin Isles Golf Club’. Nearly 30 years later on 1st July, 1945 Dunedin officially became the PGA National Golf Club and the first home course of PGA of America.
In 1956, the PGA of America moved its administrative headquarters to Dunedin and it remained till 1965 when the PGA of America moved to Florida’s east coast to it’s now location at Palm Beach Gardens. Dunedin GC, Dunedin Florida and from 1945 to 1962 Dunedin Golf Club hosted the PGA Seniors Championship while in 1954 the inaugural PGA Trade Show had been held in the car park of the club’s premises, and in stark contrast to the massive complex in Orlando that recently hosted the annual trade show. Legendary Gene Sarazen captured two Senior PGA Championships at Dunedin in both 1954 and 1958.
In 1962 Th PGA left Dunedin and relocated to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The club then changed its name to Dunedin Golf Club and signed a 30 year lease with the city including renewal options. The clubhouse was built in 1963. In 2006 and 2007 the course was restored by rebuilding tees, greens and bunkers. Fortunately, those charged with looking after Dunedin have left the course very much as how Ross designed it and there in lies the beauty of playing a round at Dunedin and just 89 years since the course was opened. Dunedin became the third course to be listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. We have a golf treasure right here in our back yard. For more information visit http://www.dunedingolfclub.com.