History

 

In the early 1900’s, some affluent families in Lake Charles, Louisiana maintained summer homes along the shore of Prien Lake, where boating and fishing were the main attractions. At this time, a small clubhouse was situated along the shore, and was known as the Lake Charles Yacht and Country Club. There was not a golf course although golf was ever growing in popularity across the eastern part of the United States and Lake Charles. Social activity around the club was centered around entertainment at a small clubhouse located on the shore of Lake Prien. Boating and fishing were the main attractions.

A small group of gentlemen who summered on the Prien Lake, agreed to acquire some 82 acres of nearby land and install a 9-hole golf course. With the installment of two tee boxes, the club officially changed its name to the Lake Charles Country Club on December 31, 1918 – with a Victorian-style clubhouse built soon after.

An interesting side note to the building of the golf course is that Lake Charles Country Club golf course was built the same year as Pine Valley and Pebble Beach. Two of the top courses in golf established at the same time as our wonderful course, all in the infancy of golf in the United States. The population in Lake Charles at this time was approximately 10,000 people and the club was only accessible by gravel road.

In the early 1930’s, the country club was owned by 30 bondholders who possessed undivided interests in the property. When the Club defaulted on the bonds in the mid-1930’s, Mr. C.B. Noble, Sr., and Mr. W.A. Conover formed the Country Club Land Company with 30 local businessmen, and assigned the property to the new company. The Country Club Land Company rented the property to the Lake Charles Country Club, which operated the club until 1946. During this period, the Lake Charles Golf and Country Club was organized by 200 members, and was assigned the title of the property by the Country Club Land Company for $27,000.00.

The Lake Charles Golf and Country Club rented property across Country Club Road in 1946 from Mathilda Gray on a 10-year lease, constructed an additional 9 holes, and remodeled the clubhouse. Remnants of the old green across the pond can still be seen at the crest of the hill. The swimming pool was then built and a terrace was added to the Clubhouse around 1949. In 1955, for reasons that are now a part of the folklore of the LCCC, the lease was not renewed, and the club raised sufficient funds to buy the land across Prien Lake Road from Dr. Howell for $1,750.00/acre. The existing seven holes, numbers 6-12, were constructed, and the boat basin was built. Hole numbers 1 and 2 were converted to today’s par 5, which many say is the most difficult starting hole that they have ever played. The golf course fundamentally remained the same until a greens renovation was constructed in 1992.

By the late 1950’s the clubhouse, erected in 1919, was in disrepair. Records show that the building itself required substantial repair annually just to stay erect. A committee, consisting of Past Presidents, was established to provide plans for a new clubhouse. On November 10, 1963 the existing clubhouse was celebrated with a grand opening. In its day it was the grandest of all Lake Charles social venues. Views of the beautiful Prien Lake, and sporting views of the golf course were incorporated by the design team from Houston. The club quickly became the place to hold receptions in Southwest Louisiana.

Modern history of the club has also been loaded with interesting stories. During the difficult era of the late 80’s recession the club once again faced difficult times. Through creative financing, club leaders were able to pull through these harsh times with reorganization while placing new financial regulations to eliminate future problems. In 1992, the club passed by a margin of one vote an expensive renovation to the golf course that would completely rebuild the greens on the course to modern U.S.G.A. specifications. In 1998, membership again passed another expensive capital improvement to the golf course by adding a $1.5 million dollar wall-to-wall, state-of-the-art irrigation system. In 2003, facing stiff competition from local casinos and a new local club course, membership faced another major capital improvement to the golf course when it passed a vote to completely re-grass the entire golf course, greens included. On November 1, 2003 the present golf course was re-opened. It boasts of having the highest quality grass available to our area with Tifeagle greens and Tifsport fairways. No other golf course within 90 miles shares the same quality grass conditions.
The Lake Charles Country Club is rich in tradition and history. Its common bond since 1946 has been to provide a quality country club with amenities for all those fortunate enough to enjoy membership privileges. Although golf remains the main focus for the club, social activities from tennis, swimming, boating, fine dining and socials will always be highlighted for all those interested. The focus has always been and will always be quality; from day one to present the club maintains the utmost in quality for members and guests’ experience in every way.

337-477-5511  |  3350 Country Club Drive  |  Lake Charles, LA 70605