This Week in ClubCorp History

October 10-11, 2011 – ClubCorp serves as a major sponsor of the first Warrior Open, a two-day golf tournament hosted by the George W. Bush Presidential Center that takes place at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas.

Players include members of the U.S. Armed Forces who served their country honorably and were wounded during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Former President George W. Bush attends the event and thanks the players personally for their sacrifices.

October 1, 2014 – ClubCorp announces the acquisition of Atlanta-based Sequoia Golf, adding 50 owned and operated clubs and increasing its portfolio of private clubs by 30 percent. 

Sequoia Golf expands ClubCorp’s presence in Atlanta and Houston – including the addition of The Woodlands Country Club in Houston, site of the PGA Champions Tour Insperity Invitational – and adds Denver and Chicago as new markets. 

September 19, 2013 – ClubCorp Holdings, Inc. (“ClubCorp”) announces the debut of its initial public offering of 18,000,000 shares of its common stock. 

To celebrate the company’s initial public offering, executives and guests of ClubCorp visit the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) where ClubCorp begins trading on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “MYCC”. In honor of the occasion, Eric Affeldt, President and CEO, joined by members of ClubCorp’s management team, rings the NYSE Opening Bell.

September 6, 2013 – Australian golfing great Greg Norman makes an appearance to a full house during the welcome reception and dinner at the 2013 Acura ClubCorp Champions Classic at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas. Norman speaks to the crowd about life lessons he learned on the golf course before opening the floor to questions from the audience.

August 28, 2014 – Eric Affeldt, ClubCorp President and CEO, lead several ClubCorp executives in taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge outside the Home Office in Dallas. 

Eric – along with Dan Tilley, then Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer; Curt McClellan, Chief Financial Officer; Ingrid Keiser, General Counsel, Secretary and Executive Vice President of People Strategy; and Mark Burnett, Chief Operating Officer – gamely don their swimming caps and goggles while fellow Employee Partners, including a few Executive Assistants eager for the opportunity to help their bosses’ out, drench the group from above.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge ruled social media in the summer of 2014 and raised more than $200 million for ALS research.

August 27, 2000 – In the final round of the 2000 World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational (now the Bridgestone Invitational) at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, Tiger Woods was en route to victory. Unfortunate weather delays though saw the final groups play out the final few holes in dimming light eventually coming to the 18th in almost total darkness. 

Tiger Woods hit an iron shot 167 yards within two feet of the hole. The crowds roared, some even holding up lighters concert-style and gave Woods a deafening ovation as he approached the green. He won the tournament by an amazing 11 strokes, setting the course and tournament scoring records in the process. 

The “Shot in the Dark” has gone down as one of the best shots of Tiger Woods’ career.

August 20, 2002 – ClubCorp Founder, Robert H. Dedman Sr. dies at the age of 76 after a long illness. Dedman, who was working as a lawyer when he founded ClubCorp and was the recipient of many awards during his lifetime, including Dallas Humanitarian of the Year in 1980, Texas Business Hall of Fame in 1987, the Horatio Alger Award from the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans in 1989, and, posthumously, the Ambassador of Golf Award in 2003, presented annually to a person who has fostered the ideals of the game on an international level and whose concern for others extends beyond the golf course.

Dedman is remembered as "the Henry Ford of the club management business," known as much for his philanthropy as his business success.

August 16, 1996 – One of the greatest golf movies of all time, “Tin Cup” premieres in movie theaters. Though the movie is set in North Carolina, much of it – including the memorable final golf scene – was shot at ClubCorp’s Kingwood Country Club in Kingwood, Texas.

Click here to read an article from PGA.com that tells the story behind the ‘Tin Cup’ hole.

August 2, 2007 – Eric Affeldt announces the first fundraising efforts for the Employee Partners Care Foundation. 

“Individually, we are a drop. Together, we are an ocean.” Those words from Japanese poet Ryunosuke Satoro are how Eric Affeldt, ClubCorp CEO and, at that time, president, announces the launch of the first-ever fundraising drive to begin collecting donations from Employee Partners for the newly created Employee Partners Care Foundation (E.P.C.F.). 

Eric talks about the fund, solely dedicated to assist Employee Partners, and how it will have a positive effect on the lives of many, including, most likely, staff members at each club. He encourages Employee Partners to hold fundraising events at their clubs and talks about how much of a difference can be made if each Employee Partner donates just $2 from each paycheck. 

Eric was right – we are an ocean. Since its creation in 2007, the E.P.C.F. has assisted more than 1,500 Employee Partners and their families and has granted over $1,800,000 in assistance to Employee Partners and their families.

July 24, 1998 – ClubCorp and Jack Nicklaus’ Golden Bear International Announce a Joint Venture to build three golf course products: The joint venture's first project is TheGolden Bear Golf Club at LionsGate in Overland Park, Kansas, near Kansas City, with groundbreaking anticipated to take place the following fall. The club opens in 2001.

The two additional projects are "The Bear's Best" courses, which will consist of 18 holes selected by Nicklaus from among the 160 courses designed worldwide by Nicklaus Design. Each project features a different 18-hole selection, depending upon the location, climate and terrain. 

"I personally will be involved in the selection of holes because nobody knows these courses like I do," Jack Nicklaus says at the time. "The venture with Robert Dedman and ClubCorp is a great fit between our two companies."

Bear’s Best Las Vegas opens in 2001 and Bear’s Best Atlanta opens in 2002.

July 1985 – Answering to significant demand in downtown Orlando for a private fitness facility, Citrus Club, which opened in 1971 and at that time included dining facilities and a ballroom, opens the Citrus Athletic Club in July of 1985.

Located in the lower level of the Citrus Center, Citrus Athletic Club was initially established for gentlemen only. In 1989, however, the Athletic Club expanded to include a ladies facility and aerobic studio. 

Today, The Citrus Club Spa and Fitness Center is the premier, boutique athletic club in the downtown Orlando area, focusing on personal training excellence and exclusive spa products and services.

July 14, 2013 – Jordan Spieth, a Dallas native and Member at Brookhaven Country Club in Farmers Branch, makes history when he becomes the youngest winner on the PGA Tour in 82 years with a victory at the John Deere Classic. Spieth, two weeks shy of his 20th birthday, outlasts David Hearn and defending champion Zach Johnson during a five-hole playoff to win the tournament. 

He is the first teenager to win a PGA title win since Ralph Guldahl, also a Dallas native, took the Santa Monica Open in 1931. In fact, following his first PGA win, Guldahl went on to win 15 additional events throughout his career before becoming a golf instructor at Braemar Country Club in Tarzana, California, where he worked from 1959 until 1987.

And, just to put things in perspective, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy were all 20 when they picked up their first victories.

July 4, 1960 – Members at Brookhaven Country Club, then the world’s largest country club, take advantage of the club’s pool to beat the Texas heat during a long Fourth of July weekend.

June 17-20, 1999 – Course No. 2 at Pinehurst Resort, a ClubCorp ClubResort at the time, serves as the site of the 1999 U.S. Open Championship. Deemed one of the greatest U.S. Opens of all time, Payne Stewart wins his third and final major making an 15-foot putt on the 18th green, edging out Phil Mickelson. Stewart’s celebratory pose would later be commemorated as a statue behind the green. Four months later, Stewart, and five others flying on a private jet, would die when the jet loses cabin pressure and eventually crashes into a field in South Dakota.

June 2011 – ClubCorp announces that it is expanding its recently created O.N.E. (Optimal Network Experiences) program to 18 clubs in Texas, Louisiana, Kansas and California. The expansion is the result of the extremely strong Member demand after a pilot launch of the program at 12 Dallas-Fort Worth clubs the previous year.

ClubCorp now – in 2017 – offers O.N.E. at more than 150 clubs with more than 50 percent of Members enrolled in O.N.E. or a similar upgrade.

May 29, 1974 – The first of three inaugural gala receptions is held for the opening of the Metropolitan Club, ClubCorp's newest city club, on the 66th and 67th floors of the Sears Tower in Chicago, which at the time was the tallest building in the world.

Arthur M. Wood, former Sears Roebuck & Co Board Chairman, championed not only the development of the Sears Tower but also the establishment of the club. Since that time, the West Loop has flourished, and The Metropolitan Club has become known as the place to conduct business and meet Chicago’s “who’s who,” and has developed a reputation as one of Chicago’s finest business clubs.

May 25, 2009 – Gleneagles Country Club in Plano, Texas, serves as the site of the only U.S. International Final Qualifying (IFQ) tournament in America. It is one of just five IFQ events held around that world with additional IFQ events that year held in Africa, Australia, Asia and England. The tournament is a steppingstone to the 2009 British Open, golf’s oldest championship. Among the eight players who qualify for the Open during the 2009 event are Davis Love III and Matt Kuchar.

Gleneagles goes on to serve as the site of the America IFQ for four more years until 2014, when the British Open moved away from 36-hole qualifying, instead using 10 tour events from five continents to determine 32 spots in the field.

May 17, 2012 – ClubCorp takes the private club experience to the PGA TOUR’s 2012 HP Byron Nelson Championship with the premiere of Club 14, a hospitality tent adjacent to the 14th green where ClubCorp Members have the opportunity to connect; and host clients, guests, family and friends in private-club style. Club 14 is a big hit with hundreds of Members taking advantage of the shaded outdoor patio, air-conditioned tent, beer, wine and cocktails and extensive gourmet selection of culinary offerings.

Club 14 has now become a staple at the tournament with more than 1,000 Members stopping by the tent each year. Notable visitors have included Peggy Nelson, wife of the late PGA golf legend Byron Nelson, and LPGA Champion Kathy Whitworth, who won a record 88 times on the LPGA Tour and is a Member at Trophy Club Country Club.

May 11, 2007 – Columbia Tower Club in Seattle welcomes celebrity chefs Michael Ginor from Hudson Valley Foie Gras in Ferndale, New York, and Adam Stevenson from Earth and Ocean in Seattle to create an exquisite feast during a stop on the Celebrity Chef Tour.

ClubCorp first helped kick off the Celebrity Chef Tour, a James Beard Foundation fundraising initiative, in 2004. Culinary insiders know that the James Beard House in New York City is one of the most exciting places in the country to dine. The Foundation supports and promotes all aspects of the culinary arts. The inaugural tour stops at nine ClubCorp clubs.

April 30, 2014 – ClubCorp announces plans to open The Baylor Club in Waco. The company’s newest alumni club will be located in the new $260-million riverfront McLane Stadium being constructed on the Baylor University campus. The Club opens its doors – along with completion of the stadium – in time for the Baylor Bears first home game of the 2014 season. 

Today, the Club thrives, serving as a gathering spot for alumni, faculty and staff, along with the Waco professional, civic and social community - not to mention the place to be on game days.

April 24, 2013 – Official play begins in the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas. Nine of the top 10 players in the world and 95 of the top 100 on the LPGA Official Money List compete in the tournament - the first full-field women's pro golf event in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 20 years. Inbee Park wins the inaugural event.

Now in its fifth year and known as the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout, the event takes place this week with official tournament play beginning Thursday.

April 17, 1960 – Brookhaven Country Club holds its grand opening on Easter Sunday in the recently completed clubhouse, becoming the world’s largest golf club at the time.

April 12, 2015 – Pride in belonging bursts at Brookhaven Country Club near Dallas when Jordan Spieth, who grew up playing golf at the club, wins the 79th Masters at Augusta National by four strokes. Several local news media outlets are there to capture the excitement in the clubhouse (pictured above)  and on the golf courses where some junior golfers are participating in a weekend event. Joey Anders, Spieth’s first instructor and now Lead Golf Teaching Professional, is the focus of several interviews on Saturday but not available Sunday as he has flown to Augusta to watch his former pupil play his last round.

During Saturday’s round, CBS commentator Jim Nantz mentions Brookhaven as where Spieth got his start. Spieth’s win is not only good for Brookhaven – which receives inquiries through the weekend about their junior golf program – but for the game of golf in general. As Nantz says about the future of golf as Spieth completes his final round, “An exciting new era has arrived. The next generation is here.”

April 3, 1988 – In a spontaneous act of celebration after winning the then Nabisco Dinah Shore (now ANA Inspiration), LPGA player Amy Alcott urges her caddie, Bill Kurre, to “let it rip” and both leap into the pond on the 18th green at Mission Hills Country Club.

Although it didn’t happen immediately, the “splash heard ’round the world” leads to one of the greatest traditions in women’s golf. Since 1994, every winner of the tournament – the first Major of the year – takes the traditional leap into Poppie’s Pond, named in honor of Terry Wilcox, the longtime tournament director, who was known as Poppie to his grandchildren. A statue of tournament co-founder, Dinah Shore, near the 18th green bridge watches over Poppie's Pond.

March 1989 – ClubCorp founder Robert H. Dedman is inducted into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. The Horatio Alger Award is presented annually by the association to men and women who have faced adversity through hard work, integrity, determination and a strong dedication to helping others.

Notable awardees have included presidents Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Dwight Eisenhower and Herbert Hoover, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, entertainers Carol Burnett and Bob Hope, McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, and baseball player Hank Aaron.

March 23, 2015 – ClubCorp announces agreements have been signed to acquire a multi-club portfolio of six golf clubs – adding 171 holes of golf in already established ClubCorp markets throughout the Southeast United States. Since the acquisition, reinvention projects have taken place at the clubs, bringing new dining, social and family features.

March 1981 – ClubCorp completes its acquisition of  the legendary Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. Firestone Country Club was established in 1929 by Harvey Firestone, who originally commissioned the club as a park for employees of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Firestone has hosted the PGA Championship three times (1960, 1966 and 1975) and is the only club to host three nationally televised professional events in one year, 1974. Since 1962, Firestone has served annually as the site of the World Series of Golf events – known today as the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

March 5, 2013 – The LPGA, ClubCorp and Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas, host a media day to promote the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout, set to take place at Las Colinas that April. The tournament marks the LGPA’s return to North Texas after a 20-year absence. 

In attendance are three current LPGA players with North Texas connections – Gerina Piller of Plano, Angela Stanford of Fort Worth, and Brittany Lang of McKinney – and LPGA World of Golf Hall of Famer and Trophy Club Country Club member, Kathy Whitworth. During a Q&A, the players express excitement at the aspect of their family and friends getting to come watch them play and staying in their homes the week of the tournament.

March 1986 – Private Clubs magazine is launched as a vehicle for communicating with Members and reflecting Members' interests and experiences. Through the years, Private Clubs has received numerous awards and continues to engage readers through sophisticated editorials, photography and design.

February 24, 2010 – Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, is named as the Top Overall Golf Shop in the country by Golf World magazine in its Top 100 Golf Shops in 2010. The award marks the second consecutive year that Firestone is included on the list but the first ever receiving the top rating. Golf World bases its recognition on criteria that includes revenue per square foot/per round; shop appearance and layout; and articulation of unique and successful promotions and recent initiatives within the last year.

February 13, 2012 – ClubCorp announces plans to team with legendary Manhattan restaurant Le Cirque for a traveling dinner series. “An Evening with Le Cirque,” brings to life the Le Cirque experience in 10 ClubCorp private clubs around the nation. 

The dinners allow Members and the public alike to meet Le Cirque’s new chef, visit with members of the Maccioni family, which opened the original Le Cirque in New York, enjoy Le Cirque’s authentic and timeless French cuisine experience and experience the iconic wines of several benchmark producers from around the world. 

To further enhance the Le Cirque experience, design elements feature Le Cirque’s whimsical china, donned with their iconic monkey motif, flown in from New York, logoed menus and even the Le Cirque sugar sachets. 

The events are a great success - so much so that the traveling dinner series is brought back in 2016.

February 1966 – The Lancers Club, ClubCorp's first business club, opens at the top of LTV Tower in downtown Dallas. The mission of the club is to provide fine quality food and first-class service for Members seeking to entertain family, friends and business associates.

February 3-7, 1960 – Indian Wells Country Club in Indian Wells, California, is one of four courses to host the first-ever PGA TOUR Palm Springs Golf Classic, a tournament with a unique format taking place over five days at four different Coachella Valley-area courses. With a final score of 338, or 22 under, Arnold Palmer wins the inaugural event and sets a record that stands for the next 20 years. Palmer goes on to win the tournament four more times and the tournament itself becomes a staple on the PGA TOUR’s early West Coast Swing. 

The tournament (now the CareerBuilder Challenge) becomes well known for its celebrity pro-am – especially after Bob Hope, one of Hollywood’s greatest golfers, adds his name to the tournament in 1965. Through the years, the Bob Hope Classic celebrity pro-am attracts some of era’s biggest celebrities, including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, as well as “Classic Queen” ambassadors such as Debbie Reynolds, Lynda Carter and Barbara Eden.

Indian Wells Country Club, celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, served as one of the host courses until 2005. To commemorate their own 60th anniversary, the Club brought in the iconic Bob Hope Classic cart used during the tournament’s heyday and a fan favorite photographed with famous athletes, presidents, Hollywood stars and fans from around the world – including the Indian Wells Country Club management team.

January 27, 1986  ClubCorp opens Columbia Tower Club, a city club located on the top two floors of the 76-story Columbia Center in downtown Seattle. With the most breathtaking views of the dynamic cityscape of Seattle, Columbia Tower Club embraces and reflects the diversity and spirit of the city. One of the most talked-about club features, though, is the women’s restroom. With floor-to-ceiling windows in the stalls providing sweeping views of Mt. Rainier, Seattle Seahawks stadium and surrounding mountain peaks, the restroom, with its awesome views, is consistently rated among the best in the world.

January 20, 2000 – Pinehurst Resort, a ClubCorp resort, hosts one of the most successful U.S. Open Championships in history in June of 1999. Six months later, on January 20, 2000, the United States Golf Association (USGA) announces that Pinehurst will once again host the U.S. Open in 2005. Not since 1946 has the USGA opted to return so quickly to a previous site.

January 15, 2002 – ClubCorp opens Bear’s Best Las Vegas, a unique, daily fee golf course concept featuring hole replications of designs by golf legend Jack Nicklaus. The course is the first such project resulting from a 1998 joint venture agreement between ClubCorp and the Nicklaus companies to develop properties together. A second Bear's Best, in Atlanta, opens later that year with Jack Nicklaus opening the club by playing an inaugural round.

January 1, 2007 – KSL Capital Partners, a private equity firm, acquires ClubCorp from the Dedman family. Eric Affeldt, a former partner of KSL Capital Partners, joins ClubCorp as President and Chief Executive Officer.

In Eric’s first ClubCorp Online message (Jan. 2, 2007) to Employee Partners, he says that he is excited and honored to be taking on his new role and especially privileged to be taking the helm during a milestone year as ClubCorp celebrates its golden anniversary. He goes on to say that this celebration is not just about the number of years ClubCorp has been in the business. It's about celebrating 50 years of accomplishments, culture, innovations, influence, leaders, and value and setting the stage for the future.