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A Brief History of Effingham Country Club

The Board of Directors of Effingham Country Club would like to present to you a “history in brief” of the Effingham Country Club. We are very proud of our club, its features and above all the members themselves.
In the beginning, there was only a small building that stood where the tool shed is now located. This building had a porch where you could purchase sandwiches and soda. Later, a new clubhouse was built that had a screened in porch on two sides. The porch was equipped with chairs and card tables. Also in the early days, golf matches were held during the summer with neighboring towns such as Casey, Greenup, Vandalia, Charleston, Mattoon and
Sullivan. Effingham golfers would travel to these clubs and a return match would be held at Effingham. At that time, Effingham was the only club with sand greens.
The following are some of the significant events that are a part of our history that we would like to present to you in a chronological sequence:


The Effingham Country Club was incorporated and consisted of a 9-hole course with sand greens. Caddies used "desert mops" to smooth a path for putting.


This year was famous for the "caddy strike". At that time there was a wage dispute 35 to 50 cents per round. The caddies had their own building, which was a 20 x 20 shelter on the parking lot. When there was no school, there were at least 12 to 20 caddies. Some of these caddies included Mort Harris, Koonie Konrad and Herb Austin.


The club now had 100 members. Many members had their names imprinted on their golf balls. When caddies or members found a ball, it was returned to a box on #1 tee to be reclaimed by its owner.


Additional land was purchased for what now is #6 and # 7 holes.


World War II caused a drop in membership.


Sand greens were replaced with grass greens on the original "9" holes. The membership had "work details" to help maintain the course. The annual dues were doubled from $30 to $60 and about half of the membership resigned-most to return several years later. Sometime in the early 50's, the lake had to be drained due to an oil pipeline break. To compensate the club, the oil company installed the water system and possibly paid for part of the grass greens.


The club now had 150 members. One of the many renovations took place with the clubhouse.


Additional land was purchased for an additional 9 holes and construction was begun.

The club sold 156 bonds at $1,000 each that were later retired.


Limited play started on the new 9 holes, however, the new 9 wasn't officially open until 1969.


A new halfway house was constructed.


The old pool was removed and replaced with a new modem pool. Additional land was purchased for future course realignment.


The east 42 acres, more or less, of the Effingham Country club were annexed to the City of Effingham. The Club obtained a City, State and Federal liquor license. Prior to this, the Club operated without a liquor license in the form of a "Bottle Club" in accordance with State law. A severe drought brought about a water shortage that was almost a disaster. An extensive lake renovation project took place whereby the lakes were dredged and deepened to greatly expand the water capacity. This project was completed in 1989.


The club has 375 members.


The club has 375 members.


The club has 390 members.


Property on #13 was sold. Lake dredging and a "double row" irrigation system was installed.


Zoysia grass was sprigged into the back nine fairways. The zoysia grass conversion was started because of an annual disease that killed the rye grass in the heat of the summer.


Concrete cart paths were constructed on the back nine.


The front nine reconstructions and building of a new clubhouse were brought to the membership for a vote. Both projects passed. Front nine reconstruction project was awarded to Crystalyn Corporation. The course architect was Martin Golf Services.


Reconstruction of the front nine began in January. A new cart shed and another maintenance shed were constructed in March. Course reconstruction efforts were set back by 7 inches of rain on July 4th. Course reconstruction was completed in the fall.

Front nine fairways were sodded with zoysia grass.  The old clubhouse was demolished in September by burning and was used as a training fire for local fire departments. Construction of the new clubhouse began in October.


The new clubhouse was completed in April. The new front nine was opened for play on Memorial Day weekend.

Total cost for course reconstruction, including new maintenance shed, was $1,412,000.

Total cost for clubhouse, parking lot and new cart shed was $865,000.


Tim Nugent, international course architect, was hired and a master golf course improvement plan was developed.


Under the direction of Mr. Nugent, Robbins construction began and completed 95% of the golf course renovation.


Golf course renovation was completed.


Private Cart Sheds Remodeled.


Course Architect, Bob Lohmann hired for course enhancement of 5 golf holes.  Course enhancement started and completed.  XGD drainage project and drill and fill process completed on greens 12, 15, 16, and 17.  Potable water line supplied to halfway house.


Bob Lohmann hired to remodel the par 3 number 2.  


Hole number 2 opened on May 19th.  New Irrigation Controllers, practice mats on the back-range tee.


Club house remodel.


Artificial tee line installed on the back of the main tee line.


Tee renovation project started transitioning the bent grass tees to Zoysia tees.


Tee transition continued.  #4 and #5 drainage project completed.