Summertime, seated on the patio at sundown, one is quickly taken in by the broad expanse of landscape; the majestic carpeting of fairways flanked by stately trees with emerald greens guarded by vivid white sand traps. In our state of serenity the beauty leads us to believe Nature was a golfer, for no one could model this part of Whitemarsh Valley.
Our history takes us to when William Penn granted land ownership in the late 1600's, a defining moment in American history which involved the area called White Marsh, so named due to the morning whitish aura, the mists arising from the many springs and meandering Wissahickon Creek. In 1777, General George Washington personally selected this suburban Philadelphia territory as a strategic campsite for the Continental Army.
The original clubhouse, whose stone was dated 1769, had a strong link with history; it served as headquarters of General "Mad Anthony" Wayne during the Revolutionary War and the Battle of Germantown. General Marquis de Lafayette also stayed here. Progress forced the replacement of the original clubhouse, rebuilt 200 years later in 1969. A major renovation then took place in the year 2000 to change the facade and better compliment our beautiful surroundings.
George C. Thomas purchased much of the land in 1892, later presenting it to his son George C. Thomas, Jr. At the time it was called "Bloomfield Farm". George C. Thomas Jr. was instrumental in designing the original golf course, later moving to California to become a renowned botanist and golf architect. On April 6, 1908, the charter of the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club was granted with the sale of land and the dedication of George C. Thomas Jr. who worked diligently to ensure the club's success.
The Club had its share of major tournaments, starting in 1918 when Whitemarsh held its first major national tournament, the All-American Open, won by Jock Hutchinson. The tournament was a substitute for the National Open, which had been suspended due to World War I. In subsequent years Whitemarsh held the Women's National Amateur Championship in 1933, won by Virginia Van Wie; a men's pro tournament called the True Temper in 1934: and the Women's National in 1936 featuring the famed Babe Didrickson
The Inquirer Tournament for touring pros was held in 1947 and 1948, won by Johnny Palmer and Joe Kirkwood respectively. During the 1948 tournament, Light Horse Harry Cooper set a course record by shooting a 30 on the back nine. In 1949, the USGA rated Whitemarsh the 3rd most challenging course, behind only Pine Valley and Merion.
Patty Berg won the Women's Western Open here in 1951. Two years later Louise Suggs won the Women's National Weathervane tournament. A notable club champion is Mrs. Annette Kane winning many championships along with the first club team championship in 1972.
From 1963 to 1980 a new tournament on the pro tour called the Whitemarsh Open, later the Philadelphia Classic and finally the IVB Golf Classic, started with Arnold Palmer being the first winner. Jack Nicklaus won in '64, '65 and '78. Nicklaus won his largest purse to date with $24,000. Tom Kite won his first PGA Tour event here in 1976, and he along with Gary Player, each shot a course record 63 during the Pro-Am session. The Champion's Cup for this event with a list of winners is on display in our Grille Room.
Whitemarsh has a history rich in heritage. With a membership that is sensitive to family oriented activities whether at the pool, on the golf course, or with fine dining; it's all here - welcome to Whitemarsh Valley Country Club!
Respectively submitted by: P. Giordano and R. McCuen