America’s First 18-Hole Golf Course

America's first 18-hole golf course constructed on a sheep farm in Downer's Grove. Pinterest

America’s first 18-hole golf course constructed on a sheep farm in Downer’s Grove. Pinterest

Wednesday, July 19 — The first 18-hole golf course in the United States opened this week in 1893 in Downer’s Grove, Illinois. The course was an expansion of an existing 9-hole facility. The Chicago Golf Club soon moved to a new course in nearby Wheaton, and the Downer’s Grove course has since reverted to 9 holes.

The sport of golf arrived on these shores from Scotland, and there is evidence of golfing in the late 18th century in South Carolina and Georgia. Today, over 25 million Americans play the game at least once a year at the 11,280 golf courses and country clubs across the nation. These establishments employ over 295,000 people in the nearly $21 billion per year pursuit of what a frustrated player called “a good walk spoiled.”

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

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