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Brief History of Glen View Club

Glen View Club was the inspiration of William Caldwell, a Scotsman on the faculty of Northwestern University.  He proposed the need for a club of suitable privacy and superb conviviality to a group of businessmen in February of 1897.  The following month, the Glen View Golf & Polo Club was incorporated. By year’s end, Glen View’s first hundred members were enjoying Chicago’s second 18-hole golf course. 

The original property was purchased from the Dewes family, who immigrated from Yorkshire, England, and homesteaded the land in the early 19th Century. On the site selection committee was Daniel H. Burnham, renowned urban planner, who convinced noted landscape architect. O.C. Simonds, to become a member and lay-out the grounds.  The task of designing the first clubhouse was assigned to member, William Holabird, of the prominent architectural firm, Holabird & Roche.  (That first clubhouse was destroyed by fire in 1921.)  Today’s nearly 200 acres of rolling beauty stand as testament to these early visions. 

The initial golf course was designed by Richard Leslie, the Club’s first golf professional, in consultation with member and golf course architect, Herbert J. Tweedie.  William S. Flynn was commissioned for a redesign in 1922.  Over the ensuing ninety years, Glen View Club’s golf course, like most historic clubs, underwent a series of evolutions.  In 2013, award winning architect, Jim Urbina, was contracted as the Club’s current golf course partner, and most of Flynn’s original design elements have been restored. 

In 1899, Glen View Club hosted the first Western Open – one of five to be held on our course.  The Club hosted the 1902 U.S. Amateur, which was won by member, Louis N. James, the first American born golfer to claim the title.  In 1904, Willie Anderson won the third of his four U.S. Opens at Glen View Club.   

Noted members through the years have included U.S. Presidents, William Howard Taft and Warren G. Harding, Vice President Charles Gates Dawes, and renowned amateur golfer, Charles “Chick” Evans.  Chick was joined in the World Golf Hall of Fame by Jock Hutchison, who served as Glen View Club’s head professional for 35 years.

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