In late 1909, the Virginia Country Club was established when a 10-year lease was signed with the Alamitos Land Company for nearly 120 acres of land near a eucalyptus grove seven miles east of the city’s business district.According to a 1949 issue of “The Golfer” magazine, “The course itself was built in the middle of a sheep grazing pasture, with the clubhouse – a modest structure costing $3,500 – at the top of Reservoir Hill. It was a 116-acre site on the west sector of the Bixby Rancho. It was a nine-hole pasture-fairway course – the sheep kept it mowed”.
Reaching the course from downtown consisted of taking a ride up the nicely paved road that is now Redondo Boulevard to Zaferia Junction, but from there it was a surrey ride on a dirt road for the remainder of the trip. George Martin (who received $50 per month and a room) was the first golf professional and W. W. Beaver was the first Superintendent.
The first round of golf was played on April 30, 1910. What is now Recreation Park Municipal Golf Course was the Virginia Country Club for the next 18 years, and in 2010, the City of Long Beach and American Golf Corporation will be recognizing the Centennial Anniversary of “The Park”. Stay tuned for more information and recognitions, both here at www.cityoflongbeachgolf.com and in the Long Beach Golf Museum Room at Skylinks at Long Beach Golf Course.