Thirty-eight foursomes took part in the Centennial Golf Day on a recent Saturday at the Oneonta Country Club, not just to commemorate some of the club’s history, but also to enjoy a bargain that included greens fees, cart and a lunch for $19.13 per foursome.
One hundred years ago this month, the Oneonta Country Club was only in the discussion phase of its history, but the club is celebrating that formation this Friday and Saturday with a cocktail party and dinner dance. George B. Baird and Kendall E. Morgan headed a committee to see if Oneonta was interested in such an organization, and sought out memberships.
The Oneonta Herald in August 1913 reported that the membership numbers had reached 84 and were growing quickly. “Country Club Seems Assured” was the headline over an article, as $15,000 worth of memberships was necessary to make the club a reality.
Sure enough, the goal was reached, and the articles of incorporation were taken out on Saturday, Sept. 6. In that short month, a site had been chosen and purchased, the J.S. Bull farm on what was then called the Oneonta Plains.
Country Club membership in 1913 meant you had a prominent name and finances in the community. Names such as Bugbee, Dewar, Elmore, Ford, Fairchild and Keyes were members and directors of the newly formed club. It was very exclusive, all men and there were always waiting lists to get in.
Today’s Oneonta Country Club is anything but exclusive. The economy and demographics have changed the way Oneonta or any country club operates in the 21st century. Bruce Milavec is today’s club manager, and said while the club is still member owned, it is a public organization. The club has about 185 members today and new members are welcomed. The golf course has a public league and members of the general public can play a certain number of games per year on the course.