History of Park Ridge Country ClubDr. A.G. Buchheit headed a group of interested parties in establishing Park Ridge Country Club in 1906. After considering any number of sites, they settled on the Robb Farm located just north of Sibley Ave. and west of Prospect Ave.
Herbert J. Tweedie designed the original 9 holes. In 1911, the Club hired Tom Bendelow to develop 9 additional holes and incorporate 97 sand traps into the entire 18-hole layout. In 1915, the Club purchased an additional 20 acres in the northwest corner of the course. William B. Langford, a noted golf course architect of his time, was hired to rebuild the course. His work remains the dominant influence on the golf course today. Langford's career included work on Riverside Country Club (1917), Ridgemoor Country Club (1921), and Skokie Country Club (1938).
In 2001, the Club retained golf course architect David Esler to revise certain holes and relocate or redesign, as appropriate, all sand bunkers throughout the entire golf course. In so doing, he created a new, but traditional, look to the golf course that now requires more strategy on the part of the golfer.
The current clubhouse was completed in 1925. Although remodeled and somewhat expanded over the years, most recently in 1985, the basic "footprint" remains intact today.
In 1940, the Club constructed 3 tennis courts, bringing tennis onto the PRCC property for the first time. Early in its history, the Club operated courts on Northwest Highway, just west of Prospect Avenue, but did not have courts on its premises. In 2001, the Club's tennis facilities were expanded, with 4 new courts being built in a new location on its grounds, and a tennis house was added to enhance the program. In 2017, the racquet sports program expanded to a year-round operation with the addition of 4 paddle tennis courts and a “paddle hut” adjacent to the tennis complex.
The swimming pool complex was originally introduced to the Club in 1958. In 2001, the complex was remodeled, which included a new pool and an expanded sun deck and snack area.
PRCC has hosted numerous golf tournaments, both professional and amateur. The Women's PGA Western Open, one of the most prestigious women's tournaments of the era, was held at Park Ridge Country Club in 1944. The event was a 5-day tournament with 106 women in the field. Opening rounds were stroke play, cutting to 16 women, with the eventual champion being decided in match play. Hall of Fame golfer "Babe" Zaharias won the tournament with a final round 69, which remains the course record for women today. Hall of Fame golfer Patty Berg was defeated in the quarterfinals of match play. At the time of the tournament, Berg was a lieutenant in the Marine Corps, and the Club, with her assistance, sold war bonds during the event.
Park Ridge Country Club was the Midwest Regional qualifying site for the 1993 U. S. Senior Amateur and also the Midwest Regional qualifying site for the 1988 Women's United States Open. Most recently, it hosted the Western Junior Championship in June 2017.
In 1998, our Club became the permanent administrator and home to the Champion of Champions golf tournament for private golf and country clubs in the Chicago area. The Champion of Champions tournament features the current year's male club champion from over 70 private country clubs in the Chicago area in an 18-hole, stroke play tournament. The winner of the Champion of Champions goes on to meet the winner of the Public Course Tournament of Champions in the 36-hole, match play, Challenge of Champions tournament, which is co-sponsored by PRCC and the CDGA and hosted at PRCC.
Our Club also hosts the Challenge of Champions tournament for women in an 18-hole, match play tournament. This tournament is administered by the Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) and hosted at PRCC.
The course record from the championship tees is 64, set by PGA Professional Fred Funk in 2014. It was tied by amateur Sun-Yi Lu of Taiwan when playing in the Western Junior Championship in 2017. The previous record of 65 was held jointly by Rick Groessl, PGA Golf Professional at Park Ridge Country Club, and Mark O'Meara, famed PGA Touring Professional. Groessl shot his 65 in 1994 and O'Meara shot his in 1997, the year before he won the Masters and the British Open.
Notable golfers who have stepped to the first tee at Park Ridge Country Club include: