The town of Owosso was a vibrant community in the 1920’s with strong industry expansion and a growing population. In 1923, local business leaders united to create a member owned country club leading to the establishment of the Owosso Country Club. Included in the initial charter membership of 116 members is local author James Oliver Curwood whose residence, the Curwood Castle, was completed that same year.
The selected property was purchased for a cost of $7,200 for construction of a 9-hole course by architect Tom Bendelow. Bendelow was credited with designing over six hundred courses in a 35 year span, including Medinah (Chicago, IL) and Olympia Fields (Atlanta, GA). The first tee shot on the new course was hit on August 16, 1924 by club President B.A. Hathaway. That ball is now embedded in history in the fireplace masonry in the clubhouse dining room.
In 1929, plans to expand the course to 18 holes began with the purchase of 55 acres from the King estate. Head Golf Professional, Jake Fassezke led the design of the new nine holes that included a unique island green along the Shiawassee River for hole fifteen. The property entrance was enhanced with the addition of pine trees planted along the driveway known as “Sackrider Row” after Charles Sackrider.
The course layout evolved throughout the 1930s as the front nine maintained a links-style layout and the back nine remained heavily wooded. In 1938, $10,000 in bonds were sold to members to refinance the debt owed to the bank as the Great Depression consumed the 1930’s. In the 1940s, the club expanded its amenities with the addition of a wading pool on the south side of the clubhouse. Charter member, Mrs. Ag Hasse was honored in 1949 for her contributions to the club. Hasse formed the OCC Women’s Association and organized numerous activities including interclub matches.
Membership grew to more than 300 members in the 1950’s and included a waiting list. A new kitchen and grill room was built on the northeast corner of the clubhouse and the original kitchen was converted into what is now the women’s lounge.
During June of 1975 Arnold Palmer made a guest appearance as part of his promotion for Woodard’s Furniture. Palmer provided a swing clinic for over 350 of his fans before carding an even par-36 on the front nine.
The first OCC Women’s Invitational was held in 1981 with over 80 participants. The 1980s brought youth club tournaments to the club under the guidance of club pros such as Bernie Schirle and Charlie Riley.
The current day membership remains true to the mission of its founders to continue a tradition of excellence and expand on the rich history established by the dedicated members of the first century at Owosso Country Club.