With football is finished, we can look forward next to basketball’s “March Madness” and, of course, baseball spring training — bringing with it the hope, for some of us, that this is the “next year” we have been looking forward to for so long.
But there is one sport that has no definite season — all it needs is decent weather. That sport is golf. I don’t know much about golf other than it is played by all ages and sexes, is competitive and you can choose your own “uniform” although it’s really not a uniform at all.
But I do know something about the local golf course — the Riverside Golf Club — and other golf-related venues that once called this area home.
On the east side of Desplaines Avenue, where the North Riverside fire station is now located, was Fred Wilson’s Golf Range, which we called “Stop and Sock” for some reason. The west side of the street is still home to the Riverside Golf Club, which was organized in 1893 and incorporated in 1897.
Having come in possession of a booklet from the Golf Club, dated 1906, there is a list of 13 charter members. Listed in the booklet are many familiar names from Riverside’s early history such as Driver, Chambers, Havemeyer, Hellyer, Ripley, Ward, Blayney, Sherman and Guthrie to name a few.
D.E. Richardson was the club’s first president, and the object of the club, according to the booklet, “is to engage in the sport of golfing and allied social enjoyments.” As I continued to read the club’s constitution, I came across what I had suspected as I looked over the names of the club’s officers, it was for males only, according to Section I of Article IV.
There was a place for women, but it definitely was the “boys club.” Regular members paid an initiation fee of $50 with annual dues being $50. There were different fees for family members and guests so they might enjoy some of the amenities.
Interesting reading was the section on the etiquette of golf and special ground rules. While many things change, many remain the same.
The booklet while not in the best of conditions is still a treasure and will soon be given to the appropriate historical collection.
The mystery diner is … Kudos to Riverside’s Pete Durbin who was the person who got The Chew Chew on Check, Please! last Friday. Good Taste, Pete!
Oops: Last week’s column on Jim McCarthy contained an error. Jim attended North Park College, not Lake Park. Thanks to Jim’s son, Michael, who picked up on it.