HOW IT ALL HAPPENED...
In 1893, Janesville resident Alexander Galbraith returned home from one of his frequent business trips to Scotland. With him he brought fifteen golf sticks, several dozen balls, and a sketchy knowledge of their use gleaned from a round or two of golf at St. Andrews.
He and five friends – Joseph P. Baker, Frank Fifield, Colin C. MacLean, Peter J. Mouat, and E.D. Roberts – decided to form a golfing club, thereby becoming the charter members. Galbraith donated the use of a meadow on his farm on Janesville's East Side, bordering Ruger venue. Sinnissippi – the Indian name for the Rock River – was adopted as the name of the club.
In 1895, the present location of the club was secured from the Woodruff family and an eighteen-hole course was plotted. The length of the holes and their general direction were determined more by the boulders, tree stumps, and brushwood on the property than by present-day golf landscaping. Dues were one dollar a year, all members were directors, and all served on the preeminent greens committee.
By the next year, 1896, membership had increased and dues were raised to five dollars per year – a 500% increase! (Even then there were protests that the club would lose members as a result of the increase. None resigned, however.) In this same year, the nine-hole layout was developed which resembled much of the present course. Number seven was, at that time however, a wilderness of brushwood and served as a source for soil to fill in the holes in other parts of the field. A clubhouse and locker room were also erected.
In 1899 the stone part of the present clubhouse was erected. To finance this, the Janesville Country Club was incorporated and capitalized at ten thousand dollars. The Sinnissippi Golf Club leased the property and the two clubs merged in 1916.
Janesville Country Club has the distinction of being the sixth country club established in the United States, the second in the Midwest, and the first in Wisconsin. Our mission is to enhance the life of its members. With over 120 years of tradition and experience, the Janesville Country Club offers championship golf, a full service outdoor pool, and outstanding dining and banquet facilities. We welcome new members that are seeking the best atmosphere and service available in the Janesville area.
Today, as you walk up and down the envied fairways lovingly nurtured by those early members, it is worth noting that one treasured constant remains – our acres of turf have never seen a plow. Rarely does a golf club anyplace in America have such a valuable heritage.
Bringing this heritage to life are a dedicated staff and a supportive membership.
If, as it is said, history is but a prologue to the future, the next hundred years are certain to be equally memorable and satisfying for your club and its membership.
HISTORY OF THE JANESVILLE COUNTRY CLUB
Your club has a unique and proud history.
1894 – Founding of the club: the first golf club in Wisconsin, second in the Midwest, sixth in the U.S. This was the same year that golf's foremost organization, the prestigious U.S. Golf Association, was formed.
1895 – The present grounds were purchased and the stone part of the present clubhouse was erected.
1901 – During a three-day tournament at the Janesville Country Club, the Wisconsin State Golf Association was formed. The first State Championship was Hamilton Vose, who, it should be noted “Kept his gutta percha golf balls packed
in ice which provided more resiliency.”
1916 – Up to this time, the club had been divided into two legal entities: the Sinnissippi Golf Club, and the Janesville Country Club. That arrangement was dissolved in favor of a single entity, The Janesville Country Club.
1935 – The Swimming Pool Association was formed and money was raised by individual members to build a pool. In 1944, that money was returned to donors and the pool was taken over by the Club.
1964 – Carol Sorenson, Janesville's most famous athlete, and clearly the Club's premier golfer, wins the British Women's Amateur Golf Championship at Prince's Golf Club, Sandwich, Kent, England. She was twenty-one years old.
1967 – A wind “resembling a tornado” tore off the roof of the Club (Tuesday, January 24th) and created extensive damage to the building and also uprooted dozens of large trees. Bartender Dave Williams was the only person in the building. Williams said he heard the strong winds, but did not realize anything serious had happened until “I felt cold air coming down the stairway. I went upstairs and there it (the open sky) was.”
1978 – Extensive remodeling of the Club was begun. A new building was built to the south of the clubhouse to hold a new pro shop and storage areas for equipment.
1984 – A new swimming pool was constructed.
1988 – Extensive remodeling of the Club was undertaken.
1993 – A new irrigation system, well and pump house was added to the golf course.
1994 – The Club celebrated its 100th Anniversary. A time capsule was placed in front of the clubhouse, to be opened July 4,2094. The Wisconsin State Golf Association Men's Amateur Championship was staged at the Janesville Country Club. A record score of 64 was shot in the third round by the eventual champion, Tom Strong.
1997 – The Club was chosen as a Qualifying Site for the U.S. Open Golf Tournament.
1998 – Our clubhouse was refurbished and a new dining area, the Galbraith Room was constructed.
2007 – Our clubhouse was renovated which included a new Trophy Room, stair tower, locker rooms, administrative area and kitchen on the first floor.
2011 – An athletic facility was added to the Club, providing members with additional healthy accommodations.
Sinnissippi Golf Club
Sinnissippi Golf Club 1894-1916
Janesville Country Club 1894-2015
|1894 Alexander Galbraith||1925 S.S. Solie||1955 Donald M. Erikson||1986 Charles J. Elliott|
|1895 Alexander Galbraith||1926 P.J.E. Wood||1956 Merle A.. Hanson||1987 Thomas J. Basting|
|1896 Joseph A. Baker||1927 P.J.E. Wood||1957 Sidney J. Thronson||1988 Don C. Holloway|
|1897 Charles L. Fifield||1928 P.J.E. Wood||1958 Dr. John W. Smith||1989 David R. Baus|
|1898 James C. Wilmarth||1929 B.M. Palmer||1959 Dr. J. Richard Schroder||1990 William Moxley|
|1899 W.A. Jackson||1930 Otto A. Oestreich||1960 John G. Mack||1991 Douglas (Duke) Kelly|
|1900 Peter J. Mouat||1931 Otto A. Oestreich||1961 T.S. Willis||1992 Curt Parish|
|1901 Albert Schaller||1932 William G. Wheeler||1962 William C. Cummings||1993 Robert Lisser|
|1902 Victor P. Richardso||1933 William G. Wheeler||1963 Walter W. Lindemann||1994 William Kennedy|
|1903 C.C. MacLean||1934 Kenneth B. Jeffris||1964 Robert E. Solie||1995 David MacDougall|
|1904 E.D. Roberts||1935 Edger A. Kohler||1965 Renile E. Bowles||1996 Suzanne VanGalder|
|1905 Wilson Lane||1936 George Kalvelage||1966 Albert F. Billings||1997 Richard Schumacher|
|1906 M.G. Jeffris||1937 A. Paul Owen||1967 Bernard J. Wortmann||1998 Gary Riley|
|1907 William G. Wheeler||1938 William J. Snively||1968 Dr. Gerald P. Gredler||1999 David Johnson|
|1908 William G. Wheeler||1939 Franklin C. Wilcox||1969 Gerard W. Mulder||2000 Doug Stevens|
|1909 John G. Rexford||1940 Roy B. Dean||1970 John B. Francis||2001 Larry Everhart|
|1910 H.G. Bliss||1940 A.R. Schaller||1971 James Fitzgerald||2002 Bruce Ginzl|
|1911 J.P. Baker||1941 George E. King||1972 Jerry C. Johnson||2003 Robert Mills|
|1912 J.L Wilcox||1942 George E. King||1973 John P. Cullen||2004 William Murphy|
|1913 H.H. Bliss||1943 Dr. George S. McRoberts||1974 Bruce Douglas||2005 Joe Nemeth|
|1914 Arthur J. Harris||1944 Allan L. Atwood||1975 Roman Fueger||2006 Phil Galassie|
|1915 Dr. F.B. Farnsworth||1945 Robert B. McRoberts||1976 Martin Kennedy Jr.||2007 Bruce Corner|
|1916 A.P. Burnham||1946 James A. Mustard||1977 John W. Gibb||2008 Charles J. Elliott|
|1917 Norman L. Carle||1947 James A. Mustard||1978 Dr. Robert Karraker||2009 William Kennedy|
|1918 Norman L. Carle||1948 A.R. Schaller||1979 Elliot J. Resneck||2010 William Kennedy|
|1919 David W. Holmes||1949 Eugene W. Tuhtar||1980 Ralph H. Weaver||2011 William Kennedy|
|1920 David W. Holmes||1950 Oscar T. Hagen||1981 Peter C. Jacobs||2012 William Kennedy|
|1921 George E. King||1951 Robert L. Jacobs||1982 Raymond W. Kitson||2013 David Babcock|
|1922 George E. King||1952 Floyd K. Yeomans||1983 Richard F. DiStefano||2014 David Riemer|
|1923 Roy E. Wisner||1953 Dr. Melville Smith||1984 Walter L. Kercho||2015 Sarah Klawitter|
|1924 J.L. Wilcox||1954 William H. Ryan||1985 Bruce R. Briney|