Des Moines Golf and Country ClubHistory of Grounds and Greenkeepers
DMGCC Locations, Dates, Descriptions, and Architects Potential Members met on September 28, 1897 at the sporting goods store of W.P. Chase and Company to discuss a possible golf course. Harry Polk announced that his father had 40 acres at the end of the Ingersoll car line that could be used if the “new club” agreed to pay the $150 a year for the taxes on the land.
The owner of that property was Jefferson S. Polk
DMGCC, Location #1 The club was located at the intersection of Ingersoll Avenue and Polk Boulevard. The first club was a haphazard 18 hole with no definition. It later became a 9 hole golf course under the design of Warren Dickinson. The “new” 9 holes had a “modern look” with fairways, trees, bunkers and a few traps. On August 28, 1900 the first Iowa Golf Association Championship is held on the grounds of Des Moines Golf and Country Club.
Founders Photo Left to right, front row: club pro and manager, W.O. Finkbine, Dr. George Glick, W.D. Skinner, J.B. Weaver, (last man; unidentified) Left to right, back row: (1st man; unidentified), J.G. Berryhill, D.W. Corley, G.F. Henry, E.E. Clark, H.S. Nolan
DMGCC, Location #2 On October 2, 1903 then club president Warren Dickinson announces that the present golf links would be turned back over to Polk and the club had secured a 20 year lease on 98 acre site owned by the Gilchrest family. The new location would be adjacent to Waveland Golf Course on the North, 49th Street on the east, 56th street on the west and on the South a line between Woodland Ave and Waterbury Road would mark that boundary.
DMGCC, Location #2 December 4, 1903, Thomas Bendelow an employee of the Spalding Company comes to Des Moines to design the Des Moines Golf. Spalding just had released the new Haskell Golf Ball and the new “DMGCC” will be designed to accept the longer flying golf ball. Bendelow was known as the Johnny Appleseed of Golf Course Architects. He designed over 600 in the United States.
DMGCC, Location #3 Planning started in 1921 to move the club once again, because the 20 year lease was not going to be extended. Burt German Realty and 20 business men bought the land to start a housing area called “Country Club Knolls”. This is done behind closed doors and DMGCC is not given an option to buy. At this time a faction of golfers split off to build their own golf course on the south side of Des Moines called the Wakonda Club, the group was led by the Hubbells and Denmans. In 1923, a 147 acres is purchased from the Ashworth family just off of White Pole Road, later named Ashworth Road. The new DMCCC is designed and prepared by the Landscape Architect firm of Pearse, Robinson and Sprague. Warren Dickinson is also very prominent in the design of this new club and has designed many other clubs in the Midwest.
DMGCC, Location #3,Ashworth Road Club House taken in 1934
DMGCC, Location #3,Ashworth Road Swimming Pool
DMGCC, Location #3,Ashworth Road Club House Grounds 1934
DMGCC, Location #3,Ashworth Road Golf Course looking South
DMGCC, Location #3,Ashworth Road New Clubhouse built in 1946
DMGCC, Location #4 In 1965 the members learned that their current golf course was in jeopardy with the construction of a new Interstate through Des Moines, planning was then put into place to find an alternative site. The members purchased 475 acres in West Des Moines in 1966. 55 acres of the old site was sold to the Catholic Diocese for $320,000. 80 acres of the old site was sold for a commercial plaza, residential and apartment housing for $650,00 First 18 holes of the “New” DMGCC are dedicated in the spring of 1968.
Golf Course Architects Tim Liddy,Pete Dye with Rick Tegtmeier in 2009
DMGCC GreenkeepersA Greenkeeper in Webster’s Dictionary isdefined as: a person responsible for the careand upkeep of a golf course.
DMGCC Greenkeepers, #1 John P. Westgreen John P. Westgreen was hired as the greenkeeper for DMGCC in 1899. He is noted as the first employee of DMGCC. He left the club in 1907. He was a local Swede who was known as a good gardener, born in 1868. He later was known to help design the Interlachen Golf Course in Minneapolis and Westborough Country Club in St. Louis. 1920 US Census shows him as a resident of St. Louis, where he resided until his death.
DMGCC Greenkeepers, #2 Joseph A. Roseman Began his career in Philadelphia. Later worked at clubs in Lake Placid, New York, Des Moines, Iowa, Racine, Wisconsin, Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Chicago, Illinois. Worked at DMGCC from 1907-1916 as Golf Professional and Greenkeeper. He was credited as the inventor of a hitch to draw a 3 gang mower with horses to mow. He later adopted a Model T Ford to do the same thing. He was the owner and President of Roseman Mower Corporation at the time of his death.
DMGCC, Greenkeeper #3 Jack Welsh 1916-1922 He is listed as the Des Moines Golf and Country Club Golf Professional and Greenkeeper in January 1918 edition of Golfer’s Magazine. We do know that Welsh moved to the Wakonda Club in 1923 so the assumption is made that he was at the club from the time of Roseman’s departure to when the club split in 1923. 1st President of the Iowa Greenkeeper Assoc.
DMGCC, Greenkeeper #4 William Keating Worked at the Ashworth Road location from 1922 – 1957. 35 years. Bill was a farmer who farmed the land around that area, he had an interest in the golf course and he was asked to take care of the property His son John was involved in Globe Machinery who was a local Toro Distributor in Des Moines. His son in law, Norm Westfall was a DMGCC Employee and later became superintendent of the Wakonda Club. His grand daughter is Mrs. John (Patty) McGuiness, her father is Norm Westfall. Past President of IGCSA 1942-1945
Toro Roller Bill Keating purchased this piece for DMGCC in the early 1930’s from Globe Machinery. Only one known in existence today. DMGCC donated it to the Toro Company in 2008 and it now sits on display at their company headquarters in Minneapolis.
DMGCC, Greenkeeper #5 John Richard (Dick) Raher Little is known of this man. He worked from 1957 – 1964
DMGCC, Greenkeeper #6 William E. Byers Hired as a summer helper in 1957 while attending Valley High School. He worked under Dick Raher. He attended the University of Massachusetts and majors in turfgrass management. He is hired as Golf Course Superintendent in 1964. IGCSA Past President 1969. Builds 36 hole golf course at current location and is responsible for where we are at today. Host 1999 USGA Senior Open. Retires in 2007, entire career is spent at DMGCC.
DMGCC, Greenkeeper #7 Rick Tegtmeier Started in golf course maintenance in 1973. Worked as superintendent at Rockford CC, Urbandale CC, Hinsdale Golf Club and Elmcrest Country Club. Worked at DMGCC as North Course Superintendent 1983 – 1989. Did North Course Renovation in 1987. Hired as Director of Grounds November 1, 2006. Retiring Unknown ???