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Club History

A few years ago a local paper was cleaning out old file cabinets and found many of these great old photos of Elkdale. With the help of some of our oldest members and few golfers from the area we were able to add names to most of the people in the pictures. If by chance you recognize someone please email us at the contact at the bottom of this page. If you have an old photo of Elkdale, Elkdale members please let us know we would love to add it to this page. Club Pro Jack Widger added some of his more current photo's to give a then and now look.

The front nine at Elkdale was built in 1927, and is basically the same today, other than the original design #6 was longer and a par 5 and #7 was much longer. The back nine was added in the mid 1960's, some of that history of construction is near the bottom of this page. Throughout this history page where a current photo is available we added to compare then and now. Enjoy this walk back in time at Elkdale.

History01

Elkdale Clubhouse, Circa 1952.

History02

Elkdale Clubhouse, Circa 1953.

History03

Clubhouse photo from 2007 or 2008.

History04

Bar & Grill, Circa 1953.

History05

Pool construction, Circa 1958.

History06

Pool just before it was removed.

History07

Pool filled in March 2014.

History08

Pool filled in March 2014

History09

Hole #4 green - 5/2/1956.

History10

Hole # 5 upper tee that no longer exists. Several long time members have said there was a upper tee that is no longer there. They are not sure when the current upper tee was constructed.

History11

Hole #3, July, 1953.

History12

Green Superintendent Stan Malak 5/2/1956 - Looks to be mowing # 2 green. You can see # 7 green in upper back part of the photo.

History13

Working on # 2 fairway. You can see # 7 green and #8 tee area in the background.

History14

Mr. Rettburg, Es Brown, 7/27/1953.

History15

Looks to be putting on # 6 green.

History16

Photo above 7/20/1953.

History17

Henry Richenbauer & Guy Keeler Date around 1953.

History18

Bob Vreeland & Les Rettburg 8/31/1953.

History19

Harriet Wick, Bradford & Betty Bergreen Elkdale 7/19/1954.

History20

Hale Davis, Les Rettberg, Ray Colosomo, Ted Kochan 5/25/1953 - You can see # 1 fairway and # 1 green in the background.

History21

Dan Haskins, Larry Dana, Ray Bergreen, Bob Vreeland, Tom Skipton, 1954.

History22

Kay Setter, Mabel Polagy, 1954.

History23

Betty Cahill, Betty Begreen, Edna Northrup, Thelma Keeler, Al Palogi (Pro).

History24

Les Rettburg beats Hale Davis 8/16/1954.

History25

Ray Gray 8/18/1954.

History26

Left to Right: Mike Shane, Larry Dana, Jim Davis, Joe Stemirwoski, Ray Gray, Harolo "Crum" Robarts.

History27

Cubby Zaprowski, Ray Gray, Tom Killmuray 8/20/1954.

History28

Gene Isler, Stu Davis, Jim Davis, Mike Shane, ?????? , David Law

History29

Elmer Funk, Mildred Fitzgerald, Al Palogie, 1954.

History30

Larry Dana & Bob Vreeland 8/19/1954.

History31

Less Retburg & ????????? 7/18/1955.

History32

Hook Waldeck, George Lipps (Pro), Tom Kochan - Presidents Cup Winner 7/11/1955.

History33

Elmer Funk, & ???????? & ????????? 9/26/1955.

History34

Dana Fitzpatrick, Hale Davis, Don Schoonmaker, Les Rettburg, Cubby Zaprowski, Bob Vreeland, 1955.

History35

Tommy Kochan 7/9/1956 - Tom went on to be a PGA Professional at several clubs in the eastern part of the state.

History36

Tom Kochan & R.L. Anderson (Wellsville) 8/20/1956.

History37

Edna Northrup, Kay Cummings, & ????????? 7/30/1956.

History38

Bartlett Team of Olean Wins Brodie Kent Memorial Tournament. Far left: Stu Davis, Ray Snyder, Jim Davis, Dick Veder, Tony Ture ?? or Jim Barillo ??, Gene Eyler --- Ladies front row: Susan Kent & Helena Kent.

History39

Tommy Kochan (20 years old) 8/19/1957.

History40

Les Rettburg age 42, Ted Kochan age 22, Les beat Ted for the Club Title 1957.

History41

Ted Kochan, Hale Davis, Les Rettburg 8/25/1958.

History42

Back row: John Bell, Frank Higgins, Dick Veder, Jim Barrillo, Jim Davis. Front row: Stu Davis, Helleina Kent, Sue Kent 7/14/1958.

History43

Mike Shane & Jim Davis 8/17/1959.

History44

John Morton & Bob Vreeland 8/3/1959.

History45

Sue Mallory & Katie Barhite 7/25/1959.

History46

Wow...what a crew this is! July, 1959.

History47

Johnston Brodie, Polly Murdock, Tom Killmurry, Charlie Mentz.

History48

Opening Dinner, 1960

History49

Elmer Funk and Gene Fazio, 1960.

History50

July 1960

History51

Ladies Open Day Winners, 1960.

History52

News Article, 1957. Highlighted sections reads: Dr. Lawler was on of the organizers of Elkdale Country Club and served as its president several years. He was elected vice president when the club was organized in 1927. He was the first member of the club to score a "hole in one" having accomplished the feat on Aug. 13, 1929.

History53

Old score card (not sure of the date of this card). Look how they named the holes. Over the next few years we hope we can bring back these original names of each hole and then have a contest to name the holes on the back nine. As writer of this webpage (Jack Widger, Golf Professional) I will start by calling # 10 Elsen s Folly . Read farther down this page to hear where that term came from.

History54

Scorecard, 1953.

History55

Another old score card, year not known.

History56

Elkdale has Employed 11 Golf Professional in it s history.

History57

John Elsen pictured above and below, is credited for acquiring the land and spearheading the construction of the back nine in the mid 1960 s. Many stories have circulated about the purchase and construction of the back nine, but the one that stands out is that John, being a forward thinking man and a bright financial mind was able to buy the land and have the entire back nine built including green and tee watering system for $100,000. The story goes the members were less enthusiastic with John's vision and thought this was going to be the end of the club. Well obviously his vision was correct and the club has thrived ever since. In today's dollars its well known that to build just one green can cost as much as $100,000.

History58

John Elsen Long time Elkdale Member - Credited with getting back nine built. John s Son Dave remembers that the back nine project was dubbed Elsen s Folly as mentioned above his vision was not shared by all. Dave remembers frequent rides to Elkdale when John would visit the land owners and homes on the north side of Stone Chimney Road. Presumably discussing his vision and the purchase of the land needed. He also remembers John discussing his idea with Fancher Furniture executives (Fanchers was Salamanca s largest employers at the time, manufacturing fine furniture). Dave found some documentation showing John was President of Elkdale from 1965 to 1967. Some documents state the back nine was seeded in 1966 and opening in 1967.

John s Daugher Mary Kay remembers like her brother Dave John would frequently meet with the largest land owner of the land needed, an old widowed farmer. She recalls John telling a story that he would gain the trust of this lady and pen deal to purchase the land, but by the time John got to the bank to sign the papers she would have changed her mind. Mary Kay said this happened several times before the deal finally went through.


MORE HISTORY ---- CLUB CHAMPIONS OVER THE YEARS

Our data is not complete, but will update these lists if we can fill in the blanks.

pdfmens-champions.pdf
pdfwomens-champions.pdf

More photos and history will be added as we get them. Email the contact below if you have any relevant historical photo s or to add or correct a name on one of the photo s. Also we would be interested learning the name of the events or trophy s shown in the photo s.


Elkdale Country Club
4676 Route 353
Salamanca, NY 14779