Grover Cleveland Golf Course is a 5,621-yard par 69 located in the City of Buffalo and was the Country Club of Buffalo from 1902-1925. The course was laid out by club member Ganson Depew. In 1910 the Country Club of Buffalo began its attempt to secure the Open Championship. With Golf Architect Walter Travis’s input and suggestions, the course was awarded the 18th annual Open Championship of 1912. The tournament was won by defending champion John McDermott. In 1911 he was both the youngest and first American to win the U.S. Open. In 1917-18 Golf Architect Donald Ross redesigned the course. The course is the only public golf facility in North America to be designed by two of the most famous Golf Architects of the early 20th century. In 1925 the Country Club of Buffalo sold the course to the City of Buffalo and it was renamed Grover Cleveland Park after the former Buffalo Mayor and United States President. In 1947 the City of Buffalo transferred 16 ½ acres of the course to the U.S. Government for a Veterans Hospital. Three holes and part of a 4th were lost. Three new holes (the 7th, 15th and 16th) were added. In 1982 the City of Buffalo sold Grover Cleveland Park to Erie County for $1.00 and it was renamed Grover Cleveland Golf Course and Park.
Nine of the “1912 U. S Open” holes still exist (today’s 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 12th and 13th holes) and the course is noted for its very difficult green complexes designed by Donald Ross including the 3rd, 14th, 17th and 18th holes. The 17th hole “Redan” style par 3 is annually rated as one of the best par 3’s in Western New York. Recent renovations have seen the installation of a fully automated watering system, restoration of the fescue rough to delineate many of the fairways that make it reminiscent of courses on the British Isles and rebuilding of many of the bunkers to designs that harken back to the days of Travis and Ross. Whether you are new to the game or an “old pro”, you will enjoy testing yourself out at the home of the 1912 U.S. Open.