Inglewood Country Club was founded December 12, 1919. Many members were prominent businessmen in the Seattle area. The Club was to be a test for top championship in the Pacific Northwest. A.V. Macan of Vancouver, B.C. was the architect along with Robert Johnstone of Seattle.
The first clubhouse was erected and the course was opened for play in July.
Al Espinosa “snagged” a position as Inglewood’s first Head Professional for $150 per month. After 4 years, he moved on to the “Tour” with considerable success. He was runner up in the 1928 PGA, and in the 1929 US Open. Bobby Jones made a famous 12 foot down hill “that rolled forever” at Winged Foot to tie Espinosa for the Championship. He also played on 3 Ryder Cup Teams starting in 1927 with Gene Sarazen and Walter Hagen.
In October of 1925, the original clubhouse caught fire and burned to the ground. Remarkably the current magnificent red tiled roof and stucco clubhouse was completed in 11 months and an “Open House” was held in late September.
PNGA Tournament - Article in the “Pacific Northwest Golfer” magazine by Alex C. Rose.
"The last word in golf course architecture. That’s what those in attendance at the Pacific Northwest Golf Association Championship will feast their eyes on when they gaze upon the eighteen holes of the Inglewood Country Club in Seattle, which will be the testing ground for this year’s major event during the week of June 17th.
What a transformation has been performed on that layout during the past few months. Inglewoodians always boasted that theirs was the best there was in golf courses in the Northwest. They were proud of their course. They had every reason to be. But the Inglewood course has just become a finished article!"
Members Jack Westland and Harry Givan compete on Walker Cup Team.
Between the debt from the clubhouse and loss of members due to the depression, Inglewood declared bankruptcy. Membership dropped to 48. Fortunately the club was able to reorganize and continue.
Members Jack Westland and Harry Givan compete on Walker Cup Team.
Seattle Open – The first Professional Tour event in the Pacific Northwest was played at Inglewood, MacDonald Smith was winner shooting 285 and winning a playoff against Ralph Gludahl.
The club was forced into a second bankruptcy in 1940. This time they had no choice and Joel Barron bought the club. He had to close shortly after that at the start of WWII. He was able to cover his expenses by leasing to the Coast Guard as a receiving station. Sheep were the closest thing they had to course maintenance.
The club reopened and the Barron’s hired Porky Oliver, a top tour professional, as club pro to promote the club membership. Several Northwest regional championships were hosted including the 1947 State Open. Porky played on two Ryder Cup Teams while he was at Inglewood.
Esquire magazine ranked Inglewood among the top ten in the nation as a true test of golf.
Ruth Jessen, a junior member, at Inglewood began her streak of championships winning the WSWGA title that year followed by the PNGA Championship.
The PNGA was held at Inglewood for the second time. Ruth Jessen repeated as the women’s division champion. Rod Funseth was medalist at 287 and Dick Yost, a recent member at Ingwood and newly named to the Walker Cup Team, was the men’s champion.
The Washington State Best-Ball was founded at Inglewood by Ray Koch and Paul Johanson. It was played exclusively at Inglewood for nearly 20 years.
WSWGA, Washington State Open and Washington Amateur were held on successive years.
A major overhaul of the clubhouse was done. The ballroom was extended into the veranda and rotunda plus a new bar and dining area completed in the area that is now the ladies locker room.
The PGA Pro tour returned as the Seattle Open. Large galleries followed the players. Bobby Nichols was winner.
The top women pros came to Inglewood in 1964 to play in the Valhalla Open. Betsy Rawls was the winner and Edean Ihlanfeldt was low amateur.
Seattle Open returned to Inglewood again. Won by Gay Brewer. Jack Nicklaus shot the same score as his locker number and failed to make the final days cut. There is an autographed photo Jack and Locker 77 in the men’s locker room.
Barron's lease was becoming a heavy, limiting burden. The cost of the lease was restricting the club and a number of members left to form Sahalee. Fortunately an agreement to purchase the club was reached. The members had a difficult time meeting the terms of the sale but were able to get a final agreement in 1975.
US Amateur won by Bill Sanders in Los Angeles. Shortly before that he had won the PNGA. The next year he played on the Walker Cup and eventually played a number of years on the tour.
Washington State Open at Inglewood was won by Don Bies. Don is also known for Bies landing on #4.
The State Open returned and our current pro, Mike Gove was the winner. Mike was a collegiate all American, Walker Cup Player plus a few years later the Hudson Cup. He spent several years on the PGA Tour also.
The first of a long series of GTE Senior Tour Championships were played at Inglewood. All the “names you knew” came and put on a terrific show. Chi Chi Rodriguez won the first event.
The mortgage was retired and the members began planning the clubs renovation after years of deferred maintenance.
The membership voted to restore the 1926 clubhouse rather than build a new one. It has been a rewarding process, recovering much of history and tradition in the process. The building is being considered for national historic registry status.
Among the pros that played in tournaments at Inglewood, Arnold Palmer was by far the favorite. He played every year in the GTE Seniors. The large galleries had the thrill of seeing Arnold birdie the last hole to shoot his age for the first time.
The Fred Couples Invitational was played as a replacement for the GTE and Ernst events that had been discontinued. Several top players including Phil Mickelson competed. The event was held again the next year.
The PNGA returned to Inglewood for their Centennial tournament. The course proved challenging. Mike Haack and Brian Flugstad member “favorite sons” and Mike was runner-up to Michael Beard, son of professional Frank Beard.
Renovation continued as an irrigation holding pond was added on #18 along with a new irrigation system and a maintenance building was added. A sanding program was started for better winter playing conditions and improved turf, the course is now in quality condition nearly every day.
Inglewod elected to continue its tournament tradition and sponsored a number of events for USGA competitions. Plans are being made for a national level USGA event for the club's centennial in 2019:
2004 - USGA Senior Amateur qualifying
2007 - US Senior Open Qualifying
2009 - USGA Women's Amateur Qualifying
2011 - USGA Senior Amateur Sectional Qualifying Results
2012 - LPGA Legends Tour Event – Nancy Scranton, Winner
2012 - Hudson Cup Match
The club largely completed the renovation of the physical plan with the replacement of the 1962 circular Pro Shop. The new building has the same red tile and stucco design as the clubhouse. The last step was refinishing the men’s locker room . A men’s lounge was also added in a wing of the locker area that was the original Pro Shop occupied by Walter Pursey.
Inglewood was finished with major renovation projects. The last was the range and practice area.
With the course and clubhouse in top condition, Inglewood is approaching a finished product. There were many bumps along the way, highs and lows, but now with no debt and cash reserves, Inglewood is able to plan its own future.