Ottumwa Country Club is a club rich in history and tradition. It was established in the year 1900 and is among the oldest golf clubs west of the Mississippi River. Ottumwa Country Club was established on the principles of providing its members a place to golf and participate in other outdoor recreation as well as a place for members to come together and socialize.
In the late 1890’s, Ottumwa business man Frank Clark, who had recently visited New York City, came back to Ottumwa very enthusiastic about the game of golf after playing the first public golf course in the nation. Mr. Clark, who owned a drug store in Ottumwa, began organizing a group to raise the money for procurement of a pasture to play the game of golf. They found a farmer who owned 44 acres of orchards and pasture and he agreed to lease, and eventually sell, his property as long as he could continue to graze his animals on this land. The Ottumwa C.C. charter members agreed with the farmer’s stipulation since they needed something to keep the golf course trimmed down anyway. After a mower and metal flag poles were purchased for the greens, the golf course was in business.
Later golf course architect, Tom Bendelow designed and shaped the front nine to which many of the features remain today. Bendelow was one of the earliest pioneer golf course architects and was known as the Donald Ross of the Midwest with over 400 golf designs to his credit. Bendelow’s designs include such well known golf courses such as Medinah and Olympia Fields. The back nine was built in 1960 and today the club facilities rival the best in the state. The golf course is presently an island of green and trees flanked by residential housing and Indian Hills Community College.
Along with our championship golf course, Ottumwa Country Club provides its members with a full service clubhouse, tennis courts, swimming pool and a full social calendar. There have been many changes to Ottumwa Country Club since its inception but the dedication by its members and staff to uphold the traditions and principles from which the club was started has never swayed. We are excited about what the future holds for Ottumwa Country Club and look forward to making it an even better place for sport and socializing in the years to come.