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Our Story at Statesville Country Club

The History of the Statesville Country Club goes back to 1921 when C.V. Henkel, C.H. Turner and Dan Ausley planned a nine golf golf club. The name of the first organization was the Statesville Developing Club. Many donations were received from many business and professional men in Statesville. Among those were eighty-five acres of land for which Mr. and mrs. Hugh Cowles' gave the deed on April 1, 1925 this property being located east of Statesville on the Salisbury Road. Mr. C.H. Turner furnished the equipment and Trip Barnhard cleared the land. Mr. Turner also gave much of his time and money  in making a success of the golf course. Seth Raynor designed the course and the first greens were of sand. 

In 1930, after financial difficulties, The Golf Developing Company was sold to a group of interested citizens. The names of those men were: Fred Deaton, Frank Deaton, E.R. Rankin, Clarence Stimson, Sr., H.O. Steele, Gleen Muse, C.E. Keiger, L.L. Lanier, J.G. Shelton, C.V. Henkel, Jr., A.E. Welborn, J.B. Cooper, Flake Sherrill and W.A. Thomas. The new organization was known as Statesville Golf Company. Fred Deaton was president and Flake Sherrill was secretary and treasurer. This group took over the $40,000 indebtedness and held the club property together until 1944. Some of the above owners dropped out over a period of years and left eight persons owning the property. Between the years 1930 and 1944, a small group of members operating as the Statesville Country Club, by a mutual agreement with the owners managed the golf course and facilities.

In December, 1944, the last meeting of the Statesville Golf Company was held. The club property at that time was sold to the Statesville Country Club for $22,000 and the deed turned over to the members. When the club recognized each former owner was issued a share of stock. Above purchase was financed by interested citizens purchasing a share of stock at a fixed sum. In 1944, when A.B. Raymer was serving as President, many meetings were held and 150 citizens of Iredell and surrounding counties formed Statesville Country Club, Inc. This organization was run by a Board of Governors, consisting of nine men elected by the stockholders, with each serving a period of three years with three new members going on each year.
In 1946 many improvements were made. The golf course was redesigned, the club house remodeled, a swimming pool was built, two tennis courts were completely rebuilt, and a house for the Club manager was erected. As the city grew, the club grew likewise and there was need of an eighteen hole golf course. Since the city of Statesville had grown around the present nine-hole course, property was not available at this site.

In 1957 a committee was set up headed by L.A. Parks. After careful study, 768 acres of property, five miles east of Statesville, was purchased. The land was laid out in a residential area leaving room for an eighteen hole golf course. Sub-division design and layout was done by L.B. Grier of Statesville. J.M. Wagner, Charles Horton, A.L. Mills, Jr. and Fred Graves composed the Golf Development Committee whose responsibility was to see that the project was developed in the most economical and usable manner for the course, clubhouse and residential area. The course was designed and built by golf architect, R.G. McKay of Morristown, Tennessee. Mr. McKay was the first person to bring bent grass to the South and had designed and built golf courses for over 40 years. The 768 acre golf course project was financed by members of the Statesville Country Club buying lots in the residential sub-division located around the golf course and in the immediate area. 

The golfers of Statesville and the surrounding counties owe much to the golf professional at Statesville Country Club. Pat Denofrio was at Statesville Country Club for 15 years, and without his help, the course would have deteriorated beyond repair. George Jarno, Bill Ott, Victor Callendrio and Jack Helms are other golf professionals who have been at Statesville. The Club Membership grew from 150 members in 1944 to 350 members in 1983, 250 being stockholders, 50 associate members and 50 golf members. In 1961, the original club house on the Salisbury Road was destroyed by fire. By that time, the new golf course was in operation. A small house was built where the cart shed now stands to house the golf shop and snack bar until the new clubhouse was completed.
The planning committee for the club house was Cevil, Graybill, Chairman, William Allison, A.W. Fanjoy, Paul Meech, J.C. Shaw, Montgomery Steele and Mary Wagner. It was designed by the Architectural Firm of Adams and Pegram, and constructed by P.S. West Construction Company. L.A. Parks, Sr., was President of the club during these years when the property was being bought and the club constructed.He was never properly recognized for all the time and effort he unselfishly gave to these projects. In 1963, Mr. and Mrs. Leslie White, who came from Virginia, were hired to be the new club managers. Their assistance was very helpful in getting the club ready to open. The club was officially opened in January, 1964. With the White’s knowledge of club management, decorating, the social graces, and years of experience, the club became successful, growing to 400 members, and became a vital part of the serving with love and loyalty until 1975. Cecil McFadden and Andrew Jones served as managers from 1975 until 1980, when Gerald Mills was hired. As the club activities increased, more space was needed for dining and entertaining. A renovation program was started in 1976, with Dan Mitchell serving as President of the club at that time. The kitchen was enlarged, and equipped with all new appliances, and a much needed storage space was added. A large new formal dining room was added, also a spacious room for a t.v. and cocktail lounge, and rest rooms for the area. A terrace was built outside for outdoor entertaining. The original part of the club was repainted and new carpet was installed.

Two major golf tournaments have been held successfully at the Statesville Country Club. In 1968, the North Carolina Women’s Golf Association held its annual state championships here with Mary Wagner, as Chairman. In 1981, again they held this annual tournament here, with Frances Fanjoy as Chairman. 

Golf Professionals who have served here since 1960 are: Frank Sullivan, Bill English, Odell Massey, Tommy Albin, Bobby Becknell and Johnny Palmer. Mr. Palmer played on the Professional Golf Association of America’s Tour for eleven years. He won eight tour titles, and was a member of the Ryder Cup team one year. He was elected to the Carolina’s Professional Golf Association Hall of Fame and the North Carolina Sports Hall of Game.