East Potomac Park Golf Course

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East Potomac Park Golf Course
Sign - East Potomac Golf Course - East Potomac Park - 2013-08-25.jpg
East Potomac Park Golf Course sign in 2013
Club information
Location Washington, D.C.
Type Public
Operated by Golf Course Specialists, Inc.
Website http://www.golfdc.com
Red Course (9 holes)
Designed by Robert White
Par 27[1]
Length 1,142 yards (1,044 m)
Blue Course (18 holes)
Designed by Walter Travis
Par 72[1]
Length 6,599 yards (6,034 m)
Course rating 70.5
White Course (9 holes)
Designed by Robert White
Par 31
Length 2,420 yards (2,210 m)

East Potomac Park Golf Course (also known as East Potomac Golf Course) is a golf course located in East Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., in the United States. The course includes an 18-hole course, two 9-hole courses, and a miniature golf course.[2] It is the busiest of the city's three golf courses (all of which are publicly owned).[2] The original nine-hole course opened in 1921, and the miniature golf course in 1930 (making it one of the oldest miniature golf courses in the nation).[3] Additional holes opened in stages between 1921 and 1925, leaving the course with 36 holes in all.

Services at East Potomac Park Golf Course include a pro shop, snack bar, putting greens, three practice holes, and a two-tiered, 100-stall driving range (26 of which are heated).[1] The course is generally flat and easy, although drainage can be poor.[1] The views of the city's many monuments and memorials from the course at East Potomac are considered some of the best in the city.[2]

Construction of the courses[edit]

Looking south along the Blue Course fairway at the Red Course fairway in 2013.

A municipal golf course in East Potomac Park was first proposed in February 1911, just as East Potomac Park itself was nearing completion.[4] The Washington Chamber of Commerce made a formal request of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in March 1913 to build a course, and the Corps gave its approval a month later.[5] But these plans were put on hold due to World War I. Temporary barracks for soldiers were built on the land, and the remaining space used for victory gardens.[6] But with the end of the war in sight, the Corps revived plans to build a golf course.[7] By March 1919, construction on a nine-hole course was well under way.[8] The course opened on March 15, 1921.[9] President Warren G. Harding was one of the first golfers to play the course.[10]

Between 1921 and 1922, a five-hole course was opened, and in the fall of 1922 four more holes were opened to bring the total to 18 holes.[11] Another nine holes opened on May 30, 1925.[12]

Like all but one golf course in Washington, D.C., from 1900 to 1955, East Potomac Park Golf Course was racially segregated, and barred African Americans from using the course. In 1941, several black golfers attempted to play at East Potomac Park Golf Course, but were attacked by whites throwing stones and threatening them with more violence.[13] African American golfers petitioned United States Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes for permission to play at the course, which Ickes granted.[14][15] In July, three black golfers (accompanied by six United States Marshals) played the course, but were jeered and threatened with assault.[14] But with Ickes unable to provide such high levels of protection all the time, African American golfers rarely attempted to play there until the city's golf courses were desegregated in 1955.[16]

High schools around the D.C. area (such as Gonzaga College High School) practice at and sometimes host matches at East Potomac Golf Course.[citation needed]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "District of Columbia," Washington Post, May 4, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c Wasserman and Hausrath, Washington, D.C., from A to Z: The Traveler's Look-Up Source for the Nation's Capital, 2003, p. 101.
  3. ^ Butko and Butko, Roadside Attractions: Cool Cafés, Souvenir Stands, Route 66 Relics, and Other Road Trip Fun, 2007, p. 30.
  4. ^ "Public Golf Is Urged," Washington Post, February 18, 1911.
  5. ^ "Favor Potomac Park," Washington Post, March 24, 1913; "Assures Golf Course," Washington Post, April 15, 1913.
  6. ^ Bednar, L'Enfant's Legacy: Public Open Spaces in Washington, D.C., 2006, p. 56.
  7. ^ "Col. Harts Plans to Help Golfers," Washington Post, March 25, 1917.
  8. ^ Keller, "Public Links to be Ready May 1," Washington Post, March 5, 1919.
  9. ^ "Potomac Park Golf Course Will Open," Washington Post, March 13, 1921.
  10. ^ "President Harding Paying Fee for Game Of Golf on Potomac Park Public Links," Washington Post, April 6, 1921.
  11. ^ "Add 4 Holes to Park Course," Washington Post, March 16, 1922.
  12. ^ "Golfers Here Throng Public Links Opening," Washington Post, March 15, 1925.
  13. ^ Dawkins and Kinloch, African American Golfers During the Jim Crow Era, 2000, p. 29.
  14. ^ a b Kirsch, Golf in America, 2009, p. 149.
  15. ^ Dawkins and Kinloch, African American Golfers During the Jim Crow Era, 2000, p. 29-30.
  16. ^ Kirsch, Golf in America, 2009, p. 149-150; Fitzpatrick and Goodwin, The Guide to Black Washington: Places and Events of Historical and Cultural Significance in the Nation's Capital, 2001, p. 52; Dawkins and Kinloch, African American Golfers During the Jim Crow Era, 2000, p. 30.

Bibliography[edit]

  • "Add 4 Holes to Park Course." Washington Post. March 16, 1922.
  • "Assures Golf Course." Washington Post. April 15, 1913.
  • Bednar, Michael J. L'Enfant's Legacy: Public Open Spaces in Washington, D.C. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.
  • Butko, Brian and Butko, Sarah. Roadside Attractions: Cool Cafés, Souvenir Stands, Route 66 Relics, and Other Road Trip Fun. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2007.
  • "Col. Harts Plans to Help Golfers." Washington Post. March 25, 1917.
  • Dawkins, Marvin P. and Kinloch, Graham Charles. African American Golfers During the Jim Crow Era. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2000.
  • "District of Columbia." Washington Post. May 4, 2007.
  • "Favor Potomac Park." Washington Post. March 24, 1913.
  • Fitzpatrick, Sandra and Goodwin, Maria R. The Guide to Black Washington: Places and Events of Historical and Cultural Significance in the Nation's Capital. New York: Hippocrene Books, 2001.
  • "Golfers Here Throng Public Links Opening." Washington Post. March 15, 1925.
  • Keller, John B. "Public Links to be Ready May 1." Washington Post. March 5, 1919.
  • Kirsch, George G. Golf in America. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2009.
  • "Potomac Park Golf Course Will Open." Washington Post. March 13, 1921.
  • "President Harding Paying Fee for Game Of Golf on Potomac Park Public Links." Washington Post. April 6, 1921.
  • "Public Golf Is Urged." Washington Post. February 18, 1911.
  • Wasserman, Paul and Hausrath, Don. Washington, D.C., from A to Z: The Traveler's Look-Up Source for the Nation's Capital. Sterling, Va.: Capital Books, 2003.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°52′13″N 77°01′35″W / 38.8703°N 77.0263°W / 38.8703; -77.0263