Timuquana Country Club
|Location||4028 Timuquana Road
|Operated by||Timuquana Board of Governors|
|Tournaments hosted||2002 USGA Senior Amateur Championship|
|Timuquana Golf Course|
|Designed by||Donald Ross (1923)
Robert Trent Jones (1948)
George Cobb (1957,1963)
David W. Gordon (1968)
Bobby Weed (1996)
|Course record||62 (May 6, 2005)|
Timuquana Country Club is a private golf and country club in Jacksonville, Florida. Located in Jacksonville's Ortega neighborhood, it was founded in 1923. Its golf course was originally designed by legend Donald Ross, and members have included PGA Tour professionals Steve Melnyk and David Duval. It has hosted various golf tournaments since its opening, including the 2002 United States Senior Men's Amateur Golf Championship.
On May 25, 1921, a group of 50 prominent gentlemen met at the Seminole Social Club in downtown Jacksonville to consider the organization of a new club to provide a superior golf facility. They adopted the name "Timuquana," a variation of the name of the Timucua, a Native American people who once lived along the St. Johns River. Their charter was approved on February 12, 1923 and within three months, membership had grown to 185. Timuquana Country Club's first president was John L. Roe. Donald Ross, the most noted golf course architect in the United States, was engaged to design and build the course in 1923. After playing the new course, two club members suggested that additional sand traps on the fairways would enliven play, and donated them. Vic Foreman was the club's golf pro for 43 years, from 1925-1968.
Several professional tournaments were played at Timuquana soon after the course was built, attracting the best golfers of the era, and exhibition matches featured Johnny Farrell, Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen and Horton Smith. The course hosted the Southern Amateur championship several times, and the 1928 Florida State Amateur Tournament was won by club president Al Ulmer at Timuquana.
The years during the Great Depression in the United States were difficult for the club. Membership fell to 51, and the club could not afford a manager. The club reorganized their financial affairs in 1936, cutting costs to a bare minimum, and survived. Bobby Jones was stationed at Naval Air Station Jacksonville during World War II and often played golf at neighboring Timuquana. Robert Trent Jones, another well-known golf course designer, worked with club members in 1948 to develop a ten-year blueprint for improving the course. Many of the suggestions were implemented during the 1950s, including adding a lake on the 5th, which the tee shot must traverse. This became the course's signature hole.
Sectional qualifying rounds were held at Timuquana for several USGA Senior Amateur Championships, and the US Amateur Championships in 1955, 1966, 1970, 1973 and 1976. George Cobb tweaked the course design in 1957 and 1963, as did David W. Gordon in 1968, who added a lake to the 6th hole. In the seventy years since Donald Ross built the course, the changes introduced by other architects to "freshen" the course had erased the characteristics that made the original design playable and enjoyable. Bobby Weed was tasked in 1995 with restoring the Ross design, but there was no blueprints or design notes. His only reference was a 1943 aerial photograph from the nearby Navy base. On three holes, Workers found groups of bushes planted as 150-yard markers in 1923 that were now 20 yards in the rough. Between April and October 1996, Weed cleared brush and cut down 800 trees that had encroached on the fairways, restoring the angles that Ross intended.
At the end of the 1990s, new federal rules required more efficient use of water for irrigating non-agricultural land. The southern property line of Timuquana Country Club abuts the Naval Air Station Jacksonville, and they partnered with the Navy to use the base's treated wastewater effluent for golf course irrigation, which began in the fall of 1997.
Two clay tennis courts were created in 1933 but were little used and eventually removed. In 1963, the club built four tennis courts and later added four clay courts. A large number of members participate in the club's tennis league, which is active year-round.
Although a swimming pool had been proposed from the earliest days of the Club, it was not until after World War II that one was built for and enjoyment of the members and their families. In 1963, the Club added a new swimming pool with family and lap areas. In 2000, the poolside grille was given a facelift and new restroom facilities were added.
Many members enjoy boating on the St. Johns River, although the club does not provide marina services. Alfred I. duPont provided the club's first dock as a gift in 1929. That structure was replaced in 1949, and in early 2002, a new floating dock system was installed for transient docking.
A clubhouse was built in 1923, but by the 1950s, it became apparent that the Club had outgrown the structure. The issue was studied by nearly every club board and committee, and the Permanent Improvement Committee created a plan that involved rebuilding some sections, remodeling others and constructing new additions. It was approved by the membership and construction began in June 1958. The resulting Southern-style clubhouse, which opened December 16, 1958, was designed to resemble Tara from the movie Gone with the Wind. The clubhouse includes a fine dining facility (the Skyline Room), meeting and banquet rooms and casual eating options. Social events, traditions and activities are scheduled year-round. A new men's lounge, known as the "19th Hole" and maintenance/storage buildings were constructed in 1963. The club's 75th anniversary was observed in 1998.
In March 2000 members approved an 21,000-square-foot (2,000 m2) expansion to the club house, costing $2.4 million. KBJ Architects designed and managed the projects, which included:
- the men's grille and cocktail lounge was renovated
- expanded "Pow Wow Room" for casual dining
- a new elevator and handicapped accessible toilet facilities were added to improve facilities for the disabled
- a Heritage Gallery was created to showcase trophies and the club's history
In September 2002, Timuquana hosted the United States Senior Men's Amateur Golf Championship.
- Timuquana Country Club Jacksonville Golf
- "Club History" Timuquana Country Club
- "Private Course: Timuquana Country Club" Links magazine
- "Timuquana Country Club" Golf magazine, Course profiles
- Weed, Bobby:"Course Hole by Hole Overview" 2002 USGA Senior Amateur, June 27, 2002
- "About the club" Tinuquana Country Club
- "Renovatoin Timuquana Country Club" KBJ Architects, 2001
- Bamberger, Michael: "Jacksonville lives up to its reputation as a golf town" Golf magazine, June 12, 2009