Club History1837 - 1922
In 1837, the US Government deeded roughly 350 acres bordering Tippecanoe Lake to John Henwood. In the years following it was subdivided and sold to various parties, including a lakeside parcel sold to Tippecanoe Lake Realty Company in 1922. This company was formed to sell stock and promote Tippecanoe Lake Country Club.
That project suffered some difficulties and it was not until April 15th, 1926 that the golf course officially opened. It was hailed as one of the more beautiful and “sporty” courses in America. The original designer of the course was Harry Schopp. That same year the club house held its grand opening on June 11th.
1926 - 1935
In 1927, Mark Honeywell from Wabash became president. The stock market crash and subesequent Great Depression were very difficult times for everyone, including TLCC. For 17 years Mr. Honeywell remained president and frequently donated money to the club to cover for lack of finances. We owe him a great debt of gratitude
The club took out a liquor license in 1936 and promptly turned a profit of $1,278 from the revenue! Slot machines were added downstairs and generated very handsome profits for several years. A note from 1946 indicated a slot-machine profit of $25,000 (10% of which went to the sheriff!).
In 1945, then-pro Fred McDermott reported having difficulty keeping the male members from playing shirtless and one board member complained bitterly about the amount of swearing he heard on the golf course. In 1947 dues were raised to $200. 1948 saw the club pay the state $50 for a “dancing permit”. The early 1950 saw the rear porch enclosed to become part of the main dining room and a new bar installed. Electric carts were purchased in 1955 and the swimming pool was added in 1958.
1959 - 1961
In 1959, the LPGA began a stint of playing a tournament here. And in 1961 lady pro Kathy Cornelius of Phoenix, Arizona made history at the club. She tied the course record on Thursday by shooting a snappy 68 (lady pro Mickey Wright had set that mark two years earlier). But on Friday she really got rolling and posted a 65. Not only did she smash the record she had just tied by three shots, she also set a lady’s world record for a two-day total of only 133 strokes over 36 holes. Remarkable.
During the 1950's the club joined the Chicago District Golf Association for a fee of $25. The CDGA, in turn, gave TLCC a course rating of 68. That decade the club gave $307 towards the fireworks display, added boys' and girls' lockers at the pool, blacktopped the cart paths and discussed an automatic sprinkling system. The sixties were not all about business, many very popular theme parties were thrown and most of them were sold out way in advance of the date.
1962 - 1979
In 1970, the clubhouse went through a major renovation. This included adding the pool, replacing gas and water lines; air-conditioning, a new kitchen and the dining facilities were rearranged.
In 1974, there were three tennis courts added down by the beach. That year they also hired their first tennis professional to develop a tennis program and maintain the courts.
1976 marked the club's fiftieth anniversary, and a huge celebration was planned. A collection was taken up among the members to help off-set the festivities that year and a great time was had by all. Bob Herzog humerously recalls his effort to secure a loan for $60,000 at 5% interest which he personally signed the promissory note. He chuckled as he talked about having the banks in Warsaw attempting to outbid the banks in Goshen. Mary Alice Mutsch commented that she remembers a time that the women from Goshen would not play golf with the women from Warsaw which seemed to be a carry-over of the rivalry of the towns' athletic teams.
1979 - 2013
New cart barns were built in the early 1980’s. The late 1980’s brought new and much improved locker room facilities for both men and women. In 2000 work began on a new walkway to the tennis courts and lake. The old screened in dining porch was torn down and replaced by a new one. A new outdoor deck was also built at the time and is a prime spot for lunch or dinner in good weather.
In 2001, the downstairs kitchen was remodeled to serve the expanded capacity and demand the new deck and screened porch generated. The club celebrated its 75th anniversary that same year with a great dinner party. Long time club manager and honorary member George Dudinsky came back to share so many great memories. And yes, he did kiss a few hands…
Over the next few years the dining room and downstairs bar and grill were all remodeled. The pro shop, half way house and parking lots were all re-modeled in 2009- 2010. Early in 2012 we knocked down and rebuilt the cart barn and on course bathrooms. In fall of that same year we completed phase one of the golf course renovation. Along with rebuilding some green side bunkers, we rebuilt the 3rd, 8th, 12th tees boxes. We leveled off the back half of number two green and replaced some of the cart paths. Phase two of the golf course started in September and was finished in the fall of 2013. 12 bunkers were removed and the remaining 62 were rebuilt. The green surrounds were replaced and several cart paths were repaired or replaced. The course has been brought up to date and is in the best condition the members have seen for decades.
2014 - Future
With the golf course renovation underway in the fall of 2013 our then GM/COO, Paul Kornfeind MCM, was inspired to redecorate the inside of the clubhouse.
The current state of the clubhouse was in need of a new roof and a cosmetic facelift. Through a strategic capital fund raising effort combined with the generous donations from a portion of the membership, the Club was able to turn a dream into a reality. The roof was replaced in late 2013 and on January 1, 2014 the clubhouse redecorating was underway. The clubhouse redecorating included; new paint, new carpet and new living room furniture. The members dining area, main lounge, fireplace and both upstairs bathrooms received complete upgrades.
The highlight of the remodel was uncovering and restoring the original wood floor in the foyer. After forty years of being covered with carpet, several of the long time members were delighted to see the floor restored to its original grandeur. One of the members was quoted saying "My wife and I got married in front of that fireplace and we danced our first dance as husband and wife on this floor". Bringing back this piece of Tippy history proved to be a big hit with the current members.
From the very beginning in the 1920’s until today, Tippecanoe Lake Country Club remains a very special place.