July 2, 1927: Grand opening of Enger Park Golf Course

On this day in Duluth in 1927, Enger Park Golf Course officially opened. The course was built on land donated to the city by West End furniture dealer Bert Enger following an effort by local businessmen led by J. B. Clinton, a well-known businessman, sportsman, and Exalted Ruler of the Duluth Elks. The Duluth Chamber of Commerce established a Municipal Golf Committee, and Clinton organized an outing for the committee to visit the Enger Park site, which they agreed was most suitable for a golf course. They estimated the cost to develop the course at $1,000, and construction began in 1926. Park Superintendent F. Rodney Paine hired Andy Anderson of Northland Country Club as head greenskeeper and Abraham Holstead and William Sullivan to design the clubhouse. Course manager Roger Borgeson told the News Tribune that the initial (nine hole) course was 3,184 yards long. The longest hole, number four, was 505 yards long; the shortest, number five, was a 171-yard par three. On opening day Enger was “too modest” to drive the first ball so that honor went to Judge (and former mayor) C. R. Magney. The golf course was an immediate success, and by September it had generated enough money for a second nine holes. Two years later, despite the Great Depression, the Enger Park golf course had earned back the city’s investment, and the park department initiated plans to build a golf course at Lester Park. Read a much more complete history of Enger Park here.

A lithographic postcard of the Enger Park Golf Course clubhouse, ca. 1926. (Image: Zenith City Press)