The golf course was completed and ready for play in the late spring of 1892. Thus America’s first golf course west of the Allegheny mountain range had been established. When the inaugural season had ended, Macdonald convinced Chicago Golf Club members to add nine more holes to the course. Therefore, in 1893, the first 18-hole golf course in the United States was established on this site. (Chartered by the State of Illinois in 1893). The club was also one of the five founding clubs of the USGA (United States Golf Association).
By 1895, Chicago Golf Club members had become so taken with the sport that they decided to build a new 18-hole golf course on 200 acres of land located near Wheaton, Illinois. The Chicago Golf Club is still in existence there today.
In 1899, Herbert J. Tweedie and a group of friends formed the Belmont Golf Club on the site. As a founding member of the Belmont Golf Club, his first major accomplishment was to keep several of the original holes of Chicago Golf Club in play after their move to Wheaton. The location of the 18 holes in Downers Grove are most famously known throughout golf history as Downers Grove Club, one of the original courses of the western golf association founded in 1899.
From 1895 to 1968, the site of the Belmont Golf Club was owned by several different individuals and was operated under the names of The Illinois Golf Club and later the Downers Grove Country Club. In 1968, the course was purchased by the Downers Grove Park District and was renamed the Downers Grove Golf Club. Many changes to this course have occurred through the last 110 plus years, however, much of the original course remains including the “Original Six” including holes 1, 2, 4, 7, 8 & 9.
In 2023, the Downers Grove Golf Club was renamed the Belmont Golf Club. By rebranding the golf course to its historic name, we honor the history of this legendary course. Learn more