The Saranac Lake Golf Club started as a nine-hole golf course in 1919 on Meadowbrook Farm, which George V.W. Duryee had developed as a model dairy during TB days; the land was originally the Daniel Ames Farm of an early North Elba settler. William H. Scopes, George L. Starks, W. C. Leonard, Andrew W. Callanan, William Morris, Eddy Whitby, Walter H. Cluett, Andrew W. Callanan, Charles F. Roberson and Edwin R. Stonaker were founding members. Edmund Guggenheim was a financial supporter. Known for a short time as the Meadow Brook Course, it was designed by Alex H. Findlay, aided by Scott North, the course's first golf professional. In 1938 the Works Progress Administration began work on a second nine holes, but stopped after completing six of them due to the imminence of World War II.
R.A. (Hike) Tyrell (1902-1985) became the second pro in 1926. He and his wife Valeda Strack Tyrell (1900-1996) lived in the Ames farmhouse for 58 years, from 1926 to 1984. Beloved as a teacher and a gentleman, Tyrell became a member of the Northern New York Professional Golfers Association Hall of Fame in 1979. 1 Hike helped Ben Hogan work on his game at the course during the summer of 1939.
Now unused and boarded up, the historic Ames farmhouse — later the golf pro's house — still stands as a landmark on the north side of Route 86. The former cow barn of the Meadowbrook dairy farm remains on the south side; it is attached to the rear of the golf house, and serves as its men's locker room.
In 1921 Scott North became the first pro at the Club. Ralph Wood was also employed at the Club in 1921. Craig Wood also worked at the Saranac Lake Golf Club for a short period of time before moving on to a great professional golf career. On October 6, 1921 the Republican Journal of Ogdensburg published an article stating that Sir Harry Lauder and Christy Mathewson will be playing golf at the Club and the public is invited. The article states that Lauder is the singer who made Scotland famous and was staying at a summer camp on Lake Colby. Mathewson is one of the great baseball pitchers of all time and was living in Saranac Lake at the time.
According to an article in the Republican Journal of Ogdensburg in July 1921 the Governor of New York, Nathan Miller, played a round of golf at the Saranac Lake Golf Club during a visit to the North Country to inspect the Ray Brook State Hospital. Miller was the 43rd Governor of New York State and served during the years 1921 and 1922.
On May 24, 1966 Hike Tyrell was honored by friends at a dinner celebrating his 40th anniversary at the Saranac Lake Golf Club and on May 20, 1972 a new clubhouse was dedicated to Hike. In 1926 Hike won 11 of 13 tournaments held on the Adirondack Circuit and in 1941 he shot a course record 64 (34-30) on the Saranac Lake links.
For many decades the Saranac Lake Golf Club has been the home course for a very successful Saranac Lake High School golf program. The members of the Golf Club have always been very welcoming to young golfers just taking up the game and this has helped Saranac Lake High School produce many talented golfers.
According to an article of February 14, 1980 in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise the Golf Club building was rented out during the 1980 Winter Olympics to a Montreal travel firm by the name of Morgan Chartair Services. The Montreal firm paid $12,000.00 to rent the building for two months.
- Saranac Lake Golf Course - History
- Peter Martin, Golf Courses of the Adirondacks
- Historic Survey of North Elba, Argus Architecture and Preservation, 30 September 1991.
Adirondack Record, September 12, 1919
NEW GOLF COURSE AT SARANAC LAKE
At a dinner at the Saranac Lake Club Thursday evening a subscription of $16,200 was raised towards the $25,000 needed for a golf course. The site chosen is Meadowbrook farm, on the Lake Placid road.
Lake Placid News, October 14, 1921
STEVENS WINS AT GOLF
Raymond Stevens of Lake Placid and Dr. W. J. Oakey of Saranac Lake defeated Sir Harry Lauder and Duncan Maclnnes Monday on the Saranac Lake Golf Club links, 5 and 4. Each contestant holed out to each hole, they played bye holes to decide which should have his name inscribed on the Sir Harry Lauder cup offered the Saranac Lake Golf Club in perpetuity by Col. Walter Scott. This was won by Mr. Stevens, who had a medal score of 86. The best ball medal score of Oakey and Stevens was 84 and of Lauder and Maclnnis 92. Rain fell steadily throughout the match.
Sir Harry and Lady Lauder left for New York the same evening, followed by the thanks of all interested in the Day Nursery for which the benefit golf match was arranged.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, March 15, 1933
CONSTRUCTION AT GOLF CLUB NOW UNDER WAY
Lockers, Lounge Prepared for Increased Women's Membership; 125 to Constitute Total Membership in New Season
Enlarged women's quarters that will give them adequate locker space, showers and lounging room, improvements upon the men's quarters and reconstruction of the seventh and eight greens feature the work being done now at the Saranac Lake Golf Club in preparation for the coming season this spring. With about two months more of waiting necessary before local golfers can get out on the Meadowbrook course, various committees of the club have been functioning in anticipation of a record breaking saeson. Already 45 new members have promised to join, boosting the membership from 70 to 125, announced Dr. Nelson Johnson today, chairman of the membership committee. Of this number 18 are women. It is understood that women's activities are to be one feature of the season, following up the inaugeration last summer of a series of weekly women's tournaments. A large addition to the present tea room is now under construction to care for the increased feminine enrollment. This will contain 36 lockers, a lounge room and a dressing room. Hot water pipes are being laid [damaged original] . . . a shower. Until this . . . were eight lockers assigned [to women]. Improvements . . . quarters designed to make a more comfortable club house include the addition of a lounge room off the present locker space. A fireplace will be installed. Landscaping is planned for both men's and women's buildings. Hallie Sutton, chairman of the house committee, is in charge of the improvements which are being financed by contributions solicited from the present membership in order to save general club expense. Golfers will find several changes on the course this spring w[here] work under Dr. Lawrason Brown, greens chairman, is being complet . . . [end of fragment]
Lake Placid News, June 4, 1937
DISCUSS ENLARGEMENT OF MEADOWBROOK
Saranac Lake Members Believe Enlargement Would Attract Business
Extension of Meadowbrook golf course from its present nine-hole size to the .standard distance of 18 holes, as a community business asset, was advocated by Saranac Lake Golf club members in a meeting at the Hotel Saranac last week.
Feeling that the present nine hole course is sufficient for local needs but lacking in appeal to outsiders, the Golf club members, meeting with business men, discussed means of enhancing the attractiveness by enlargement.
Members cited the accomplishment at Lake Placid, when a course there was extended from the nine-hole to 18-hole size.
R. A. (Hike) Tyrell, pro at the club, explained that many persons stop and ask the size of the club, but continue on when they learn of its present size. These people, he stated, would add greatly to Saranac Lake's business if they were urged to stay and could gain what they desired in golfing— a full round."
A "working" plan for repair of 1 present buildings was agreed upon when each golfer pledged himself to give one day's work, or supply a man to do it. Repainting of the clubhouse and tea-room building is planned.
Members also voted to allow the privileges of the club, gratis, to members of the clergy.
Shooting a Hole in One is a memorable event for any golfer and listed below are names of some of the golfers who have recorded an "Ace" at the Saranac Lake Golf Club in Ray Brook. Please feel free to edit this page and add names to the list:
Paul Aery, Bob Breen, Dr. Dennis F. Burke - Dr. Burke of Potsdam died in 1939 so his hole in one was one of the very first at the SL Club , Ann Cantwell, Travis Cayea, Monsignor Edmund Dumas, Bobby Fisher, Nelson Frost, Millie Giordano, Wayne Granish, Richard Hennessy, Art Johnson, Norm Johnson - numerous times Peg Kelly - aced #4 and #6. Peg joins her father, Don McKillip, and brother, Jim McKillip on the hole-in-one list at Ray Brook. Ron Laramee, Ray LaRose, Destry Lewis, Tom Lewis, Bob Martin, Charlie Martin, Don McKillip - numerous times, Jim McKillip, John E. Morgan, Kyle Munn, Paul Pecheux, Kevin Pelkey, Clarence Phillips, Jerry Primeau, Roger Quinn, Pat Redman, Brady Rhoads, Mike Rosenquist, Beverley Sprague, Brian Stearns, Walter Taylor, Joan Taylor - (On July 29, 1970 Joan Taylor of Massena became the first lady golfer to record an ace on the Par 3 sixth hole), John Tice, Dave Webb.
1. Peter Martin, 83-84.