Class of 2011
Colonial Country Club
Colonial Country Club was started 85 years ago in 1936 by Marvin Leonard, who had a keen interest in bringing bentgrass greens to his hometown of Fort Worth. When his initial plans to install bentgrass greens at an already existing Fort Worth golf club failed, Leonard came up with his vision for Colonial Golf Club. His vision became a reality in January 1936 when the club opened with approximately 100 members.
In the late 1930s, Leonard began talks with the United States Golf Association (USGA) to conduct the U.S. Open at Colonial. After guaranteeing the USGA $25,000, Colonial was granted the rights to the 1941 edition, won by Craig Wood, the winner of that year's Masters.
In 1942, Leonard decided to sell the club to the members of Colonial. He believed by giving them equity in the club, it would ensure its long-term success. His first pitch to the members was rejected almost unanimously. Not accustomed to the word "no" he continued to insist that selling Colonial to the membership was the best way to ensure the club's future. He offered to sell the club at his own cost - an investment of about $300,000 - and was willing to forego the appreciation on the property. After many discussions, some heated, about 300 Colonial members voted on Mr. Leonard's offer and approved it by a margin of less than a dozen votes. Thus, Colonial Golf Club became Colonial Country Club on December 31, 1942.
The golf course at Colonial Country Club was designed by John Bredemus of Texas and Perry Maxwell of Oklahoma. The par-70 course, currently at 7,209 yards (6,592 m), is bordered on the northern edge by the Trinity River (Clear Fork) with the rest of the course surrounded by the neighboring residential area. The course length in 1941 was 7,035 yards (6,433 m), considerably long for the era.
In addition to an annual PGA Tour event held each spring, the course has hosted three major or significant professional golf events: the 1941 U.S. Open, the 1975 Tournament Players Championship (won by Al Geiberger), and the 1991 U.S. Women's Open (won by Meg Mallon).