History

The year was 1909.  The date was August 25th.  The certificate of Incorporation signed by James A. Rose, Secretary of State, on this date established St. Clair Country Club as a legal corporation under the laws of the State of Illinois.  The application for the state charter was signed by W.E. Trautmann, J. Clark Waddell, R.P. Munger, F.T. Joyner, J.L. Wiggins and L.B. Washburn.  The first Board of Directors for the corporation consisted of J.L. Wiggins, R.P. Munger, E.C. Kramer, A.K. Vickers, W.E. Trautmann, Stephen LePage and H.C. Starkel.
 
It was not until August 16, 1911, that the initial 63 acres of ground were purchased from Judge E.C. Kramer at a cost of $12,000.00.  A nine-hole golf course was constructed on what basically in now the back nine with the present No. 10 being the first hole.
 
In 1921 and 1922 most of the ground was purchased for the present front nine and the remaining tracts were bought in 1927, resulting in approximately 169 acres currently owned by the Club.
 
Membership in St. Clair Country Club increased and records indicate that there were 200 Members by January 1911.  In July of that year the Membership increased to 300, and in 1982 the Membership was further increased to its present number of 325 voting members.
 
The first Clubhouse, built in 1910, was designed by A.B. Frankel, an architect from East St. Louis, and was built by Bergman and Lutz Construction Company at a cost of $12,000.00.  This Clubhouse served the Membership until August of 1964.  The second Clubhouse was razed in 2002, when a move was made to the present facilities.  The first tennis courts were built in 1920 or 1921, and the first swimming pool was added in 1947.  New all-weather tennis courts were added in 1959, and the Olympic-size pool was completed in May, 1969.  In 2012, the members voted to begin a project to renovate the entire golf course.  The golf course renovation was completed in the fall of 2013 and opened in May of 2014.
 
As was the case with most of the clubs built in those years, golf was the primary and exclusive interest of the Membership.  Through the years, fine amateur golfers have been Members of St. Clair Country Club.  The brothers Bill and Harvey Mertz held many club championships and brought honor to St. Clair early in the history of our club association with the St.  Louis District.  This tradition of quality golfers continued with Bob Goalby winning the St. Louis District championship in 1955 before turning to professional golf as a career.  Jay Haas, winner of the St. Louis District in 1972, 1973, and 1975, likewise developed and enhanced his golfing skills at St. Clair and currently holds the course record of 61, which was set in 1973.  Mark Boyajian, an outstanding amateur golfer, was District Champion in 1981 and repeated this outstanding achievement in 1986 and 1987.  Jerry Haas has demonstrated his golfing skills by winning the District in 1983, 1984, and 1985.  Frank J. Conner, after having an outstanding record as an amateur tennis player, turned to professional golf and currently plays the PGA tournament schedule along with Jay Haas and Jerry Haas.
 
Bob Goalby was Masters Champion in the year 1968.  Bob’s introduction to golf started in 1938, when he became a caddy at St. Clair Country Club.
 
Another outstanding sports figure is the very talented tennis star Jimmy Connors, who grew up in the St. Clair Country Club atmosphere and visits frequently when not busy with the Senior Tennis Tour.
 
To our knowledge, St. Clair Country Club is the only golf club to have three professionals in the same Masters Tournament when Bob Goalby, Jay Haas and Frank J. Conner were players in 1983.
 
Willie Dow and Jack Caldwell were the first caddie masters, serving two years each from 1911 to 1914, and Bill Mertz took over from 1914 until 1917.  Bill was followed by brother Harvey, who was caddie master from 1917 to 1920.  Next came Del Berchacher, 1920-22; Walter Klossman, 1922-39; Frank Moore, 1939-41, Johnny St. Clair, 1942-47; Clark Morse, 1947-75; Clarence Voigt, 1975-85; Paul Hooser, 1986-91; Jeff Hunter, 1991-2000; Wayne Ockovic, 2000-10; and our present golf professional, Tom Sipula took over in 2011.