SCC part of golf history

Courtesy photo The Summit Country Club in Cresson debuted in 1923.

By Ken Love

For the Mirror

This weekend Summit Country Club will host its 29th annual best-ball tournament.

The Cresson-area course began as a nine-hole course when it first opened in 1923, but like many others, it eventually expanded to a full 18-hole layout.

Summit’s expansion occurred during a time of economic prosperity in our country, the 1960s. During this prolific decade, more than half the golf courses in our area were constructed.

In the early 1960s, Summit Country Club was particularly fortunate to have local businessman Jack Calandra take a keen interest in golf.

During that time, Calandra was not only one of the best players at the club, he had also begun volunteering a good deal of his time and effort to Summit Country Club.

Serving as club president, Calandra was the driving force behind Summit’s expansion from nine to 18 holes, which began in 1966.

“Since everyone else is expanding to 18 holes, we had no choice but to get on the bandwagon,” Calandra said to Altoona Mirror sports editor Herb Werner when the project was completed in 1968.

When the decade of the 1960s came to a close, an amazing 225 golf holes had been constructed in our area, the equivalent of more than a dozen 18-hole courses (in comparison, the past 40 years has seen an average of just 18 new holes per decade).

The following list shows just how big the golf bandwagon was in our area during the 1960s:

May 1961 — Windber Country Club opens as a new nine-hole course in Cambria County, designed by Ed Ault.

June 1962 — Iron Masters Country Club, opens its new 18-hole, 6,623-yard course, to the public. John Felus is head pro.

July 1963 — Sinking Valley Country Club opens as a nine-hole course. Ed DelBaggio is the club’s first head pro.

July 1965 — Oakbrook Golf Course opens its new golf course in Stoystown, Somerset County.

April 1966 — Windber Country Club, near Johnstown, expands from nine holes to a full 18-hole championship course.

May 1966 — Cambrian Hills opens its new nine-hole course in Northern Cambria County. Initial greens fees are $2.

June 1966 — The State College Elks opens its new 18-hole course in Boalsburg. Lowell Erdman is the course architect.

April 1967 — Centre Hills Country Club, in State College, opens its second nine holes, designed by world-renowned architect Robert Trent Jones Sr.

April 1967 — Sinking Valley expands to an 18-hole course. Construction of the new nine holes is overseen by club superintendent George Ord.

June 1967 — Parks Hills Golf Club adds nine new holes, designed by course architect James Harrison.

July 1967 — River’s Bend Golf Course (currently Down River) opens its new 18-hole course in Everett. The course designer is Xenophon Hassenplug.

April 1968 — Toftrees Country Club in State College opens as an 18-hole course with Flynn Smith as the club’s first head pro.

June 1968 — After two years of restoration and reconstruction, Immergrun Golf Course in Loretto is re-opened by Saint Francis University. Bob Hahn is the club’s head pro.

July 1968 — Summit Country Club adds nine new holes, designed by Ed Ault. (The new holes include #6,7,11,12,13,14,15,16 and 17).

May 1969 — Penn State University adds the 18-hole Blue Course as a compliment to its 1920s-era White Course. The layout is designed by James Harrison.

June 1969 — Seven Springs Resort opens its new 18-hole course in Somerset County, designed by Xenophon Hassenplug.

July 1969 — After two years of work, the new Blairmont Club at Scotch Valley is completed.


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