DULUTH, Ga. -- In 1964, the price of gasoline was 30 cents per gallon, the first Ford Mustang rolled off the assembly line, the Beatles took America by storm and the quiet north-Atlanta suburb of Duluth found a special gathering place for the next 50 years with the opening of Berkeley Hills Country Club.
Berkeley Hills recently celebrated its Golden Anniversary with a gala dinner recognizing the remaining original club members, plus those who have been members for 40 years and 30 years. A retrospective on the club's origins and history was shared, and a commemorative book with historical photos, press clippings and myriad items of nostalgia was be showcased.
Additionally, congratulatory letters from Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris and Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson were framed, appropriately in gold, and put on display for viewing.
Says Governor Deal, "On behalf of the State of Georgia, it is a pleasure to be a part of this historical event appreciating the service this club has provided citizens of Atlanta for half a century."
Berkeley Hills began life in 1964 as a nine-hole course and a modest clubhouse originally owned and built by a local developer, Larry McClure, who presumably used the club as an amenity to his residential developments.
Golf was an instant hit at the club and in November of 1965 the women club members were treated to a golf clinic by golf legend and LPGA Hall of Famer, Patty Berg. The next year McClure added a second nine holes and subsequently sold the club to seven individuals, several of whom were members at Berkeley Hills.
In the early 70s, with golf enjoying sweeping success across the country, the club purchased some adjacent land and hired course architects Ron Kirby and Arthur Davis to add a third nine holes and reconfigure several holes on the original nine. Kirby brought in another golf legend and nine-time major champion, Gary Player, as a design consultant at Berkeley Hills.
Kirby went on to create some of the most iconic golf courses in the world, including the striking Old Head Golf Links on the southwest coast of Ireland and the Centenary Course at Gleneagles Resort, Scotland, site of the 2014 Ryder Cup matches this September.
Berkeley Hills also celebrates a 30th anniversary in 2014, as the club was purchased outright by the club members in 1984.
In 1999, the members voted to raise the existing clubhouse and build an elegant and beautifully appointed new one. In 2005, they further voted to replace the course's bentgrass greens with more weather and wear tolerant Champion Bermudagrass.
Berkeley Hills member and 2009 British Open champion, Stewart Cink, calls the new greens at Berkeley the best in Atlanta, and he often uses them to practice and prep for upcoming Tour events.
Former Tour player Joe Inman also has high praise for the course and the new greens. Inman currently is the golf coach at Georgia State University, which uses Berkeley Hills as its home course.
In 2007, Berkeley Hills sold the middle nine holes built in 1966 to a developer, leaving 18 holes for play today.
In addition to championship golf, Berkeley Hills Country Club offers its membership eight lighted tennis courts, including two clay courts, a lap pool and diving well, expansive fitness center, a board room and three private event rooms, plus casual dining in the Mixed Grill and Bar.
For club membership information at Berkeley Hills call 770-448-8353 or visit online at www.berkeleyhillscc.org.
Berkeley Hills Country Club is managed by Atlanta-based Mosaic Clubs & Resorts (www.mosaicclubs.com).
For Further Information:
Kaitlin Looby, Director of Marketing
Mosaic Clubs & Resorts