The Legend of Engineers Country Club

Information compiled by Ruth Bartelstone.


Engineers Country Club was incorporated on January 21, 1917 by members of the Engineers Club in Manhattan. The group had been interested in forming their own golf club for quite some time and acted quickly when the Willet Manor estate (pictured left) came on the market.

The 210 acre site, purchased in March of 1917, included several small ponds and featured a boathouse and jetty on Hempstead Bay. The Club's original intent was to build two 18 hole golf courses but the plan was soon amended. In the end, 150 acres were dedicated to their 18 hole golf course, which was designed and built by Herbert Strong.
The 210 acre site, purchased in March of 1917, included several small ponds and featured a boathouse and jetty on Hempstead Bay. The Club's original intent was to build two 18 hole golf courses but the plan was soon amended. In the end, 150 acres were dedicated to their 18 hole golf course, which was designed and built by Herbert Strong.

Much of the design of the original course followed the layouts of some of the most challenging holes in Scotland. Some thought Engineers to be the finest course in the country. Others felt it was no more than a "bag of tricks" (as quoted from publications of that era).


In 1919, the original Willet Manor house was destroyed by fire. Rather than rebuild, the extensive stable facility (pictured left) was converted at very little expense into a modern clubhouse. Dues then, were just $50.00 per year.

August 1920: a sports columnist writes, "No young club in the history of golf, let it go back 400 years, has come in for as much discussion and comment as Engineers. The main nerve test will be on the greens. You will find strong men weeping as they finish a round", (not very different from today).


In 1921, Engineers Golf Course was remodeled by Devereux Emmet. Emmet had also designed courses for Cherry Valley, Garden City, Glen Head, Salisbury, Seawane, Meadowbrook and others. Engineers was listed in Frank MenckeĆ­s Encyclopedia of Sports as one of the best courses in the U.S.A.