HISTORY

Over 120 years of heritage

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FOUNDED in 1896,

the golf course at Lac La Belle drew immediate play from the yachting and equestrian set that populated the mansions on the shores of the lake bearing the same name. What the local players lacked in golfing skill, they made up for with unbridled enthusiasm. Oconomowoc and the surrounding lakes were commonly known in the high society circles of Chicago and Milwaukee as the seat of wealth…the summer seat. The golf course, like everything else built for this demanding clientele, simply had to be the best, and it was.

Lac La Belle earned its place in golf history over 120 years ago as the course of champions.

A love for the game that started over 120 years ago.

The Old Course at Lac La Belle

Notable early dates:

1895

Organized by Prescription

Course located at Woodruff’s Hill, in the back acres of the H. H. Shufeldt family property.

October 7th, 1896

Incorporated

Course relocated to current site, 80 acres acquired from club member George Seaverns.

April 4th, 1899

USGA Allied Membership

Joins Milwaukee Country Club as the second Wisconsin club to be approved as an Allied Member of the USGA.

 Above

Several early U.S. Open Championship winners are shown surrounded by caddies and admirers. Willie Anderson, a four-time champion and Lac La Belle pro in 1900, is shown with his arm around Alex Smith. Alex and Willie were good friends and competitors. Alex was also Lac La Belle pro in 1897 and 1898 and later the U.S. Open champion in 1906 and 1910.

Seated on the ground in front of them is Horace Rawlins, the first U.S. Open champion in 1895.

Members enjoy a competitive "clock putting" contest in front of the clubhouse and farm barn, which was later dismantled. (c. 1898)

Caddies take the free ferry from downtown to the course.

A course with true Championship heritage.

Alex Smith

Alex Smith

Lac La Belle’s First Golf Professional

U.S. Open Golf Championship

2nd

2nd

1st

1st

1898
1901
1906
1910

Lac La Belle Championship

2nd

3rd

1899
1900
Robert S. Simpson

Robert S. Simpson

Lac La Belle’s Second Golf Professional

Western Open Championship

1st

3rd

1st

1907
1908
1911

Lac La Belle Championship

5th

1899
Willie Anderson

Willie Anderson

Lac La Belle’s Third Golf Professional

U.S. Open Golf Championship

2nd

3rd

1st

1st

1897
1898
1901
1903

1st

1st

1904
1905

Lac La Belle Championship

3rd

1900

Early Imagery from Club at Lac La Belle

Willie Anderson and Alex Smith
Willie Anderson
Willie Anderson swinging a golf club

Top row: The old Oconomowoc Country Club, a horse-pulled grass mower. Middle row: Lac La Belle Club Pros and U.S. Open Champions Willie Anderson and Alex Smith, taking a practice swing outside the old Clubhouse. Bottom row: A seated Willie Anderson, Lake Country socialites sit around what is most likely a yacht race trophy, Willie Anderson brings back his club for the photo op.

Become a Member and be a Partner to a Rich Heritage


Ambassador/Lifetime Membership Details

Exclusive Limited Offering

The Club at Lac La Belle is one of the oldest courses in America and was founded in 1896. It is now a semi-private club with a rich 120+ year history.

Ambassador Memberships offer a unique opportunity to individuals who would like to share in our vision. These members, while limited in numbers, enjoy additional benefits on their golfing experience as well as the other amenities offered at The Club at Lac La Belle.

If you are interested in pursuing a Membership, please use the form on the Membership page to contact us. You can also call Tyler Morse regarding Memberships at (262) 490-4999. We look forward to a lasting partnership with you.