January 09, 2013

Florida Course Makes History

Temple Terrace G & CC listed on National Register of Historic Places!

The Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club has made history, becoming the first 18-hole golf course in Florida to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The announcement was made by the National Park Service. The course, designed by noted golf course architect Tom Bendelow, is among a select number of golf courses across America to attain this prestigious designation. In fact, Temple Terrace was one of the first communities in the nation designed around a golf course, historians note.

A media event to recognize this important achievement will be held Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 at 11 am at the Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club, 200 Inverness Ave. Officials also will announce Temple Terrace Hickory Heritage Historic Golf Tournaments Weekend, slated for Jan. 19-21, 2013 on the Temple Terrace Golf Course. Tournament weekend features several events, including the United States Professional Hickory Golf Championship on Jan. 21 (complete schedule below).

In 2009, the Temple Terrace Preservation Society began the formal application process to submit the golf course to the National Park Service that oversees the National Register of Historic Places. The Temple Terrace Hickory Heritage Historic Golf Tournaments Weekend featuring amateur and professional hickory golf tournaments was created in 2010 to raise the $12,000 application fee for the National Register (with the city contributing a $6,000 matching grant). Golfers wearing 1920s attire play with authentic hickory golf clubs and gutta-percha balls to experience the Temple Terrace Golf Course that way it was designed to be played.

The games are a fitting tribute for a course that now takes its place among the nation’s most revered venues, said Tim Lancaster, president of the Temple Terrace Preservation Society. “It’s finally official, and the Preservation Society’s tireless efforts to achieve this designation have been realized,” Lancaster said. “Now, we’ll work toward securing funding from private donations needed to pay for permanent historic markers that will honor this achievement for generations to come.”

Still true to its original design, the unique figure-8 course allowed the front and back nines to return to the clubhouse and for 1920s automobiles to follow the course to watch the golf tournaments. Bendelow took advantage of the unique natural features of the land, such as rocks, ponds, live-oak strands, Temple orange groves and scenic views of the Hillsborough River to maximize the course’s appeal.

“The golf course contributes so much to our community’s beauty and charm,” said Mayor Frank Chillura. “Our residents, businesses and elected officials have embraced our unique history while reaching for the future with our downtown redevelopment initiative. We have been able to bridge the past and present since this Amazing City was founded in 1925.”

Schedule of Events: All events take place at the Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club, 200 Inverness Ave., Temple Terrace, Florida. Special guest Stuart Bendelow, grandson of renowned golf course architect Tom Bendelow, will be in attendance at both golf tournaments and the Knickers Bash.

* Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 11 am – Media Event announcing the Temple Terrace Golf Course has been named to the National Register of Historic Places. Mayor Frank Chillura and other dignitaries will attend, along with the Temple Terrace Highlanders bagpipe band, golfers in period attire and special guests.

* Saturday, Jan. 19 at 11 am – Temple Terrace Hickory Hacker amateur golf tournament. A fun, four-person scramble. Registration forms available at the Temple Terrace Public Library, or call (813) 732-6941 for more information.

* Saturday, Jan. 19 at 6 pm – Knickers Bash. Cocktails at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

* Monday, Jan. 21 at 11 am – U.S. Professional Hickory Golf Championship featuring professional golfers from around the world. Public invited to come out and watch at no charge.

 For more information about these events, please contact the Temple Terrace Preservation Society at (813) 732-6941.

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