Donald Ross at His Finest
Lake Wales Country Club offers classic golf and outstanding conditioning that present a challenge to players of all levels. As with all Donald Ross courses, “hard par and easy bogey” rules the day.
The United States Golf Association has seen fit to award every major qualifying event in the state of Florida to our classic course. Lake Wales is also the venue for Futures Tour qualifying and the Florida Junior Tour. Our active member calendar includes weekly men’s, ladies’ and couples’ golf events along with many major member tournaments throughout the year.
The Rich History of Lake Wales Country Club
Founded in the early 1920s, Lake Wales Country Club was originally owned by the City of Lake Wales. The course was designed by the world-famous “godfather” of American golf course architecture, Donald Ross.
A small clubhouse was built in the early years to house club activities. As the club grew in the years before World War II, the need to build a better clubhouse that would accommodate more people became apparent. Accordingly, the Lake Wales City Council applied for WPA funds for this project. On September 8, 1938, none other than U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelet approved $16,888 to build a new clubhouse. The City of Lake Wales supplemented the project with $5,818. A new clubhouse was completed on July 12, 1939 for $22,706.
During World War II, the facility was sold to stockholding country club members. The club grew and prospered under the membership’s own management until it was sold to Ben Hill Griffin, Inc. in 1980. Mr. Ben Hill Griffin, Jr. had been associated with the Lake Wales Country Club since the early 1920s. Mr. Griffin had been a caddy at the Club during his high school years. He was a longtime supporter and member of the Club. Indeed, the annual Ben Hill Griffin Invitational Golf Tournament has been the high point of the Club’s golfing and social calendar for more than 30 years.
Under Ben Hill Griffin, Inc.’s ownership, the Club grew further at a rapid pace. Improvements made during this time included a new maintenance barn, new facilities and equipment, and a new irrigation system; addition of a 1/2-mile stucco and tile wall around the property’s Highway 60 frontage and matching stucco/tile guardhouse; and construction of a beautiful Spanish-style clubhouse that was opened to members on January 11, 1984.
These years of growth and prosperity culminated in the January 2013 sale of the facility to private owners. With the continuing support of Lake Wales’ members and dedicated staff the new owner’s are committed to maintaining and enhancing the role Lake Wales Country Club has historically played as a pillar of the local community.