Red Smith’s profile of Bobby Jones (“Four!”) in our August/September 1980 issue included the statement that “no organization devoted exclusively to golf existed in this country before November 14,1888, when the St. Andrew’s Golf Club was formed at a dinner in John Reid’s home in Yonkers, New York.”
Not so, writes one of our readers, Edward Owen Perry of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: “That distinction belongs to the Foxburg Golf Club of Foxburg, Pennsylvania, which was founded, opened, and used in 1887 and is still used. It is a golf club exclusively, and always has been.”
Mr. Perry is dead right. The Foxburg Club was founded by Joseph Mickle Fox, a wealthy Philadelphian who had fallen in love with the game of golf while visiting Scotland as a member of an American cricket team in 1884, returned to this country loaded down with clubs and gutta-percha balls, and in 1887 laid out a five-hole course on his Foxburg property for his friends and neighbors—using quart tomato cans for the cups. The course was later expanded to nine holes and a clubhouse was built, making the Foxburg the oldest golf course in continuous use in the United States. In 1965 it also became the site of the American Golf Hall of Fame—one of whose first inductees was none other than Bobby Jones.