CLEARWATER COUNTRY CLUB:
Come Play Today

Story by: Mike May

Golf As It Should Be.’  That’s the customer-service philosophy of those that work at the Clearwater Country Club (525 North Betty Lane, Clearwater, Florida).  In fact, the work ethic of those who work at the Clearwater Country Club (www.clearwatercountryclub.com) is to provide a casual and welcoming atmosphere in the clubhouse and the pro shop for every golfer that walks through the door, with no exception.  That customer-service philosophy remains intact today – nearly 100 years after the Clearwater Country Club was first opened. 

The Clearwater Country Club is five minutes away from both Clearwater Beach and the stadium where the Class A Clearwater Threshers play. 

Located in downtown Clearwater along Florida’s Gulf coast, the Clearwater County Club is an urban ‘green lung’ which is perfectly situated, especially if you also like the beach and minor league baseball.  The Clearwater Country Club is five minutes away from both Clearwater Beach and the stadium where the Class A Clearwater Threshers play.  Clearwater is also the spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies each March.  Here, it’s possible to play golf in the morning, head to the beach in the afternoon, and then go watch baseball at night.

Designed by British golf course architect Herbert Strong, efforts to build this course started in 1920.  In 1921, nine holes were officially opened.  Mrs. Daniel Simonds, who helped subsidize the cost of building the country club’s new clubhouse, struck the inaugural tee shot.  Historical accounts report that Simonds hit a solid drive down the fairway. In 1923, another nine holes were opened, which gave golfers what they always wanted -- an 18-hole golf course.  In 1940, golf course architect Perry Maxwell and his son Press Maxwell were hired to improve many parts of the golf course, especially the greens.

As you would expect with a golf course with nearly a century of history, the Clearwater Country Club is one of the 53 golf courses that are part of the Florida Historic Golf Trail.

“We are proud of our affiliation with the Florida Historic Golf Trail and we publicize it,” said head golf pro Greg McClimans, who started working at the club in 1976 as an assistant.

Today, the Clearwater Country Club is a par-72 layout, which features four sets of tees playing from 5,300 to 6,200 yards.  The course features Bermuda greens, tees, and fairways, as well as full practice facilities, a fully stocked pro shop, and a restaurant, where breakfast and lunch are served daily.  The practice facilities feature a driving range, short game area, and a large practice putting green. 

Designed by British golf course architect Herbert Strong. It was built in 1920.  In 1921, nine holes were officially opened.  Mrs. Daniel Simonds, who helped subsidize the cost of building the country club’s new clubhouse, struck the inaugural tee shot. 

When you play the Clearwater Country Club, your round will be interrupted by a passing train.  Yes, twice a day, a train rolls through the middle of the golf course, traveling along the CSX Railroad. In addition, the Clearwater Country Club’s layout is impacted by Stevenson Creek which runs through the golf course and comes into play on several of the 18 holes.

It’s worth noting that the course record at Clearwater Country Club is a 60 by local PGA pro John Mansfield, which is a sign the course has well-maintained greens.

“Our greens are always in tremendous shape,” added McClimans.  “We have a great superintendent, Kevin Vereb, who does a remarkable job with a great crew.”

In the winter, Vereb and his crew focus on keeping the course in tournament-ready shape for the 250 to 270 golfers who play there every day.

One of the interesting aspects of the Clearwater Country Club  is that it specifically caters to ‘snowbirds,’ as it offers seasonal and short-season memberships for those part-time residents.  It’s also worth noting the Clearwater Country Club was named “Best Golf Course in Clearwater” in a 2014 poll conducted by the Clearwater Gazette Readers Poll.

If you want to enjoy ‘Golf As It Should Be,’ then call the pro shop (727-446-2240) to reserve a tee time.  I can promise that you will encounter a delightful golf course, that is complemented by a casual and welcoming atmosphere.

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