EVERETT — One hundred years ago, Everett was a growing community with a growing interest in golf.
In the summer of 1910, some two dozen business leaders gathered to discuss a plan for a private golf club on 66 acres of land south of the downtown area. The idea took hold, and by late fall Everett Country Club — with posh amenities like electric lighting, hot water and an elegant maple dance floor, not to mention a nine-hole golf course — opened to its members.
Right away, the club became an important part of the city’s social, cultural and sporting fabric.
One century later, a few things have changed. The name is now Everett Golf and Country Club, the golf course has expanded to 18 holes over 100 acres, and the clubhouse has undergone one complete reconstruction and multiple remodels.
But the club’s place in the community — and that community today includes not only Everett, but all of Snohomish County and beyond — remains exactly as it was 100 years ago.
Everett G&CC “has been kind of an institution,” said club president Mike Dutton of Everett. Generations of area families have been members, he added, including some “who go back to the beginning or almost to the beginning of the club.”
It is a proud history, and one that Everett G&CC commemorates this year with a season-long centennial celebration. It begins Sunday with a tournament on the club’s original nine holes followed by a dinner program featuring sportscaster and Everett native Chuck Nelson, who is also a club member, as the master of ceremonies. There will be remarks by, among others, Everett mayor Ray Stephanson and local historian Larry O’Donnell.
A centennial flag designed by Katie Dutton, the daughter of Mike Dutton, will be hoisted to fly over the club for the rest of the year.
Although Everett G&CC is foremost a golf club, it has always been much more. There are 375 certificate members with golfing privileges, and around 275 additional social members who use the club’s other facilities, such as the swimming pool and dining room.
And those members come from all walks of life, Dutton pointed out.
“We’re not a blue-blood club,” he said. “It’s closer to blue-collar than blue-blood. Sure, we have CEOs, doctors and lawyers who are members, but we’ve also got longshoremen, firefighters and folks in those kinds of occupations, too.
“I think the thing that makes me most proud of our club is the fact that it’s inconclusive of so many people. (The membership) is diverse and I think that part is pretty neat. It’s just a good place to socialize and play golf with lots of different people.”
“We have a whole spectrum of people who belong,” said Dr. Warren Cronkhite of Everett, who has been a member with his wife Lil since 1951, or nearly 60 of the club’s 100 years. “And it isn’t a stuffy club either. I’ve been to many of the other clubs in Washington, and this is one of the most friendly clubs in the state.”
“We can always find a friend there,” agreed Lil Cronkhite.
And if the golf course is both a playground for current members and the magnet to attract new members, the clubhouse is the heartbeat of club activities. Members can dine, party and otherwise socialize, even on days when they choose not to golf.
An example is Bob Borup of Everett, who served as the Everett G&CC’s head pro from 1978 to 2006. Borup still gets in weekly rounds of golf in his retirement, but he also visits the club every Tuesday morning for a regular bridge game with friends.
“The motto of the club is ‘Your home away from home,’” Dutton said.
Over the years Everett G&CC has produced many outstanding golfers, including dozens of young men and women who went on to play college golf and some who have played professionally. Jack Westland was the U.S. Amateur champion in 1952. Anne Quast Sander was the United States Women’s Amateur champ in 1958, 1961 and 1963.
The club has also hosted many state and regional amateur championships and even a few pro tournaments, including the PGA Tour’s 1966 Greater Seattle Open.
After 100 years, Everett G&CC remains a place for fun and camaraderie, just as was intended by its founding membership, which included Ruckers, Duryees, McChesneys and other famous surnames in city history.
“It’s a great facility for the city of Everett,” Warren Cronkhite said, “and I’m very proud of it that way.”