Snippets of Bay Village History: Dover-Bay Country Club

The "new" Dover-Bay clubhouse on the south side of Lake Road was built in 1952.

Opening day March 21, 1903, found the reorganization of Dover-Bay Colony into the Dover-Bay Country Club. The Club was located on the southeast corner of Clague and Lake Roads on the old Lawrence Estate. It consisted of a nine-hole golf course and clubhouse. An early golf pro at the country club was Alex Miller and the manager was Jack Quinlan.

Membership was now open to the public. On the property north of Lake Road was a large, dark green painted clubhouse. Many members rented rooms there for the summer season of golf.

In 1951, this lakefront property where the club house sat was split into lots and sold. The green frame clubhouse was torn down. The next season saw a brand new, smaller clubhouse on the south side of Lake Road. This meant changing all the hole numbers so they again started and finished at the new clubhouse.

Robert Hill purchased an acre of land in the old Dover Bay Grape Company in 1907. In 1920, Robert and his wife, Eva, built a house at 254703 Electric Drive. They raised four sons there.

Tom, the number two son, recalls caddying at Dover-Bay in the summer of 1939. “I was a golf caddy at Dover-Bay the summers following my sixth and seventh grades. The first hole was at the corner of Clague and Lake Roads. The fairway proceeded east by southeast towards Humiston Drive. Some of the following holes had a cascade to drive over, along with 3-foot bunkers (not sand bunkers). There were doglegs and par-3 holes.

"On one par-3 hole the golfer had to drive over a good-sized pond from an elevated tee. The ninth hole had the obstacle of going over the Interurban tracks, ties, and build-up of sizable slag. One had to be aware of making sure that an Interurban car was not coming through at the time the golfer was teeing off.

"A caddie received 45 cents for nine holes or 85 cents for 18 holes (singles), doubles (two bags) the same from each golfer. Most golfers would give you a small tip if you did a good job keeping track of his or her golf ball and handling the clubs. We had caddie day each Monday. It meant that a caddy could play on Mondays for free. This is where I learned how to play golf and I am still playing the game.” Tom is 87 years old.

The golf course operated through 1956. In that year the property was sold for development. The members could have bought the course, but it never occurred to them the property would not go on forever on a rental basis. The Union Carbide Company was interested in the property for their research laboratory. That meant a business would be on Lake Road. It was decided to put the decision to the voters in 1957. The Villagers decided they didn’t want a business there. It was purchased by a developer and today consists of ranch style houses.

The Dover-Bay Country Club is remembered fondly as a snappy little nine-hole course.

kay laughlin

I am the Historian for the Bay Village Historical Society. Member and Past President of the society. Lived in the village since 1936.

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Volume 7, Issue 15, Posted 9:43 AM, 08.04.2015