Reames Golf and Country Club will close its doors on Nov. 3, after 94 continuous years of operations, according to a news release.
Following many months of meetings and countless hours of looking for alternatives, the Reames board of directors met with the membership last week to get their input and inform them of the decision.
Board President Terry Scroggin and others have actively been looking for other options to try and keep the club operating.
“It is with tremendous disappointment that we are forced to make this decision” Scroggin said. “Reames has been a fixture in this community for nearly a century. We have seen our friends and family members married here, we’ve reconnected with classmates at reunions, and we’ve said goodbye to friend and relatives at memorial services. It’s a special place with a lot of memories for a lot of people. This is a sad day for our community.”
The Club has a rich history. The dream of this course to be located on this scenic hillside setting began in 1923. Evan Reames donated the land for $1, and with the help of local businessmen, the dream became a reality. The original nine holes were built in 1925 and the second nine in the mid-1960s. The original nine-hole course was designed by legendary golfer and course architect Chandler Egan who won two U.S. Amateur Golf Championships as well as gold and silver medals at the 1904 Olympics in the team and individual golf events.
Some of Mr. Egan’s many other golf course designs include the Eugene Country Club and Waverly Country Club in Portland. In 1929 Egan partnered with another legendary golf architect, Alister MacKenzie, to renovate Pebble Beach Golf Links for the 1929 U.S. Amateur.
Declining membership and other economic factors have led us to this point said Gary Koepke, the board vice president. “Golf courses and Country Clubs everywhere are struggling” he said. This club wasn’t just for the members though, it was for our entire community.” Koepke said that in addition to informing the members and making final arrangements, the board’s focus is on taking care of our employees. “It’s a family. These people have taken care of us for many years, improved the condition of the course in recent years, and have their own families to worry about. We care about their future and we want to do what we can to take care of them.”
The board informed the membership that the property would be listed for sale in the coming weeks.
Reames will continue to operate through Nov. 2. All events scheduled after that date will need to find alternate venues. “On behalf of the board and membership we want to thank Rotary, Soroptimists and the many other community partners that depend on this facility. “We know what a hardship this is going to be for so many people. We wish we were in a different place,” said Scroggin.