History of Midlothian Country Club

In the mid 1890's...a group of prominent business leaders discovered a magnificent sweep of rolling, wooded prairie 18 miles southwest of the city. They agreed that the 208 saucer-shaped acres, with a beautiful brook flowing through the center, would be an ideal site for one of America's first eighteen hole golf courses.

A few years later, after the land was purchased and the club incorporated, Chicagoans would often see John G. Shedd, R.H. Donnelley, A.G. Spalding and other "society" people boarding Rock Island trains after business hours and disappearing into the wilderness beyond the city limits of Chicago.

No one ever expected that people would go out into the "moors" for pleasure, so they guessed that some big railway or manufacturing deal was on. Then, almost by accident, someone discovered that their destination was America's largest country club - Midlothian - and the secret was out.

Originally designed by well-known course architect Herbert J. Tweedie, Midlothian was the first privately owned club established South of Chicago. The original club included a nine hole auxiliary course. Members and their families had to score 72 or less on the practice course before they were allowed to play the main 18-hole course.

The original clubhouse and the surrounding cottages became a summer colony for dozens of members and their families. Transportation was such a concern in the early days that the club replaced horse drawn "Tally-Ho" wagons with its own railroad. The small locomotive and two passenger coaches made 14 trips daily along the 3 mile system, making Midlothian the only golf club in the world, other than St. Andrews in Scotland, to own its own railroad.

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