Clio Country Club began as a simple idea: to create an excellent golf course that is accessible to anyone. The year was 1960 and the idea caused several men to gather to discuss the possibilities. A local banker, gas station owner, retired school teacher, realtor & insurance agent and other local businessman met to brainstorm.
“The idea was to build a golf course in this area at a minimal investment”
It was quickly decided that they would form a non-profit corporation with the ultimate goal of selling memberships to a golf club that they hoped to build someday. They hoped to sell 250 memberships at the cost of $250 each.
They group filed for corporate status on October 26, 1960. With membership sales underway, they searched for property to purchase and found it in two parcels. One was owned by Ora Selby, the other by her brother Guy Selby. Together, the parcels amounted to 160 acres, half a square mile and provided the perfect setting for a golf course. The land had elevation variances, a winding creek that ran through it as well as a variety of trees. In addition to acquiring the land, they needed to have the land re-zoned which required, among other things, the approval of 70% of the adjacent neighbors.
Once the re-zoning was complete, the land was acquired. The group sought the advice of a golf course architect, Fred Ellis. The plans were designed for the first 9 holes and everyone pitched in. The agricultural school teacher performed soil tests, the chemical engineer tested the water in the creek, members brought in tractors, plows & farm implements to assist an excavating company in their work. Members seeded, raked, shoveled, removed stumps and brush, working side by side to build the course. The first 9 holes were open for play on July 6, 1963.
Members decided to initially allow for public play to raise additional funds for building the back 9 holes. You could play the front 9 for $1.50 per round; 50 cents for an additional round.
In November 1964, after evaluating their financial position, the group decided to move to a private, member-owned facility and eliminated public play. It has remained a member-owned facility since then.
The back 9 holes were completed and open for play on April 16, 1966.
According to Ira Bare’s recollection of the historical events, “With an enthusiastic group of people and limited sources of revenue, we had turned a farmer’s field into a fine golf course facility”.
For the detailed narrative by Ira D. Bare, please click here: history