On July 3, 1893, Mr. William A Havemeyer, a resident of Riverside, Illlinois, brought together twenty-two Riverside citizens and formed the Riverside Golf Club. One of the oldest existing golf courses in the United States, and a founding member of the Western Golf Association, Riverside Golf is rich in tradition and is one of America's oldest golf clubs.
Originally founded on a plot of land in the Village of Riverside, Riverside Golf began as a three hole golf course at the intersection of Nuttal and Long Common Roads. In 1893, Riverside Golf Club leased a parcel of land at the corner of 1st Avenue and 26th Street where it established a nine hole golf course entirely on the west side of the Des Plaines River. Today Riverside exists on the same original parcel of land it obtained over 100 years ago. This makes Riverside the oldest club existing on its original plat of land west of the Allegheny Mountains.
Circa 1915 Riverside Golf Club approved the purchase of 88.5 acres west of the Des Plaines River and 12.2 acres east of the Des Plaines river in order to establish an 18 hole golf course. And then in 1919, Riverside hired a well known golf architect, WB Langford , to reconstruct the course into an 18 hole venue. A new club house was built and the newly expanded Riverside Golf Club began enjoying a 60 year period of continuous golf without any major renovations.
In 1984 a major fire destroyed the club house at Riverside Golf. In the next 10 years after the fire Riverside would rebuild its club house, renovate its pool, expand and redesign the golf course through a purchase of 25 acres from the Cook County Forest Preserve. Then in 2005, Riverside would further expand its facility by adding a practice facility. The newly designed course by architect Dick Nugent (most notable achievements in Illinois being Kemper Lakes, Dunne National, Seven Bridges, Heritage Bluffs, Ivanhoe Club, Bull Valley, Royal Fox, Willowhill, and Harborside Golf Club) now measured almost 6700 yards from the back tees, and a slope rating of 134 with par of 73.3.
Throughout its history Riverside has hosted many public golf events. Early on it was a favorite venue for the WGA being one of the more established courses in the Chicago area while golf was still new in the United States. Later in the century Riverside Golf hosted many notable public golf events including:
- Illinois PGA Championship 1975
- USGA Senior Open Qualifier 2001
- USGA Mid Am Qualifier 2003
- USGA Open Qualifier 2007
- CDGA Amateur Championship 2008
In 2007, Riverside Golf hosted the USGA Open qualifier. Over the 2 day event the course challenged the best golfers in the district and held the field to scores of par or worse. In the end, 2 players were able to go 'red' and they were MikeJack MacKenzie Small and Jeff Brehaut with scores of 71 69 and 70 70 respectively. Both players qualified for the open and Jeff Brehaut ended the tournament 16th overall.
Riverside Golf Club today is a challenging golf course, with tall majestic trees, tight fairways and undulating fast greens. The Des Plaines river and its tributaries make for interesting play on several holes. The golf course gives advanced amateurs and average players a fair challenge with a enjoyable round of golf.