History


 

        On October 13, 1892, John B. Morton and his colleagues Frederick W. Klienz and John P. Burleigh founded the Merchantville Field Club Organization known today as Merchantville Country Club. Originally, the club undertook all popular outdoor endeavors including baseball, cricket, tennis, golf, and even football.

        In the late 1800’s, golf was not as well received as today. It consumed a large swath of land and was played with whippy hickory stick clubs, undependable balls, and tin cans, sunk into the ends of the fields. William Craig and William Stelwagon, the “Daddies” of golf in Merchantville, persisted in the club’s pursuit of golf and tennis. Their efforts cemented golf into the club culture and resulted in the club’s first golf course, although it barely resembled the course configuration of today.

        On June 3, 1898, the Merchantville Field Club was incorporated. With no established clubhouse, board officers conducted club business in their homes or in the billiard room of the Oak Grove Inn. Eventually, board members met at Collins and Pancoast Hall, which at the time also hosted the US Post Office and the Merchantville Lodge of the Free Masons. During one of these meetings in 1916, the name was formally changed to Merchantville Country Club. Also at that time, the board acquired the land on which they built the first MCC Clubhouse.

        In 1910, the Merchantville CC Head Golf Professional was Johnny McDermott. He drew national and international attention to MCC making history as the first American born professional to win the US Open in 1911. McDermott went on to win again in 1912 to make him one of only five players in the history of golf to win the US Open in back to back years.  Canadian born actor Michael Weaver played McDermott in the 2005 Disney movie “The Greatest Game Ever Played.

        In 1954, MCC sold four acres of land and the clubhouse to the Borough of Merchantville for one dollar. That fortress of a building still stands today and serves as the Merchantville Community Center. A new clubhouse was constructed on the opposite side of the grounds, located in Cherry Hill. That clubhouse served for over 50 years until the new existing clubhouse was built on the same footprint. The new clubhouse was designed with diligent and exacting detail to serve the specific golf and social needs of our membership. Come see for yourself.

 

Merchantville CC golf professional, Johnny McDermott, posing with the US Open Trophy he won in 1911 and 1912.


Merchantville CC's original clubhouse, built in 1916.


Arial photo of  Merchantville CC grounds  in 1939. Taken from the southwest end of the property.