History of Oahu Country Club
Nestled in a beautiful valley with a spectacular view of mountains, the city of Honolulu, Hawaii, and the Pacific Ocean, is a hilly 18-hole private golf course known as the Oahu Country Club. It is one of the oldest private country club west of the Rockies. The following is a brief history of this unique country club.
In 1905, a group of men led by Honolulu attorney and businessman Wade Warren Thayer (who would later become Attorney General and then Secretary of Hawaii) selected land in Rooke's Valley (also known as Waolani Valley) as the best site for the fourth golf club in the Islands. Already existing there were the Moanalua Golf Club, which was built in 1898, the Manoa Golf Club (1904) and the Haleiwa Hotel Golf Course (1906). Of these, only the Moanalua Club is still in existence. The land had been conveyed to Dr. Thomas C. B. Rooke of England by King Kamehameha III in 1849.
The land was leased from the heirs of Dr. Rooke for an annual rent of $900 in U.S. gold coins. In 1910, the Club purchased all 378 acres in fee for 6,000 sterling, (the equivalent of about $30,000 U.S.). The Club's charter was approved by officials of the Territory of Hawaii on June 8, 1906. This date is accepted as the founding date of Oahu Country Club.
Construction of the Oahu Country Club golf course began in August 1906, and a formal opening of the 2,813 yard nine-hole layout was held on April 27, 1907. The second nine holes were completed in September 1913, and the now 18-hole 4,380 yard course played to a par 61, with 11 par threes and 7 par fours. (The driving range was opened in 1988). Extensive changes have been made to the layout, lengthening the course to 5,820 yards and a par of 71. Each year the course is home to the historic Manoa Cup. The Manoa Cup was donated to Oahu Country Club by the Manoa Golf Club when Manoa was disbanded in 1908.
Alexander McLaren of Australia was OCC's first golf professional, but he stayed only one year. Alex "Sandy" Bell was head professional from 1909 until 1944, to be followed until 1949 by "Lighthorse" Harry Cooper. The late Ed Sochacki was our golf professional from 1949 until 1976, and Bill Schwallie became our first Hawaii-born head professional in January 1977 until his retirement in 1998. In April of 1998 Andrew Feldmann became our new Head Professional.
The original OCC Clubhouse was opened with the golf course on April 27, 1907, and in September of that year, two tennis courts were added. (The courts later deteriorated and were torn out due to lack of use). Clubhouse changes, renovations and expansions continued until July 31, 1970 when, after 16 months of construction, our present Clubhouse was opened on the same site.
Day-to-day operations from 1907 until 1929 were supervised by Chief Steward and General Superintendent Harry Sadayasu. In 1929, Madison Cooper was hired as Club Manager. He was succeeded in 1936 by Chief Steward Takeichiro "Naka" Nakanishi who, with some interruptions, would "run" the Club until 1956. Arthur Jarl became the manager in 1950, and was followed in 1956 by Edward McKellar. Ten years later, Richard Maynes was hired to manage the Club and would remain until 1985. After interim management by Carl Kent, Tom Anderson was hired in 1987. In 1993 Fred Honda came aboard until September of 1997. David W. Claussen, CCM, managed the Club from 1997 until October 2003. Loren K. Pippin, CCM, CCE was then hired, and worked until December 2011. Our present General Manager is Peter Hansen, CCM.