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There are not many courses in the state that
can celebrate 100 years of existence, but add
Woodward Golf Club in Bessemer to the short list
that contains, to the best of my knowledge, just
the Country Club of Birmingham, Country Club of
Mobile, Montgomery Country Club and Anniston
A.H. "Rick" Woodward Sr., who died 65 years ago,
impacted the citizens of Birmingham through two
sports he touched deeply: baseball and golf.
Woodward, who built Rickwood Field and was
owner of both the park and the Birmingham Bar-
ons, made his name and money in the iron making
business. Rickwood Field celebrated 100 years of
baseball in 2011 and, as such, is the oldest concur-
rently used baseball park in existence.
He also started Woodward Golf & Country Club,
which originally comprised eight holes built in a
cow pasture in Brighton, near Bessemer in the sum-
mer of 1916.
Eight holes is an unusual number, but the reason
was simple enough, according to original charter
Woodward Golf Club celebrates 100 years!
member John H. Leonard
who told long-time Birmingham News Sports
Editor Alf Van Hoose: "We couldn't find a location
for a ninth green" on the land previously used by
the owners of milk cows.
Originally built by Mr. Woodward for the
enjoyment and benefit of his employees at Wood-
ward Iron Company, it is the oldest golf club at its
original location in Jefferson County. It began with
around 80 members and was first called the Em-
ployees Club (of Woodward Iron Company).
Leonard was elected president of the club and,
among other things, found a location for the ninth
green: close to the clubhouse and approximately
where the practice putting green was found
World War I changed things and shortly thereaf-
ter the course reorganized under its current name.
In 1920 a clubhouse was built (it was designed by
George E. Denham, architect of Woodward
Company and a club member, and came in at
double the original $5000 estimate!) and the