Rainier Golf and Country Club
Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from the Rainier Golf and Country Club dating back to the 1920's. This document is signed by the company President and Secretary and measures approximately 11 1/4" (w) by 7 1/2" (h).
This certificate features a nice vignette of the company's clubhouse.
You will receive the exact certificate pictured. You will receive the exact certificate pictured. Please note that there are fold splits that have been tape repaired on the back. There is some paper loss in spots, including a chip in the upper left margin. A very scarce item with some condition issues. Please review scans carefully.
Rainier Golf and Country Club was founded in 1919 by a group of players on the southern outskirts of Seattle. Following World War I, Seattle had but four golf courses: The Seattle Golf Club (1896), Jefferson Park Municipal Golf Course (1915), and the two now-defunct 9-hole University Golf Club (1914) and the 6-hole West Side Golf Club (1915) in West Seattle. There was also the 9-hole Earlington
Golf and Country Club (1912), also defunct, in Renton.
Choices were limited for the Seattle resident seeking to take up this new game that had become suddenly popular. There was a long waiting list for membership at the Seattle Golf Club; Tacoma Golf Club (1894) and Everett Golf and Country Club (1910) were too far, and Jefferson Park, where some100,000 rounds per year was being played, too congested.
The group of Rainier founders spent six months in 1918 scouting the area for suitable land. They eventually found a 107-acre property owned by Mrs. Christine Beals off Des Moines Road. They were able to secure a lease with an option to buy, which they did a few months later.
On February 11, 1919, the group met and gave the club its name, Rainier Golf & Country Club, an easy choice given the view of the great mountain from several vantage points on the course. Charles A. Reynolds, a real estate dealer and former president of the Jefferson Park Golf Club, led the organizing
effort. The club formally organized on March 11, 1919.
The organizing committee wasted no time in setting out to build a golf course. They had already selected Robert Johnstone, club professional at the Seattle Golf Club, to lay out the course.
By the March 11 meeting, Johnstone had presented to the club the design for the full 18 holes. The first nine would be on the south side of the club house, and second nine of the north side, the reverse of today. Work would begin with holes 10 – 18 (now 1 - 9) first. Johnstone felt the finishing holes, and particularly the 18th, were the most important ones on the course. The greens should be located where
it provided ideal viewing by members and spectators as they sat on the patio of the clubhouse. Many matches would be decided, one hoped, on the 18th where the inherent drama would entertain the spectators.
He also saw the 18th hole (now the 9th) as the most problematic. It was not an ideal finishing hole, as the terrain hand-cuffed him. After considerable fretting, he came up with a solution: “The home hole … is the only one that really is going to be difficult to carve out. It is played diagonally along the slope of the hill. This could not be avoided … however, with a possible series of terraces the play could be carried along so that the player would not have any bad stance.” (Seattle Times March 16, 1919) The design and construction of this hole gave Johnstone fits until completed.
The routing of the holes in 1920 was substantially the same as it is today, but unlike today’s tree-lined, dog-legged fairways, the course then was virtually treeless and holes tended toward a straight line.
Although hole 18 is depicted in a straight line in this diagram, no doubt it was a dogleg, although perhaps not as severe as it is now. The concept of doglegs as a design strategy, rather than a geographical necessity, was a relatively new idea at the time.
One who would use doglegs to great effect in his course design was A. Vernon Macan, noted golf architect from British Columbia. Rainier would hire Macan to re-design the second nine at Rainier, completed in 1924. They would also ask him to review the work that Johnstone had done on the first nine.
By the summer of 1920, construction had progressed to the point where holes 10 -18 (now the front nine) were nearly ready for play. And on September 26, 1920, the course formally opened with an inaugural tournament. The course conditions were still rough and the best scored turned in that day was an 85 for two loops around the nine-hole course.
As of opening day, there were 225 members paying the $5 monthly dues. The temporary clubhouse was yet a small structure which would later be used as a caddie shack and maintenance building. Work on the second nine began immediately.
On New Year’s Day, 1923, the clubhouse (which is pictured on this piece), completed with furnishings, at a cost of $20,000, was opened.
Perhaps due to the costs associated with building a new clubhouse, the construction of the second nine at Rainier progressed slowly. In June, 1923 Rainier hired A. Vernon Macan to complete the construction of the greens of the second nine. Macan immediately set out to not only complete the new greens, but
to modify the design of two of the holes on the second nine. Later, further modifications took place with Macan making substantial changes to seven of the nine holes. Speaking of his work, Macan said...
"I’ve never done anything in my life that I am so satisfied with, and I believe that three of those holes, Nos. 1, 3 and 8 [now 10, 12, and 17), will rank with any anywhere. I am only saying what I deeply feel. I am willing to let my work in golf course designing go before the world with those three holes as a sample."