RCW: A Look Back 4.27
Although it was never home to the Kansas golf team, let’s take A Look Back at the on-campus nine-hole golf course, operated by what was known as the Oread Golf Club.
The Oread Golf Club, made up of KU faculty, staff and students and general Lawrence citizens, worked over the winter of 1899-1900 to clear the brush, hedges and trees on the nearly 2,000-yard course. The course was located in the (then-) fields between McCook Field (now Memorial Stadium) and West Campus Road. The area is now the home of several parking lots, sidewalks, a concrete pavilion and picnic area, Joseph R. Pearson Hall, Carruth-O’Leary Hall and the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. The golf course’s number of holes was gradually reduced over the years; by World War II it was essentially wiped out due to lack of golfers and maintenance. However, despite the large number of changes to the area, it is still possible to see the slightest hints of the course both in person and in old aerial photographs, if one knows where to look.
For example, the odd circular feature just southwest of the old tennis courts in this 1957 aerial photo of Memorial Stadium is likely the remnants of one of the course’s sand greens. Can you spot it in the grove of trees?
Unfortunately, that sand green circle is no longer visible, thanks to a variety of construction projects in the last 60 years. However, one feature of the course is still identifiable in person to this day. Take a walk along the west side of Potter Lake, and you can see the tee box for the third hole. It’s raised just a little off the ground, and blends in fairly well with the rest of the uneven area around it; though, if you look close enough, it’s just a little too rectangular to be “natural.”
Special thanks to University Archives and Professor Mark Luce (KU English Department) for their assistance with this week’s edition of A Look Back for Rock Chalk Weekly.