EXPERIENCE THE HISTORY OF RUSSELLVILLE COUNTRY CLUB
Russellville Country Club was founded in 1926. Back in 1926, an enterprising group of seventy-one young men decided it was high time for Russellville to have its very own Country Club. They had their eye on an eighty acre parcel just north of town – the Will Bruce Farm. So, they put their minds together and their names on the dotted line and collectively pledged $6800 to get the development off the ground. Soon thereafter, they purchased the Bruce acreage for $2500 and began the work of laying out the first nine holes, which today is played as the Back 9 (referred to locally as “the bottom 9”). In 1927, the founders decided to borrow $8000 to complete the original nine holes and make a start at building an appropriate Club House.
Over the next thirty years, the Club grew in membership and stature, and provided a more than adequate social and recreational outlet for its members and guest. Then, in 1960, RCC added one of the most in-demand amenities of private country clubs across the country – a swimming pool. By this time, things were taking place in the River Valley that would change the face of Russellville for years to come. The interstate highway system, the lock and dam on the Arkansas River (forming Lake Dardanelle) and the development of Entergy's (then AP&L) Arkansas Nuclear One facility meant boom times for Russellville and the Country Club was determined to prosper right along with the rest of the area.
In 1974, the membership voted to take a bold step and double the size of the original Club House, expanding it to its present physical layout. With membership and participation in club activities continuing to grow, consideration was now being given to the addition of another nine holes (referred to locally as “the top 9”)...giving RCC an 18 hole golf course. It had taken just over 50 years in the making, but the wait was well worth it. The hilly, rolling terrain of the newly constructed nine holes (played today as the front 9) was completely different from the original nine holes on the valley floor. And, it offered scenic vistas that added much to the aesthetic beauty of the entire property.
With such a nice new 18 hole golf course, a swimming pool nearly 30 years old would just not do any longer. So, by 1987, the original pool was demolished and a brand new pool, pool house and cabana were built – nearly doubling the size of the pool complex, which still serves the club today. By now, golf was one of the fastest growing recreational sports in America and more and more men, women and yes, children were taking up the sport. With more and more golfers came the demand for a better golf course on which to play. But first, the issue of water had to be addressed. In 1991 it was, with the addition of a large lake on the Back 9 to serve as a reservoir. Shortly thereafter, in 1994, a completely new and modern irrigation system was installed throughout the 18 hole layout, along with an additional small lake on the Front 9. At the time, considerable remodeling and redecoration was done to the Club House.
The decade of the 90's marked another era of prosperity for the River Valley and the membership of RCC felt it was time to dramatically redesign the entire golf course. The project was ambitious to say the least – calling for nearly all the tee boxes to be rebuilt, all the greens to be rebuilt and converted to bent grass, numerous sand traps added, new holes to be constructed and others to be modified, plus drainage, new sod, new cart paths and new landscaping. And, if that wasn't enough, they added a large, new putting green and two-way driving range. It was a major undertaking and a nearly $1.5 million dollar project, but as you can see today...the results are magnificent.
Just like any local Country Club, RCC faces the everyday challenges of operation a successful enterprise, but with the leadership of its Board of Directors, the dedication and commitment of its staff and the strength of its membership...the Russellville Country Club moves forward toward its 100th Anniversary, taking great pride in its heritage and an optimistic outlook for an even brighter future.