In 1958, a gentleman named Brent Wadsworth was awarded the contract to construct the Silver Lake Country Club golf course. Mr. Wadsworth, then 29, graduated from Penn State’s agronomy program. He was married to Jean and had two children under the age of three. Mr. Wadsworth, along with golf course architect Larry Packard, spent a week exploring and surveying the land to determine whether a course could be constructed to fit on the 120 acres available. A previous architect had turned down the project as not feasible; however, these two gentlemen submitted their findings and were selected to proceed with their final plan.
Mr. Wadsworth moved his family into the tiny house that remained on the property (This is now the site of the current driving range). He worked closely with the Lucco Company when construction began in June 1958. The nine-hole course opened for play on June 20, 1959, using our present second hold as the No. 1 hole. The tiny house that the Wadsworth family was living in was converted into a temporary clubhouse. Golfers were then shuttled to the first tee on the top of the hill.
From that beginning in 1958 at Silver Lake Country Club, Brent Wadsworth and his company, Wadsworth Golf Construction Company, grew to be the largest builder of golf courses in the country. They have completed more than 600 golf courses, including several of the Invited courses pictured in the clubhouse hallway. They have built courses in 46 states, as well as courses in Japan, Mexico, the Philippines and Guam. They have rebuilt, renovated and remodeled several well-known courses such as Pinehurst, The Greenbrier, Harbor Town and the Amen Corner at Augusta National. Mr. Wadsworth received the Donald Ross Award from the American Golf Course Architects Association. He is the only builder who has been honored with this award, which is usually presented only to architects.
Over the years, SLCC Members Emmett and Alice Monroe have kept in touch with the Wadsworths. Mr. Wadsworth informed the Monroes that he and his wife would pass through Ohio on their way to Pinehurst and would love to see his first course. On September 21, 2003, Mr. and Mrs. Wadsworth returned to the Club that started it all. It was arranged for them to be given a cart tour of the golf course. The Monroes reported that both Mr. and Mrs. Wadsworth were so excited, thrilled and proud of what Silver Lake Country Club has become. Mr. Wadsworth was so impressed to see how the course had matured that he was close to tears. In a letter to the Monroes, Mr. Wadsworth wrote, “The tour of the golf course just plain took our breath away. Jean and I consistently talk about how lucky we were to start our business at Silver Lake with so many good people.”