The Downers Grove Golf Club holds a significant place in U.S. History. The golf course was established on this site in 1892 as the original Chicago Golf Club, when Charles Blair MacDonald, who was, according to Golf Journal, “a true and imposing pioneer of golf in America” persuaded thirty of his Chicago Club colleagues to contribute ten dollars each to design and construct a nine-hole golf course.
The site that was chosen to build the first Chicago Golf Club was a sixty-acre stock farm owned by A. Haddow Smith. A.H. Smith was a Lanarkshire golfer who had immigrated in 1890 to the United States from Musselburgh, Scotland where the game of golf was first played in 1774. When Smith heard of Macdonald’s plan, he enthusiastically offered his land as the location for the new golf course. Since no regulation cups were available, the course used tin cups.