In the early 1900s the Nakoma neighborhood was rapidly expanding and the residents of the area were invested in growing the community by establishing a recreational facility, specifically a golf club. On June 23, 1923, after numerous debates, the Nakoma Country Club was first established, near the future intersection of Seminole Highway and Manitou Way.
At the time Nakoma Country Club consisted of a rudimentary 9 hole golf course with a temporary clubhouse. There were ambitious plans to add tennis, archery, baseball and croquet facilities in the future as well as renovating the current golf course to championship standards. In March 1924, a more permanent, but still temporary, clubhouse structure was built and moved onto the current Nakoma property, located where the maintenance facility is today. On August 30, 1925 a full 18 holes of golf, designed by Thomas Bendelow, opened for play with appropriate Indian names given for each of the holes. The club continued to grow through the rest of the 1920’s and early 1930’s with more than 300 members actively enjoying the club. With this early success Nakoma was able to build a permanent clubhouse facility, on July 24, 1930 it opened to a grand gala event, but this proved to be the beginning of the end as financial burdens and harsh realities of the depression soon took hold of the Nakoma Country Club. Unfortunately the membership ran out of options and the club was foreclosed upon on April 30, 1938.
The golf course operated as a public golf course in 1939 and 1940, and beginning in 1941, George Vitense would operate the course under a lease agreement with the lending company that had taken ownership of the property from the foreclosure.
In late 1942 a group of investors approached Vitense and were interested in acquiring the club in an effort to reestablish another private golf club at Nakoma. The Nakoma Golf Club, as it exists today, was formally reborn a private club on May 9, 1944 when articles of incorporation were formed and accepted by the state of Wisconsin. After World War II ended, Vitense again was approached and he agreed to turn over his option to buy the club to the membership. On May 1, 1946 the club officially was turned over to the membership with stock options required for membership and was a private member owned golf facility known as Nakoma Golf Club.
Over the years, Nakoma Golf Club has blossomed into what it is today. The current 105 acre facility was improved upon numerous times including the addition of a swimming facility, a tennis facility and enhancements to the golf course. To this day the Nakoma Golf Club remains true to its original identity…”to promote the common good and welfare of all its members, to operate and carry on the business of a private golf course and to encourage various athletic and social events, all while to cultivate friendship and fellowship among its members.”
We look forward to the continued future of Nakoma Golf Club as both a private club and figurehead in the Madison, WI community.