Today in NC State History: NC State golf chooses right club

May 2, 2015
By Chris Saunders

historyIconFootball, baseball, basketball and track were the prominent sports in NC State’s early days. But in 1924, there was plenty of talk on campus about a new sport that was trying to tee off.

It was on this day 91 years ago that NC State’s golf team was born.

The origin of the team, which began only as a club and not as a varsity sport, can be traced back to a discussion between students and administrators earlier that year about the formation of a team and the construction of a golf course on campus. In that meeting, J.W. Harrelson, who at the time was only an instructor (he would eventually be named chancellor), weighed the cost and accessibility of a course.

One thing he saw as important was the course’s location — it would need to be in a place where students could get to if they “only had one hour to play,” according to The Technician.

NC State's golf tradition, which began on this day in 1924, has led to such moments as Arnold Palmer taking the first tee shot at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course's groundbreaking in 2007.

NC State’s golf tradition, which began on this day in 1924, has led to such moments as Arnold Palmer taking the first tee shot at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course’s groundbreaking in 2007.

“It was thought by the men who met last Monday night that part of the College farm, which seems to be a liability to the College, could be easily converted into a five- or six-hole golf course with a moderate cost to the College,” the article reported.

And at play, as is it is in the modern era of college sports, was the idea with simply keeping up with other athletic programs. “The institutions in this State that have golf courses for the students and faculty are: Wake Forest, Davidson and Carolina that I know of,” a student wrote in The Technician. “Why can’t State College have one? We can if we want it bad enough.”

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