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Oak Ridge Country Club was officially organized on September 24, 1920. The incorporating body was known as The Oak Ridge Holding Corporation.

Let’s turn the clock back.

In 1914, a group of community leaders from both St. Paul and Minneapolis caught the golf bug. From St. Paul: Isaac Rose, Sam Dittenhoefer, Charles Strauss, Ben Baer, William and Leo Goodkind; from Minneapolis: Isaac Kaufman, Leopold Metzger, Ben Gradwohl, David Simon, and Ben Weil.

They held meetings discussing the possibilities of a Country Club to satisfy the growing needs and athletic aspirations of both communities. They searched the suburbs for a suitable location for a golf course that would serve St. Paul and Minneapolis. With the Minneapolis contingency firmly rooted to a location near Como Park, Charles Strauss owned a parcel of property attractively priced and available on easy terms. However, it became apparent that a Twin Cities Club could not be organized, and Mr. Strauss’ property became Northwood Country Club in 1915. It existed as a 9-hole course for a matter of 25 years.

Northwood Country Club attracted some Minneapolis memberships, though only auto owners were tempted to join, and that ended all attempts at forming a Twin Cities Golf Club. The advent of World War I pushed plans into the background, and it was not until after the November 11 Armistice that Ruben, Kaufman, or Simon, conceived the idea of using the Elysium Club as the vehicle for the sponsoring and promotion of the Golf Club idea.

Turning the clock back again to 1908 when the Elysium Club was founded in Minneapolis as a social organization known as the Calumet Club, which was where dances, picnics, and sponsored boat rides were hosted for two years. Then came the war and with the cessation of hostilities. Elysium Club members returned to their old haunts, and the club came out of hibernation with dances, picnics, card parties and the like. Jesse Hyman was president of the Elysium Club in this immediate post-war period, and he and his directors and advisors liked the Golf Club idea.

A committee of Elysium Club was appointed to investigate the possibilities of forming a country club among the Jewish community of Minneapolis. This committee was instructed to estimate the cost of land, preparation of the golf course, size and cost of the buildings, methods of financing and more. On August 18, 1920, the Shubert Theater was used as a meeting spot for the Elysium Club members and for other golfers and the turnout was an enthusiastic one - approximately 150 persons in attendance. This was the birth of Oak Ridge Country Club!

The Holding Company was to own the property, collect the subscriptions, spend the money and borrow more if necessary. The club function was to be administered by its own board elected by the membership. The first board was then elected on August 18, 1920.

Through the winter of 1920-1921, the Oak Ridge Directors held frequent meetings attending to many routine matters that needed doing before the Club could operate: Digging a well, placement of grass seed, a pump and water tank order, installing power lines, a machinery shed and a caddy house. On April 7, 1921, specifications were accepted, and bids began. A month later all bids were identified, and Fleisher Construction Co. was awarded the contract for the original clubhouse. On November 2, 1921, the club house was completed.

In 2004, Oak Ridge Country Club tore down the club house and rebuilt on the same footprint creating the beautiful building, designed for our membership today. In the Clubs' 98th year in operation, we see many generations of the same families that helped build the Club as a pillar in the community. We strived then, and still do, to remain a vital and active role in the Twin Cities community. Oak Ridge Country Club provides a wonderful, energetic location for recreation and entertainment for our members’ families and their guests. 

Names of the Original incorporators

  • Isaac Kaufman

  • Ben Gradwohl

  • J. Jesse Hyman

  • Ralph T. Hamburger

  • Jesse Moss

  • Benjamin Weil

  • Simon Meyer