In 1926, Earl Gammage, Sr., an active real estate developer, designated 117 acres in southeast Houston between what are now homes and telephone road to build one of Houston’s finest golf courses. Construction on the course began in 1926 and was completed in 1927. Golfcrest Country Club immediately became popular with the people of Houston and soon developed a large, active membership.
In 1932, Golfcrest became one of the first clubs in the nation to experiment with night golf when it installed floodlight on the front nine holes. There was not a shortage of players, however the concept was discontinued in 1932 due to slow play.
Later, oil was discovered while drilling water wells on the property and Mr. Gammage formed Golfcrest Oil Company. As it turned out, not enough oil was found to justify continued drilling and Gammage then sold the club in 1934 to W.T. Carter the Carter Lumber Company. A decade later in 1944, the members purchased the club from Carter and it became a stockholding members club as it is today.
When many people think of Golfcrest Country Club, they think of the Golfcrest four-ball tournament, which was one of the city’s most popular amateur events that started in 1951. It once was dominated by late PGA Tour Pro John Paul Cain, who teamed up with Walter Fondren to win it from 1964-68. He then teamed with Dr. John Garrett to win again in 1969. Other regulars participating in the four-ball tournaments included such well-known golfers as Homer Blancas, Jim Hickey, Bobby Walzel, Keith Fergus, and Bill Rogers.
In 1965, much like the Houston Country Club a decade before, Golfcrest Country Club was choked off by industrial development and members started thinking about moving. They eventually purchased 200 acres of undeveloped land, 12 miles away in Pearland and sold the old club to Dallas-based Unit, Inc. in May 1969.
The old course, which measured only 6,000 yards closed on December 31, 1970 and the new club opened on January 2, 1971. The members hired famed architect Joseph S. Finger to build the new 6,900-yard layout that is much tougher than the original course. He moved 160,000 cubic yards of the sandy loam soil to create mounds on the fairways and elevated the green and then fashioned strategically lakes and ponds. Finger also incorporated Apple Creek in the layout area along with his man-made lakes on the densely wooded course.
Today, Golfcrest Country Club continues to improve its course and facilities to ensure continued acceptance and success within the community.