HISTORICAL TIMELINE OF FLUSHING VALLEY GOLF CLUB
Flushing Valley Golf Club was designed in 1930 by Wilfred Reid & William Connellan
Wilfrid Ewart “Wilfie” Reid
EARLY CAREER Reid studied club and ball making under Tommy Armour‘s father, Willie, in Edinburgh, Scotland. A scratch golfer at 15, Reid turned professional at 17 and was a protégé of Harry Vardon who helped him get a club professional job at La Boulie Golf Club in Versailles, France, in 1901 for roughly five years. He later was the professional at Banstead Downs Golf Club in Sutton, London, England, for roughly nine years and a successful tournament player. Reid – who was never short on confidence – was a fine competitive golfer despite being small of stature, and he beat his mentor, Vardon, on several occasions.
TOURNAMENT STATS In 1913 Reid visited America with Vardon and Ted Ray where they played in several tournaments including the famous 1913 U.S. Open in which he tied for 16th — Reid tied Vardon for the 2nd round lead and played with Francis Ouimetin the 3rd round. In 1915 he tied 10th. His best finish in the U.S. Open was a T-4 in 1916. He also won the 1926 Michigan PGA Championship and had 26 holes-in-one in his long playing career.
CAREER AS A CLUB PROFESSIONAL In February 1915 Reid emigrated to America at the invitation of Clarence H. Geist to be golf professional at Seaview Golf Club in Galloway, New Jersey, after the outbreak of World War I. His career in America as a club professional included positions at several of America’s top clubs:
- Broadmoor Golf Club, Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Seminole Golf Club, North Palm Beach, Florida
- Country Club of Detroit, Grosse Pte. Farms, Michigan
- Beverly Country Club, Chicago, Illinois
- Atlantic City Country Club, Northfield, New Jersey
- Willmington Country Club in Delaware
- La Gorce on Miami Beach
- Indianwood Club (now Indianwood Golf and Country Club) in Michigan; he was co -founder and creator, part owner and golf course designer of Indianwood (Old Course-1925), a classic links-like course located in a rare, sandy area in the woods north of Detroit.
PGA Wilfrid served the PGA of America throughout his entire career. Less is known about his role in the British PGA. He became a member of the PGA of America in 1917 and was appointed to the national PGA Executive Committee as a vice president at large. In August 1920, he was elected VP of the PGA of America and reelected in 1921. In 1920 and 1921 he also held the Office of Secretary of the Southeastern Section PGA. Later in 1929 he was the president of the Michigan Section PGA for three years.
GOLF COURSE DESIGN Not only was Reid a wonderful golf teacher, his greatest accomplishments were golf course designing. Reid began designing golf courses at an early age and laid out courses in Europe and Britain before settling in the United States. He once estimated that he had designed 58 courses and remodeled some 43 others during his design career.
While based in Michigan during the 1920s, he partnered with family friend, turf farm owner and golf course construction contractor, William Connellan, at Indianwood; (Connellan had once worked building golf courses for Donald Ross). Together (in the 1920’s and 30’s) they went on to design and build some 20 courses in Michigan:
- Port Huron Golf Club, (Reid, Connellan), Fort Gratiot, MI
- Indian River Golf Club, (original 9 hole), (Reid), Indian River, MI
- Birmingham Country Club, (Reid), Birmingham, MI, 1916
- Olympic Club, (Reid), original 18-hole Lakeside Golf Club course, San Francisco, 1917; in 1918, The Olympic Club assumed control of the operations of the financially distressed Lakeside Golf Club and by 1922, the Club purchased enough acreage to replace the original golf course with two 18-hole golf courses.
- Water’s Edge Golf Course, (Reid), Grosse Ile, MI (9-hole course commissioned by William S. Knudsen)
- Brae Burn Golf Club, (Reid, Connellan), Plymouth, MI, 1923
- Gaylord Country Club, (Reid), Gaylord, MI, 1924
- Indianwood Golf and Country Club– Old Course, (Reid, Connellan), Lake Orion, MI, 1925
- Tam-O’Shanter Country Club, (Reid, Connellan),West Bloomfield, MI, 1926 (redesigned)
- Bald Mountain Golf Course, (regulation course), (Reid, Connellan), Lake Orion, MI, 1929
- Flushing Valley Country Club, (Reid, Connellan), Flushing, MI, 1930
Eventually, Reid’s design work numbered over 90 new or remodeled courses across the United States. In addition, he designed courses in:
England (redesigned Banstead Downs GC, Sutton Surrey, Great Britan, 1914)
France (La Boulie Golf Club)
Belgium (La Vallee course) and Canada
END OF LIFE Reid retired to Florida in the early 1950s and consistently improved his game in both social and competitive rounds. Even into old age, he continued to “beat his age” in score on his birthday. He died on November 24th, 1973 at the age of 89 in West Palm Beach. In 1985, Reid was posthumously inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.