by Michael Longoria, Sales and Marketing Coordinator, Capital Canyon Club
In the Beginning… 1919 to 1939
“There is no question that Prescott can boast one of the most attractive links in the Southwest” — Prescott Journal Miner Newspaper, June 1919.
It all began in March 1919 when Leroy Anderson, a lawyer, family man and inventor purchased the southern 85 acres of the Hartson Ranch in Prescott, Arizona for $375. In doing so, he had every intention of constructing a golf and country club. Within two months, Anderson hired Jock McLaren, a golf professional from Scotland, to create a 9-hole golf course on the flatlands west of Indian Hill.
On Nov. 19, 1919, the historic Hassayampa Country Club (HCC) opened its doors for the very first time playing as a 2,820-yard, par 37, 9-hole course. Back in those days the greens and tee boxes, which can still be found today, were constructed using a sand/oil mixture and fairways were native land. Through the 1920s, HCC was very popular among the masses.
Mid & Late Century … 1939 to 1998
Like much of the United States, HCC fell into difficult times during the Great Depression, and eventually cash ran dry. As fate may have it, in March 1939, a Chicago investor and inventor by the name of Harvey Cory (who just so happened to move to Prescott in hopes of curing his daughter’s asthma) purchased the 85 acres, as well as 160 acres of the surrounding land. Cory agreed to spend $3,000 annually for upkeep of the course, along with other capital improvements such as: a new clubhouse, enhanced greens and tees by using cottonseed in lieu of sand/oil, the construction of Arizona’s first Olympic-sized swimming pool and much more.
During his tenure at HCC, Cory delivered on his promises. On April 3, 1939 ground was broken for a massive new clubhouse that included a large fireplace that could fit a 5-foot log and stone tables for seating. Cory also enhanced the men’s and ladies’ rooms and even reconstructed the club caddy shack and golf shop.
The Club Thrives Once Again
On May 7, 1939, the new clubhouse opened its doors. With the financial backing of Cory and world-famous trick-shot artist Art Ashton,as head pro/club manager, HCC saw tremendous growth in the following months and soon became home to the Prescott City Championship.
Seeing continued growth at the club, Cory announced the construction of Hassayampa’s signature “cottages” in July 1939. Later that month, the Olympic-sized pool, two tennis courts and a children’s play area were opened.
The 1940s and ’50s were stable decades for the club. Cory began construction on the cottages in 1940, and all 14 were completed by 1944. The cottages are still around to this day and have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1941, the HCC hosted Tex Ritter and Dorothy Fay Southworth for the first wedding on the club grounds.
Harvey Cory passed away from cancer in 1949. His grandson Jack Bartlett then became the club’s new owner. Nine years later in July 1958, Bartlett changed all tees, greens and fairways to bent grass, and once again HCC reopened. As the ’60s raved on, the club soon fell because of increased city-water costs. In December 1969, HCC closed for good. The course would remain closed for the next 30 years.
The New Millennia … 1998 to Present Day
In 1995, Bartlett sold the course and 245 acres to a developer who also purchased 181 additional acres, and immediate changes were implemented. Golf legend Tom Weiskopf led the remodeling of the course to construct an 18-hole, par 71, signature golf course. In 1997, Hassayampa Golf Club and its 30,000-square-foot clubhouse reopened once again. But Hassayampa Golf Club only saw life for a little over a decade and soon went bankrupt.
As a Phoenix rises from the ashes, in September 2014, former Hassayampa member Jerre Stead purchased the club and rebranded it to create Capital Canyon Club. The name is a testament to Prescott’s rich history. Capital – as Prescott was the first territorial capital of Arizona in 1864. Canyon – in commemoration of the Grand Canyon State. Club – as this club is now and will forever be Prescott’s Premier Golf and Social Club.
Today you will find a modernized clubhouse that combines a fresh new look with historic lodge style architecture and native stone accents. With blue rye fairways, bent greens and tees, the revitalized course makes any day at Capital Canyon unforgettable.
Our social calendars include weekly bridge and mahjong play, along with additional events including: an annual wine festival, pub crawl, community-outreach events and bimonthly theme nights including a prime rib night to die for. Members also enjoy a state-of-the-art fitness center to stay in shape year-round.
As we celebrate our 100-year anniversary, we reminisce on the past and embrace the history that brought us to where we are today.
Capital Canyon Club
2060 Golf Club Lane
Prescott, AZ 86303
Information provided by CCC member John Oas.