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The History of Naperville Country Club

A Naperville Institution Since 1921

Naperville Country Club has been an integral part of the Naperville Community, dating back to its 1921 inception. At that time, the great game of golf had begun to sweep across the nation. With an eye towards bringing golf to Naperville, a group of golf enthusiasts set out to find the finest natural setting for a golf course. Having surveyed the area, they set their sites on a plot of land located just east of downtown Naperville, with easy access to the trains travelling between Chicago and the western suburbs. The property then belonged to Delclara Sleight, granddaughter of Naperville pioneer settler and real estate developer Morris Sleight, who inherited the land from her father Delcar in 1902 when only 9 months old. Delcara would become the Club's first female member and would later be referred to as the
First Lady of Naperville Country Club. 

The Pump - A Symbol of Naperville Country Club History

In the winter of 1868-69, Delcar Sleight purchased 130 acres of land east of Naperville. He coveted the land, as it seemed perfectly fit for grazing his extensive herds—rolling hills, never tilled, with only volunteer Hawthorn trees dotting the landscape. In the late spring of 1869, Sleight commissioned the construction of a well to provide a water source for his herds. He ordered a windmill from Chicago and, by June, cattle and goats drank from the cool waters pumped by gentle breezes. Sleight grazed and watered his herds on the property until his death in 1902. His daughter, Delcara, rented the land to local farmers until she signed the deed to Naperville Country Club on September 4, 1921.

The windmill remained on the property until 1947, when it was deemed unsafe and dismantled. All that remained of the well system was the pump. Weary and thirsty golfers used this pump as the only source of drinking water until 1973 when several modern fountains were added to number 3, 6, and 13 tees. 

The members of Naperville Country Club decided to make the pump a permanent club icon in 1986. Although the well was sealed in 1996, the pump remains a symbol of our peaceful pastoral past. You can see the original red pump in front of the Halfway House and a replica on the practice green.

https://www.dupageco.org/CountyClerk/1868/
In 1921, Naperville Country Club opened as a 9 hole golf course with sand greens. Shortly thereafter, golf course architect Tom Bendelow was engaged to design and build an 18 hole golf course on the 124 acre property, ideally located just one mile east of the rapidly expanding town of Naperville, Illinois.  Bendelow’s layout remained mostly intact until the club’s most recent major golf course renovation, which was completed in July, 2007.
In 1921, Naperville Country Club opened as a 9 hole golf course with sand greens. Shortly thereafter, golf course architect Tom Bendelow was engaged to design and build an 18 hole golf course on the 124 acre property, ideally located just one mile east of the rapidly expanding town of Naperville, Illinois.  Bendelow’s layout remained mostly intact until the club’s most recent major golf course renovation, which was completed in July, 2007.
In 1921, Naperville Country Club opened as a 9 hole golf course with sand greens. Shortly thereafter, golf course architect Tom Bendelow was engaged to design and build an 18 hole golf course on the 124 acre property, ideally located just one mile east of the rapidly expanding town of Naperville, Illinois.  Bendelow’s layout remained mostly intact until the club’s most recent major golf course renovation, which was completed in July, 2007.
  • Tom Bendelow Course
    • ORIGINAL TOM BENDELOW 18 HOLE GOLF COURSE



      In 1921, Naperville Country Club opened as a 9 hole golf course with sand greens. Shortly thereafter, golf course architect Tom Bendelow was engaged to design and build an 18 hole golf course on the 124 acre property, ideally located just one mile east of the rapidly expanding town of Naperville, Illinois. Bendelow was considered the nation's leading golf course designer and its most prolific. He is credited with building America's first 18 hole public golf course (Van Courtland Park in New York City, completed in 1899) and designed over 650 golf courses spanning a 35 year career. While living in Chicago, Bendelow designed several notable private golf courses, including St. Charles Country Club, the first two courses of Olympia Fields, and Medinah Country Club's Course Number 3. 

      Bendelow's layout remained mostly intact until the Club's most recent major golf course renovation, which was completed in July, 2007.

  • Steve Forrest Course Redesign
    • STEVE FORREST REDESIGN



      Although Bendelow's Naperville design was a challenge to play and always in impeccable condition, the members realized its short comings. The old layout lacked length, had design redundancy, included far too many blind shots, and it was difficult to maintain its bunkers. The growing membership voted and adopted a Master Plan for a complete golf course renovation. In the fall of 2005, the course was closed and renowned golf course architect Steve Forrest of Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates partnered closely with Naperville Country Club to rework the golf course. The emphasis was on providing additional length, improved shot value and new green complexes. Overall, 13 holes were rerouted and the remaining 5 holes were strategically lengthened to complete the design. Every tee, green complex and sand bunker was newly constructed to USGA standards; all fairways were re-graded and reseeded and a state of the art irrigation system was installed throughout the golf course and practice facility. The new state-of-the-art course was opened in 2007.

  • Full NCC History