Q: I have a book, “Lost Links: Forgotten Treasures of Golf’s Golden Age,” which identifies an A.W. Tillinghast-designed nine-hole course named Ingleside Country Club in Atlanta. The date it opened is unknown, however, the layout of the holes is shown with a notation of “filling of the swampy area surrounding the third hole during or shortly after World War I.” Where was it located?
—John Murphy, Atlanta
A: Not to give away the answer so quickly, but it helps to know that Ingleside was the name of Avondale Estates before George Francis Willis came to town in the mid-1920s. More on him later.
A U.S. Post Office was built just east of Decatur in 1892, leading to the town of Ingleside. You wouldn’t guess it now, but it was considered a rural area at the turn of the 20th century, so several of Atlanta’s prominent families – according to an article at the DeKalb History Center – built a country club “for a place in the country where they could play golf.”
The Ingleside Country Club opened in 1916 with a hilly nine-hole golf course in the general area of what was then Covington Road (now U.S. 278/Covington Highway) to what was labeled Rock Bridge Road (now Rockbridge) on a 1928 map.
The old Avondale High School building was just north of the course, which was designed by Tillinghast, a prominent and busy course architect (he designed at least 265 courses), and featured a pro from Scotland named Jimmy Livingstone. Livingstone, who continued to work at the course until he retired, and his family were so beloved, a road they lived on was renamed Livingstone Place.
Back to Willis, who was itching to spend the fortune he made in pharmaceuticals. So he bought Ingleside and an adjoining 950 acres in 1924 and renamed it Avondale Estates, which was incorporated the following year. The new neighborhood flourished, but Ingleside Country Club didn’t. Faced with a dwindling membership, it was sold to the American Legion during World War II.
If you’re new in town or have questions about this special place we call home, ask us! E-mail Andy Johnston at email@example.com or call 404-222-2002.