Head Golf Professionals

  • 1918 – 1920
    Vincent “Vin” O’Donnell
  • 1921 – 1925
    James S. “Jimmie” Young
  • 1926 – 1953
    Harry “Pop” Avery
  • 1954 – 1964
    Ed DeBaufre
  • 1964
    Bill Moran
  • 1965 – 1984
    Ronnie Ward
  • 1984 – 1993
    Sam Duncan
  • 1994 – 1998
    David Startzel
  • 1998 – 2000
    Fred Riedel
  • 2001 – 2004
    David Smolsky
  • 2004 – Present
    Fred Riedel

Our History

  • Pre – 1916: “Old Joe MacKissick’s Farm”
  • 1916 Winter: “Wildwood Golf & Country Club” chartered and incorporated by five men (William J. Jackson, William T. Martin, Jr., Henry H. Ottens, George C. Connor and J. Charles Winter) on December 16th. The club operated in this manner during the years of WW I for approximately five years.
  • 1918 August: Vincent “Vin” O’Donnell is hired as the club’s first Golf Professional and oversees the completion and opening of the homemade nine-hole golf course.
  • 1920 Spring: James S. “Jimmie” Young takes over as Head Golf Professional.
  • 1921: A successor corporation, known as the “Wildwood Golf Club” was formed. This was the doing of ten men (Palmer M. Way, Robert C. Latimer, Ralph Carll, C. Howard Topham, Alexander McMurray, Edward Morton, William Hunt, W. Courtright Smith, Thomas S. Goslin and H. Foster Goslin) and had two classes of membership – Active & Associate. Active membership was limited to the ten who fully controlled the club. Associate members had no vote. The club operated in this fashion into the early stages of World War II.
  • 1921: Wayne Stiles is commissioned to design and build a new eighteen hole golf course. He calls on John Van Kleek to assist and construction begins in Spring.
  • 1921: December 2nd…..The Philadelphia Section PGA was formed. “Vin” O’Donnell, Wildwood Golf & CC’s first Professional was instrumental in its formation and became its first Secretary.
  • 1922: July 1st,, 2:00 P.M……The new eighteen hole golf course officially opens for play. J.Wood Platt, his brother Zimmie, George Hoffner and Maurice Talman were the first foursome to tee off.
  • 1923 July 21st: Exhibition match between Walter Hagen and Joe Kirkwood takes place at Wildwood Golf Club which also featured the grand opening of the new permanent clubhouse.
  • 1923 Summer: Raymond H. Topham becomes the first Men’s Club Champion and Mabel Hunt becomes the first Women’s Champion.
  • 1924 Spring: Thomas B. Wootton is the winner of the first “Eastern States Inaugural Tournament”. In 1944, this event became what is now known as the “C.A. ‘Gus’ Heil Memorial Invitational”.
  • 1926: Harry “Pop” Avery takes over as Head Golf Professional.
  • 1928 Summer: Clarence D. “Spike” Fisher wins his first club championship. This was the start of a streak consisting of seven consecutive titles. Mr. Fisher eventually became the WG&CC Club Champion a total of 12 times which spanned a period of six (6) decades with his last taking place in 1970.
  • 1934 Fall: Willard Goeckler wins the first William H. Bright Memorial Tournament.
  • 1935: The first weekend in September... The first Wildwood Open was played alongside the William H. Bright Memorial Tournament. The Wildwood Open consisted of a strong field of professionals and the event was won by George B. Smith who shot 71-69-73-74=287.
  • 1936 April: The second Wildwood Open was played alongside the Eastern States Inaugural. The event was won by Ray Mangrum who shot 71-72-73-78=294 and beat Leonard Dodson in a 10 hole play-off as it was getting dark. This concluded a 46 hole day of golf for these two.
  • 1941: The club structure changes whereby the club was controlled by a 20 member Board of Trustees. 12 permanent and 8 elected every two years. This structure remains in effect until Summer 2012.
  • 1944 Fall: Al Besselink, who later became a successful Tour Player, wins the William H. Bright Memorial Trophy.
  • 1951 Summer: Arnold Palmer, a Coast Guard stationed at Cape May, makes several appearances throughout the summer to play and practice at WG&CC.
  • 1952: Garden State Parkway construction begins. Four of the original holes were affected. The golf course is reconfigured.
  • 1953: Wildwood GC’s long serving Golf Professional, Harry “Pop” Avery retires.
  • 1964 Spring: “Pop” Avery’s successor, Ed DeBaufre, is killed in an auto accident.
  • 1965 Spring: Legendary Club Professional, Ronnie Ward, is appointed.
  • 1966 Summer: Leslie Norbury wins the first of his seven (7) Club Championships.
  • 1968: Marty Furgol comes on board as the Teaching Professional. Marty had joined the PGA Tour in 1947. He won twice in 1951 (Houston and Western Opens) and made the 1955 Ryder Cup Team. He won five times on Tour and finished second six times. In fifteen plus years on tour he finished 10th or better in 107 tournaments. Finished tied for second in the 1970 U.S. Senior Open.
  • 1969 April: Bob Keating begins his long affiliation with Wildwood Golf & CC as a Bag Boy.
  • 1971: Bob Keating becomes Assistant Pro under Ronnie Ward.
  • 1981: Summer…southpaw, Terry Smick, wins first of his Club Championships.
  • 1985: Billy Clement becomes the first Junior Member to win the Men’s Club Championship.
  • 1986 Summer: Terry Smick begins ten (10) consecutive Club Championships streak.
  • 1991: Bob Keating becomes General Manager.
  • 1991 Summer: Jeannie Grieshaber wins the first of six (6) consecutive Women’s Club Championships.
  • 1993 Fall: Beloved Club Professional, Sam Duncan, dies of complications from a stroke.
  • 1995: Two “new holes” built. (current 11th & 12th holes)
  • 1999 Summer: Terry Smick wins his 15th Club Championship. He was Champion for 15 out of 19 years. Terry becomes Assistant Pro at WG&CC in 2002.
  • 1999 Spring: “New holes” re-done. Driving range and practice areas completed.
  • 2000 Summer: Reigning 2004 Champion, Janet LaMonica, wins her first of five(5) consecutive Women’s Club Championships.
  • 2004 Fall: Fred Riedel returns as Club Professional.
  • 2008: L.J. Georgetti wins the Men’s Club Championship at age 15.
  • 2010 Spring: John Appleget joins the Professional Staff as Teaching Pro.
  • 2010: Alex Hicks wins the Men’s Club Championship at age 17 and Meghna Patel becomes the first Junior Member to win the Women’s Club Championship at age 13.
  • 2012 Summer: The Structure of the Board of Trustees which had been in place since 1941 changes from 20 Trustees (12 Permanent & 8 Elected) to a fully elected Board of seven (7) Trustees.
  • 2012 Fall: Beloved General Manager, Bob Keating retires after 43 years of service to Wildwood Golf & Country Club.
  • 2012 Fall: Doug Larson becomes Greens Superintendent, returning to WG&CC where he had grown up as a Member and was the Assistant Supt. in the early 90’s.
  • 2014 Spring: PGA Professional, Rich Alfano joins the WG&CC Family.
  • 2014 Fall: The William H. Bright Memorial Tournament returns to the schedule for the first time in 15 years.
The following are Members who have won the Club Championship & President’s Cup in the same year:

  • 1973 – William Moore
  • 1974 – D. Newt Yearick
  • 1977 – David Shevlin
  • 1985 – Kay Wade
  • 1991 – Terry Smick
  • 1998 – Kay Wade
  • 1999 – Terry Smick
  • 2005 – Keith Cope
  • 2007 – Francey Burke
  • 2011 – Jim Ridgway
Many thanks to Robert Scully, Curator of the Wildwood Historical Society, Peter Trenham of the Philadelphia Section PGA , Joseph Bausch and many of out past and present members for their assistance in obtaining the above information.