Oak Orchard Country Club hosted big golf tournament in 1965

Posted 8 August 2022 at 10:12 am

Golf course in Carlton has since closed and is now used for farming

The program, at right, advertised a gala event which took place 57 years ago. Both the venue and the sponsoring company have since closed.

By Catherine Cooper, Orleans County Historian

Illuminating Orleans – Vol. 2, No. 28

The program from 1965 includes photos, diagrams and information about each of the 18 holes as well as brief entries about several of the competitors.

CARLTON – The Oak Orchard Country Club was located on Route 98 north in the Town of Carlton. Charles Skutt was President of the Club. Dorothy Ross was President of the Club’s Ladies Association. The 136-acre facility which opened in 1963, was owned by Harold and Merle Myers. It offered an 18-hole par 70 golf course and a clubhouse restaurant.

The Landauers 100th anniversary $5,000 Open was sponsored by Skip and Don Landauer, fourth generation descendants of Simon Landauer who established the popular dry goods store in Albion in 1865. The event was organized to celebrate Landauer’s 100th year of one-family ownership and management.

Simon Landauer was born in Bavaria (now Germany) in 1833. He and his brother immigrated in 1852 and settled in Macon, Ga. where they opened a dry goods store under the name M. Landauer & Brother.

However, the business failed during the Civil War. Simon moved to Albion as several of his relatives and friends had settled there. He opened a dry goods store on the east side of Main Street. Seventeen years later (1882), the store was moved to larger quarters on the west side of Main Street, where it flourished.

Over one hundred IGA pros entered to compete for the generous prizes offered: $1,000 ($9,000 approx. in 2022) for first prize and twenty-seven cash prizes, plus $350 in merchandize prizes. Competitors hailed from Olean, Rochester, Leroy, Florida, and Concord, Canada. It was the largest tournament of its kind held at that time.

It was also billed as an “electronic tournament.” The Tri-County Radio Club set up a two-way radio contact between each of the eighteen holes and the master scoreboard.

Steve J. Piech, Shelridge Country Club, Medina and William “Jug” Meredith, Albion.

As it transpired, the weather disrupted the carefully planned event. Saturday, Aug. 7, 1965, was scorching hot and humid. Nevertheless, about 700 spectators attended. Sam Urzetta of the Rochester Country Club and Frank Boynton led the first round with 66’s.

Heavy rain on Sunday, August 8, rendered the course unplayable. The event resumed on Monday, August 9 and ended with a duel between Boynton and Urzetta. Boynton won on a sudden death playoff.

The Oak Orchard Country Club filed for bankruptcy in 1980. It rallied briefly and was renamed Harbour Pointe Country Club. Golfing events were held there through the early 2000’s. The most recent sale transaction was in 2014, the site of the former golf course has since reverted to farmland.

Citing the area’s “depressed economic situation” and the closing of the Thomas J. Lipton plant with the loss of 500 jobs, Landauer’s Department Store announced its decision to close in July 1981.

Some 57 years later, this 25-cent program, randomly saved, is now a unique local history record.