Probably the birthplace of golf in Marietta was known as Trammell’s pasture. This area immediately north of the old number 8 fairway was the scene of much athletic activity during the first two decades of the century. Here, about 1904 or 1905, a redheaded “southpaw,” Nap Rucker, pitched his first “pro” game and later became a superstar for the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Marietta High School varsity football team was coached by Prof. Malcomb Sylvester here as well.
In the meantime, Prof. and Mrs. J.H. Smith of Boy’s High, Atlanta had acquired and built a beautiful home on the rest of the adjoining College Hill property. He, with the famous sports writer, O. B. Keller and a few of their friends, laid out a three-hole course. They explained to those novices that three clubs were enough to start with; to wit: midiron, mashie, and noblick. For the enlightenment of our modern golfers, they are numbers 2, 5 and 8 in the vast assortment of 14 clubs required by today’s experts.
The first hole was a long downhill drive over well grazed Bermuda. This was our par 4. Then the second was a short par 3 mashie shot over some trees that almost blotted out the green. On this hole, the late Jim Daniell was unable to find his drive until a bystander said, “I saw your ball roll into that little hole.” So the first hole-in-one was awarded to the Judge.
In the meantime, Prof. and Mrs. J. H. Smith, having lost their beautiful home by fire on adjoining College Hill, announced they had decided not to rebuild. He agreed with Mr. Morgan McNeel and others that this property would be an ideal location for a golf course with a clubhouse built right on the foundation of the burned residence.
The enlarged project called for a lot more financing than had been originally planned for the Trammell pasture property. An application for the charter was filed on December 7, 1915.
The 1974 Board of Directors President, George Dozier, Jr., attempted some research on the original ownership of the G.M.I. property but, of course, ran into a blank among the ashes of the old courthouse. Very few property titles in Cobb County can be traced before 1865. It appears that the Legislature in 1970 passed an act in which lands formerly used by the Georgia Military Institute were given to the Trustees of the Marietta Male Academy. Efforts to revive and refinance the G.M.I. were unsuccessful. The property was eventually sold for $1,346 and the money was used to erect a new Male Academy building near the center of town.
Although the chapter application was filed in 1915, we were not incorporated as “The Marietta Country Club” until January 17, 1916.