History of The Bridgeport Country Club

(Formerly The Bridgeport Golf and Country Club)

During the 1950’s and early 1960’s, citizens around Bridgeport talked about their desire to have a golf course in their town. A few of these citizens included Dr. David Bryant, Wilson Ray, A.J. Baker, E.F. Frnka, Jack Bracket, Leon Wright, Leon Martin and T.W. Womack. These men knew there were many others in Bridgeport that would be interested in such a project.

In early 1964, Wilson Ray heard of a parcel of land that would be ideal for a golf course and might be for sale.  The land had belonged to Henry Leonard and had been passed on to his heirs. The land consisted of 86 acres and was located south of Bridgeport bordering the Trinity River and the Kaker Slough. The acreage laid in a flood plain and had been flooded often prior to the construction of Lake Bridgeport . The land location can be seen on the map on the left. Actually the Kaker Slough was previously the Trinity River bed. In past years prior to the construction of Lake Bridgeport the river flooded often causing the river channel to change its course. In fact, this property has flooded several times since Lake Bridgeport was formed.

Click on Images to Enlarge

The property was considered ideal for a golf course. Dr. Bryant and Wilson Ray purchased the land with the intent to pass it on to an envisioned Bridgeport Golf and Country Club Corporation.

Dr. David Bryant, Wilson Ray, A.J. Baker, E.F. Frnka and Jack Bracket amassed a group of forty charter members and proceeded to form a corporation. The legal work was performed by William Nobles, a Decatur Lawyer, to establish the Bridgeport Golf and Country Club, Inc. The legal work was completed in July of 1964.

A Board of Directors and the forty members are listed and can be seen by clicking on Bridgeport Golf and Country Club. A letter was sent to all members outlining a plan to start construction of the facility. The letter can be seen by clicking on Letter to Charter Members. A Ladies Bridge and Golf Association was also formed in 1966 with Jean Manoushagian as President.

Jack Johnson was hired to design the golf course. The 9 hole golf course was completed and playable in early 1966. The Tee Box to Green lengths can be seen by clicking on Tee Box. The club house was built in 1966 by Carlos Mann and Charles Harris. The club house was built on the hill over looking the course. A view of the club house and its location can be seen by clicking on the images on the left.

Following completion of the club house golf pro, Bob Patterson, was hired. In the third week of November 1966, a grand opening was held. This gala affair included a tournament and a dance with a live band. Through the late 1960’s and the early 1970’s some improvements were made to the facility but there were many lean years. Membership continued on an up and down course. Bob Patterson left in 1968 and was followed by Bob Gilmartin and Ray Athens. These two men left in the early 1970’s. The members continued to run the club and golf course until 1977 when Rick Brown became manager. Roy Edgington and James Simmons took turns managing the club through 1980. In 1981, Freddy and Mary Lawrence were hired to run the club. In 1981, the Board of Directors decided to re- incorporate. The name was changed to Bridgeport Country Club.

Club House Location
Club House

In 1984, Lonny and Rita Benham where hired to manage the club.  These two are still managing the club in 2007.

Many improvements have been made since the humble beginning. A swimming pool, tennis courts, golf cart storage sheds, green improvements, parking lots, and club house additions have been made. An aerial view of the Bridgeport Country Club can be seen below along with the 9 hole course Signature Hole, # 6 Green and a photo of some of the golf cart storage sheds.

Aerial View of Bridgeport Country Club
Signature Hole # 6 Green
Old & New Golf Cart Storage

In 2005 a decision was made to replace the club house. The old club house was torn down in 2006 and a new club house was constructed. During construction a double wide mobile building was brought in and served as a temporary meeting place. 

The new club house was opened for business in the spring of 2007. The club house has a restaurant that is open to the public. It is open for lunch and dinner everyday except Tuesdays. A photograph of the new club house can be seen by clicking on the image to the left.

Club House 2007

The people of Bridgeport had a wonderful idea of building a country club. Their sacrifices were through money, time and labor contributed to the betterment of their community and their undying loyalty has kept it going from 1966 to the present. The present membership in 2007 is 250.

Note: The information here-in is a summary of the events in the history of the Bridgeport Country Club. The data came from a publication of the country club,  ” Bridgeport Country Club, 25th Anniversary, A Bit Of History” and interviews and help from Lonny Benham, Linda Garrett and Norris Cheves.

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