Tequesta Country Club is a private, member-owned golf club located in the Village of Tequesta, Florida. The Club and golf course are situated on a peninsula which is surrounded, on three sides, by the north fork and the northwest fork of the beautiful and historic Loxahatchee River. Tequesta Country Club was founded in 1957 by Charles Martyn, a land developer, who also initially developed much of the area which is now the Village of Tequesta.
The golf course was designed by the late Dick Wilson, who also designed many well known and highly regarded golf courses in the State of Florida and throughout the United States. Planning and construction of the golf course and clubhouse began in 1955 and the golf course was officially opened on December 12, 1957 by Jack Kurtz, the first president of the Club.
The grand opening of the Club featured an exhibition golf match played by Arnold Palmer, Dow Finsterwald, Truman Connell and Jack Kurtz. Dow had been named as the original head golf professional of Tequesta Country Club while continuing to play on the PGA Tour. In 1958 he won the PGA Championship, and the historic Wanamaker Trophy was kept on display in the Tequesta Country Club golf shop. Dow continued to play on the PGA tour while representing Tequesta Country Club, playing on tour with the Club’s logo on his golf bag. During his tenure as the Club’s head golf professional, Dow also won 9 PGA Tour events, the PGA Player of the Year award, the Vardon Trophy and was also in a three-way, 18 hole play off at the 1962 Masters with Arnold Palmer and Gary Player. Dow brought Tequesta Country Club significant national exposure during its early years. Golf greats such as Palmer, Nicklaus and Player frequently joined him at Tequesta Country Club to play the golf course, as did early Tequesta Country Club member Perry Como, an avid golfer who also lived on the Loxahatchee River in Tequesta.
Jack Kurtz and Dow Finsterwald
Tequesta Country Club still maintains a strong sense of the history and tradition of golf. Dow Finsterwald was succeeded in 1965 by Ed Ficker as the head golf professional of the Club. Ed remained as the head professional for 41 years, retiring, with many honors, in 2006, having received numerous awards and accolades from the South Florida PGA, and serving as a vice president/director of the PGA of America and having been nominated to the Palm Beach County Golf Hall of Fame. The South Florida PGA Section sportsmanship award is known today as the “Ed Ficker Sportsmanship Award” in recognition of Ed’s respect for the traditions of the game. Ed remains a valued honorary lifetime member of Tequesta Country Club and is frequently seen playing golf at the Club.
In 2006, PGA professional Chris Hayes followed Ed Ficker as the head golf professional at Tequesta Country Club and remains today as a worthy and valued successor to the traditions of Dow Finsterwald and Ed Ficker, who preceded him. Chris is continuing to foster and protect the same sense of history and golf tradition of Tequesta Country Club; 60 years plus and 3 head golf professionals.
Tequesta Country Club has recently completed a major golf course restoration and renovation project conducted by Tom Fazio, II, a well known and respected national golf course designer with many well known and respected golf courses throughout the United States and abroad, and who also happens to be a member of the Club. As part of this project, “Tommy” has created a wonderful “short game” practice facility and has restored the course, and has redesigned several holes and greens on the golf course, while simultaneously honoring and respecting the original Dick Wilson “old Florida” design. Perhaps most importantly, recognizing that the golf course is located on a 10 to 12 foot ridge of natural white sand, Tommy has restored the original natural areas on the golf course with the same natural white sand on which the course was originally built, and has planted native Florida vegetation in these areas, thereby continuing to give the golf course the traditional “old Florida” feel while simultaneously adhering to modern water conservation and preservation practices. The valued tradition of the 1950’s style golf course has been maintained, but has also been gently but effectively brought into the 21st century by Mr. Fazio.
Golf Shop with Arnold Palmer