A remarkable heritage.

A Supreme Court Justice. The first woman to win a Nobel Prize. The man who created
modern sports marketing with a handshake from Arnold Palmer. Distinguished educators and local
business leaders. Entrepreneurs and military heroes. These are the people who walked our
halls, strolled our fairways, and shaped our first century. They may have come to Chikaming because of
our reputation as an unpretentious, family-oriented club or because ours was one of the
first golf courses in southwest Michigan, but they and successive generations stayed for much more.

Simple beginnings.

On July 22, 1911, a contract was written for the purchase of a
five-acre tract on Lake Michigan that included a small
hotel. The buyer was the Lakeside Association, a group formed to
address the desirability of having a “community club”
in the growing town of Lakeside. The name of the club had been
agreed upon. It would be known as “Chikaming” referring
to the phrase early Native Americans used for the area. Two years
later, the club would be incorporated and count among
its charter members local business leaders, distinguished scholars
from the University of Chicago, and the founder of Hull
House in Chicago and future Nobel Prize winner Jane Addams.

A golf course and Shakespeare arrive.

Encouraged by the success of the country club, 28 Chikaming
members with an interest in golf formed the Lakeside
Golf Club in 1914. It rented a nearby farm with an option to buy
as the site of a proposed nine-hole golf course. Through
a club member with ties to both Chikaming and the Flossmoor
Country Club, they secured the design services of the
well-known greenskeeper Harry Collis and work began on the
course. In 1919, the Lakeside Golf Club was absorbed by
the expanding Chikaming Country Club. Six years later, perhaps
the most significant bit of good luck in the club’s early
history occurred, the arrival of now-iconic Shakespeare House.

Surviving a war. Thriving at mid-century.

Membership soared in the booming 1920s. But, like many clubs,
Chikaming struggled financially through the Depression
years. Then, World War II took many young and future members
away to Europe and the Pacific. It was a different club they
returned to, with fewer members and a bit more ragged and worn.
But it was optimistic as well, and the club entered the
largest growth period in its history. A large porch overlooking the
closing hole of the golf course was added to Shakespeare
House, and the Saturday night dances that would become a hallmark
of the club for decades soon began. Many of the sons
and daughters of this exceptional generation are members today.

Always a part of the community.

As a country club, Chikaming has always enjoyed playing an active
role in the community. Under the club’s original articles of
incorporation, it was stipulated a majority of members be nearby
property owners, immediately establishing a link to the
community that would evolve in the decades ahead. It was fitting,
therefore, that the inaugural Berrien County Fair was
held at the fledgling club’s property in 1916. Over the next century,
the club became a meeting ground for local groups from
South Bend to Stevensville. In 2002, a new bond uniting Chikaming
and nearby towns began simply as the club’s July Fourth
celebration but soon became a major event for the entire community.

Values and programs that bridge generations.

Playing golf with his grandfather at Chikaming in the 1930s, young
Mark McCormack was already part of a tradition that
continues today. Encouraging the skills, understanding the values,
and sharing the fun of sports are qualities that have passed
from one era to the next. Many members have strong family ties
that go back two, three, even four generations. So today,
whether it’s the summer-long Junior Programs, the one-week Kids'
Camp, a father-daughter tennis event, a mother-son golf
tournament, or just an unhurried afternoon on an uncrowded fairway
with a grandson, Chikaming remains committed to
its next generation because past ones have made us who we are.