Dallas Athletic Club
It was 1919. President Woodrow Wilson was in office, WWI ended just one year earlier and Babe Ruth just set the season homer mark at 28 off of Yankee Bob Shawkey. In an era America was thriving on hard work, strong character and traditional past times, the idea for the Dallas Athletic Club was inspired. It was then a group of local businessmen pledged one-hundred dollars each to build the eight story downtown athletic facility, complete with a barber shop, billiards, guest and residential suites, ballrooms, dining rooms, lounges, handball and squash courts, swimming pools, gymnasiums, and a health services department. W.E. Greiner, the primary visionary for the project, was elected by the eleven founders as president of the Club. The charter was issued on January 9, 1920 with an operating fund of ten thousand dollars and the first event was a party held in the excavation site of the building, as construction was behind schedule.
Located on a lot in downtown Dallas at Elm, St. Paul and Live Oak Streets, the facility was completed at a total cost of three million dollars. The official opening date of May 10, 1935 welcomed members and guests (as well as celebrities from time to time) into a place where they could feel at home, see a familiar face or two and gather to watch Carl Mays pitch another complete double-header.
The innovative and trend-setting Club quickly became the standard of excellence offering world-class service, dining and fitness. DAC was the premier club for athletic training and fitness. As golf became increasingly popular, DAC could not resist the chance to add the game of golf to its sports repertoire. To solve this dilemma, the Board of Directors leased Glen Lakes Country Club in 1944, providing members with their own golf course. In 1954, the peak of the Baby Boom Era, America was changing rapidly. The Supreme Court ruled race-based segregation in schools to be unconstitutional, Sports Illustrated debuted, and the song Mr. Sandman was at the top of the charts. While the culture was changing, so to was the Dallas Athletic Club. City expansion and construction of Central Expressway forced the Club to make a difficult decision—it was then the 317 acre beautiful tract of what used to be farmland was purchased.
Here, the new Dallas Athletic Club Country Club was born. Just beyond the clubhouse were 36 holes of spectacular golf designed by Ralph Plummer. Soon, the Country Club became the main focus of DAC life, and the decision was made in the late 70s to sell the downtown building in an effort to consolidate all operations to the new Country Club. After an extremely harsh winter in 1984, the board approved the remodel of the Blue Course. Feeling nostalgic for his first major win at the 45th PGA Championship played on the Ralph Plummer designed DAC Blue Course in 1963, Jack Nicklaus graciously agreed to be the architect of the Blue Course remodel. The course exceeded expectations and the beauty of the transformation prompted a request for Nicklaus to redesign the Gold Course, making it a second signature championship course.
Most recently, DAC underwent significant updates and renovations to ensure its place as a premier facility for exceptional golf and country club amenities. With an entire clubhouse renovation, a new fitness center, beautiful tennis facility and two Jack Nicklaus golf courses, DAC is just that. Though the 21st Century has seen progression far beyond 1919, there is still a traditional yet progressive place you can go to feel at home and the ideal venue to gather with friends and family.