Anthony Gholz Jr. truly found the perfect marriage between his job, hobby and love of history.
The retired 40-year architect is a member of Port Huron Golf Club, playing a sport that’s been in his family his entire life. After 25 years of researching the Blue Water’s golfing roots, he’s published his second book detailing the creation of an area golf course in “One Hundred Fifteen Years of Golf in Port Huron” – a historic look at Port Huron Golf Club.
The first book he published zeroed in on Black River Country Club, but his research on that book since the early 1990s also left him with compelling research on PHGC. Thus, he looked further into the club off of Lake Huron another three years to pen this book.
“You can’t do a book on Black River without doing research on Port Huron because Black River was founded by two members of Port Huron Golf Club,” Gholz said.
The book is available for purchase on blurb.com, and visitors of the website can preview the first 35 pages of the book online.
Throughout his journey to publish the book, Gholz went to more than a dozen libraries and archives around the country. Among many places, he’s dug up hard research at the United States Golf Association Library in New Jersey, the Pinehurst archives in North Carolina and spent thousands of hours in the St. Clair County Library researching decades-old copies of the Times Herald.
Perhaps the most exciting find in Gholz’s years of research came when he found original drawings from Charles Hugh Alison — the architect who molded the golf course in the 1920s.
“It’s amazing these drawings lasted 94 years in the basement of Port Huron Golf Club,” Gholz said.
The biggest surprise through his years of digging through drawings, articles and books was discovering that PHGC wasn’t founded in 1910 — it was actually 1899. However, the news came a tad too late as the Club celebrated what they thought was the 100th anniversary in 2010.
Instead, there was a nine-hole course built by Tom Bendelow in 1899 on Griswold Street and 13th Street that was 3,290 yards long, which was the lengthiest in Michigan at the time. The discovery of the actual founding date means that PHGC is one of the 20 oldest golf courses in the state.
Gholz also met the most interesting person he talked to for the book through this discovery as he went to Bendelow’s grandson, Stewart Bendelow, for a few fact checks.
“Although (Stewart) didn’t know his grandfather, he wrote the book 12 years ago on his grandfather,” Gholz said. “I spoke to him many, many times and he actually reviewed the chapter on his grandfather.”
The book goes further into detail on the movement of the golf course, but one notable is Alison and his firm, Colt & Alison, shaped the course along the shores of Lake Huron.
Gholz firmly believes anyone outside of PHGC and even the state of Michigan can find enjoyment in this book, as long as a thirst for history is there. Nearly 200 pages sit between the covers of his latest book with lessons from architecture to Port Huron covering the paper.
“I wrote about Port Huron Golf Club and how and their early members helped make the community what it was,” Gholz said. “I put the golf club in the context of the history of Port Huron.”
Contact Matt Sheehan at (810) 989-6267 or email@example.com.