Virginia Golfer September / October 2014 - Page 22
The clubhouse at Army Navy
Country Club features an American
Federal-style stone design.
VSGA Member Clubs
New clubhouse at
Army Navy continues to
celebrate the club’s and
country’s unique aura
by LEONARD SHAPIRO
Photography by VICKY MOON
he old golf clubs with the
worn grips, steel shafts
and persimmon woods
are propped up next to a
file cabinet in the office of
Army Navy Country Club
general manager Patrick King. On first
glance, they look perfectly suitable for
pricing and peddling at a neighborhood
yard sale, but on further review that would
be a grievous mistake.
A closer inspection reveals a set of Bobby
Jones signature irons and woods, once produced by Spalding, and all bearing another
world-class signature as well. The name
Dwight D. Eisenhower is engraved in script
on each club. Soon, Ike’s presidential sticks
will be mounted and displayed in a special
case in a prominent place in the club’s
spectacular and relatively new $40 million
American Federal-style clubhouse. The
103,000-square-foot edifice opened in 2012
and is arguably one of the most impressive
facilities of its kind in the D.C. area.
Where else but at Army Navy can you
walk out on a sprawling ballroom balcony
overlooking the ninth hole of the club’s Red
Course and be in the shadow of history?
The green complex down below actually
was built on the ruins of what was once
Fort Richardson, constructed during the
Civil War to help protect the nation’s capital
from a possible invasion by a Confederate
army. And oh yes, off in the distance, the
Washington Monument is easily visible,
standing proud and tall as the perfect backdrop for that memorable photograph for
any bride and groom.
Army Navy was founded in 1924 on the site
of an old Knights of Columbus property, with
ground broken in 1927 on what are now 27
holes of golf. The club was initially formed to
provide outdoor recreational facilities for military officers who had limited time and modest budgets that precluded them from joining
Dwight Eisenhower became a member of the Army
Navy Country Club as a young officer. His portrait
now hangs in the Eisenhower lounge.
by Spalding, will
be put on display.
driver is one of
the many pieces
at the club.
VIRGINIA GOLFER | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2014
other private clubs in the area, all of them
with high initiation fees and long waiting lists.
The club draws most of its membership
from active duty and retired commissioned
U.S. military and warrant officers from all
the branches of the military. A number of
civilian members, including many former
government workers, also belong to the club.
According to its mission statement, the club’s
purpose is “to provide, at moderate expense,
recreational facilities at or near the National
Capital for, and to promote social intercourse
among those citizens, military and civilian,
who are bound together by the fraternal and
patriotic spirit of serving the best interests
and efficiency of the National Defense.”
Over the years, the membership rolls have
included Navy Admiral Chester Nimitz,
Army General Omar Bradley and Marine
General John A. Lejeune, as well as presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon
and William J. Clinton.
As expected, there is a military motif in the
new Arlington clubhouse, filled with paintings
and photographs of famous battles and war
heroes, as well as old battle flags and other
memorabilia. There are four stories in a facility
that includes staff offices, restaurants, lounges,
ballrooms, locker rooms, a fitness area and pro
shops for golf and tennis. There are 32 courts
and 27 holes of golf—quite appropriately the
red, white and blue nines—on the property.
And on a