Southfield’s Plum Hollow Country Club first opened its doors on May 14, 1921.

Southfield’s Plum Hollow Country Club first opened its doors on May 14, 1921.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Plum Hollow Country Club celebrates 100 years

By: Jacob Herbert | Southfield Sun | Published June 10, 2021

 Club general manager Rick Burkardt said Plum Hollow has both its leadership over the years and its members to thank for helping it reach 100 years of business.

Club general manager Rick Burkardt said Plum Hollow has both its leadership over the years and its members to thank for helping it reach 100 years of business.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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SOUTHFIELD — On May 14, 1921, the Plum Hollow Country Club opened its doors to the public. Now, exactly 100 years later, the 157-acre site at Nine Mile and Lahser roads is still standing thanks to its leadership and support from members.

“Plum Hollow is a stunning course,” said Southfield Mayor Ken Siver. “The terrain is beautiful with the rolling hills and the ravine. I always have felt it’s a Southfield gem. It is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, still operating institution in the city.”

Over the years Plum Hollow has played host to some of the biggest names in golf. In 1947, the club hosted the U.S. PGA Championship, when Jim Ferrier prevailed over Chick Harbert, Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead and Bobby Locke.

Ten years later, in 1957, Plum Hollow hosted the Western Open, when Doug Ford won the championship in a playoff against George Bayer, Gene Littler and Billy Maxwell. The club has also hosted multiple men’s and women’s USGA Qualifiers, as well as the 2015 Michigan State Amateur competition.

“The excitement around here is just incredible,” said the club’s general manager, Rick Burkardt. “Anything for 100 years, let alone a golf course and a clubhouse, that just kind of shows the (strength) of the club to be able to make it this long.”

As much proud history as Plum Hollow has under its belt, the club has had to overcome several tragedies. The first disaster came in the 1920s, when a small plane crashed on the golf course. In the 1950s the original clubhouse burned to the ground and had to be rebuilt. From there, Plum Hollow has endured depressions, recessions, Rouge River flooding and a pandemic.

Burkardt said everyone from the patrons to the higher-ups have played a role in keeping Plum Hollow around. Burkardt estimated the club has had 80 presidents and has continued to gain membership through the pandemic, adding 100 new members over the past year and a half.

“It’s because of the members and the love they have for it,” Burkardt said of how the club has stuck around. “Also, the employees and staff, just everybody pulling together. Anytime something goes down it’s just a team effort between the members and the staff to make things happen and keep it going in the right direction.”

Siver also applauded the club’s leadership, adding they truly value what they have there and they have worked hard to diversify and grow their membership.

“We’ve always had a really good rapport with the club leadership. They value their relationship with the city, and the city, in turn, has hosted events there that have been important to us as we entertain or host out of town guests. I can’t say enough about it. When you take a look at our city, you have to take stock of all the wonderful things we have here, and Plum Hollow is one of them.”

In addition to the 18-hole Championship Golf course designed by Colt & Alison, the club features a six-lane, Olympic swimming pool with a separate wading area, a full-service bathhouse and snack bar. Plum Hollow has three Har-Tru clay surface tennis courts and a full-service tennis program, as well as multiple dining rooms for events and weddings.

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