Temple Terrace Country Club
Historical homes of Temple Terrace
The original idea conceived by Bertha Honoré Palmer, usually referred to as Mrs. Potter-Palmer, was to see the Temple Terrace area developed into a gold community surrounded by extensive citrus groves. After her death in 1918 and the subsequent sale of the land holdings to Burks Hamner, Vance Helm, Maud Fowler, Cody Fowler, and D. Collins Gillett who would divide the holdings and formed two corporations to handle the lands. Temple Terrace Inc. developed 5,000 acres of orange groves to surround the golf estates, which were, developed by Temple Terrace Estates Inc.
A center piece to this development would be the Temple Terrace Country Club; the original building still stands today. Completed in 1922-1923 by architect M. Leo Elliott in the Spanish Mission style also known as Mediterranean Revival style. The building itself was steel and concrete construction with a tinted stucco exterior topped with a red clay tile roof and adorned with stylish glass, iron awning, and marble steps. The country club was more in line with a hotel where many of the groves land holders stayed “in season” (usually December to February). The clubhouse was the center of social activity and events. Florida Bible Institute purchased the Club house in the 1930s during the Great Depression, for back taxes owed. Florida Bible Institute would form The Florida College in 1946, where the former clubhouse is now used as a dormitory known as Sutton Hall. Florida College also owned the former Club Morocco and Nightclub Casino, built around 1926, used as a Student Center until its destruction in 2018. The Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club, which is still in operation today, hosted the Florida Open in 1925 and 1926 which drew in major golfers of the time. It also hosted the first US Pro Hickory Championship in 2011.
The course architect was Tom Bendelow, who is also credited with designing the Medinah Country Club of Chicago’s Course #3, Palma Ceia and over 400 others. He laid out the course to meander through the Temple Terrace homes surrounding it, leaving no overlapping holes. Beacuse this course has remained unchanged in its design since Bendelow, it was added to the Nation Register of Historic Places October 13, 2012. It measures 6,414 yards with a par of 72, only slightly smaller than its original 6,538 yards.
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