On a spring day in 1920, a small group of local businessmen found themselves assembled together in Pittston, Pennsylvania, to consider the possibility of a country club for the greater Pittston area. There had been many meetings on this subject over the past several years, but this day, May 25th, 1920 would be historical as this was the “founding” meeting of Fox Hill Country Club.
After examining possible sites for the club, a parcel of land along West Pittston-Exeter border was chosen on June 23rd, 1920. With the site selected, interest in the Fox Hill club began to take hold, thanks to the work of a newly established membership committee. Requests for information were also received outside the greater Pittston area. At this time, there were very few golf courses operating in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Wyoming Valley Country Club in Wilkes-Barre and the Country Club of Scranton had been operating for many years, but area leaders saw the need for a closer venue in pursuing their leisure activities.
Fox Hill’s founders hired John Reid on August 2nd, 1920 to design and construct a nine-hole course. They also offered Reid the position of club professional. During August, the court granted the club’s charter. On September 24th, the first meeting of club members convened. Forty-three members attended, and a permanent organization was formally established. The following individuals were elected club officers: President, Frank M. Foy; Vice President, William J. Peck; Secretary, Robert W. Langford; and Treasurer, W.C. Sutherland. Fox Hill’s founders were amazed to find that by the end of 1920, before the course was open, the membership had swelled to 232 members!
On April 29th, 1921 the nine-hole course was officially ready for play. The original Fox Hill clubhouse would be ready by Thanksgiving of that same year. Fox Hill was to experience growing pains from the first year of operation. Memberships had increased so rapidly that the course was often quite congested. Soon, it became apparent that the club needed an additional nine holes. At a general membership meeting, a motion to contract a golf course architect for that purpose unanimously passed, and none other than A.W. Tillinghast was hired to design the new nine. This was the same Tilinghast, also known as “Tillie the Terror”, who designed Winged Foot, Baltimore Five Farms, Baltusrol, San Fransico Golf Club, the Black Course at Bethpage, and many other outstanding golf courses in the United States. Fox Hill opened its new 18-hole course in 1924. The course was greeted with rave reviews.
The focal point for all non-golfing events at every country club is the clubhouse. When first constructed in 1921, the building opened to much acclaim. Families flocked to the social events held at the club, thoroughly enjoying the fine food, refreshments and best of all the warm camaraderie so evident at Fox Hill. Over the years, Fox Hill has made additional property purchases deemed necessary to protect the area integrity of the club and numerous renovations to the clubhouse. The last major renovation was completed in the fall of 1999.
Fox Hill remains one of the finest clubs in Northeastern Pennsylvania. As Eddie Schrode, a former Fox Hill member and a writer for the Wilkes-Barre Record newspaper once wrote, “Everyone, golfer and non golfer, admires the beautiful scenery of a golf course, with its picturesque fairways, well-groomed greens and blooming trees. Fox Hill falls into this category, thanks to the officers, Board of Governors and committee workers. They have continued the policy of the founders and implemented some of their own ideas with those of the past and have, because of their own untiring devotion and work, made Fox Hill what it is today - - one of the great country clubs of the time.”