March 30, 1929

Several weeks ago the building of a golf course was discussed by the people of Cincinnatus.  Within these few weeks that have passed, a site of 100 acres, one of the finest golf course locations in all Cortland County, has been purchased, an organization has been perfected, committees have been named and are at work, and today workmen started getting the course in shape.

The site is the old Prince farm on Telephone Road.  This highway, improved for the most part, passes within a few feet of the old cozy appearing homestead the directors propose to use until they can afford a new clubhouse.

Few improvements are planned inside the house for the summer, other than rearrangement of rooms for dining room and living room facilities.

Arrangements have already been made for the services of a caretaker and a cook for the summer.

Officers of the club include: A.B. Brown, president; Dr. D.B. Glezen, Vice-President; and L.H. Ingersoll, secretary and treasurer.  Sever Directors include: Mr. Brown, Mr. Ingersoll, Dr. Glezen, R.C. Smith, Henry Kerr, E.J. Angell and Luther Eaton.

There are plenty of acres to be utilized in mapping out a nine-hold course.  Much of the terrain is rolling and practically all they plan to use for the nine holes has previously been under cultivation and probably can be shaped without great trouble and expense, into fairways.

The site commands a beautiful view of the surrounding country whichever way the eye may turn.  Rolling hills and broad valleys that fade into the distance are on all sides.

To continue the history of the Knickerbocker Golf Course – The charter members of the Cincinnatus Country Club, organized 1929 were-

Earl Angell, B.R. Baldwin, Alfred Brown, Cincinnatus Chautauqua Association, Arthur D. Currier, Luther B. Eaton, Pierre B. Foster, Harold R. Fritz, Dr. Donald B. Glezen, Dr. Marcena B. Glezen, George A. Haskins, Leon H. Ingersoll, Henry Kerr, Dr. Howard L. Lawrence, Harold McFarland, Moses R. Meacham, Leo B. Potter, Ralph C. Smith, R.L. Scovel, Martin C. Soule and Russell P. Taylor.

Prior to World War II the club accommodated many daily fee players from Cortland other nearby places whose fees contributed materially to the maintenance of the grounds.  The players as well as many of the members were unable to reach the course during the War because of the gas rationing.  During 1942 the grounds and clubhouse were maintained solely by the voluntary work of a few faithful members, but there was no play on the course after 1942.  Eventually the property was sold to Edwin B. Knickerbocker who owned the adjoining land, and the assets of the club were liquidated in 1945.

The land was worked as a farm for about 14 years, but the contours and grades of a number of the tees and greens still remained in fairly good condition in 1960 when Henry and Pat Knickerbocker decided to acquire the property and develop the Knickerbocker Country Club. 

July 1, 1960

The Knickerbocker Country Club, located less than 2 miles west of Cincinnatus on Telephone Road, is scheduled to open Saturday morning for business, even though all details of the golf club have not been completed.

The golf club is located on the site of the old layout that was abandoned during World War II but it has been revamped somewhat because of the location of buildings today.  It is a nine-hole course laid out by Henry and Patricia Glezen Knickerbocker, proprietors of the club.  The course is located on both sides of the highway.  Memberships are beings solicited on a pro-rated basis this summer and non-members are welcome to play on a daily basis.

July 2, 1960

Men’s league opens play at Knickerbocker Country Club – Bob Lindahl shot a one under par (33) last evening for low gross in the opening round of the men’s league at Cincinnatus.  Ten four-man teams competed in the opening night’s play.

Thomas Deal had a low net of 38 and hidden score went to Arthur Currier.  Best ball of 30 went to Glenn Livermore, Thomas Deal, Charles Wight and Ed Blanchard.  Bob Deforest had the most 4s (4); Walt Wheeler the most 5s (5); Al Wilbur the most 6s (5); and John Dietrich the most 7s (5).

May 5, 1961

The Knickerbocker Country Club in Cincinnatus will open this season despite the loss of the clubhouse in a fire early yesterday morning.

Henry Knickerbocker, owner and operator of the club, said this morning that the club would open ‘just as soon as possible’.

A passing motorist spotted the fire in the building around 3:30 yesterday morning.  He stopped at the nearest house, which happened to be the homes of Edwin Knickerbocker, father of the club owner.  The elder Knickerbocker notified the Cincinnatus Fire Department.

There was still no explanation as to how the blaze began.

1963

Three teams tied for first place with scores of 56 last Sunday in the four-man best ball tournaments at the Knickerbocker Country Club.

The team of Norm DeOrsey, Ward Christy Jr., Dave Marshall, and Dick Davis won first place in a sudden death playoff on the second hole.  Art Currier, Joe Hagen, Hollis Davis and Dr. Kenneth Hamlin came in second.  The quartet of Bill Currier, Steve Bilka, Riley Howe and George Huntley lost on the first extra hole and placed third.

May 9, 1963 (interview with Pat Knickerbocker)

The Knickerbocker Country Club in Cincinnatus began life as a golf course, was converted to farmland during World War II, and was rebuilt again as a nine-hole course and is now enjoying new heights of popularity among local and non-so local golfers.

Its growing success can be attributed to one reason, the efforts of Henry and Pat Knickerbocker.

“We had to start from scratch and build it ourselves” Mrs. Knickerbocker said.  “We had to pick up all the stones, some as small as a dime, add more topsoil for greens and change the course around because some of the old land was bought by Bill Suarez.

We were all set to open in 1961 when the fire on May 2 burned the clubhouse to the ground.  We opened anyway, with a trailer as a clubhouse, and by August the new building was just about built.  I think about three-quarters of the labor was done by townspeople, and about half of the furnishings were contributions of the girls downtown.  People were very kind to us.  We couldn’t have done it without them.

The course has a club with about 50 members and is also open to the public.  There are two men’s leagues and a women’s league.

“The first year we were open there were about three girls who played here;” Mrs. Knickerbocker said.  “Last year they formed a league, but they just went out and played because most of them were just learning.  But now we have a regular league going with about 30 or so girls.”

The Knickerbockers run the golf course by themselves.  “I’m a permanent fixture around here!”  Mrs. Knickerbocker said, “I used to take care of it just with Henry until the clubhouse was build, but now that business has increase we’ve got a man to help out with the greens.  Henry does most of the work although once in a while we hire a mower when things get real busy!”

Mr. And Mrs. Knickerbocker live on Taylor Avenue with their five boys, Don 14, Bobby 13, Mark 10, Todd 8, and Kim 7.  Besides running the golf course they are both active in the community affairs.

Mr. Knickerbocker who is a rural mail carrier, is president of the Cincinnatus School Board, past assistant fire chief, past master of the Masons and past commander of the local American Legion Post, among other activities.

He was on of the five men chosen from throughout the state last August to serve on a committee of School Board members and principals working on school legislation with the state legislature in Albany.

Mrs. Knickerbocker is president of the SWCS, past President of the American Legion Auxiliary, past matron of the OES and Republican committeewoman for Cincinnatus.  She is also active in the bloodmobile program and the fire women’s auxiliary.

Although they spend most of their free time at the course, neither of them finds much of a chance to play golf.

“We’re both too busy,” Mrs. Knickerbocker said.  “I think I’d like to play but I never have the time.”  All their children play golf, though, and Mark and Bobby both won their flights last year in the Cortland Country Club’s Junior Amateur League.

Mr. And Mrs. Knickerbocker are still working to improve the course.  The clubhouse is used for many functions such as meetings, dinner, parties, and showers, and they recently put a roof over the barbeque pit behind it.

“You meet so many nice people here,” Mrs. Knickerbocker said.

I’m sure that Pat never realized that one big reason that all the people were so happy was because she helped to make them that way with her smile and the way she had of making everyone feel that she liked them, and was so glad to see them.  She made everyone feel special.

I just have to add one of my memories to this story.  Irving and I used to play frequently and at that time the Knickerbocker boys were still little.  One of them, I imagine it was Mark, would be out on the course playing with a club that was as long as he was tall.  It as so funny to see him stand back, line up his ball and using the full length of the club, hit that ball.  And even then she was showing signs of excellence.

By 1967 when he was 15, he won the club championship by firing a ten over par 150 in the two-day 36-hole tournament.  He had rounds of 35-37-39-39.  His closest rivals were 8 strokes away.

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