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Mt. Lebanon golf course will note centennial

Pittsburgh Tribune ReviewBy Daniel Casciato
For the Tribune Review
Thursday, May 24, 2007

Pennsylvania’s oldest municipal golf course will mark another milestone in its storied history as it celebrates its centennial this summer.
On July 7, nearly 100 years to the day a group of 30 men built three putting greens and began golfing on a 100-acre farm, Mt. Lebanon will throw two parties to celebrate the course’s origins.

“What has made this golf course special over the years is that it has the ability to satisfy the needs of any type of golfer, whether they are a starter or golf professional,” said Matt Kluck, head Professional Golfers’ Association of America pro and manager of the Mt. Lebanon Golf Course.

The National Golf Association recognizes it as the oldest municipal course in the state, and last month the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation designated the former private club a historical local landmark. A plaque will be displayed for the first time during the celebration.

“We’re excited about the designation,” said Steve Dean, of Mt. Lebanon, community co-chair for the celebration and an avid golfer on the course. “The golf course is essentially in its original condition. We had a golf course architect come out to examine the course, and he said the greens were in the best condition from that era that he had ever seen.”
Local golf legend George A. Ormiston designed the nine-hole course. Andrew W. Mellon and Richard King Mellon were among the elite members when the course was originally known as Castle Shannon Golf Club. Mt. Lebanon purchased the course in 1947.

A facelift for the nine-hole course is being completed just in time for the celebration. Renovations began this spring to improve drainage on the bunkers and greens, add new T-boxes and bunkers and change the teeing area on the fifth hole. Planned improvements include a picnic pavilion, an indoor/outdoor learning center, a new clubhouse, a pro shop and a grill.

“Our long-term goal is to upgrade the course so it will be more golfer-friendly for beginners and to enable faster play,” Dean said. “Nowadays, people don’t have as much discretionary time as they might have had in years past.”

The July 7 celebration begins with a morning “Family and Friends” event costing $200 for a foursome. An afternoon event concludes with a cocktail and dessert reception featuring offerings from local restaurants and a chance to meet former Pittsburgh Steelers’ fullback Rocky Bleier and his wife, Jan, the honorary event chairs. The cost for the afternoon is $400 for a foursome, including the reception, or $50 per person for the reception only.

“It’s going to be a wonderful time for everyone,” said event co-chair Amelia Dean, of Mt. Lebanon. “We’re planning to keep to a nostalgic theme with the event, including music and costumes from the era, and a trivia game based on facts from 1907.”

Throughout the day, there will be free clinics, prizes and contests, including a hole-in-one contest with a $20,000 prize and a putting contest with a $10,000 prize.

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633