History of Lakelands
In 1890, when Mr. Winans became governor of Michigan, Pleasant Lake was re-named Winans Lake and a corporation was formed to buy up the land on and around Winans Lake. The idea was to subdivide and sell this property as a family community with sport and recreational facilities to be provided.
In 1922, Lakelands Golf and Country Club was established with a nine-hole golf course and clubhouse forthcoming. By 1927 the second nine holes were added and a beautiful clubhouse opened its doors. The original Clubhouse was built circa 1925.
Celebrating Over 95 Seasons of a Superb Country Club Experience
Lakelands Golf and Country Club has continued to provide outstanding dining, golfing, and socializing at a great value for over 95 seasons, despite economic struggles in Southeastern Michigan. When the doors opened on Thursday, March 1st, 2017 it was the 95th opening day at Lakelands Golf & Country Club.
Located not far off the beaten path, Lakelands Golf & Country Club includes an 18-hole traditional American course with shorter, tree-lined fairways that test short game skills with challenging small greens. The Country Club offers a Golf Shop with 2 full-time PGA Professionals and abundant merchandise; a driving range, putting green, and short game practice facility; Beach House on motor-free Winans Lake, offering life-guarded swimming and serene fishing; and full service Clubhouse with first rate menus that offer great seasonal variety, both casual and formal dining for members and their guests, and banquet facilities.The small, private, member-owned club and course has been in continuous seasonal operation since 1922 when the clubhouse sat across Club House Drive from its current location. In fact, this is the 3rd version of the main clubhouse, half of which was rebuilt after a devastating fire in 2003.
Through the wake of the fire, Lakelands continued to offer service, hosting its large invitational events in elaborate tents. With a flexible staff and accommodating members, the summer of the fire turned out to be a memorable and successful one.
That summer was not the first time Lakelands survived adverse conditions. In the Great Depression the membership banded together - men created shifts to water and maintain the course while the ladies of Lakelands cooked and cleaned. The supportive members made it possible through this trying time to run an advertisement in the Ann Arbor News at the time, that read as follows: “COME TO BEAUTIFUL LAKELANDS. Golf all day with Chicken Dinner included. All for $1.00. Bring the Children.” At the time the Club also ran overnight cottages, which allowed for a weekend getaway in rural Livingston Country for the professionals in Ann Arbor and Detroit.
The Club’s current driving range stands on what was a landing strip for aircraft through both World Wars, specifically designed as such by William Stout, noted aviation engineer when the course was originally crafted. Again during World War II the ladies of Lakelands kept the Club afloat by cooking, cleaning and pooling gas rations to make it out to the Club. With minimal funds available and the regular wear and tear of the facilities, Lakelands history tells of a pair of the Club’s ladies who were given just $100 to scour the several golf clubs in the area that had gone under and returned with a van load of furniture. Lakelands members were, and are, innovative to keep the Club running and to this day remain very dedicated.
Still run by a Board of Directors that acts on behalf of the membership at large, every year members step up with creative solutions to rising budget concerns in the wake of economic downturn in the area. One such member venture was Members Making a Difference, which allows private contributions to be made for specific needs the Club faces. There is no shortage of generosity among the membership that truly considers Lakelands as a home away from home.
Past, Present & Future
The closing words from the 1960's Lakelands brochure still ring true:
"Lakelands is a permanent thing. It is time tested and has come through crises of the past that saw other Clubs fall by the wayside. It has a hard core of membership that will never fail no matter how many members may come and go during times of stress. … Lakelands members are proud of their heritage and are extremely loyal to the Club and to its members. The dreams of the Founders are coming into being and the picture so fondly painted more than forty years ago is now becoming an accomplished fact."
Although the writer at the time had no idea what Lakelands would face in the future, he knew that Lakelands would make it, persevere, survive and thrive. The same strength of spirit is alive in the membership of Lakelands today. While members no longer need to pool their gas rations to make the drive from Detroit to the paradise that is the green fairways of the course and cool waters of Winans Lake, Lakelands continues to flourish. Members are making tough choices about where to spend and where to cut in tight times. It is nice they continue to make Lakelands a priority. Lakelands is Livingston County's best kept secret for over 95 years.
Lakelands Golf & Country Club, founded in 1922, is a member-owned and operated private club located in Hamburg Township offering an experience that is sure to exceed your expectations.
If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule a club tour please contact Joanne Dinser, General Manager, (810) 231-3000