Founded in 1898, the Country Club of Birmingham was first located in North Birmingham as a driving club for horse-drawn buggies. Originally, club members wanted a place to show prize horses and shiny rigs, but eventually expanded its facilities to include tennis, baseball, 10-pin bowling, a bicycle course and a rustic golf course.
In 1899, club member Robert Henry Baugh, an engineer and a sportsman, transformed a 2,200-acre meadow near the club into the first golf course in Birmingham. He created nine 10-foot-square areas, placed tin cans in them for holes and called them “greens.” Since few members had ever played golf, it was Baugh who provided a one-man exhibition.
Golf’s popularity eventually took off and the club merged with the Birmingham Golf Club and relocated to the Highland Avenue-Lakeview Area, where in 1903 a hilly, nine-hole course was laid out by Canadian Nick Thompson, who had come to Birmingham three years earlier.