Celebrating 100 years
Founded in 1923, Hill Crest Country Club is approaching its Centennial Celebration!
Hill Crest Country Club was founded on Christmas Eve in 1923, when the early planners decided the Alle-Kiski Valley was in need of a country club. At the time, it was the view of the founders that “Oakmont had a country club, Pittsburgh had several, so why not build one right here in the Valley?” Standing on a hill that overlooked the George Evans & Reimer Farms, the founding members agreed that their new club would be called Hill Crest.
Work on designing and building the golf course began almost immediately. Hill Crest’s 18 hole USGA golf course was designed by Archie and Emile Loeffler, who were assisted by John McGlynn. Archie Loeffler was an expert designer who assisted with the design of Oakmont Country Club’s prestigious course and notable “church pews.” The Loeffler brothers brought their experience and passion for designing golf courses to Hill Crest, and used the natural landscape and rolling hills to create a uniquely challenging course.
The course was built in record time. After fourteen months of planning and construction, with only a team of mules, horses, tractors, and stone sleds, the course was complete.
In May 1925, the inaugural round of golf was played. Hill Crest was officially opened as members enjoyed all the club had to offer during the height of the roaring 20s. The early days of the club were not without their challenges. In 1929, only four years after the club’s grand opening, the world was rocked when the stock market crashed and plunged the economy into the historic Great Depression. During the Depression, a tax assessor came to the club ready to foreclose on Hill Crest due to $1,100 owed in back taxes. At the time, thirteen of the club’s members were enjoying a “friendly game of cards.” Each member put $100 into the pot, gave it to the assessor, paying off the club’s taxes, and allowing Hill Crest to keep its doors open.
Resilience is at the core of Hill Crest Country Club’s tradition. The club survived the Great Depression, World War II, a devastating club house fire in 1951, and most recently the COVID-19 Pandemic. Throughout its history, Hill Crest and its members have been resilient and determined to maintain Hill Crest’s status as the premiere golf and social club in the Alle-Kiski Valley.
Hill Crest has changed, grown, and thrived through the years. Hill Crest and its members pride themselves on being one of the first and few clubs to replace the traditional “Men’s Grill” with a Grill Room that is open to all of its members and guests.