Course closeup: Cloquet Country Club
June 5, 2020
The Cloquet Country Club opened as a nine-hole course in 1923 and its credited designer was renowned Scottish golf course architect Donald Ross. Rudy Weyerhaeuser, its president, also consulted with Runcie Martin and Tom Varden. Martin was a Duluth newspaper writer and a talented golfer. He was also a contributing designer of the Moose Lake Golf Club, which celebrated its 90th anniversary last year. Runcie Martin was also playing in the original foursome that officially opened the Lester Park Golf Club in Duluth in 1931.
Cloquet Country Club is the oldest golf club in Carlton County and one of the longest tenured courses in Minnesota. It was created shortly after the Cloquet Fire and ensuing influenza outbreak in 1918. “I guess this is, therefore, the club’s first pandemic,” said club pro and course manager Bill Manahan, who has worked at CCC for 41 years. “We’re adjusting daily, but we’ll continue to thrive.”
This is the 20th year of operation of an 18-hole CCC. The 2001 expansion and a nationwide golf drought contributed to some lean years for the club financially but some savvy decisions, including a membership “stock” program, have put the club back on solid ground and growth, Manahan said. “Even with the pandemic, we’ve added about 60 new members in 2020 with many in the (age) 30-and-under membership category,” he said. They, and the regulars, have shown up ready to play despite pandemic restrictions. “People were anxious to get outside and enjoy the game,” Manahan said.
Leagues have started and the Invitational, the biggest event of the year for the club, is still scheduled for July. The last time the tournament was cancelled was during World War II.