A group of founding Members first met on March 29, 1928 in the Camp Hill Fire House to organize the West Shore Country Club. The Club was granted its Charter on April 30th of that year. The new Club acquired the 69 acre farm of Samuel Bowman and the accompanying farmhouse and barn that had been built in 1821. With the existing farmhouse serving as the Clubhouse, the new club officially opened on June 14, 1928 with approximately 125 Members.
Sixty-four years after Civil War artillery reverberated on the West Shore, the farmland of the old Bowman farm echoed to the sounds of club striking ball on the first three pitch and-putt holes of what is now West Shore's championship golf course.
An expert organizer and fund-raiser, the Club's first President, Franklin Davies, used those talents to rally members in expediting the organization, financing and initial land acquisition.
In 1929, the golf course expanded to five holes, and in the third year it consisted of nine holes. In 1935, the Club purchased 95 adjacent acres and constructed another nine holes that opened in 1938. The old barn was the scene of summertime social activities, with winter events staged at the Penn Harris Hotel in downtown Harrisburg.
In 1943, Ed Tabor arrived from Wanango Country Club in northwestern Pennsylvania and took over as golf professional and golf course superintendent. Tabor had worked alongside Wanango's golf course superintendent John Davidson who had been a senior foreman for the famous golf course architect Donald Ross. Tabor applied the Donald Ross style to his next decades of reconstructing, redesigning and reshaping West Shore's greens and fairways. In most ways, the Course today remains much the same as Ed Tabor left it except for the two-year redesign, reconstruction and placement of bunkers by noted golf course architect Gil Hanse completed in the spring of 2004.
In 1980, Bob Nickey succeeded Ed Tabor as the Head Golf Professional. The Members rallied in August to help clear the Club property of hundreds of trees felled by a violent thunderstorm. Restoration of the property continued until winter.
In 1993, the Club approved a plan to construct an enlarged million-dollar swimming pool on the grounds near the tennis courts, and immediately after Labor Day the old pool was demolished. The opening of the new pool took place in May of 1994.
In 1998, the Active members voted to approve the employment of an architect for the Clubhouse building project. In July of 1999, ground was "broken" for the new Clubhouse, and it was officially opened on November 4, 2001. An extensive Bunker Renovation Plan designed by golf course architect Gil Hanse was approved by the Active Members in July 2002. The project was begun in the fall of 2002 and was finally completed in the spring of 2004. Hanse would go on to become world-renowned and chosen to design the Olympic Golf Course for the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics.
In 2008, thanks to a generous bequest by George C. Hoopy, an outside stairway from the main level to the lower entrance level and a furnished patio were constructed. The Hoopy Patio was dedicated in 2009.
In 2012 the Hearth Room was totally refurbished with elegant new furniture, drapes, and carpeting. New furniture also beautified the pool area. In addition, the courtyard was transformed from grass to hardscape, providing an ideal location for member events, wedding ceremonies, charity events or corporate cocktail parties.
In 2013, West Shore, like many golf courses constructed in the "Golden Age", experienced problems with aging and dying trees that have been destroyed by storms or had to be removed for safety, agronomic and other reasons. West Shore Country Club engaged golf course architect Dan Schlegel to develop a Master Landscape Plan for our golf course, which is now used as a guide to continue the beautification of the course with trees and other plantings. During the several years over 500, mostly pine, trees have been removed from the golf course, revealing a magnificence that had been obscured for so many years. Replacement hard woods have been planted.
After 40 years, PGA Pro Bob Nickey retired in 2016. Bob served as first assistant for several years before succeeding the legendary Ed Tabor in 1979. How do you follow Ed Tabor? Only Bob Nickey could do that with professionalism, kindness, and a sense of humor. The Board of Governors then turned to longtime assistant Todd Love to take over as head golf professional.
The Board of Governors continues to be guided by the Strategic Management program started five years ago. As we move into the future, West Shore will seek to balance the needs of younger members and the creation of the family-friendly Club with traditional offerings in terms of social and sporting activities. Sound financial management during recent years have allowed for 2017 renovations to the bar area and the new Shore Room. Members are now enjoying newly refurbished golf course sand bunkers. In 2019, we will open a completely rebuilt and resort style pool complex. All this is aimed at making your West Shore Country Club experience the best in Central Pennsylvania.
“Your leisure time is pleasure time” was the motto emblazoned on Club logoed items during the 1970’s. As West Shore Country Club heads into the future, we do so with that spirit in mind.