1. In 1916, anyone riding the Missouri and Kansas Interurban Railway to developer William B. Strang Jr.’s popular recreational and entertainment attractions got a long look at John and Mary Ellen Foster’s farm. Their bluegrass pasture stretched south and west from Milburn station, constrained by ravines, meandering creeks, and dense woodland. It was the sort of land golf architects, hoping to land a contract, describe as “put here by the Almighty for golf.”

  2. April 1, 1917: THE BIG DAY AT MILBURN: KANSAS CITY’S FIRST POPULAR PRICE GOLF CLUB OPENS TODAY. This piece warns that only nine temporary holes will greet the ribbon-cutters, but twelve permanent holes will be playable soon. “Many prominent Kansas City businessmen have joined the club,” the article concludes.

  3. The club hosted the 1923 Kansas City Women’s Match Play Championship. The same year, Milburn landed its first Missouri Amateur Championship, winning praise for the course’s conditioning and contributing to endless geographical confusion.

  4. In 30 CENTS DECIDED CLUB AND LINKS SITE, a full-page feature from 1927, the Post lays out Milburn’s origin story: how Charles Babb and Max Pehl—“two Kansas City golfers”— returned from a Nebraska vacation vowing to start an affordable club, boarded the Strang Line to look for sites, and got put off at Milburn station “because they’d only brought thirty cents.” This is by far the most detailed elucidation of the founders’ story, and no less welcome despite the suspicion that it’s pure hokum.

  5. Miriam Burns Horn—Harry Robb’s prize pupil, Milburn’s pride and joy—was the Roaring Twenties. In 1927, no woman was better at golf than twenty-three-year-old Miriam Burns Horn. She won the Kansas City Women’s Match Play Championship for the sixth time and the city’s stroke play tournament for the second time. In June, she beat the great Opal Hill in the finals to win the inaugural Women’s Trans-Mississippi title at Blue Hills Country Club.

  6. On the morning of September 26, 1932, two golfers coming off the ninth green noticed smoke pouring from a window of the second-floor residence of club manager B. C. Bonnell. Within seconds, an army of club employees, caddies, and members rushed into the burning building. Showing little regard for their own safety, the rescuers picked up the club’s grand piano and lugged it to safety. They then hauled out furniture, framed art, and draperies; rescued pots, pans, and china; and saved the cigar stand inventory from immolation.

  7. Golfdom in a September 1938 article, had this to say about its esteemed eighteen: “In playing a round at this rolling and generously timbered course, one is impressed with the evident care it receives. Already lavishly supplied with wooded holes, the club is contemplating a five-year tree-planting program to follow the planting of 300 trees during the past two years. Milburn’s charm lies in its variety. Two small lakes, something very rare in inland central state courses, offer water shots which add materially to the beauty and scoring tests of the layout.”

  8. One morning in 1947, Fatino awakened to the smell of smoke, a faulty wire having started a fire under the ballroom floor. Failing to contain the blaze with fire extinguishers, he called Overland Park’s volunteer fire department in time to limit the damage.

  9. The 1947 Missouri Amateur champ, in an exhibition match at Milburn. Bob Leacox and Harry Robb were instrumental in bringing the KC Open to Milburn.

  10. Milburn hosted five Kansas City Opens, more than any other club.

    • 1950

    • 1951

    • 1952

    • 1953

    • 1956

  11. Milburn “went modern” in 1960, spending $300,000—“the largest expenditure ever authorized by the membership,” according to 1959 club president Chester W. Keltner—on a new clubhouse facade, entrance hall, and “interior betterments.” The Star reported in September 1959, “and the emphasis is to give it a new look with atmosphere and decor changing from section to section of the building.”

  12. Tom Watson won the 1971 Missouri Amateur at Milburn. It was his fourth Missouri Am title.

  13. The Langford Cup, founded in 2007, honors Milburn’s original course architect, William B. Langford. The Ryder Cup-style competition pits a sixteen-man Milburn team against teams from Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Nebraska, and Wakonda Club in Des Moines, Iowa—two clubs with highly regarded Langford courses of their own.

  14. November 29, 2010 "A massive fire that destroyed the Milburn Golf and Country Club was still smoldering early Tuesday morning.” (KSHB, Channel 41)

  15. "Bricks and mortar don’t define a club,” says Martin, echoing comments made in the immediate aftermath of the fire. “We have a hundred years of history. We have the camaraderie and friendship of the members.” The new clubhouse, which opened on April 20, 2013, proved to be a great facilitator of those values, visually linking the bright and modern interior to the golfers and their belovedcourse.

  16. A 2016 reconstruction of the course’s sand bunkers and tees, sees facilities as supporting community and vice versa. “Right after the fire, you would have expected an exodus of membership,” he says, “but we kept that from happening through investment and rejuvenation.

For families and adults who are looking for an inviting and comfortable country club experience with the best architectural layout in the region, enjoy a round of golf at the ultimate player’s course.

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