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May 21 / Neal

Westward Golf Club in Galewood

Westward Ho Golf Club

This article is written by Tom Drebenstedt originally appeared in the Fall 2010 Galewood Gazette with a different picture.  If you would like to subscribe to the Gazette email

The year of the advertisement is 1924 and the nine holes that await to be played are what remains of a much larger course. When Abram Gale arrived in the 1830s and purchased acreage for a summer home on a continental divide -the
future Mobile Avenue- he probably wasn’t thinking about golf. But by the time the century was about to turn, it was a different story.

In the village of Oak Park, the Westward Ho Golf Club was created by prominent Oak Parkers and they created a small course south of Lake Street, but were hemmed in by development. The members including Miss Johnnie Carpenter -the best woman golfer in America, Thomas Gale, Henry Austin, Frank Lloyd Wright and many of his clients, needed a new location. They looked to the countryside north of the Village.

Gale’s family sold them part of the orchard from Narragansett to Oak Park and along North Avenue north to the train tracks. It was a beautiful, rolling, wooded, picturesque course but miles from its members’ homes. The horse drawn trams that ran this far north were on a very limited schedule. Westward Ho opened in 1899, sat on 170 acres and contained an 18 hole 6,520 yard course, tennis courts, archery and croquet facilities. All of this was serviced by an enormous clubhouse located at what is now Natchez and Bloomingdale.

Twenty years on, the neighborhood changed again, development was quickly encroaching from the east, and the club decided to move farther west. In 1923 the club moved to Northlake, just north of North Avenue and just west of Wolf Road. Drive over there and look for the street named Westward Ho Drive.

The Galewood Golf Course took over the grounds and lasted only a few years; homes were built from Narragansett to Natchez. Since the economy was booming, the Gale family created Galewood Estates from Nashville to Oak Park, selling lots like there was no tomorrow, until the economy stopped in October of 1929.

Have historical information and/or photos to share? Contact Tom at

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