The Perrysburg Township site of Belmont Country Club began as “Belmont Farm” owned by William Windus Knight, Sr., who selected the name from his parents’ birthplace of Belmont, N.Y. The Belmont land is remembered for many things prior to becoming a country club. It was a busy farm producing grains and pigs, it was a dairy farm and it once was known as The Belmont Hunt Club.
Edward Knight, an official of the Nicholas Corporation, which held title to the land, spearheaded development of the site as a golf course and one-acre homesite residential area. The Wadsworth Company contracted in 1966 to construct the course in the area bounded by Bates and Mandell Roads, the Ohio Turnpike and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Chicago landscape architect Robert Bruce Harris laid out the course. Club incorporation took place on July 9, 1967, and construction began soon after, with completion of the course targeted for spring 1968.
Mr. Harris undertook the daunting task of turning flat terrain into a 7,085-yard course, which involved bulldozing more than half a million cubic yards of dirt into rolling fairways graced by five lakes.
Construction was beset by a steady succession of problems. Wells, the sewer system and drainage became major issues. The weather turned sour and uncooperative with an extremely wet fall season in 1967. A bitterly cold winter followed. Dikes leaked and eroded. Further, a 12-week strike by area building tradesmen brought work to a standstill in the spring. Nevertheless, Belmont opened for play on June 8, 1968.
The Harris-designed par-72 course called for challenging but scenic holes throughout; large, undulating greens; fairways lined with mature trees and shrubs; and six holes bordered by picturesque water hazards. Further alterations were later made to the golf course by world-renowned, Toledo-area golf course architect Arthur Hills.
On Dec. 23, 1980, a $2.3 million fire destroyed the clubhouse. Club members and employees rallied to rebuild the structure and move forward. There have been other challenges through the years, but Belmont always has survived and flourished, largely due to its dedicated members and employees. The club remains true to its origins as one of the Toledo area’s finest country clubs.