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Historic designation now par for Temple Terrace golf course

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Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 08:42 AM
TEMPLE TERRACE -

Long regarded a landmark, the 91-year-old Temple Terrace golf course has earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places after a nearly 10-year campaign.

The 18-hole course, built in the early 1920s, becomes the first 18-hole golf course in the state to receive the designation, Temple Terrace spokesman Michael Dunn says in a written announcement.

"It is a great achievement," said Temple Terrace Preservation Society President Tim Lancaster. "It recognizes one of the community's cultural assets."

The city-owned course, designed by renowned course architect Tom Bendelow, opened in 1922 north of what now is Bullard Parkway and west of the Hillsborough River.

The preservation society had worked for about eight years to get the golf course listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

"It's a great honor and prestigious recognition," Lancaster said.

Temple Terrace Mayor Frank Chillura thinks the attribution adds to the city's charm.

"We have a wonderful golf course enjoyed by many people," Chillura said. "We take great pride in it."

City Councilman Grant Rimbey ran the preservation society committee responsible for coordinating the effort to get the golf course listed.

"It started about eight years ago to get something in the city on the National Register of Historic Places," Rimbey said. "We thought the golf course was pristine enough" to make the list.

"Now we want to get some of the other historic buildings tied to the golf course on the National Register, too," he said. "A lot of houses and the old country club (now apart of nearby Florida College) are worthy."

The course's new designation, which was approved in October but only recently announced by city officials, is expected to heighten the prestige of two vintage-style golf tournaments at the golf course on Jan. 19 through 21.

Golf had a history in Temple Terrace years before the city was incorporated in 1925.

To honor that history, the city's leaders and its golfing community host the Temple Terrace Hickory Heritage Historic Golf Weekend.

"The tournaments were started to help raise the money to get the golf course on the National Register," Rimbey said.

Dozens of players are committed to play the Temple Terrace Hickory Hacker, a tournament for amateurs on Jan. 19.

The day culminates with the Knickers Ball at the Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club, where attendees will dress in 1920s-style outfits.

The third annual United States Professional Hickory Golf Championship, featuring professional golfers, is set for Jan. 21.


kknight@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7413

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