ELLIS POTTER: OUR ROOTS
Hamilton acquired its first public golf course through the generosity of a native son, Ellis Potter, who never played golf. He left Hamilton in 1892 and became a successful businessman in Cincinnati and New York City, but he never forgot his boyhood home. As he prospered, Potter pledged he would help Hamilton create, “an atmosphere of confidence, faith and development.”
In 1925, Potter donated 100 acres to the city, specifying that it be developed as a public golf course. Although he never played the game, he said his business experience had convinced him that a golf course was a requirement for a city that expected to prosper.
In his boyhood, the rolling woods along New London Road had been a favorite play area. As an adult, he had enjoyed summer visits to the home of his grandfather (also named Ellis Potter) on nearby Wilson Hill.
After Potter’s land donation, a public campaign raised $15,000 from 4,000 Hamiltonians to complete the 18-hole course. Nine holes of the Potter’s Park Golf Course formally opened May 26, 1927, with the second nine completed on October 5, 1927.
Ellis Potter died two years later on November 23, 1929 in New York City. He was 80 years old.
JACK NICKLAUS AT POTTER’S PARK
Potter’s Park is the site of one of Jack Nicklaus’ first tournament wins. In May 1954, at the age of 14, Nicklaus shot a 64 to win the Tri-State High School Invitational. This tournament served as a stepping stone to his legendary career. The scorecard from this tournament is on display at the Jack Nicklaus Museum in Columbus, Ohio.
INSPIRED BY HISTORY
Potter’s Park has been a staple of the golf community in southwest Ohio for more than 90 years. Today, we honor our past and those who came before us by providing an enjoyable golf experience at one of the most historic courses in the region.