Wedgewood Golf Course is located at 9007 W. 1st St. You can drive on First Street all the way or go North on the twin bridge road and turn left when you come to First St. When you arrive, you will see a well-done sign at the entrance, very green lush fairways and well-manicured greens.
Superintendent Sam Eberly told me that it takes about a million gallons of water per year from their private well to keep everything so lush. It may be the finest nine-hole course you’ll ever see. The grass greens were installed when the city was given possession of the property. A federal grant required that the city must own the property before it could receive the grant for the grass greens. The investors gladly deeded the land to the city. Oh yes, this was when the name was changed from Halstead Golf Course to Wedgewood golf course. That name may have come about from needing a “wedge” club (a No. 9) to loft a ball onto the green.
The next thing you notice will be the clubhouse that has been built in log cabin style. Coincidentally, this same style was used on the golf course clubhouse on 36th Street just North of Newton. That course has been closed for some time and some gentleman is living in it. I noticed a realtor’s sign west of the house, on what was once a fairway. I called the realtor and he said the owner was keeping the house and adjacent land but was selling about 40 acres West of the clubhouse.
Now for some history. The Halstead golf course was established in 1935 by a group of local investors. It was initially a nine-hole sand green course, as was the now defunct Newton course on North 36th St. Leo Young was the first superintendent from 1935 until 1984. He was followed by Doug Hiebert from 1984 until 2015, when Mr. Eberly took over. Mr. Eberly told me that the original clubhouse was about 400 yards West from the current clubhouse, close to the number 2 tee box. At one time, the city had a golf board to govern the course, but it hasn’t been active for some time.
Mr. Eberly told me that they have about 70 or so members who pay an annual fee of $375. He also said that there are discounts for older members plus Jr. memberships for $100.
— Jim Wimmer is a local historian who has written columns for the Newton Kansan for about 10 years. He has chosen to retire from columns, this being the last column he will publish.