Early Days Of The Lake Havasu Golf Club Parallels Birth Of The City

Early Days Of The Lake Havasu Golf Club Parallels Birth Of The City
Janet Cruz / 28 Mar 2023 / No Comments » Comments

by Janet Cruz

Golfers and local residents are well familiar with The Lake Havasu Golf Club today,  however the original course has gone through changes since it’s first opening in the 1960s, when it was known as the London Bridge Course.

According to the Lake Havasu Golf Club history record, when Robert McCulloch began looking into home development opportunities, he saw building a golf course as a way to attract even more visitors and potential home buyers to Lake Havasu City, aside from the already famous  London Bridge.

In the 1960s, he decided to develop a golf course and build homes around it to attract more potential buyers to the city.

Dump truck at London Bridge Golf Club

Original dump truck used in construction of golf club in the 1965 to 1967 and also used today for current renovation. Photo Submitted by Craig Adams

In 1965, construction of the London Bridge Course soon began.  When it finally opened in 1967,  it became  a very popular course and was soon well known around the state and country.

Robert P. McCulloch Sr. poses with two golfers as construction on the golf club began. Photo courtesy Lake Havasu Museum of History

“There used to be a 19th hole course to the left of the club entrance where you see all those homes today, said Steve Mann, regular golfer and Lake Havasu City resident. “People would be able to continue their game there as they made their way back to the club house.”

As the London Bridge Course became popular, more golf courses popped up in Lake Havasu City such as the Stonebridge Course across from the Lake Havasu Golf Club in 1977.

“It was still owned by the McCulloch’s around the 1980s, and they were going to sell it to the men’s club, but instead it was purchased by American Golf Corporation, then operated by a Dallas company. Soon, the course started to deteriorate until luckily local ownership returned  and will soon go under renovations,” Mann said.

The Lake Havasu Golf Club Co owner Jeff Gilbert,  has been working with the city to acquire permits and says there are some new changes and renovations coming.

“There will be a new convention center, and restrooms outside the golf course.  That are already being worked on and we are acquiring  more permits for other items,” Gilbert said.

Richard McCulloch Golf bag

Richard McCulloch (son of Robert McCulloch) golf bag currently residing at La Quinta Golf Course in La Quinta, Calif./ Submitted photo by Craig Adams

Notable Celebrity Visits and Events at the London Bridge Course 

According to the Lake Havasu Golf Club website,  the old London Bridge Course hosted the Arizona Open in 1970. It was also a stopping point between tournaments.

“The course was also home to the Wagon Master Pro-Am tournament at one time,” Mann said.

A number of celebrities who visited the golf club include actor Charleton Heston and television game show host Dennis James, baseball great Maury Wills, sportsman Bobby Riggs, and professional golfers like Ray Floyd and many more.

Lake Havasu Golf Course 1970

Golf pros Miller Barber and Roy Floyd participate in a golf tournament at Lake Havasu Golf Course in 1970. Photo courtesy Lake Havasu Museum of History

Today, the Lake Havasu Golf Club hosts many sporting activities, golf tournaments and partners with local nonprofit Adaptive Golf and Other Sports for people with all abilities.

Current owners include Craig Adams, Jeff Gilbert and Dan Esse.

For more information on the Lake Havasu Golf Club, visit https://lakehavasugolfclub.com/ 

For more information on Adaptive Golf and Other Sports, check out a previous story on our RiverScene Magazine website below. https://riverscenemagazine.com/local-nonprofit-helping-athletes-of-all-abilities-play-golf/  

If you would love to learn more about the history of Lake Havasu City, check out this story of the London Bridge Dedication by Becky Maxedon : https://riverscenemagazine.com/the-night-the-london-bridge-came-alive-in-lake-havasu-city/

The Lake Havasu Golf Course as it is in 2023. Photo RSM Team


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