San Jose Country Club is set in the lower elevations of the Diablo Range east of San Jose, California and was established in 1899 as the Linda Vista Country Club. In the late 1800's a "golf boom" had been unleashed by the graceful swing of Englishman Harry Vardon, who staged a successful turn-of-the- century U.S. tour, and by the flight of the new Haskell golf ball with its ribbons of rubber innards.
Linda Vista Country Club emerged during an amazing cross-country buildup of golf courses. In the last five years of the 1800's, the U.S. Golf Associations membership grew from 5 to 168 clubs. Linda Vista Country Club was the eighth course to open in California and the fourth in the Bay Area, preceded only by the Burlingame Country Club (1893), and the San Francisco Golf Club and The Presidio Golf Club two years later. Loosely translated, in Spanish Linda Vista means "pretty view."
The Linda Vista Country Club laid the foundation for the great championship golf tradition that has carried through over a
century at San Jose Country Club. On July 12, 1912, a Charter was drawn up for the San Jose Country Club. 1912 was the year that Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, and our local champion, Ernie Pieper were born, the first radio broadcast in San Jose, and the year the Titanic sank.
The course was originally designed by Tom Nicoll (1912), a Scottish-born professional and the Club's first head pro, with renovations by A.W. Tillinghast (1936), and John Harbottle (1997). Harbottle thought that the course has "a touch of Scotland", likening it to Gleneagles. Later, golf course architect, Bill Love renovated the bunkers of San Jose Country Club in 2014.
San Jose Country Club
As a Founding member of the Northern California Golf Association, San Jose Country Club has turned out many champions through the years such as Ernie Pieper, whose swing was most compared to Bobby Jones, and of whom Jones purportedly referred to as "the man with a near-perfect swing", Eddie Duino who gave lessons to Roger Maltbie and Ken Venturi, Jack and Eli Bariteau, Hank Lucente, Greg Galasso, and Gary and Barbara Vandeweghe to name just a few.
Many golf celebrities have also enjoyed the challenge and subtle design of the San Jose Country Club golf course, Snead, Hogan, Nelson, Walter Hagen, Babe Didrickson-Zaharias, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, Patty Berg, Gene Sarazen, Johnny Miller, Julie Inkster, Patty Sheehan, and Fred Couples, again, to just name a few.
The San Jose Country Club has grown up with a rich history and tradition still followed today. Competitive golf in a friendly social environment promoting camaraderie and friendship.
Ben Hogan and Eddie Duino at San Jose Country Club
In June of 1948, Ben Hogan won his first major tournament, the U.S. Open. In September of 1948, he came to San Jose Country Club at the invitation of the Club's Head Professional, Eddie Duino, to conduct a clinic and play an exhibition match.
Hogan, in his first round at San Jose Country Club, shot 64 (par is 70), having never seen the course. During that round, Hogan never had his ball more than a flag stick's length from the hole, hitting all 18 greens in regulation.
Shortly after his play at San Jose Country Club, where this photo was taken, Hogan was in the car accident that almost ended his career. While driving with his wife Valerie, a bus on the wrong side of the road hit his car head on. To protect his wife, Hogan threw his body in front of her. She was unhurt.
This act saved his wife, but Hogan was badly injured, suffering a broken pelvis, broken legs, and so many other injuries that doctors told him he would never be able to play golf again.
Proving them wrong, Hogan rehabilitated himself and went on to have what is arguably the best year in golf. In 1953, he won the Masters, the U.S. Open, and the British Open (at that time, the British Open and the PGA tournament were played at the same time.)
Eddie Duino went on to be named the "PGA Pro of the Year" for the entire United States. Many believe Eddie Duino was the most popular - and best loved - Head Professional of all time.