Charlie Warner, the first mayor of GOTL Village, in the 1920s donated 16 acres that would become the heart of the village’s nine-hole golf course, the Geneva Golf Company, which opened August 1925.
The course was a jewel in a string of improvements leading up to the resort’s incorporation as a village in 1927. The road between Geneva and the resort was paved, an electric light plant was built, and water and sewer service installed. The course cost $71, 732, and by the summer of 1925 its debt was just $6,000.
Those costs did not include maintenance equipment, another $1,000, which was raised by holding a carnival.
A par of 37 was established for the nine holes. The Geneva Free Press described the course as “one of the sportiest in Buckeyedom.”
The privately held course ran into trouble during The Depression, however. The course was going bankrupt and Charlie Warner was mayor. The investors, Warner among, needed to dump the course. And thus they donated it to the village, which managed to keep it afloat and make investment in it.
In 1952 construction of an additional nine holes began. The course was opened in 1954. The par 72 course (at the time) covered 150 acres.
Architect for the second nine was James G. Harrison of Turtle Creek, Pa.
John Evans was the pro at the course at the time it became 18 hole. Evans started his career at the Conneaut Country Club and was hired at Geneva-on-the-Lake in 1932.