The 797 Elks Golf Club

Wilmington, Ohio | 18 holes | Parkland | Par: 71 | 6119 yards

The original golf course was built by Wayne F. Cox. Mr. Cox had built the motel on the southeast corner of his farm on routes 3 and 22. His wife, Mildred Cox , managed the motel and Mr. Cox built an 18 hole course mainly with his own labor. Different machines were purchased and then sold when those jobs were done. He had some professional architectural help in laying out the course. Two lakes were constructed and a two hundred foot steel machinery building erected with the east side open to serve as a covered driving range tee area. Cox purchased a large tree transplanting truck and moved several hundred evergreen trees, mostly spruce and pines, from an old planting several miles south of the course. These trees were as large as could be moved by the truck planter and soon gave the course a feeling of some maturity. The first nine holes were opened to the public in 1960 and work continued on the other nine holes. The eighteen holes utilized most of the farm and covered about 145 acres. The course never received heavy play under Mr. Cox's management. By 1980, business and housing development posed a threat to the golf course. Wayne Cox was ready to sell his properties and Robert Webster, a native of Lexington, Kentucky, was making plans to purchase. Webster was doing business as D'or International and had moved to have the major acreage rezoned for housing and business. His plans had been submitted in December 1980. To save a public golf course for the community, the trustees of the Elks 797 Lodge, located adjacent to the golf course, decided to try to save the original nine hole course. When the trustees contacted the International Office of the Elks, the local trustees were discouraged from buying into the course because Elk lodges with golf courses generally had poor experiences in development and operation of the courses. Reluctant to miss the opportunity to keep a community golf course, the Lodge decided to have local members purchase the nine hole course and hold it until some Elks entity could raise funds for the purchase and operation. Two Elks families, Ernest and Wilda Wilson and Joseph and Naomi Shaw, purchased the nine holes for something about $400,000 from Wayne and Mildred Cox. The purchase included 82 plus acres and a fraction of the upper lake, the driving range and the 200 foot metal building and machinery on the course, old but adequate.

Par, yardages and course ratings

Tee Par Yardage Rating Slope
Championship 71 6119 68.7 121
Forward (W) 71 3487 62.5 105
Regular 71 5495 66.2 116
Executive 71 4699 67.1 114

At a glance

  • Holes: 18
  • Designed by: Barry Serafin
  • Type: Public/Municipal
  • Style: Parkland
  • Built in: 1960
  • Golf Season: Year round

Practice facilities

  • Driving range: Yes
  • Putting green: Yes


  • Teaching pro: Yes
  • Golf school / golf academy: Yes


  • Pro: Yes
  • Rental clubs: Yes
  • Rental carts: Yes
  • Pull carts: Yes

US Route 22 & 73 E
Wilmington, Ohio 45177
Clinton County
P: (800) 670-3557, (937) 382-2666