In 1951, 16 Chinese businessmen meet at the former Twin Dragon Restaurant in Seattle and found the Seattle Chinese Golf Club. Jefferson Park Golf Course in Seattle is established as their home course, where they play their first invitational tournament at in 1952 against the Vancouver B.C. Golf Club. In 1954, they change their name to the Seattle Cascade Golf Club. They will continue to be the preeminent Asian golf club in the Puget Sound area.
Friendship and Friendly Competition
In 1951, 16 men walked into Seattle’s Twin Dragon Restaurant and left organized as the Seattle Chinese Golf Club. These charter members were: Hing Chinn, Lucas Chinn, Yuin "Shaky" Chinn, William "Bill" Eng, Harry Eng, Alex “Yogi” Jue, Ed Lew, Dr. Henry "Butcher" Luke, Russel Luke, Art Louie, George Louie, Frank Mar, Mar Woh, William "Bill" Wong, Wilbur Wong, and Morton Woo. According to Frank S. Chin, club historian since 2000, these founding members were primarily tennis players, but wanted to learn to play golf.
Early members were very close and socially active (Chin, 2001). For example, Frank Mar, Yuin Chinn, Alex Jue, Doc Lee, Hing Chinn, and their wives had a rotating Saturday night Mah Jong party. In addition to bi-weekly tournaments and golfing practice sessions, picnics and other purely social events were regularly scheduled for club members and their families. Friendship and competition on the course went hand-in-hand.
The Chinese Golf Club held its first tournament in 1952 at the Jefferson Park Golf Course against the Vancouver B.C. Golf Club. This eventually evolved into an annual “4-City Invitational Tournament,” including Victoria B.C. and Portland as well. As a municipal course, Jefferson Park was more accessible to minorities in the 1950s and charged more affordable fees.
In 1954, the Seattle Chinese Golf Club changed its name to the Seattle Cascade Golf Club. Until 1977, the club consisted solely of men. At this point, a few women, such as Dorothy Jue and Margaret Chin, were playing in tournaments. It wasn’t until 1982 that the club voted officially to accept women players (Cascade Golf Club Newsletter). Also, after its first few decades, the club also became more ethnically diverse.
In 2000, the club reinvigorated its efforts to increase membership, and began placing more importance on its own history and recording its actions, which resulted in making member Frank S. Chin the club historian and instigating a monthly newsletter about club happenings. At this time club menbers voted to join the Federation of Chinese Golf Clubs, an organization linking 20 clubs throughout the West Coast.
Today, the Cascade Golf Club continues to hold tournaments every other Sunday at courses throughout the Seattle area. Several awards are in place to honor outstanding members each year. Its purpose, “To promote participation in the game of golf and fellowship among it’s members,” holds strong.