"THERE IS CAMARADERIE OF PLAY, AND IT IS THIS WHICH MAKES THIS CLUB THE RESORT OF THOSE WHO SEEK DISTRACTION FROM THE HEAVY CARES OF DUTY": LIMITED FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY, OF CONGRESSIONAL COUNTRY CLUB: "A NATIONAL INSTITUTION," CIRCA 1924
(GOLF) O'LAUGHLIN, John Callan. Congressional Country Club. "A National Institution." Washington: (James William Bryan Press), circa 1924. Quarto, original gilt-stamped and embossed brown cloth, marbled endpapers. $1350.
Limited first edition of this photo-illustrated history of the Congressional Country Club, one of a small number of copies issued to men "whose association with this national institution… will strengthen the basic thought responsible for its organization." This copy with a tipped-in invitation offering founder life membership to Robert S. Chamberlayne.
"Congressional is a private club that can trace its lineage back to roaring 1924 and the tail end of the Gilded Age. But within a decade the Great Depression brought near-bankruptcy and the future loomed in uncertainty. World War II proved to be a reversal of fortune for the golf club, as the federal government was in desperate need of training facilities, and willing to pay top dollar" (Atlas Obscura). The site became a training ground for World War II spies, who destroyed the turf with live fire exercises and landmines. After the war, an expensive refurbishment returned the course to its pre-war condition and it became known as "a shot-maker's course" (Golf Digest). Today, with much of its early history forgotten, the course has returned to its founders' original intentions: to be a place where "the men and women who make the policies that secure and enhance the greatness of the American People, engage with each other, and with keen brained professional and business men, in game and close converse." Founding officers included John J. Pershing, Herbert Hoover (then Secretary of Commerce) and numerous United States Representatives and Senators. The owner of this copy, Robert S. Chamberlayne, was treasurer for the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Life members of the club paid an initiation fee of $1000, nearly $15,000 in modern currency.
Faint occasional soiling to interior, light wear to original cloth. Near-fine condition.