The back nine holes opened in 1966. The clubhouse was expanded to accommodate a bar and larger pro shop, and the golf cart shed was built behind the pool dressing/restrooms. At its peak, there were 420 golf memberships and over 150 swim memberships. Several golf leagues played each week in the evenings and there were approximately 10-15 tournaments a year. Private pilots would occasionally use the airport to fly in to play golf. The first house built and sold on Fairways Circle in 1963 was because the owner was also a pilot, he played golf and his plane could be kept in a small hangar at Ewing Airport.
Tired of being held hostage to the first golf course superintendent’s demands, Mack attended Penn State in 1966 and 1967 to obtain a degree in Agronomy upon his parents’ request. He was given the responsibility of maintaining his mother and father’s pride and joy. Garrisons Lake Golf Club was a coveted place to be for social and recreational activities. Families congregated for a day of golfing while their children swam at the pool. The snack bar offered delicious quarter pound hamburgers w/chips for 50 cents, drinks were a dime, milkshakes cost a quarter, and large double dips of ice cream in a cone for 15 cents. Charlie and Dot sold lots on Fairways Circle and Hickory Ridge Road and all had custom built houses on them. The one exception on Hickory Ridge Rd. is called the “Old Brick House.” Allegedly, it was originally occupied by Mr. Garrison.
Installation of about 8,000 trees took place starting in 1967. Charlie had a boat and engine for sale and Ellery Nurseries was across the golf course on Route 13. Larry Ellery wanted that boat badly and gave Charlie a great deal on the trees. They bartered back and forth and that’s where most of the trees came from that are still standing. It’s ironic that the land was cleared to farm making it easier to build a golf course around the existing woods in 1962, only to put trees back decades later. Due to the design, length and water hazards, Garrisons Lake Golf Club was the most challenging course in Delaware during its heyday. One golf publication ranked it #1 in Delaware. That recognition was Charlie & Dot’s proudest moment. The final addition was the four tennis courts built around 1970. Throughout the years, whenever the Ewing’s were in need of something to be built or repaired, they utilized local businesses or those owned by members. Almost all of their seasonal employees were the children of their members and friends. They preferred keeping within the Smyrna and Dover communities and not necessarily going with the best price, something rarely done. Anyone who knew them had nothing but the highest regard for the way they conducted themselves and their businesses.
Garrisons Circle was started in 1969 and by 1972 almost all the lots were occupied. In 1972 the Ewing’s began construction of the Village of Garrisons Lake. It included a Sales Center (now Pratt Insurance), the condominiums on Village Drive, Windy Way & Brighton Place, along with a small shopping center. Originally, there was a 7-11 Convenience Store, Liquor Store, Custom Leather & Gift Stop, Insurance Agency, Accounting Firm, and Real Estate office located parallel to Route 13. There was also a large clothing outlet and a few other privately rented offices. Where the child care center/preschool is now located, there was an exceptional candy shop (Peterson’s House of Fudge), then a bakery, and lastly a South Philly Steak and sandwich shop.
Mack continued as Golf Course Superintendent, as well as working the hydro-seeding business until December, 1976 when he and Carol purchased the hydro-seeding operation from Charlie and Dot.
Copyright © 2023 Friends of Garrisons Lake Golf Course - All Rights Reserved.
Web design by MicroTek Software