Inwood Club is designated a historic site


The Inwood Country Club, one of the oldest such facilities on Long Island, has been named a national historic site.

After receiving a citation from Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, the country club, on Peppe Drive, held a ceremony and dinner party to celebrate the honor last Saturday.

The process of becoming a historic site is lengthy, and those who were involved in it had been waiting for the moment for two years.

Longtime club member Irving Kaminetsky, who helped lead the effort, said that he thinks of the club as an oasis, and a great place to spend time with his friends.

“I think it’s history, and it’s a wonderful thing that the club has been recognized by New York state,” Kaminetsky said.

According to the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the club meets the criteria to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The state and national registers are the official lists of buildings, structures, districts, objects and sites significant in the history, architecture, archeology, engineering and culture of New York and the nation. The same eligibility criteria are used for both the state and national registers.

The 123-year-old Inwood Country Club is one of the oldest country clubs on Long Island. It was established as a nine-hole golf course in 1901, and was expanded to 18 holes five years later.

“I love being able to see the skyline — it’s like ‘The Wizard of Oz,’” Kaminetsky said. “It’s just a special place, and everybody who’s there is privileged to be there.”

For decades the club has been a fixture in the community. “To be around for over 100 years in the same location, as the community has changed over many years, is a tall order,” its president, Louis Rusinowitz, said.

The club, which now has 90 employees, has hosted two major golf tournaments, the PGA Championship, in 1921, won by Walter Hagen, and the U.S. Open two years later, won by Bobby Jones.

In the ’21 PGA, a group of pro golfers reportedly paid to have a willow tree transplanted from the 16th hole to a spot near the 18th before the final day of the tournament to block Hagen’s approach shot to the green, but he won the title anyway. A plaque on what is now the 11th hole memorializes what became known as Hagen’s Willow.

“The club is a continuing, ever-evolving place,” Rusinowitz said. “I know this is just one of many steps along our future.”

The club’s process of applying for recognition as a historic place began in 2022 under the leadership of Past President Gerald Weinstein, who remains a club member.

“We broadcast the event out to our members,” Weinstein said of last weekend’s ceremony, “so hopefully it will be … part of Inwood’s special history.”