The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The forerunner of Sleepy Hollow Golf Club first began in 1921 shortly after World War I. A group of do-it-yourself Nitro sportsmen decided to build what they called “The Pocatalico Golf Links” property, leased from a gunpowder manufacturer who had landscaped the property to store his product until sold, the earthen bunkers presented some interesting hazards to golfers. They later acquired the Bowling Mansion built during the Civil War and now a historic landmark for use as their clubhouse.

The “Pocatalico Golf Links” remained popular until 1927. It was then that a lease on the old Dudding Farm (presently Ridenour Park) was obtained. The club was then re-chartered under the name “Sleepy Hollow Golf Club” and was authorized to sell its first 200 shares of stock.

Ole Sleepy became a popular attraction in the valley during the 1930’s, drawing a number of players from the Charleston area. Regular tournaments were held for both men and women, and several local industries used the course for company league play. In 1938 their lease ran out, but the Board of Governors had already found a new location for the club. It acquired the same tract at Rock Branch where they had begun the old Pocatalico links some seventeen years earlier.

The club flourished until World War II when many of the regulars were being called to service and others were working long hours in wartime industry leaving little time for golf. The course was closed in 1942 and practically abandoned until after the war in 1946. A returning veteran, Rutherford V. Hill, collected a volunteer force to put the course back into playing condition.

The club began to outgrow its facilities and, since there was no room for expansion at Rock Branch, a committee was appointed to look for a new location. The committee’s recommendation to the board was to purchase a 280 acre tract located on Poplar Fork in Teays Valley. The property had been part of an original land grant awarded to Samuel Handley. Mr. Handley died in 1851 and is buried in the old Handley cemetery adjacent to the number 1 fairway of the present course.

The membership agreed to purchase the property and in early 1955 completed the course and clubhouse. Arrangements were made for transferring memberships from the old course and Sleepy Hollow was soon on its way to becoming one of the finest golf facilities in the state.

By 1989 the club had again outgrown its clubhouse facilities and plans were made to construct a new one. All operations were moved into mobile homes located on the parking lot and the old building was demolished. By July of 1990 the snack bar and pro shop had moved into the new clubhouse and was doing business as usual with the rest of the operation soon to follow. Sleepy Hollow Golf Club now serves over 450 members and their families and conducts countless private parties and receptions in its elegant dining rooms. Sleepy Hollow’s traditions are deeply rooted in its humble beginnings. The teamwork of the membership throughout the years is evident in its continued growth. There is but one common thread that has brought these people of varying backgrounds together to work together and to watch their club grow … the love of the game.