A Brief History of En-Joie
En-Joie Golf Club first opened in 1927 under the original design of Ernie Smith. The golf course was originally built by George F. Johnson, the benevolent owner of the Endicott-Johnson Shoe Company. Mr. Johnson loved the game of golf and couldn’t see any reason that his employees shouldn’t love it as well – except for the fact that they didn’t have any time to play, a problem that he resolved by building a course for them to enjoy. Mr. Johnson created the golf course as a place of recreation for his employees who worked at the local shoe factory in Endicott.
According to George F., ‘some foolish workers got it in their heads that golf was only for the rich…golf is just as good for hard working shoemakers as it is for a tired businessman…the poor can play golf just as cheaply as going to the movies and it is better for health. Give men comfort to live and play then you can work them hard and they will be ready for more.’ Golf balls were also made by Endicott-Johnson and used on the En-Joie fairways that were very flat with no rough where balls could be lost. The cost of a round originally in 1927 was $.25, a golf ball another $.25, and a golf bag $.75 – all affordable for the EJ worker in the 1920’s.
From 1971 to 2005 En-Joie hosted the B.C. Open, an annual PGA Tour stop that was loved and greatly supported by the Tour players. In 2006, the last year the BC Open was to be played at En-Joie Golf Club, the Greater Binghamton area suffered the worst flooding from the Susquehanna River area in the regions history. With the golf course inundated with water, mud and debris the tournament unfortunately was forced to be moved in its final year elsewhere. However, shortly thereafter in 2007 En-Joie became the proud host of a new Champions Tour event. The Dick’s Sporting Goods Open was born, and En-Joie once again continues to test the skills of professional golfers, now for those players over the age of 50.
In 1998 and 1999 the golf course layout was renovated by renowned golf course architect Michael Hurdzan. Mr. Hurdzan changed the original relatively flat, round greens into very large, undulating greens that challenge all level of golfers. With narrow, tree-lined fairways coupled with large, elevated greens the golf course is a true test for golfers of all skill levels. Professionals and amateurs alike will find a fair, yet challenging round of golf each time they tee it up at En-Joie.